April looks to be progressing true to form, as Madison enjoys another busy late spring weekend. The calendar includes: the Hip Hop as a Movement and Foundation for Young Bassists conferences at UW-Madison; the Easter Hat Parade; the Mad Rollin' Dolls semifinals; performances by Cycropia Aerial Dance; productions of Hitler was Right (The German Shepherd was a Great Dog! He Loved DOGS!) and Sweet Cannoli Nuptials; a screening of Woven Lives/Vidas Entretejidas; stops by Stephanie Miller's Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour and the Full Moon Road Show; the Maximum Ink 15th anniversary party; and, more live music from Ecotones, The Cathy Santonies, Cornmeal, Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, Jonathan Coulton, Deanna Devore, Talib Kweli, Bill Kirchen, and Stnng.
NOTEWORTHY: First Earth Day observed, 1970.
BIRTHDAY: Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson, 1937.
Hip Hop as a Movement
Through April 29
The annual confab features lectures, showcases, workshops and DJ battles, providing opportunities for both entertainment and education. This week's highlights include a concert by Los Rakas and Black Milk (Union South, Thursday, April 21, 8 pm), a breakdancing competition (Monona Terrace, Friday and Saturday, April 22 and 23, 4-11 p.m.), and a concert by Invincible (Union South, Tuesday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.)
Foundation for Young Bassists
UW Humanities Building's Mills Hall, 7 pm
UW professor Richard Davis has made Madison a bass mecca. This free concert -- part of his annual bass conference -- features state-of-the-art plucking and bowing by Davis and other nationally known classical and jazz types, including Rufus Reid and Donovan Stokes.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 5 pm
Celebrate Earth Day by soaking up ambient music inspired by nature and the ethos of conservation, performed by Chris Bocast and Emily Blessing of UW-Madison's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. With Graminy.
Cycropia Aerial Dance
Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, 7 pm. Also Thursday (7 pm) & Saturday (2 & 7:30 pm), April 21 & 23
The airborne local dance troupe presents a show called Rite of Swing! featuring graceful moves on various apparatuses. New this year: Something called wall running.
The Cathy Santonies
Lothlorien Co-op, 7 pm
Expect a fist-pumping, chest-thumping extravaganza from these brazen Chicagoans, whose free EP, I'm Yr Friend! I'm Yr Revolution!, has been sowing the seeds of riot grrrl revolution as of late. With Living & Wrestling.
Hitler was Right (The German Shepherd was a Great Dog! He Loved DOGS!)
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), April 23 & 24
The east-side company's latest provocation, by playwright and director Rob Matsushita, concerns three teenage girls at the mall.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
The five-piece bluegrass jam band released the first volume of a live album last year and has another on the way. Catch a glimpse at this out-and-out hootenanny. With Afro Zep.
Maximum Ink 15th anniversary party
Annex, 9 pm
Local music publication Maximum Ink celebrates its quinceañera with a smattering of tribute acts, including the Motherhive Syndicate as Black Sabbath and Subatomic as AC/DC.
Ezra Furman & the Harpoons
Frequency, 9:30 pm
It's hard to decide if Furman and his band should be labeled folk-rock, pop, blues or, on occasion, punk, but it doesn't really matter. Their songs will challenge you and occasionally freak you out -- in a good way. With Tristen and Apache Relay.
NOTEWORTHY: Henry Aaron hammers his first major-league home run, 1954.
BIRTHDAY: Actor/civil servant Kal Penn, 1977.
Easter Hat Parade
Capitol Square, noon
The annual parade allows you to see and be seen in your fanciest or silliest hat. Kids can make hats beginning at 10 am at Capitol Kids, 8 S. Carroll St. The parade includes live baby farm animals from A-Z farm.
Mad Rollin' Dolls
Alliant Energy Center-Exhibition Hall, 6 pm
Each week during the regular season, the local roller derby league sends one of its teams to another city and hosts a guest team. So tonight's league semifinal bout is an opportunity to see all the local skating talent under one roof, as the Quad Squad competes against the Vaudeville Vixens, the Reservoir Dolls against the Unholy Rollers.
Stephanie Miller's Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour
Barrymore Theatre, 6 & 10 pm
Lefty radio host and frequent MSNBC guest Miller brings her political humor to town. Though we can't imagine she'll have much to talk about, because not much political has been happening around here lately. With John Fugelsang and Hal Sparks.
Woven Lives/Vidas Entretejidas
UW Union South, 6 pm-midnight
This celebration of Latin American culture features a performance by Ballet Folklorica, a screening of the documentary Woven Lives/Vidas Entretejidas, about Zapotec weavers in Mexico, and more.
Majestic Theatre, 7 pm
Geekdom is the muse for this cheeky singer-songwriter, former computer programmer and brainy Yale alum. See if he performs fan favorite "Re: Your Brains" or his thrilling acoustic cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back." With Paul & Storm.
Mother Fool's Coffehouse, 8 pm
This Chicago-via-Toronto artist and highlight of recent CMJ fests melds rock, folk, Brazilian jazz, chamber pop, and dance music. Get to know her live show before her debut LP drops later this year. With Amy Musser.
Full Moon Road Show
Orpheum Theatre, 8 pm
Horror-movie maven Charles Band, probably most famous for the Puppet Master franchise, is on hand to present his latest: Evil Bong 3D: The Wrath of Bong, about an alien smoking apparatus intent on enslaving humanity. Special guests include actors Sid Haig (The Devil's Rejects) and Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator).
Capitol Theater, 8 pm
The celebrated smarty-pants MC will perform songs from his new album, Gutter Rainbows, and perhaps venture into to his Black Star catalog for the nostalgia junkies in attendance (see Tour Stop). With Fred the Godson, dumate and Sincere Life.
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
That's Kirchen's amped country-rock guitar work on Commander Cody's cover of "Hot Rod Lincoln." The King of Dieselbilly is a master of twangy Texas guitar, and he knows how to work a honky-tonk.
NOTEWORTHY: Rock icon David Bowie marries supermodel Iman, 1992.
Sweet Cannoli Nuptials
Pancake Cafe, Fitchburg, 3 pm. Also Thursday, April 21 & Thursday, April 28, 6:30 pm
Back again, the locally produced improv show-cum-catered meal simulates every wedding reception you've ever attended, and captures many comic truths about those often uncomfortable affairs. The experience is immersive -- performers have been known to put wedding cake directly into the mouths of (hopefully) willing patrons.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
This Minneapolis quartet's loud, intricate post-punk wows crowds with a double dose of guitars and explosive live energy that's earned raves from the Chicago Reader. See what you think of their chops and their 2010 album, The Smoke of My Will. With Martha's Vineyard Ferries, the Gary and Wereworm.