Summer gets down to the basics in Madison this week with an extended heat wave and the opening of the Dane County Fair. The calendar also includes: book readings by Maggie Stiefvater, Sara Paretsky, and Amitabh Pal, as well as a Wisconsin Book Festival benefit; a Mad Cabaret reunion; Concerts on the Square; and, more liv music from dumate, Steve Earle & the Dukes (and Duchesses), Freedy Johnston, Gillian Welch, John Langford & Walter Salas-Humara, and The Rosebuds.
NOTEWORTHY: 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci notches first perfect 10 in Olympic history at Montreal, 1976.
BIRTHDAYS: Six-major-championship-winning golf star/sportscaster Sir Nick Faldo, 1957; fast and/or furious actor Vin Diesel, 1967.
NOTEWORTHY: Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 14,000 points for the first time, 2007.
BIRTHDAYS: Filmmaker Atom Egoyan, 1960; actor/vengeful nerd Anthony Edwards, 1962.
NOTEWORTHY: Neil Armstrong takes "one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind," 1969.
BIRTHDAYS: Guitarist Carlos Santana, 1947; Che-bikini-wearing Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, 1980.
Dane County Fair
Alliant Energy Center, through July 24
Dane County displays its bounty: sheep, horses, pigs, cows and frighteningly large rabbits. On the non-furry end of things, there's a carnival, a hypnotist, trick bike riding, trapeze artists and more. It's time to eat your weight in deep-fried anything.
Concerts on the Square
Capitol Square, 7 pm
This week, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra brings ABBA tribute band Arrival to the Capitol Square for an evening of live music, picnicking and perhaps some dancing of the Hustle.
Barnes & Noble-West Towne, 7 pm
The author of fantasy books for young adults reads from Forever, the third in her romantic, werewolf-themed Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 8 pm
Fresh off the release of the two-track Shutting Shit Down, the local hip-hop project treats the Terrace to beats and rhymes that range from raging and rebellious to quietly introspective. With Billy James Project.
Steve Earle & the Dukes (and Duchesses)
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The outlaw country artist and noted activist performs tunes from his new album, I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive, which recently topped the Canadian country charts and broke the top five in the U.S. With Allison Moorer.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Often called a songwriter's songwriter, part-time Madisonian Johnston lives up to the label. His musical tales of loners and loneliness are arguably some of the best in the business. With local rockers The Shabelles and the Lawrence, Kan., folk-pop outfit Quiet Corral.
NOTEWORTHY: Roger Waters mounts an all-star live performance of The Wall at the dismantled Berlin Wall, 1990.
BIRTHDAYS: "Doonesbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau, 1948; Oscar-winning actor/comedian Robin Williams, 1952.
A Room of One's Own, 6:30 pm
The Chicago author, famous for her series of mystery novels about the Windy City detective V.I. Warshawski, reads from her new book, Body Work. In this one, Warshawski checks out some performance art and tangles with the legacy of the war in Iraq.
Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative, 7 pm
Pal, managing editor of The Progressive, discusses his book 'Islam' Means Peace: Understanding the Muslim Principle of Nonviolence Today.
Wisconsin Book Festival benefit
Goodman Community Center, 7 pm
The Wisconsin Book Festival isn't for another three months, but here's your chance to get a peek at the schedule, which is announced tonight, and hear readings by three notable Wisconsin authors: C.J. Hribal, Judith Claire Mitchell and Agate Nesaule. Wisconsin Public Radio mainstay Jean Feraca hosts.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 7:30 pm
The Harrow & the Harvest, Welch's recent release of dark Americana and Appalachian gems, is her first in eight years. In other words, throngs of song-starved fans just might storm Overture Center. Learn more about the music in this week's Tour Stop.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Mad Cabaret, the raucous extravaganza of singing, dancing and smutty merriment that was a weekly fixture a few years ago, is back. This reunion of classic cast members benefits ACT 9. We still shed a tear when we remember Mad Cabaret star Francie Phelps singing "Manic Monday."
Jon Langford & Walter Salas-Humara
Frequency, 8:30 pm
The downtown rock club welcomes an influential pair of post-punk and rock artists -- Mekons drummer-turned-guitarist Langford and Silos founder and songwriter Salas-Humara -- for an encore performance that's sure to impress.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
This indie outfit from Raleigh, N.C., put a dancey spin on their catalog of folk-rock. Pitchfork awarded a more-than-respectable rating of 7.3 to their new album, Loud Planes Fly Low. With Other Lives.