Spring formally arrives this week, but Madison is already getting a taste of summer. The calendar includes: talks by Russ Feingold and Nikki Giovanni; the Bolz Young Artist Competition finals; and, more live music from Jason Petty, David Wax Museum, The Joy Formidable, Toki Wright, The Seldom Scene, We Are the Willows, Elton John, and Andre Williams & the Goldstars.
NOTEWORTHY: Sydney Harbor Bridge opens, 1932.
Barnes & Noble-West Towne, 7 pm
The former U.S. senator from Wisconsin may not be running for governor, but he certainly is promoting a book. He makes a Madison appearance to sign While America Sleeps: A Wake-Up Call for the Post-9/11 Era.
NOTEWORTHY: Newspaper heiress-turned-Symbionese Liberation Army guerrilla and future actress Patty Hearst convicted of armed robbery, 1976.
Stoughton Opera House, 3 & 7 pm
Petty made his name performing as Hank Williams Sr. in the off-Broadway show Lost Highway. Today he presents Hank and My Honky Tonk Friends.
David Wax Museum
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
This Boston-based band pairs traditional Mexican folk with elements of indie rock to form a new breed of Americana that's won the hearts of NPR, Time and The New Yorker. Learn more in this week's Tour Stop. With Caravan of Thieves.
The Joy Formidable
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
This trio from North Wales combines a post-punk aesthetic with loud drums and hazy melodies. Get acquainted with the group's first studio album, 2011's The Big Roar, at this show. With A Place to Bury Strangers and Exitmusic.
NOTEWORTHY: President Jimmy Carter announces U.S. boycott of Moscow Olympics due to Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, 1980.
Bolz Young Artist Competition Finals
Overture Hall, 6:45 pm
See how the younger generation handles classical music as a violinist, a trombonist and two pianists face off in the competition's final round. These high school students will play with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and conductor John DeMain, and public TV and radio will be on hand to record the results. But hey, no pressure.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 7:30 pm
This Distinguished Lecture Series event features the woman sometimes called the Princess of Black Poetry. Currently an English professor at Virginia Tech University, she has had a much-honored career since publishing her first poetry book, Black Feeling, Black Talk, in 1967.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Many know Toki Wright as the guy who revs up the crowd at Brother Ali's shows. Tonight, he'll show off his own material in the spotlight, including some smart, slick raps from his forthcoming mixtape, Faders. With Mayda, A.N.T., Rambunxious and We Used To Be Unicorns.
NOTEWORTHY: Gusty winds knock high-wire icon Karl Wallenda to his death, 1978.
The Seldom Scene
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
The progressive-bluegrass trailblazers treat the audience to an onstage jam session powered by banjos, guitars and dobros.
We Are the Willows
Project Lodge, 8 pm
The falsetto-singing alter ego of Minneapolis songwriter Peter Michael Miller, We Are the Willows has earned a thumbs up from Daytrotter, Magnet and the critics at his hometown alt weekly, City Pages. With Dietrich Gosser and Ugly Brothers.
Coliseum at Alliant Energy Center, 8 pm
The English pop superstar and knight tickles the ivories for a crowd of thousands with a set that's likely to feature tunes from a forthcoming album and his most recent release, The Union, which landed on Rolling Stone's 30 Best Albums of 2010 list. (See article.)
Andre Williams & the Goldstars
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
Williams has been turning leers into lyrics and libido into sultry R&B since the 1950s, when it was taboo to do so. Though he's got decades of music to choose from, he's bound to whet appetites with cult classics such as "Bacon Fat" and "Greasy Chicken," plus material from his new release, Hoods and Shades. With Thee Rule.