Spring blooms this holiday weekend with celebrations of Easter and Passover, accompanied by a bounty of arts and music. The calendar includes: the Easter Hat Parade; aerial dance by Cycropia; productions of Menopause the Musical and Beautiful Bodies; Young Bassists Foundation performances; the SPOIL Grand Finale and the Cadillac Joe Memorial Fest; and, more live music from Dom Kennedy, White Rabbits, Christopher Paul Stelling, Kicksville, Pushmi-Pullyu with Man Mantis, The Hussy, Howlin' Rain, Joe Buck Yourself, and SBTRKT.
NOTEWORTHY: Tony Awards debut, 1947.
Young Bassists Foundation
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.
Cycropia Aerial Dance
Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, 2001 Taft St., 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, April 7, 2 & 7:30 pm
The airborne local dance troupe presents a show called Ascendo, featuring graceful moves on various apparatus.
Menopause the Musical
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm) & Saturday (2 & 8 pm), April 5 & 7
Set in Bloomingdale's, the touring show celebrates aging women from the baby boom generation. It puts new lyrics to 1960s and 1970s songs ("Stayin' Alive," for example, becomes "Stayin' Awake") to poke fun at hot flashes and mood swings.
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), April 7 & 12 Strollers Theatre stages Laura Cunningham's play about six women who gather for a baby shower. It's a witty look at friendship.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Influenced by artists like Outkast and the Notorious B.I.G., this L.A. rapper has found his own voice over the course of five mixtapes, beginning with 2008's 25th Hour. Get acquainted with his brand-new studio record, Yellow Album, which adds a layer of slickness to his street-smart sound. With Rich Hil and Poly.
SPOIL Grand Finale
Inferno, 9 pm
The organizers of one of Madison's longest-running electronic music events are throwing in the towel, but not without one last bash. A long list of DJs, including Mike Tussey, Rainbow, Brian Smalls, NeeHigh, Poor Boy Rich, Tinhead, Statistic, Kee and HypnoAssassin, will craft a soundtrack that's as triumphant as it is bittersweet.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
With two drummers, a pianist and a sound they call honky-tonk calypso, White Rabbits isn't your average bar band. The sextet steeps audiences in cheer by blending breezy island sounds with sweet, satisfying pop hooks and the occasional moody riff. With Gull and Coo Woo.
NOTEWORTHY: Baghdad falls to U.S. troops, 2003.
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 a.m. at Capitol Kids, 8 S. Carroll St., and at 11 a.m., there's a petting zoo.
Christopher Paul Stelling
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
Intricate finger-picking and passionate vocals power the tunes of this down-home troubadour, whose debut album, Songs of Praise and Scorn, earned kudos from the Village Voice and American Songwriter. With Josh Harty and Nick Brown.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
A battalion of creative contributors have a part in Kicksville's multi-textured groove-athons. Expect global beat references, electronics and much more at this exuberant event.
Cadillac Joe Memorial Fest
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
This benefit for the American Cancer Society honors the life and music of Cadillac Joe Andersen, whose Hammond B3 organ graced the first Mifflin Street Block Party and many other local stages. The lineup includes his son, Aaron Williams, with his blues-rock band the Hoodoo, plus acoustic singer-songwriter Beth Kille and bluesman Bernard Allison.
Pushmi-Pullyu, Man Mantis
Dragonfly Lounge, 9:30 pm
Two local projects -- experimental rock band Pushmi-Pullyu and synth-loving DJ Man Mantis -- flex their creative muscles in Bellini's basement venue. With Sat. Nite Duets (see Tour Stop) and Mutt.
Frequency, 10 pm
Played at frantic speeds, with blistering guitar solos and explosive drumming, this duo's garage punk is going to start a wildfire one of these days, especially with the release of a new, sophomore LP, Weed Seizure. With Dead Luke, Dharma Dogs, New Villains and DJ 45 Freakout.
NOTEWORTHY: Music impresario Malcolm McClaren dies, 2010.
Frequency, 8 pm
This California quintet partnered with legendary producer Rick Rubin for its latest album, The Russian Wilds, which was inspired by the blues-and-psych-rock fusion of Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland.
Joe Buck Yourself
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
As part of Hank III's band, Joe Buck sometimes steals the spotlight with his forceful stage presence, which blends the aggression of punk rock with the guts and grit of outlaw country. With the Hooten Hallers.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
This London DJ wears a newfangled ceremonial mask to emphasize the importance of anonymity in a world where conversations with online acquaintances can get uncomfortably personal. Whether this is a heartfelt statement or a publicity ploy, it creates a tantalizing air of mystery as he weaves together dubstep, two-step, Chicago house and U.K. funky. With Willis Earl Beal and Wyatt Agard.