Summer festivities are in full swing in and around Madison this weekend, with Verona Hometown Days, the Cambridge Pottery Festival & U.S. Pottery Games, Marquette Waterfront Festival, and Mounds Dog Fest. The calendar also includes: Parade of Homes; the Issues for Universities in the 21st Century conference; a production by Fresco Opera Theatre; Sound Ensemble Wisconsin, and a performance by Con Vivo; more live music at a Gio's Garden benefit, "Euphony: The Pale Noir Experience," Kenny's Mustache Bash, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer tribute, the Launchpad Battle of the Band Finals, and Electronic Saviors II; shows featuring Deer Tick, Royal Headache, Tony Barba with Glacier, Midnight Conspiracy, and Phat Phunktion; and, the Chez Bouche revue.
NOTEWORTHY: Robespierre establishes the Cult of the Supreme Being, 1794.
Verona Hometown Days
Hometown Park, Verona, June 7-10
Verona grows and grows, but still it hangs on to small-town traditions. And what's more traditional than a town fest, complete with fireworks, carnival rides and a parade? There's also music of Gypsy Holler, Super Tuesday, Cherry Pie, Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo, and Pat McCurdy.
Gio's Garden Benefit
Brink Lounge, 6 pm
Kings of Radio, Piano Fondue and DJ Aaron Jai strum guitars, tickle ivories and spin records to raise money for Gio's Garden, a respite center for families of kids with special needs. Tickets get you drinks from the bar, snacks from Qdoba and entry in a drawing for a Badger football tailgate package.
Sound Ensemble Wisconsin
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 7:30 pm
Members of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and other notable combos make up this new chamber group, whose inaugural concert is tonight. There's music by Bartók, Ravel, Kodály and Debussy, with readings from Bartók's writings by Wisconsin Public Radio's Anders Yocom.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Even as The Onion shuts down the web edition of A.V. Club Madison, it is hosting concerts to honor its Madison roots. This show features Deer Tick, who's showing off Divine Providence, a new album that brims with affection for the Stones, the Kinks and the Ramones. With Turbo Fruits and Scott Lucas & the Married Men.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Aaimon are a SoCal pair who explore anxiety and paranoia through pop-inspired song structures. They join Itt, a drone-loving duo inspired by Coil and Throbbing Gristle, for "Euphony: The Pale Noir Experience," an evening of dark and daring tunes. With Preteen Pornstar, Channel4Four and Textbreak.
Kenny's Mustache Bash
Stage at Regent Street Retreat, 9 pm
In addition to feting the arrival of summer with musical guests Lucas Cates Band, Mighty Short Bus and the Family Business, the seventh annual mustache bash celebrates Madison's many specimens of facial hair, from mountain-man muttonchops to handlebars that would make Rollie Fingers proud.
Terrace at UW Memorial Union, 9:30 pm
This band of Aussies blends punk's guts and grit with the heart and harmonies of classic soul (see Tour Stop). With Heavy Times and the Lonesome Savages.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer tribute
Inferno, 10 pm
Whether you're a fan of Buffy, Dollhouse or Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, you're likely to enjoy this musical salute to Joss Whedon's talents. Croaker, the Lacey Rodgers, TL;DR and Brandy Held perform selections from "Once More with Feeling," Buffy's famous musical episode, and fans compete for prizes in a Hellmouth-themed costume contest.
NOTEWORTHY: Wisconsin's Lake Delton drains, 2008.
Cambridge Pottery Festival & U.S. Pottery Games
Lake Ripley Park, Cambridge, 9 am-5 pm. Also Sunday, June 10, 10 am-4 pm
The annual clay-a-palooza features work by dozens of professional potters from around the Midwest, along with demonstrations, competitions, auctions and hands-on activities.
Issues for Universities in the 21st Century
UW Pyle Center, 9:30 am-4:15 pm
At this conference marking the retirement of UW political scientist John Witte, the highlight is a noon talk by Taylor Branch, the Pulitzer-winning biographer of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Branch's recent The Clinton Tapes, based on secret conversations with the president, is sensational.
Marquette Waterfront Festival
Yahara Place Park, noon. Also Sunday, June 10, 11 am
Summer festival season swings into session on Saturday with performances by local bands El Clan Destino and Phat Phunktion (noon and 1:30 pm, respectively), Brazil's Dendê & Band (3 pm), Quebec's De Temps Antan (5 pm) and Cambodia's Dengue Fever (7:15 pm). The following day features at least six hours of live music, including sets by Bonobo Secret Handshake (11 am), Icarus Himself (12:30 pm), Shannon McNally & Hot Sauce (2 pm), Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound (3:45 pm), Rubblebucket (5:30 pm) and MarchFourth Marching Band (7:15 pm).
Parade of Homes
11 am-5 pm. Also Sundays (11 am-5 pm) & Mondays-Fridays (3-7 pm), through June 24
The Madison Area Builders Association opens up its latest showplaces for folks with big wads of cash and those of us who just like to dream. Check out homes at Capitol Heights (Fitchburg), the Legend at Bergamont (Oregon) and Southbridge (Waunakee).
Fresco Opera Theatre
Grace Episcopal Church, noon
The scrappy local music ensemble presents Opera Unplugged, featuring arias performed with scaled-down arrangements, for your Farmers' Market entertainment.
Launchpad Battle of the Band Finals
Sett at UW Union South, 2 pm
Wisconsin rock bands melt faces in a quest to win a recording session at Blast House Studios, a Summerfest gig and a host of other prizes. Local bands on tap include Sauk Prairie lo-fi outfit Viburnum at 2:25 pm and Madison West alt-rockers the Daze at 6:10 pm.
First Congregational United Church of Christ, 7:30 pm
The local chamber ensemble presents "Gee, Isn't It Grand," featuring music by Glinka, Gershwin, Gould and Gigout.
Tony Barba, Glacier
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
Chicago-based sax man Tony Barba has performed with the likes of Pete Yorn, the Violent Femmes, the Youngblood Brass Band and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. His trio, Facetime, introduces the crowd to a new, self-titled CD as the local improvisational gurus of Glacier showcase a fresh album of their own.
Electronic Saviors II
Inferno, 9 pm
Industrial music may sound hard-edged, but its purveyors can be quite a soft-hearted bunch. This concert celebrates the release of Electronic Saviors II, a six-CD compilation whose proceeds benefit colon cancer research. Performances by Caustic, Sensuous Enemy, the Dark Clan and Null Device will create a live soundtrack that's aggressive, passionate and surprisingly compassionate.
Segredo, 9 pm
After climbing Beatport's dubstep chart and appearing on the Hype Machine's Top 5 list, this group has landed on the roster of AMonly, the New York-based booking agency that represents famous DJs like Tiesto and Benny Benassi. Even if you don't take a shine to the music, the show's 16-foot LED-and-laser extravaganza is bound to dazzle.
Terrace at UW Memorial Union, 9:30 pm
This nine-piece of UW-Madison music-school grads have become a Terrace staple with their danceable blend of smooth, 1960s-style soul and groovy, 1970s-inspired funk.
NOTEWORTHY: First Saab produced, 1947.
Mounds Dog Fest
Angell Park Pavilion, Sun Prairie, 10 am-4 pm
The free event features contests, demonstrations and almost too much cuteness to bear.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
If the casts of RuPaul's Drag Race and Wonder Showzen spawned a love child, it might look something like Chez Bouche, a revue that includes bawdy puppets, saucy burlesque, pitch-perfect lip synchs and celebrity impersonations.