Madison abounds with live music this week, with summer tours and local scene shows by Billy Bragg, Bad Veins, Dick Dale, Pushmi-Pullyu with Icarus Himself and El Valiente, The Ragbirds, Three Beers 'Til Dubuque, Roster McCabe with DJ Vinnie Toma, and the opening night of Madfork Weekend with Lotus Plaza and Milk Music. The calendar also includes: a production of Billy Elliot; Sweeping Soundtracks at Concerts on the Square; a gay civil rights celebration; and, a book reading by David Maraniss.
NOTEWORTHY: First Wimbledon Championships, 1877.
NOTEWORTHY: President Andrew Jackson vetoes Second Bank of the United States, 1832.
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Wednesday & Thursday, July 11 & 12, 7:30 pm; through July 15
What was to have been Overture's marquee touring musical last season got pushed back to July. We bet it's worth the wait. Elton John wrote the music for this Tony-winning show about a scrappy Irish lad who forsakes the boxing ring in favor of the dance studio.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
This English troubadour and left-wing activist will honor Woody Guthrie's legacy by performing selections from Mermaid Avenue and Mermaid Avenue Vol. II, the critically lauded albums of Guthrie lyrics he and Wilco set to music in the late 1990s. He'll also unveil Mermaid Avenue Vol. III, which contains 17 tracks of previously unreleased material from the original sessions (see Music).
Frequency, 9 pm
Bad Veins frontman Benjamin Davis never intended to start an indie-rock duo. He just liked to screw around with a megaphone, a telephone and an old reel-to-reel he nicknamed Irene. These curious experiments led to recordings, which led to live performances when charismatic beatmaster Sebastian Schultz joined the project. Sample the pair's sounds at this show. With Pushmi-Pullyu.
NOTEWORTHY: Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird published, 1960.
Concerts on the Square
Capitol Square, 7 pm
Madison accordionist Sergei Belkin joins the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra for a program called Sweeping Soundtracks, featuring music from films like Ben Hur and Harry Potter. Belkin is living proof that there's more to the accordion than polka. Believe it, Wisconsin.
High Noon Saloon, 7:30 pm
Guitarist Dick Dale was playing surf rock long before the Beach Boys were singing about T-Birds and bikini-clad babes. He steeped himself in Middle Eastern music in the 1940s and '50s, which helped him blaze through dark, exotic chord progressions that reminded him of the waves he loved to surf. Learn more about the origins of the surf sound in this week's Tour Stop. With Knuckel Drager.
Pushmi-Pullyu, Icarus Himself, El Valiente
Terrace at UW Memorial Union, 8 pm
Three talented local bands will explore rock 'n' roll's atmospheric side with inventive soundscapes and tunes that summon the spirit of spaghetti-western maestro Ennio Morricone.
NOTEWORTHY: Disco Demolition Night at Chicago's Comiskey Park, 1979.
Gay Civil Rights Celebration
Quivey's Grove, 5:30 pm
OutReach LGBT Community Center marks the 30th anniversary of Wisconsin passing its pioneering gay rights law. Former state Rep. David Clarenbach, the author of the law, speaks; Quivey's Grove lays out a spread; and the suggested $40 donation benefits Outreach.
East Side Club, 6 pm
Erin Zindle, the frontwoman of this folk-rock five-piece, can play nearly any instrument that comes her way. Watch her wail on violin, mandolin, accordion, banjo and percussion instruments, which channel musical traditions from Ireland, Latin America, and the mountains of both Appalachia and the Balkans. With Ida Jo.
Barnes & Noble-West, 7 pm
The Pulitzer-winning, Madison-reared author discusses his new book, Barack Obama: The Story, about the president's early life.
Three Beers 'Til Dubuque
Monona Terrace Rooftop, 7 pm
Reed Grimm, the singer of this La Crosse-area funk-and-jazz band, scored a top-20 berth on American Idol with an interesting song choice: the theme from the '90s sitcom Family Matters. Show your support by doing the Urkel at this free outdoor show.
Madfork with Milk Music, Lotus Plaza
Terrace at UW Memorial Union, 8 pm
To gear up for Chicago's Pitchfork Music Fest, a handful of touring bands will take to the Terrace stage. Milk Music, a team of distortion-loving rockers from Olympia, Wash., will preview their fuzzy new anthem called "Violence Now." Fans can also catch Lotus Plaza, a shoegazey outfit helmed by Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt, three glorious days before their Windy City friends do. With Dent May.
Roster McCabe, DJ Vinnie Toma
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Roster McCabe will build danceable jams from funk, reggae and bluegrass, then DJ Vinnie Toma will bring the house down with hip-hop, dubstep and electro-house cuts. DJs Khoa and Swampp Cat will keep the beats bumping between sets.