Madison's fall syllabus of evening lectures is particularly active this week, with a Getting Real hip hop talk with MC Lyte, a commentary about coming out by Jose Vargas, a discussion of rural culture by Donna Neuwirth with Jay Salinas and Mitch Menchaca, a story session with Henry Rollins, and an examination of the Holocaust by Rachel Brenner. The calendar also includes: the Isthmus Independent Business Awards Dinner; the Festival of Food; a performance by Ballet Folklórico de Mexico; a country music benefit show for St. Jude Children's Hospital; and, more live music from Smoke DZA, William Elliott Whitmore, Generationals, Roger Knox & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, Victor Wooten, Judy Collins, Paper Diamond, and Teenage Bottlerocket.
NOTEWORTHY: Revolutionary Che Guevara captured in Bolivia, 1967.
Isthmus Independent Business Awards Dinner
Goodman Community Center, 5:30 pm
Isthmus honors eight local businesses for their innovation and leadership (see cover story). You can mingle with the winners at this event, which includes food, cocktails, a silent auction and an awards ceremony.
UW Lowell Center, 6:30 pm
The free hip-hop lecture series features rap pioneer MC Lyte on the subject of "Real Begets Real: How Artistic Process Contributes to Academic Success."
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Like RZA or GZA, Smoke DZA started rapping in the early '90s. Unlike those Wu-Tang stars, he was still in elementary school. See how far he's come as he shows off three new albums, Cuz I Felt Like It, Rugby Thompson and K.O.N.Y. With Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire, Cashius Green & Pheo and Nakim.
William Elliott Whitmore
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Whitmore traverses the worlds of old-time blues, folk and country with a voice that makes Tom Waits sound like Julie Andrews. With Samantha Crain.
NOTEWORTHY: Washington Monument opens, 1888.
UW Pyle Center, 6 pm
As part of LGBT History Month/National Coming Out Week, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist discusses his "double coming out" as a gay man and an undocumented immigrant.
Donna Neuwirth, Jay Salinas and Mitch Menchaca
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7 pm
In an Academy Evening event called "Creating Community & Revitalizing Rural Life through the Arts," the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters brings Wormfarm Institute cofounders Neuwirth and Salinas together with Americans for the Arts' Menchaca. The panel discussion focuses on how to build thriving rural places through cultural activity.
Ballet Folklórico de Mexico
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
Escape Wisconsin's October chill with this energetic and colorful program exploring Mexico's rich heritage and traditions through dance and music. Expect dazzling costumes and stunning choreography.
UW Elvehjem Building, 5:30 pm
In a lecture called "The Holocaust and the Ethics of Witnessing," the UW professor explores the diaries of five Polish writers who recorded the Nazi genocide in Warsaw.
Festival of Food
HotelRED, 6 pm; through Oct. 14 at various locations
Madison Magazine's series of savory meals and special events kicks off with a night of sampling and entertainment.
St. Jude Children's Hospital Benefit
Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
Country stars Justin Moore, Casey James, Gwen Sebastian and Greg Bates will perform to raise money to help St. Jude's fight pediatric cancers.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Madison is one of the first cities to hear the live version of Lucky Numbers, a new album of shimmering indie rock by this duo from New Orleans. With Devin and Sat. Nite Duets.
Roger Knox & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts
Frequency, 8 pm
An Aboriginal Aussie musician, Knox has some of the best nicknames in the business, from Black Elvis to the Koori King of Country. With Waco Brothers and Sally Timms.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
The Grammy-winning bassist from Béla Fleck's band, the Flecktones, will flaunt his favorite Fodera as he highlights tunes from two new solo albums, Sword & Stone and Tunes & Tones. With the Werks.
NOTEWORTHY: Saturday Night Live debuts, 1975.
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
This folk-music icon and antiwar activist helped popularize songs by '60s and '70s greats such as Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen before transitioning into the realm of pop and show tunes. She'll explore her 36-album catalog at this show.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
This electronic artist's music is bold on all fronts. He pairs heavy beats and bass with rich, catchy melodies and heady swirls of synth. With Eliot Lipp and Clicks & Whistles.
Frequency, 9 pm
This Wyoming-bred quartet makes punk rock in the tradition of the Ramones, Green Day and Screeching Weasel. See if the group's new album, Freak Out!, delivers what it promises. With Toys That Kill, Masked Intruder and Funrod.