Learning opportunities abound at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, with music and ecology in focus this weekend with the SoundWaves: Inch by Inch, Measure for Measure presentation and Science of Nature: Celebrating Aldo Leopold children's program. The calendar also includes: the Eye Witness, Thread & Ink, 17/100 Midwest Artists, and Witness Tree art exhibits; talks by Jim Berkenstadt, Cesar Millan, and Adam Mansbach; comedy by John Mulaney and Lewis Black; a production of Woyzeck and show by the Juan Siddi Flamenco Theatre Company; a performance by Wisconsin Pops; the Summer Camp: On the Road band battle and Wisconsin Beard-Off competition; and, more live music from Eric Johnson, Ex Cops with Young Buffalo and Blessed Feathers, Julianna Barwick with Golden Donna, Riders in the Sky, Karan Casey & John Doyle, Minus the Bear with Rah Rah, Ra Ra Riot, Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo, The Bad Plus, and MURS.
NOTEWORTHY: Hoover Dam completed, 1936.
Eye Witness: Milton Rogovin, Social Documentary Photography
Edgewood College-The Stream Gallery, through April 1. Reception: Thursday, March 7, 4-7 pm
Rogovin was an optometrist/photographer from Buffalo who spent almost 50 years documenting people living on the margins. This exhibition samples his images of steelworkers, coal miners and others struggling through hard times.
Phoebe Saunders, Jennie Nuese
Absolutely Art, through March 31. Reception: 5-9 pm
An exhibition called "Thread & Ink" showcases the work of fiber artist Phoebe Saunders (thread) and printmaker Jennie Nuese (ink). Nuese's works include prints based on black-and-white illustrations from old dictionaries.
17/100 Midwest Artists
Grace Chosy Gallery, through March 23. Reception: 6-8 pm
This exhibition features 17 local artists from Ashley Rooney's book 100 Midwest Artists, including Mary Bero and Raymond Gloeckler.
Through March 9, Common Wealth Gallery, 100 South Baldwin, 3rd Floor. Reception: 6-9 pm
This tree-oriented art exhibition features nine artists, including Mary Kay Baum and Nancy Blake.
Genna's Lounge, 6:30 pm
The local author signs copies of his book The Beatle Who Vanished, an investigation into the strange life of drummer Jimmie Nicol.
SoundWaves: Inch by Inch, Measure for Measure
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 7 pm
A group of UW mathematicians, historians, scientists and musicians offer perspectives on the idea of measurement. Pianist Christopher Taylor caps the evening with Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier."
Mitchell Theatre in UW Vilas Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, March 2, 2 & 7:30 pm
University Theatre presents Georg Büchner's unfinished 19th-century play about a soldier who murders his lover. The production exploits the play's carnivalesque qualities, adding songs and circus acts.
Majestic Theatre, 7:30 pm
Unless you've done something really shocking or special, it's hard to show up in a Google search if you have a common name like Eric Johnson. Fortunately, this Eric Johnson has done both. In addition to winning a Grammy for 1991's "Cliffs of Dover," the electric guitar wizard has mastered acoustic, lap steel and resonator guitars.
Juan Siddi Flamenco Theatre Company
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm
The charismatic Santa Fe troupe wows audiences with its theatrical version of flamenco dancing and music. Siddi is known to inspire frenzies with his passionate solos.
Overture Hall, 8 pm
TV's Dog Whisperer discusses his philosophy of canine health and happiness, demonstrating his techniques with some four-legged assistants. There'll be a Q&A, so come with questions.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The appealing young comedian has scored his own Comedy Central special and written for Saturday Night Live. He gets credit for co-creating SNL's unforgettable Stefon.
Ex Cops, Young Buffalo, Blessed Feathers
Frequency, 9 pm
Ex Cops graced Spin's Best New Artists list four months ago, earning favorable comparisons to wistful neo-shoegazers Pains of Being Pure at Heart, while Young Buffalo have caught Nylon's attention with their catchy pop harmonies and youthful exuberance. Milwaukee folk duo Blessed Feathers should deliver an impressive opening set.
Summer Camp: On the Road
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Asparagii, Evergreen, Ifdakar and Vintage Blue will compete for a chance to perform at Memorial Day weekend's Summer Camp music fest, which has featured stars such as Bassnectar and the Flaming Lips.
Julianna Barwick, Golden Donna
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
Barwick uses a loop station to create ambient swirls of folk out of simple vocal phrases. Though Madison synth project Golden Donna is one of those acts people seem to either love or hate, some recent attention from The Fader has created lots of positive hype.
NOTEWORTHY: Compact disc players released for first time in U.S., 1983.
Science of Nature: Celebrating Aldo Leopold
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 10 am
Budding naturalists can learn about fossils, touch insects and, best of all, dissect an owl pellet.
Brink Lounge, 7 pm
Mansbach created a sensation with his children's book for adults, Go the Fuck to Sleep. He'll discuss it at this benefit for the Wisconsin Book Festival, along with his new novel, Rage Is Back.
Riders in the Sky
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
This Grammy-winning cowboy music and comedy troupe has been galloping across the country since 1977, performing more than 6,000 kid-friendly concerts filled with yodeling and rope tricks.
Karan Casey & John Doyle
UW Union South Sett, 8 pm
Irish singer Karan Casey will weave her haunting vocals into the harmonies guitarist John Doyle creates during this performance of folk music from the Emerald Isle.
Overture Hall, 8 pm
The offshoot of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra will join Tony Kishman, who played Paul McCartney in the Broadway musical Beatlemania, to perform selections from the Beatles, Wings and McCartney's solo career.
Minus the Bear, Rah Rah
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Despite goofy titles like "Hey, Wanna Throw Up?" this Seattle quintet write sophisticated pop that incorporates finger-tapped guitar and time-signature shifts. Canadian up-and-comers Rah Rah will open with rock tunes from their Fader-approved new album, The Poet's Dead.
Ra Ra Riot
UW Memorial Union Great Hall, 9 pm
Plaintive strings used to be the hallmark of this indie band's sound, but they've recently thrown their fans for a loop by experimenting with electronic genres such as glitch. See if the musicians show off their classical training or urge the crowd to dance.
Wisconsin Beard-Off Competition
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Grow a bona fide beard or make one out of your favorite materials for this fantastically fuzzy event that's open to both gents and ladies. Madison's DJ Lovecraft and Redleg Rebellion, a crew of psychobilly-loving hell-raisers from Appleton, will provide follicle-stimulating tunes.
Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
Join the local blues-rock band as they record their first live album.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. adopts The Star-Spangled Banner as national anthem, 1931.
The Bad Plus
UW Union South Sett, 8 p.m.
This pianist, bassist and drummer make amazing avant-garde jazz out of some unlikely material: pop and rock songs, including hits by David Bowie, Queen and Black Sabbath (see Tour Stop).
Overture Hall, 8 pm
The acerbic comedian is always on the verge of rage in his topical segments on The Daily Show. The current gridlock in D.C. should send him right over the top.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
This L.A. rapper effuses warmth when he pairs soulful melodies with cerebral lyrics, but he's got plenty of swagger as well. Expect to hear material from 2012's This Generation since he's brought along Fashawn, his collaborator from that album.