Here is this week's critics' choice calendar. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison.
NOTEWORTHY: Bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde ambushed and killed by police, 1934.
Concourse Hotel, all day. Through May 26. wiscon.com
Authors Hiromi Goto and N.K. Jemisin are the guests of honor at this year's feminist sci-fi convention, which includes panel discussions, a writers' workshop, an art show and a Friday night meet-and-greet featuring tarot readings and a clothing swap. On Sunday at 7:30 pm, Goto and Jemisin will speak at a formal event filled with decadent desserts.
World's Largest Brat Fest
Alliant Energy Center-Willow Island, 6 am-10 pm (Take Your Brat to Work Day, 6 am-9 am). Also Saturday (10 am-10 pm), Sunday (10 am-9:30 pm, fireworks at 9 pm) & Monday (10 am-6 pm), May 24-26
Each year this celebration of the almighty brat gets bigger, and this year is no exception, with more celebrity grillers, more entertainment stages, a volleyball tournament, paddle sports, the Kids MUDstard Run, a carnival and even camping. Oh, and brats.
Strollin' Schenk's Corners
Alchemy, Chocolaterian, One Barrel Brewing & Thorps, 5 pm-1:30 am
This new event organized by the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium is a music-fueled bar crawl of sorts. Two taverns, a sweets shop and a hair salon will host the festivities, along with an outdoor stage provided by Monona State Bank (see Music). Michelle DuVall & Doug Brown kick off the event at Chocolaterian at 5 pm, and El Clan Destino will end the night with a midnight set at Alchemy. The list of performers also includes local favorites like the Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Quartet (Alchemy, 10:45 pm) and the Charlie Painter Trio (One Barrel, 10:15 pm).
Common Wealth Gallery, through May 25. Reception: 5-9 pm
In this group show, local artists explore the routines and rituals of the work day, as well as the processes that transform ideas into products and services.
Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble & New Comma Baroque
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 7:30 pm
The local group of early-music performers join New Comma, an ensemble from the Chicago area, for a program examining Bach's Sixth Brandenburg Concerto, which was written for instruments like the viola da gamba and viola da braccio.
Knuckle Down Saloon, 9 pm
A Chicago blues legend raised in Wisconsin, Flynn performed on Beyonce's Grammy-winning recording of the classic Etta James tune "At Last." He'll release an album at this show.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9 pm
Even if the weather on the Terrace isn't very summery, this local ensemble's presentation of vibrant Brazilian rhythms should get you thinking about beaches and sunshine.
Frequency, 9 pm
The La Crosse-based band have opened for the Wailers, and several of their recordings have cracked the top 50 on the iTunes reggae chart. With Sol Seed and Perspective Heights.
Brass Ring, Brink Lounge & High Noon Saloon, 11 am-9 pm
A benefit for Second Harvest Foodbank and the Madison Area Music Association, this Brat Fest alternative features sausages, beers and live entertainment from more than 40 local acts in all three venues at 701 E. Washington Ave. The music lineup includes surf and power-pop specialists the Cutouts (High Noon, 11:15 am), blues-infused rock act the Rascal Theory (Brink Lounge, 2:45 pm) and folk-pop purveyor Anna Laube (Brass Ring, 4 pm; see Music). You can also catch at least two acts from the Brat Fest roster: the Sharrows (High Noon, 2:15 pm) and Gabe Burdulis (High Noon's patio, 5:30 pm). Stick around after 9 pm for an afterparty at the High Noon that includes sets by Parias Day, Sky Road Fly, the Flavor That Kills and Annabel Lee.
Six Shot Comedy Showcase
Frequency, 6 pm
Chicago comics Xavier Lamont, Bobby Hill and Jay Washington are the featured guests at this laugh-fest hosted by Joe Otterson. With Heather Hanford, Pushy Muldowney and Brandon Ream.
Capitol Square, 8 pm (10K). Also Sunday, 7 am (half-marathon)
If you like to run in the dark, Saturday's Twilight 10K is the event for you (prizes for "best lighted runners"). The real draw for the fleet-footed, though, is Sunday's half-marathon. There's also a kids' race at 6:30 pm on Saturday. But no marathon.
Spider John Koerner
Knuckle Down Saloon, 8 pm
Bob Dylan mentioned this veteran folk and blues musician in his autobiography, noting that "when he spoke he was soft spoken, but when he sang he became a field holler shouter." With Packard Slim.
Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9 pm
Broussard, a talented accordionist from Louisiana, puts a novel spin on zydeco music with his band of maverick musicians. (See Tour Stop.)
NOTEWORTHY: First Star Wars movie debuts, 1977.
The Goddamn Gallows, Knuckel Drager
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The Goddamn Gallows are touring behind a brand-new album, The Maker. The title track fuses twangy bluegrass with Flogging Molly-esque punk. Knuckel Drager's masked musicians will prove that Madison knows how to rock surf-style, despite a lack of bodacious waves. With Daikaiju and the Not So Astonishing Evan Mitchell.
Los Perros Cubanos
Frequency, 8 pm
Specializing in classic Cuban music from the 1940s through today, this Chicago-based act should draw folks looking to practice their salsa moves. With Simpleton & Cityfolk and Lion's Mouth.
Memorial Day Events
There are several chances to honor those who have served our country. Monona's traditional Memorial Day parade begins at 10 am, going from the 4400 block of Monona Drive to Owen Road. The Veterans for Peace event is at 1 pm in James Madison Park, with a keynote speech by Marine Corps vet Nicole McCoy. VFP has also set up the very moving Memorial Mile at Olbrich Park (through May 31), in which a seemingly endless line of tombstones represents those who died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Whiskey Farm
East Side Club, 1 pm
This local folk and bluegrass act have impressive chops and strong pop sensibilities, two qualities that make them especially enjoyable live.
Mark Croft Trio
Olin Park, 6 pm
Croft, a singer and guitarist, has won Madison Area Music Awards on 12 occasions, as well as the Favorite Singer-Songwriter title in Isthmus' annual reader poll. He and his bandmates perform a mix of gypsy swing, jazz and funk, with a little folk and pop thrown in for good measure.
Warner Park Duck Pond, 7:05 pm. Also Wednesday & Thursday, May 28 & 29, 7:05 pm
It's the season opener for our favorite quackers, so get thee to the Duck Pond to watch them thrash the Kalamazoo Growlers in Northwoods League baseball. At Thursday's game, against the La Crosse Loggers, you can get a Zipline Maynard bobblehead. Priceless.
NOTEWORTHY: Signs of large ice deposits discovered on Mars, 2002.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
Wooten began performing in his family's band at a young age, helping them open for stars like Curtis Mayfield. He's also a founding member of Béla Fleck & the Flecktones who has won five Grammys for his masterful bass playing.
NOTEWORTHY: Pharmacist John Pemberton places first ad for Coca-Cola, 1886.
Jessica Pan & Rachel Kapelke-Dale
A Room of One's Own, 6 pm
These Brown University alums will discuss their new book, Graduates in Wonderland, a memoir that follows their attempts to stay BFFs after leaving college. Their adventures are funny, touching and sometimes cringe-worthy, leading reviewers to compare the book to the HBO show Girls.
A Passion for Photography
Chazen Museum of Art, through Aug. 17. Reception and talk: 6:30-8:30 pm
Last week a huge bronze skull was unveiled at the Chazen Museum, along with a new exhibition of works by Jim Dine (see Art). This week, at a reception featuring a talk by curator Andrew Stevens, visitors can peruse a collection of black-and-white photos whose subjects are art stars like Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock.
Inferno, 7 pm
Otherwise known as Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, this thrash band have gone through numerous lineup changes since forming in Houston in 1982. Despite this challenge, they've toured consistently over the past three decades, thanks to support from the hardcore and skate-punk scenes. With Brass Tacks, Panther and Burning Sons.
The Family Business
Frequency, 9 pm
This local group fuse jazz, blues and rock in ways that ought to please fans of the Band. With the Traveling Suitcase, Sit Kitty Sit and Little Legend.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9 pm
Though K. Ishibashi is best known as the violin phenom in Of Montreal's touring act and cofounder of the indie rock band Jupiter One, some of his most creative efforts come from his self-produced solo project. His set will likely combine live looping with beat boxing. With Busman's Holiday.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Fusing Americana and world music, this band have performed at festivals around the world. "Pretty Lil' Foot," a track on their latest album, Filthy Dirty South, provides an excellent introduction. With Good Graeff.
Edited by Darth Vader