Here are this week's Isthmus Picks. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison.
Fierce! International Queer Burlesque Festival
Various venues, through July 27.
This four-day event showcases dance, drag, comedy and other delights, with a special focus on contributions from the LGBT community. The fun begins with Cass Marie and Peach Pies Caburlesque on Thursday, July 24, at Plan B (10 pm), then continues with dazzling moves from Minnesota's Sweetpea and Chicago's Po'Chop on Friday at the Majestic (9 pm). Tigger! -- dubbed New York's "godfather of boy-lesque" -- headlines a performance at Five on Saturday (10 pm), and on Sunday Shamrock features Pittsburgh beauty Elizabeth Couteau and other gender-bending gems (1 pm).
Centennial Park, Waunakee, 4 pm-midnight. Through July 27
WaunaFest has the full monty of summer festival events, with sports tournaments, a carnival, musical entertainment, a car show, food, arts and crafts, a parade and tons of children's activities.
Tamarack Studio & Gallery, through Sept. 19. Reception: 5:30-8:30 pm
The longtime Madison photographer's work has appeared in numerous publications, including Isthmus, but it rarely appears in local galleries. For "Tracks in the Sand: Captured Memories of the Oregon Coast," Nicastro revisits seascapes from his childhood in the Pacific Northwest, as viewed through a Leica Monochrome camera.
Adult Swim Night
Madison Children's Museum, 6-10 pm
The children's museum morphs into a Prohibition-era speakeasy for grownups. There'll be Charleston lessons, music from the Viper & His Famous Orchestra and liquid refreshments, of course.
Live on King Street featuring Cracker
King Street, 6 pm
Cracker cracked the Billboard top 40 in 1993 with their alt-rock single "Low," but that song provides a mere nibble of their diverse catalog, whose influences also include punk, folk and blues. You're also likely to hear their 1994 radio hit "Euro-Trash Girl" and the singles that launched their legacy: 1992's "Happy Birthday to Me" and "Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)." With Hugh Bob & the Hustle, the Family Business and DJ Nick Nice.
UW Music Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (7:30 pm), Sunday (3 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), July 26, 27 & 31. Through Aug. 3
Sometimes contemporary American politics seems pretty retrograde, but at least we're not living in Victorian England. Madison Savoyards elaborates on this point by presenting Gilbert & Sullivan's opera from the era, which satirizes feminism, women's education and Darwin's theory of evolution.
Yes, Syd Arthur
Overture Hall, 8 pm
Despite Lester Bangs' epic dismissal in Almost Famous ("Yes?.... No."), Yes remains a staple of 1970s-era progressive rock. Fragile and Close to the Edge will be played in their entirety, along with greatest hits from a few other records. English group Syd Arthur open with a set of jazz-infused psych-rock.
Dave & Phil Alvin with the Guilty Ones
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The brothers who founded trailblazing roots-rock band the Blasters have fought about a lot of things over the years, but they're always able to agree about the genius of bluesman Big Bill Broonzy. They present tunes from Common Ground, an excellent new album of Broonzy covers, with a topnotch backing band. (See Tour Stop.) With the Rodeo Bums.
Northless, Like Like the the Death Death
Mr. Robert's, 9 pm
Sludge- and noise-rock from these two Milwaukee bands should complement the intense post-rock and metal of Madison's Tyranny Is Tyranny.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
This seven-piece country band have shared stages with Brad Paisley and Sugarland, and won a half-dozen Wisconsin Area Music Industry awards. Their live performances feature rich harmonies, impressive instrumentation and a big, showy presence. With Mark Croft.
Clean Lakes Festival
Law Park, 9 am-9 pm
Outdoor recreation and environmental education converge at this celebration of all things H2O. Activities on the docket include free lake cruises on the Betty Lou, kayak and canoe rides, a demo by the Mad-City Water Ski Team (6 pm), and live music from Brandon Beebe (3 pm) and Fuzzy Side Up (4:30 pm).
Disability Pride Madison
Brittingham Park, noon-5 pm
This free festival highlights the many abilities of people with disabilities, including artistic talents and athletic skills. There will be live music by Tani Diakite & the Afrofunkstars (3 pm) and the Figureheads (4 pm), as well as a wheelchair wash, adaptive yoga classes and a special welcome from the mayor.
2000 block of Atwood Avenue. Performances start at 12:15 pm. Also Sunday, July 27, starting at noon
With a new name, plus new stages and sponsors, the festival formerly known at Atwood Summerfest is a sure bet for spending those precious summer entertainment hours. Along with plenty of food and beer and an expanded kids' fest area, it's bringing in 18 bands, including VO5, Westside Andy/Mel Ford, Steely Dane, Sonny Knight & the Lakers, the Steepwater Band and the Mustache.
Barnes & Noble-West Towne, 2 pm
Rasmussen discusses Evergreen, her new novel about dark secrets in the Minnesota woodlands. A young woman gives away the baby daughter she had with a stranger while her husband was away caring for his sick father.
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 3-8 pm. Also Sunday, July 27, 11 am-6 pm
This is one of the summer's most charming festivals, more akin to a church picnic than a street fair. Dance to traditional Greek music, tour the church, and get your fill of baklava and other Greek treats. A people-watcher's delight.
Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 8 pm
These Woods, the debut LP by this San Francisco-based indie pop duo, has drawn comparisons to releases by Arcade Fire. Check out "City of Man" and "The Ship" for examples of their soft, beat-driven sound.
Opera in the Park
Garner Park, 8 pm
The Madison Opera and Madison Symphony Orchestra team up for this annual concert on the Garner Park lawn. They'll serve up free samples from the Opera's upcoming productions of Fidelio and Sweeney Todd, as well as Broadway classics like Kiss Me, Kate, with solos by soprano Jamie-Rose Guarrine, mezzo Wallis Giunta, tenor Sean Panikkar and baritone Kelly Markgraf.
Zane Kesey & the Merry Pranksters
Barrymore Theatre, 9:30 pm
Fifty years ago, author Ken Kesey filled a bus with his posse of Merry Pranksters and traveled across the country to visit the World's Fair in New York City. His son Zane re-creates the trip with lots of live music and perhaps less LSD. With New Speedway Players and the Grasshoppers.
Mickey's Tavern, 10 pm
Local musicians Diaper Daniels, Don Rubbish and the Fucking Lion formed this band to see how quickly they could get booed off stage. Lucky for the rest of us, they didn't succeed at this goal. With experimental beats and wacky lyrics (listen to "Mint Car" for great examples), they're often compared to Ween. With William Z. Villain.
DJ Gabriel Sandler
Jolly Bob's, 10 pm
Sandler's passion for vinyl DJing began in 1993, when he found an abandoned record collection in a dumpster behind a thrift store in Ann Arbor, Mich. He's likely to make history at this show as he tries to break the world record for number of synchronized turntables at a live performance. With DJs Lovecraft and Wyatt Agard.
Miss Gay Madison Pageant with Symphony Alexander Love
Five Nightclub, 9 pm
This annual pageant hosted by Kandi Barr will feature Symphony Alexander Love, famous for her impressions of Madea and Macy Gray, as well as drag legend BJ Daniels. With Lucy Von Cucci, Desiree Mathews, Channing Marie Domino and Jacque Monet.
Trails & Ways
Frequency, 9 pm
The well-traveled members of this indie pop act met at the University of California-Berkeley and fused their appreciation of samba, bossa nova and other world music styles into a lo-fi dream-pop sound. "Como Te Vas," from their 2013 album Trilingual, provides a pleasant introduction to their oeuvre. With Bright Kind.
Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo
Capitol Square, noon
Be sure to grab a cool beverage from a Capitol-area food cart for this free Lunch Time Live show. With late-July weather and a sizzling set of blues rock, the event is bound to make you sweat.
Jeremiah Nelson, Paul Otteson, Oh My Love
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7 pm
Three local acts show off their songwriting skills on one of downtown's most beautiful rooftops, which includes a sculpture garden and lovely views of the Capitol and the Orpheum marquee. Fresh off a July 25 album-release party at the Frequency, Oh My Love are likely to perform some especially fresh material.
Concerts on the Square
Capitol Square, 7 pm
St. Patrick's Day isn't the only time to dress head-to-toe in green garb and celebrate Irish music traditions. Jeans 'n Classics, a U2 tribute act fronted by vocalist Michael Shotton, joins the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra to present radio hits like "With or Without You" and "Stuck in a Moment." The free outdoor performance also includes Percy Grainger's beloved "Irish Tune from County Derry."
Central Park Sessions: Pan Africa Night
Central Park, 5 pm
This benefit concert for WORT-FM, the Urban League, Centro Hispano and Project 1808 features music from several parts of the African continent. Tani Diakite & the Afrofunkstars kick off the show with a Madisonian spin on Malian music. The bill also includes Mokoomba, a group from Zimbabwe.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
Led by New York City composer and saxophonist Ellis Ludwig-Leone, San Fermin combine classical influences with modern indie pop; they're frequently compared to the National. Their self-titled debut was featured on NPR's "First Listen" last fall.
Edited by Jim Rockford