Portugal. The Man
Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival
Angell Park in Sun Prairie, through Aug. 19. Corn served Saturday & Sunday, noon-7 pm
At this corn-lovers' paradise, you pile steaming ears into your box, shuck them, and usually burn your fingers in the process. But you don't care. You eat and eat and eat until you turn yellow. Then you head straight for the Tilt-a-Whirl and valiantly try to keep it all down. And believe it or not, you have the time of your life.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 5:30 pm
The free, family-friendly event moves from Monona Terrace to the Memorial Union Terrace this week. Same party, different lake. Music comes courtesy of Kali Kalor, In Black N' White, Duce Duce and DJ Laurie.
Medical Aid Serenade
Madison Center for Creative and Cultural Arts, 6 pm Jazz saxophonist Hanah Jon Taylor and the Salam Shalom ensemble perform in this benefit for the Bairo Pite Clinic of Dili, East Timor. The program also features a talk by Dan Murphy, the clinic's director, on "The Present Crisis and Medical Conditions in East Timor."
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), Aug. 18 & 19
Ron Collins' "schlock-u-mentary" provides a fictionalized account of Vogue Records' brief moment in the sun in the 1940s, based on their innovative yet doomed line of picture discs. The play sprinkles in some facts amid wild and bawdy speculation on the eccentric company's early years and re-creates auditions and performances of their recording artists. The production's offbeat elements, mixed with the cast's enthusiasm and chutzpah, make for an interesting evening.
Ted Hefko Quartet
Restaurant Magnus, 9 pm
Hefko's a swinging tenor saxophonist based in New Orleans. He channels the city's jazz spirit, performing tunes both modern and traditional.
Those Poor Bastards
King Club, 9 pm
This gap-toothed goth-country twosome is about as far as you can get from the polished hats-and-boots pop of contemporary Nashville. And God bless 'em for that. .357 String Band and well-schooled Mississippi trance blues addicts Bob Wayne & Hillstomp are also on the bill.
100 block of State Street, outside Madison Children's Museum, 10 am-12:30 pm
This free outdoor festival from the Madison Children's Museum features music by Ken Lonnquist & the Kenland Band and the Figureheads, along with face-painting, art activities and exhibits. And don't forget to bring school supplies and children's clothing to drop off for the downtown YWCA.
Nadurtha Organics Eco-Organic Fashion Show
3752 Highway 138 in Stoughton, 1 pm
This show focuses on environmentally friendly duds for all ages and tastes. The clothing has been produced using the fewest chemicals and least-intensive processes, with fabrics like bamboo, hemp and soy. Live music follows the show; proceeds benefit Sustain Dane.
Token Creek Chamber Music Festival
4037 Highway 19 in DeForest
The annual festival is the brainchild of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison and his wife, violinist Rose Mary Harbison. It features topnotch performers, challenging programming and a distinctive setting: the Harbisons' refurbished barn in DeForest. The first program (Saturday, Aug. 18, 8 pm; and Sunday, Aug. 19, 4 pm) includes Busoni's "Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano," Primosch's "Three Sacred Songs" and John Harbison's "Songs After Hours." The second program (Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 21 and 22, 8 pm) is devoted to J.S. Bach's "Musical Offering," highlighting the festival's theme of "variations."
Madison's Favorite Block Party
100 Block of East Main Street, 7 pm-midnight
Isthmus will print the results of our Madison's Favorites polling in next week's Annual Manual, but you can hear the winners before anybody else at this free outdoor party. There'll be food specials from Argus, the Local Tavern, Maduro and Restaurant Muramoto, plus luscious beer from the Great Dane. Kali Kalor and Pupy Costello & His Big City Honky Tonk provide the swell late-summer soundtrack.
Alliant Energy Exhibition Hall, 7 pm
Enormously successful in the late '90s, the Texas-bred band are one of the most popular Tejano acts of all time. Expect a set list crammed with popular norteños, love ballads and cumbias.
Scary Kids Scaring Kids
Loft in the Lussier Teen Center, 7 pm
The double leads and scarifying rhythms on the band's Web teaser for their new CD are pure metal, but the emotive vocals are sensitive enough to entice deep-feeling suburban high school kids from coast to coast. Boys Night Out, the Dear Hunter and Pierce the Veil open.
Timon of Athens
American Players Theatre in Spring Green, 8 pm. Also Tuesday, Aug. 21, 7:30 pm
APT applies a strong directorial hand to William Shakespeare's rarely performed tragedy. It's about a man who squanders his wealth on friends, who then turn on him when he runs short on funds.
Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 8 pm
The veteran Nashville-based singer-songwriter works the literate side of Americana, crafting richly imagined songs that range from introspective and poetic to outright whimsical. Joe Rathbone is also on the bill.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
The Madison-related post-rockers use Tortoise's big, subtly textured oeuvre as a guide, but their brainy instrumentals offer plenty of original ideas as well. They love 'em in Europe, and hey, we love 'em too. The Optimistic and Complexcomplex open.
Triangle Ethnic Fest
The triangle of Regent Street, South Park Street and West Washington Avenue, 11 am-6 pm
Every year, the fest shows that all races, colors and creeds can party in peace. The diverse lineup of entertainment includes Hmong Keng Players, Sadira & the Riad Dance Company, Greenbush Hebrew Ensemble and Italian Folk Dancers of Madison. There will also be kids' games, ethnic food and a farmers' market.
Portugal. The Man
Loft in the Lussier Teen Center, 7 pm
Who knew prog still had so much life left in it? These canny Alaskans reanimate the glory days of the art-rockin' Zeppelin and King Crimson for the indie generation. They've garnered a healthy buzz with the recent Church Mouth, so come early if you want to wedge in. This Will Destroy You, the Photo Atlas, Aurora at Night and Nurses open. All ages!
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Ex-Jayhawk and Creek Dipper Mark Olson makes like an older, wiser Gram Parsons on the marvelous Salvation Blues. Fans of rootsy folk-rock and melancholy twang shouldn't miss him. Cory Chisel of the Wandering Sons opens.