This penultimate weekend of summer is shaping up to be one of its busiest. Find some end-of-season fun at: the Orton Park Festival and its After Dark Party, the Middleton Good Neighbor Festival, the King Street Block Party, and the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival; a new gallery installation by Julie Ganser and Jeremy Wineberg; Dane Dances and a Michael Jackson tribute party; and, more live music by Dan Baird with Mauro Magellan and Keith Christopher, Pale Young Gentlemen with Flatbear, Steez, Siv, Pistol Pete, and The Coal Men.
NOTEWORTHY: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech at Lincoln Memorial, 1963; Barack Obama accepts nomination as Democratic Party's presidential candidate, 2008.
BIRTHDAYS: Grammy-winning country singer Eileen Edwards (Shania Twain), 1965.
Julie Ganser, Jeremy Wineberg
James Watrous Gallery, Overture Center, through Oct. 4
Check out works by Ganswer and Wineberg, both Madison-area installation artists. Wineberg's piece, Lists, uses animation and projection to build on the artist's shopping lists and so forth. Ganser's Deep Winter, Synthetic Summer prominently features recycled water bottles and bubble wrap. See for yourself at Friday's reception, 5-9 p.m., with remarks from both.
Middleton Good Neighbor Festival
Fireman's Park, Middleton, through Aug. 30
The summer fair season will end soon. Wah! But you can go out in a blaze of glory at this friendly confab, which features an arts and crafts fair, a carnival, a parade on Sunday and music of the Midwesterners, John Masino Band, Midlife Crisis and many more. Remember, good fences make good neighbors. Or is it the other way around?
Orton Park Festival
Orton Park, through Aug. 30
Trends come and go on the near east side. Biker clubs move out, condo dwellers move in. But what hasn't gone anywhere in 44 years is this comfy fest, a music-lover's saturnalia. Groove to tunes of local groups like Primitive Culture, Lucas Cates Band, Cash Box Kings and Lynette's Enchanted, plus touring acts Robbie Fulks, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, and more. There are performances Friday and Saturday night by Cycropia Aerial Dance.
Monona Terrace Rooftop, 5:30 pm
The family-friendly event offers its last groove-fest of the summer. But it's a doozy, featuring pop from the Eddie Butts Band and Afro-Cuban music from Que Flavor. Always did like that Eddie Butts Band.
Dan Baird, Mauro Magellan, Keith Christopher
Scatz Sports Bar, Middleton, 9 pm
Maybe Baird, Magellan and Christopher's names don't ring a bell by themselves, but music fans of a certain age will remember their old band: the Georgia Satellites, the Atlanta outfit whose smash 1986 single "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" came out of nowhere, a ragged Southern-rock anthem amid the miasma of bland pop that dominated the charts then.
Pale Young Gentlemen, Flatbear
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
Two Madison bands that seem poised for bigger things -- the Beirut-like chamber pop of PYG and the moody folk-rock of Jentri Colello's new band, Flatbear -- bring their well-crafted tunes out of bars and clubs and into the open air of the Terrace for an evening.
Throw Me the Statue
Annex, 9:30 pm
These Seattle-based labelmates of Damien Jurado, Jens Lekman and Antony & the Johnsons make indie pop that's sometimes dark, sometimes dreamy and sometimes both -- and that makes the editors of Amazon swoon. They voted the band's 2008 album Moonbeams one of the best of that year. (See Tour Stop.) With the Brunettes and the Nurses.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
The local combo enlivens jam and funk music with synthesizers, and tonight celebrates a new CD, Creepfunk Crusade. With Chafo.
NOTEWORTHY: Beatles' last concert, Candlestick Park, San Francisco, 1966.
BIRTHDAYS: Neverland rancher/Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famer/self-anointed "King of Pop" Michael Jackson, 1958; singer Me'Shell Ndegeocello, 1969.
King Street Block Party
100 block of King Street, 3 pm-midnight
Isthmus and The Daily Page once again present our summer valentine to you, our wonderful readers, in the form of a late-summer bacchanal. Help us salute the winners of our Madison's Favorites polling, eat the food of King Street restaurants and just dance to the music of Blueheels, DJ Nick Nice and VO5.
Token Creek Chamber Music Festival
4037 Highway 19 in DeForest, 8 pm. Also Sunday (4 pm), Tuesday (8 pm), Wednesday (8 pm) & Thursday (8 pm), Aug. 30 & Sept. 1-3
World-class composer John Harbison and his wife, violinist Rose Mary Harbison, again present a summer music fiesta in their refurbished barn. Saturday and Sunday's program features music of Mozart, pianist Russell Sherman plays Debussy and Chopin on Tuesday, and on Wednesday and Thursday jazz vocalist Annette Sanders and trombonist Tom Artin perform songs of Jimmy Van Heusen.
Annex, 9 pmbr> The 10-year-old prog-metal fusion band that lists both the Deftones and the Thundercats theme song as influences is releasing a CD and celebrating it with a show that includes sets by Droids Attack, 9mm Solution, 20 Dollar Love and Within the Eddy.
'80s vs. '90s: Michael Jackson 51st Birthday Edition
Majestic Theatre, 10 pm
MJ may be gone, but Madison-area fans can celebrate his life with a special edition of the Majestic's monthly "'80s vs. '90s" DJ showdown (this time between Nick Nice and Mike Carlson), complete with a moonwalk competition, a costume contest in which partygoers dress up as their favorite version of the star, and a screening of the Gloved One's most memorable videos.
Orton Park After Dark Party
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Pistolera, who play an intriguing blend of alt-folk and Latin sounds, share the stage with Midwestern indie-country favorite Robbie Fulks as the Orton Park Fest takes it inside.
Frequency, 10 pm
The Chicago musician's psychedelic blues-rock is guaranteed to knock your socks off with a combination of red-hot riffs and cool-as-a-cucumber stage presence.
NOTEWORTHY: President Jimmy Carter fends off attack by a vicious rabbit while canoeing near Plains, Ga., 1979.
BIRTHDAYS: Booty-fixated underground cartoonist Robert Crumb, 1943; angelic actress Cameron Diaz, 1972.
Ride the Drive
John Nolen Drive and other streets, 8 am-2 pm
Hey, bicyclists: If you long to cycle without fear of cars, your day is here. For six hours John Nolen Drive, East Washington Avenue and other downtown streets are closed to auto traffic. So cycle, walk or run on them all you want, and enjoy music and food at various sites. Tomorrow you can get back to running stoplights in heavy traffic. You know who you are.
The Coal Men
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
This Nashville trio weaves together folk-rock and Southern rock with soulful vocals, a strong sense of lyricism and some serious technical skill on the electric guitar and Hammond organ. With Cobalt & the Hired Guns.