As Madison continues to buzz with energy from a dozen days of protests at the Capitol, the city's stages will hum this weekend with live music from Golpe Tierra, Tret Fure, Pearl and the Beard, BoDeans, Infamous Stringdusters, Baths, Smith Westerns, Little Blue Crunchy Things, Four Bitchin' Babes, Little Miss Ann, All Tiny Creatures, The Deep Dark Woods, and Conspirator. The calendar also includes: productions of Young Frankenstein and Jonna's Body, Please Hold; Bockfest; a talk by Michael Griesbach; Duck Soup Cinema; a performance by the Festival Choir of Madison; and, the Mad City Mardi Gras, Literacy Network, and Camp Bingo benefits.
NOTEWORTHY: Cassius Clay defeats Sonny Liston to take heavyweight title, 1964.
BIRTHDAYS: Actress Tea Leoni, 1966; Hobbitty actor Sean Astin, 1971.
Cardinal Bar, 5 pm
The Cardinal's Friday jazz happy-hour series continues, this time with the Afro-Peruvian jazz group that features Madison bass stalwart Nick Moran, guitarist Richard Hildner and Chicago's Juan Daniel Pastor on the box drum known as the cajón.
High Noon Saloon, 6:30 pm
Since 1973, women's-music icon Fure has recorded a string of thoughtful albums, including her 1980s pop-rock releases and the quieter works she has put out more recently on her own Tomboy Girl label. At this show she's celebrating a new album, The Horizon.
Pearl and the Beard
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
NYC's Pearl and the Beard make beautiful melodies with three voices, a glockenspiel, a melodica, an accordion and a smattering of other instruments (see Tour Stop). With Matt Jones & the Reconstruction, Pioneer and Anna Vogelzang.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
This Wisconsin success story is known to many for penning the Party of Five soundtrack in the early '90s, but their music is as relevant as ever: "Headed for the End of the World," a track from their 2010 release Mr. Sad Clown, appeared in Countdown to Zero, a well-received documentary about nuclear proliferation that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
In less than four years, this string-playing six-piece have built quite a following and broken the top 10 on Billboard's bluegrass chart three times. Celebrate their success and their newest album, Things That Fly, at this action-packed show. With SweetGrass, Past Blue Rhythm and Honey Summer & Fall.
Overture Hall, 8 pm. Also Saturday (2 & 8 pm) & Sunday (1 & 6:30 pm), Feb. 26 & 27
It continues, the traveling production of Mel Brooks' splashy Broadway take on his deadpan 1974 comedy about a monster, the descendent of a certain mad scientist, and various freaks. (See review.)
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9 pm
Expect both of these acts to make a big splash in 2011. The New York Times recently described Braids' debut LP, Native Speaker, as a pointillistic patchwork of looped guitars and layered keyboards, while Baths' debut, Cerulean, landed on the A.V. Club's 2010 best-of list. With Houses.
Frequency, 9 pm
The three musicians that comprise Chicago's Smith Westerns were born long after the Beatles and T. Rex disbanded, but their tunes shimmer with nostalgia for the greats of the 1960s and 1970s. Catch the live version of their excellent new album, Dye It Blonde, before they hit the road with Wilco and Yeasayer this spring. With Unknown Mortal Orchestra. (See Music.)
Little Blue Crunchy Things
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
The band's sax-fueled jazz-rock made Milwaukee and Madison pretty cool places to be in the 1990s. Come relive this era of music making at a reunion show at the modern answer to the popular 1990s venue O'Cayz Corral: the High Noon Saloon. With the Selfish Gene and Fatbook.
NOTEWORTHY: Bomb explodes in World Trade Center garage, killing six and injuring more than 1,000, 1993.
BIRTHDAYS: R&B singer Erykah Badu, 1971.
Capital Brewery, noon
The taps flow freely at this beery extravaganza, spiced up with a 1 pm performance by the Big City Honky Tonk Band. (See article.)
Booked for Murder, 1 pm
Griesbach, a prosecuting attorney with the Manitowoc County District Attorney's Office, discusses his book Unreasonable Inferences: The True Story of a Wrongful Conviction & Its Astonishing Aftermath. It's about Steven Avery, who was exonerated after being wrongfully convicted of rape, then committed a horrendous crime. Griesbach's book was excerpted in last week's Isthmus.
Jonna's Body, Please Hold
Barrymore Theatre, 1:30 pm
Art at the Threshold, a new arts series, presents Jonna Tamases' funny one-woman show about surviving cancer. At the center of the play is a switchboard operator fielding calls from a variety of Tamases' body parts.
Duck Soup Cinema
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 2 & 7 pm
Overture's family-friendly series brings back the old-time vaudeville era with a lively variety show followed by the Buster Keaton film The Three Ages, accompanied live on organ.
Four Bitchin' Babes
Stoughton Opera House, 3 & 7 pm
The witty singer-songwriters delve into subjects that a mature female audience can relate to, including married life, PMS and the yearning for Botox. Expect equal measures of humor and harmony.
Little Miss Ann
High Noon Saloon, 3 pm
Chicago folk rocker and Old Town School of Folk Music instructor Ann Torralba wows little ones in the Windy City with her groovy kids' music. Bet she'll do the same here.
All Tiny Creatures
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
Local experimental-music trailblazers and Bon Iver collaborators All Tiny Creatures will play tunes from their 2010 mixtape and drum up support for a new album that's slated to hit stores and the Interwebs in late March. With Spiral Joy Band and Cannibal Girls.
Festival Choir of Madison
Bethel Lutheran Church, 7:30 pm
The members of the choral group blend their voices in a program called From the Heart. Prominently on the docket is Brahms' "Liebeslieder" waltzes, plus other treats.
The Deep Dark Woods
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
This Canadian band is redeeming the alt-country genre label with dark and lovely tunes that explore pain, resentment and disillusionment through well-crafted stories and skillful use of keyboards and pedal-steel guitar. With Juniper Tar.
NOTEWORTHY: People magazine debuts with Mia Farrow on cover, 1974.
BIRTHDAYS: Stanford graduate/former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton, 1980.
Mad City Mardi Gras
Liliana's Restaurant, Fitchburg, 10 am-10 pm
Get a jump on Fat Tuesday at the suburban, New Orleans-style eatery with food, fun for the kids and music by Ken Wheaton, Cliff Frederiksen & Ken Kuehl, Midtown Jazz, All That Jazz, the Hanson Family Jazz Band and the Rand Moore Quartet. Proceeds benefit the Vilas Zoo.
Literacy Network Benefit
High Noon Saloon, 1 pm
Local Americana aces perform to benefit the worthy organization, among them Jeremiah Nelson, Josh Harty, Cork 'n Bottle String Band, Bill & Bobbie Malone and Jim Schwall.
Edgewater Hotel, 2:30 pm
Enjoy the subtle pleasures of bingo and know your money is going to a good cause at this fundraiser for the AIDS Network. The theme this time is Sconnie Bingo, the host is the incomparable performer Cass Marie Domino, and the celebrity ball callers are Leigh Mills and Christine Bellport of WMTV.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
It's a jam-band jubilee Sunday night: Keyboardist Marc Brownstein and bassist Aron Magner of the Disco Biscuits are teaming up with RAQ guitarist Chris Michetti to create some live trance fusion that will get the crowd moving and grooving.