Summer reaches its apogee this weekend with a confluence of celebrations, including La Fete de Marquette, Art Fair on the Square, Art Fair off the Square, and the Madison Early Music Festival. The calendar also includes: product by APT and Dames at Sea by UT, and live music from Moving Mountains, John Statz, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Cadaver in Drag, Black Francis, Hollywood Undead, Biff Blumfumgagnge, The Crest with Carnage the Executioner, and The Midwest Beat with The Cave Weddings.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. team wins Women's World Cup, 1999.
BIRTHDAYS: Flecktoned banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck, 1958; singer/Newlyweds co-star Jessica Simpson, 1980.
First block of South Dickinson Street, 5:30 pm. Also Thursday (5:15 pm), Saturday (12:30 pm) & Sunday (noon), July 9, 11 & 12
The itinerant French-flavored festival moves to yet another location this year. The musical lineup includes Tab Benoit, Lura, the Radiators, Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, the Duhks, Claude Methe et Dentdelion, Boukman Eksperyans, Watcha Clan, Feufollet and Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole. There will be food, crafts and, on July 9, a special membership meeting of the Willy Street Co-op.
Electric Earth Café, 6 pm
If you didn't catch their gig at James Madison Park last week, here's your chance to hear the local hardcore-meets-Bon Iver trio Noise Floor, plus Purchase, N.Y.'s Moving Mountains, who play emo-laced post-rock reminiscent of the Appleseed Cast. Also playing: Chase Pagan, the Crown & Two Chairmen, Big Surrender.
UW Vilas Hall's Mitchell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday & Thursday, July 11 & 16, 7:30 pm
For its summer show, University Theatre stages this spoof of 1930s Hollywood musicals, which had a successful run off-Broadway in the 1960s. That production launched the career of Bernadette Peters. Whose career will this one launch?
American Players Theatre in Spring Green, 8 pm. Also Sunday (6 pm) & Wednesday (7:30 pm), July 12 & 15
APT superstar Jim DeVita adapted this one-man show from Ian McKellen's Acting Shakespeare. In the play, which inaugurates APT's new indoor Touchstone Theatre, DeVita blends autobiography with passages from the Bard himself.
Brink Lounge, 9 pm
The widely traveled Madison songwriter performs in a show slated to be recorded for posterity (see Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
When Black Joe Lewis first picked up a guitar in a pawnshop a few years ago, he never dreamed he'd be fronting one of the hottest bands of South By Southwest. Lo and behold, the Austin, Texas musician and his bluesy band rocketed out of the 2009 festival with a slick and soulful debut, Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!, and enough hype to keep them going strong all year.
NOTEWORTHY: Skylab scatters debris across Indian Ocean & Australia as it plummets to earth, 1979.
BIRTHDAYS: Fashion designer Giorgio Armani, 1934; rapper Lil' Kim, 1975.
Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. & Monona Terrace esplanade, 9 am-6 pm. Also Sunday, July 12, 10 am-5 pm
This is the local complement to the Art Fair on the Square, with 140 Wisconsin artists and craftspeople showing their high-quality work. The Art Fair Off the Square also offers children's entertainment, a public art project and refreshments. The featured artist is painter Don Nedobeck.
Capitol Square, 9 am-6 pm. Also Saturday, July 12, 10 am-5 pm
Over the decades, the fundraiser for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art has grown from a shopping-mall sidewalk sale to a nationally recognized juried fair featuring almost 500 artists. Expect the usual cheek-by-jowl crowds peering at paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture, jewelry, handmade clothing and the odd unclassifiable object. Live performances on three stages include Mark Croft, the Selfish Gene, Kanopy Dance Co., Sean Michael Dargan Band, Natty Nation and Mad City Tango.
Good Style Shop, 6 pm
The heavy psychedelic noise of Lexington, Ky.'s Cadaver in Drag will rattle the clothing racks and your synapses at the local vintage shop. Also playing: Jovantaes.
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
Un chien Andalusia, anyone? The Pixies frontman brings his solo act -- and at least a few semi-surreal lyrics -- to Madison for a lightning-quick show. Read more about his adventures in the avant-garde and his newest band, Grand Duchy, in this week's Madison Early Music Festival
Concerts at Mills Hall in the UW Humanities Building, 7:30 pm
This year's confab of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music celebrates the International Year of Astronomy and the 400th anniversary of the first telescopic observation by Galileo (whose father was a musician and music theorist -- who knew?). There's an array of classes, lectures and concerts. This week's performances feature Piffaro, the Renaissance Band (Saturday), Newberry Consort (Sunday), Quicksilver with Mario Verbruggen (Tuesday) and festival faculty (Thursday). 6:30 pm lectures precede each performance.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The rap-rockin' MySpace sensation released their first album, Swan Songs, last year and burned through three-quarters of the Billboard 200 chart within a week. See if the live act matches the packaging, especially those goofy hockey masks they wear. Mest and the Sleeping open.
American Players Theatre in Spring Green, 8 pm. Also Thursday, July 16, 7:30 pm
APT's second production in the new indoor Touchstone Theatre is Harold Pinter's 1971 play about a couple whose life is disrupted when an old friend pays a visit. They talk about old times. This being Pinter, there's emotion.
Mickey's Tavern, 10 pm
The familiar face from the Gomers and Reptile Palace Orchestra goes it alone tonight, creating a live soundtrack to the cult-classic German horror flick Nosferatu before your very eyes.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
Cheerful Robots is an unusual name for a new hip-hop record, but the members of the Crest don't mind one bit. They show off their latest beats and rhymes alongside Twin Cities heavy hitter Carnage the Executioner. DJ Skooly opens.
Frequency, 10 pm
The highly caffeinated yet lo-fi quartet play a homecoming show to end their mini-tour with The Cave Weddings, an equally hyper -- and addictive -- garage-pop group from Albany, N.Y. The Hemlines open.
BIRTHDAYS: Olympic gold-medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, 1971; Dude, Where's My Car? co-star Seann William Scott, 1977.