Rhythm & Booms
The stars align this Fourth of July weekend as Madison and the surrounding region will enjoy three consecutive nights of fireworks displays, first at Elver Park, then Rhythm & Booms, and finally a whole slew of other communities around Dane County on Independence Day itself. The calendar also includes: the National Women's Music Festival; and, more live music from Golpe Tierra, All Tiny Creatures, Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, Justin Townes Earle, and Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons.
NOTEWORTHY: President Lyndon Johnson signs Civil Rights Act, 1964.
BIRTHDAYS: Singer Michelle Branch, 1983; pop-culture footnote Lindsay Lohan, 1986.
Mandt Park Picnic Shelter, Stoughton. Also Thursday, Saturday & Sunday, July 1, 3 & 4
The high season of summer is upon us, and it is time to explore the towns and counties of Wisconsin on the fair circuit. This fair is par for the course, with donkey racing, a horse and tractor pull and, on Saturday, a demolition derby, wherein cars drive around and smash each other up real good. Talk about wholesome American fun.
Marriott-West in Middleton. Also Thursday, Saturday & Sunday, July 1, 3 & 4
This multi-day event celebrates the talents and skills of women in entertainment, the arts and spirituality. There are also, of course, lots of well-known women musicians, including Girl Parts, Andrea Gibson, Leslie & the Lys and former Madisonians God-des and She. People of all genders are invited to attend.
Winnequah Park, Monona, 3-midnight. Also Saturday (1 pm-midnight) & Sunday (9 am-midnight), July 3 & 4
The southeastern burb toots its own horn with a fiesta boasting a carnival, an art fair, fun for the kids and the Taste of Monona, plus music of Madison County, Lube, Ladies Must Swing and more.
Cardinal Bar, 5 pm
The Cardinal's Friday jazz happy-hour series continues, this time with the new 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.
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
Two up-and-coming bands on the Hometapes label, one from Milwaukee and Madison (All Tiny Creatures) and the other from Washington, D.C. (The Caribbean), will show just how groundbreaking pop music can be with distorted organ and synth sounds plus plenty of layered guitar melodies. With Jivas.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
Prepare to be cajoled by a Cajun: Though she's known as "The Zydeco Sweetheart," vocalist and accordion whiz Rosie Ledet is more seductive than sweet, adding sexy lyrics, sweltering tempos and saucy stage moves to Creole dance music.
If you can't wait until Rhythm & Booms tomorrow, much less July 4 proper, this city-sponsored patriotic display goes up tonight on the southwest side. Or hit shows all three days, and go for the trifecta.
NOTEWORTHY: Dance great Mikhail Baryshnikov becomes U.S. citizen, 1986.
BIRTHDAYS: Depeche Mode/Yaz keyboardist/songwriter Vince Clarke, 1961; couch-jumping actor Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, 1962.
Warner Park, noon onward
The annual Independence Day extravaganza upholds the Declaration of Independence's support for life, liberty and the pursuit of really enormous explosions. The event includes a carnival, music stages with Road Trip, Super Tuesday and Creedence Again, a Madison Mallards game, a parachute jump and a fireworks display (9:30 p.m.) that would bring a smile to Thomas Jefferson's face.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 8 pm
The son of insurgent country hero Steve Earle makes Americana music that's as urban as it is backwoods, a quality that's helped him reach fans who reside far from the borders of the country genre. Get a taste of his in-the-works album Harlem River Blues, which is slated for a Sept. 14 release, at this free show. With Dawes and the Nod.
Frequency, 10 pm
Madison's over-the-top band of theater punks will introduce Damn, Girl, a hilarious, high-energy new album their fans have been waiting more than four years to celebrate. The first 20 people to show up for the spectacle will receive a free copy of the disc and a smattering of kisses from fabulous frontman Shane O'Neill (see the latest MadTracks review). With Fort Wilson Riot, Prizzy Prizzy Please and Heart Shaped Hate.
U.S. INDEPENDENCE DAY
NOTEWORTHY: Thoreau moves to Walden Pond, 1845.
BIRTHDAYS: Spanish actress Victoria Abril, 1959.
Fourth of July Fireworks
There are several places to see the rockets' red glare, including the Monona Community Festival in Winnequah Park, Shorewood Hills' Blackhawk Country Club, the Stoughton Fair at the Mandt Park Picnic Shelter, and the DeForest Fourth of July Festival in Fireman's Park. The booms start at dusk.