Summer hits its zenith this weekend with a host of seasonal celebrations, including La Fête de Marquette and accompanying La Musique Electronique, Art Fair on the Square and Art Fair Off the Square, Drums on Parade, and the opening of the Madison Early Music Festival. The calendar also includes: the second annual Bartell Theater Awards and a production of [title of show]; performances by Humanization Quartet, Jared Stellmacher, and Classical Revolution; and, more live music from Tiny Riots with The Nod, Whitney Mann, Nabori, The Ladybug Transistor, and Frozen Tundra.
NOTEWORTHY: Senate confirms Sandra Day O'Connor to U.S. Supreme Court on 99-0 vote, 1981.
BIRTHDAYS: Actress Anjelica Houston, 1951; actor Kevin "Six Degrees" Bacon, 1958.
East Washington Avenue at Dickinson Street, 5:30 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (12:30 pm) & Sunday (noon), July 7, 9 & 10
The musical tribute to all things French heats up the east side, bringing in acclaimed Quebecois folk ensemble De Temps Antan (7:15 pm), New Orleans guitar phenom Anders Osborne (Saturday, 9:30 pm) and much more. View the full fest schedule on the Marquette Neighborhood Association's highlights.
La Fête de Marquette, 5 pm; & High Noon Saloon, 9 pm. Also Thursday (La Fête de Marquette, 7 pm; Inferno, 10 pm) & Saturday (La Fête de Marquette, 5 pm; High Noon Saloon, 9 pm), July 7 & 9
La Fête de Marquette's concurrent electronic-music fest features a visit from Montreal-based turntablist Kid Koala, who plays the outdoor Fête this afternoon, then headlines the evening show at the High Noon Saloon. Saturday also promises electronic excitement as Quebecois DJ Poirier teams up with MC Zulu, an electro-reggae trailblazer from Chicago, for midday and late-night shows. Other performers at the High Noon after-parties include Wook and Zero Beat on Friday and Dustin Zahn on Saturday.
UW Vilas Hall's Mitchell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, July 9, 7:30 pm
For its summer musical, University Theatre presents the local premiere of this unlikely Broadway production, a self-referential, Tony-nominated show about a couple of guys who write a show. The more you know about musical-theater arcana, the more fun you'll have.
Audio for the Arts, 7:30 pm
Helmed by guitar guru Luis Lopes, a leader of Portugal's improvisational music scene, this four-piece explores avant-garde jazz, old-school blues, contemporary classical music and more at its live performances.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 8:30 pm
Local indie-pop five-piece Tiny Riots joins veteran scenesters The Nod, who'll release their swan-song album, Tomorrow Compadre, to the Terrace's crowd of music- loving beer drinkers and popcorn-loving waterfowl (see Music). With Flatfoot 56.
Frequency, 10 pm
Catch the country-inflected tunes of one of Madison's rising stars, who's had quite a noteworthy year. After opening shows for high-profile acts (Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, George Jones), she released her sophomore EP, The Way Back Home, in May (see Music). With Musikanto and Nick Brown.
NOTEWORTHY: French soccer star Zinedine Zidane ejected for head-butting Italy's Marco Materazzi in World Cup final, 2006.
BIRTHDAYS: Singer/actress/grunge widow Courtney Love, 1964; striped rocker Jack White, 1975.
Capitol Square, 9 am-6 pm. Also Sunday, July 10, 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 more than 450 artists. Expect the usual cheek-by-jowl crowds peering at paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture, jewelry, handmade clothing and the odd unclassifiable object. Live performers on three stages include Tani Diakite and the Afro Funk Stars, Bascom Hill and the All That Jazz Big Band, as well as dance troupes showing off Italian, Irish and Flamenco styles.
Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd & Monona Terrace, 9 am-6 pm. Also Sunday, July 10, 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 fair also offers children's entertainment, a public art project and refreshments.
Overture Hall, 11 am
The Yale- and UW-Madison-trained organist performs a free concert on the big instrument in Overture's cool confines. Stop by during your Art Fair run for music of Walter Pelz, Jean Langlais, Herbert Howells and more.
Grace Episcopal Church, 11:30 am
Part of a national movement, this local group was founded with the purpose of bringing classical music to new audiences. This morning the ensemble presents a concert inspired by visual art.
Middleton High School, 6:30 pm
The Madison Scouts host drum corps from around the country, here to make noise in a Drum Corps International event. Hopefully the booming at Rhythm & Booms will have prepared you for this big noise.
Bartell Theatre, 7 pm
The downtown theater hub throws a bash celebrating the best work of its resident companies, in categories conventional (Best Dramatic Performance) and screwball (Choreography Most Likely to Land Someone in the Hospital). The awards are called the Barties, natch.
Concerts in the UW Humanities Building's Mills Hall, 7:30 pm
This year's confab of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music is called "El Nuevo Mundo: The Age of Exploration in the New World." There's an array of classes, lectures and concerts. This week's performers include Piffaro (Saturday), a band that specializes in Renaissance music; the Rose Ensemble (Sunday); and Ensemble Viscera (Tuesday).
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Though they're from the Midwest, these talented salsa purveyors draw inspiration from the orchestras of NYC's Spanish Harlem and the dance halls of Puerto Rico. Head downtown to swivel your hips or drink in a colorful cocktail of rhythm and melody.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
This Brooklyn, N.Y., ensemble gets its indie-pop cred from Elephant Six Collective, which spawned such notables as Neutral Milk Hotel, Of Montreal and Elf Power. Check out the band's new release, Clutching Sterns, as well as three new members culled from MEN, the Lisps and the Magic Caravan. With Tammar.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. wins Women's World Cup, 1999.
BIRTHDAYS: Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant, 1954; Flecktoned banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck, 1958.
Frequency, 8:30 pm
Eau Claire's burgeoning indie-rock scene and topnotch university jazz program generate lots of buzz, but hip-hop rarely gets a mention. Frozen Tundra proves that the genre can thrive amid pine forests, black bears and permafrost. With the Blind Shake, Revomatics and the Dead Records.