The official arrival of a new season will be celebrated this weekend with Oregon Summer Fest, the Capital Lakes DragonFest, the Starkweather Solstice Festival, the Madison Capital Criterium, and Alive at Five. The calendar also includes: Adult Swim Night at the Madison Children's Museum and Rooftop Cinema at MmoCA; the "Boombox the Wasteland" exhibit at EVP East and a Mark Klassen and Lewis Koch reception at Overture; APT productions of The Critic and Crime and Punishment; Gustafer Yellowgold's performance of Infinity Sock; the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets annual marathon; the final weekend of the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society summer series; an "Old-School Hip-Hop Edition" of '80s vs. '90s; and, more live music from The Backyard Still, the Anton Hartwich Trio, The Black Caps, Mac Lethal, God-Des & She, Radical Dads, The Bar Time Lovers, The Grand Slambovians, and Chris Mills.
BIRTHDAYS: Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood, 1942; actor Peter Weller, 1947.
EVP Coffee, 1250 E. Washington Ave.
Boombox the Wasteland, the unconventional arts festival that brought temporary beauty to the Union Corners disaster on East Washington Avenue, produced a few dozen collectively painted murals. They've been installed at EVP Coffee, and organizers have invited the public to add to the exhibit.
Kiser Firemen's Park, Oregon, 4 pm-1 am. Also Thursday (5-10:30 pm), Saturday (9 am-1 am) & Sunday (10 am-6 pm), June 23, 25 & 26
The southern burb celebrates itself, and why not? There's a softball tournament, a carnival and music of the Bombshelters, Super Tuesday and Universal Sound.
Watrous Gallery in the Overture Center, through Aug. 7. Reception: 5:30 pm
In side-by-side solo exhibitions, Milwaukee's Klassen and Madison's Koch explore the uncertainties of life post-9/11. Klassen's sculptures and serigraphs depict commonplace protective devices, while Koch uses photography, assemblage and text to create a metaphor for war and environmental destruction (see Art).
Madison Children's Museum, 6-10 pm
If you'd like to check out the spiffy new digs of the children's museum but don't have kids -- or want to get away from your kids -- here's your chance. Tonight all exhibits are guaranteed child-free, including the human gerbil wheel. With music by VO5.
Red Dragon TV Studios, 7 pm
Red Dragon Studios is looking for some enthusiastic audience members to cheer on The Backyard Still, a local alt-country group, at a live broadcast. Head to Lakeside Street to lend a hand -- and some hand claps.
Audio for the Arts, 7:30 pm
This three-piece of Chicago free-jazz veterans draws inspiration from Sun Ra, Henry Threadgill and Steve Lacy as they improvise their way toward sonic nirvana.
The wry chamber ensemble winds up its Bach-themed series with two programs. Tonight (and Sunday afternoon in Spring Green) it's School of Bach, with music of Bach, Ravel, Debussy and Astor Piazzolla. Saturday at Overture Center (and Sunday night in Spring Green): The Cradle Will Bach, with music of Bach, Barber and Paul Schoenfield.
Mercury Restaurant Lounge, 8 pm
The amp-toting, beer-sloshing local band debuts a new EP with hints of two classic sounds: 1950s rock 'n' roll and 1970s punk. With Anna Wang & the Oh Boys and Charlie Painter.
Annex, 9 pm
After winning several rap battles in his hometown of Kansas City, Lethal supported Sage Francis' 2004 tour and signed to Minneapolis' Rhymesayers label. Two albums and 12 mixtapes later, he's preparing his third LP, Irish Goodbye, which he'll preview at this show. With Isodynamics and the Nightkrawlers.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 9:30 pm
The museum presents another outdoor screening of avant-garde films, featuring abstract work from the 1930s through the 2000s.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
Clever raps and powerhouse vocals mix and mingle when this duo of Madison-bred, NYC-based hip-hoppers hit the stage. Check out selections from their latest album, Three, and some fan favorites from the days before The L Word propelled them to fame (see Tour Stop.) With DJ Pain 1, Heidi Barton Stink and DJ Kid Slyce.
NOTEWORTHY: Sioux wipe out Custer's army at Little Big Horn, 1876.
BIRTHDAYS: Singer Carly Simon, 1945; comedian Mike Myers, 1963.
Vilas Park, 8 am
In this local running of the increasingly popular Midwestern event, teams of paddlers race long, ornate dragon boats. The festival benefits TeamSurvivor Madison, a group for women survivors of cancer.
Olbrich Park, 4-10 pm
Come early to enjoy canoe forays on the creek, music and dance performances, and, at 5:30 pm, the Procession of the Species parade -- but be sure to bring your own picnic fare and linger at this belated celebration of the year's longest day. At dusk, one of the city's most impressive bonfires brings the heat to a summer that has been regrettably reluctant to arrive in full splendor.
American Players Theatre, Spring Green, 8 pm
Richard Sheridan's 1779 play spoofs theater writing and theatergoing. Good for APT for dipping again into British drama of the 18th century, a period that's too often overlooked.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
With the help of a giant video screen, local DJs Vinne Toma and Fusion will pump up the jams of Run DMC, the Beastie Boys, Grandmaster Flash and other classic hip-hoppers. Meanwhile, the bar will honor retro rap with gin-and-juice drink specials.
Project Lodge, 9 pm
Rising from the polluted canal of Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Gowanus neighborhood, Radical Dads rock the senses with lo-fi gems that meld the grunge era's angst with present-day indie rock's penchant for experimentation. Check out their brand-new album, Mega Rama, at this show.
Harmony Bar, 9:30 pm
Guitar wiz Jim Schwall heads up this dance-friendly band, which will keep the party going till you find your own bar-time lover.
BIRTHDAYS: Singer-guitarist Mick Jones, 1955; actor Chris O'Donnell, 1970.
Capitol Square, 11 am-8 pm
The finale for the week-long Tour of America's Dairyland puts the spectacle back in spectator sports, with cyclists zooming around the Capitol at nervy speeds (audible in the whirring of spokes and cogs). Starting with juniors, the day's schedule builds to the top pro women's race at 3:30 pm and elite men at 6:30 pm.
200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., noon-7 pm
The Capital City Hues' street-festival roster is a who's-who of local performers, from Mexican Dance Inc., to Viv Neaus Hmong Dancers, to Hanah Jon Taylor's Jazz Quartet and DJ Pain 1.
Olbrich Gardens, 1 pm
In the annual marathon, over a dozen poets from around the state -- including poet laureate Bruce Dethlefsen -- recite lovely words in a lovely setting.
High Noon Saloon, 3 pm
Morgan Taylor's character Gustafer Yellowgold is a friendly creature from the sun. Taylor's multimedia family performance features live music, animated illustrations and storytelling.
American Players Theatre, Spring Green, 6 pm
APT stages Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus' adaptation of Dostoyevsky's 1866 masterpiece about a youth who thinks through a murder and decides it could work out just fine.
Brink Lounge, 7 pm
This band of accordion-squeezing, sitar-strumming, glockenspiel-chiming Americana addicts have taken a rootsy turn, releasing a self-titled album that's earned raves from All Music Guide and Acoustic Magazine.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Evolving toward chamber pop after cutting his teeth on Chicago's alt-country scene, Mills visits Madison to showcase his new sonic retrospective, Heavy Years: 2000-2010. With Theodore and Trapper Schoepp & the Shades.