Madison Public Library-Ashman Branch (4 pm) and Central Branch (7 pm)
The star actor at American Players Theatre is also a writer. He'll discuss his new young-adult novel, The Silenced, in which a teenage girl (inspired by Nazi resister Sophie Scholl) fights for freedom in a repressive society.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The big-hearted X-man is fronting a full band and loping through some of the bittersweet Americana contained on his fine new disc, A Year in the Wilderness. Dead Rock West open.
Dane County Fair
Alliant Energy Center, through July 22
Here's a chance for city folk to mingle with sheep, horses and carnies. Expect rides, hypnotists, acrobats, exhibits and lots of food your heart specialist wouldn't approve of. The musical entertainment includes Emerson Drive with Lee Brice (Wednesday, 7 pm) and Ra with Anew Revolution (Thursday, 7 pm).
World Series Wisconsin
Wisconsin Historical Museum, through Dec. 2
This exhibition celebrates Milwaukee baseball teams -- both the Braves and the Brewers -- at the top of their form. It features uniforms, equipment and gear used by the likes of Hank Aaron, Paul Molitor, Warren Spahn, Eddie Mathews, Rollie Fingers and Robin Yount, along with vintage film footage, photographs and audiotape.
Robert Atwell and Jessica Jacobs
Watrous Gallery in the Overture Center, through Aug. 26. Reception: July 20, 5-7 pm
Two solo exhibitions feature narrative works by Wisconsin artists. Atwell's paintings and wall installations are inspired by pop culture and the Midwestern landscape; Jacobs' photographs create a fantastical world.
To Die For
Annex, 8:30 pm
Proving once again that pale-faced warriors from the north do metal better, these epic-minded Finns are as dramatic as they come. They die on stage so we may live. (Or something like that.) Shatter Messiah, Epicurean and Leave the Limbs You've Lost open.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens, through Aug. 12
The annual event allows you an up-close look at the miracle of metamorphosis as butterflies emerge from their chrysalises and flutter around the Bolz Conservatory. Madison's Dan Capps will be on hand Thursdays (July 19 and 26 and August 2 and 9, 2:30-4 pm) to discuss his enormous collection of exotic insects.
Concerts on the Square
Capitol Square, 7 pm
The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra strikes a "Caribbean Beat" for this week's pops concert, with arrangements of "The Girl from Ipanema" and Little Mermaid songs. The guest artist is the LaSte' Duo, which combines viola and steel drums.
Milwaukee's KingHellBastard get you over the midweek hump with their harder Brewtown rhymes. Rehab Hymn & DJ Egadz, Adrift, Cas One, Ellis Bancroft and Gambit also appear.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The horror-show instrumental rockers really ought to be donning their scary masks and pumping out billows of stage smoke on Friday the 13th. But frankly, they're hellacious on any night of the week. Twin-fisted country punks Brainerd, Discider and the Warhawks open.