The Madison Mallards make summer official this week when they open their ninth season. There's much more on deck besides baseball, though, including: book readings by Harold Varmus, and Arthur and Ursula Rathburn; and the return to a lively concert calendar with shows by SSION, Gibraltar Rockets, Jenny Lewis with The Sadies, Halestorm, and Steez.
NOTEWORTHY: Mount Pinatubo erupts for first time in 600 years, 1991.
BIRTHDAYS: Actor/director Morgan Freeman, 1937; singer Alanis Morissette, 1972.
Borders West, 7 pm
The Nobel-winning doctor and scientist talks about his new memoir The Art and Politics and Science, which is about both his life in science and issues like stem-cell research. Wisconsin Public Radio's Steve Paulson hosts.
The Duck Pond at Warner Park, 7:05 pm. Also Tuesday-Thursday, June 2-4, 7:05 pm
The local baseball franchise makes its first regular-season appearances at home with games against the Rochester Honkers (June 1-2) and the Waterloo Bucks (June 3-4). Ducks never die.
NOTEWORTHY: Queen Elizabeth II crowned, 1953.
BIRTHDAYS: Actress Sally Kellerman, 1937; filmmaker Lasse Halstrom, 1946.
A Room of One's Own, 6:30 pm
The local authors discuss No More Tears Left Behind, their biography of a Jewish woman who lived in the Berlin area, underground, throughout World War II. Eventually she and her husband came to Madison.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. divorcée Wallis Warfield Simpson marries the Duke of Windsor, 1937.
BIRTHDAYS: Filmmaker Alain Resnais, 1922; gong-worthy game-show producer/host Chuck Barris, 1929.
Tornado Club's Corral Room, 10 pm
Look out, it's a punk band made of art-school kids from Kansas City -- in the basement of a steakhouse. If that's not enough irony for you, get there early for Shane Shane, the snarky, sparkly solo outfit of Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons frontman Shane O'Neill. Also playing: Trin Tran, Vinnie Toma, Homeownered, Problem Child.
NOTEWORTHY: Chinese troops open fire on demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, 1989.
BIRTHDAYS: Actor Bruce Dern, 1936; human-rights advocate & Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie, 1975.
Edgewater Hotel's Pier Café, 5 pm
The five-piece ensemble explores fantastic classics of reggae and calypso by Eddie Lovette, Beres Hammond and Mighty Sparrow, among others. Along with the view of Lake Mendota from the Edgewater, it's a sweet way to start the weekend early.
Jenny Lewis, The Sadies
Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
Whether you're a fan of Jenny Lewis' solo work, her vocals for Rilo Kiley or her roles on Golden Girls, Growing Pains and other '80s TV programs, this show is a must-see -- if you can still get a ticket. Revered Canadian indie-rockers The Sadies present selections from their new CD, Country Club, as well. Farmer Dave opens.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
There's a reason this band's called Halestorm: Lzzy Hale's voice is as crazy as an out-of-the-blue weather emergency. What's more, the band members are already pretty seasoned despite being in their early 20s: They started playing shows together more than 10 years ago, before some of them had even begun middle school. The Veer Union opens.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Steez doesn't just make funk music; he makes creepfunk, a shaken-not-stirred blend of house, disco and jam-band noodling that's a pretty fun listen for a Thursday night. Ladymoon and Liquid Beat AllStars open.