Look Out by the Hackensaw Boys
Dominic Smith University Book Store-Hilldale, 7 pm
The novelist reads from The Beautiful Miscellaneous, in which a normal boy struggles with his father's desire for him to be a genius. Things look up, however, after an accident leaves him with an encyclopedic memory.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
It's Monday, the weather is perfect, and you're stuck in some office. Guess you'll have to get mental with the android-loving Droids Attack and their hard rockin' pet robot. The Future opens (naturally).
Borders West, 7 pm
The UW professor discusses his book Same Time, Same Station: Creating American Television, 1948-1961. He reevaluates TV's so-called golden age, showing how commerce finally trumped culture.
Straylight Run and Sparta
Annex, 7:30 pm
A jump to the majors hasn't altered Straylight Run's fascination with melodious and harsher emo-inflected sounds all that much. The onetime Web darlings should mesh well with At the Drive In spinoff Sparta, who have a knack for being brutally frank one minute and majestically expansive the next. Lovedrug is also on the bill.
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
The Virginia-bred band stroll, creep and gambol through string-band-style Americana with more enthusiasm than most of their competitors. Must be their proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sexfist opens.
Capitol City Band
Rennebohm Park, 7 pm
The band's season-opener marks its 700th concert since it began playing open-air shows in 1969. The ensemble is filled with local professionals adept at waltzes, patriotic tunes and marches in the John Philip Sousa manner. The concerts continue weekly throughout the summer; this week's soloists are soprano Ilona Kombrink and baritone horn player Justin Richardson.
Bethel Lutheran Church, 7:30 pm
This is the resident quartet of the Madison Symphony Orchestra's HeartStrings program, which performs for people with special needs. Here's a chance for the public to hear the topnotch group in a professional setting, playing quartets by Schubert, Shostakovich and Haydn.
Chris Thile & the How to Grow a Band featuring Bryan Sutton
Orpheum Theatre's Stage Door, 8 pm
Mandolin player Thile connected with millions of acoustic music fans during his tenure with the enormously popular bluegrass outfit Nickel Creek. With last year's How to Grow a Woman from the Ground, he showed even more depth as a player and a songwriter, winning "best folk musician of the year" honors from the BBC and a raft of other kudos.
Café Montmartre, 9 pm
The Russian immigrant's idiosyncratic approach to standup comedy has landed him on Conan O'Brien, VH1 and other TV showcases. Expect gently weird observations and audiovisual aids.