Extend the holiday weekend and start summer out right this week with some time out on the town. The calendar includes: Music Theatre Idol; a book reading by Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek; and, live music by Nice Peter, The Parlor Mob, Porcupine, Freedy Johnston, and Aerial Ruin.
NOTEWORTHY: George Willig climbs the World Trade Center, 1977.
BIRTHDAYS: Astronaut Sally Ride, 1951; rock singer/songwriter/guitarist Lenny Kravitz, 1964.
High Noon Saloon, 6:30 pm
Pete Shukoff, a.k.a. Nice Peter, knows how to call out fakers, sellouts and other folks with questionable motives -- and present some questionable motives of his own -- with songs like "50 Cent Is a Pussy" and "I Fell Asleep on Your Boobs." Linda opens.
Frequency, 9:30 pm
The New Jersey quintet doesn't dabble in preciousness, inscrutability or other vices of the current rock scene. The watchword instead is driving rock 'n' roll of the sort your parents, and maybe even your grandparents, liked in high school. With Red Collar (see Tour Stop), Eccentrifuge, the Beat Strings.
NOTEWORTHY: Russian President Boris Yeltsin signs treaty with NATO, 1997.
BIRTHDAYS: Rock banshee Siouxsie Sioux, 1957; Green Bay wide receiver Antonio Freeman, 1972.
Borders Books West, 7 pm
The local husband-and-wife, author-and-illustrator team discuss their gorgeous new picture book, Birds, an instant classic. It's a playful meditation on the titular creatures from the perspective of a little girl.
Frequency, 10 pm
Two-thirds of the La Crosse band played in Space Bike in the mid-'90s, and they're drawing upon some exceptional influences, from Syd Barrett to Luna to the Flaming Lips. Equally excellent trios Czarbles and Casanatra open.
NOTEWORTHY: 19-year-old West German pilot Mathias Rust makes unauthorized landing in U.S.S.R., 1987.
BIRTHDAYS: Fine Young Cannibals vocalist Roland Gift, 1962.
First United Methodist Church, 6 pm
Music Theatre of Madison presents this competition, modeled on a certain popular television show, for would-be musical theater stars age 14 and up. Judges evaluate singers who choose tunes from a list including shows classic (Oklahoma!) and recent (Wicked), though personally we always liked The Pajama Game.
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
Often dubbed a "songwriter's songwriter," Johnston lives up to the label: His musical tales of loners and loneliness are arguably some of the best in the business. His latest release, 2007's My Favorite Waste of Time, covers a wide range of artists, including Matthew Sweet, Tom Petty and the Hollies, proving he's a connoisseur of other songwriters' work as well.
Frequency, 10 pm
Erik Moggridge, known for his vocals and guitar work with Old Grandad and his role in late-'80s Cali thrash-metal outfit Epidemic, has taken a turn as a solo artist. While the project uses a lot of acoustic guitar and even has a few folk-inspired elements, it caters to fans of hard-edged metal as well. Fault Line Empires opens.