May is a fairly quiet month in Madison, but there are always good reasons to head out and celebrate. The calendar this week includes: talks by Lesley Kagan and Elizabeth Berg; the High Noon Saloon sixth anniversary party; and more live music by Job for a Cowboy, Barrelhouse Chuck, Everybody Was in the French Resistance...Now!, Chanticleer, and Down the Line.
NOTEWORTHY: National Public Radio est., 1971; New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain cracks and falls off Cannon Mountain, 2003.
BIRTHDAYS: Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, 1955.
Stage Door at Orpheum Theatre, 7 pm The band's new album, Ruination, recently won the "Best Extreme Metal Album" crown in the Guitar World readers' poll. However, their sound is somewhat more accessible than this honor suggests, drawing much of its emotional power from hardcore punk rather than Viking growls or funeral dirges. With Whitechapel, Cattle Decapitation and Gaza.
NOTEWORTHY: National Guard opens fire on antiwar demonstration at Kent State, killing four, 1970; Santiago Calatrava's Milwaukee Art Museum addition opens, 2001.
BIRTHDAYS: Surf-guitar king Dick Dale, 1937; Voyage of the Rock Aliens and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians star Pia Zadora, 1954; artist Keith Haring, 1958.
Locker Room Sports Bar, 6 pm
Long a staple at the Frequency, the Chicago Blues Tuesdays event has moved to the east side, so plan accordingly. This outing features Chicago's Barrelhouse Chuck, who learned the 88-key trade from postwar Windy City great Sunnyland Slim.
Barnes & Noble West, 7 pm
The Milwaukee native and University of Wisconsin alum discusses her new mystery, Tomorrow River, about strange doings in the Shenandoah Valley.
CINCO DE MAYO
NOTEWORTHY: Earth survives conjunction of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & moon with sun, 2000.
BIRTHDAYS: NBC news anchor Brian Williams, 1959; Shock Doctrine author Naomi Klein, 1970.
Borders Books West, 7 pm
The Midwestern author has written numerous novels, including Home Safe and her latest, The Last Time I Saw You, about a 40th high school reunion.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Not many sixth birthday parties are as rockin' as the High Noon's. It will feature sweltering sets by local favorites Bon Squad and Helliphant, as well as a performance by Minneapolis' Ouija Radio, the art-punk side project of Von Bondies rhythm guitarist Christy Hunt.
Frequency, 9 pm
Art Brut's Eddie Argos has teamed up with Dyan Valdés of the Blood Arm to create cheeky, catchy and downright hilarious pop songs that answer questions raised by popular Michael Jackson, Kanye West and Avril Lavigne tunes, among others. Check out this week's Tour Stop, to find out what's in store for their Madison show. With Team Band.
NOTEWORTHY: The dirigible Hindenburg explodes, crashes & burns at Lakehurst, N.J., 1937
BIRTHDAYS: Actor/filmmaker George Clooney, 1961.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 7 pm
The choral ensemble blends 12 male voices to luscious perfection. Tonight it performs a program called "In Time Of: Songs of Love & Loss, War & Peace," with music of Gershwin, Ligeti and more.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The Chicago-based pop band visit Madison to release their new EP, Open the Door, which explores dozens of upbeat melodies with an impressive array of acoustic instruments: guitar, mandolin, harmonica and even djembe. With Ryan Casey.