Madison remains in the midst of one of its busiest artistic seasons of the year. Things kick off Friday with Gallery Night, with music and art continuing through the new week: from Junior Brown and Luciana Souza on stages to the photography exhibit "Love Makes a Family" in the Capitol Rotunda. This week's collection of critics' choices was edited by Andre Gurode.
The semi-annual showcase for Madison's visual-arts scene includes special events at 45 galleries, museums and businesses, including demonstrations and artist receptions. Highlights include a talk by master printer Bill Weege on "Chuck Close Prints" at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art; glass-blowing demonstrations at Radiant Glass; photographers Eric Melton-White and Michael Bechner at Absolutely Art; a concert called "Jazz in Archipenko's Time," in conjunction with the Chazen Museum of Art's Alexander Archipenko exhibition; local artists Lee and Jo Weiss at Fanny Garver Gallery; Himalayan-influenced jewelry by Peter Ciesla & Skye at Linden Gallery; and "Driftless in Wisconsin," featuring artists who live in the Driftless Area, at Madison Public Library-Central.
Madison Area Open Art Studios
Oct. 7 & 8. Opening reception: Friday, Oct. 6, Overture Center, 5-9 pm
The annual event allows you to peek into the studios of over 125 area artists. The opening reception (as part of Gallery Night) offers a sneak preview, as well as maps.
Minus the Bear
Loft in the Lussier Teen Center, 7 pm
The atmospheric post-emo types bring their aural drama to the local teen center for a hormone-drenched affair.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 8 pm
Tyner's one of the all-time great jazz pianists, best known for his stint with the legendary John Coltrane quartet.
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm
An all-Mozart program features the dramatic "Paris" symphony, the lush "Piano Concerto No. 17" and the elegant "Piano Concerto No. 22." Guest artist Garrick Ohlsson -- past winner of the Chopin International Piano Competition -- makes his WCO debut.
Brides of the Moon
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 7 & 8, 8 pm
Mercury Players Theatre presents the campy lesbian sci-fi comedy about women astronauts who can't complete their mission of docking (in more ways that one) with a group of male astronauts.
Chazen Museum of Art, 8 pm
The veteran photographer gives the keynote address for the month-long PhotoMidwest, featuring over 100 photo-related events.
Frederic Rzewski/Marilyn Crispell
UW Humanities Building, Oct. 6-8
The UW School of Music's guest artists perform as part of a symposium called "Piano Improvisation in the 21st Century." Rzewski is a pianist-composer who will play his own work (Friday, Mills Hall, 8 pm), Crispell a fearless avant-garde jazz pianist (Saturday, Morphy Hall, 8 pm). The two join forces on Sunday (Morphy Hall, 4 pm).
Orpheum Theatre, 8 pm
A cross between Coldplay and Counting Crows, Denver's the Fray couldn't be more earnest or easy to digest. Their hits "How to Save a Life" and "Over My Head (Cable Car)" are custom-made for certain hospital shows that focus on the anxious personal lives of dewy-eyed interns. The openers, U.K. pop sensation Aqualung, are more genuinely sensitive and more sophisticated.
The Annex, 9 pm
After backing Trey Anastasio, the Brooklyn-based drums and-Keyboard instrumental-rock duo should be mainlining jam band followers.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Indie staple Okkervil River's fragile, sometimes harrowing music showcases singer Will Sheff's whispers, yelps and moans about as well as anything could.
Luciana Souza & Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 7:30 pm
The acclaimed Quartet has one foot in the past (playing transcriptions of classical masterworks) and one in the future (commissioning challenging contemporary works). They're joined by Brazilian jazz singer Souza, a threetime Grammy nominee.
Mitby Theater at MATC-Truax, 7:30 pm
Celebrating 30 years of producing local dance, artistic director Jo Jean Retrum showcases her rigorously trained troupe in a "Gala Celebration," featuring excerpts from such classic ballets as Coppelia, La Fille Mal Gardee, Peter Rabbit and the Nutcracker, along with new works by Nicole Cisler.
Club Majestic, 7:30 pm
In concert, the engaging country cult figure is all over his trademark double-necked instrument, a weird-looking combo of six-string and lapsteel guitar. He's got a pretty fair baritone voice, too.
Carpathian Folk Quartet
Mills Hall in the UW Humanties Bldg., 8 pm
Masters of the Hungarian folk tradition, the quartet bring pathos and vitality to Gypsy music and everything else they play. BÃla BartÃk and ZoltÃn KodÃly were inspired by this music, and when musicians this skilled are playing it, it's easy to understand why.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The Milwaukee pop-rockers roll out songs from A Different Sea, the onetime major-label band's first new CD in seven years. Madison-based up-and-comers Bascom Hill open; Northern Room also appear.
Orpheum Theatre, 8 pm
Lauper's big pipes and manic, puttin'-on-a-show stage presence made her an instant video star back in the '80s. She can still sing, which should up the flashback factor of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."
Orpheum Theatre's Stage Door, 9 pm
The front man of the Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon is an independent sort. With luck he'll offer up several of his recent interpretations of Modest Mouse.
Palace Latin Club, 9 pm
The Puerto Rican salsa singer is an ambassador of dance-friendly romantic sounds and a major international star. Expect plenty of swooning when he hits the stage.
Tim Sparks & Phil Heywood
Restaurant Magnus, 9 pm
Fans of quicksilver acoustic guitar are salivating over this intimate show. Award-winning fingerstyle guitarist Heywood has performed duets with Leo Kottke and wowed acoustic aficionados with his proficiency in a number of styles. Fellow Minnesotan Sparks' use of Near Eastern influences in his own guitar repertoire has won wide acclaim.
Wisconsin Pop Explosion Showcase
King Club, 10 pm
Sleeping in the Aviary, the Nervous System, the Runners-Up and the Secret Wedding Party celebrate the release of a buoyant new compilation CD that features pop-a-licious WPES- aligned bands.
Circa Fall Fashion Show
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
Fashion designer Cypress York of Circa Vintage and Originals shows off her handcrafted wares, with a hip soundtrack courtesy of Screamin' Cyn Cyn and the Pons and DJ Real Jaguar.
Tilly & the Wall
UW Union South's Club 770, 7:30 pm
A tap dancer provides the beats for the slightly squirrelly Omaha indiepoppers. Is their joyous, '60s-influenced sound wonderful or terribly precious? You be the judge.
Love Makes a Family
Capitol Rotunda, through Oct. 21
This photography exhibit is subtitled "Portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People and Their Families." It makes an obvious point that, sadly, still needs to be emphasized: They're people too.
Borders West, 7 pm
As part of the "World Beyond Our Borders" series, the UW professor discusses his book Think Global, Fear Local, which shows how the Japanese government played politics with international concerns about terrorism and child pornography.
The Cat Empire
Club Majestic, 8 pm
The Australian band have conquered their homeland with a brass-driven hybrid of salsa and hip-hop that leaves dance-happy fans drenched in sweat. Without question, they're our Booty-Shaker Pick of the Week.
Nadav Shelef & Ali Abootalebi
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 7 pm
The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters concludes its "Understanding the Middle East" series with a talk by two UW professors -- Shelef (Israeli Studies) and Abootalebi (political science) -- discussing paths to peace.
Borders West, 7 pm
The Texas history professor (author of the Benjamin Franklin biography The First American) discusses Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times, an engaging portrait of the controversial president.
Cafe Montmartre, 8 pm
The Boston-based singer-songwriter debuts her latest album of strong, emotive folk-rock at the top of this impressive double bill. Opener Anne Heaton evokes the power of early Tori Amos.
Mark Z. Danielewski
Borders West, 7 pm
The author of the best- selling House of Leaves reads from his new novel, Only Revolutions, an experimental effort featuring free-verse narratives spoken by teenage lovers on a mythic road trip across America.
Club Majestic, 7:30 pm
The singer/guitar whiz once again raises funds for cervical cancer research as the headliner of the annual Yellow Umbrella Tour. Her newest work deviates from the usual fingerstyle fireworks and embraces a dreamier, more textured brand of music that's both progressive and entrancing.
Orpheum Theatre, 7:30 pm
You probably can't tell from her live concerts, but the veteran punk-folkie has mellowed over the past 15 years. The mother to-be's new CD, Reprieve, packs the kind of political punch that educates and exhilarates. Norah Jones' buddy Jesse Harris opens.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Mojave 3 abandon their usual ambient aching for appealing pop-folk strumming on this year's Puzzles Like You. Psychedelia-influenced pop-rocker Tim O'Reagan (Jayhawks) is the kind of opener who demands an early arrival from every ticketholder.