The Boxer Rebellion
September closes out with an impressive lineup of touring bands playing in Madison, including Elf Power, The National, Drive-By Truckers, Hot Panda, Blitzen Trapper, Beats Antique, and The Boxer Rebellion. This week also brings with it the opening of the ninth annual Wisconsin Book Festival.
NOTEWORTHY: Warren Commission Report released, 1964.
BIRTHDAYS: Rocker/actor Marvin Lee Aday (Meat Loaf), 1951; actress Gwyneth Paltrow, 1972.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The Athens, Ga., band isn't simply showing off its new, self-titled album of psychedelic pop gems. The performance and the album are a homage to Vic Chesnutt, the band's beloved mentor and collaborator, who committed suicide last year. To lighten the mood, Elf Power will also screen Major Organ and the Adding Machine, a blissfully bizarre film by the band's drummer, Eric Harris. With Icarus Himself.
BIRTHDAYS: Indie filmmaker John Sayles, 1950; singer Moon Unit Zappa, 1967.
Orpheum Theatre, 7:30 pm
Though it's on the indie label 4AD, this band of brothers (two pairs of brothers and a mutual friend, to be exact) has gone pretty mainstream. The National's latest release, High Violet, debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart and has garnered praise from The New York Times, NPR, Spin and the BBC. Whether or not it's got indie cred, these gloomily introspective, beautifully crafted songs are bound to move the crowd when performed live. With Owen Pallett.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
The alt-country-meets-Southern-rock trailblazers are honoring Tom Petty on their current tour and their latest album, The Big To Do, which is likely to land on many critics' "best of 2010" lists in a few months. With Henry Clay People. In a related event, Truckers front man Patterson Hood plays an acoustic set at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum this afternoon at 3:30 pm.
Frequency, 10:30 pm
This indie rock quartet are named after a Chinese restaurant in their hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, and their energetic rock is a dim sum of musical fun peppered with hints of other vivacious bands like the Raveonettes, Tokyo Police Club and Crystal Antlers. With Beefus and Whim Po & Emili.
NOTEWORTHY: Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor convicted of slapping Beverly Hills cop, 1989.
BIRTHDAYS: Singing sister Suzzy Roche, 1956; Primus bassist Les Claypool, 1963.
Through Oct. 3, various venues
Welcome to readers' paradise. The annual event brings five days' worth of author appearances and workshops to a couple dozen venues; see story for highlights.
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
Channeling the spirit of '70s rock with unadulterated passion, the experimental folk rockers' new album, Destroyer of the Void, will give their excellent 2008 album, Furr, a serious challenge for the title of "fan favorite." Head to the High Noon to see which album's your live fave. With Pearly Gate Music.
BIRTHDAYS: Phish singer-guitarist Trey Anastasio; actress Jenna Elfman, 1971.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Beats Antique is all mixed up in the best sense, using snazzy electronics to merge belly-dance melodies with breakdancing tracks, tangos and much more. With LYNX, DJ Max Ohm and Ashar Dance Company.
Annex, 9 pm
The London-based rock band are riding a new tide of popularity thanks to their cameo in Drew Barrymore's new romantic comedy, Going the Distance. However, it's their 2009 release, Union, named the top alternative album of the year by iTunes' editors, that really deserves the attention. Come to the show to hear it live. With Amusement Parks on Fire.