Election Day brings a season of political furor into focus this week, both in Madison and around the state. The calendar also includes: talks by Gary Varner, Ken Robinson, and Amanda Lenhart; a production of Legally Blonde; a performance by the Pro Arte Quartet; the Madison Songwriters' Guild Song Showdown; and, more live music from Yellow Ostrich, Hayes Carll, and The Builders & The Butchers.
NOTEWORTHY: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated, 1968.
UW Grainger Hall, 7 pm
Texas A&M philosopher Varner discusses the nature of personhood as it relates to animal research. The talk is part of a campus series on the ethics of animal research.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9 pm
The bloggers at Audio Drums have described lo-fi aficionado Yellow Ostrich as "a rather odd blend of the White Stripes, They Might Be Giants and Sufjan Stevens all mixed together." See if you agree and check out his 2010 release, The Mistress, at this show. With Blair.
NOTEWORTHY: Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain commits suicide, 1994.
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Wednesday & Thursday, April 6 & 7, 8 pm
Overture's Broadway series continues with this traveling production of the show based on the 2001 film comedy, wherein a blond studies the law. You may try to resist the charms of unlikely show tunes like "Omigod You Guys." You will fail.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 7:30 pm
The arts-education expert and author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything speaks at this Distinguished Lecture Series event.
BIRTHDAY: Country Music Hall of Famer Merle Haggard, 1937.
Madison Songwriters' Guild Song Showdown
Red Dragon TV Studios, 7 pm
Watch local songwriters battle it out at Red Dragon's Lakeside Street studios, then share your own tunes at an open mike hosted by Wolfgang Lochner, winner of last year's competition and mandolin man for local alt-country group the Backyard Still.
Pro Arte Quartet
UW Humanities Building's Mills Hall, 7:30 pm
The university's resident foursome is joined by violist Samuel Rhodes in performances of Mozart's string quintets in D major and E-flat major.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Carll didn't grab the spotlight until he moved to Houston from Austin, earning a best new artist award from the Houston Press in 2002, followed by a rave from the Village Voice and an Americana Music Award in 2008. Take in his new album, Kmag Yoyo, at this performance. With Shovels & Rope.
The Builders & the Butchers
Frequency, 9 pm
Whether they're singing it or shouting it, Portland, Ore.'s the Builders and the Butchers know how to make a nice, dark pop tune. The real treats are their ballads, which combine the charm of folk with the verve of goth. With Damion Suomi & the Minor Prophets.
BIRTHDAY: Oscar-winning filmmaker/vintner Francis Ford Coppola, 1939.
UW Pyle Center, 7 pm
At this event, part of the UW Holtz Center's symposium "From Texting to Twitter: Digital Media Across Generations," Pew Research Center specialist Lenhart gives a talk called "How Do [They] Even Do That? Myths & Facts About the Impact of Technology on the Lives of American Teens." ZOMG.