Independence Day celebrations span this long holiday weekend, with festivities and fireworks at the DeForest Fourth of July, Stoughton Fair, Monona Community Festival, Rhythm & Booms, and many other displays in and around Madison. The calendar also includes: the National Women's Music Festival; a performance by the Capitol City Band with the Wisconsin Dells Singers; more live music from Premoticon with Swirm, Chaos Revolution Theory, The Wildbirds, Bill Callahan, Touche Amore, We Are Trees, and 100 Monkeys; and, an APT performance of The Taming of the Shrew.
NOTEWORTHY: Marlon Brando dies, 2004.
BIRTHDAYS: Insouciant rapper/singer/songwriter/producer/actress Missy Elliott, 1971; actress/child of rock Liv Tyler, 1977.
DeForest Fourth of July
Fireman's Park, DeForest. Also Sunday & Monday, July 3 & 4
What's the best village in northern Dane County? People from DeForest will tell you it's DeForest, and this weekend they celebrate with parades, a car show, pony rides, other small-town fun and music of the Love Monkeys, Midlife Crisis, Marcy & the Highlights, and Country Twist.
Mandt Park, Stoughton. Also Thursday, Saturday & Sunday, June 30 & July 2 & 3
The high season of summer is upon us, and it is time to explore the towns of Wisconsin on the fair circuit. This fair is par for the course, with pig wrestling, a tractor pull and, on Saturday, a demolition derby, wherein cars drive around and smash each other up real good. Talk about wholesome American fun.
National Women's Music Festival
Marriott-West, Middleton. Also Thursday, Saturday & Sunday, June 30 & July 2 & 3
This multi-day event celebrates women in entertainment, the arts and spirituality. There are also, of course, lots of well-known women musicians, including Chris Pureka, Anna Vogelzang and Jessi Lynn. People of all sexes are invited to attend.
Monona Community Festival
Winnequah Park, Monona, 3-11 pm. Also Saturday (8 am-midnight) & Sunday (9 am-midnight), July 2 & 3
The southwestern burb toots its own horn with a fiesta boasting a carnival, an art fair, a bike parade, fun for the kids and music of Rachelle & the Red Hot Rattlers, Blue Olives, Jerry Steuber & the Versatiles, London Fog and more.
Audio for the Arts, 7:30 pm
Two talented improvisational duos from NYC -- trumpet-and-percussion act Swirm and a collaboration between bassist Will McEvoy and Madison sax player Patrick Breiner -- team up to prove that a band can wow a crowd sans guitar.
Chaos Revolution Theory
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Combining rock, grunge and some proggy jams as loud as they are epic, Madison's Chaos Revolution Theory bring it at their live performances. Help them celebrate the release of their sophomore album at this show. With the Black Saints, Subatomic and comedians Nick Hart and Dave Pickett.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
After re-forming with a new lineup last year, this head-turning Milwaukee rock band released an EP, Sunshine Blues, which they'll most likely perform at this show. With Brighton MA and the People's Temple.
NOTEWORTHY: President Lyndon Johnson signs Civil Rights Act (1964) and Freedom of Information Act (1966).
BIRTHDAYS: Singer Michelle Branch, 1983; figure skater/gay icon Johnny Weir, 1984.
Capitol City Band & Wisconsin Dells Singers
Capitol Square, South Hamilton Street walkway, 10:30 am
Longtime Capitol City Band conductor Jim Latimer has penned an original tune to celebrate Dane County's 175th anniversary. This performance features the Wisconsin Dells Singers of the Ho-Chunk Nation, who will bring the biggest dance drum they can find to keep the beat. Other selections include a sax rendition of "Over the Rainbow," a spirited version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and some patriotic Sousa marches perfect for an Independence Day celebration.
Rhythm & Booms
Warner Park, noon
The annual extravaganza upholds the Declaration of Independence's support for life, liberty and the pursuit of really enormous explosions. The event includes a carnival; music stages with Kind of a Big Deal, Pink Houses and Little Vito & the Torpedoes; a Madison Mallards game; and, at dusk, a fireworks display that would make Thomas Jefferson smile.
The Taming of the Shrew
American Players Theatre, Spring Green, 8 pm. Also Tuesday, July 5, 7:30 pm
In this deft production of Shakespeare's controversial comedy, the strong-willed woman of the title is bullied into submission. This is one of just two works by the Bard APT is presenting this summer.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 10:30 pm
After the Rhythm & Booms fireworks display and a presentation about the science of fireworks with the UW Band, Smog's Bill Callahan will hit the stage to share his new album, Apocalypse, which includes a song called "America!" With Hidden Ritual.
NOTEWORTHY: Dance great Mikhail Baryshnikov becomes U.S. citizen, 1986.
BIRTHDAYS: Depeche Mode/Yaz keyboardist Vince Clarke, 1961; couch-jumping actor Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, 1962.
Project Lodge, 6:30 pm
This post-hardcore outfit from L.A. visit ProLo to polish the performance of their gritty new release, Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me, before joining Death From Above 1979, Guided By Voices, and Cold War Kids for FYF Fest in Los Angeles this fall. With Balance & Composure and White Waves.
We Are Trees
Frequency, 8:30 pm
Weaving dreamlike gauze with essences of Jeff Buckley, Bon Iver and Grizzly Bear's Daniel Rossen, this three-piece from Virginia Beach, Va., honors indie music's past while glimpsing its future. With Old Abram Brown and Blessed Feathers.
U.S. INDEPENDENCE DAY
NOTEWORTHY: Thoreau moves to Walden Pond, 1845.
BIRTHDAYS: Leaned-on R&B great Bill Withers, 1938; mustachioed TV journalist Geraldo Rivera, 1943.
Fourth of July Fireworks
You've got plenty of options for Independence Day oohs and ahhs, including the Monona Community Festival in Winnequah Park, the DeForest Fourth of July Festival in Fireman's Park, Shorewood Hills' Blackhawk Country Club and the Stoughton Fair in Mandt Park.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Earning comparisons to the Raconteurs and Jim Morrison from the folks at Rolling Stone and MTV, this theatrical L.A. band infuse their live performances with manic energy, switching instruments and vocalists in a sort of mad-dash rock 'n' roll square dance. With Kissing Club and the Labor That Kills.