September winds down this week, with a calendar that includes: talks by Patrik-Ian Polk and Kathleen Ernst; performances of The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe and by Bellydance Superstars; and, live music from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Circa Survive, David Nail, Empires, EOTO, and Megafaun.
NOTEWORTHY: Beatles release Abbey Road, 1969.
Stew & Friends: Patrik-Ian Polk
UW Vilas Hall's Mitchell Theatre, 7 pm
The semester-long campus residency of Stew, the songwriter and musician of Passing Strange fame, continues with a talk by Polk, the filmmaker whose works have focused on gay life in the African American community.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Like a gumball that's weathered the clothes dryer in a jeans pocket, this quartet's tunes bubble with sugar and fuzz. Their latest release, Belong, nods to shoegaze notables such as My Bloody Valentine, whose producer Alan Moulder lent a hand in the mixing department. With Big Troubles.
NOTEWORTHY: Warren Commission Report released, 1964.
Booked for Murder, 6 pm
The Wisconsin-based author signs copies of her new novel, The Heirloom Murders. It's the latest in her series of murder mysteries set at the outdoor heritage site Old World Wisconsin, where potential murder weapons include butter churns.
Majestic Theatre, 7:30 pm
Dubbed "a fantastic, immense album" by Sputnik Music and compared to At the Drive-In by Spin, the Pennsylvania rockers' recent major-label debut, Blue Sky Noise, is passionate, powerful and incredibly visceral when performed live. With Maps & Atlases and States.
NOTEWORTHY: Jazz genius Miles Davis dies, 1991.
The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe
Overture Center's Playhouse, 7:00 pm
Madison-raised actress Laura Borgwardt, now based in New York, presents a homecoming performance of the Jane Wagner-penned show that Lily Tomlin turned into a sensation. It's a one-woman tour de force featuring multiple characters, from a bag lady to a socialite.
Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
The country music heartthrob has seen chart success lately with moody mid-tempo singles like "Turning Home" and "Let It Rain." The latter is the leadoff single of the album of the same name, due out in November.
Frequency, 8:30 pm
In its four years of existence, this Chicago garage band has clung to its DIY habits, producing and engineering its recordings, designing its album artwork, and filming most of its music-video footage. Get a glimpse of its forthcoming album, Garage Hymns, at this performance. With Suns and Canyons of Static.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Exactly unlike a symphony orchestra, this group eschews sheet music for concerts composed entirely of improvisation. Listen for bits of dubstep, breakbeat, drum-n-bass and neo-trip-hop in their party-friendly electronica explosion. With Phil Money.
NOTEWORTHY: Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 777 points, 2008.
Majestic Theatre, 6:30 pm
Sure, you've enjoyed a little restaurant-style belly dancing as you were tucking into some shish kabob. But how often is the arresting shimmy the star attraction? This touring company brings the style to the big stage, along with Sadira & the Riad Dance Company, Ashar Dance Company and Bellydancing UW.
High Noon Saloon, 7:30 pm
This trio of Wisconsin natives grabbed the spotlight after moving to Durham, N.C. -- and after their friend and former bandmate, Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon, hit it big with his own debut. They'll roll out some fan favorites from last year's Heretofore, which undulates with waves of feedback, warped folk and off-kilter rock 'n' roll (see Tour Stop). With Doug Paisley.