Spring settles in this week with a solid round of arts and live music tour performances. The calendar includes: a talk by Jonah Lehrer; a performance by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; and, live music from GWAR, Ben Kweller, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, Fanfarlo with Gardens & Villa, William Fitzsimmons, and Cheers Elephant.
NOTEWORTHY: Guns N' Roses sign with Geffen Records, 1986.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
When it comes to horror-show rocking, these heavy-metal oddballs and their growling lead singer have no equals. With Municipal Waste (see Tour Stop), Ghoul and Legacy of Disorder.
NOTEWORTHY: Marlon Brando refuses best-actor Oscar for The Godfather, 1973.
Overture Center's Promenade Hall, 7 pm
At this Academy Evenings event, the author, journalist and Wall Street Journal columnist discusses his new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works. It explores ways of thinking creatively and smashes certain myths, including that old standby, the brainstorming meeting.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
The African American modern dance troupe moves into a new era as it undertakes its first tour under artistic director Robert Battle. It's the group's first Madison performance in 10 years, and UW dance professor Chris Walker gives a pre-show talk on the Rotunda Stage at 6:30 p.m.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Described as a "power-pop whiz kid's grown-up heartbreak" by Rolling Stone, Kweller's fifth studio album, Go Fly a Kite, brims with lush harmonies and poignant lyrics. With Sleeper Agent and the Dig.
Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds
Frequency, 8 pm
This Brooklyn, N.Y., nine-piece will rattle the Frequency to its core with hard-hitting hooks of Memphis soul and powerful jabs of garage rock. With Herman Astro.
NOTEWORTHY: Three Mile Island nuclear plant meltdown, 1979.
NOTEWORTHY: Junk-bond icon Michael Milken indicted for racketeering, 1989.
Fanfarlo, Gardens & Villa
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
London's Fanfarlo got its start by mooning over modern indie bands like Broken Social Scene and Neutral Milk Hotel, then spiked its sound with old-school synths on its new release, Rooms Filled with Light. Gardens & Villa have received kudos from Pitchfork, CMJ and NPR for their contemporary fusion of 1990s-style Britpop and 1980s-style New Wave.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
When he's not making music, Fitzsimmons works as a psychotherapist, delving deep into questions of hope and healing. His new album, Gold in the Shadow, confronts his own demons with hushed indie folk that references Freud and the DSM-IV. With Denison Witmer.
Frequency, 9 pm
By blending psych, folk and rock into a heady sonic cocktail, this quartet have earned comparisons to the Kinks and fellow Pennsylvanians Dr. Dog. Sample their forthcoming album, Like Wind Blows Fire, at this show. With Charlie Kim and Dr. Ed.