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What to do in Madison this weekend: La Fête de Marquette, New Pornographers and more Isthmus Picks – Isthmus


La Fête de Marquette, July 11-14, McPike Park: As per usual, the lineup for the midsummer landmark La Fête de Marquette may give music fans with wide-ranging interests some existential FOMO in choosing where to settle in among the varied stage schedules. The Musique Electronique stage headliners are legendary figures in the house/techno scene: English electronic musician/DJ Luke Slater on Friday and Chicago DJ/producer Derrick Carter on Saturday (both also play late-night sets at High Noon Saloon; tickets here). The fest’s French theme (Bastille Day is July 14) is represented by Cajun and zydeco music by Cedric Watson et Bijou Creole, CJ Chenier, Mo Mojo and Cajun Strangers. There’s jazz plus other genres explorers (Mr. Chair, Lovely Socialite), folk-punk (Hurray for the Riff Raff), Latin (Rebulú), danceable rock (The Claudettes)…plan your own adventure by perusing the schedule at fetedemarquette.org.

Xizhou Xie, through July 14, Garver Canvas: Art is an important part of the experience at Garver Feed Mill; director of public programming and business operations Bethany Jurewicz has a master’s degree in contemporary art theory and was determined to include art in the restored space. A spacious room on the first floor known as Garver Canvas is devoted to gallery-style public exhibits. For the next month and a half the space is devoted to the work of Xizhou Xie. “Layers of Self: Exploring Identities” ponders the question “Who am I?” While mostly abstract, Xie’s work does demonstrate some traditional Asian influences. Gallery hours are noon-6 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, noon-8 p.m. Friday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.

Lakewaves Trio, Thursday, July 11, Up North Pub, 6 p.m.: Lakewaves, a project featuring the compositions of keyboardist Graham Marlowe, can be encountered as a solo concert or as the Lakewaves Trio, with Marlowe joined by bassist Mason Aumanstal (Dogtown Hollow, Sortin’ the Mail) and drummer Will Bailey (Maestranza, CoMingle). In either incarnation expect impressionistic jams adjacent to jazz and rock, both composed and improvised, which in the trio form have much added groove due to the rhythm section’s presence. Be prepared to dance and maybe laugh if they announce their equally impressionistic yet humorous song titles.

Ladies Must Swing, Thursday, July 11, San Damiano, 6 p.m.: We have highlighted the 19-piece all-female jazz band that is Ladies Must Swing in this space before. This time, we must also call attention to their venue, the lovely grounds of the former San Damiano Friary, once the home of Frank Allis, of Allis-Chalmers farm equipment fame (and wealth). The city of Monona is treating the area as a public park while a master plan is developed. The shady lawn on the shore of Lake Monona is a perfect spot for enjoying a summer evening. In addition to the music, there will be beer concessions, food trucks and yard games, starting at 5 p.m. The site, at 4123 Monona Drive, has extremely limited parking, but the lot at nearby Monona Grove High School is usually recommended.

Dallas Moore, Thursday, July 11, Main Street Music, Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.: During the last quarter-century, singer-songwriter Dallas Moore built a following the old-fashioned way: a steady stream of solid records and charismatic performances on a relentless touring schedule. Rather than focusing on his own songs, Moore’s 2023 album, No God in Juarez, collects songs written by one of Moore’s influences. Billie Gant — like Moore, a native of Ohio and country performer — became a prolific songwriter during a long period of recovery following an automobile accident. Moore’s whiskey and ground glass voice is a good fit for Gant’s outlaw tales. He returns with a set of his own songs on the forthcoming album Gems & Jams. Tickets at mainstreetmusicmore.org.

Moulin Rouge: The Musical, through July 21, Overture Hall: If you can’t get to Paris to visit the original music hall, try this Broadway musical. Based on Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film, Moulin Rouge: The Musical is set in the Belle Époque era at the turn of the 20th century, and a young composer falls in love with a dancer from the show. The boy-meets-girl plot is less crucial than the dancing and singing, with the original score and popular music contemporary to our own day. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays, July 9-21; tickets at overture.org.

The Midwest Movie Mixtape, Thursday, July 11, The Bur Oak, 8 p.m.: The spirit of inventive, low-budget filmmaking hasn’t changed, even if the equipment has. Tonight, for your viewing pleasure, there will be what is described as “a selection of short films from the weirdo Wisconsin youth/student underground.” The program includes eight short films from Wisconsin filmmakers — Arielle Bordow, Clark Gapen, Carolann Grzybowski, Alex Jacobs, Jayce Kolinski, Xarion Lattimore, Ben Miller and James Runde — who will be at The Bur Oak to talk and answer questions. Plus a DJ spinning vinyl before and after. Tickets at theburoakmadison.com.

Cat Birk, through July 14, Chazen Museum of Art: The 2024 Russell and Paula Panczenko MFA Prize exhibit, “my mother is a horse,” features paintings by Cat Birk. As stated in the Madison-based artist and researcher’s bio, “Their interdisciplinary practice brings transgender studies, queer theory, and critical theory into the expanded field of painting.” More info at chazen.wisc.edu.

Willy Street Chamber Players, Fridays, through July 26, various venues, 6 p.m.: If the Willy Street Chamber Players are playing, it must be summer. The neighborhood group, founded by graduate students, puts on an entertaining and ambitious program of classical music aimed at the Williamson/Marquette neighborhood. Concerts are July 12 at the WYSO Center for Music, with guest Johanna Wienholts, harp; July 19 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, with Celia Hatton, viola; and July 26 back at WYSO, with Joseph Williams, piano; all shows at 6 p.m. Just added is a free children’s concert, at 1 p.m. on July 11 at WYSO, also featuring harpist Wienholts. See the full programs and find tickets at willystreetchamberplayers.org.

Tuk Smith & the Restless Hearts, Friday, July 12, The Annex, 6:30 p.m.: As a member of The Biters and more recently with his band the Restless Hearts, singer and songwriter Tuk Smith creates straight-ahead, catchy rock. Their 2022 album Ballad of a Misspent Youth recalls the guitar heroics of Cheap Trick and scarred heart on the sleeve lyricism of Thin Lizzy, with a bit of hair metal gloss. With OUTDrejas, Geoff Palmer, Fist Piston and others TBA. Tickets at eventbrite.com.

Wolf at the Door, through Sept. 18, American Players Theatre-Touchstone, Spring Green: Following up on its 2022 production of The River Bride, American Players Theatre brings to the stage Marisela Treviño Orta’s second play in the series, Wolf at the Door. The story follows the complex relationships among a pregnant woman, her abusive husband, the woman’s companion/maid, and a mysterious visitor; Isthmus reviewer Dan Koehn calls it a “profound metaphorical exploration.” Performances this week are at 8 p.m. on July 12 and 1 p.m. on July 14 (sold out); in repertory through Sept. 18. Check ticket availability at americanplayers.org.

Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Friday, July 12, Orpheum Theater, 8 p.m.: The guy who reintroduced piano to the pop charts in 1986 with “The Way It Is” and “Mandolin Rain” has gone through many phases in a career that includes fronting both the Range and the Noisemakers, as well as forays into bluegrass, jazz and classical music. He also played more than 100 shows with the Grateful Dead between 1988 and Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995. Hornsby will be back in Madison this time to continue celebrating the 25th anniversary of 1998’s Spirit Trail — his sixth album and one that has become a fan favorite over the years. As a bonus, each ticketholder will receive a copy of the three-CD “25th Anniversary Edition” of Spirit Trail at the show. Tickets at ticketmaster.com.

Art Fair On + Off the Square, July 13-14, Capitol Square + MLK Jr. Blvd.: Have you broken the handles on both of your pottery mugs since last July? Here’s your chance to make it all good again. This is the weekend when the Square and environs becomes an art vortex. The Art Fair on the Square, a production of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, rings both sides of the Square with artists in this juried show; Art Fair Off the Square, from the Wisconsin Alliance of Artists and Craftpeople, takes over Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the walkway to Monona Terrace with all-Wisconsin artists (also juried). While ceramic mugs will be plentiful, so will a wide variety of arts and crafts from photography — lots of photography — to one-of-a-kind mixed media creations. Food vendors and three music stages provide much-needed break areas. Both fairs are open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on July 13 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on July 14.

Art in the Garden, Saturday July 13, 502 Troy Farm, noon-3 p.m.: Troy Farm and Gardens is a multi-faceted project on the north side that includes an urban farm, co-housing, community garden space, a children’s garden, an outdoor pizza oven, a restored prairie, and people excited about the future of food and eating local. This event, described as “an afternoon of community fun on the land,” includes a build-your-own-flower-bouquet workshop, mini farm market with youth art sale, a tour of the property, food, yard games and more.

8-Bit Opera, July 13-14, various locations, 2 p.m.: Fresco Opera takes a different approach to attracting new fans to opera — they bring their productions to a suburban garage near you. Bring a camp chair and see opera from somebody’s driveway. This summer’s show, 8-Bit Opera, pairs classic video game characters with operatic heights of emotion. Good performances are in store; read Dan Koehn’s review here. Two more performances are on the schedule: Saturday, July 13, at 2110 Vilas Ave.; and Sunday, July 14, at 2341 Talc Trail; all shows are at 2 p.m.

A Time To Die, Saturday, July 13, Delta Beer Lab, 6 p.m.: A movie at a taproom? Bring it! A Time To Die is a homegrown feature-length comedy/horror film, shot in Wisconsin by Jynxed Films and starring local actors. Set in the future (2261), a soldier is transported back to our present day and discovers this means she is half human/half zombie. Who knew time travel had a downside? Without giving too much away, let’s say that the term “zombie apocalypse” does turn up in the plot summary. Cast members will be on hand.

The New Pornographers, Saturday, July 13, Majestic, 8 p.m.: Power pop supergroup The New Pornographers has been around for more than two decades. Pitchfork calls its current lineup as present on 2023’s Continue as Guest, “a new New Pornographers” and mostly absent Neko Case but with contributions from Dan Bejar. Still, the new New Pornographers still sound substantially like the old New Pornographers, with unexpected lyricism and buoyant melodies driven by a bouncy bass groove. Madison’s own indie rockers Heavy Looks open. Tickets at ticketmaster.com.

Bright Arcana + J.E. Sunde, Saturday, July 13, Bur Oak, 8 p.m.: To the Terrible Blood, the new album by Bright Arcana, features haunting songs of love and death as contemplated by the deeply talented John Hardin. He recently entered a career as an emergency room nurse and songs like “Unable Are Those That Love and Are Loved to Die” ask the listener to look behind some heavy emotional curtains. The album was produced by Shane Leonard (Mipso, Josh Ritter). With vocalist and songwriter J.E. Sunde (a Wisconsin native now based in Minneapolis) and Hayward Williams (Courtney Hartman is no longer in the lineup). Tickets at theburoakmadison.com.

OG Maco, Saturday, July 13, Red Rooster, 8 p.m.: Hip-hop artist OG Maco may still be best known for his one-of-a-kind debut single, “U Guessed It,” but his extensive discography since then reveals a musician exploring many styles (his self-titled album from 2023, for example, leans into electro-pop and EDM). Maco is accompanied on the “Let the Rage Begin” tour by PoppaPerc, plus regional artists Kid Vibe, Ayo Keyz & Willy Bandz, Reces Aura, Reverse Playback, Devin Griffin, Dubb Saq, Xavierene and TheRealTaco.

Communication Anniversary Party, Sunday, July 14, 2645 Milwaukee St., 1-4 p.m.: The nonprofit, all-ages and sober arts space marks its sixth birthday with activities including a printing workshop with shop manager Sara Meredith, Polaroid-taking and picture frame making, and volunteer Emily Eklof creating buttons and felt pins. The day also celebrates departing director Jennie Bastian, who helped co-found the venue; Bastian will talk about Communication’s history at 1 p.m. And opening on July 14 is a new exhibit, “Let Me Tell You: Dane County Artists on Reproductive Health Justice” (on display through Sept. 1). Find more info at communicationmadison.com.

Environmental Fun Fair, Sunday, July 14, Lussier Family Heritage Center, 2-5 p.m.: This Dane County Parks event showcases many of the great things about getting out to the county’s amazing parks — or any natural area. Family-friendly, hands-on, sensory activities are the heart of the afternoon, with a fun camping demo, hiking stick decoration, tree climbing (safety first!), and lots of other bird and nature activities. There will be shade, and yes, there will be face painting. Parking is available at the Heritage Center and across the road at the Capital City Trail/Lower Yahara River Trail Trailhead (3102 Lake Farm Road).

Find the individual Picks collected here, and as part of the full calendar of events.




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