Oregon Summer Fest, June 23-26, Kiser Firemen’s Park, Oregon: Join the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce for a festival fit for all ages. The Oregon Summer Fest kicks off with a bang, featuring fireworks at dusk on Thursday. The beer tent will open for the weekend on Friday, with music by Cherry Pie on Friday and SuperTuesday on Saturday. Saturday also includes a craft fair, and the festival closes out Sunday with a parade, car show and barbeque for dinner. Find more info and updates at facebook.com/oregonwichamber.

Summerfest, June 23-25, June 30-July 2, July 7-9, Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, noon-midnight: The Big Gig enters its second year of weekend-only operations. COVID-19 concerns moved Summerfest dates to the fall last year, but 2022’s festivities will take place during the traditional midsummer period. Despite the diversity of headliners at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater — Halsey, Backstreet Boys, Thomas Rhett, Lil Wayne, Jason Aldean, Disturbed, Machine Gun Kelly, Rod Stewart — don’t overlook the other stages, where some headline-worthy artists will play in the late afternoon and early evening. Choice acts include Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (June 23), Jimmie Vaughan (June 24), The Record Company (June 25), The New Pornographers (July 1), BoDeans (July 2), Lilith Czar (July 7), The Black Crowes (July 8) and Bob Mould (July 9). All Amphitheater shows require a separate ticket; visit summerfest.com for more info.

Emily Wells, Thursday, June 23, Arts + Literature Laboratory, 7 p.m.: Multi-talented composer, producer and instrumentalist Emily Wells is touring for her February release, In Regards To The End. The 10-song album examines climate change, the AIDS crisis, and much more. The experimental work pulls from many genres, including classical and electronic, and incorporates unique sounds and instruments. Advance tickets here.

Paul Cauthen, Thursday, June 23, Majestic Theatre, 8 p.m.: Two of the 10 songs on Texas singer-songwriter Paul Cauthen’s new album, Country Coming Down, drop f-bombs in their titles — but in a charming way. Cauthen’s honky-tonk Elvis delivery straddles country and rock, and his lyrics are anchored in cynicism and wit (except when he goes dark and reflective on soulful songs like “Till the Day Die” and “Roll On Over.” It’s often hard to discern how seriously Cauthen wants us to take him, but this much is clear: The man sounds good. Expect a healthy dose of songs from Country Coming Down, plus a smattering of cuts from earlier albums Room 41 and My Gospel. With Texas-based blues guitarist (and Richland Center, Wisconsin, native) Eric Tessmer.

Sense and Sensibility, June 23-Oct. 9, American Players Theatre, Spring Green: The Jane Austen novel Sense and Sensibility is in the mold of classic APT summer fare, in that two young women of good family but little wealth are seeking appropriate mates. But it is not just a comic romp. Austen asks real questions about what makes more sense in matchmaking — cool reason or passion? See Gwendolyn Rice’s full season preview here, and find the schedule and tickets at americanplayers.org.

Honor Among Thieves, Thursday, June 23, Bur Oak, 8 p.m.: Lead guitarist and songwriter Andy Ewen has been making blues rock with bassist Doug DeRosa in Honor Among Thieves since the 1980s. Ewen may be the shyest musician in the city — off the stage, that is. When he performs, he absolutely collapses his entire being into scorching, freaked-out blues riffs. The band plays out only a few times per year now so take the opportunity to see a true Madison legend.

Heartland Marimba Ensemble, Friday, June 24, First Unitarian Society, 7 p.m.: You might think of the marimba as being wholly tropical, but there’s marimba in the heartland, as evidenced by the Heartland Marimba Ensemble. They’ll be at the First Unitarian Society to play music from classical to jazz, tango, ragtime, Americana, pops, circus — basically, you name it. They’ll premiere nine works composed for Heartland Marimba’s Composer LabFest, and a new marimba quartet composed by their co-artistic director, Jenni Brandon. Prepare to have your conception of the marimba completely transformed.

Live on Queen Street, Friday, June 24, 100 block Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, 7 p.m.: FPC Live’s popular, free Live on King Street concert series moves a few blocks from its usual home in front of the Majestic to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard for summer 2022. And on June 24, LOKS transforms into Live on Queen Street for a drag and dance block party. Hosted by Bianca Lynn Breeze, the event includes a packed lineup of regional artists (Kendra Banx$, PonyBoy, Lucy Von Cucci and many more) plus special guest Joey Jay (RuPaul’s Drag Race). The party has to have music, of course, and that will be provided by Kat and the Hurricane, Falling Flat, and DJs Femme Noir, Sarah Akawa and Cover Gurrrl. Gates open at 6 p.m. with a “Dogs in Drag” pre-show hosted by Underdog Pet Rescue and featuring adoptable pets.

CapitalQ Theatre Festival, June 24-26, Bartell Theatre: Queer Shorts, a long-running rite of summer in Madison, is morphing this year into the new CapitalQ Theatre Festival, which will feature a baker’s dozen new and original short plays from local and national playwrights celebrating queer voices. Short play performances or staged readings take place on both stages of the Bartell (with programs alternating to allow the chance to see them all) at 7:30 p.m., June 24; 2 and 7:30 p.m., June 25; and 2 p.m., June 26; free master classes take place at noon, June 24-25. Find a schedule and updates at stageq.org.

Harriet Tubman, Friday, June 24, Cafe Coda, 8 p.m.: The trio of players in Harriet Tubman employ the basic elements of bass, drums and guitar on their most recent album, The Terror End of Beauty, but the results are anything but basic. It’s a stew of hard-driving rhythms colliding with futuristic guitar meltdowns that will please both fans of jazz and heavy psych rock. Harriet Tubman is only playing a handful of shows on this summer tour, and BlueStem Jazz is bringing them back to Madison; find ticket info at cafecoda.club.

SJC Jubilee, Saturday, June 25, Social Justice Center, 5-9 p.m.: The Social Justice Center was founded to serve as a collaborative home for local nonprofits, an incubator for new organizations, and a community hub with spaces for meetings, an art gallery, and more. The SJC Jubilee is its biggest fundraiser of the year, and returns to an in-person party this year after two years in the virtual world. There will be food (free), drinks ($), a raffle, and music by an excellent local lineup: Catchy rock fables by Able Baker, country fuzz by The Scratch-Offs, musical mash-ups by the mysterious William Z. Villain, and eclectic electronics from DJ Hanna. Donations can be made anytime here.

Boxcar Summer Block Party, Saturday, June 25, Pooley’s, 6-10 p.m.: Performances from three bands will benefit the Dane County Humane Society, a nonprofit animal shelter with an adoption guarantee. Taking the stage at Pooley’s is Piano Man, a Billy Joel tribute led by Daniel Anderson. Anderson also handles the keys for the new band Cold Fusion, a jazz and funk group that performs original music along with unique takes on covers. Rounding out the bill is The Rascal Theory, who blend funk, rock and blues with one goal in mind: to make people dance. Donations will be taken at the door.

Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, June 25-26, Stoughton Opera House + UW Hamel Music Center: The Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Madison’s premier chamber music group, has invited close to 30 guest artists from near and far to play in their 2022 summer season, “Riches to Rags.” The artists will take on the Herculean task of performing an unusually wide range of repertoire from Mozart to ragtime. A new feature, the Incendiary Artist Spotlight, will give us an up close and personal look into the musical lives of guest artists who have performed with BDDS over the years. The final performances take place June 25 at Stoughton Opera House and June 26 at Hamel Music Center. For more concert info, visit bachdancing.org, and read Sandy Tabachnick’s season preview here.

Tenney-Lapham Art Walk, Sunday, June 26, 1-5 p.m.: It’s time for purposeful strollers to enjoy the annual Tenney-Lapham Art Walk. Art includes watercolors, acrylic paintings, serigraphs, woodblock prints, photography, glass flowers, knit items, digital art and puppets. Find more info on the artists at facebook.com/events/299154838951820; maps can be picked up on Sunday at 408 Washburn Place, off Gorham Street. Parking is available in the Christ Presbyterian Church parking lot, 1000 block of East Gorham.

BABEAPALOOZA, Sunday, June 26, Bur Oak, 2 p.m.: BABEAPALOOZA returns for a second year of laughs with a stacked roster of stand-ups: Marilee, Kristin Lytie, Olivia Witt, Samara Suomi and Megan Diaz-Ricks, plus host Shauna Jungdahl. Added to this year’s event will be burlesque performances by Lili Luxe and Vanessa Tortolano. Find advance tickets for the Madison Indie Comedy event here.

Mad City Ski Team, Sunday, June 26, Law Park, 5:15 p.m.: Heading to Law Park to see the Mad-City Ski Team perform their incredible balancing acts is a must at least once every summer. All volunteers, the skiers perform free most Sundays to Labor Day weekend, The team has won 11 national championships, one as recently as 2019. Bring a chair and your best cheering voice. And if you sit close to the lake, prepare to get splashed. And it’s all free.

Thelma & the Sleaze, Sunday, June 26, High Noon Saloon, 8 p.m.: Visiting to wrap up a quick extended-weekend Midwest run are Nashville, Tennessee, rockers Thelma & the Sleaze. The long-running band lives up to its Thelma and Louise-inspired name with hard guitar riffing and appropriately scuzz-rockin’ material. With Madison rock band Howler.

We hope it’s handy for you to find Picks grouped together in a single post. The individual Picks can still be found in the usual places online: collected here, and sprinkled throughout all the events.

Note: Many venues and businesses may continue to maintain individual requirements for masking, as well as proof of COVID-19 vaccination and/or a negative test for entry. Before heading out for any in-person event, confirm it is still taking place and check for any attendance guidelines on the relevant business websites or social media accounts.





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