Meat Puppets, Retribution Gospel Choir
Cat's Cradle—Just one wall calendar away from their 30th year, The Meat Puppets have been distorting perceptions of what grunge is before that term was circulating and certainly long before Nirvana gave the band an extra push with its Unplugged performances. The tension between the band's Kirkwood brothers fuels the tunes, which generally feel as though they're going to fall apart even as they stick together yet again. Retribution Gospel Choir is relatively new blood compared to the headliners, but don't confuse Low leader Alan Sparhawk for some buzz band dude: RGC brings the dark and brooding gloomfest of his own institution into stark distortion territory. Listen closely and witness the rebellious side of a Duluth man's broken faith and a cry for help met by dirty rock salvation. Pay $14-$16 at 8:45 p.m. —Ian Miller
Elevator to the Gallows
Rialto Theatre—Emo be damned, Miles Davis' mournful trumpet for Louis Malle's 1958 noir is as sad as music gets. Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet play lovers who plan the perfect murder, but find themselves sidetracked when Ronet is trapped in an elevator and another couple (Georges Poujouly and Yori Bertin) steals his car for their own crimes. Malle was but 24 when he directed this ultra-twisty thriller, which helped launch Moreau's career. The film was restored in recent years, and while some feel that the noir plot does not represent Malle at his best, it remains a cool combination of thriller and social commentary. The Rialto's screening is at 7 p.m. and is for Cinema, Inc. season ticket holders only; nonsubscribers should be able to purchase a prorated membership. For more information, visit www.therialto.com or www.cinema-inc.org. —Zack Smith
Elvis Costello & the SugarCanes
Koka Booth Amphitheatre—In 1987, Elvis Costello released a collection titled Out of Our Idiot that essentially rewrote the book on odds-and-ends compilations. It sported a duet with Nick Lowe on "Baby It's You," a Smokey Robinson cover, a Jimmy Cliff sighting and a rockin' country number with King of America producer T-Bone Burnett. You get the idea. In fact, Idiot was so miscellaneous that it was credited as a Various Artists release, with Costello aliases and side projects such as the Imposters and the MacManus Gang among the contributors.
That's not too surprising for Costello, the eclectic's eclectic. After all, he already had a honky-tonk record, a Stax homage and an album of baroque pop to his credit. Costello has continued embracing genre jumps, with more recent collaborators ranging from the Brodsky Quartet and Burt Bacharach to Marian McPartland and Allen Toussaint. His latest, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, is a reunion with Burnett for another outsider take on Americana. Moral of the story? If you're the leader of a klezmer or norteño band in town, you might want to get word to Costello that you're ready for that collaboration whenever he's, you know, available. Tickets cost $39.50-$59.50, and the music starts at 7:30 p.m. —Rick Cornell