Cat's Cradle—Son Volt's Trace remains a monument of alt-country, a true document of a time and place, the former being immediately post-Tupelo, the latter a Middle America filled with everymen and everywomen (and, well, Ronnie Wood). Trace will always be the sound of Jay Farrar's love affair with words, roads, plaintive guitars and a simpler, sepia-toned past. Flash-forward 15 years to American Central Dust, the latest from Farrar and current company and the band's first for the good-fitting label Rounder, and you hear the sound of romances rekindled. "Trying not to wear hearts on sleeves/ But that's the way it always seems to be," Farrar sings. And lo and behold, "Best since Trace," several reviewers have sung in response. No argument here. This time, though, Keith Richards is the spotlighted Stone, courtesy of the nod "Cocaine and Ashes." Sera Cahoone opens. The music starts at 9 p.m., and tickets start at $15. For more, see www.catscradle.com. —Rick Cornell
Musical Mix-Ups at Durham Cinematheque
Durham Central Park—Among the passionate cinephiles who live and work in the region, Durham's Tom Whiteside occupies a singular niche as a specialist in preserving and presenting the startling array of experimental cinema that existed a century ago, in the medium's infancy. He does a lot of other things, too, including curating this outdoor film series in Durham's Central Park, on and off since 1991. Tonight's offering is Musical Mix-Ups, which we're told is a "unique program of musical numbers and comedy bits, with a touch of tragedy and a few really strange (funny strange) juxtapositions." Bring a blanket or lawn chair for the gathering, which begins around 8 p.m., with movies starting at dark. Rain location is across the street at the Farmers' Market Pavilion. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.durhamcentralpark.org.—David Fellerath
Network at Cinema Inc.
Rialto Theatre—Raleigh's film society Cinema Inc. kicks off its 2009-10 season with Network, Sidney Lumet's dark and biting 1976 satire of television news, which features Oscar-winning performances by Peter Finch and Faye Dunaway. Those who haven't seen the film in a long time will be interested to see how prophetic the film really is—it's entirely possible that our age of Fox News is even worse. The film begins at 7 p.m. Admission is by season ticket only, which is $20 for 12 films, but prorated subscriptions are available. For more information, visit www.cinema-inc.org. —Belem Destefani