X are a band with a collective persona so perfect it's like they stepped out of a novel: There's the blank and scary name, the high-velocity romanticism built out of junk-shop rockabilly and left-coast hardcore. There's Exene and John Doe's mournful indifference to formal harmony, and the carefully sketched California gothic, all sun-baked twang and monochrome desperate glamour (see, they're easy to write about). Since the white-hot '80s, X's members have been involved in a number of variously roots-y projects, but they still gather intermittently to tour, and here they are, red in tooth and claw, at Minneapolis's crunchy Cabooze. It makes perfect sense: X helped reattach punk's severed limb back onto the corpus of American rock. And of course, for all the deadly gloominess, the beating heart of the initial run of X albums is love, married love: maddening, sustaining, enervating, enduring...for a while, anyway. With Skybombers. $20/$22 at the door. 8 p.m. 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.6425. —Geoff Cannon

Retribution Gospel Choir CD-release show

Turf Club

Low's Alan Sparhawk brings a lot of dark magic to Retribution Gospel Choir's full-length debut. In reworking "Breaker," Low's single from the 2007 hit Drums and Guns, Sparhawk and Co. pass the song through a meat grinder. Gone are the sparse handclaps—the sound now is thick with rumbling guitars and It-Came-From-The-'90s rock 'n' roll. Their tour EPs and other tracks streaming from producer Matt Kozalek's Caldo Verde Records back it up: For a night of dirty rock and grunge reminiscences from a Minnesota visionary, church is the Turf Club, and you're there for the Retribution Gospel Choir. With His Mischief. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Carl Swanson


The Boredoms

First Avenue

Japan's Boredoms started off 20 or so years ago as a clattery way to prove your avant-garde mettle (and chase off pesky officemates). But over dozens of side projects, the Super Roots EPs, and the brilliant, century-concluding albums Super Are and Vision Creation Newsun, the band have proved themselves inspirational in every sense of the word. They have big spirits, wide-ranging tastes, and are absolutely fearless in their musical explorations. The early 2000s seemed quiet for the band, but the last couple of years have brought treasures: 2005's propulsive, meditative Seadrum/House of Sun and this year's Super Roots 9 (Thrill Jockey)—a marvelous 2004 Christmas Eve show that showcases a 24-voice chorus playing wordless vocals off frontman Yamantaka Eye's turntablism. This summer, they gathered 77 drummers together in New York City to celebrate 7/7/07. The First Avenue performance promises a trio of drummers, the band playing in the round, and a seven-necked guitar called, natch, Sevena. TiVo the whole rest of your life if you have to, but get there. With Human Bell. 18+. $12/$15 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Cecile Cloutier

Gary Louris

Pantages Theatre

Longtime Jayhawk Gary Louris returns home in the middle of a tour marking the release of his first solo album, Vagabond (Ryko). Unsurprisingly, the disc is reminiscent of the Jayhawks' trademark arid country-rock and echoes some of the pop elements that had crept into the 'Hawks' sound before they went into hiatus about three years ago. But the album's also distinctly Louris's, and he comes across as a seeker for answers that are elusive and ambiguous, opening his kit bag to reveal troubled musings that are philosophical and nowhere near resolution. Even the sage advice in "True Blue," "Strip it down to what you can believe in," remains unfulfilled. This intimacy is also reflected in Vagabond's gorgeously crafted sound, where Louris's often-brooding voice is given sparkling dimension by Josh Grange's pedal steel. $21.50-$26.50. 7:30 p.m. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Rick Mason

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