Station 4

Like Dracula, they've been around a while, wear makeup, and enjoy a splash of gore. Their forthcoming Cryptozoology: Creatures of God? is a tribute to the monsters people believe are real—"Chuppacobbra," "Behemoth in the Loch," "Abominable Snowman." So Impaler are a Halloween institution, festive and rich. But their music is no joke. "Arms of the Kracken" and "Where Is the Minnesota Iceman" embody (or disembody) everything squealing, crunchy, and double-kick-drum elegant about punk-influenced metal that begins with Alice Cooper. They pack a wallop live, and are joined tonight by For Blood, Dying Euforia, and Death Row Martyr. With costume contests, prizes, and more. 18+ $6/$8 at the door. 8 p.m. 201 E. Fourth St., St. Paul; 651.298.0173. —Peter S. Scholtes

Wayne "the Train" Hancock

Lee's Liquor Lounge

The many faces of múm
courtesy the artists
The many faces of múm

Last time Wayne Hancock came to town, Brian Setzer showed up at Lee's, surprising the star of the show, who promptly invited Setzer onstage for a couple of songs. It was a rare treat to see the founder of rockabilly-nouveau playing with the granddaddy of Western swing revival. But the proximity of a genuine star highlighted just how unfair it is that Wayne Hancock's never gotten famous. His recreation of '40s-style country and western is spot on, full of glorious slide guitar, low-down cheating husbands, and a walking bass line perfect for getting down to business on the dance floor. Directing his band like a general commanding troops, he stages epic solo battles between steel guitar and bass as his own guitar drives the tempo faster. With seven albums' worth of genuine honky-tonk under his belt, Hancock figures giving you your money's worth requires him to play pretty much all of it, all in a row—more than once, the bar-close lights have gone up and the Train has kept on rolling. With Whitey Morgan & the 78s. 21+. $15. 9 p.m. 101 Glenwood Ave. N, Minneapolis; 612.338.9491. —Ward Rubrecht

Fu Manchu

Triple Rock Social Club

Though they may have focused on a heavier, harsher sound on their last two records (2004's Start the Machine and 2007's We Must Obey), the stoner-rock elder statesmen of Fu Manchu have returned to a sound akin to their skater-punk roots with the release of Signs of Infinite Power. No strangers to waves of smoldering effects, classic-rock swagger, or heavily distorted guitars, the four members of the band have carried on the tradition that was established in the late '80s. There's a unique relationship between the California-based rockers and legendary bands such as Thin Lizzy and the Blue Oyster Cult. As older fans of the classic-rock patriarchs look for a modern solution to satisfy their rock 'n' roll itch, Fu Manchu have repeatedly appeared over the years with new music that cures the craving. The same goes for new fans of the band looking back beyond their years: Fu Manchu have been able to guide them toward decades of musicians who helped shape the face of modern guitar rock. Regardless of which side of the spectrum you may be on, or even if you're just a curious outsider looking in, there are few better modern examples of heavy bands playing today whose reach is so wide. With ASG and It's Casual. 21+. $15/$17 at the door. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.333.7399.—Chris DeLine


Loudon Wainwright III

The Cedar

You gotta believe Loudon Wainwright sees a lot of himself in Charlie Poole, by all accounts a rambler, a gambler, a cad, and a rogue who led a wild, itinerant life until ending it prematurely in 1931 by drinking himself to death at age 39. Poole was also a banjo picker whose style presaged bluegrass, an artist whose definitive versions of an entire catalogue of songs are now old-timey standards reflecting both his outrageous lifestyle ("I'm the Man Who Rode the Mule Around the World") and a sentimental streak ("Sweet Sunny South"), and a very early hit-making recording artist ("Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Blues" in 1925). Wainwright has displayed most of those qualities and more across some four decades of wickedly cynical, incisively observant, often self-deprecating recordings, of which the commercial high point was "Dead Skunks." On Wainwright's epic, two-CD, lavishly packaged tribute, High, Wide & Handsome, he essentially becomes Poole, offering prickly versions of Poole's signature songs as well as new tunes by Loudon and producer Dick Connette written in Poole's voice. Cinematic in scope, it's packed with gems etched with the assistance of the Roches, Chaim Tannenbaum, Chris Thile, Geoff Muldaur, and Wainwright offspring Martha, Rufus, and Lucy. Opener Chris Smither has just released his own fine new album, Time Stands Still, sporting an array of fresh folk-blues fashioned by his elegant, finger-picked guitar work and expressive, ground-glass voice. $20/$22 at the door. 8 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason


Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers

O'Shaughnessy Auditorium

When Bruce Hornsby started out a couple of decades ago, he was a roots-influenced piano man with a knack for writing relatively interesting songs sufficiently tied to the pop mainstream to be radio-friendly. And with tunes like "The Way It Is" and "Mandolin Rain," he and his band, the Range, had the hits to prove it. But Hornsby wasn't entirely at home on the Range and subsequently pursued a curiously peripatetic career that has included a stint with the Grateful Dead, collaborations stretching from Ornette Coleman to Tupac Shakur, soundtrack work, live performances with nary a hit in sight, a flirtation with electronica, and an apparent willingness to sing the national anthem virtually any time more than two guys congregate around a ball. His last two—both well-received—releases were a bluegrass collaboration with Ricky Skaggs and a straight-ahead jazz album with Jack DeJohnette and Christian McBride. You can't be a dilettante with guys like that. Hornsby's new album, Levitate, co-credited to his longtime backup band, has a welcome Americana pop-rock sound akin to his early days, although strewn with overt and subliminal references to Warren Zevon, Steve Earle, Steely Dan, the Dead, Sun Ra, and Willie Nelson. Meanwhile, scratch the lyrics' surface and they often take bizarre (as in "huh?" as opposed to "cool!") turns, such as a history of western expansionism in terms of vermin, viruses, and sadistic Nazis, and explaining the lethal tendencies of prairie dogs with Marxist theory. For better or worse, you'd never catch Billy Joel doing stuff like that. $36-$48. 7:30 p.m. 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul; 651.690.6700. —Rick Mason


They Might Be Giants

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