Cursive's latest album, I Am Gemini, twists an eons-old mythological tale of twin brothers into an epic modern struggle between good and evil. The Omaha indie-rock band's seventh LP (and first since 2009's complicated Mama, I'm Swollen, which dealt with adulthood, sex, and mommy issues), Gemini toys with issues of doubt, betrayal, and other emotional revelations, all of which continue to define a group that has never shied away from taking itself too seriously. It's also a start-to-finish narrative not heard on a Cursive album since 2000's relationship-in-turmoil document Domestica. And it's big. Like, bigger-than-your-typical-rock-record big. Frontman Tim Kasher has compared it to a theatrical musical, and it's easy to imagine the story playing on an off-Broadway stage someday. Cursive's latest and equally ambitious tour hopscotches across the country before heading to Europe. It stops at the Grog Shop this week. — Rachel Hoskins
With Cymbals Eat Guitars and Conduits. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29. Grog Shop. Tickets: $14, $12 in advance; call 216-321-5588 or go to grogshop.gs.
Alison Krauss & Union Station
Alison Krauss has won more Grammys than U2, Aretha Franklin, and Bruce Springsteen. She's the best-known bluegrass artist making music these days. And her contributions to the landmark O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack and 2007 collaboration with Robert Plant, Raising Sand, have made her one of the world's most prominent Americana traditionalists. Krauss was just 14 when she scored a record deal because of her expert fiddle playing. She also boasts one of the most crystalline voices in music and an adventurous spirit that's carried her beyond bluegrass' boundaries. Her 14th album, Paper Airplane, came out last year. Best of all, Krauss isn't a spotlight hog. She generously shares center stage with her longtime band Union Station, with multi-instrumentalist Dan Tyminski frequently handling lead-vocal duties. Time and again, Krauss and her group prove that, in the right hands, bluegrass can transcend the woods of Appalachia. — Michael Berick
8 p.m. Saturday, March 31. State Theatre. Tickets: $39.50-$59.50; call 216-241-6000 or visit playhousesquare.org.
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