We're pretty sure that no other film released lately takes as sharp a turn as Tropical Malady does at its midway point. The Thai production starts out as a love story about a soldier and a country boy. Halfway through, it turns into a meditative jungle fable, in which the soldier faces a ghost cow and a chatty baboon, among other mystical apparitions. The tone isn't always consistent -- the nascent gay romance initially seems at odds with the second part's contemplative fantasy -- but director Apichatpong Weerasethakul stages the Cannes hit with tenderness and reverence. Tropical Malady is at the Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 9:05 tonight and 9:30 p.m. tomorrow. Admission is $8. Call 216-421-7450 for more information.
Friday, October 7
For its second album, Someone in Control, California's Trapt continues its crusade to become the Stone Temple Pilots of this millennium. Extra-crunchy guitar riffs, growling vocals, and self-empowering-but-kinda-oblique songs with titles like "Disconnected" and "Waiting" lead the quartet down a path of post-grunge bliss. It's the same formula that made "Headstrong" such a monster hit a few years back. But it's all good for relieving some angst, if you're in the mood for that sort of thing. Trapt plays the Agora Theatre (5000 Euclid Avenue) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $17, available by calling 216-241-5555.
With the Mars Volta and Coheed and Cambria making prog hip again, the time's ripe for a Harvey Bainbridge comeback. The onetime member of Hawkwind -- a prog outfit that pretty much defined the genre, for better and worse, with albums like Doremi Fasol Latido and Warrior on the Edge of Time -- headlines the Clouds Over Titan Tour, a space-rock road jaunt that features his latest band, Spaceseed. The Brit keyboardist surrounds himself with synths and samplers onstage, providing the soundtrack for a hopeful, happy visit by prog-lovin' space aliens. Plus, the Solar Fire Light Show offers, in the words of its creator, "a phenomenal psychedelic smorgasbord for the eyes." Bainbridge leads the brigade at 9 p.m. at the Grog Shop, 2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights. Tickets are $12, $10 in advance, available by calling 216-241-5555.
Saturday, October 8
You really wouldn't expect a place with the oh-so-very-British name of the Fox and Hound English Pub & Grille to host a rockin' college football party. But today's Ohio State-Penn State matchup will be shown on the bar's oversized screens, while fans whoop it up over brews and eats. And just in case you're feeling philanthropic while you cheer on the Bucks, the Ohio State & Big Ten Alumni of Greater Cleveland will park a Hummer on the grounds to gather donations for Hurricane Katrina victims and care packages for overseas troops. Game time is 7:45 p.m. at the Fox and Hound, 8735 Day Drive in Parma. Admission is free; call 440-842-8840.
Tonight's Le Futur: The Lab (Volume 2) event at Tremont's Asterisk Gallery might sound like some stuffy, pretentious (and unpalatably French) event, but it's actually more modest than that. The multimedia shebang features artwork, music, films, and dancing, all under one roof. Among the participants: painter Dana Depew, punk rockers Madbunny, and DJ Drunken Boy. It runs from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Asterisk Gallery, 2393 Professor Avenue. Admission is $5. Visit www.getmodproductions.com/thelab for more info.
Sunday, October 9
Neal Hamilton's been snapping pics for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for almost a decade. When a fire at his home destroyed all his belongings three years ago, Hamilton reorganized and began painting portraits of the subjects that were often in front of his camera. His first exhibit, Paint Out Loud: The Art of Neal Hamilton, features multimedia paintings of legends like Ray Charles, Prince, and Sting. The works' sparse and random bursts of color explode from the canvas. Paint Out Loud's on view today only at the Rock Hall (1 Key Plaza) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., part of its World Festival celebration. Admission is free. Call 216-515-1930 for more information.
Monday, October 10
Today's Big Little Cat Day at the zoo includes some cool kitties. Various cheetahs, leopards, lions, and tigers get props from zoo experts, who'll tell you everything you want to know about these ferocious felines. You can also take a tour of the zoo's cat exhibits and learn about the connection between that spotted leopard chilling on the big rock and the tabby zonked out on your couch. Plus, the Cleveland Animal Protective League will be there with a bunch of cute kittens you can take home. It's a purr-fect way to spend Columbus Day. Pounce on over to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (3900 Wildlife Way) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $9, $4 for kids. Call 216-661-6500 for more info.
Tuesday, October 11
The folks behind tonight's UFOs: Past and Present program share our passion for little green men in flying saucers. A member of the Mutual UFO Network will be there to talk about worldwide sightings and reveal his personal experiences that happened right here in Northeast Ohio! Alien lovers, rejoice at 7 p.m. at Lakewood Public Library, 15425 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood. Admission is free. Call 216-226-8275 for more info.
Wednesday, October 12
United State of Electronica, a seven-piece from Seattle, comes on like Daft Punk spiked with a shot of 1970s N.Y.C. punk. Its debut album, U.S.E. , balances dance-floor jams with a splash of three-chord-guitar-rock exuberance. The music's big, brash, and occasionally brilliant. Let's see how it all plays out onstage when it comes to the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Road) at 9 tonight. Tickets are $7, available by calling 216-383-1124.