About two songs into his last show at the Ryman with the Imposters, after 2004’s aptly titled The Delivery Man, the ailing singer visibly realized he was going to have to put on a two-and-a-half-hour concert—including a long-awaited duet with Emmylou Harris—with a voice on the verge of cracking. The ensuing show, damaged voice and all, was as much of a marvel as watching a Hall of Famer pitch a shutout game with one arm in a sling: unstintingly generous, passionate and all the more exciting for the cool navigation of near-disaster. That skill may come in handy in escaping the music industry’s atrophied distribution model: Costello’s new album Momofuku comes out this week only on vinyl LP and digital download—a shrewd simultaneous pitch to the iPod generation and old-timers who still cherish the pre-distressed jacket of Get Happy! 7:30 p.m. at the Ryman Auditorium —JIM RIDLEY
And don't forget that tomorrow from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Grimey's, you can meet Costello in person, where he'll autograph copies of Momofuku and probably be really charming.