Under the big top in Schenley Plaza tonight, you can check out Jennifer O'Connor, the Brooklynite singer-songwriter, along with ubiquitous locals Donora. It's a release show for YEP's newest Live & Direct comp, an anthology of recordings from live performances from the past year. The show is open to everyone in case you're a freeloader; you have to be (or become) a member in order to recieve the comp. Music starts at 7, rain or shine (and we've had a bit of each of those so far today).
CP Music Czar Aaron Jentzen talked up O'Connor in time for her show here a couple years ago -- check that story out here.
When CP's Andy Mulkerin wrote about space-rock pioneer Sonic Boom's 2007 Pittsburgh performance with his group Spectrum, he noted, "Given that the chance of a Spacemen 3 reunion anytime soon is slim, it's an enticing opportunity to see one of the founding fathers of the second generation of space rock."
While no reunion, tonight's Spectrum performance does promise to include an airing of classic Spacemen 3 material. And while Spectrum's hypnotic 2007 performance, at Garfield Artworks, was paired with sweltering heat, tonight's full-band show at the Warhol will almost certainly prove a bit more temperate. Not that there's anything wrong with watching the sweat run down your arms as you zone out to Spectrum, but it's not for everyone.
Read Andy Mulkerin's story about Spectrum here.
Spectrum (featuring Sonic Boom) with special guest Cheval Sombre performs tonight, 8 p.m. Thu., April 30. Admission is $12. The Andy Warhol Museum is located at 117 Sandusky St., North Side. Call 412-237-8300 or visit the museum's Web site for more details.
Welcome back to MP3 Monday. This week's installment features a guy whose tracks are all incredibly long, so you really get your money's worth with one MP3 from him. That guy is Mike Tamburo, experimental hammer dulcimer king of Pittsburgh. I wrote a bit about him for his Fantastic Voyagers festival last November, and before that when his old band, Arco Flute Foundation, had a little reunion.
The track this week is part two of The Ballad of One Hung Glove.
Via The Daily Swarm and Crickets comes this entertaining read about hometown hero Girl Talk on Billboard.com -- Girl Talk Experimenting With Actual Songs for Next Album. Yes, I know the interview just suggests a slight change in the nature of his craft, but it's funny that we're characterizing a musician's hope to "write actual songs" as a seismic shift.
Just days before the April 28 release of his new studio album, Together Through Life, Bob Dylan has announced a local stop on his upcoming tour. On July 13, Dylan will play the CONSOL Energy Park, home of the minor-league Washington Wild Things, along with fellow icons John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson.
Though we've heard mixed things -- OK, mixed bad things -- about Dylan's performance here last year at the New American Music Union festival, his previous performance at the Wild Things' park a couple of years back was an immensely enjoyable evening. Bob and ballpark hotdogs under the stars are a tough summertime combination to beat.
Tickets go on sale Sat., May 2 at 10 a.m. Seats are a tidy $67.50 for adults, but free for children 14 and under with an adult ticket holder, and available through Ticketmaster or by calling 724-250-9555.
They grow up so fast! It's hard to believe it, but The Big Throwback is celebrating its third anniversary at Brillobox tonight, from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. In case you haven't already experienced the sweaty melee, the popular night of classic funk and soul grooves is hosted once a month by prominent local DJs J. Malls and Omar-Abdul. Tonight's anniversary installment includes sets by Buscrates, Hank D and Vex.
Brillobox is located at 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. Admission is $5. 412-621-4900
Some weeks you run out of room and/or time before you can give a heads-up in the newspaper about a show that's worth checking out. In the case of The Goodnight Loving, it's happened a few times -- I've been intending to get something written up on this band, but each time they've been through, for one reason or another, I haven't been able to.
They hail from the same garage rock scene that's represented by acts like Pink Reason, but Goodnight Loving represent a more polished, pop-oriented and hi-fi brand of rock. The band's music has country-rock tinges (replete with occasional slide guitar) but is nestled comfortably within the idiom of power-pop (and reps some electric organ here and there as well).
It's that time again -- time to check out what artists the Three Rivers Arts Festival is bringing to town then bellyache about how it's not edgy enough, or not Pittsburghy enough, or whatever you can find to bellyache about. Here'sa quick overview of what the slightly truncated festival is bringing to Point State Park year, annotated with links to artists we've written about before; check out this week's Signal to Noise column for a slightly more in-depth look at the festival.
Friday, June 5 -- The Black Keys, Jessica Lea Mayfield
Saturday, June 6 -- Medeski, Martin & Wood, Zee Avi, The Wood Brothers
Sunday, June 7: Trombone Shorty
Sunday, June 8: Formula412, Boogie Hustlers
Wednesday, June 10: Toubab Krewe
Thursday, June 11: Booker T., Hayes Carll
Friday, June 12: Robert Randolph & the Family Band
Saturday, June 13: Shemekia Copeland
Sunday, June 14: The Wailers
It's been awhile since we've caught up with Kill the Drama, but the local modern rock quartet has been plenty busy. While they've yet to release a follow-up to their debut 2007 album, Close Friends with Sharp Knives (read my profile/review here) the band's been focusing on building a fanbase and have recently put together two music videos, currently available on HAVOC Video OnDemand (through Comcast and Armstrong Cable).
Long a champion of battle-of-the-bands events in town, Kill the Drama's video for "Live Before It Kills You" is the result of winning a contest sponsored by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last year. Download a free mp3 of the song here.
Kill the Drama's next Pittsburgh show is May 30 at Altar Bar in the Strip District, part of the Sardonyx Music Conference. The band says they plan to tour in the fall and will be playing a festival in Portugal in June.
The trend in recent years has been to equip kids with the tools to rock out -- Paul Green School of Rock, Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, even a recently announced Rock Radio Camp to be presented by WYEP. It gets one to wondering whether the next generation of rebellious kids might be wearing tuxes and shredding on cellos and piccolos.
This weekend, one such camp -- Camp Jam -- brings its Ready-Set-ROCK Tour through our area, promoting the organization's multiple camp locations and events, and giving kids (and, in fact, their moms) the chance to impress some judges and perhaps win a free trip to camp.
Both stops on the tour take place tomorrow (Saturday, the 18th) -- the first is at 11:30 a.m. at Swissvale Music, on Noble Street in Swissvale. The second is a little later, at 2 p.m. at Brighton Music on Babcock Boulevard. Kids will get the chance to play a 30-second rock solo (on guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, or vocals) (what does a vocal rock solo entail? not sure, you'll have to come on down to find out!) for a chance to win a week at Camp Jam or a store gift card.
What should be more amusing to onlookers, however, is the contest in which moms are invited to sing one of four rock hits along with a live band, with the possible reward of getting the kid out of the house and off to Camp Jam for a week.
Good luck, kids, moms, and innocent bystanders who have to witness a bunch of moms karaokeing in a heartfelt way!