Critics' Picks 

Thu., April 21 -- Hip Hop

They could be called "conscious hip hop," but there's nothing soft about Dead Prez. The duo, founded in the late '90s, espouses black power and socialist ideals and is a sensible heir to outfits like Public Enemy and X Clan. Always flirting with the mainstream (the pair collaborated with Big Pun in the '90s, and released a record on Sony), but too subversive to make a major splash, they're touring behind the new album Information Age. Dead Prez plays Shadow Lounge tonight with local radical hip-hop hero Jasiri X, Smilo and Walt Liquor. Andy Mulkerin 10 p.m. 5972 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. 18 and over. $25. 412-363-8277 or www.shadowlounge.net


click to enlarge PHOTO: JACK LOONEY
  • Photo: Jack Looney

Thu., April 21 -- Folk

Ellis Paul has a devoted listenership: His fans raised $100,000 to ensure the release of his latest album, The Day After Everything Changed. On it, Paul's soft folkie melodies are backed by guitar riffs incorporating both pop and country; you might recognize some of the tunes from the movie Hall Pass, in which some of the album's songs are featured. The dedication of Paul's fans should be plenty of incentive to check him out tonight at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Bethie Girmai 7:30 p.m. 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. $10-$15. 412-361-1915 or www.calliopehouse.org


Fri., April 22 -- Experimental

Steve Krakow spends a lot of his time discovering, researching and promoting weirdo musicians he thinks haven't gotten just recognition in this world. But the Chicago Reader columnist, exhibited artist, psychedelia historian and Plastic Crimewave Sound bandleader might well be perceived as one himself. Tonight he brings his latest project, Moonrises, a noisy keyboard-based trio, to Gooski's. With Driphouse and Carl Cam, Low Man, Chrononaut. AM 9:30 p.m. 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $5. 412-681-1658


Fri., April 22 -- Grunge

Grunge legends Stone Temple Pilots solidified their status as permanent fixtures on the rock scene with Core, released in 1992. Members have dealt with arrests and bouts of drug addiction, and pursued side projects, but the band's most recent hiatus was due to a lawsuit from Atlantic Records. Once the suit was settled, STP was free to record its sixth, self-titled studio album. BG 8 p.m. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 711 Pratt Drive, Indiana. $25-49.50. 800-298-4200 or www.kovalchickcomplex.com


click to enlarge PHOTO: RACHEL SAMPSON
  • Photo: Rachel Sampson

Tue., April 26 -- Pop Rock

It sounds like a crazy idea, from a marketing standpoint: On the 10th anniversary of his one-man band release Tiger Pop, John Brodeur has not only reissued the out-of-print pop nugget, he's tacked on a re-recorded version of the album, this time with a full band. Not that the original contained serious flaws. It drew comparisons to Todd Rundgren's like-minded solo LP Runt, with several songs about lost love and lust, and at times sounded like a guitar-driven Ben Folds. The updated version, naturally called Tiger Pop Ten, takes the yearning quality closer to a Big Star emotional level. Come see which mood Brodeur presents tonight at Brillobox. With Action Camp, Came. Mike Shanley 9:30 p.m. $5. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. 412-621-4900


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