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Art collective Unicorn Mountain brings home the bacon 

If there's a compelling reason to support an arts organization rather than a political candidate (besides the chance your horse may drop out of the race), it's that, instead of pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners, you get fund-raisers in the form of dance parties. Saturday's fund-raiser for local art collective Unicorn Mountain featured DJ sets from Pete Spynda, DJ BJ, Mary Mack, Brad Flash, Glenn [Electric] and the new-to-Pittsburgh Daniel. Held at Lawrenceville's Remedy (formerly Ray's Marlin Beach), the party drew a large, appreciative crowd of artists, musicians, schemers and pure unadulterated hipsters.

It seems unicorns aren't the only mythical animals on the Mountain these days; there's also been a sighting of another much-quested creature: cold hard cash. Publisher and editor Curt Gettman, manning the merch table downstairs, was pleased to report that Unicorn had just received a large order from that great co-opter of hip, Urban Outfitters. "It's so much easier than trying to do consignment all over the place," he says.

But one mythical beast lost to the night was the funky mermaid sculpture that once adorned the former Ray's. Now painted a flat blue-gray, some of the bar's charm has been lost to redecoration, though fans of the homey upstairs will be relieved that its warren of interconnected rooms remains -- so far -- largely intact.

Gruff-voiced singer-songwriter Jon Check was ready to quietly split town, hoping to hedge his bets on his solo career by moving to Philadelphia and starting another band. "I started putting all my furniture up on craigslist to sell it all," he says via e-mail. "Then suddenly my Gmail went down." For four frustrating days, he was unable to contact the buyers who would have relieved him of his Pittsburgh possessions.

But in that time, "I got a call from my manager telling me that Degy Booking International had offered me a deal," Check says. "Within the next few days we had signed a contract." If not a Pittsburgh treasure just yet, Check enjoys regular airplay on WYEP and shows promise as one of our more commercially viable exports -- glad he's sticking around to see it through.

Fresh from an astonishing reception and mind-bending performances at South by Southwest, local psych-rockers Black Moth Super Rainbow return to the 'Burgh, performing April 4 at Brillobox. It's hard to say how popular Black Moth is (or ever will be) in their hometown, but with indie buzz bands VietNam and Black Angels also on the bill, expect this show to sell out.

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