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Critics' Picks: August 13 - 18 

Dowsing comes to town, MCG Jazz mixes jazz and hip hop, RANT returns to Lawrenceville and a show to raise money to fight MS at Hartwood

click to enlarge Jazz + Hip Hop series, poet MaVe Sami
  • Photo courtesy of Kahmeela Adams

[JAZZ] + THU., AUG. 14

Jazz and hip hop: They're a natural fit for one another, but you don't see them paired too often in live shows. A new partnership between MCG Jazz, James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy and some local artists is putting them together tonight, though. Rap and spoken word share the stage with live instrumentation and jazz musicians; tonight's first iteration of the Jazz + Hip Hop series features rapper and poet MaVe Sami, sax player Mark Jackovic, bassist William Macirowski and drummer Julian Powell. The show happens at James Street. Andy Mulkerin 6 p.m. 422 Foreland St., North Side. $15-20. 412-322-0800 or www.mcgjazz.org

[LOCAL] + SAT., AUG. 16

This is the true story of 70 bands picked to play a festival: Find out what happens when local music consumes a neighborhood and it becomes vibrant. Yes, the annual Rock All Night Tour will take over Lawrenceville today, commandeering parks, record stores, bowling alleys and even a pinball café. Genres range from indie rock to metal, hip hop to folk and rockabilly, and the list goes on. A few acts that are definitely worth checking out: Sleep Experiments, The Lopez and Murder for Girls. Zach Brendza Various locations, Lawrenceville. Noon-midnight. Free. www.rantlawrenceville.com

click to enlarge Bill Deasy and City Dwelling Nature Seekers and touring acts The Town Pants, Humming House
  • Photo courtesy of Sarah Saxon

[BENEFIT] + SAT., AUG. 16

From the people who book shows at Pittsburgh Winery comes a festival with a greater purpose. Tim Wolfson and Music for MS, a nonprofit raising funds and awareness to fight multiple sclerosis through music, bring you the inaugural Music for MS Roots Music Festival. The festival will feature Pittsburgh's own Bill Deasy and City Dwelling Nature Seekers and touring acts The Town Pants, Humming House and more, and will be emceed by WDVE's Michele Michaels. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the MS Society. The festival will be held at Hartwood Acres Amphitheater. ZB 4 p.m. Middle Road, Hampton Township. $15. All ages. 412-351-2528

[PUNK] + MON, AUG. 18

The only thing better than a good touring band at a show is multiple good touring bands at the same show. In this case, Chicago's Dowsing is one good headliner, while Sundials and The Sidekicks serve to sweeten the deal. Dowsing is signed to Count Your Lucky Stars, the little emo label "with a lot of love," and the band put out a great split in May with label-mate Annabel. The bands play tonight at Mr. Roboto Project with local opener Run Forever. Eat across the street at Spak's before the show and you've got yourself one punk evening. ZB 7 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $10. All ages. www.therobotoproject.org

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