Critics' Picks: February 16 - 21 

Local shows by Dia Frampton and Cut Hands, plus a couple of homecomings (More Humans and Andrea Parkins) and a Baroque quartet walks into a bar


Occasionally we see rock shows taking place at big concert halls, but it's a lot less common to see the inverse: classical music played in bars. But tonight, the provocateurs of Chatham Baroque do just that, presenting a preview of their next program, Lawes of Attraction, at Olive or Twist. The happy-hour performance sees Paula Fagerberg on Italian triple harp in addition to the regular quartet; it's less pricey than a regular performance, and your first drink is complementary. Andy Mulkerin 5:30 p.m. 140 Sixth St., Downtown. $20. 412-687-1788 or www.chathambaroque.org


The most unconventional musical bet tonight is likely the show at the William Pitt Union at Pitt: Multi-instrumentalist Andrea Parkins returns to her native Pittsburgh with I.R.I.S., a four-piece experimental outfit. Parkins is known for playing accordion and a slew of other contraptions, including improvised electronics. Joining her in the group are two French artists — Didier Petit and Edward Perraud — and Hans Tamman, master of the "endangered guitar" (which, by the by, is his own invention). Local improv-ers Ben Opie and Matt Wellins open. AM 8 p.m. 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. $10-15. All ages. 412-648-7814 or www.williampittunion.pitt.edu

  • Photo courtesy of Bryan Johns
  • More Humans


The saga of More Humans is almost superhuman: The Washington, D.C.-area natives have changed names several times, lived in Pittsburgh together, lived in D.C. together, and split time between cities. (Currently one member lives in Chicago.) But the band that, as The Channel, then as We're Wolves, was one of our town's best-kept indie-rock secrets, has managed to hang together for over a decade. The crew is now making some of the best music of its career — and getting some much-deserved attention from the music press. More Humans play Gooski's tonight with Frizz and Hidden Twin. AM 10 p.m. 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $5. 412-681-1658


Wannabe voiceover artist, avid reader and novelist are a few descriptors that fit Dia Frampton, but she also has a singing talent that has won her success in the sister-act rock band Meg & Dia, and as a runner-up during the first season of NBC's The Voice. Her solo album Red was released last December, and features her single "The Broken Ones," an airy yet powerful ballad. Frampton comes to Mr. Small's tonight with special guests Andrew Allen and Crossing Boundaries. Nicole Chynoweth 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $16. All ages. 412-821-4447 or www.mrsmalls.com

  • Photo courtesy of Muir Vidler


William Bennett is best known as a founding member of Whitehouse, the legendary British noise outfit that invented what's known as power electronics. He's a controversial figure — the imagery and ideas surrounding Whitehouse often aim to offend, as is common in many corners of the harsh-noise world. Tonight, his new project, Cut Hands, makes its Pittsburgh debut; in contrast with the primal electronic aggression of much of the Whitehouse catalog, it's an exploration of African and Caribbean percussion and polyrhythms, and finds antecedents in the repetitive minimalism of Steve Reich and Arnold Dreyblatt. TMEye and Trogpite open; DJ Slinky and Tesco Jane DJ between sets. AM 8 p.m. The Shop, 4314 Main St., Bloomfield. $8-10. 412-951-0622


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