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Critics' Picks: January 15 - 21 

Local shows by Rhett Miller, Diane Coffee, Nipsey Hussle and The Detroit Cobras

[ALT-COUNTRY] + THU., JAN. 16

For years now, The Old 97s have represented that spot where alt-country and well-written indie rock meet — and Rhett Miller, the band's singer and main songwriter, is the reason. He's also a bit of a Renaissance man, appearing as an actor in movies and on TV, and writing (fiction, in addition to essays on music) for publications including The Atlantic. He's also released several solo albums, and tonight at Club Café, he appears without the band. Trapper Schoepp plays as well. Andy Mulkerin 7 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $22. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com

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[PSYCHE POP] + FRI., JAN. 17

While Foxygen has gotten a lot of attention in the indie-rock world in the past year, drummer Shaun Fleming's side project, Diane Coffee, might be the more interesting act. Fleming's classic pop and rock songwriting recalls the '60s and '70s — heavy on The Beatles and Todd Rundgren influences. Tempo and dynamic changes, plus weird effects and synths, make it all the more interesting; the group's debut album My Friend Fish is fantastic. Diane Coffee's first Pittsburgh appearance happens tonight at the Smiling Moose; The Fledgelings and Anello open. AM 7 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $8-10. All ages. 412-431-4668 or www.smiling-moose.com

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[HIP HOP] + TUE., JAN. 21

Everyone's looking for a way to make money in music, and Nipsey Hussle found one: charging $100 for a mixtape. The Los Angeles rapper sold signed copies of his Crenshaw mixtape for the marked-up price and claimed in a tweet to have made $100,000 by selling all 1,000 copies he manufactured. (It didn't hurt that Jay-Z apparently bought 100.) Tonight, the rapper appears at Altar Bar along with Erk tha Jerk, JKJ and Mack Breezy. AM 6 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $20-25. All ages. 412-206-9719 or www.thealtarbar.com

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF DOUG COOMBE
  • Photo courtesy of Doug Coombe

[GARAGE ROCK] + WED., JAN. 22

Through the band's 20 years of existence, the main constants for The Detroit Cobras have been vocalist Rachel Nagy, guitarist Mary Ramirez and a raw rock 'n' roll sound. While the band's most recent release was back in 2007, expect plenty of excitement and irreverent rock attitude tonight at Club Café. The Devilz in the Detailz opens. AM 7 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $15. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com

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