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Critics' Picks: November 17 - 23 

Local shows from Shonen Knife, Tinariwen and Sondre Lerche, plus a tribute to Genesis, and a benefit for the family of a slain police officer.

click to enlarge Shonen Knife
  • Shonen Knife

[PUNK] + THU., NOV. 17

It's been 30 years since Shonen Knife was formed; since then, the all-lady Japanese three-piece has attained legend status in the garage-pop scene. Drawing from Ramones-style punk and J-pop, the band makes infectious tunes (including one that made it onto a  Powerpuff Girls soundtrack album). Shonen Knife's 30th-anniversary tour makes it to the 31st Street Pub tonight; Heavy Cream and Porno Tongue open. Andy Mulkerin 9 p.m. 3101 Penn Ave., Strip District. $12-15. 412-391-8334 or www.31stpub.com

 

click to enlarge Tinariwen - PHOTO COURTESY OF THOMAS DORN

[WORLD] + MON., NOV. 21

The latest CD from the Malian group Tinariwen, Tassili, is at times fully danceable and at times bittersweet. It's the fifth record for the group, which has been around in one form or another for 30 years, but only began recording a decade ago. American musicians including Wilco's Nels Cline and TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone guest on the disc, which was issued by ANTI. Often called "African Blues," the band's music has some of the traditional instrumentation and tone of other well-known West African outfits, but is more subdued than the jazzy highlife and Afrobeat the region is best known for. The group plays the Rex Theater tonight with Swiss singer Sophie Hunger and locals Centipede Eest. AM 8 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $20. All ages. 412-381-6811 or www.rextheater.com

 

click to enlarge Musical Box - PHOTO COURTESY OF MARTIN CHRISTGAU
  • Photo courtesy of Martin Christgau
  • Musical Box

[PROG ROCK] + TUE., NOV. 22

Sure, there are plenty of tribute acts around, but bear with us -- this one's a little different. The Musical Box is a Montreal-based Genesis tribute that, in 2000, got the rights to put on a live performance of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the concept double-album that Genesis released shortly before Peter Gabriel's departure. Critically acclaimed (and Gabriel-approved), the show -- which features a slideshow provided by Genesis -- has toured since. Tonight it takes place at the Byham Theater. AM 8 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $39.25-47.25. All ages. 412-456-6666 or www.pgharts.org

 

[INDIE POP] + WED., NOV. 23

Shortly before his fall from grace on Twitter this past summer, Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall engaged in what can only be deemed a bromance with Norwegian-born popster Sondre Lerche. ("@SondreLerche is easily one of the best musicians ever. I have every single one of his albums, and am awaiting his newest," he tweeted on May 1.) One wishes that Rashard had kept to praising Bacharachian songwriters, and stayed away from international politics. Tonight, Sondre Lerche returns to Club Café in support of his latest, a self-titled full-length, which furthers the argument that he really is one of the great songwriters and arrangers of our time. Peter Wolf Crier plays as well. AM 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $20. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com

 

[BENEFIT] + WED., NOV. 23

If you're going out tonight for the Most Drinkingest Night of the Year, how about at least making it for a good cause? Tonight is the third-ever Fallen Not Forgotten concert, part of a series that has benefitted the families of local police officers killed in the line of duty. The show, at Altar Bar, features Jimbo and the Soupbones, Neon Swing X-Perience, Lovebettie and a slew of others, and proceeds benefit the family of slain Lower Burrell officer Derek Kotecki. AM 6 p.m. 1610 Penn Ave., Strip District. $10. 412-263-2877 or www.thealtarbar.com

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