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Critics' Picks: September 19 - 25 

Local shows from Nick Lowe; AG with Garrison Starr and Maia Sharp; São Paulo Underground; and Fanfare Ciocarlia — plus a Hank Williams tribute show.

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN BURN-FORTI
  • Photo courtesy of Dan Burn-Forti

[POP] + THU., SEPT. 20

While he was never a huge star, especially in the United States, few people in the last quarter of the 20th century wrote such catchy tunes as Nick Lowe. The clever and impish Brit was one of the godfathers of the late-'70s and early-'80s power-pop movement, producing and writing for Elvis Costello and penning a hit of his own in "Cruel to Be Kind." He's been recording regularly in recent years, but Pittsburgh tour stops are rare. He plays a special, partially seated show at Mr. Small's tonight; crooner Eleni Mandell opens. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $20. 412-821-4447 or www.mrsmalls.com

click to enlarge musicpicks_AG_38.jpg

[FOLK-POP] + THU., SEPT. 20

As the 50th anniversary of the breakout of Beatlemania looms, AG is doing something a little different in tribute: She recorded five gender-bent Beatles tunes for a new EP due out next month. (Let's just say she'll change the way you think of "I Wanna Be Your Man.") In the meantime, the out-and-proud lesbian singer-songwriter is on tour with two other talents, Garrison Starr and Maia Sharp. Expect solo sets and collaborations from the three folkies. AM 8 p.m. Club Café, 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $15. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com

[JAZZ] + FRI., SEPT. 21

Last fall, cornetist Rob Mazurek played The Andy Warhol Museum's Sound Series with his band Starlicker; this season, he's back at the Warhol with São Paulo Underground, his collaboration with some Brazilian musicians. The critically lauded four-piece is no samba outfit; Mazurek's complex compositions are pulled off with a combination of traditional Brazilian guitars and percussion and newfangled electronics. AM 8 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $12-15. All ages. 412-237-8300 or www.warhol.org

[COUNTRY] + FRI., SEPT. 21

A Hank Williams tribute show is what Slim Forsythe was made to do: Before the man from the Northern Tier began writing his own tunes, he formed a band to cover songs by the country-music pillar. Tonight, he's heading a lineup that includes The Beagle Brothers, The Armadillos, Molly Alphabet and quite a few others, to pay tribute to Hank (the original) and raise funds for Pittsburgh Cares, a volunteer-coordination network that's celebrating its 20th anniversary. AM 7 p.m. Lawrenceville Moose, 120 51st St., Lawrenceville. $10-70. 412-770-8150 or www.pittsburghcares.org

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF ARNE REINHARDT
  • Photo courtesy of Arne Reinhardt

[GYPSY FOLK] + MON., SEPT. 24

There are bands that play gypsy music — then there are bands like Fanfare Ciocarlia, who hail from northeastern Romania and have their roots among the Roma people. The brass band broke in the mid-'90s, introducing Europe and the world to its unique, super-fast, super-fun brand of gypsy music. Tonight, the group makes a rare Pittsburgh appearance during a tour with only five U.S. stops. Fanfare Ciocarlia plays Brillobox; Pandemic Pete opens with a DJ set. AM 9 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $12-15. 412-621-4900 or www.brillobox.net 

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