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Critics' Picks 

click to enlarge COURTESY OF RYAN JOHNSON
  • Courtesy of Ryan Johnson

Fri., May 13 -- Indie Folk

Zachary Cale has been all around -- born in Louisiana, he spent his teen-age years in Indonesia, and went to college in Olympia, Wash. Now, he's in Brooklyn and getting help from some big names: Noise of Welcome, his second full-length, was recorded with Matt Boynton (producer for Gang Gang Dance and Norah Jones) and features guest spots by D. Charles Speer and Chris Brokaw (of Codeine). The record is a moody collection of guitar folk accented by Cale's comforting, slightly nasal vocals. He plays Howlers Coyote Café tonight with a slew of other acts: Sports Metaphors, Hot Garbage, Secret Tombs and D. Charles Speer & the Helix. Andy Mulkerin 9 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $6. 412-682-0320 or www.howlerscoyotecafe.com

 

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Sat., May 14 -- Punk Rock

Fans of Cold War Kids, Grizzly Bear and Vampire Weekend will love Brooklyn-based punk trio Mr. Dream. The band, which includes a couple of Pitchfork scribes, recently released its debut album, Trash Hit, a refreshing take on modern punk. The album's first single, "Crime," shows off the band's multi-faceted vocal range, clever lyrics and aggressive approach to playing instruments. Listeners will likely be struck with a feeling of head-banging nostalgia for the '90s. Check them out at Brillobox with Zou and Turning Violet Violet. Bethie Girmai. 10 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $8. 412-621-4900 or www.brillobox.net

 

Sat., May 14 -- Jazz

Ronnie Laws' first few records were issued on Blue Note in the mid-'70s to some critical acclaim. The saxophonist -- who started out playing in Earth, Wind and Fire -- went on to release more than a dozen more albums with other labels, toeing the line between jazz and funk. He comes to Pittsburgh tonight for the first time in nearly 20 years to play at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Eddie Baccus Jr. plays as well; the Afro American Music Institute Jazz Band opens. AM 6 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $32.50-47.50. All ages. 412-394-3353 or www.augustwilsoncenter.org

 

Sun., May 15 -- Classical/Avant Garde

One of the city's fresher chamber groups, Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra features a young ensemble -- many students or recent college grads -- and a repertoire that spans ages and genres. Tonight, the group performs at its home base, the recently re-opened Brew House art space, presenting a program that features works by some well-known 20th-century composers (Morton Feldman, John Cage) and some contemporary locals (Pitt affiliates Kerrith Livengood, Matthew W. Shepherd). AM 7 p.m. 2100 Mary St., South Side. $5. All ages. elco-orchestra.webs.com

 

click to enlarge Jenny Graf
  • Jenny Graf
click to enlarge Childe Bride
  • Childe Bride

Wed., May 18 -- Experimental

The tour playing Garfield Artworks tonight is made up of three solo women, and each promises to be interesting and rather different from the others. Two Baltimore-dwellers -- Jenny Graf and Childe Bride -- are on the bill; the former performs layered sound pieces, and the latter, more ambient (albeit dark) sounds. Icelandic-born Berlin electropop musician Berglind Agustsdottir rounds out the tour. With The Growlers. AM 8 p.m. 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. $7. 412-361-2262 or www.garfieldartworks.com

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