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Local shows by Andrew W.K., Josh Ritter, Futurebirds and Laura Stevenson

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF CHERIE ROBERTS
  • Photo courtesy of Cherie Roberts

[PARTY ROCK] + SUN., MAY 19

Since the release of I Get Wet more than a decade ago, Andrew W.K. has developed a close following for his strange, irreverent approach to music, and his party-on philosophy. Songs like "Party Hard" and "I'm a Vagabond" define his sound, which at times feels reminiscent of the kind of shameless, good-time-seeking attitude of '80s hair-metal bands. In many ways, W.K.'s music is like hair-metal's edgier, more genuine offspring. The energy that pours through the tracks is raw, the choruses shouted and glossless. Best of all, the whole thing translates into a memorable and passionate live performance, which will undoubtedly be showcased at Altar Bar. John Lavanga 8 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. All ages. $20-$22. 412-206-9719 or www.thealtarbar.com

[FOLK ROCK] + MON., MAY 20

Josh Ritter is a songwriter's songwriter — heck, Josh Ritter is a writer's songwriter. The Americana-flavored singer and guitarist has been at it since his early 20s, when he was at Oberlin College in Ohio, and his latest, The Beast in Its Tracks, was written in the wake of his divorce from musician Dawn Landes. The sometimes-novelist made headlines across the state recently when he wrote a scathing Facebook post protesting Messiah College's anti-homosexuality stance after a show at the Mechanicsburg school; you won't have to sign a pledge to stay straight when you go to the Byham Theater tonight to see Ritter and Bill Deasy. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $28.25-33.25. All ages. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org 

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON THRASHER
  • Photo courtesy of Jason Thrasher

[INDIE ROCK] + TUE., MAY 21

Futurebirds, the Athens, Ga., band that just released its second full-length on Fat Possum, has alt-country tendencies, sure. But just as notable are the band's shoegazey notes; at times, it sounds like Galaxie 500, if Galaxie 500 had come from the South instead of Harvard. The reverb is heavy, and reminiscent of other indie buzz bands of late, like Real Estate. And, more importantly, the songwriting is top-notch. The band plays Brillobox tonight with Coronado. AM 9 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $10-12. 412-621-4900 or www.brillobox.net

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE GARWACKE
  • Photo courtesy of Dave Garwacke

[INDIE FOLK] + WED., MAY 22

Singer-songwriter Laura Stevenson first gained notoriety for her involvement in the musical collective Bomb the Music Industry!, but her solo work presents the talented musician in a very different light. Her new album, Wheel, is a tantalizingly poppy collection of tracks featuring jingling guitars and great arrangements of string and brass elements to add layers of complexity to a cheery album. Her music borders on folky at times, making her a great fit for Club Café, where she plays tonight with her group, Laura Stevenson and the Cans. JL 8 p.m. 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side. $10 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com

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