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Fall Arts Guide: Music 

A guide to some notable rock, pop and jazz shows this fall, from Agnostic Front to Weird Paul.

click to enlarge Lotus
  • Lotus

The onset of fall means the waning days of outdoor concerts (most local outdoor venues have their final show of the year by October), but the winter-concert doldrums are still a ways off. Here's a quick sampling of what local venues have to offer between now and the holidays.

For those interested in the tried-and-true, Carnegie Library of Homestead Music Hall offers some rock classics: Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham appears Sept. 20; Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman of Yes take you on the roundabout Oct. 22; and legendary Kinks founder Ray Davies plays Nov. 4.

click to enlarge Sondre Lerche - PHOTO BY RUVAN WIJESOORIA
  • Photo by Ruvan Wijesooria
  • Sondre Lerche

There's plenty at the other end of the spectrum, though. VIA, the massive underground electronic festival that debuted last year, returns with names like Four Tet, Battles, Austra and Wolf Eyes (various venues, Oct. 5-8). A smaller-scale, all-locals electronic showcase follows in the form of the Electroluminati Showcase at Howlers (Nov. 6).

Foo Fighters are one of the enduring and respectable mainstream rock bands of our time; Grohl and company play Consol Energy Center Sept. 23 with some quality openers (Rise Against and Mariachi El Bronx). Perhaps the most anticipated package deal of the season, Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne tour, hits the same venue Nov. 27. And in other hip-hop news, the fall concert season is bookended by Taylor Gang-related appearances: Chevy Woods at Club Zoo (Sept. 24) and Mac Miller at Stage AE (Dec. 9-10). Shunda K (of Yo Majesty) appears at Shadow Lounge Oct. 3.

For the hip set, Chromeo and Mayer Hawthorne offer up electro-pop-soul tunes at Stage AE Sept. 28; the same venue hosts a pretty across-the-board concert selection -- British indie popsters Arctic Monkeys (Oct. 18), electronic jam band Lotus (Oct. 28) and thrash gods Anthrax (Nov. 17) included. 

Speaking of metal: A couple of years ago, the documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil catapulted the long-lasting Canadian band Anvil to success it had never seen before. That band plays Altar Bar Oct. 20. Other notable Altar appearances: Helmet (Oct. 10) and NYHC legends Agnostic Front (Nov. 6). (Judging from his tattoo work, it's a safe bet that Vinnie Stigma will be at the bar watching the Steelers-Ravens primetime game at least until the Front's set starts.)

In other corners of the punk world, longtime Japanese pop-punk band Shonen Knife makes an appearance at the 31st Street Pub (Nov. 17), eastern Pennsylvania punkers The Menzingers play the Smiling Moose (Oct. 7), and stoner legends Kyuss return (under the name Kyuss Lives!), playing the Palace Theater in Greensburg (Dec. 5).

One guy who's probably been called a punk a few times in his life, but whose rock is more goofy than anything, is Weird Paul; the Pittsburgh legend and fan of wine coolers celebrates the 20th anniversary of his album Lo Fidelity, Hi Anxiety with a show at Howlers (which doubles as a CD release for Za Dharsh, local legend Manny Theiner's solo project) (Sept. 24).

The jazz-inclined always find a home at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild; one of the MCG season's highlights is the return of master guitarist Pat Metheny (Oct. 1). Elsewhere, Medeski, Martin and Wood play Mr. Small's Theater Nov. 3. 

click to enlarge Dar Williams
  • Dar Williams

The indie concert calendar is rife with some familiar, some new. Club Café hosts: Adam Franklin (of Swervedriver) (Oct. 10); Sondre Lerche (Nov. 23); and folkster Dar Williams (Nov. 20). Philadelphia avant-rock heroes Man Man play a show at the University of Pittsburgh (Oct. 15) and Lou Barlow's Sebadoh appears at Brillobox (Oct. 25). 

The Andy Warhol Museum's diverse Fall Sound Series continues to branch out this year, with several of its shows hosted at alternative venues; highlights include NewVillager (at the Warhol, Sept. 27), Bassekou Kouyate (at the Carnegie Lecture Hall in Oakland, Oct. 26) and Ra Ra Riot (Carnegie Lecture Hall, Nov. 21).

click to enlarge Tinariwen - PHOTO COURTESY OF THOMAS DORN

And if you're looking for something a little less … Western? Malian group Tinariwen, whose latest on ANTI- Records features help from folks like Kyp Malone and Will Oldham, plays the Rex Theater (Nov. 21), and Bulgarian-via-Brooklyn DJ Joro Boro guests at Pandemic, the global dance party at Brillobox (Nov. 4).

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