Nine new tracks from the local indie-rock trio. Good tunes, running the gamut from riff-heavy guitar jams to — just as often — atmospheric stuff that sometimes recalls Joy Division. Casino Bulldogs hold it down with good tunes year after year, without calling that much attention to themselves: It'd be worth your while to get in on this hidden gem.
CASINO BULLDOGS CD RELEASE. 9 p.m. Fri., July 25. Brillobox, 4104 Penn Ave., Strip District. $10. 412-621-4900
"Leave It Alone" / "Buried Alive"
If you follow local music, you know what to expect from Harlan Twins: chooglin' country-rock tunes that roll along like the Allegheny River. The band's new 7-inch single doesn't disappoint; the A-side is an uptempo jam ripe for summer-night dancing, and the B-side is a bit more of a mid-tempo anthem with roots in Appalachian folk. Blink and you'll miss the chance to pick up a great Pittsburgh record.
HARLAN TWINS 7-INCH RELEASE. 8:30 p.m. Sat., July 26. Bayardstown Social Club, 3008 Penn Ave., Strip District. $5. www.facebook.com/bayardstown
This is the first original studio release from local musician R. Cook ... at 66 years of age. And — what do you know? — it's pretty good! The album-opening title track takes a page from Neil Young's plugged-in rock stuff, then Cook goes acoustic for a few. He writes love songs, but with an almost religious vibe, giving a glimpse into an interesting mind. It's a notch above a lot of singer-songwriter material that comes across my desk. Cook is a character, and the good kind.