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Short List: Week of August 20 - 27 

Thu., Aug. 20 -- Biking

The concluding weekend of Bike Pittsburgh's annual BikeFest approaches. Today, events include Free Ride's Mobile Bike Repair Project hitting the Wilkinsburg's Farmers Market (3-6 p.m.). Tonight, try bike polo in Bloomfield (6 p.m.); a Hash House Harriers "hare-and-hound" bike ride (6:30 p.m., location TBD); or a training ride (complete with intervals and hills) departing from the North Side (6:30 p.m.). Events Friday through Sunday include a beginner-friendly Disgruntled Off-Road Cyclists ride in Frick Park; track racing at the Washington Boulevard Cycling Oval; Saturday's Venture Outdoors Fountains of Pittburgh Ride; and more. Many BikeFest events are free. Bill O'Driscoll Various locations. www.bike-pgh.org

 

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Thu., Aug. 20 -- Dance

Eternal Sunshine's Clementine Krucynski was right: Picnics are way more interesting at night. Pack a basket and see for yourself tonight at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's annual free performance at Hartwood Acres. PBT performs favorites including Dwight Rhoden's Step Touch, choreographed to the doo-wop sounds of Charlie Thomas' Drifters and Pittsburgh's Pure Gold. The dancers also take on Theme and Variations, which choreographer George Balanchine created to evoke classical Russian ballet, accompanied by the music of Tchaikovsky. Andrea Bullard 7:30 p.m. 200 Hartwood Acres, Hampton Township. Free. 412-454-9101   

 

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August 21 -- Rock

It used to be the Johnstown Folk Festival. Now it's the Flood City Music Festival. (If you can't shake the association with your town's darkest hour, go ahead and embrace it.) Regardless of the name, it always brings in some heavy hitters, and this year is no exception. The festival, held today through Sunday at Festival Park, in Johnstown, features national headliners like Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and The Derek Trucks Band alongside longtime local favorites -- Scott Blasey, Bill Deasy -- and some up-and-coming young folks like Johnstown's own Endless Mike and the Beagle Club and the North Hills' Maddie Georgi. Andy Mulkerin 5:30 p.m. Continues at noon, Sat., Aug. 22, and noon, Sun., Aug. 23. 90 Johns St., Johnstown. $5-10 donation for individual shows, weekend passes start at $20, under 16 free with adult. 814-539-1889 or www.jaha.org

 

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Fri., Aug. 21 -- Puppets

It's become tradition in contemporary puppeteering for performers to feed their audience. As this is Pittsburgh, the Puppets and Pierogis folks decided to whip up the city's favorite fried pastry for their three-show stint at ModernFormations Gallery this weekend. The featured puppets -- which include a boat, a talking tree and characters that perform underwater -- range from fist-sized to larger-than-life. Flora Shepherd, Mike Cuccaro and local troupes Fare Feather Family and The Schmutz Puppet Company put together tonight and tomorrow night's show for adults only. The Saturday matinee is kid-friendly. AB 7:30 p.m. Also 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sat. Aug. 22. 4919 Penn Ave., Garfield. $5-20. 412-362-0274   

 

Fri., Aug. 21 -- Stage

Bricolage theater company's unique Midnight Radio series continues. In the third installment, local playwrights Wali Jamal, Tammy Ryan and Robert Isenberg (a frequent CP contributor) offer their spoofy takes on old-time radio serials, which are performed live, complete with old-school announcers, and sound effects live and on vinyl. At evening's end, the audience votes which of the three -- Jamal's "Tracks," Ryan's "Alien Within" or Isenberg's "Dead Menace" -- goes on to compete in the October final. The shows, tonight and tomorrow, feature top local stage talent, between-segment games and live music by Emerica. BO 10 p.m. (9:30 p.m. happy hour). 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $15. 412-381-6999

 

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Fri., Aug. 21 -- Electro 

I'm not entirely sure how to describe 8-bit electronic music -- except to say that Anamanaguchi's sounds like something made on a hacked Nintendo NES from the mid-1980s. And that's exactly what this New York City band does, give or take some guitars and drums. Even if this particular technology seems about as relevant as a harpsichord to people born after 1985, we suspect you'll have a good time dancing up a storm tonight at Belvedere's, when Anamanaguchi performs with Sneaky Mike, Professor Purple, Hot Mess and DJ Cutups. The show is organized by CP contributor Manny Theiner. Aaron Jentzen 10 p.m. 4016 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 21 and over. $7. 412-687-2555 

 

Sat., Aug. 22 -- Flea

Lawrenceville, a hub of urban-revitalization efforts, strikes again with the Little Flea. The green flea market is presented by Equita, an eco-friendly independent Butler Street shop, as part of its Act Locally! project. The new weekly marketplace has so far featured vintage clothing and other wares, handmade goods, and snacks from local vendors. It will continue into the fall, weather permitting, and vendor applications are being accepted. You know what they say: One man's trash is another thrifty man's repurposed/recycled treasure. Lydia Heyliger 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 36th and Butler streets (Goeller's parking lot). 412-353-0109 or lawrencevillelittleflea.blogspot.com 

 

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Sat., Aug. 22 -- Hip Hop

Boston's Mr. Lif is righteously indignant -- a smart, political MC, he manages to wear his command of current events on his sleeve without sounding corny (not necessarily an easy task, as many have proven). He's barely a nihilist, but displays a healthy cynicism ("It seems I've got a conflict in my heart / Are we seeing real change or just another false start?" he asks in the single simply titled "Obama"). Tonight he appears at Shadow Lounge, supporting his new album, I Heard It Today, out on his own Bloodbot Tactical Enterprises imprint (several past records were released by El-P's label, Definitive Jux). AM 10 p.m. 5972 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. $10 ($13 at door). 412-363-8277 or www.shadowlounge.net

 

Sat., Aug. 22 -- Punditry

Every bit as opinionated as health-care town-hall gate-crashers, but notably smarter and funnier, are the habitues of the monthly late-night Pittsburgh Pundits Political Comedy show. In tonight's iteration, comics John McIntire and Gab Bonesso host a sports-themed panel keying on Ben Roethlisberger's civil-suit scandal. Sports talker John Steigerwald joins budding media personality Sean Collier (son of the P-G's Gene). Tackling other political topics will be 2politicaljunkies bloggers David DeAngelo and Maria Lupinacci. BO 10:30 p.m. Cabaret at Theatre Square, Penn Ave., Downtown. $5. 412-325-6769

 

Sun., Aug. 23 -- Stage

The Pittsburgh New Works Festival has new digs. The four-weekend run of premiere one-acts takes place Sept. 10 through Oct. 4 at the Father Ryan Arts Center, in McKees Rocks. If that sounds distant to you city-dwellers, the producers remind you it's just a few minutes' drive (about four miles) from Station Square. Test out the route tonight as the fest holds the first of two Sunday-night staged readings of additional one-acts, including work by James Sievert (of Switzerland), Elizabeth Orndorff (of Kentucky) and Belle Vernon's Michele Scaramucci. The readings are free. BO 7 p.m. 420 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. Free. 412-881-6888 or www.pittsburghnewworks.org

 

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Mon., Aug. 24 -- Rock

Nearly 30 years after the band's founding, 7 Seconds remains a relevant reference point for many punk bands, staying true to its straight-edge hardcore roots. At the heart of the band is singer Kevin Seconds, whose extracurriculars through the years have included hosting a weekly radio show, running a coffee shop in Sacramento and releasing the occasional solo record. Tonight he stops at Garfield Artworks to play an acoustic solo set in a show put on by frequent CP contributor Manny Theiner. Opening are Anchor's End, Mike Miller and Corey Cameron. AM 7:30 p.m. 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. $10 ($12 at the door). 412-361-2262

 

Mon., Aug. 24 -- Comedy

"Comics aren't always seen as nice guys," admits local standup dude Mo Mozuch. The punchline is that the inaugural Pittsburgh Comedy Festival is designed as a series of benefits for the new Children's Hospital. The fest is organized by award-winning local comic Nick Milton. It begins tonight, at Paparazzi's restaurant, with a show headlined by WDVE regular Mike Wysocki and featuring Chris Levkulich, Jeff Konkle and Josh Copen. On Tue., Aug. 25, there's a free open-stage show at the Smiling Moose. The fest continues with dueling shows on Thu., Aug. 27, one at the South Side's St. James Place (featuring comedy troupe Skitsburgh) and the other at the West End's Obey House (headlined by nationally known Pittsburgh native Jesse Joyce). The Fri., Aug. 28, show at Cefalo's, in Carnegie, doubles as the final round of a competition for a slot at the New York Underground Comedy Festival. The show is Aug, 29, headlined by Bill Crawford at The Corner Café, on the South Side Slopes. BO Tonight: 9 p.m. (2100 E. Carson St., South Side.; $5; 412-488-0800). Other shows: Call venues for info.

 

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Wed., Aug. 26 -- Film

While health care is widely regarded as a consumer product, many reformers view it as a right. That social-justice lens provides the Amnesty International Pittsburgh Film Group with tonight's program, Prescribing Justice. The 51-minute collection of shorts includes "In Sickness and In Wealth," which follows a CEO, a lab supervisor, a janitor and an unemployed mother to examine how class and race shape opportunities for good health. Other titles screening free at the Shadow Lounge include "Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?" As the films promise to get people talking, there are also between-film discussions and petitions to sign at evening's end. AB 7 p.m. 5972 Baum Boulevard, East Liberty. Free. info@amnestypgh.org

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