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Friday, August 31, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 at 11:21 AM

Sara Bir is nosy. She peeks into backyards, deep corners of the forest, and Walmart parking lots. 

She’s a forager with an eye for forgotten fruit, abundant harvests, and nature’s strangest offerings. 

Bir is the author of The Fruit Forager’s Companion, a book filled with recipes, tips, and tricks for the everyday forager. On Sept. 1, she will team up with White Whale Bookstore in Bloomfield and a fellow fruit-lover Andrew Moore for a book signing and discussion.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 3:21 PM

click to enlarge Henry Diltz photographs a star tattoo on the wrist of Kate Benz during CindyStock, August 24, 2018. - CP PHOTO: JOHN ALTDORFER
CP photo: John Altdorfer
Henry Diltz photographs a star tattoo on the wrist of Kate Benz during CindyStock, August 24, 2018.
The guy who shot the iconic cover for the Doors album, Morrison Hotel, is wandering around three acres of grass behind a house on Wexford Bayne Road. He disappears into a brown Winnebago and emerges clutching a glossy paperback.

"The Tao of Daily Living,” Henry Diltz explains. The woman who owns the Winnie gave it to him and he’s digging it.

Diltz embraces spirituality almost as much as his photography. Later that night, he'll present a slideshow of his 50 year-plus career at Cindystock 15, an annual cancer fundraising festival hosted by Cindy and Ted Yates in Sewickley. A hundred people will sit mesmerized in lawn chairs as Diltz highlights a photography career spanning five decades.

His career began inauspiciously with a Japanese camera he picked up for twenty bucks at a second-hand shop in East Lansing, Mich., and would go on to include two hundred album covers and hundreds of thousands of photos of iconic musicians. To name a few: James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Dan Fogelberg, The Mamas & the Papas, Paul and Linda McCartney, The Monkees, Jimi Hendrix, The Lovin’ Spoonful.

“When I started as a musician taking photos, I would have slideshows for my stoned, hippie friends. … When the first slide hit the wall, 8-feet wide, glowing in the dark, and all my friends were there to comment and laugh and ask for more, more ... That, to me, was magical.”

Diltz' first "real," professional rock and roll portrait was Buffalo Springfield that came together by chance. His friend Stephen Stills asked if he’d like to tag along for their soundcheck. While they played, Diltz noticed a large, pink mural of a guy riding a bicycle on the building. As he was lining up the shot, the band walked outside, and he asked them to stand there to show the size of the mural.

TeenSet magazine heard about the photo, called Diltz, and offered him a hundred bucks for it.

“That was my Second Epiphany,” he says. “That somebody would pay me to do what I couldn’t stop doing all day long.”

Which he still does, at the age of 80. He's constantly reaching for the Canon Power Shot always tucked into his pocket, even when he has the Canon 6D slung on his shoulder. There's always another photo to be taken, another series to compile: stars, hearts, tee shirts, peace signs, graffiti, old trucks, bicycles, fire hydrants …

“If I go to a new city, I’m like a pig in shit,” he laughs. “I guess I keep in touch with life by looking for those similar things in every situation. I see the world through my lens.”

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Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 8:15 AM

click to enlarge Behind-the-scenes of this week's College Issue cover: CP graphic designer Maya Puskaric behind the camera - CP PHOTO: LISA CUNNINGHAM
CP Photo: Lisa Cunningham
Behind-the-scenes of this week's College Issue cover: CP graphic designer Maya Puskaric behind the camera

The Challenge

The following is a paraphrased account of what our Creative Director and Managing Editor, Lisa Cunningham, said to me one sleepy afternoon last week: “We are doing a college nihilism theme. I am looking to really embody the essence of a college student here. I was thinking ... a cover ... like a teen fashion magazine! All bright and peppy but WAY more depressing. We need someone innocent and youthful and then we need to corrupt that. The model needs to look like they are trying their best but is also in a constant state of complete emotional destruction. Also let’s make it cute.”

Okay. I could work with that. After all, stylish yet full of unrelenting existential terror is kind of my daily look.

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Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge Nardo Says' YSDM
Nardo Says' YSDM
City Paper staff writer Jordan Snowden shares some favorites from Pittsburgh artists.

“Young, Wild & Free” by Wiz Khalifa
Along with Snoop Dogg and Bruno Mars, Pittsburgh native Wiz Khalifa released this freshman-year anthem back in 2011, and it has yet to lose its luster. You’re young, wild, and free!

“Loves No Stranger” by Nardo Says
Put J. Cole and Parliament in a blender, sprinkle in jazz elements and what emerges is local hip-hop artist Nardo Says.

“Smooth” by Sierra Sellers
Sierra Sellers embodies a smooth, sultry sound that will have you dancing around your room exotically (or is that just me?).

“Crystal Ball Part 1” by Fortune Teller
This one’s for you, garage-y stoner rock fans. The six-minute doozy ranges from raw rock to percussion-heavy beats and back again.

“Flight Chief” by Slugss
Twisted psychedelic rock with a zoned-out spacey sound in “Flight Chief” is heard throughout APPEAL. I bet if the album was available on vinyl, it would be out of this world.

“Marijuana” by Chrome Sparks
Although Chrome Sparks no longer resides in Pittsburgh, he was born and raised here. The electronic artist started making music in college, and in 2012 “Marijuana” went viral online.

“Room to Roam” by Northern Comfort
Northern Comfort has all the elements of a typical country band. Singing about drinking, love, and driving on an open road, you can get your country fix, locally.

“Rivers Deep” by Gabby Barrett
The 18-year-old finished third in the 16th season of American Idol, singing a mix between country and pop.

“Hold On” by Brooke Annibale
This song is the first on Brooke Annibale’s fourth album, Hold to the Light. With an airy and dream-like sound, “Hold On” sets the tone for Annibale’s indie-pop self-release.

“Wop De Wop” by Beauty Slap
This electro-brass-thunder-funk group can often be found playing around Pittsburgh. Beauty Slap is phenomenal live and listening to them at home doesn’t fully encompass their groovy-ness.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2018 at 2:18 PM

Tie up your pigtails, pull out your leather jumpsuits, unearth your back tattoos — Amy Schumer’s coming to town.

The Amy Schumer and Friends tour — featuring Rachel Feinstein, Bridget Everett, and Mia Jackson — comes to Heinz Hall on Sept. 21.

Schumer is a theatrical jack-of-all-trades. She does not limit her talent to standup; Schumer is also a writer, director, producer and actress. On her popular show Inside Amy Schumer, which won an Emmy in 2015, Schumer acted, directed, wrote, and produced. (City Paper interviewed one of the show's writers, Kyle Dunnigan, in 2016.)

In 2017, Schumer received a Grammy nomination for her narration of her autobiography, The Girl With the Lower Back TattooSchumer is unapologetic and bold, and has emerged leading activist. She has been vocal in the #TIMESUP movement and is an outspoken feminist. Schumer packs her tweets with calls to action and support for social justice movements. 

In order to honor Schumer’s return to Pittsburgh, we’ve compiled some of our favorite moments.  Tickets for her tour are on sale now — don’t miss this comedy queen.

When she acknowledged the universal struggle of a double chin.

Pretty pissed I wasn't mentioned

A post shared by @ amyschumer on

This 2015 Saturday Night Live monologue when she revealed her true feelings about the Kardashians.

Justin Bieber or Amy Schumer? 

#oldheadshotday #kidney #balmain

A post shared by @ amyschumer on

Every time she confronts her critics.  When she identifies the struggles of adult bridesmaids.
Even her dog can make us laugh. 


A post shared by @ amyschumer on

And finally, our favorite moment:

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Aug 21, 2018 at 3:51 PM

Former Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes, the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII (for obvious reasons), visited City Paper's office to catch up with editor-in-chief Rob Rossi. They discussed bucket-list items, ways to say Santonio's name, and his advocacy for fighting Sickle cell diseases through the III & Long Foundation.
Holmes' Strikes Against Sickle Cell Bowlathon will be at Noble Manor Lanes on Tue., Oct. 8. Tickets are available for purchase here.

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Posted By on Tue, Aug 21, 2018 at 2:39 PM

click to enlarge Hobo Johnson - PHOTO COURTESY OF JORDAN MAGEE
Photo courtesy of Jordan Magee
Hobo Johnson

Hobo Johnson loves scones. He doesn’t bake them, he doesn’t eat them. He raps about them. 

Johnson is the persona of Frank Lopes, a 22-year-old rapper from Sacramento. The young artist released “Peach Scone” with his band, the Lovemakers, in the fall of 2017. The video went viral. Lopes navigates a "friend-zone" with his stream-of-consciousness rap style and off-the-cuff beats.  

Lopes’ lyrics for “Peach Scone” tell the tale of a modern-day unrequited love.

“We should go and get a friggin' cup of coffee,” Johnson raps. “And I’ll act friendly and I won’t pull any stunts. But I’m little stunt puller from birth, so I don’t know what to tell you if I try to confess my love for ... scones.”

The video for “Peach Scone” opens on a backyard, Johnson standing center, grasping the mic, and smoking a cigarette with a manic look in his eyes. As he performs, Johnson characterizes the anxiety and pressure of young relationships. He riffs the on phrase, “I love the thought of being with you, or maybe it’s the thought of not being so alone.”

The emotion heightens as the Lovemakers join him to shout, “not being so alone!”

Johnson the performer, Lopes is the brain. He plays with speed and pauses, turning his melody into a story. His beats switch as he emotes. In "Romeo & Juliet,” a song about his parents' divorce, he breaks from a hip-hop rhythm to a piano solo in the first 30 seconds.

Lopes’ lyrics are a testament to humble beginnings. At 19, Lopes was kicked out of his home, finding refuge in a 1994 Toyota Corolla. He worked in a pizza shop, performed on the street, and produced music in laundromats and libraries. He created Hobo Johnson as a tribute to his past.

Lopes' profile is gaining momentum; he titled his 2017 album The Rise of Hobo Johnson. The sound of every song is different, but Johnson hooks listeners with his spoken-word artistry and passionate vocal delivery.

The rapper is bringing his love for peach scones to Pittsburgh on Mon., Nov. 5. Hobo Johnson & the Lovemakers will perform at Mr. Smalls Theatre in Millvale as a stop on The Bring Your Mom Tour 2018. Tickets go on sale Aug. 24 at 10 a.m.

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 6:00 PM

Are you feeling tired? Weak? Irritable?

Well, you may be deficient in Vitamin Bee — Honey Bees, to be exact — and, lucky for you, Aug. 18 is National Honey Bee Day.

These pollinators get little respect, their reputations clouded with visuals of dive-bombing wasps and traumatic childhood stings. Bees carry the weight of our entire ecosystem, fertilizing plants for the world's food supply.

For years, the Honey Bee population has been on the decline. In 2017, bees experienced their first increase in numbers. These little guys deserve some celebration!

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Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 4:18 PM

click to enlarge Puppets from Puppet Slam show - PHOTO COURTESY LARRY RIPPEL
Photo courtesy Larry Rippel
Puppets from Puppet Slam show
For most people, the phrase “poetry slam” elicits a vision of a dimly lit cafe and scarf-wearing patrons snapping in approval.

For the Puppetry Guild of Pittsburgh, it’s the inspiration for their third annual "Puppet Slam" taking place tonight in Spring Hill at the Workingmen’s Beneficial Union.

“We’re using the idea of showcasing a bunch of short acts to show people what’s going on with Puppetry in Pittsburgh,” said Cheryl Capezzuti, the Puppet Slam’s chair. “It’s a format that’s actually popular in a lot of cities right now and our guild is trying to introduce Pittsburgh to the concept.”

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Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 11:41 AM

On August 9, Pittsburgh City Paper celebrated the Best of PGH 2018 Party. The party was City Paper's highlight event of the year where the best people, places, and trends were celebrated at Nova Place in the North Side.

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