Critics' Picks | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks

Sat., June 11 -- Psychedelic

The weirdo-folk of the Columbus, Ohio-based band The Black Swans sounds at times like classic country and bluegrass, but rarely loses its dark edge. The five-piece released its latest, Don't Blame the Stars, on Misra Records last Month (not long after a split 7-inch with Bonnie "Prince" Billy). At times, its music even veers into the territory of Anglo-sounding doom folk, like Jethro Tull gone lo-fi. The band plays The Shop tonight with New York noise-rock outfit Yvette; locals The Hidden Twin and Passengers open. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. 4314 Main St., Bloomfield. $6. All ages. 412-951-0622


Sun., June 12 -- Hip Hop

When last we checked in with Kellee Maize, she had used her supernatural search engine optimization powers to become the top Google result for the phrase "female rapper." More recently, she mobilized her online fan base to get her a spot on the roster at Bonnaroo, the massive yearly festival in Tennessee. She performs there Sat., June 11, then returns to Pittsburgh June 12 for an appearance at A Celebration of Unity. The event, which she helped organize, is an arts and literary happening that relates to the Mayan 2012 prophecies -- which organizers describe as a "rebirth into unity," and not the end of the world. AM 2 p.m. Cultural Trust Education Center, 805 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $5 donation. All ages. 412-241-7001


Mon., June 13 -- Experimental

Experimental improv can get messy with too many players involved, and can tend toward navel-gazing as a solo pursuit. But two is often the magic number: When a duo is at work, it's a trip to watch the musicians' chemistry, and to observe how music develops in a collaborative experience. Such is the nature of Jooklo Duo, the Italian two-piece playing tonight at Garfield Artworks. From the nearly ambient to the explosively percussive, Jooklo (on Northern-Spy, the relatively new boutique label that's released work from Rhys Chatham and USAISAMonSTER) tests the limits of what two can do. Bill Nace rounds out the tour, and local act Burnout Warcry opens. AM 8 p.m. 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. $7. All ages. 412-361-2262 or


Wed., June 15 -- Indie Pop

Tourmates Cults and Guards are like brother-and-sister bands. Partly because Madeline Follin of Cults and Richie Follin of Guards are brother and sister. But also because the bands are largely cut from the same cloth -- contemporary-sounding indie pop with retro roots and washy, distant-sounding production techniques. Fans of the recent crop of sort-of-throwback indie darlings like La Sera and Secret Cities will want to be in attendance when the sibling-rivalry tour hits Brillobox tonight. Writer opens. AM 9 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $8. 412-621-4900 or

Cupid's Undie Run in Pittsburgh, 2024
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Cupid's Undie Run in Pittsburgh, 2024

By Mars Johnson