Critics' Picks, Feb. 23-Mar. 1 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks, Feb. 23-Mar. 1

Performances from Potty Mouth, King Chip, Weird Omen and more


There’s hardly a shortage of fuzzy, retro garage rock out there. But France’s Weird Omen manages to stand out with a healthy dose of punk primitivism, an almost avant-garde noisiness and a knack for clever instrumental touches (check out “Transcontinental” and “Saturday Nights Are Gone,” from the record Breakfast Before Chaos, for some prime examples). Tonight, the band kicks off its first-ever U.S. tour at Spirit, with a show presented by Get Hip Records. Pittsburgh garage-rock fixtures and Get Hip artists The Nox Boys open, along with Some Kind of Animal (who recently signed to Get Hip’s new Folk Series imprint). Margaret Welsh 9 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $5. 412-586-4441 or

[PUNK] + SAT., FEB. 25

Punk has always been political. But at a time when civil and human rights are under constant attack, Pittsburgh-based group Peace Through Strength aims to make the punk scene a powerful and effective vehicle for activism. Benefit shows, literature distribution, community-building and awareness-rising are a few of the steps organizers are taking. Tonight at The Shop, the band will release the first Peace Through Strength cassette compilation, which benefits the queer-youth arts organization Dreams of Hope, and features tracks by Eyeroll, Hypocondriax, Silence, Peace Talks, Nᴓthing and many others. Pick up your own copy, and mosh to sets by SUBMACHINE, S.L.I.P. and Unreliable Narrator. MW 8 p.m. 4314 Main St., Bloomfield. $5. All ages.

click to enlarge Critics' Picks, Feb. 23-Mar. 1
Photo courtesy of Chris Sullivan
Potty Mouth


Potty Mouth possesses a remarkable energy; a kind of je ne sais quoi that makes punk rock feel like something bigger than a genre. Throughout the band’s catalog, three femmes sound like seven — from the early days of Hell Bent’s punk attitude to the band’s latest single, “Smash Hit,” a grunge-laced, radio-ready bop. Earlier influences like Hole and That Dog come in loud and clear in the trio’s sound, but Potty Mouth takes it further with a grunge-meets-pop-punk facelift. Joining Potty Mouth at the Smiling Moose is Partybaby, a sonically large pop-punk band that blends indie sensibilities with classic pop-punk hooks, and Tennis System, a densely noisy, dreamy pop band. Local talent will be provided by up-and-coming grunge duo Hearken. Meg Fair 6 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4668 or


Cleveland-based rapper King Chip, the artist formerly known as Chip tha Ripper, has a unique quality. Trap lyricism delivered over synthy R&B production puts him on the same plane as long-time friend and collaborator Kid Cudi. (Their song, 2013’s “Just What I Am,” is a personal favorite.) King Chip’s delivery is relaxed, but the lyrics are raw. King Chip recently released a project with legendary producer Big Duke, of the hip-hop group Psycho Realm. Catch King Chip with Miami-based rapper Bernz tonight at Stage AE. Alona Williams 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $18. 412-229-5483 or