Critics' Picks, Jan. 8-14 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks, Jan. 8-14

The Paisley Fields make their Pittsburgh debut, plus local showcases with acts like Circles and Squares, The Nox Boys and Palermo Stone

click to enlarge Circles and Squares band
Photo courtesy of Matt Shuck

[LOCAL] + FRI., JAN. 9

January is when the volume of touring acts coming through town generally slows down; given the miseries of being on the road in winter in the Midwest and Northeast, many bands hunker down starting around the holidays and don't emerge from their dens until SXSW season. The flip side: Winter is a great time to get more familiar with local acts. Tonight's showcase at Mr. Small's, part of Creative Life Support's Revival Series, gives you just such an opportunity. Headlined by Circles and Squares, Jeremy Caywood and the Way of Life, and Jude Benedict and the Last Drop, the show also features guest appearances by Morgan Erina, Michael Thomas and Mike DeLuca. As is the case with all Revival shows, it's free if you're over 21, and $2 if you're younger. Nice deal for a chilly January night! Andy Mulkerin 7 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. Free-$2. All ages. 412-821-4447 or


By all accounts, The Nox Boys had a nice 2014: The mostly teenage garage-rock band released an album and played scads of shows, locally and out of town. The four-piece hopes to start the new year out right with tonight's Teenage Takeover Part 2, a new iteration of a series they started last year at the Warhol. Tonight's show is at The Shop, Bloomfield's all-ages venue; it features The Nox Boys along with a bunch of the finest other teen bands around: Pachyderm, La Huesuda, Face Box and Chase the Monkey. TULPA starts things off; it's a good bet that all the cool kids will be there. Andy Mulkerin 7 p.m. 4314 Main St., Bloomfield. $5. All ages.

[HIP HOP] + SAT., JAN. 10

The folks from Jenesis Magazine and C.O.O.L. Entertainment have put together a lineup of up-and-coming local acts at the Rex Theater tonight; Palermo Stone headlines the group of hip-hop and R&B performers. Also appearing: M. Tomlin, Zayy tha Scholar and more, plus DJ Spillz. For those unfamiliar, Jenesis is a leading voice on hip hop locally — so when the crew there suggest you take note of a local artist, you'd be wise to do as you're told. Andy Mulkerin 9 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $10. 18 and over. 412-381-6811 or

click to enlarge The Paisley Fields band
Photo courtesy of Ryan Dashkewich


While The Paisley Fields have a good bit in common with contemporary country — rich production, songs with pop bones and twangy accents — the band probably won't be touring with Toby Keith anytime soon. Songwriter and lead singer James Wilson doesn't dance lyrically around the fact that his songs are about relationships with other men; they're sometimes tender, sometimes virulent, but unmistakably gay, a refreshing change from country radio. He brings the Brooklyn band to Brillobox tonight; Adam & Steve and Middle Children open the show. Andy Mulkerin 9 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $5. 412-621-4900 or

Women & Non-binary Bike Summit
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Women & Non-binary Bike Summit

By Mars Johnson