Critics' Picks: July 3 - 10 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: July 3 - 10

Local shows by Rocky Votolato, Robert Michaels, Lionize, and Fitz and the Tantrums



Rocky Votolato was with the Seattle band Waxwing for years, but it was with his solo work that he began to find more popularity. (His brother and Waxwing bandmate, Cody, also found breakout success elsewhere — as the guitarist in Blood Brothers.) Votolato's simple, country-tinged singer-songwriter material, with its clear Dylan influences, landed him on Barsuk Records (and on Chuck Ragan's Revival Tour this year). He's currently on tour with Philly rockers mewithoutyou; that tour comes to Mr. Small's tonight. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $15. All ages. 412-821-4447 or


Nothing says summer like al fresco concert time at the Frick Art and Historical Center: Tonight, Canadian-born, Italian-raised flamenco guitarist Robert Michaels headlines. The Juno-nominated artist has played with some of the greats, including Jimmy Page. Bring a picnic snack and the kids to King Coal's lawn, and watch Michaels play with his touring rhythm section, in a format we'd hesitate to refer to as a "power trio." AM 7 p.m. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. $5 donation. All ages. 412-371-0600 or 


It seems unexpected, but when you think about it, the real surprise is that no one did it earlier. Stoner rock and reggae are both generally bass-heavy, jam-oriented, use minor keys a lot and heavily feature weed references. But Lionize is pretty much a pioneer in mixing the two. The Maryland four-piece combines upbeats and organs with fuzzy guitars to sound like Clutch produced by Lee "Scratch" Perry. (Clutch guitarist Tim Suit is an on-and-off member of the band.) Lionize plays Altar Bar tonight with Alive in the Underground and Revolution Radio. AM 7 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $12-14. All ages. 412-206-9719 or


Fitz and the Tantrums proved that an indie-pop band could do soul in a genuine way on its debut album, Picking Up the Pieces, in 2010. But on the latest album, More than Just a Dream, the band has added an electronic edge reminiscent of the 1980s to its signature style. You can catch them on tour this Monday, at Mr. Small's with special guests Saints of Valory and Ivy LevanKira Scammell 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $23.50. All ages. 412-821-4447 or 

Flamingo Fest at the National Aviary
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Flamingo Fest at the National Aviary

By Mars Johnson