Critics' Picks: June 12-18 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: June 12-18

Local shows by Mount Moriah, Sonny and the Sunsets, Low, and J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound; plus, PSO does Jerry Garcia


Heather McEntire and Jenks Miller have gotten their aggression out through other channels — she in mid-'00s rock band Bellafea, he with his Relapse-repped solo black-metal and drone project Horseback. So when they got together for Mount Moriah, they could concentrate on the pretty stuff. The Durham, N.C.-based trio recently released its latest, Miracle Temple, via Merge, and it's a beauty; the band plays Club Café tonight. Jesse Sykes and Ex.Planets open. Andy Mulkerin 7 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $10-12. 412-431-4950 or

click to enlarge Critics' Picks: June 12-18
Photo courtesy of Synowiez


Most bands struggle to create a distinctive sound that will set them apart from other "indie-rock" groups, but Sonny and the Sunsets don't worry about such things. The band is always striving to evolve, with an emphasis on finding the right elements to match the inspiration for the music. The latest release, Antenna to the Afterworld, incorporates elements typical of electronic music, such as synthesized sounds, but retains the humble, easy feel that's characteristic of the band. You can catch the group tonight at the Smiling Moose; Jonathan Warner opens. Kira Scammell 6:30 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4668 or


The Grateful Dead lives on through a symphonic celebration of Jerry Garcia. The performance — with special guest Warren Haynes, a friend of the Garcia family — will feature some of Garcia's original compositions as well as classical interpretations of fan-favorite Grateful Dead hits. The Garcia family is curating a series of performances with some of the country's most respected symphonies, kicking off the series with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra tonight at Heinz Hall. KS 7:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $30-78. All ages. 412-392-4900 or


So much of Low's quiet and contemplative music moves at such a slow pace, it's little wonder the band's been around for 20 years — it's certainly not burn-out-and-break-up stuff they do. It also helps that the band's two principals, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, are married with kids. The three-piece is on tour now with another stalwart of the '90s alt scene, Mike Doughty, whose post-Soul Coughing solo career has quite the cult following. They play Altar Bar tonight. AM 8 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $18-20. All ages. 412-206-9719 or

click to enlarge Critics' Picks: June 12-18
Photo courtesy of Clayton Hauck

[SOUL] + WED., JUNE 19

J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound represents that rare new soul act that sounds classic but not hokey; the Chicago-based band recently released its latest, Howl, on Bloodshot, a label that values both old sounds and raw authenticity. Brooks himself has a velvety voice that sails over the band's grooves; a showman as much as a soul man, he's known for a fierce live show. Tonight, the band plays the Smiling Moose. Semi-Supervillains open. AM 7 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $12-14. All ages. 412-431-4668 or

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