Critics’ Picks, May 12-18 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, May 12-18

It’s a busy Saturday this week with performances by Large Professor, Chelsea Wolfe, Tombs and Blue Ash

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, May 12-18
Large Professor

[HIP HOP] + SAT., MAY 14

Large Professor is all about repping his fellow Queens, New York-based hip-hop artists. As the hook to his track “In the Scrolls” goes, “Nobody does it better than Nas.” But Nas couldn’t have done it without Large Professor, who was part of the production team responsible for that rapper’s 1994 masterpiece, Illmatic. The Prof has also worked with Mobb Deep, Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest and many others, and when you listen to his hook-filled, funk-based solo records, it’s easy to see why these influential artists would seek him out. Tonight, Large Professor will play a DJ/emcee set at Culture Restaurant and Lounge. Count Bass D also appears. Margaret Welsh 9 p.m. Sat., May 14. 130 Seventh St., Downtown. $8. 412-338-2222 or

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, May 12-18
Chelsea Wolfe

[GOTH] + SAT., MAY 14

Sometimes eerie and ambient, sometimes appropriating elements of power electronics (albeit in an admittedly more accessible context), Chelsea Wolfe’s music never fails to create an atmosphere of dread and isolation, while maintaining a certain icy dignity. Not quite rock, electronica or neo-folk, a simple description of the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter might place her halfway between the ethereal, witchy side of Kate Bush and the oppressive noise of Swans. In her dark and cinematic music videos, she’s wearing so much eyeliner that the viewer may begin to question if she even has eyes: Are those just empty sockets? Creepy! So it seems appropriate to just call her “goth.” Tonight, Wolfe plays at Mr. Smalls with special guest A Dead Forest Index. Andrew Woehrel 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $18-20. All ages. 412-821-4447 or

[METAL] + SAT., MAY 14

Droney Brooklyn metallers Tombs seem to be part of a certain zeitgeist of New York-based heavy rock that combines shoegaze, post-punk and black metal. I won’t name names, but Tombs isn’t the only band mixing Loveless-style guitar tones with Darkthrone-inspired tremelo-picking. Tombs has something unique going for it, though, in the band’s more restrained moments. At times, vocalist/guitarist Mike Hill’s doomy baritone almost sounds like … Leonard Cohen? Perhaps Ian Curtis is a more apt comparison, and there’s definitely a stray Joy Division-esque bassline that pops up occasionally in Tombs’ murky atmospherics. Tonight, the band plays at the Mr. Roboto Project, with Hivelords, Disgruntled Anthropophagi, and Post Mortal Possession. AW 7 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $10-12. All ages.


Youngstown, Ohio, power-pop band Blue Ash is not a retro revival act — it’s the real deal.  The band formed in 1969 and has become something of a local legend. Contemporaries of the more famous Big Star, the members could have become culty superstars just like Alex Chilton and Co., but it just wasn’t in the cards. Actually, Blue Ash might be the Rolling Stones to Big Star’s Beatles; indeed, the 1977 track “Tired of Pushin’” recalls the guitar riff from the Stones’ “Angie.” Unfortunately, none of the original members are with us anymore. But the surviving members are gearing up for a tour of Spain, and first they’ll stop at Get Hip Records tonight, with Nox Boys and Deadbeat Poets. 8 p.m. 1800 Columbus Ave., North Side. $10. All ages. 412-231-4766 or

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