Critics' Picks, May 17-24 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks, May 17-24

Check out shows this week from Chance the Rapper, Whitney, Pharmakon and Good Dude Lojack


Pittsburgh is stacked in the electronic-music department these days. Granted, it’s a big-ass department, populated with subgenres so distinct that it’s a little weird to house them all under one term. Regardless of what you call it, this city has some top-shelf DJs and producers. See for yourself tonight at Spirit, where Good Dude Lojack is celebrating the release of his new album, Voyage, alongside Glo Phase, Buscrates and Variar. For fans of disorienting sampling, intricate percussion, smart synths or minimalist IDM (sorry, nobody likes that term, but I am powerless against it), this night is for you. Check out Dude’s new single, “Slowbreaker,” (featuring Nice Rec) over at our music blog at Then head to Spirit to dance intelligently with your pals. Neat. Alex Gordon 9 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $5. 412-586-4441 or

[HIP HOP] + SAT., MAY 20

More so than any of his peers, Chance the Rapper frequently drops references to church, salvation and God, which is fitting because his fans look to him as a higher power. You could read the words of the Holy Book, or you could hear the words of Chance’s Coloring Book, probably with less guilt. This would make PPG Paints Arena a mega church, but one where your favorite spiritual leader rocks custom designer overalls. Plus, you can have beer and nachos instead of church wine and wafers. Hannah Lynn 8 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. $75. 412-642-1800


Whitney makes music that is beautiful. It’s layered with lots of simple instrumentation that feels sublime when tied together. The breathy falsetto, gentle string arrangements and catchy hooks create a sense of nostalgia for ’60s folk while calling to mind more contemporary acts like Dr. Dog. Enter Spirit Hall and feel yourself consumed by the beauty of it all, while melodies as pure as those in songs like “Polly” surround you in a blanket of warmth. Natalie Prass will also perform her nostalgia-infused folk rock. It’ll be just as easy to get swept away in her dainty timbre and jazz-tinged melodies. Meg Fair 8 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $16-18. All ages. 412-586-4441 or


One of the most powerful, honest artists walking among us, Pharmakon’s harsh noise and industrial art, created around themes like disease, existence and empathy, express a primal nature — the true feelings we all have brewing inside of us, but refuse to scream out of our beings. Wolf Eyes are an influential noise/industrial band whose art has ways of bending your reality as well, and Container makes techno that is grimy and punk in nature, the kind of music that makes you either drop it low or shove your friends. Margaret Cox shows off the 412’s talents in the experimental world. Earplugs encouraged for this one at The Shop. MF 8 p.m. 4314 Main St., Bloomfield. $15. All ages. 412-951-0622

Living Dead Weekend at the Monroeville Mall
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