Critics' Picks: November 21 - 27 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: November 21 - 27

Local shows by Dance Gavin Dance and Sum 41, plus a book release by Robby Lester and a Beatles tribute at Club Café


Think of it as a convergence of good things: The Beatles meet AcoustiCafé meets charity. Tonight, for the fourth year in a row, the open-mic organization at Club Café features a special show featuring local artists covering the Fab Four. There are actually two shows (early and late) featuring music from two eras of The Beatles (early and late, as delineated by the famous red and blue hits compilations). Artists include Caleb Lovely, Judith Avers, Clinton Clegg and Rising Regina; the early and late shows are hosted by Pete Bush and Joel Lindsey, respectively. It all benefits the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Andy Mulkerin 7 and 10 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $10 each show or $16 for both. 412-431-4950 or


Robby Lester is a Braddock resident, Occupy activist, vegan and musician; he's also an author now, and he doesn't pull punches in his new book, Period Mark. His highly personal, friendly-yet-agitated style is reminiscent of '90s zinesters as he explores everything from depression and loss to travel, diet and what he refers to as "sexy time." He also plays music under the name The Ghostwrite, and will perform as such tonight at the Smiling Moose for the book's release event. Mace Ballard, Chelsea Jones, The Otis Wolves and Unraveler play as well. AM 10 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $5. 412-431-4668 or


Dance Gavin Dance's bio reads something like a soap opera. The band has been through countless break-ups and make-ups since forming in 2005, thanks in part to former vocalist Jonny Craig's highly publicized battle with addiction (and that infamous MacBook scandal, in which he was alleged to have defrauded Twitter followers). Now with Tilian Pearson, formerly of Tides of Man, on vocals, the band has embarked on the Rock Yourself to Sleep Tour with A Lot Like Birds (which features former vocalist Kurt Travis), I, The Mighty, Hail the Sun and The Orphan, The Poet. Catch them tonight at the Altar Bar. Amanda Wishner 6:30 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $17-19. 412-206-9719 or


[POP PUNK] + WED., NOV. 28

If you grew up in the '90s, you can probably remember a time, circa 2001, when Sum 41's chart-topping single "Fat Lip" dominated every contemporary radio station in the 'Burgh. Since then, the Canadian punks have refused to slow down, releasing five studio albums (and exactly one documentary) and touring the world on an almost nonstop basis. The band is celebrating the 10th birthday of its sophomore album Does This Look Infected? this year with a North American anniversary tour. See Sum 41 tonight at the Altar Bar; IAmDynamite opens. AW 7:30 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $25-28. 412-206-9719 or

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

By Mars Johnson