Critics' Picks: Papercuts, Matt and Shannon Heaton, Danielson, Kurt Vile and Matt Wertz. | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: Papercuts, Matt and Shannon Heaton, Danielson, Kurt Vile and Matt Wertz.

Fri., March 25 -- Indie Pop

Papercuts' music is quiet and laid-back; the band's new album, Fading Parade (Sub Pop), could be construed as slightly muddled and distant, but comes off more as "warm." The San Francisco band plays Brillobox tonight in a show that's also a send-off for Horse or Cycle -- the local band led by Chris Ryan is headed for the Mission Creek Festival, an Iowa City fest headlined by Guided By Voices. Still Corners plays tonight, too. Andy Mulkerin 10 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $8. 421-621-4900


Sun., March 27 -- Folk

Since Matt Heaton left Pittsburgh for college, he's played indie rock, classical guitar and tango. But when he teamed with his wife, Shannon, he found a long-term musical and personal collaboration. She plays Irish wood flute; he plays acoustic guitar and bouzouki. Their take on traditional Irish music starts with the lilting reels and jigs of the Emerald Isle, to which they add an original spin, with complex melodies that reveal the depth of this music. Residents of Boston, the Heatons return for SongSpace, at the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh. Mike Shanley 7 p.m. 605 Morewood Ave., Shadyside. All ages. $15. 412-621-8008


Sun., March 27 -- Indie Rock

There are Christian musicians who preach, and there are Christian musicians who don't want to discuss faith in their music at all. Then there's the third way: the Sufjan and Bazan types, legit indie rockers who deal tactfully with the subject. Danielson, tonight's headliner at the Smiling Moose, falls into this crowd. The band, led by Daniel Smith, has been around more than 15 years (and Sufjan Stevens has been a collaborator). Also playing: Butler's Bare Branches, whose new Haunts LP contains beautiful, lush indie tunes that foreground Christopher Wagner's deep, Ian Curtis-style vocals. Homeless Gospel Choir opens. AM 7 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $12. All ages. 412-431-4668


Tue., March 29 -- Psych Folk

If a writer compares a performer to artists as diverse as Leonard Cohen and Animal Collective, either said critic is full of bunk ... or the artist might be on to something. In the case of Kurt Vile, it's a little from Column A and Column B. Smoke Rings for My Halo, his newest album, overflows with dreamy guitars, none of which overpower his sleepy voice. The combination encourages listeners to pay closer attention, and to wonder whether his upcoming performance with his band, the Violators, will remain understated or go for the psychedelic freakouts for which they've gained a reputation. With Raw Blow. MS 8 p.m. Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $15. 412-237-8300 


Wed., March 30 -- Pop

Nashville transplant Matt Wertz is celebrating his newfound artistic freedom with his new album, Weights & Wings, released March 15. The album is his first since parting with former record label Universal Republic and joining Nettwerk Music Group. But Wertz's trademark acoustic ballads and upbeat pop melodies are still as soothing as ever. Wertz's music career began in his dorm room at the University of Illinois, and has since reached college students and fans of all ages nationwide. Bethie Girmai 7 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.) Club Café, 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side. $14. 412-431-4950 or 

Steel City Duck Derby 2024
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Steel City Duck Derby 2024

By Mars Johnson