Critics’ Picks, Sept. 3-9 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, Sept. 3-9

Concerts by Swervedriver, Moon Hooch, Albert Hammond Jr. and an all-DIVAS dance night

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, Sept. 3-9
Photo courtesy of Giles Borg


Swervedriver has always fallen under the umbrella of shoegaze, but approaches the genre from a louder, more confrontational place than many of its contemporaries. Vocalist Adam Franklin never gets lost in the dizzying layers of guitars and feedback, and the band has mastered the fusion of American alt-rock and British shoegaze. After emerging in 2008 from the vague hiatus-purgatory that most ’90s acts endure, the band finally released its comeback album, I Wasn’t Born to Lose You, this year. And after all this time, it sounds like the band hasn’t forgotten any of its signature tricks. Swervedriver performs tonight at Club Café with support from Dearly Beloved. Shawn Cooke 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $25. 412-431-4950 or


Moon Hooch, a three-piece group that makes saxophone party music, is like a heavy-metal band that swapped its guitars for horns. And despite the NYPD banning the ensemble from playing in the Bedford Avenue subway station in Brooklyn, it continues to create carefully conceived chaotic music that shows off what the members learned from music school in New York. The trio — Mike Wilbur (tenor saxophone, vocals), Wenzl McGowen (contrabass clarinet, baritone saxophone) and James Muschler (percussion) — label their sound “cave music”: primitive house music. Often, they build a song into screaming horns that sound like dying geese, only to bring it back to recognizable jazzy dance music. Hear Moon Hooch rock Club Café tonight. Caleb Murphy 10 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $14-15. 412-431-4950 or


Do you hear a healthy dose of Whitney, Mariah and Janet in the bar or club? Probably not. Luckily, Spirit intends to right that wrong with DIVAS NITE, a donation-based two-hour DJ set led by DJ Diana Boss and DJ QUEEN YAS QUEEN. They’ll be spinning immortal classics from the disco era up through Adele and Beyoncé. By moving the event to Spirit’s upstairs hall, organizers promise ample room to get your groove on. A portion of the proceeds will be headed to Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania. SC 10 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $3 suggested donation. 412-586-4441 or

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, Sept. 3-9
Photo courtesy of Jason McDonald
Albert Hammond Jr.

[ROCK] + WED., SEPT. 9

As his primary band and its singer teeter further and further off the rails (have you listened to Julian Casablancas + The Voidz?), Albert Hammond Jr. grows more confident and assured over time. This summer’s Momentary Masters is the best Strokes album in years, even though it came under the moniker of only its guitarist. Songs like opener “Born Slippy” and “Caught By My Shadow” chug along with a danceable swagger and feel hopefully alive. The triumphant luster of Momentary Masters matches that of his personal life — it’s the first full-length since Hammond shed an addiction to heroin, cocaine and ketamine. This isn’t a victory lap, but a gleaming relief. He performs tonight at Brillobox with Prinze George. SC 9:30 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $15. 412-621-4900 or

The Most Wanted Car Club Cornhole Tournament
15 images