Czech rebels Uz Jsme Doma play Garfield Artworks | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Czech rebels Uz Jsme Doma play Garfield Artworks

Uz Jsme Doma holds a certain cred that most purportedly revolutionary Western bands just can't touch: The very existence of its music developed as a form of rebellion. While much of the band's music isn't explicitly political, when it was founded in 1985, rock shows were essentially prohibited in its country, then-Communist Czechoslovakia. To take folk music, punk rock and avant-garde jazz and jam them together -- without the consent of the governing authorities -- was asking for trouble.

By the 1990s, Václav Havel's artist-friendly Velvet Revolution was transforming Czechoslovakia and Uz Jsme Doma (pronounced "Oozh-shmeh-doma") was thriving. The band was able to play openly and to travel to the United States, where they collaborated with the likes of The Residents, a longtime weird-rock influence. Far from losing direction in its newfound freedom, the band gained some traction and even put out one record with the BMG label.

Throughout the '90s, Uz Jsme Doma toured the United States extensively, but this year's trip stateside is the first since 2001. Despite personnel changes, the band remains on top of its game, more than 20 years since its founding. A new album, Cod-Liver Oil, is set for a North American release this month. Full of both complicated, proggy guitar riffs and traditional, Prague-y folk progressions, the album shows that neither time nor changing political climes has been able to convince Uz Jsme Doma to slow down or to give up.

Uz Jsme Doma with Ruins, Made in Mexico, Capillary Action and Cadaver Eyes. 8 p.m. Tue., Oct. 16. Garfield Artworks, 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. $12 ($15 at the door). 412-361-2262 or

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

By Mars Johnson