Critics’ Picks, Nov. 5-11 | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, Nov. 5-11

Concerts by TesseracT, Wild Moth, Malthusian and Dilly Dally

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, Nov. 5-11
Photo courtesy of Tom Barnes

[DJENT]  + SAT., NOV. 7

“Djent” is an emerging genre of progressive metal; its name is derived from the tone of the guitars, which sound like "djent, djent, djent.” It’s akin to the origins of the word “ska,” which, legend has it, was named after the “ska, ska, ska" sound of its guitars. An onomatopoeic name is just about all djent has in common with ska, though. Polyrhythmic drumming and odd, difficult time signatures make djent a demanding genre of music to perform, and even to listen to. Its fans, though, heartily appreciate the challenge. (Maybe djent has more in common with ska than one might think.) Tonight, the British band TesseracT, known as a pioneer of the genre, is playing at Mr. Small’s Theatre, with support from The Contortionist, E.R.R.A. and Skyharbor. Andrew Woehrel 7 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $16-18. All ages. 412-821-4447 or


Traditionally, shoegaze has been an English genre — the American equivalents, like Galaxie 500, have always been classified as dream pop. Although Wild Moth is from the Bay Area in California, it sounds more like an English shoegaze band than an American dream-pop band. Members sing in affected British accents, and their rhythms and textures bring to mind Slowdive, Swervedriver or even Blur. The closest American touchstone to the sound is actually another Anglophile rock band from San Francisco, The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Tonight, the group is playing at the Black Forge Coffee House with locals Roulette Waves, Run Forever and Swingers Club. AW 7 p.m. 1206 Arlington Ave., Allentown. $5. All ages. 412-291-8994 or

[METAL] + WED., NOV. 11

The Irish blackened-death-metal band Malthusian is named after the theories of Rev. Thomas Robert Malthus, an advocate of population control, who wrote in the late 18th century about how human population would always be kept in check by disease and famine. This dark and depressing world view has a lot in common with the way Malthusian’s music sounds: oppressive, hopeless, unfriendly. Though Malthus’ political views don’t necessarily point to the views of the band members, it’s clear that they are probably pessimistic about the state of world affairs. Malthusian is playing one of its few U.S. tour dates at Spirit tonight, with Mutant Supremacy, Imperial Triumphant and more. AW 8 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $10. 412-586-4441 or

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, Nov. 5-11
Photo courtesy of David Waldman
Dilly Dally

[GRUNGE] + WED., NOV. 11

Katie Monks, vocalist of the Toronto neo-grunge band Dilly Dally, has an androgynous voice that falls somewhere between Courtney Love and Ezra Furman. Though admittedly not terribly original (the drums and guitars are dead ringers for “Where Is My Mind”-era Pixies), Dilly Dally has got charisma, a lot of it thanks to Monks’ nails-on-a-chalkboard slurred singing voice. It’s an acquired taste, but it’s what makes Dilly Dally’s music stand out from countless other ’90s-nostalgia indie-rock bands. You can catch Dilly Dally tonight at Brillobox, with support from The Love Letters and Space Pope. AW 9:30 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $8. 412-621-4900 or