Critics’ Picks, May 5-11 | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, May 5-11

Performances by Murder For Girls, Mail the Horse, Come Holy Spirit and B Boys

[GARAGE PUNK] + Thur., MAY 5

The fuzzy, fussy ’tude of local garage-punks Murder For Girls is at times surfy, reverby and dreamy, and other times screechy and frustrated. It brings to mind a mixture of ’90s Pacific Northwest riot grrrl and modern Best Coast-style pop. Two legendary alt-rock Kims are clear influences on Murder For Girls: Gordon, of Sonic Youth, and specifically her blurry, druggy, “say it, don’t spray it” vocals; and Deal, of The Breeders and The Pixies. This gives MFG’s work an almost sinister and brooding understated tone. Tonight, at the Thunderbird Café, the band releases a new record, All the Wishes, with Sun Hound and Reign Check opening. Andrew Woehrel 9 p.m. 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $5. 412-682-0177 or

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, May 5-11
Mail the Horse


If I had to compare the sound of rough-and-tumble Brooklyn country-rock five-piece Mail the Horse to a particular song, I’d point to The Rolling Stones’ snarky 1971 lament “Dead Flowers.” This kind of sly approximation of country authenticity delivered by sophisticated big-city boys is a good touchstone for what Mail the Horse represents. In a world where you can’t throw a lasso without roundin’ up a barrel of moustachio’d Americana-os, Mail the Horse is a refreshing sip of cheap American beer. See for yourself tonight when the band plays Diesel Lounge, with guests The Mixus Brothers. AW 7:30 p.m. 1601 E. Carson St., South Side. $10-12. 412-651-4713 or

[PUNK] + SAT., MAY 7

Pittsburgh trio Come Holy Spirit is certainly “punk” in its ethos, but the band’s sound defies the expectations of what the label “punk” means. (And really, what’s more punk than that?) Veteran drummer Sam Pace is easily one of the best and most creative percussionists in Pittsburgh, and vocalist/bassist Gina Favano’s mystical wailing sounds like the tormented ghost of Grace Slick (but wait, isn’t she still alive?). And that’s not to downplay the scratchy and ethereal guitar-playing of Aaron Lindberg. Come Holy Spirit is just one of several outstanding acts playing tonight at the Women in Sound #2 Zine Release, at Babyland (not the empty storefront at the corner of Penn and Negley, but the warehouse in Polish Hill run by the art collective). Others on the bill include: Philly two-piece Trophy Wife, locals Vostok and Minneapolis’ RONiiA. This event benefits Decarcerate PA, a grassroots campaign which seeks to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania. AW 8 p.m. 3577 Bethoven St., Polish Hill. $5. All ages.

click to enlarge Critics’ Picks, May 5-11
Photo courtesy of Heather Strange
B Boys


Brooklyn alt-rock three-piece B Boys are homies with fellow Brooklyn dudes Parquet Courts, and it shows: The similarities between them and Parquet Courts’ early work are numerous, particularly in the martial guitar rhythms and deadpan-yet-caffeinated vocals. B Boys use more synthesizers, though — or at least what sounds like synthesizers. Either way, B Boys aren’t a Parquet Courts ripoff, despite the ties. There’s more of a new-wave vibe (think XTC, The Cars or even Wire’s more cerebral moments). You can see B Boys tonight at Black Forge Coffee House, with locals Driver and Bat Zuppel. AW 7 p.m. 1206 Arlington Ave., Allentown. $10. All ages. 412-291-8994 or