Critics' Picks: April 9 - 15 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: April 9 - 15

Concerts by Colleen Green, Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP, William Elliott Whitmore, and a showcase of local ladies


The word "jazz" doesn't do Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP justice — the troupe's album from last year, Return the Tides, juggled psychedelic impulses, funk underpinnings and electronic experimentation. And it all served as a tribute to cornetist Mazurek's mother, who passed away just before the recording session. The ensemble last performed at The Warhol as São Paulo Underground in 2012. Black Cube SP is the same group of musicians, albeit with one new addition — Thomas Rohrer on rabeca (a Brazilian viola). Shawn Cooke 8 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $15. 412-237-8300 or

click to enlarge Colleen Green - PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLEEN GREEN
Photo courtesy of Colleen Green
Colleen Green


At age 30, Colleen Green is ready to grow up, and she's got a list of reasons: "'Cause I'm sick of being immature / I wanna be responsible," she sings on "I Want to Grow Up," a title that winks at fellow California punks Descendents. Recalling the simple, almost frustratingly catchy songwriting of Exile in Guyville-era Liz Phair, Green exudes '90s-slacker cool. She may want to grow up; she'll probably just get there when she gets there. And most of us can probably relate, right? Green appears tonight at ModernFormations Gallery along with tour mates and garage-rock luminaries Upset. A supergroup of sorts, Upset features former members of Hole, Best Coast and Slutever, among others: Its newest record, '76, filters dark thoughts through deceptively sunny hooks and Breeders-esque harmonies. Locals The Lopez and The Dumplings will also appear. Margaret Welsh 8 pm. 4919 Penn Ave., Garfield. $10. All ages. 412-362-0274


The poster for tonight's Girls Rule! concert features Rusted Root member and Mr. Small's co-owner Liz Berlin doing her best Rosie the Riveter, setting an appropriately tough-lady tone for this showcase of (mostly) local, all-female or female-led bands and artists. Presented by Steel Kitty Productions and the Creative. Life. Support Revival Series, Berlin headlines the show at Mr. Small's Theatre. She'll be joined by soulful pop singer-songwriter Crystal Lee Morgan, dark electro duo Action Camp, spoken-word artist Joanna Lowe, blues-rockers Scarlet & the Harlots, and others. Admission is free if you're over 21, two bucks if you're under. MW 6:30 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. 412-821-4447 or

click to enlarge William Elliott Whitmore - PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL ADAMS
Photo courtesy of Bill Adams
William Elliott Whitmore


Although William Elliott Whitmore has usually favored sparse arrangements with little more than just a banjo or acoustic guitar, he's altered the formula a bit on his new album, Radium Death. This time around, Whitmore's going for a more full-bodied, electric sound. The folky bluesman might be expanding his palette, but the songs still explore his tried-and-true themes of respect, survival and sustenance. Whitmore performs tonight at Brillobox with Esme Patterson. SC 9:30 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $13. 412-621-4900 or

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