Critics' Picks: August 21 - 27 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: August 21 - 27 

Local shows by Rickie Lee Jones, The Queers, The Dwarves, Stranger Convention and Geographer, plus a reunion for a pair of local street-punk bands


Was a time when Pittsburgh was overrun with street-punk bands; these days, they're few and far between. But a couple that were active primarily in the mid-'00s are getting it back together tonight for another go: Tommy Gutless and Weekend Warriors — members from both are now in ska outfit The Pressure and street punks The Sablowskis — bring it back tonight at Howlers; American Pinup and Lost in Society play as well. Andy Mulkerin 10 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5. 412-682-0320 or

[POP] + SUN., AUG. 25

Rickie Lee Jones came of age in Hollywood the late '70s, rising rapidly as one of America's great young songwriters. She palled around with the likes of Dr. John and Tom Waits, won a Best New Artist Grammy and had a Top 10 hit with "Chuck E.'s in Love," a tune that mixed jazz and pop in the way Van Morrison and Boz Scaggs were doing at the time. But while she's had a long and lauded career since, she's largely regarded as a musician's musician, more a respected figure than a celebrity. All the better for those who get to see her play for free tonight at Hartwood Acres in one of the county parks series' most interesting bookings this year. AM 7:30 p.m. Middle Road, Hampton. Free. 412-767-9200 or


The 31st Street Pub gets punk this Monday with a double whammy from legendary outfits The Queers and The Dwarves a double-bill not recommended for the overly serious or easily offended. The Queers satisfy melody-minded anarchists with a sound caught somewhere between The Ramones and The Beach Boys, while The Dwarves take things to a raunchier place with perverse lyrics and more hardcore punk sounds. Special guest The Atom Age will make an appearance as well. Kira Scammell 9 p.m. 3101 Penn Ave., Strip District. $15-20. 412-391-8334 or

click to enlarge Music, jazz, stranger convention
  • Photo courtesy of Victoria Smith

[JAZZ] + TUE., AUG. 27

Local jazz quintet Stranger Convention gives a modern twist to classic jazz, infusing it with rock, electronic and acoustic elements to create what the group calls "nu-jazz" — putting it in line with contemporaries like The Bad Plus. Stranger Convention will be joined by Kinetic, a jazzy Afropop-meets-R&B group, for an energetic and soulful evening at Club CaféKS 8:30 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $5. 412-431-4950 or

click to enlarge geographer, indie, pop, san francisco


Geographer, the San Francisco-based indie group headed up by Mike Deni, is known for mid-paced, synth-driven pop tunes overlaid with Deni's airy, thoughtful vocals. Samplers and drum machines are nothing out of the ordinary in the current music moment, but Deni's songs put Geographer at the head of the class of polished, Arthur Russell-inflected pop outfits; tonight, the band plays Altar Bar along with GRMLN and The Artless. AM 7 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $14. All ages. 412-206-9719 or


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