Critics’ Picks, Dec. 15-21 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, Dec. 15-21

Performances by Shellshag, Handsome Ghost and Prince Rama, plus a benefit for Standing Rock and holiday music from the African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh

click to enlarge Handsome Ghost - PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIEL SILBERT
Photo courtesy of Daniel Silbert
Handsome Ghost
[POP] + THU., DEC. 15
If you’re looking to cleanse your palate with some crisp, well-produced pop, Cattivo has the gig for you. Handsome Ghost’s sound is rooted in acoustic songwriting and carefully accented with layers of simple electronic production. Also performing is Yoke Lore, an indie-pop artist for fans of Local Natives and Walk the Moon. Kicking off the show is Cali, a 18-year-old pop songstress with an ear for inspiring melody. Megan Fair 7 p.m. 146 44th St., Lawrenceville. $9.75-15. All ages. 412-687-2157 or

[ROCK] + THU., DEC. 15
Jennifer Shagawat and John “Shellhead” Driver, of Shellshag, have been active in DIY since the ’90s. The dedication and heart it takes to keep up with such hard work is evident in the passion behind their catchy jams, which strike a delightful balance between lo-fi punk and almost polished pop. The duo performs tonight at Gooski’s with locals Remainders, whose sound emulates the spirit of Polar Bear Club and Jeff Rosenstock. The cherry on the top of this show is Pittsburgh riot-grrrl staple The Lopez. MF 9 p.m. 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $5. 412-681-1658.

click to enlarge Prince Rama - PHOTO COURTESY OF SHAWN LACHAPELLE
Photo courtesy of Shawn LaChapelle
Prince Rama
[POP] + FRI., DEC. 16
What screams “Happy Holidays!” more than a raucous after-hours dance party at The Andy Warhol Museum? In conjunction with the current exhibition Andy Warhol: My Perfect Body, sister psych-pop duo Prince Rama will take the floor for Body Beats, an event presented by VIA. Complemented by an immersive light installation by artist Kevin Clancy, dance-party attendees can groove down to Prince Rama’s ’80s-drenched experimental psych pop. Dust off those leg warmers and get your feet movin’. MF 8 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $12-15. All ages. 412-237-8300 or

You might have heard that the Army Corps of Engineers denied the final permit needed for drilling to proceed on sacred ground at Standing Rock reservation. That’s good news, but the fight isn’t over, and water protectors aren’t leaving their post yet. There are outstanding legal fees as well as material needs for the Standing Rock camp to survive harsh winter conditions. Support the cause by checking out tonight’s Pittsburgh Stands with Standing Rock Benefit at the Smiling Moose. The evening starts and ends with prayers led by members of the Lakota and Migmaq nations, bookending music from folks like Brittany Chantele, Elizabeth Hertzog, Buffalo Rose and more. Downstairs DJ sets follow. MF 6 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4668 or

[JAZZ] + SUN., DEC. 18
Tonight, The African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh presents Holidays and All that Jazz at the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center. The gig is a benefit for the AAJPSP’s Charles Austin Scholarship Fund, which furthers jazz education. The performance will not only be an opportunity to enjoy some of the finest holiday standards in the canon, but also a chance to witness performances by a few of the amazing jazz musicians who call Pittsburgh home. Stop by and celebrate jazz’s history and its future. MF 4 p.m. 100 Lytton Ave., Oakland. $15-20. 412-559-9094 or

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