Critics' Picks, Feb. 19-25 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks, Feb. 19-25

Local shows by Shemekia Copeland, New Madrid and Murder By Death, plus Snow Ball returns to Lawrenceville


[BLUES] + THU., FEB. 19

One of the most prominent artists in blues brings her booming voice to an intimate setting tonight. Shemekia Copeland, who was declared the "Queen of Blues" by Chicago and the state of Illinois, recently returned to Alligator Records, where she made her most successful string of albums. After earning as high-profile a gig as you can score (performing for the president and first lady in the White House), Copeland plans to explore new territory on a fall 2015 release. She performs at Club Café tonight with The Blues Devils. Shawn Cooke 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $23. 412-431-4950 or

[LOCAL] + SAT., FEB. 21

Just as RANT has become a staple of the Lawrenceville summer, the annual Snow Ball show at Cattivo has become a hallmark of winter. Locals comprise the all-night bill at the two-tiered bar venue, where both levels will be in use. Acts include (but are by no means limited to) Morgan Erina, Roulette Waves, Them Labs, The Lopez and Chrome Moses; buzzworthy rock outfit Misaligned Mind closes the night out. Andy Mulkerin 6 p.m. 146 44th St., Lawrenceville. $10.

click to enlarge New Madrid concert event at Club Cafe
Photo courtesy of Paul Moore


The Athens rockers of New Madrid seamlessly blended psych rock, post-punk and good ole-fashioned "indie" on last year's Sunswimmer. Since the band is an amalgam of so many different styles of guitar rock, fans of any subgenre would be hard pressed to not find something worth latching onto here. The band toured extensively in 2014, netting more than 175 dates, and it plans to keep up the torrid pace as it stops by Club Café tonight with The Heirs and Cape Cod opening. SC 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $8-10. 412-431-4950 or


Murder by Death is about as misleading a band name as My Bloody Valentine — the group doesn't play anything close to resembling doom metal. The gothic indie rockers have been at it for 15 years now, and their latest album, Big Dark Love, continues to refine the band's dark, country-infused brand of rock. The outfit has added even more band members and instruments for this album cycle, so the Mr. Small's stage could be pretty crowded. Similarly fatal folkies O'Death will open. SC 8:30 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $15. 412-821-4447 or

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