Critics’ Picks, Jan. 12-18 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, Jan. 12-18

Performances by Run the Jewels, Status Jackers, Teenage Halloween, Xeno & Oaklander and more

Status Jackers
Status Jackers
In the darkest, chilliest part of the year, nothing beats dancing the darkness away with some well-composed electronic music. Local D&B talent reps at Cattivo with the gritty energy of TKinz, party-ready SemKo, the dreamy-sounding Status Jackers and the sinisterly clever sounds of Emplate. Headlining the evening is Total Science, a D&B bad-ass from the U.K. Bring a hand towel and hydrate well, because if everyone’s doing it right, this will be a very sweaty dance party. Meg Fair 7:30 p.m. 146 44th St., Lawrenceville. $12. 412-687-2157 or

[RAP] + FRI., JAN. 13

Killer Mike and El-P are Run the Jewels, one of the most important duos in the current hip-hop universe. Run the Jewels 3, which dropped at the end of 2016, is a perfect culmination of El-P’s brilliant production and Killer Mike’s genius wordsmithery, a bold “fuck you” to white supremacy and injustice. Highlights include “Legend Has It” and “Panther Like a Panther.” Catch the magic at Stage AE with experimental, psych-meets-electronic producer The Gaslamp Killer, NYC-based crunk producer Nick Hook, oddball experimental psych-rock duo Cuz and filter-free rap royalty Gangsta Boo. MF 8 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $30. 412-229-5483 or

click to enlarge Run The Jewels - PHOTO COURTESY OF TODD WESTPHAL
Photo courtesy of Todd Westphal
Run The Jewels

It can be really frustrating when atrocities are happening on the other side of the planet and you feel powerless to help. Fit some giving into your regular show-going routine by hitting the Mr. Roboto Project for a benefit for Syria via a fundraising effort for the International Rescue Committee. There will be short sets from a whole host of locals bringing music, art and zines, including Jack Swing, Swampwalk, the Childlike Empress, Emma Vescio, nightshade, Rue, the Otis Wolves, Reid and lazyblackman. Out-of-town support is provided by visiting New Jersey artists coolshark and Secret Mountain. MF 7 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $5+. All ages.

[ROCK] + SUN., JAN. 15

Teenage Halloween is one of those power-pop bands that feels like a pleasant escape; the saccharine but moody melodies and brief songs are designed for prime bedroom jamming. The New Jersey outfit is currently on tour with TWIABP’s David F. Bello, who will also be performing at the Mr. Roboto Project. Local jams provided by folky punk band Endless Mike and the Beagle Club, as well as the bedroom-pop experts of Soda Club. MF 7 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $10. All ages.

click to enlarge Xeno & Oaklander - PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVIA LOCHER
Photo courtesy of Olivia Locher
Xeno & Oaklander

I will admit that I’m a sucker for ’80s-influenced pop, but I can objectively say that Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Xeno & Oaklander is making some primo sounds in that style. Moving back and forth from moodier synths (“Marble”) to bright, dancy bliss (“Sheen”), the duo has a knack for movement and energy in the realm of minimalist electronic music. Really taking the sound home are Liz Wendelbo’s airy vocals, which provide a tender touch to some of the harder tracks. Hear for yourself at Brillobox alongside CHOIR and Cloning. MF 9 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $8. 412-621-4900 or

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