Critics' Picks, Jan. 22-28 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks, Jan. 22-28

Local shows by Pharmakon and Ani DiFranco, plus a new release from Shaky Shrines and chaos comes to the Strip


Locals Shaky Shrines will host a public birthday party at Cattivo for the band's songwriter, Braden Faisant. Oh, and the psychedelic-rock revivalists will also debut some music from a brand-new EP. They've already released "Sun Hypnotic" — an 11-minute, self-described "boozie doozie" — which indicates that the band's prolific run will continue into 2015. The Shrines' local pals Lost Realms and Robin Vote are also slated to test out some new material. Shawn Cooke 9 p.m. 146 44th St., Lawrenceville. $7. 412-687-2157 or

click to enlarge Margaret Chardiet, Pharmakon
Photo courtesy of Jane Chardiet

[NOISE] + SAT., JAN. 24

Margaret Chardiet makes great Halloween music — as Pharmakon, her blood-curdling shrieks and screams pierce like a thousand needles. It should be terrifying, but, for Chardiet, these noise assaults are cathartic. Chardiet sounds like she's fighting for her life, perhaps because before last year's Bestial Burden was released, she nearly lost her life to a massive cyst. On Saturday, she leads a full experimental bill at Lawrenceville's The Ballroom (for the new space's first big show) featuring Torus, Natural Bottoms, sub Mistress, KMFD and a DJ set from Steven Boyle and Edgar Um. SC 9 p.m. 202 38th St., Lawrenceville. $10.

[METAL] + SAT., JAN. 24

While "Chaos in the Strip" is generally a phrase reserved for Saturday mornings at the cheese counter at Penn Mac, in this case it's the branding for an all-local lineup on a Saturday night at Altar Bar. It's all metal and hard rock tonight at the old church; the show is headlined by Pittsburgh faves Fist Fight in the Parking Lot, along with After the Fall, Zero Fame, Skell and Silk9. Will the pushing and shoving in the pit surpass the aggression that goes down when a parking spot opens up right in front of Wholey's? Perhaps, but in this case it's all in good fun. Andy Mulkerin 6 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $10. 412-206-9719 or

click to enlarge Ani DiFranco
Photo courtesy of Charles Waldorf

[ALT FOLK] + WED., JAN. 28

Many a young music fan coming up in the '90s got a first taste of radical feminism through Ani DiFranco. The singer-songwriter-label-owner grew to fame without a major label via albums like 1995's Not a Pretty Girl, offering a musically disparate but ideologically related counterpart to Riot Grrrl. Over her 25-year career, she's collaborated with everyone from labor storyteller Utah Phillips to ... Jackie Chan. On the heels of her 2014 release Allergic to Water, DiFranco makes her way to the Rex Theater tonight. AM 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $40-45. 412-381-6811 or

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