Critics' Picks: January 27 - 29 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: January 27 - 29

Local shows by False Icons, Yellow Dubmarine and Gardening, Not Architecture, plus a CD-release show by Of an Empire.

[REGGAE] + FRI., JAN. 27

To paraphrase Voltaire: If Yellow Dubmarine did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it. It's a band name with a built-in concept — obviously, reggae versions of Beatles songs. One has to wonder whether, in fact, the name came before the band. Regardless, Yellow Dubmarine does exist, and is bringing its upbeat repertoire to Mr. Small's Theatre tonight, co-headlining with See-I, from Washington, D.C. Clinton Clegg and the Backstabbing Good People open. AM 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $15. All ages. 412-821-4447 or


John Bechdel is the journeyman keyboardist of the industrial-metal spectrum: He’s done time in a slew of bands, most notably Fear Factory, Killing Joke and industrial pioneers Ministry, whom he joined in the mid-2000s. He also heads up his own outfit, False Icons, a four-piece prosecuting dark synth lines and lyrics about dissatisfaction with the state of the world. It’s that band that headlines tonight at the 31st Street Pub; local heavies Wreckcreation and Venus in Furs open. Andy Mulkerin 9 p.m. 3101 Penn Ave., Strip District. $5. 412-391-8334 or

[ROCK] + SAT., JAN. 28

The flow of musicians between Nashville and Pittsburgh is generally one-sided; musicians leave here to go there. But Of an Empire managed to reverse the tide a bit. When bassist Rich Condon left (he's in Bear Cub, the Pittsburgh band that moved to Nashville), the local rockers replaced him with Sammy Grummet, an ex-Pittsburgher who was living in Music City. Of an Empire — headed by lead man Camden Leeds — plays a roots-inflected brand of post-grunge pop rock, the most remarkable aspect of which is Leeds' wonderful, slightly gravelly vocals. The band celebrates the release of its self-titled full-length (which has actually been available for a few months now) tonight at Club Café. Round Black Ghosts open. AM 10 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $7. 412-431-4950 or


Gardening, Not Architecture is the wordy moniker of L.A.-based pop songwriter Sarah Saturday, whose name derives from the minor character on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. The tunes — pop songs often informed by synths and drum machines — are more manageable, and more inviting, than the complicated band name. Saturday's vocals are friendly, and manage to keep things upbeat even when the subject matter is less than peachy. (And sometimes it is.) Tonight, she brings the show to the Smiling Moose, for an early-start show that also features Dinner and a Suit, Arboreta and Tony Cenname. AM 6 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $10. All ages. 412-431-4668 or

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