Critics' Picks: January 30 - February 5 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: January 30 - February 5

Local shows by Pallbearer, The Bad Plus, Sera Cahoone and Walk the Moon, plus a homecoming show for Anna Vogelzang at CMU


The Black Sabbath sound has been rehashed many times, many ways, but acolytes don't often capture the Black Sabbath soul. Pallbearer — whose record Sorrow and Extinction appeared on many a Best of 2012 list — brings Ozzy and Co. to mind, not so much in sound (group members owe more to bands like St. Vitus in that department), but in how it feels to listen to them. Brett Campbell's vocals are as lonely and vast as an empty cathedral (see Pallbearer's demo cover of "Gloomy Sunday"), but the effect is fortifying. Tonight, the group plays Mr. Small's Theatre with Enslaved, Royal Thunder and Ancient VVisdom. Margaret Welsh 7 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $15-17. All ages. 412-821-4447 or

[JAZZ] + SAT., FEB. 2

For more than a decade, piano-bass-drums trio The Bad Plus has been pushing the limits of three-piece jazz with a mix of complex original works and catchy covers of bands ranging from Aphex Twin to The Bee Gees. The band's intriguing, playful style reflects the combination of the members' three unique methods of writing and performance, and has helped the group find success among both critics and casual fans. The trio's most recent release, Made Possible, is comprised of originals, plus one tune by the late jazz drummer Paul Motian. The Bad Plus will be putting its talents on display at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild tonight. John Lavanga 7 p.m. 1815 Metropolitan St., North Side. $45. All ages. 412-323-4000 or

[FOLK] + SAT., FEB. 2

She lives in Madison, Wis., and has for a while now, but let's keep claiming her as our own: Carnegie Mellon grad Anna Vogelzang, after all, isn't doing all that badly for herself. Last year's Canary in a Coal Mine, released on her Paper Anchor label, got nice buzz from outlets like PopMatters, which issued it a 9-out-of-10 rating. And homecoming shows for Vogelzang — like tonight's trip to the Underground, at Carnegie Mellon — are always nicely attended. Local ally Brad Yoder plays this one as well. Andy Mulkerin 7 p.m. Forbes Avenue at Morewood, Oakland. Free. All ages.


For a record with track titles like "Naked" and "Rumpshaker," Sera Cahoone's Deer Creek Canyon is a pretty subdued ride. The Seattle folky — this is her third full-length, and her second on Sub Pop — has been known to help out other acts, playing drums for groups including Carissa's Weird and Band of Horses. But she's front-and-center tonight as an opening act for Canadian favorite Kathleen Edwards at the Rex Theater. AM 8 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $26-30. 412-381-6811 or


Cincinnati-based indie-rock kids Walk the Moon had already made quite a splash before their self-titled album debuted last June. Perhaps best known for the single "Anna Sun," which is named after an old college teacher of vocalist Nicholas Petricca, the band has found success with its array of upbeat, poppy songs and sing-along choruses. Synth and catchy guitar riffs abound in the tracks of these Ohio natives, and face-paint is a staple of their live performances. Now they've followed up with Tightrope, a new EP that features a Talking Heads cover. Pacific Air opens tonight. JL 8 p.m. Altar Bar, 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $16. All ages. 412-206-9719 or

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