Critics' Picks: July 11 - 17 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: July 11 - 17 

Local shows by Murder by Death, Sheer Terror and Sleigh Bells, plus a CD release from Bleeding, Sweating and Crying, and a David Bowie tribute

  • Photo courtesy of Greg Whitaker


Bloomington, Ind.'s Murder By Death has been capturing the perfect blend of somber indie rock and alt country since its inception in 2000. Touring with an eclectic stable of bands such as Cursive, Lucero and William Elliot Whitmore, Murder By Death's sound shines of just enough of its influences to draw anyone into its music. The band's most recent offering, 2010's Good Morning, Magpie, is its second album for Vagrant Records; Murder By Death plays Mr. Small's tonight with Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons and Ha Ha Tonka. Gregg Harrington 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $13. All ages. 412-821-4447 or

[ROCK] + SAT., JULY 14

There's nothing pretty or polished about Bleeding, Sweating and Crying — and it's also, thank your lucky stars, not a Blood, Sweat and Tears tribute band. The local band releases its latest, It Crawled Into My Heart, Laid Eggs, and Died, tonight at Howlers with the help of Rule of Two and VTM. The record is a collection of hard-rock tunes, some of the Blue Cheer blues-rock vein and some a little weirder. Not hip, just good rock 'n ' roll to hear in a bar on a Saturday night. Andy Mulkerin 9 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5. 412-682-0320 or


Tribute shows are great, but can drag a bit, often with 10 different bands involved. The idea behind tonight's show at the Rex Theater is to have one band, made up of a number of local notables, play David Bowie covers all night. It's Chris Theoret's David Bowie Show, named for the frontman of the band, who also once fronted The Sponges, and who co-owns the Rex. He's backed by The Goon Squad — a band of Pittsburgh musicians including Rod Schwartz (Aviation Blondes) and Kip Ruefle (A.T.S.) — and The Pretty Things (a trio of back-up singers). AM 8 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $10-12. 412-381-6811 or 


While vocalist Paul Bearer may be the precursor for real-life caricatures in hardcore such as Scott Vogel or Rick Ta Life, NYC legends Sheer Terror are nothing to laugh at. The band enjoyed a run of success in the '80s and '90s, coming up alongside genre-defining bands such as Agnostic Front and Madball, but split in 1998. Now officially back on the scene, Sheer Terror conjures exactly what its name states. Sheer Terror plays the Smiling Moose tonight with Killer of Sheep, Scattergun and Gutrench. GH 6 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $18-20. 412-431-4668 or

  • Photo courtesy of Patrick O'Dell]


There were lots of boy-girl musical duos running around in 2010, but Sleigh Bells — appearing tonight at Mr. Small's — seemed determined to distinguish themselves with sheer volume. The band's debut full-length, Treats, was a dancey, eardrum-busting, punk-rock pep-rally of a record — the sort that leaves listeners with a sugary adrenalin high. Their follow-up, Reign of Terror, is a little headier, a little less visceral and, some might say, a little more mature. Make no mistake, though: Tonight's show will likely leave your brain — and your ears — a-buzzin'. With Class Actress, Jel. Margaret Welsh 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $22. All ages. 412-821-4447 or


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