Critics' Picks: July 29 -Aug 3 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: July 29 -Aug 3

Local shows from Hayes Carll, Bilal, Wye Oak, Phantom Family Halo and Brain Idea.


Hayes Carll is a Texas-born country singer, but not one of the down-home variety; the thirtysomething songwriter has a worldly way about him. Influenced by Dylan and the Beats as much as he is by the old Nashville sound, Carll has established himself as an heir to the literate country crown held by artists like Guy Clark (with whom Carll has collaborated). Tonight he brings tunes from his latest album, KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) to the SummerSounds series, held in the amphitheater at St. Clair Park, in Greensburg. Andy Mulkerin 7 p.m. 135 N. Maple Ave., Greensburg. Free. All ages. 724-838-4323 or


Chicago's Brain Idea released what one might call an ambitious EP earlier this month. While it clocks in at only 22 minutes and change, Cosmos Factory, released by the aficionados at Mexican Summer, explores territory ranging from Dinosaur Jr.-style pop-informed rock to droney soundscapes. The trio is touring in support of Disappears, fellow Chicagoans whose latest, Guider, came out this year on Kranky. They play Brillobox tonight; Knot Feeder opens. AM 10 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $8. 412-621-4900 or


[SOUL] + SUN., JULY 31

When we think about outdoor music venues in the city, Shadow Lounge doesn't generally register. But this weekend, it does; tonight's concert featuring the Philadelphian soul and jazz singer Bilal is the culmination of a weekend of outdoor, block-party-style music events at the venue. Bilal -- who has collaborated with Beyoncé and Erykah Badu (and worked especially closely with Common) -- is supporting last year's Airtight's Revenge full-length and a couple of subsequent singles and remix releases. AM 6 p.m. 5972 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. $20. 18 and over. 412-363-8277 or

Photo courtesy of Natasha Tylea


This year's offering from Baltimore's Wye Oak, Civilian, is a masterpiece of understated rock; Jenn Wasner's shimmery guitar washes are punctuated with aggressive bursts of noisy shredding. Every now and again, the band seems to allude to its roots so close to the D.C. scene with Fugaziesque guitar oscillations laid over simple, persistent percussion; elsewhere, it sounds akin to Low with a folky edge. Wye Oak plays Club Café tonight; local dreamy indie band Sleep Experiments opens. AM 7 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $8-10. 412-431-4950 or



The latest word from Louisville-based psych rockers The Phantom Family Halo is a collaborative 10-inch record, The Mindeater, with Drag City everywhere-man Bonnie "Prince" Billy. It's stripped-down, folky stuff, not exactly what we're accustomed to from the band, which is better known for its noisy, drony, often creepy electronic rock and lights-and-projections live show. The band returns to Pittsburgh tonight for a show at The Shop. Also playing: Fielded, Peter J. Woods and locals Last of England. AM 8 p.m. 4312 Main St., Bloomfield. $7. All ages. 412-951-0622

Comments (0)
Comments are closed.