Critics’ Picks, July 30-Aug. 5 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, July 30-Aug. 5

Concerts by R. Ring, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Total Control and Death From Above 1979

click to enlarge R. Ring - PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS GLASS
Photo courtesy of Chris Glass
R. Ring

[ROCK] + SUN., AUG., 2

R. Ring is sort of like that experimental novel you write at night after coming home from your full-time job — for years, you slowly chip away, chapter by chapter, but the day job always takes priority. Well, for Kelley Deal, that day job is being part of one of the ’90s’ more successful indie-rock acts. The Breeders are still touring and seem to be working on new music, so Deal’s output with R. Ring (which is a duo with Ampline’s Mike Montgomery) has been limited to a few singles and an EP on the now-Pittsburgh-based Misra Records. This year, R. Ring shared a split 7-inch with Protomartyr, and Deal guested on “Blues Festival,” one of Protomartyr’s best songs. R. Ring performs tonight at James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy, with support from Essential Machine. Shawn Cooke 9 p.m. 422 Foreland St., North Side. $10. 412-904-3335 or

[FUNK] + SUN., AUG. 2

Bootsy Collins rose through the ranks by playing alongside some funk and soul deities (James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic), but now he’s settled into something of a family band. Collins plays with his wife, Patti, in Bootsy’s Rubber Band, which performs a free concert tonight at Hartwood Acres. Collins doesn’t just spread positive grooves and give back with his music; the Bootsy Collins Foundation supports musical, self-esteem and dental charity work in Cincinnati. SC 7:30 p.m. 200 Hartwood Acres, Allison Park. Free. All ages. 412-767-9200 or


If you gave members of Total Control the choice of listening to only either Joy Division or New Order records for the rest of their lives, the band might not reach a consensus easily. On its great second record, Typical System, the Australian punks tread between detached, machine-gun post-punk and gleaming new wave. The band’s music has a cynical and incongruous vibe that offers little hope or reassurance — so, ideal content for a Monday night show. Tonight, recent Sub Pop signees The Gotobeds and local punk act EEL join Total Control at The Shop. SC 8 p.m. 4314 Main St., Bloomfield. $10-12. 412-951-0622 or

click to enlarge Death From Above 1979 - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
Photo courtesy of the artist
Death From Above 1979

[ROCK] + MON., AUG. 3

When Death From Above 1979 resumed band activities in 2011, it wasn’t quite a reunion. With just 2004’s You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine to its name, the duo didn’t quite have the material to constitute a full-fledged “reunion tour.” So Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler road-tested new material at some noisy, raucous shows (including a SXSW set that found the audience clashing with police). It all culminated in last year’s fuzzy, feedback-slathered The Physical World, which sounded like it could have dropped in 2006 instead of 2014. DFA 1979 performs tonight at Altar Bar with support from The Bots. SC 8 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $26-28. 412-206-9719 or

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