Critics' Picks: July 8 - 13 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Courtesy of Kirk Johnson


North Carolina's Chatham County Line grew out of the punk and indie scene around Raleigh, but the band is bluegrass through and through. The quartet wears suits and sings in harmony -- content to do what they do well, and not ride the jam-band newgrass wave or try to take advantage of the neo-folk mandolin craze brought on by bands like Mumford & Sons. The band plays the early show at Club Café tonight; Ali Klaren opens. Andy Mulkerin 7 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $10-12. 412-431-4950 or


Catherine Cavanagh's band, Chop Chop, plays what sounds like pop music filtered through a completely off-kilter mind. Not intentionally weird pop, but honest attempts at radio-friendly music that just come off as oddball because the songwriter's perspective is that wonderfully skewed. And that's what makes it interesting. Chop Chop's latest album, The Spark, follows the trajectory of a girl who's kidnapped by aliens, in songs with names like "Steal Her in the Night" and "The Shapeshifter Deception." The band plays The Shop tonight; local fractured popsters Robin Vote open. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. 4312 Main St., Bloomfield. $5. All ages. 412-951-0622


click to enlarge Courtesy of Timothy Saccenti
Courtesy of Timothy Saccenti


The breezy single "Take Me Over," from Cut Copy's recent album Zonoscope, musically quotes Men At Work's "Land Down Under." It's a postmodern moment, surely intentional: It calls to mind the fact that both bands hail from Australia, and that the hip 21st-century Cut Copy tends to draw influence from '80s pop. But the band's also counting on us to recall that just last year, Men At Work lost a suit alleging that in "Land Down Under," they copped a musical line from the classic "Kookaburra," written by an Australian schoolteacher. (The Cut Copy song doesn't sample the offending flute riff, for what it's worth.) It's enough to make your head spin, if you aren't too busy dancing when Cut Copy appears tonight at Altar Bar; 1, 2, 3 opens. Andy Mulkerin 7 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave.., Strip District. $27. All ages. 412-263-2877 or


[FOLK] + WED., JULY 13

"Ain't No Sunshine." "Who Loves the Sun?" "Here Comes the Sun." Our star has long been a muse to songwriters, but Saturday Light Brigade's annual Solar Concert Series takes the idea of tunes powered by the sun to the next level: The series features acoustic acts playing through a PA system powered by solar panels. Today's edition features bluegrassy trio Big Snow Big Thaw; the series, which happens in Allegheny Square across from the Children's Museum and is co-sponsored by the museum and the New Hazlett Theater, continues through August with acts like Emily Pinkerton, Tom Breiding and Brewer's Row. Andy Mulkerin 12:15 p.m. Allegheny Square, North Side. Free. All ages. 412-322-5058 or

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