Critics' Picks: June 18- 24 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: June 18- 24 

Local shows by Mayer Hawthorne, Yes, Blitzen Trapper and Blues Control, plus Sean Lally comes home with The Highballers



The Highballers hail from Washington, D.C., but have a Pittsburgh connection: one-time Pittsburgher and former Frampton Brother Sean Lally. It's been awhile since the former scene fixture has played his hometown, but he's been garnering attention in his new environs with his latest band. The outlaw country-and-honky-tonk outfit has gotten high marks for its live show, and clearly wants to put the "alt" back in alt-country. Tonight the band plays the 31st Street Pub with Allegheny Rhythm Rangers and a reunion show for Lally's old band, Teen Riot. Andy Mulkerin 9 p.m. 3101 Penn Ave., Strip District. $5. 412-391-8334 or

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[SOUL] + TUE., JULY 24

Given that he came up in Ann Arbor, Mich., perhaps there's a bit of Motown in Mayer Hawthorne's blood, but the soul singer actually got his start in hip hop, DJing and rapping under the name Haircut. In 2008, he signed to Stone's Throw Records, and his second album, How Do You Do, came out to critical acclaim last year on Universal Republic. The laid-back party dude brings his Henny and ginger ale to Mr. Small's tonight. AM 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $18-20. All ages. 412-821-4447 or


There's more to Yes than "I've Seen All Good People" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart." The band has enjoyed success in its three separate tenures (the most recent revival of the band started in 2008), selling more than 13 million records worldwide since its inception in 1968. The blend of symphonic tendencies and pop charm has thrown Yes into the small roster of bands that were relevant decades ago and still are now. Yes — with Jon Davison, not best-known frontman Jon Anderson, on vocals — plays the Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead tonight with Procol Harum. Gregg Harrington 6 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. $65-120. All ages. 412-368-5225 or


Portland, Ore. five-piece Blitzen Trapper has been a driving force in the indie-music scene. After successfully releasing its first three albums, the band teamed up with Sub Pop to release three additional albums, the most recent being 2011's American Goldwing. The band's blend of indie rock and alt-country has brought acclaim from critics at Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Spin. Blitzen Trapper plays Mr. Small's tonight with guest Sarah Jaffe. GH 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $14. All ages. 412-821-4447 or



It's not often that you hear of an indie-rock duo moving away from New York and into the Lehigh Valley, but that's precisely what Russ Waterhouse and Lea Cho of Blues Control did prior to writing and recording their first Drag City release, Valley Tangents. The result: an eclectic, sometimes epic, often jazzy diversion from the keys-and-guitars band's fuzzy earlier work. Tonight the pair plays Gooski's with Fogged Out and Gangwish. AM 9 p.m. 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $8. 412-681-1658


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