Critics' Picks: June 22 - 26 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: June 22 - 26

Local shows by Modest Mouse, Hallelujah the Hills, Retox and Crocodiles, plus WYEP's Summer Music Festival

click to enlarge Modest Mouse - PHOTO COURTESY OF WENDY LYNCH
Photo courtesy of Wendy Lynch
Modest Mouse


West Coast indie-rock staple Modest Mouse has been captivating listeners with its unique and quirky sounds since 1993. The band's long history has seen a few members come and go, including former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and Grandaddy mastermind Jim Fairchild. Although the band's most recent full-length offering came in 2007, the buzz surrounding the current short tour has fueled speculation regarding when the world will see another Modest Mouse release. For now, settle for hearing the band's canon so far tonight at Stage AE. Gregg Harrington 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $39-42. 412-229-5483 or


Sharon Van Etten's latest full-length, Tramp, is undoubtedly her best, and at its high points, her show this spring at the Carnegie Lecture Hall was breathtaking. She returns tonight to play WYEP's annual Summer Music Festival, which takes place in the shadow of the Cathedral of Learning this evening, at Schenley Plaza. Philly roots-rockers Dr. Dog headline, with Great Lake Swimmers and local faves Donora providing support. There's a craft fair and other family fun starting in the afternoon. AM 6 p.m. Schenley Drive, Oakland. Free. All ages. 412-381-9131 or


Hallelujah the Hills is a big ensemble with a big name. The band, which hails from Boston, has gained notoriety the old-fashioned way — by making good records and touring hard. Its latest, No One Knows What Happens Next, came out on the band's own label last month to critical acclaim; it mixes sweet rootsy rock with moments of cacophony and complex orchestration. Its live show is renowned as well; catch the band tonight at Garfield Artworks. Will Simmons and the Bundt Cake Boys and Emily Rodgers Duo open. AM 8 p.m. 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. $6. All ages. 412-361-2262 or


Retox is the most recent project of grindcore musician Justin Pearson, well known for his endeavors since the 1990s (The Locust, Some Girls, Head Wound City, Swing Kids, etc.). While less of a sonic assault than those bands, Retox captures the classic snotty punk attitude with a straightforward yet catchy hardcore sound on the band's debut, Ugly Animals. You won't find Pearson in a bug costume, but you just might wake up with a sore neck tomorrow. Retox plays the Smiling Moose tonight with Oldfears and Wasp Nest Head Dress. GH 6 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $10-12. 412-431-4668 or

[ROCK] + TUE., JUNE 26

Not to be outdone, Brillobox, too, is hosting a band with a former member of Some Girls in it tonight: Crocodiles. The band's latest noisy pop masterpiece, Endless Flowers, features onetime Some Girls guitarist Charles Rowell along with Brandon Welchez, who was Rowell's bandmate in The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower. Endless Flowers is full of summer jams; this is one not to miss. With Devin, Danger Animal. AM 9 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $10. 412-621-4900 or

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