Critics' Picks: March 1 - 6 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: March 1 - 6

Local shows by Puscifer, Black Milk, Juston Stens, Matt Pryor and The Kooks.


Puscifer started as a joke — a made-up band in a sketch on Mr. Show. It's debatable exactly what it is now. Fronted by Tool and A Perfect Circle head man Maynard James Keenan, the group mixes performance art, Keenan's solo compositions and aesthetics that are generally rough around the edges. ("V" Is For Vagina was the band's first release; Conditions of My Parole is the most recent.) It's generally a playground for Keenan's weirdo mind; tonight he brings Puscifer for its first Pittsburgh show, at the Byham Theater. Andy Mulkerin 7:30 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $45. All ages. 412-456-6666 or


Black Milk came up in the Detroit hip-hop community that nurtured J Dilla and Slum Village; in the early 2000s, he got his break when the members of the latter took note of his mixtape. He's since become an in-demand producer in addition to being an MC on his own; last year, he produced the Black & Brown EP with Detroit MC Danny Brown. Tonight, he headlines at Shadow Lounge; J. Pinder, A.Dd+ and East Liberty Quarters open. AM 9:30 p.m. 5972 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. $8-12. 412-363-8277 or


Onetime Dr. Dog drummer Juston Stens has since moved on: In 2010, he released his debut EP on Park the Van, and this month he officially releases his first full-length, Trash or Treasure. He's been touring with a backing band called the Get Real Gang — which once included Harlan Twins guitarist Carrie Battle — and tonight he stops at Thunderbird Café on the road to South by Southwest. Coronado and Andre Costello and the Cool Minors play as well. AM 9 p.m. 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $5. 412-682-0177 or


Troubadour Matt Pryor has been releasing his variety of folk rock since the mid-1990s. He fronted The Get Up Kids and The New Amsterdams; penned children's tunes in The Terrible Twos; and played in Get Up Kids bandmate James Dewees' solo project, Reggie and the Full Effect. The multitalented Pryor, who released May Day in January, is now touring as a solo acoustic act. Catch him at the Smiling Moose on Sunday with Gypsy and His Band of Ghosts and The Sunflower Spectacle. Nicole Chynoweth 6:30 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $10-13. All ages. 412-431-4668 or


Reminiscent of the British Invasion era, Brighton, England-based rockers The Kooks have had their three albums chart all over the world, including in Germany, Italy, Japan and Ireland. With an image and musical style influenced largely by The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, they have also seen success in the U.S. Their latest single, "How'd You Like That," from Junk of the Heart, made it to the Billboard Alternative Songs Top 40. They take the stage with Yawn Sunday at Mr. Small's. NC 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $25. All ages. 412-821-4447 or

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