Critics' Picks: March 16 - 22 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: March 16 - 22 

Local shows by John K. Samson, I Am the Avalanche and Kimya Dawson, plus a Friday Gene the Werewolf/Bear Cub bill and Bastard Bearded Irishmen for the holiday



John K. Samson is back with a renewed sense of purpose. The onetime Propagandhi bassist rose to fame fronting The Weakerthans, the indie-folk outfit that quietly expressed Samson's sometimes bleak, uniquely Canadian outlook. This year, ANTI- Records released his first solo album, Provincial. Of course, it doesn't stray too far from Weakerthans territory, but at times is more rock, less folk. He plays Club Café tonight; Shotgun Jimmie opens. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $12. 412-431-4950 or


For fans of 102.5 WDVE, the name Gene the Werewolf might sound familiar, as the band's single "I Only Wanna Rock N Roll" has dominated the station's airwaves as the most-played track for the past several weeks. Still riding the success of studio albums Light Me Up and Wicked Love, the hard-hitting band has been making crowds howl at local and regional shows since 2009. Gene and company perform with Bear Cub at the Rex Theater tonight. Nicole Chynoweth 8 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $10-12. All ages. 412-381-6811 or



Here's the thing: Most of the worst offenders when it comes to St. Patrick's Day reveling will probably be passed out on the floor somewhere or hunched over the toilet by early evening. So those of you who are still awake by 9 p.m. are probably a pretty nice bunch. Why not reward yourselves by going to check out one of the better Irish-influenced bands in town, Bastard Bearded Irishmen? The band — which itself will likely be pretty worn down from two days straight of party gigs — hits the stage at Hard Rock Café tonight to give you your fix of Celtic classics and Irish-ish originals. AM 9 p.m. 230 W. Station Square Drive, Station Square. $10. 412-481-7625



Six years passed before pop-punk five-piece I Am the Avalanche released its second full-length album, but many insist the wait was worth it. Avalanche United attracted positive reviews upon its release this past October, with songs like "Brooklyn Dodgers" and "Holy Fuck" demonstrating an obvious musical evolution. Now the Brooklyn band is touring on the East Coast and parts of the Midwest. Check them out at the Smiling Moose tonight with Hostage Calm, The Catastrophe and Mace Ballard. NC 5:30 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $12. All ages. 412-431-4668 or



There have been a couple waves of popularity for Kimya Dawson: Her duo The Moldy Peaches became a weirdo-folk favorite in the early 2000s, when it released its first albums on Rough Trade. Then after they called it quits, Dawson became a big deal again based on her work on the soundtrack of the movie Juno. Her simplistic, often silly tunes have made her a champion of the anti-folk scene; tonight, she plays The Andy Warhol Museum. Your Heart Breaks opens. AM 8 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $12-15. All ages. 412-237-8300 or


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