Critics' Picks: May 1 - 7 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: May 1 - 7

Local shows by Implodes, Ghostface Killah, Chappo and Jessica Hernandez, plus a film on Silkworm followed by a Karl Hendricks Trio performance



Implodes is a Chicago band, but with Pittsburgh roots. Three of the four members of the droney soundscape outfit did considerable time in bands here. (Ken Camden was in Arco Flute Foundation, Matt Jencik in Hurl, and Justin Rathell in Alpha Control Group C.) On the heels of a new release, Recurring Dream, on Kranky, Implodes comes to its sort-of-hometown to play the Smiling Moose tonight. Andy Mulkerin 9 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $8. 412-431-4668 or


Since his time as a member of Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah has been changing the face of hip hop with his swift, often cryptic, and utterly relentless flow. He's capable of moving back and forth between tough talk and such meandering gems as: "Why is the sky blue? Why is water wet? / Why did Judas rat to Romans while Jesus slept?" The unique combination makes him one of the most universally respected men in hip hop. He rocks Mr. Small's Theater tonight with a bevy of rappers, including Chyron, Mo'$crilla and The Wave. John Lavanga 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $22. All ages. 412-821-4477 or


Pittsburgh's Karl Hendricks Trio shared a lot with the Seattle-by-way-of-Chicago indie-rock trio Silkworm: Both became popular in the indie-guitar-rock heyday of the '90s, and KHT more recently signed with Comedy Minus One, the label whose roster also includes the post-Silkworm group Bottomless Pit. So it's fitting that the Trio's first local show in months is part of a Silkworm tribute tonight at Brillobox. While KHT headlines, the other band on the bill is Heather Loves Silkworm — a Chicago-based Silkworm tribute (who knew?). Before the music, they'll screen Couldn't You Wait? The Story of Silkworm, a documentary about the band and the tragic death of drummer Michael Dahlquist. AM 7:30 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $6. 412-621-4900 or


Listening to Brooklyn-based psych-rock band Chappo can feel like stepping into a time machine. Whether it's the jingling tambourines or the falsetto backing vocals that fill the tracks of its EPs, or the general vibe that the band gives off, there's quite a throwback feel. There's a lot that sets it apart as well: None of the songs feels like an homage to any particular bygone era, and there's a great deal of variety in what the band can do. The key seems to be frontman Alex Chappo's ability to wield his voice with utter versatility, striking whatever tone he requires. The group plays at 6119 tonight. JL 8:30 p.m. 6119 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $10. 18 and over.

[SOUL] + TUE., MAY 7

It was only a few months ago that Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas played Pittsburgh, but it's a welcome surprise to see the band back so soon; its live performance is hard to beat. Led by the singer and sometimes-keyboardist Hernandez — small in stature and huge on energy — the band jams out retro soul music in a very right-now manner. Plus, there's a baritone sax; who can resist? AM 7:30 p.m. Smiling Moose, 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $7. 412-431-4668 or

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