Critics' Picks, May 14-20 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks, May 14-20

Concerts by Ross Hammond, Apocalyptica, Tech N9ne, and a benefit for Maximum Rocknroll

[JAZZ] + THU., MAY 14

Although the Sacramento jazzman has been at it for more than 10 years, Ross Hammond had never gotten around to releasing a solo acoustic album — that is, until last month's Flight. Hammond's guitar-playing remains as intricate as ever, but for this go-round, he channels his Kentucky roots for a record that's more Americana than jazz. Much like a book-reading in a bookstore, tonight's show with Daryl Shawn and David Bielewicz is at Squirrel Hill's music store, Acoustic Music Works. Shawn Cooke 8 p.m. 2142 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. $8. 412-422-0710 or

[ROCK] + SAT., MAY 16

What began as a Metallica tribute band has since become one of the world's premier orchestral rock acts. Apocalyptica, a group of Finnish cellist metalheads, just released its eighth studio album. Shadowmaker doesn't break much from the formula, aside from the fact that it's the band's first album to feature just one vocalist, Franky Perez. Tonight, the band returns to the home of its former tour manager, Tom Furey, who now works as a live-sound engineer for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Heinz Hall. Apocalyptica takes The McKeesport Palisades stage with Art of Dying. SC 8 p.m. 100 Fifth Ave., McKeesport. $22. 412-400-9977 or

click to enlarge UltraMantis Black - PHOTO COURTESY OF JAMIE HEIM
Photo courtesy of Jamie Heim
UltraMantis Black

[PUNK] + SAT., MAY 16

For one day only, the whole world might mosh as one — at least in a few dozen major cities. Tonight, Dock 5 joins together with a handful of other tight, sweaty rooms across the globe to participate in Maximum Rocknroll's "A Day of Punk and Hardcore Gigs Worldwide." The international event, with hubs in Philadelphia, Columbus and Helsinki (among others), serves as a benefit concert for the nonprofit punk zine. For the Pittsburgh show, organizers have rounded up UltraMantis Black — a pro wrestler from Philly who plays hardcore with members of Pissed Jeans — Bad Noids, Bi Marks, Eel, Mower, S.L.I.P and Swingers Club. SC 6 p.m. 234 Ninth St., Braddock. $7.

click to enlarge Tech N9ne - PHOTO COURTESY OF ADRENALINE PR
Photo Courtesy of Adrenaline PR
Tech N9ne

[RAP] + MON., MAY 18

Tech N9ne cranks out new music at the same machine-gun-pace as his rhymes; hardly a year passes where N9ne doesn't release either a solo or collaboration album on his Strange Music label. It seems like ages since we could classify Tech N9ne as a quaint "underground" rapper — especially since he has A-listers like B.o.B, Kendrick Lamar and Wiz Khalifa on speed dial. Most recently, he brought in Eminem and Slipknot's Corey Taylor for some genre-hopping on this month's Special Effects. And this is partly what makes Tech N9ne an anomaly in mainstream rap — he doesn't care whether or not it's cool to fuse rap, rock and metal in 2015. Chris Webby, King 810, Murs and Zuse open tonight at Stage AE. SC 6 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive., North Side. $25. 412-229-5483 or

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