Critics’ Picks, May 19-25 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics’ Picks, May 19-25

Performances by Peach Kelli Pop, The Tilt Room, DIIV, Haldol and The Urinals

click to enlarge Peach Kelli Pop - PHOTO COURTESY OF JULIE PINZUR
Photo courtesy of Julie Pinzur
Peach Kelli Pop

[POP] + FRI., MAY 20 

Equal parts gloomy and charming, Peach Kelli Pop’s sound is overflowing with infectious melodies. The band has mastered the art of combining driving punk with pop sensibilities, and that combination allows for thrashy tunes like “Hundred Dollar Bill” to exist in tandem with the lilting waltz of “Stuck in a Dream.” This spring tour rides on the recent release of Halloween Mask, a 7-inch out on Lauren Records, and will be stopping tonight at the Mr. Roboto Project. Filling out the lineup is the fuzzy-rock darlings Dream Phone, noise-rockers Dumplings and garage-dwellers The Spectres. Meg Fair 7 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $10. All ages. 


The Tilt Room is celebrating the release of its new record, Nostalgic Future. The Pittsburgh-based indie-rock project is guided by the acoustic guitar work of vocalist Mike Swindell. The album features whispers of prog rock, and it ebbs and flows between energetically hopeful and laid-back. Joining the Tilt Room at Club Café is 3 Dudes Chillin’, a mellow, stripped-down trio with hints of reggae and acoustic rock. MF 7 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $8. 412-431-4950 or

Photo courtesy of Salene Mazur Kraemer Photos
The Tilt Room

[ROCK] + SUN., MAY 22 

Coif your Morrissey swoop and ready yourself: DIIV is bringing its bouncy, saccharine rock to Spirit. Grooving bass lines and chorus-pedal-laden guitars guide the memorable riffs and floating vocals on DIIV’s latest release, Is the Is Are. The atmospheric sound marries well with the brooding, intimate lyrics of the project’s leader, Zachary Cole Smith. The Paranoyds will complement the new-wave-drenched sounds of DIIV with a grimier rock sound. Mysterious third opener bring her is sure to fit right in. MF 7 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $15. 412-586-4441 or 

[GOTH] + SUN., May 22 

Philadelphia’s Haldol stops at the Rock Room tonight to share its goth post-punk and dark political warnings. Starting with “Hasbara,” a song about the reason behind Israel’s public-relations effort, the band self-titled LP dismantles topics like oppression, violence and organized religion. Haldol’s sound would be aptly personified by the image of a deeply stern and disappointed grim reaper. Locals Empty Beings, whose brief, aggressive tracks are accented by haunting vocals and eerie licks, will open the show. MF 8 p.m. 1054 Herron Ave, Polish Hill. $5. All ages. 412-683-4418 

[PUNK] + WED., MAY 25

The Urinals, appearing tonight at Howlers, are true punks. The band formed in the late ’70s as a joke but went on to perform with bands like Black Flag, carving out a nook in SoCal’s influential punk history. Lately, the Urinals’ sound is a bit less lo-fi and grimy than the characteristic blistering punk of, say, its ’97 release Negative Capability … Check It Out!, but it still carries the same energy and wit. Next Year at Marienbad, from 2014, offers a more straightforward rock sound, with tracks like “Water / Blood” even expressing some pop leanings. Garage-rock locals Love Letters and a punk-rock-inspired indie rapper from New Jersey, JE Double F, open. MF 9 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $10. 21 and over. 412-682-0320 or

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