Critics' Picks, Oct. 16-22 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks, Oct. 16-22

Local shows by tUnE-yArDs and The Stray Birds; a pair of emo heavy hitters; and Nick Ziegler returns from L.A. with The Forty Nineteens


The Forty Nineteens are a Los Angeles band, but there's a way-back Pittsburgh connection: Before this band, and before his days in The Leonards and Mary's Danish, drummer Nick Zeigler hailed from Beaver County. His current band makes it back to his hometown a couple times a year, and tonight it plays at the Hard Rock Café, bringing a timeless brand of pop-inflected garage rock. The East Enders and Charm & Chain open. Andy Mulkerin 7:30 p.m. 230 W. Station Square Drive, Station Square. $8-10. All ages. 412-481-7625 or

[PUNK] + SAT., OCT. 18

Despite its unwieldy name and a lineup that likely couldn't fit all in one van, The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die is riding a wave of popularity lately. The Connecticut eight-piece(!) recently released a new EP, Between Bodies, on which it continues its work in the vein of late-'90s emo-punk (replete with Kinsella-ish vocals at times). The hard-touring band comes to Cattivo tonight along with a full bill: The Hotelier, Rozwell Kid, Posture & the Grizzly and Brightside, four groups that combined have a name that's shorter than the headlining band's. AM 5:30 p.m. 146 44th St., Lawrenceville. $12-14. All ages. 412-687-2157 or


tUnE-yArDs is complex: The music is difficult to make, and the band name is hard to spell. Creator Merrill Garbus spent two years crafting her intricate 2008 debut album, Bird-Brains, which sold more than $1,000 worth of pay-what-you-want downloads in a short time, before reissues by Marriage Records and then 4AD. Since then, she's added bassist Nate Brennner and put a humanitarian spin on the pop. In 2013, Garbus remixed two of Yoko Ono's songs to raise money for a Hurricane Sandy charity, and a subsequent trip to Haiti provided inspiration for the band's 2014 album, Nikki Nack. Check the pair out tonight at Mr. Small's with opener James Tillman. Samantha Ward 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $18. All ages. 412-821-4447 or

click to enlarge The Stray Birds at Club Cafe
Photo courtesy of Doug Seymour

[FOLK] + TUE., OCT. 21

The Stray Birds won't be wandering away too far when visiting Pittsburgh. The group comes from Lancaster, Pa., where the members united via the local music scene. This quietly powerful Americana music will wow you with its tight harmonies and relaxing tunes. Two years after its critically acclaimed self-titled album, the trio is due to release its next full-length today and will surely be playing a sampling tonight at Club Café. The release of Best Medicine marks the beginning of a nationwide tour throughout the rest of the year and into 2015. SW 7 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4950 or

click to enlarge Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) at The Mr. Roboto Project
Photo courtesy of Derek McNelly

[EMO] + TUE., OCT. 21

As the recent crop of emo-tinged indie bands goes, Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) is tops; the husband-and-wife duo has been around since not long after the first wave of emo ended, and recently put out its second full-length, You Will Eventually Be Forgotten. (It comes with an accompanying graphic novel.) The band's current tour is with Count Your Lucky Stars labelmates Freethrow, and tonight's appearance at The Mr. Roboto Project also includes notable locals Sup, Muscles? and Brightside. AM 7 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $8. All ages.

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