Critics' Picks: Oct. 9 - 15 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: Oct. 9 - 15

Local shows by Gardens & Villa, OK Go and Outer Spaces, plus a release by folk supergroup The Early Mays, and a birthday for Title Town

click to enlarge The Early Mays
Photo courtesy of Polly Whitehorn

[FOLK] + SAT., OCT. 11

As local folk music goes, The Early Mays are a bit of a supergroup: The trio consists of Judith Avers, Ellen Gozion and Emily Pinkerton, all well known in their own rights. Together, they literally make beautiful music — a play on the Appalachian folk all three are steeped in, with close vocal harmonies, and guitar, banjo and fiddle work. Tonight, they release their self-titled first album, full of beautiful tunes, if not exactly party rock. Andy Mulkerin 7:30 p.m. St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 304 Morewood Ave., Shadyside. $10-15. All ages.

[SOUL] + SAT., OCT. 11

It's survived a change of venue, and at this point lasted longer than either of its direct predecessors — the old Soulcialism party at the South Side's White Eagle and the later Vipers Soul Club — and now it's time for Title Town to celebrate. The monthly, vinyl-only dance night, hosted by DJs Gordy G and J Malls, started at Shadow Lounge and moved to its current venue, Brillobox, when Shadow closed last year. Tonight is the soul-and-funk party's fifth-anniversary edition, where Gordy and J are joined by guest DJs Jordan K and Derek White. AM 8 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $5-7. 412-621-4900 or

click to enlarge Gardens & Villa
Photo courtesy of Neil Favila


Once described as "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed," Gardens & Villa has finally been properly jaded by the arduous journey that is a life in the music industry. The Santa Barbara, Calif.-based synth-pop group recently released its second album, Dunes, with Secretly Canadian. The dancey, dreamy album reflects the three years that have passed since the band's first release: It's tighter and more complex, recorded with Tim Goldsworthy in a converted locksmith's building in Michigan. You can see the five-piece tonight in the comfortably close quarters of Club Café with opener Sandy Alex G. Samantha Ward 7 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4950 or

click to enlarge OK go
Photo courtesy of Zen Sekizawa


Perhaps best known for their dance moves on treadmills, the members of OK Go have continued to produce off-kilter pop music and compellingly complex videos to accompany it since "Here We Go Again" graced YouTube in 2006 and won a Grammy in 2007. Since forming in 1998, OK Go has become known for engaging in collaborations that push the boundaries of interdisciplinary creativity, a feat that can be seen in "The Writing's on the Wall," a video that took over 50 people to create. OK Go is set to release a fourth full-length album, Hungry Ghosts, on Oct. 14, and you can catch the group tonight at Mr. Small's Theatre. We're pretty sure the oddball group will pull out some interesting surprises for the crowd. SW 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave, Millvale. $16. All ages. 412-821-4447 or


As the driving force behind Outer Spaces, Cara Beth Satalino hits a musical sweet spot, writing songs that feel fresh and emotionally familiar. Between stripped-down instrumentation, hooky Breeders-esque harmonies and candid lyrics, the (mostly) Baltimore-based three-piece sounds pretty but rarely cute: Imagine your most rational, sympathetic friend writing songs for Fleetwood Mac, then recording them with Rilo Kiley. The band will be at Brillobox tonight, opening for Surfer Blood and Eternal Summers — do yourself a favor and show up on time. Margaret Welsh 9:30 p.m. Tue., Oct. 14. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $15. 412-621-4900 or

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