Critics' Picks: September 18 - 24 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: September 18 - 24

Local shows by Sigur Rós, Laura Veirs and Angel Olsen, plus Billy Mays III returns home as The Infinite Third



Visiting Pittsburgh for the first time in a decade, Icelandic ambient post-rock band Sigur Rós will perform at Stage AE tonight. The group released its seventh studio album, Kveikur, in June and, with it, seems to be moving in a noisier, more aggressive direction. Up-and-coming ambient-electronic artist Julianna Barwick will also perform at the outdoor show, warming up the space with her ethereal and captivating vocal loops. Barwick's sophomore album, Nepenthe, which was released last month, has received lots of positive press, and her live performances do not disappoint. Allison Cosby 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $34-37. All ages. 412-229-5483 or


Strikingly unlike his late, famed father, Billy Mays III is less interested in yelling about cleaning products on TV and more interested in building ambient soundscapes through guitar loops and other electronic beats. Tonight, Mays will be bringing his intimate — and often meditative — sounds to Howlers under the performance name The Infinite Third. Progressive folk duo Faithful Sinners, which is composed of a guitar and a musical saw, and quiet country duo Western Pennsylvania will also be performing. Seeing the son of everyone's favorite infomercial salesman and a live performance on a musical saw? Yes, please. AC 8 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5. 412-682-0320 or

click to enlarge Laura Veirs music show at Club Cafe
Photo courtesy of Chloe Aftel


It's not so much that Laura Veirs does one particular thing better than every other musician out there — it's more that she puts it all together in a way that few others can. The Portland-based singer-songwriter's latest, Warp & Weft, walks the line between alt-folk and indie rock. Her vocals are natural, at once both expertly controlled and seemingly effortless; the instrumentation on the record is understated but comes together seamlessly. Critics adore her, as do fellow musicians — like Neko Case, who appears on the new record. Fellow Northwesterner Karl Blau opens. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $15. 412-431-4950 or

Photo courtesy of Sabrina Rush


With the gentle warble of Sandy Denny and the dramatic flair of Judy Garland, Angel Olsen —who appears tonight at The Andy Warhol Museum — sounds like someone you might discover in grandma's dusty 45 collection. As part of Emmett Kelly's Cairo Gang collective, Olsen has lent vocals to some of Bonnie "Prince" Billy's recent albums, but the Chicago-based singer-songwriter is a powerful performer in her own right. Olsen's debut record, Half Way Home, is at once vibrantly self-assured, intimately heartbreaking and as cozy as a fall afternoon. With Pillars and Tongues. Margaret Welsh 8 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $12-15. All ages. 412-237-8300 or

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