Critics' Picks: Spetember 4 - 10 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks: Spetember 4 - 10

Carousel releases an LP on Tee Pee Records; the Irish Festival returns to Sandcastle; plus local shows by Michael Franti and Spearhead, and Savages


Late last year, Carousel released its debut EP, a collection of three big tracks that bridge the divide between new- and old-school Pittsburgh rock with wandering guitar riffs and a steady rhythm section. Earlier this year, the four-piece, which rose from the ashes of Magic Wolf, signed to Tee Pee Records, home to guitar-worship bands like Coliseum and J. Mascis' Witch. Tonight, Carousel celebrates the release of its Tee Pee debut, a full-length called The Jeweler's Daughter, before lighting out for a European tour. The show, at Belvedere's, also features local punks Zeitgeist and doom band Molasses Barge. Andy Mulkerin 10 p.m. 4016 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $8. 412-687-2555 or


Tune up your bodhrán and get your tin whistle out of storage; it's Pittsburgh Irish Festival weekend! The annual event, at the Riverplex at Sandcastle, kicks off tonight and runs throughout the weekend, with plenty of Irish music to be had along with the potatoes and cabbage. Red Hand Paddy and Gaelic Storm headline tonight, with Carbon Leaf closing out Saturday night and Skerryvore playing Sunday. Of course, plenty of local talent, including Bastard Bearded Irishmen, Corned Beef and Curry and na Gaels, represent as well. AM 4 p.m. Also 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 1000 Sandcastle Drive, West Homestead. $8-14. All ages. 412-422-1113 or

[POP] + SUN., SEPT. 8

It's been a long journey for Michael Franti: The Oakland, Calif.-born singer and rapper came of age in the Alternative Tentacles band Beatnigs, and wound his way through the '90s and '00s in jam-rap-reggae band Michael Franti and Spearhead. The band's latest, All People, sees Franti taking more of a turn toward pop music, though — in addition to bandmates, he worked with pro songwriters like Sam Hollander, Adrian Newman and The Matrix. The result is a catchy, radio-friendly full-length with the kinds of bells and whistles (literally) that are rampant in sugary pop today. If this is Franti's play for pop stardom after all those years on the fringe, it may be working: The album's first single, "I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like)" has been turning up everywhere, from PNC Park to Today on NBC. Tonight, the band brings its sunny vibes to Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead with openers Kopecky Family Band and Michael Bernard Fitzgerald. AM 7:30 p.m. 510 E. 10th St., Munhall. $35-38. All ages. 412-368-5225 or


With its debut album Silence Yourself, released in May, Savages became one of 2013's buzziest bands. Think rhythm-section-heavy post-punk along the lines of Gang of Four or even Fugazi, with vocals along the lines of Patti Smith, or a cross between Grace Slick and The Slits' Ari Up. Tonight, the four-piece plays Mr. Small's, along with opener Duke Garwood. AM 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $15. All ages. 412-821-4447 or

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