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

Critics' Picks, Feb. 16-22

Performances by George Clinton, Rotten Sound, Gregory Porter and more

Photo courtesy of William Thoren Photography
George Clinton

[FUNK] + THU., FEB. 16

Do you want the funk? Well, you’re about to get that funk, when George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic roll into Stage AE tonight on the first stop of their exclusive (10 dates only) Mardi Gras Madness Tour. In the 1970s, Clinton, at the helm of bands Parliament and Funkadelic, blended soul and rock to create funky dance music with a message and a memorable stage show. So, roll up in some fresh threads and let ya chest hair show, because the P-Funk Mothership is coming in for a landing. Alona Williams 7 p.m. 400 N. Shore Drive, North Side. $29.50. 412-229-5483 or


As Justin Champlin, a.k.a. NOBUNNY, puts it in his slightly risqué, somewhat unnerving track “Masks On,” “I just like it so much better with the masks on.” Taking cues from theatrical rockers like The Cramps, the NOBUNNY persona is a thing to behold: Champlin performs wearing a shaggy rabbit mask and, often, not much else. Fortunately, the Tucson-based multi-instrumentalist also has the chops to back up the gimmick. Fans of high-energy garage punk, candy-colored power-pop and a good joke will find plenty to like. Tonight, NOBUNNY stops by Howlers with local openers The Lopez, Dumplings and The Spectres. Margaret Welsh 9 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $7. 412-682-0320 or

click to enlarge Rotten Sound
Rotten Sound


Rotten Sound isn’t just a band name — it’s a mission statement. Since forming in 1993, the Finnish band has spent its time making some of the angriest, gnarliest, fastest and all-together scariest-sounding deathgrind around. On its most recent release — last year’s extra-grimy Abuse to Suffer — the sound is as dense and nasty as ever, but the members don’t forget to include some catchy-ass riffs and even some quasi-danceable grooves (if you care to find them). Experience it for yourself tonight at Diesel when Rotten Sound supports Darkest Hour and Ringworm; Rivers of Nihil, from Reading, Pa., will also appear, along with Pittsburgh’s own Greywalker. MW 6:30 p.m. 1601 E. Carson St., South Side. $18. All ages. 412-431-8800 or

[JAZZ] + WED., FEB. 22

Vocalist Gregory Porter debuted in 2010 with Water, a clever and soulful jazz record that introduced his talent to the world. Porter took home the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal album for 2013’s Liquid Spirit; the imagery of liquids appears to be a common theme. One of the joys of listening to Porter is how he balances empowerment and fragility; the songs convey as much triumph as they do defeat. An upbringing with strong connections to his mother and church helped shape Porter into one of this generation’s most inspiring jazz voices. You can, and should, hear it for yourself tonight at the August Wilson Center. AW 7 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $55. 412-456-6666 or

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