Critics' Picks | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Thu., March 31 -- Folk

Colorado's Boulder Acoustic Society is a refreshing departure from the rap and R&B artists that populate the pop charts today. Its music, a hybrid of folk and indie rock, is peppered with accordion, ukulele, banjo, washboard, violin and mandolin. Although the band hails from the western U.S., its music is influenced by the ballads and blues of the South. Brad Jones' raspy vocals are reminiscent of a less mainstream Caleb Followill. Bethie Girmai 7:30 p.m. Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. $15. All ages. 412-361-1915 or


Fri. April 1 -- Folk-Rock

Early on, Over the Rhine played ethereal, poetic rock 'n' roll -- an incarnation I caught at Metropol in the late '90s, long before I moved here. The Ohio-based band has stripped down over the years, musically and in terms of personnel -- down to its husband-and-wife core. Its latest, The Long Surrender, and predecessor The Trumpet Child, are elegant works that balance old-time wistfulness against lively immediacy, Karin Bergquist's soulful folk-cabaret croon against Linford Detweiler's evocative instrumentation; altogether subtle, yet brimming over with rich experience. They play Mr. Small's with Lucy Wainwright Roche. Aaron Jentzen 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $22.50. 412-821-4447 or


Fri., April 1 -- Avant-Rock

It's Holy Bible time at Howlers tonight: The Skull Defekts, the Swedish avant-rock outfit that now features Baltimore high priest Daniel Higgs on vocals, appears along with Zomes, the new project from Higgs' onetime Lungfish bandmate Asa Osborne. Skull Defekts' new Peer Amid really is the most "Lungfish" record we've heard in years: loud, droning rock riffs behind the bearded one's variably sacred and venal verse. Dark Lingo opens. Andy Mulkerin 10 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $8. 412-682-0320 or


Sat., April 2 -- Noise Rock

It's hard to believe all the chaos of Triangle and Rhino's music comes from just two people, but it's true. The frantic guitars, the screaming, the hyperactive boomy drumming -- it all originates in Matt Rappa and Jake Lexso. The longtime local noise-rock duo releases its latest full-length, Fuckin' Howdy, tonight at Gooski's. It's not all insanity; some tracks are nearly ambient -- but they all sound sort of like sounds made by robots in various stages of short-circuit breakdown. Locals Lucid Music, RJ Myato and White Guilt, and Philadelphia's Hermit Thrushes, open. AM 9:30 p.m. 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $5. 412-681-1658


Wed., April 6  -- Psyche

Trying to figure out D. Charles Speer and what kind of music he'll play at a given time can be a challenge. Born David Charles Shuford, he plays with the No Neck Blues Band, an anarchic group of improvisers. On his own, things get more diverse. Later this year, he'll release an album of Cajun-inspired country music. But his solo performance at The Shop draws on his recent release Arghiledes, which uses traditional Greek music as a springboard, adding the influences of dub and '60s psychedelic music. With Pigeons, Ursa Major and Holy Daze. Mike Shanley 8 p.m. 4314 Main St., Bloomfield. $7. All ages. 412-951-0622

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