Critics' Picks | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Critics' Picks

Local shows by Comeback Kid, The Polyphonic Spree, David Krakauer and Sonny Vincent, plus a CD release show for Shark Tank.

[PUNK] + THU., MAY 17

What's not to love about a band named after a newspaper headline mentioning Mario Lemieux's 2000 professional hockey return? Canadian hardcore punk act Comeback Kid has been playing its unique style of aggressive yet positive hardcore since 2002; the band's most recent album for Victory Records is 2010's Symptoms and Curses. Comeback Kid plays the Smiling Moose tonight, along with California hardcore band Rotting Out, melodic Boston metal from Lions Lions, and locals Featherlight and Tuesday's Too Late. Gregg Harrington 6 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $14. 412-431-4668 or

Photo courtesy of Julie Doyle


How many musicians does it take to produce a grandioso psychedelic pop group? If you're The Polyphonic Spree, it takes about two dozen choir-robed members to create its large-scale atmospheric anthems. Led by vocalist and founder Tim DeLaughter, the band has been featured on the sitcom Scrubs and in Volkswagen commercials. The group, which released a new single this year titled "What Would You Do," plays Mr. Small's tonight with guests Sweet Lee Morrow and New Fumes. GH 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $22. 412-821-4447 or

[HIP HOP] + SAT., MAY 19

You likely know Lord Grunge from the long-standing — and hilarious — rap duo Grand Buffet. But his latest release comes as part of a supergroup of sorts: Shark Tank, with Baltimore rapper Height and DJ/producer B. Rich (a.k.a. Kastle). Tonight, the trio celebrates the release of Fun Youngs, a full-length of tracks that are tight and clever, but not as generally silly as what you'd expect from Grand Buffet. (Not that it's never silly: Take track seven, for example, the hook of which is simply: "No shit!") Tonight's release show also features Hidden Twin, The Lopez and Vox Robotica. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. The Shop, 4312 Main St., Bloomfield. $6. All ages. 412-951-0622


David Krakauer has gotten his feet wet in a lot of different music: A composer and classical clarinetist, he's collaborated with Kronos Quartet, but he also did time in the popular klezmer group The Klezmatics. Tonight, he lends his skills to the annual Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival, which kicks off today with his program Ayre, a song cycle by contemporary Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov. It comprises elements of Jewish, Arab and Christian culture and musical idiom. The festival continues for two more weekends. AM 7:30 p.m. Temple Emanuel, 1250 Bower Hill Road, Scott Township. Also 7:30 p.m. Mon., May 21, at Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Ave., Oakland. $10-20. All ages.

[ROCK] + MON., MAY 21

The Testors were part of the original class of late-'70s New York punk, but — given their quick breakup and meager discography — are a bit of a cult phenomenon at this point. Frontman Sonny Vincent has spent the past 30 years building an impressive repertoire, including solo records, albums with various backing bands, and collaborations with famous names including Moe Tucker of The Velvet Underground. Last year saw the release of a new-to-us Testors single, and tonight he and his current band, Bad Reactions, play Testors tunes and other Sonny Vincent material at Gooski's. Napalm Donut, Cultivator and Secret Tombs open. AM 10 p.m. 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $5. 412-681-1658

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