I wasn't sure that I would be around the 'Burgh this week (spring break for me, woo) but as it turns out I didn't really feel like traveling so here I am in town. Lucky for me, too, because there are a number of shows this week to which I'm planning on going (huzzah, grammar). You should consider checking them out, as well.
Tonight, Monday March 7, we have Laura Stevenson & the Cans at 222 Ormsby in Mount Oliver. I saw this band play with Maps & Atlases and Cults at the Brillobox last August and was really impressed with their sound. They squeezed a lot of people on stage (five or six, I think) and put together a lovely folk/rock hybrid sound. Lead singer Laura had an endearingly playful stage persona, but between the giggly banter she put on some serious displays of singing and songwriting talent. The band, too, did well weaving between stripped-down folk arrangements and some loud-and-proud rock riffs. They have a new album coming out next month entitled Sit Resist and have already released a single track, "Master of Art", an mp3 of which you can download here for free (huzzah, grammar). So I've never actually been to this venue, but it is apparently a popular DIY/donations-only/house-show spot, and it's a short walk from a stop on the 54C, which is how I'll be getting there. A Facebook event says they're asking for a $5 donation with doors at 6:00 and show at 6:30. Also playing are Brightside, WifeBeater, and Fuck yeah, dinosaurs!. I don't know anything about these bands, so I won't pretend to here. In any event, see yinz at the show, and in the meantime, here's their music video for "Holy Ghost" (from their previous debut record, A Record).
Laura Stevenson & the Cans on the web: Website, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bandcamp, Artist page on Quote Unquote Records, Wikipedia, Last.fm
Tomorrow night, Tuesday March 8, we have Eureka Birds at the Commonplace Coffeehouse in Squirrel Hill. I didn't know anything about this band until they emailed me out of the blue last week, but I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the songs they had recently posted on Bandcamp. It's tough to even pick a few genre labels that apply to them, so you should just head over there and listen for yourself and enjoy the lovely indie pop with some folksy/bluesy arrangements. Aw shucks, I couldn't help but name some genres, but don't let that dissuade you. They're on a short midwest tour on the way to Austin for SXSW, so they'll just be a duo at this particular show, with singer/keyboardist Justin and bassist/drummer Kevin, although they're usually a four/five-piece with guitar, bass, drums and cello. I've been to Commonplace once before for a caffeinated beverage and it was scrumdiddlyumptious, but I had no idea they put on shows. It's not exactly a big place so, if you're planning on going, be sure to get there on time to grab a seat and order your cappuccino before the espresso machine presents itself as a noisy distraction. See yinz at the show, and in the meantime, here's a video of them playing "Oh! My Dear", from their debut self-titled album, live on WTMD radio in Towson, MD.
(And here's an (unintentionally?) hilarious promo video they made.)
Eureka Birds on the web: Website, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bandcamp, Last.fm
On Friday night, March 11, we have Low Water and Harlan Twins and Nik & the Central Plains at the Brillobox in Bloomfield/Lawrenceville. Low Water will be releasing their new CD The Taste You Know And Enjoy (the name comes from Squirrel Hill's Aiello's Pizza, hah). I have yet to see Low Water and Harlan Twins play live, so I'm looking forward to that, while Nik & the Central Plains are becoming one of my fave local bands. Should be a fun night of local music (well, Low Water are based in Brooklyn, but a few of them are Pittsburghers). See yinz at the show, and in the meantime, here's a music video for Low Water's tune "Go" from their 2008 album Twisting the Neck of the Swan.
Low Water on the web: Facebook, MySpace
Harlan Twins on the web: Facebook, MySpace, Last.fm
Nik & the Central Plains on the web: Facebook, MySpace, Last.fm
On Saturday night, March 12, we have Magik Markers and Sic Alps playing at The Shop in Bloomfield/Lawrenceville. I saw Magik Markers play to a small crowd at Garfield Artworks about a year ago and was really blown away (it made my Top 10 live shows of the year list). Meandering drum/bass jams with scattered guitar shredding and spoken-word weirdness... it was truly a spectacle to behold, and I can only imagine the vibe will be even better at The Shop. I don't know anything about Sic Alps but I just gave a listen to a couple of free tracks I found online, and they have an excellent noisy garage rock/pop sound. Should be a great combination. See yinz at the show, and in the meantime, here's a video of Magik Markers playing live at a club in Brooklyn in 2007. It is definitely a "free jam". Enjoy.
And here's a fan-made music video for one of my fave songs of theirs, "Taste".
Magik Markers on the web: Website, Facebook, Blog, MySpace, Wikipedia, Last.fm
Sic Alps on the web: Website, Facebook, MySpace, Last.fm