Chart Toppers: Can’t Miss Music Shows This Week

By February 11, 2020 No Comments

Lower-Dens: Photo Credit-Torso

By Margaret Welsh
Pittsburgh Current Music Editor



On Valentines Day, two of Pittsburgh’s best-loved dance-night crews link up for a one-off collaborative event. The DJs of Jellyfish will offer a fine selection of Italo disco, synth, new wave and post punk; Pandemic will be rocking some anti-valentines party tracks, as always focusing on global dance music from dancehall to Thai pop to Afrobeats to Ukrainian hip hop, and more. 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. Brillobox, 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield.



What’s more important than Valentine’s day? Aquarius season, obviously. Even if your planetary placement sometimes puts you at odds with the Aquarians in your life (looking at you, fellow Scorpios), these assertive, independent, easy-going air-signs deserve a little recognition. On Friday, Feb. 14, event collective Darkness is Spreading hosts a dance party to celebrate “music, astrology, love across the galaxy and the Age of Aquarius.” DJs include Darkness is Spreading founder HUNY, BasedGrvce and OneWavyBabe. 9 p.m. Spirit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $5 before 10 p.m., $10 after. 



Photocap: Lower Dens’ Jana Hunter

Photo courtesy of Torso


“I really view the people who benefit most from capitalism as parasites, who leech from us what gives us life, what makes life worth living,” Jana Hunter told Billboard Magazine last September. That spirit, in part, fuels his band’s recent record, The Competition. A lot has happened since the Baltimore-based Lower Dens’ last release, 2015’s Escape from Evil, both personally (Hunter started hormone therapy to transition to male) and globally (everything sucks and is bad!) Regardless, Lower Dens has never sounded more confident, powerful or empathetic: In a dehumanizing age, this new set of post-punk-y synth-pop helps keep your brain, body and heart connected. The band comes to the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls Thursday, Feb. 13. Ami Dang opens. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $18-20.




By the time she was a teenager, Sierra Hull had already performed at the Grand Ole Opry, the Kennedy Center, the White House and Carnegie Hall, and signed a deal with Rounder Records. The Tennessee-born multi-instrumentalist started playing mandolin at age 8, and now, at 28, is about to release her fourth full-length record, 25 Trips. Bluegrass is at the heart of Hull’s sound — Alison Krauss is a major influence and a mentor, and Bela Fleck produced her 2017 Grammy-winning release Weighted Mind — but Hull brings an elegant pop sensibility to her songwriting that is all her own. See her live when she comes to the Carnegie Lecture Hall Saturday, Feb. 15. 7:30 p.m. Schenley Drive, Oakland. $20-35.




A friend recently joked that every big company tells their ad department, “just make a Tim and Eric skit.” It’s probably only a mild exaggeration. If commercial writers aren’t actually being instructed to copy Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s brand of dark, surrealistic, grotesque anti-comedy (which itself is heavily inspired by low-budget commercials and public access television), they’ve at least absorbed it through cultural osmosis. But there’s no substitute for the real thing! And Tim and Eric continue to get weirder, better, and sharper while remaining untarnished by cheap imitators. On Monday, Feb. 17 the duo brings the Tim and Eric 2020 Mandatory Attendance World Tour to the Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland. Please do not miss it, as attendance IS mandatory. 8 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $43 and up.

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