By Margaret Welsh and Charlie Deitch
Dance nights come and go, so a gig that sticks around is worth celebrating. On Friday, Jan. 17, Second Skin celebrates five years of post-punk, deathrock, goth, synth pop and more Join seasoned DJs Huck Finn, Erica Scary and A. Grey for an evening of all things dark and dancible from across the decades. (Margaret Welsh) 10 p.m. Brillobox, 4104 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville. $5. www.brilloboxpgh.com
MUSIC AND WORDS
Having spent nearly three decades releasing music under his own name, as well as Bonnie Prince Billy, Palace Brothers, Palace Music, and Palace Songs, it’s safe to say that Will Oldham is one of the most fiercely beloved songwriters of the modern age. Everyone seems to love him in their own very personal way: Ask 50 fans for their favorite Oldham tune or line and you’re bound to get 100 different answers. He’s released a collection of his lyrics, Songs of Love and Horror, and on Saturday, Jan. 18 the singer/songwriter visits White Whale Bookstore, where he’ll play a few songs, discuss his writing, and sign copies of the book. The event is first-come, first-seated. Limited reserved seats are available for those with accessibility issues. (Margaret Welsh) 6 p.m. 4754 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. whitewhalebookstore.com/events
From the first unforgiving line — “Your excuses are poor like you wish you were” — Decisions’ 2019 EP Act Fast is quick, pointed, and irrisistable. The New York-based hardcore band embraces a lean, dark post-punk sound but never mopes, always driving things forward with ferocious laser focus, keeping everyone on the hook. The lyrics are simple but powerful calls-to-action: Try to hear “Consumer — “Spineless/Vapid/Commodify yourself/Clinging to your subculture to hide your apolitical self” — without engaging in at least a little bit of self-reflection. The band comes to the Rock Room Sunday, Jan. 19. Locals Medium Ugly, Speed Plans, and Big Baby (which, full disclosure, features the Current’s own Meg Fair on drums) open.(Margaret Welsh) 8 p.m. 1054 Herron Ave., Polish Hill.
Best known for the Al Kooper-produced single “White Punks on Dope” — which satirized Hollywood excess and was later covered by Motley Crue (did they get the joke?) — the Tubes, from San Francisco, made music that was too weird and experimental for the mainstream but perhaps too stripped-down and A.M. radio- funky to be considered properly punk. But fans of, say, Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart got it, and the band — who also boasted one of the most theatrical and entertaining stage-shows of the era — enjoyed a cult following. Original members Fee Waybill, Prairie Prince, Roger Steen and Rick Gator Anderson are stick kicking it together all these years later: The band comes to Jergels on Friday, Jan. 24. Rod Wilkins & the L.O.C band and The Wurms open. (Margaret Welsh) 8 p.m. 103 Slade Lane, Warrendale. $32-47. www.jergels.com
The digital world is certainly convenient, but you’d have to be a freak to deny the satisfaction of real, flesh-and-blood (or plastic or whatever) media. On Sunday, Jan. 26 Neo Trash Video hosts the inaugural Pittsburgh Analog & Dead Media Swap at the Smiling Moose. Bring your old VHS to trade, or just stop by to browse the various art pieces, toys, games, videos, etc for sale from a variety of vendors. (Margaret Welsh) 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. Free. smiling-moose.com
Listening to AJ Haynes of the Seratones sing is a borderline religious experience. Her rich, soulful voice is comfortable in just about any range. She can get low and seductive, high and playful and everywhere else in between. The frontwoman of this Shreveport, Louisiana outfit is surrounded by talented musicians who are all on display on the groups latest record, Power.” This record is just as soulful as the band’s 2016 debut, Get Gone. But in the debut, you could hear the band’s roots growing up in the city’s DIY punk scene. Power is clearly funk-influenced and is a breakout record for the group. So if someone asks you where you’re headed on Jan. 27, don’t tell them you’re going to Club Cafe, tell them you’re going to church. Because when you hear this band take off, you’re likely to let out a spiritual “God Damn!!!” (Charlie Deitch) Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side $12 . clubcafelive.com