Critics' Picks: March 6 - 12

Sunstar Music Festival returns, plus local shows by Lunasa, A$AP Rocky and Deathfix

March 06, 2013
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[FESTIVAL] + THU., MARCH 7

[NOTE: Jeri Lynn Johnson was forced to cancel her appearance at the last minute due to an illness; the opening-night discussion will take place without her.]The Sunstar Music Festival comes around every other March (though the franchise also stays alive with a series of smaller shows in between). The weekend-long event, presented at multiple East Liberty venues by the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, celebrates women in music, with performances and discussions for music lovers and musicians alike. Tonight, it kicks off with a free discussion at The Alloy Studios (5530 Penn Ave.) led by Jeri Lynn Johnson, founder of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra; tomorrow night, at 6119 Penn Ave., Brooklyn goth-pop act Light Asylum plays with local opener Vie Boheme. Saturday night, jazz is the theme at the Kelly-Strayhorn (5941 Penn Ave.), as singers including Spanky Wilson, Etta Cox and Maggie Johnson hit the stage to pay tribute to legendary women of jazz. Andy Mulkerin 6:30 p.m. Continues through Sat., March 9. Concerts $15-25. 412-363-3000 or www.kelly-strayhorn.org

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[INDIE ROCK] + FRI., MARCH 8

There have been weirder transitions, but it's fair to say a glam-rock-inspired album from a former member of Fugazi was slightly unexpected. But Deathfix, headed up by Brendan Canty and including members of other Dischord bands like Medications, does it well. The band takes cues from the early '70s and makes an eclectic mix of rock, power-pop and some weird stuff (there are some rapped parts on the goofy "Dali's House"). The band hits the Mr. Roboto Project tonight on its first East Coast tour. With Allies, Adult Field Trip, Dubpixel with Robin Bell. AM 7 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $7. All ages. www.therobotoproject.org

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[IRISH] + SAT., MARCH 9

With the local Irish festival still going strong after 23 years, a slew of organizations dedicated to the preservation of Irish culture, and one of the only Irish-language programs in the country at the University of Pittsburgh, it's safe to say that plenty of yinzers are proud of their Irish heritage. Still, it's rare that an Irish music act quite so renowned and respected as Lunasa comes to town. Since coming together in 1997, the band, whose members come from counties across Ireland, has carried the flag for traditional Irish music around the world. The group plays at Carnegie Lecture Hall tonight. John Lavanga 7 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $35-39. All ages. 412-361-1915 or www.calliopehouse.org

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[HIP HOP] + WED., MARCH 13

Since he first made a big splash on the web back in January 2011, the buzz building around Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky has been relentless. A$AP proved his chops early on with his mixtape Long. Live. A$AP. and sparked a bidding war between major labels to see who would count the stacks of cash that would undoubtedly pour in when the phenom's music debuted on the open market. The album, also entitled Long. Live. A$AP., showcased A$AP's effortless flow over mesmerizing beats, and established him as more than just another substance-free buzz-rapper. If you've got any doubts, you can check him out tonight at Stage AE with Taylor Gang's Chevy Woods. JL 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $25. All ages. 412-229-5483 or www.stageae.com

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