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Critics' Picks: November 4 - 5

Local shows by Pow Wows, Indigo Girls and Cold War Kids, plus a Punk Rock Sock Hop

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[FOLK] + FRI., NOV. 4

Indigo Girls are a lot of things to a lot of people. They're activists, pop stars, out-of-the-closet lesbians and the quintessential granola-eating folkies. They're also ripe for parody, but the kind of parody that generally admits a great deal of respect: Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are great songwriters, and have built a passionate fan base. Tonight they headline at the Byham Theater in a show presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust; Lucy Wainwright Roche opens. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $33.50-43.50. All ages. 412-456-6666 or www.culturaldistrict.org

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[GARAGE ROCK] + SAT., NOV. 5

Toronto's Pow Wows come wielding a crunchy guitar tone and simple tunes straight out of the Standells camp of garage rock. The four-piece recently released its standout debut album, Nightmare Soda, as an LP on Get Hip; tonight they join Get Hip godfathers The Cynics for a show at the 31st Street Pub that marks both Pow Wows' Pittsburgh debut and the first local Cynics full-band show since the release of that band's latest, Spinning Wheel Motel. Detroit rockers The Sights play as well. AM 9 p.m. 3101 Penn Ave., Strip District. $10. 412-391-8334 or www.31stpub.com

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[PUNK ROCK] + SAT., NOV. 5

In the Danny & the Juniors song "At the Hop," they sing the line: "You calypso when you chicken at the hop." As a kid, I thought they said, "You can wrestle with a chicken." I was wrong, but wrestling with a chicken would be pretty punk, so maybe we'll want to revisit that idea tonight at the Punk Rock Sock Hop at Howlers. The sock hop -- the first iteration of which happened in State College -- features a host of punk bands, a performance by sideshow guy Doc Huntley, and a '50s costume contest. Bands include locals Ernie and the Berts, The Wakening and Eat the Government, and State College's The Whatleys, Wentletrap and Suicide Success Story. Part of the door take goes to Free Ride, the recycled bike program. AM 8 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $10. 412-682-0320 or www.howlerscoyotecafe.com

 

[INDIE ROCK] + SAT., NOV. 5

Cold War Kids have quietly built a reputation as a powerhouse in indie rock over the past few years. Though the band has been slagged occasionally by Pitchfork and is lacking a novel approach, Cold War Kids have simply put out well-written rock records. Melodic and anthemic, with at times a post-Bruce Hornsby/Peter Gabriel vibe, the maybe-sort-of-Christian rockers have established a committed fan base. Tonight the band plays Mr. Small's Theater; Young Man opens. AM 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $20. 412-821-4447 or www.mrsmalls.com

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