Music » Critics' Picks

Critics' Picks: September 25 - October 1

Local shows by Juniper Rising, Waxahatchee and Immortal Technique, plus a new album from The Bloody Seaman, and Aaron Pfeiffer returns home

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[ALT-COUNTRY] + THU., SEPT. 26

If recent Breaking Bad episodes have piqued your interested in the Wild West, leave it to Juniper Rising to take you there — without the violence and meth labs, of course. The Brooklyn-based four-piece has been together for only a year, but their captivating mix of lo-fi surf rock and country-western has already garnered a lot of media attention; their hazy, twangy tunes will put you right in the middle of a modern-day Western film. Promoting their new 7-inch record Days of Heaven, the band plays Lava Lounge tonight with locals City Steps and Paddy the Wanderer. Allison Cosby 9:30 p.m. 2204 E. Carson St., South Side. $5. 412-431-5282 or www.lavaloungepgh.com

Waxahatchee at Mr. Roboto Project

[INDIE ROCK] + FRI., SEPT. 27

Finishing up a tour around the U.S. this month before continuing across the pond, lo-fi folk singer Katie Crutchfield, better known as Waxahatchee, will play Pittsburgh tonight. Crutchfield's music is reminiscent of Cat Power and Tegan and Sara, with simple guitar riffs and straightforward lyrics. There's nothing complicated about her sound, and she's not trying too hard; it's just one solid, heartfelt track after another. It could be the unselfconscious '90s indie-rock feel, but Crutchfield's music certainly holds an air of nostalgia for simpler times. Catch her at the Mr. Roboto Project tonight with Screaming Females, Tenement and Cookietom. AC7 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $8. All ages. www.therobotoproject.org

Immortal Technique concert at Altar Bar

[HIP HOP] + FRI., SEPT. 27

Plenty of hip-hop artists have some sort of "controversy" attached to their names, whether deserved, contrived or otherwise. But few come with the voice — or story — of Immortal Technique. Tech calls himself a revolutionary; he rails against racism, classism, war and government conspiracy. He served time for assault after a short-lived stint at Penn State. He came of age as a battle-rapper, and brings that intensity to his often polemical tracks. Tonight, he plays Altar Bar along with Brother Ali; I Self Divine and Diabolic open. Andy Mulkerin 7:30 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $20-25. All ages. 412-206-9719 or www.thealtarbar.com

[POP] + SAT., SEPT. 28

Two years ago, Aaron Pfeiffer left town for New York City; tonight, the singer returns home for a show, with his full band, at Clear Story Studio. The young singer does everything from contemporary pop covers to jazz standards and originals, and does it all with the flair of an up-and-coming pop star. Plenty of singers are OK, but Pfeiffer is next-level; the next time he comes back to his hometown, it might be after he wins a TV singing competition. Get in on the ground floor. The show also includes a live art installation by Ryan Ostrowski. AM 7 p.m. 1931 Sidney St., South Side. $35 (includes drinks). www.showclix.com/event/AaronPfeifferHOME 

[PIRATE PUNK] + SAT., SEPT. 28

Talk Like a Pirate Day may be over, but buccaneer fever is high around town right now — nowhere as much as Thunderbird Café tonight, where The Bloody Seamen, the city's best-known pirate-themed role-playing band, plays an album-release show. The group is calling it Piratepalooza, and while it's not necessarily a baseball-themed show, a shout will certainly ring through the room when the band plays "Pittsburgh Pirate," the featured single from the new full-length, Ahoy Motherfuckers. The Dirty Charms, Semi-Supervillains and Weird Paul all play as well. AM 9 p.m. 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $5. 412-682-0177 or www.thunderbirdcafe.net

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