This weekend proves you never know what you'll find at Belvedere's, the Lawrenceville "ultra-dive" decked out like your cool uncle's basement rec room. It starts with Friday's Record Fest (8 p.m., $3, free for ladies) organized by Max Terasauro, former drummer for the Cynics, Mount McKinleys and Steel Miners.
The record hop lets vinyl junkies shop for platters at night, booze in hand. "One thing Pittsburgh has going for it is good record stores," says Terasauro. "And we've had great DJs going back to Mad Mike [Metrovich] and Porky Chedwick. So we're celebrating that aesthetic."
On hand will be New York husband-and-wife DJ team Billy Miller and Miriam Linna (ex-drummer of The Cramps and The A-Bones), who recently released Mad Mike tribute compilations on their Norton Records label. U.K. DJ Ms. Cadaver Jones ("a facsimile of Jane Birkin, who plays garage, freakbeat and go-go") will join the fray with local spinners T&A and Underwater Culprit, whose radio show "Does Your Hometown Really Care?" is a WRCT-FM favorite.
Between browsing all the vendors, there'll be B-movies and magician Robbie Wise. "Even if you're not into records, it'll be something fun and different from what people usually do on a weekend," says Terasauro.
Surely, few people make music on laptop computers and enter brutal battles for musical supremacy. But that's the theme of the sixth Galactic AssDragon Classic this Saturday (9 p.m., $3 for non-entrants) administered by Dave Crimm, a.k.a. electronic musician 8Cylinder. "Rules are simple," he says. "All you can bring is a laptop, and all material has to be your own stuff. You can make it on the spot or prepare ahead of time. Everyone gets 10 minutes in the first round. We choose what we think are the best, two go on to the final, and we pick a winner."
This year's contestants hail from Detroit, Chicago, Boston and Pittsburgh. "Tons of people who have never played live come out of the woodwork," says Crimm. "It's a good way for them to get their feet wet."
The panel includes Ryan Friedrich (a.k.a. world-traveling breakcore whiz Xanopticon) and a secret judge. The victor receives a 7-inch record release on Akron-based hardcore electronics label No Room For Talent. Rapper Ike Jones and Todd Keebler (a.k.a. Keeb$) will do skits between sets and offer caustic running commentary on the performers a la Mystery Science Theater 3000. "If only they could pick the Stanley Cup winner like that," quips Crimm.
Sign up to compete by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.