For the curator of the Thu., July 9 installment of CP Remixed -- the quarterly local-music showcase sponsored by City Paper -- we tapped columnist and contributor Manny Theiner, whose expertise includes years as a tireless concert promoter at Garfield Artworks and numerous other venues throughout the city. In contrast to recent curator Girl Talk's selections -- seemingly a representation of his musical bildungsroman, which put rapper Wiz Khalifa alongside experimental electronic artist Michael Johnsen on stage at WYEP's Community Broadcast Center -- Theiner has adopted a more pragmatic route with his selections.
"I wanted to remix the 'Remixed' theme," says Theiner. "Previous installments focused on hip-hop, electronic and experimental acts," which in the context of WYEP, he sees as "like asking Anti-Flag to play with the Pittsburgh Symphony." Instead, he looked for local groups that "should supposedly dovetail with the Adult Alternative format that WYEP espouses": Karl Hendricks Trio, The Cynics, Endless Mike & the Beagle Club, and Slim Cessna.
"All have proven track records, significant discographies and national/international status in either the indie pop-rock or roots-rock fields," says Theiner.
After trying out a four-piece version of the band in recent years, Hendricks is back to his trio format, with drummer Jake Leger and bassist Corey Layman. While Hendricks says he misses playing with second guitarist Alexi Plotnikov, "I just liked the efficiency of having three of us. ... We're all so busy, and music has to fit in where it can." He says they're working on material for a new album, and will play a couple of new songs at Remixed.
Instead of downscaling, Endless Mike & The Beagle Club plan to hit the stage with nearly twice the membership they usually muster -- 16 in all, including horns, accordion, percussion and banjo. "About a year ago, when our record came out, we went on tour, all 16 of us," says Endless Mike, but since then it's been mostly eight. Though the band's roots are in Johnstown, Pa., where Mike is still located, a goodly percentage of the musicians are now based in Pittsburgh. The Remixed show will kick off a sizeable tour to Florida and back. "It's kind of dumb, 'cause it's gonna be so hot," he muses.
While The Cynics are rightly celebrated for their churning garage rock and frontman Michael Kastelic's inimitable style, their acoustic duo set at CP Remixed set will more likely foreground their striking songwriting, which can be overshadowed by the rock 'n' roll bluster. Slim Cessna, the Denver transplant who's usually accompanied by the Auto Club, his acclaimed hellfire-and-brimstone full band, will also perform in a stripped-down format that's sure to offer a different side to his music and the "gothic Americana" genre he helped pioneer.
While several of these groups have received spins on WYEP over the years, Theiner suggests that "the case can be made for [their] inclusion" on a larger scale, such as regular rotation.
The bands themselves, though, may be a little more circumspect. While Endless Mike says he's able to pick up WYEP in Johnstown, "I don't listen to the radio a whole lot, to be honest." Mike is unaware of his music ever airing on WYEP, but freely admits that he's never sent the station a copy. Says Hendricks, "I certainly don't write and record songs thinking of where they would be played on the radio," though he's quick to acknowledge, "but I want people to listen to it!"
As always, Remixed is a suggested $6 donation, which includes free snacks and beer supplied by The Quiet Storm and Penn Brewery. The next installment, scheduled for Thu., Oct. 8, will be curated by local DJ extraordinaire, producer and man-on-the-scene Omar-Abdul R. Lawrence, who most recently celebrated the release of Return of the Cuban Cruise Missile ... a collaboration with rapper BZE.
CP Remixed, featuring The Cynics, Karl Hendricks Trio, Slim Cessna and Endless Mike & The Beagle Club. 7 p.m. Thu., July 9. WYEP Community Broadcast Center, 67 Bedford Square, South Side. $6 suggested donation. All ages. 412-316-3342 x138 or www.pghcitypaper.com
- Stripped down: The Cynics will perform as an acoustic duo.