Critics' Picks: June 7 - 13 | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


Critics' Picks: June 7 - 13

Local shows by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Hume, tUnE-yArDs and Bowerbirds, plus an outdoor show by local hero Girl Talk

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The year 1977 is usually associated with the breakout of British punk; it's also the year Benny Jones established the Dirty Dozen Brass Band in New Orleans. The group has pioneered its own New Orleans jazz style by incorporating elements of funk and bebop into its songs. In its 35-year history, the band has put out more than a dozen albums — the most recent being 2012's Twenty Dozen — as well as collaborations with everyone from Elvis Costello to Modest Mouse. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band plays Altar Bar tonight. Gregg Harrington 7:30 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $15-17. 412-206-9719 or

  • Photo courtesy of Paul Sobota


When it comes to the mash-up game, Gregg Gillis is Pittsburgh's pride and joy. After experimenting with DJing at Chartiers Valley High School, Gillis launched his music career under the pseudonym Girl Talk in 2001, while attending Case Western University. His style of mash-up remixes has propelled him as a heavy hitter in the electronic music scene — and the party scene. Girl Talk hits Stage AE tonight for his first outdoor show there; he helped open the indoor venue on its first weekend, in December 2010. GH 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $25. 412-229-5483 or


Britton Powell has done everything from jazz and improv to rock, and played in ensembles from one person to more than half a dozen. The Baltimorean musician and composer's current group, though, is a four-piece with a relatively conventional instrumentation. Hume, with four records of varying lengths under its belt, explores long-form droney pop informed by something of a dub influence. The band plays tonight at Garfield Artworks; Dean Cercone, Rose & Sara and The Marbits open. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. $5. All ages. 412-361-2262 or


Everyone's got an opinion on Merrill Garbus. The Connecticut native came out of nowhere in 2009 with her home-recorded BiRd-BrAiNs album, released under the name tUnE-yArDs, and she's been ubiquitous ever since, giving a hand to folks like Thao and Mirah and releasing w h o k i l l, which was named best album of 2011 by the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop Poll. Love or hate her face paint, her uke and her unique capitalization habits, she's kind of a big deal, and is playing Mr. Small's Theater tonight. Delicate Steve opens. AM 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $17. All ages. 412-821-4447 or


Bowerbirds — the birds — are the Wrights and Gehrys of the avian world, building fancy houses with lots of ornamentation to attract mates. Members of Bowerbirds, the band, are a bit more subdued. The Raleigh Americana group — Phil Moore and Beth Tacular, plus a cast of supporting musicians — broke out after a 2008 tour with The Mountain Goats, and recently released its third full-length, The Clearing — a pretty and quiet collection. The band is worth seeing live, and plays Mr. Small's Theater tonight; Basia Bulat opens. AM 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $15. All ages. 412-821-4447 or

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