Critics' Picks, Mar. 12-18 | Critics' Picks | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Critics' Picks, Mar. 12-18

Shows by Beech Creeps, Mike + the Mechanics, EarthGang and Cold War Kids

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[ROCK] + FRI., MARCH 13

The members of Beech Creeps are only kidding around — they swear. Hell, they even sport Animal Collective-like aliases (PP Colada, Yka Mofongo and Ron Llave) to prove it. But none of this changes that their self-titled, debut LP sounds straight-up mean. It's an aggressive, noisy collection of feedback-laced rock songs. Vocalist Mofongo (né Mark Shue, of Pterodactyl) won't get less intense than a howl, but can max out at uncontrollable freak-outs. Dirty Faces, Stillborn Identity and Advaeta also perform tonight at Gooski's. Shawn Cooke 10 p.m. 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $5. 412-681-1658

Mike + The Mechanics

[POP] + FRI., MARCH 13

The Mechanics may be different, but the machine's all the same — Mike Rutherford's hugely successful Genesis spin-off Mike + The Mechanics still performs the old hits with a new pair of vocalists. After Paul Young's death in 2000 and Paul Carrack's departure in 2004, Rutherford put the band on hiatus for a few years, before a 2010 comeback with Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar. The band doesn't have any new music in the pipeline, but Mike + The Mechanics will likely celebrate the chart-toppers on its first North American tour in 25 years. Fellow Genesis alum Daryl Stuermer opens for the band tonight at Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall. SC 7:30 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. $45-80. 412-462-3444 or www.librarymusichall.com

[HIP-HOP] + SAT., MARCH 14

EarthGang is very conscious of what it means to be an "Atlanta hip-hop act." The duo of Johnny Venus and Doctor Dot recognize the boxes in which rap fans might place them — the twangy, cerebral interplay of Outkast; the gloriously loud, dumb trap anthems of Migos. EarthGang intelligently navigates these disparate influences to the point where its hometown doesn't have to be a talking point. Even Mac Miller has taken notice, guesting on "Monday," from the gang's recent Torba mixtape — which might be further evidence that our local hero is headed in a promising direction. EarthGang performs at Club Café tonight with Fashawn, DJ Exile and SonReal. SC 9 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $12. 412-431-4950 or clubcafelive.com

Cold War Kids

[INDIE ROCK] + TUE., MARCH 17

Sometimes it only takes one song. "Hang Me Up to Dry" put Cold War Kids and its debut album, Robbers & Cowards, on the map in a way that the band hasn't quite been able to match. Great early singles cast large shadows, but Cold War Kids have emerged over the years with a consistent career of soul-infused indie rock. Even if the group has softened and streamlined over time — especially on last year's hand-clap-happy, Imagine Dragons-type  "First" off Hold My Home — the Kids remain a reliable fixture on alt-rock radio. Cold War Kids play Stage AE tonight with Nevada Color. SC 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $22.50. 412-229-5483 or www.stageae.com

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