Critics’ Picks, March 17-23 | Critics' Picks | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Critics’ Picks, March 17-23

Performances by Arkesh, Rangda, The Chieftains, and a showcase of local hip-hop talent, including Hubbs

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[FUNK] + THU., MARCH 17

Putting futuristic synthesizers to good use, local project Arkesh mixes ’70s-style R&B grooves with forward-looking instrumentation to create danceable jams. This collaboration of Pittsburgh musicians brings together a stew of influences: Transcendent Eddie Hazel-style guitar work can be heard next to sweaty saxophone exercises. With nods to Funkadelic, and an irreverence that recalls the best and most soulful moments of Ween, Arkesh is a fresh revisiting of retro funk and soul sounds. See for yourself at tonight’s record-release show at the Rex Theater. Andrew Woehrel 8 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. Free. 412-381-6811 or www.rextheater.com

Rangda
  • Rangda

[EXPERIMENTAL ROCK] + THU., MARCH 17

The experimental guitar-rock trio Rangda — playing tonight at The Andy Warhol Museum — isn’t like other experimental guitar-rock bands. The group (which includes Richard Bishop, Ben Chasny and Chris Corsano) crafts long-form pieces that skirt the line between improvisation and composition. It’s hard to tell where style begins and the other ends, and Rangda neither fits into the willfully un-tuned racket of U.S. Maple, nor with the more disciplined alternative-jam-band style favored by bands like Television. But fans of those acts may well find something to like in Rangda, who mine the middle ground. Dave Bernabo opens the show. AW 8 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $12-15. 412-237-8300 or www.warhol.org

[HIP HOP] + FRI., MARCH 18

Ask about Pittsburgh’s hip-hop scene, and you’ll hear about Mac Miller or Wiz Khalifa, or (depending on who you talk to) maybe even Grand Buffet. Local rapper Hubbs is undeniably from Pittsburgh, but looks to outside influences for his own stylings. His beats are straight out of Southern California in the ’90s, with smooth, lazy grooves and cinematic orchestral samples. His lyrics — deeper and more thoughtful than Mac’s or Wiz’s, and more grounded in reality than the bonkers surrealism of Grand Buffet — seem like the work of someone interested in reviving the poetic nature of the golden age of hip hop. See Hubbs tonight as part of the INVASION! showcase at Howlers, with a plethora of other local talents, including Joel Kellem, LAZYBLACKMAN, C. Scott, PK Delay and more. AW 8 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $7. 412-682-0320 or www.howlerspittsburgh.com

The Chieftains
  • The Chieftains

[IRISH FOLK] + FRI., MARCH 18 - SUN., MARCH 20

In 2005, I traveled to Ireland for 10 days. My most anticipated stop was three days into the trip: A visit to Matt Malloy’s Pub in Westport, County Mayo. The joint was named after and owned by the flautist of famed Irish band The Chieftains. In a stroke of luck, Molloy was scheduled to appear that night. However, a bad tuna sandwich at lunch had me otherwise indisposed that evening and I missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But I and the rest of the city will get three chances to see this iconic group. The Chieftains, featuring Molloy, Paddy Moloney and Kevin Conneff, will play the first of three shows tonight at Heinz Hall, highlighting traditional Irish tunes including “Ferny Hill.” Maybe skip the seafood before the show, though. Charlie Deitch 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $24-104. 412-392-4900 or www.pitsburghsymphony.org


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