Critics' Picks: November 7 - 13 | Critics' Picks | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Critics' Picks: November 7 - 13

Local shows by Catl, Motion City Soundtrack, Sleigh Bells, Earth


[BLUES] + THU., NOV. 8

If you went searching for blues music, it's likely that Toronto wouldn't be your first stop. But that doesn't mean that city's Catl isn't good at rendering old-style, Delta blues music. The trio, headed up by Jamie Fleming (he, properly speaking, is Catl), released its third full-length, Soon This Will All Be Gone, this year, and plays Lava Lounge tonight. Andy Mulkerin 9:30 p.m. 2204 E. Carson St., South Side. $5. 412-431-4668 or (This show was moved from its original location, Smiling Moose.)

  • Photo courtesy of Anthony St. James

[POP-PUNK] + SUN., NOV. 11

Even though it might've taken Motion City Soundtrack a couple years to find just the right line-up, the result was one of the pioneer bands of the current pop-punk sound. Although not as commercially successful as some of its counterparts, the five-piece has become known for its catchy synth-pop melodies and vocalist Jean Pierre's deeply personal, yet completely relatable, take on lyrics. The guys have sold out a few Pittsburgh shows in the past, but tickets are still up for grabs for the show tonight. Catch them at Mr. Small's with Jukebox the Ghost and Now Now. Amanda Wishner 7:30 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $20. 412-821-4447 or


Carnegie Mellon University's Activities Board has a certain talent for wrangling some of the best artists, typically of the indie or underground persuasion. This year it's enlisted indie-pop/noise-rock duo Sleigh Bells to headline CMU's annual Fall Concert. Fresh off their 2012 fall tour, the Brooklyn natives are sure to bring the noise to the Wiegand Gymnasium, with heavy distortion and well-placed stomps and handclaps in tow. See them tonight with dubstep/hip-hop producer AraabMuzik. AW 8 p.m. Carnegie Mellon University. Free for CMU students with ID, $10 to public. 412-268-2105 or

  • Photo courtesy of Sarah Barrick


Earth's 2011 performance at the Braddock Carnegie Library was my pick for show of the year — intense, nearly holy, utterly engulfing. Others in the audience felt sleepy: Earth is as slow-paced and meditative as it is heavy. Since guitarist Dylan Carlson founded the band in 1989, it's shifted from minimalist drone to something more akin to a post-rock Ennio Morricone. The metal roots are still there, though. As Carlson said of the dirge "Ouroboros Is Broken": "If you speed it up, it's practically a Slayer riff." With Eagle Twin, Stebmo. Margaret Welsh 7 p.m. Altar Bar, 1620 Penn Ave. Strip District. $13-15. All ages. 412-206-9719 or

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