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Critics’ Picks, Oct. 8-14

Concerts by Valerie June, Marsha Ambrosius, Level & Tyson and Birdcloud

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[FOLK] + SAT., OCT. 10

There has been a recent revival of old-time music, including early 20th-century folk, country and blues, albeit updated for a modern audience. Pushin’ Against a Stone, the debut album by Tennessee soulstress Valerie June, was produced in part by Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach, who is himself guilty of perpetuating this trend of vintage revival music. Rather than rehashing electric blues, however, Miss June — whom you can see tonight at the Carnegie Lecture Hall with special guest Anthony D’Amato — looks for inspiration in the field recordings of Alan Lomax and country-blues guitarists like Mississippi John Hurt and Elizabeth Cotten. Andrew Woehrel 7:30 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $49 ($23 with full-time student ID). 412-361-1915 or www.calliopehouse.org

[SOUL] + SAT., OCT. 10

As part of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Soul Sessions Series, English singer/songwriter Marsha Ambrosius will be performing tonight at the August Wilson Center. Ambrosius’ career trajectory has led her from humble beginnings in northern England, and open-mic poetry slams in Philadelphia during the ’90s, to international success in the past decade as part of the hip-hop duo Floetry, and an impressive solo performance/songwriting/production career today. Her résumé includes collaborations with Alicia Keys, Kanye West and Busta Rhymes. AW 8 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $45-55. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org

Level & Tyson - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND
  • Photo courtesy of the band
  • Level & Tyson

[INDIE ROCK] + SUN., OCT. 11

American fuzzed-out indie pop hit its populist peak 20 years ago, back in the halcyon days of the ’90s, when you could still wear thrift-store flannels, play a Fender Jazzmaster through a bunch of pedals, sing like you really didn’t give a shit, and still make lots of money and get your songs played on the radio. Stuff like that is passé in mainstream America today, but in Norway, the self-proclaimed “slacker rock” band Level & Tyson are popular enough to be touring the U.S. The five-piece is playing at Howlers tonight with locals Thousandzz of Beez, Spooky Mulder and Mantiques. AW 7:30 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5-10. 412-682-0320 or www.howlerspittsburgh.com

Birdcloud - PHOTO COURTESY OF BEN BLANKENSHIP
  • Photo courtesy of Ben Blankenship
  • Birdcloud

[ALT COUNTRY] + SUN., OCT. 11

The words “outlaw country” bring to mind the Waylon Jennings and the David Allan Coes of the world. With a deceptively indie-sounding name like Birdcloud, you might not expect that this duo of dirty Southern belles — playing tonight at the Thunderbird Café — makes those old men look absolutely prudish in comparison. Birdcloud’s foul-mouthed lyrics are so filthy, one might compare them to someone like GG Allin, or maybe even 2 Live Crew. Makenzie Green and Jasmin Kaset’s music videos were pulled from YouTube for being too obscene, but you can still always view them on the band’s website. The duo will be supported by Arkansas’ Mountain Sprout and Nashville Pussy guitarist Blaine Cartwright. AW 8 p.m. 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $10-12. 412-682-0177 or www.thunderbirdcafe.net


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