Critics' Picks: Sept 9 - 12 | Critics' Picks | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Critics' Picks: Sept 9 - 12

Mandrake Project releases its latest, plus a couple of Irish music festivals, and visits from Bachelorette and BRAHMS.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID JAMES
  • Photo Courtesy of David James

[INDIE POP] + FRI., SEPT. 9

Australian-born Annabel Alpers sings of her "electric husband" but goes by the moniker Bachelorette. The electronics-supported songstress's latest, a self-titled LP, is her fifth record for Drag City. Tonight she plays as part of Vitaminwater Uncapped Live, a three-day mini-fest taking place in the YMCA building in East Liberty. Rivka, The Hidden Twin and Middle Children play as well, and local artists fill the space with visual art and projections. The weekend includes a show Thursday night, a skateboard and BMX event Saturday, and Down 'n' Derby roller disco with DJ Bonics Saturday night. Andy Mulkerin 9 p.m. 120 S. Whitfield St., East Liberty. Free. www.vitaminwater.com/pittsburgh

 

[IRISH] + FRI., SEPT. 9

It's annual, it's Irish and it's way cooler than that "Celtic Thunder" stuff: This weekend brings us the 21st Pittsburgh Irish Festival. The headlining musicians this year: The Makem and Spain Brothers (the three sons of Tommy Makem, who merged with The Spain Brothers a few years back) and Gaelic Storm. Plenty of quality locals like Callán and na Gaels play as well. AM 4 p.m. Continues through Sunday. Riverplex at Sandcastle, 1000 Sandcastle Dr., Homestead. $10-12 per day. All ages. 412-422-1113 or www.pghirishfest.org

 

[INDIE ROCK] + SAT., SEPT. 10

Words like "cinematic" and "proggy" tend to be thrown around in reference to The Mandrake Project, but the local megagroup (eight members!) led by Kirk Salopek is sounding  more and more like a pop band these days -- in a good way. Bolstered by the vocals of John Schisler (New Invisible Joy), the band's latest, Transitions, is beautiful and moving, mostly in perfectly spaced three- and four-minute tunes. The band releases it tonight at Club Café, with support from the Emily Rodgers Band. AM 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com

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[SYNTH POP] + SAT., SEPT. 10

BRAHMS principle Cale Parks is, of course, the percussionist and keyboardist in the band Aloha; he's also done solo electronic work and collaborated with plenty of others. But right now, BRAHMS -- a goth-ish synth-pop band that sort of sounds like a dark Aloha, to tell the truth -- is his main vehicle. He and his BRAHMS-mates play Brillobox tonight; White Birds and The Crooked open. AM 10 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $8-10. 412-621-4900 or www.brillobox.net

 

[PUNK] + MON., SEPT. 12

It's time for us to thank Dropkick Murphys. The band's Sham Rock 'n' Roll Tour, which kicks off with a big Boston festival before coming here, might be a little cartoonish (replete with Mickey Ward, the Fighter himself), but: Some dates, including today's show at Trib Total Media Amphitheater, include the legendary Belfast punk band Stiff Little Fingers. That band, whose pointedly political debut album Inflammable Material is a punk classic, currently tours with two original members: frontman Jake Burns and bassist Ali McMordie, who rejoined in the mid-2000s. It's a rare Pittsburgh appearance for one of the most notable punk bands of the late '70s. Others on the bill include Chuck Ragan and locals Bastard Bearded Irishmen (a perfect fit). AM 5:30 p.m. One Station Square West, Station Square. $32-38.50. All ages. 800-745-3000

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