Critics' Picks: September 26 - October 2 | Critics' Picks | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Critics' Picks: September 26 - October 2

Local shows by Danielle Ate the Sandwich, 4 Wheels, The Barr Brothers, The Afghan Whigs and Aesop Rock

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[INDIE FOLK] + THU., SEPT. 27

Danielle Ate the Sandwich (real name Danielle Anderson) is just as unique as her moniker sounds. The ukulele-wielding singer/songwriter and Colorado native has come a long way — from posting quirky videos on YouTube to opening for big names like Weezer and Mumford & Sons.  With tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a sweet, airy voice in the same vein as Regina Spektor, Danielle is set to tour the East Coast after releasing her third album, Like a King, over the summer. She plays tonight at Coffee Buddha. Amanda Wishner 7 p.m. 964 Perry Highway, North Hills. Free admission, donations suggested. 412-837-2595 or www.thecoffeebuddha.com.

[HIP HOP] + FRI., SEPT. 28

There are plenty of stories about how hip-hop duos got together; often they start with a childhood friendship or a mutual acquaintance. For 4 Wheels, the circumstance was more unique: Ricardo Velasquez and Namel Norris became friends, and musical partners, because both were victims of gun violence, and are confined to wheelchairs. Now 4 Wheels is part rap group, part motivational outfit for folks with disabilities — and, like any good hip-hop group, Velasquez and Norris have even collaborated with Snoop Dogg. (Er, Lion?) This evening, their Welcome 2 Reality Tour hits the August Wilson Center; it's free, and you're encouraged to attend regardless of disability. Andy Mulkerin 7 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. All ages. Free. 412-648-2066

[INDIE FOLK] + FRI., SEPT. 28

The Barr Brothers play Schenley Plaza this evening, almost a year to the day after releasing their self-titled debut album. Late last year, the record began to take off, and in January, they played Letterman, showcasing their infectious, laid-back single, "Beggar in the Morning." Tonight's show is part of the WYEP Final Fridays series, and as such is a free affair. It does, however, include a tote drive for the Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project. AM 7 p.m. 4100 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. All ages. 412-431-9131 or www.wyep.org 

PHOTO COURTESY OF SAM HOLDEN
  • Photo courtesy of Sam Holden

[ALT-ROCK] + SAT., SEPT. 29

The Afghan Whigs have accomplished a lot since their debut back in 1986. After releasing six full-length albums and signing to Sub Pop around the same time as Nirvana, the quartet was praised as one of the leading alternative-rock groups of the '90s. Since splitting in 2001 and reuniting earlier this year, the Whigs have embarked on their first North American tour in 13 years, bringing their signature dark lyrics and soulful rock sound back to Pittsburgh for the first time since 1999. Catch them tonight at Mr. Small's Theatre; Silencio opens. AW 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Avenue, Millvale. $35. 412-821-4447 or www.mrsmalls.com

AESOP ROCK PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISSY PIPER
  • Aesop Rock Photo courtesy of Chrissy Piper

[HIP HOP] + THU., OCT. 4

No, no, not ASAP Rocky; Aesop Rock! He's been around since, like, the '90s. Right, he's kind of old. He's a good lyricist, but his writing is kind of complicated. Once, a long time ago, he put out an entire album about the concept of labor in America. His new record is called Skelethon and it's on Rhymesayers, the label run by that Minneapolis hip-hop collective. Anyway, he's playing Altar Bar tonight. Probably worth checking out. For an old guy. Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz open. AM 7 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. All ages. $20. 412-206-9719 or www.thealtarbar.com

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