Millvale was one of the communities hit hardest by last week's mondo storms, and though the onslaught certainly echoed the devastation of Hurricane Ivan, the borough's musical destinations fared much better this time around. While traces of the 2004 flooding are evident to this day at Attic Records (witness the discounted CDs and LPs with warped, muddy jackets), this time, the store was prepared.
"That morning, it sounded like someone hammering on the roof," says Attic owner Fred Bohn. On instinct, he says, he began sandbagging the store. Outside, as North Avenue filled with muddy water, tree branches and trash, only a few items were damaged in the store's basement.
Mr. Small's, meanwhile, saw fit to cancel Thursday night's Kill Hannah concert -- probably a good idea, in that Millvale police were operating checkpoints and enforcing some sort of disaster curfew that night. (Yours truly nearly got a ride to the station for violating this.) Yet by the next morning, the venue, which is situated on a rise, was bustling with activity, and had sustained no damages. (In 2004, in the wake of Hurricane Ivan, the venue cancelled nearly a month of shows.)
Local boys turned road dawgs Black Tie Revue were in port Saturday night, celebrating the end of a tour with a show at a packed Gooski's. BTR's Brooklyn tourmates, The Subjects, delivered a blazing set that left jaws hanging and more than a few scratching their heads. Was that jazz-rock? Progressive power-pop? Sonic Youth covering Frank Sinatra? All that's certain is that it put the band's recorded output to shame. Opening the show was the Pittsburgh lineup of The Breakup Society, led by former Post-Gazette music critic Ed Masley. It was a surprisingly sturdy set, especially considering that Masley now lives in, um, Phoenix, and was just in town for a visit -- he misses us all so very much, aww.
Three local punk vets -- Paul Cunningham, Connie Guice and Jim Canfield -- have united under the moniker Bleeding, Sweating and Crying, and have just released a new EP. Love Sickness Bag has a roaring classic punk sound reminiscent at times of the Dead Boys, with chaotic turnarounds set amid Ramonesy changes and occasional surf-guitar freakouts. Bleeding, Sweating and Crying perform at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern on Sat., Aug. 18, with locals Captain Paradox and long-rocking Boston/Philly trio, Grubstake.