Local "tribute" shows can be a bit weird. Sometimes the night's act seems to be actually trying to sound like the artist or genre being covered -- at others, that's the last thing a band should do. It might depend on who gets the irony memo, or on the audience's average jeans-tightness.
I suspect that the R.E.M. Tribute Night coming up at Brillobox on Fri., March 28 will feature some combination of the two approaches. For starters, it's hosted by The Chad Sipes Stereo, who seem a pretty earnest bunch and who will be -- ahem -- "reconstructing" R.E.M.'s 1985 album Fables of the Reconstruction in its entirety, at the night's end. The remainder of the performers will be playing three to four classic songs each. Life in Bed seems likely to adhere closely to the originals, simply because the band has the chops to do so, but it's hard to imagine Dave Bernabo and his inventive backing band Assembly doing a straight replica. Singer-songwriters Emily Rodgers and Kevin Finn will be performing as well.
Also in loving tribute, perhaps, what's left of The Doors has recently released The Doors Live in Pittsburgh 1970, chronicling a rare night on the band's last tour when The Lizard King was, according to the liner notes, "as clear as he could be onstage, and the guys moved to and fro with him, trusting the journey." If you were actually at this Civic Arena show, and would like to give your own hazy account of this "journey," log on to FFW, CP's music blog, at www.pghcitypaper.com and leave your comments. If you're a ninth-grader with a Doors black-light poster and something to get off your chest, that's OK too.
Finally, a public-service announcement ... with guitars! Art All Night, Lawrenceville's uniquely populist 24-hour art event, will take place this year Sat., April 26, through Sun., April 27. Last year, the event -- which has been held since 1998 -- included 850 local artists and tons of musicians and drew 7,500 visitors, according to www.artallnight.org.
This year, for the first time, Art All Night is offering two stages, both of which are open to any and all local musicians; random lottery will determine who can play and timeslots. (Musicians are not paid for performing.) If you'd like to put your name in to perform at this community art event, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the organization's Web site for more details. Currently the deadline is "probably mid-April."