Short List: Week of April 1 - 8 | Short List | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Short List: Week of April 1 - 8

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Thu., April 1 -- Words

Did you miss essayist Sven Birkerts and media blogger Maud Newton discussing "The Future of the Book" back in February? You and everybody else: The event, like so many, was postponed due to Snowpocalypse '10. But this Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series forum on the costs, benefits, ups and downs of traditional print media, the virtual pages of Kindle and more, is on again tonight. The forecast, at press time, is snow-free. Bill O'Driscoll 8:30 p.m. Room G-24, Cathedral of Learning, Fifth Avenue at Bigelow, Oakland. Free. 412-624-6506

 

Fri., April 2 -- Music

Easter comes early this year. So today's your last chance in 2010 to avail yourself of the free Lenten Lunchtime Gospel Series. The series, hosted by Rev. Deryck Tines and minister Del Fullum, features local performers singing black gospel music from classic spirituals and hymns to contemporary tunes of praise. It all takes place on the third floor of 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown (across from the August Wilson Center). You can even bring a lunch to eat while you listen. BO 12:15-1 p.m. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-261-1692 or pittsburgh-gospel@hotmail.com

 

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Fri., April 2 -- Outdoors

You've probably heard that bat populations have been decimated by a killer fungus. But there are ways to help out the remarkable flying mammal that helps us by eating insects, as well as by looking cool silhouetted against the full moon. On April 10, Jennings Environmental Center, in Slippery Rock, hosts Woodworking for Wildlife: Building for Bats, a day-long program for ages 16 and up that includes instruction in creating roost boxes (and keeping bats out of your own home). Today's the registration deadline. BO Program: 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sat., April 10 (Jennings Center, Slippery Rock). $15. 724-794-6011 or jenningssp@state.pa.us

 

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Fri., April 2 -- Art

They say Pittsburghers don't cross the rivers, and aren't even especially fond of leaving their wonted neighborhoods. Guess we'll see tonight when three galleries in three communities co-host Rock, Paper, Scissors. Each venue features one of the titular materials as interpreted by leading area artists. At Artists Image Resource, on the North Side, it's paper (cut-outs, sculpture, etc). Lawrenceville's Fe Gallery does scissors; and Downtown's Space rocks out with videos, installation works and more. Fe's Jill Larson curates. Reception times are staggered so you can make all three scenes; each gallery also hosts performance art, and there is free transport between spots courtesy of Molly's Trolleys. BO AIR reception: 6-8 p.m. (518 Foreland St., North Side). Fe: 7-9 p.m. (4102 Butler St., Lawrenceville); and Space: 8 p.m.-midnight (812 Liberty Ave., Downtown). Free. 

 

Sat., April 3 -- Outdoors

Fishing is serious business -- it has its own tools, rules and cable channel. But if you didn't grow up on Golden Pond, fishing can be a bit mystifying. (Where does all this string go? What's with the plastic overalls?) Fear not, budding anglers; Venture Outdoors hosts a beginner's fly-fishing course this weekend, in Ohiopyle. Tackle your tackle box, master the perfect cast, and, who knows, maybe even catch something. Anna Reilly 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County. $80. 412-255-0564 or www.ventureoutdoors.org

 

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Sat., April 3 -- Rock

Dark Dark Dark comprises six players from three cities and pastes together a variety of influences. The band, which recently released its second recording (the Bright Bright Bright EP), plays chamber pop of the post-Decemberists variety, with dueling (and sometimes harmonizing) vocals from main contributors Nona Marie Invie and Marshall LaCount. The new EP at times betrays the New Orleans roots of utility player Walt McClements by going in a jazz direction, but maintains the airy calm throughout that at times recalls bands like Destroyer. Dark Dark Dark plays Morning Glory Coffeehouse tonight with The Steel Pennies. Andy Mulkerin 7:30 p.m. 1806 Chislett St., Morningside. Suggested donation: $5. 412-450-1050 or www.moglocoffee.com

 

Sat., April 3 -- Rock

The alternative '90s were a long time ago, and angst-rock has been kinda passé for years, though plenty of bands still haven't figured that out. Two local bands that have realized plenty of people enjoy fun, well-played pop are Donora and Gene the Werewolf -- not coincidentally, two bands that ended 2009 going strong and show no signs of slowing down. Tonight, they co-headline Altar Bar, with openers Lovebettie and Vesta (featuring members of The Juliana Theory). Aaron Jentzen 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.). 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $10.  412-263-2877 or www.altarbarpittsburgh.com

 

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Sat., April 3 -- Rock

Though singer Andrew D'Cagna does quality work to be sure, it's the lightning shredding of guitarist Jim Dofka that serves as the linchpin for local metal band Dofka. Dofka (the man) has been at it for 20 years, long before the current incarnation of Dofka (the band) came together. Tonight at RPM's, Dofka holds a local release show for its latest full-length, Humanity Bleak. Characteristically dark but not negative or brutal, the album -- a two-year labor of love for the band -- is a showcase of well-written and well-executed mid-paced metal. With Von Dane. AM 10 p.m. 1020 Washington Pike, Bridgeville. $5. 412-221-7808

 

Mon., April 5 -- Talk

Alabama may not seem like the place to find a giant of architecture, but Andrew Freear, of Auburn's Rural Studio, is well respected for what he does on smaller scales with those less fortunate. His work with the school centers on engaging students with the rural community, building sustainable architectural (and personal) solutions to problems in the poverty-stricken Deep South. This evening, Freear continues out the Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture Lecture Series with a talk called "Education of a Citizen Architect." AM 6:30 p.m. Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-268-2354

 

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Mon., April 5 -- Rock

The Courage of Others, the new album by Texas folk-rockers Midlake, will really downshift your day; its brooding, mystical vocals, acoustic fingerpicking and melancholy flutes offer hints of CSNY, Fleetwood Mac and the Brit-folk of Richard Thompson. Midlake plays Diesel tonight, along with Bella Union labelmate John Grant -- formerly of The Czars -- who just released Queen of Denmark, a collaboration with Midlake as his backing band. Both acts conjure '70s AM radio "mellow gold" -- perfect for this time of year. AJ 7 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.). 1601 E. Carson St., South Side. $14 ($16 day of show). All ages. 412-431-8800 or www.dieselpgh.com

 

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Mon., April 5 -- Words

Gregory Maguire has merged Snow White and papal plots, Cinderella and class struggles, the Cowardly Lion and social stigma. Maguire's novel-turned-musical-phenomenon, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, reveals that the infamous green gal is merely a victim of social, romantic and political circumstance. The Drue Heinz Lecture Series welcomes Maguire's fantastical realities and realistic fantasies to the Carnegie Music Hall stage. AR 7:30 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $10-25. 412-622-8866 or www.pittsburghlectures.org

 

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Mon., April 5 -- Rock

"I don't wanna cry my whole life through / Yeah, I wanna do some laughing too," sings Girls' Christopher Owens in his best Joey Ramone croon, over lightly strummed chords that stretch out to nearly seven minutes. There's a sense of ease that directly counters the song's title: "Hellhole Ratrace." The duo's story -- Owens grew up in the Children of God cult -- has no doubt added to the buzz surrounding Girls and their release Album, but the music ain't bad, either. Girls plays Mr. Small's Theatre tonight with openers Dum Dum Girls, presented by WPTS 92.1 FM. AJ 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.). 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $15. All ages. 412-821-4447 or www.mrsmalls.com

 

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Tue., April 6 -- Stage

Meet the Westons: an Oklahoma family with more skeletons in the closet than a hoarder at Halloween. In August: Osage County, the 2008 Pulitzer- and Tony-winner for best play, the Westons bicker, suffer and self-medicate their way through domestic hell. The play by Tracy Letts, who also wrote Bug and Superior Donuts, has been hailed as smart and darkly comic; The New York Times calls it "flat-out ... the most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years." A touring version starring stage and film vet Estelle Parsons visits this weekend for six shows via PNC Broadway Across America. AR 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., April 11. Benedum Center, 803 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $21-55. 412-456-6666 or www.pgharts.org

 

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Wed., April 7 -- Rock

On her new EP, The Ego, local pop songwriter-turned-dancepop singer Ali Spagnola puts forth six tracks of positive, smart dance music that embraces fun without succumbing to lowest-common-denominator lyrics and ideas. Spagnola -- whose projects have included an album and concert that double as a drinking game, and soundtracking a dance performance -- is as much creative artist as she is shape-shifter. At the Rex Theater tonight, she opens for venerable electro-pop outfit Freezepop (the lineup of which now includes Pittsburgh native Christmas Disco-Marie Sagan, though we're betting you won't find her in the phone book under that name). With Plushgun, Mustache Required. AM 7:30 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $12-15. 412-381-6811 or www.rextheater.com

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