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Short List: Week of August 13 - 20

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Our fair-yet-hilly city grows ever more bike-friendly, with bike lanes popping up on major thoroughfares and a city bike coordinator a year into the job. Accordingly, the fifth annual Bike Fest is bigger than ever. Bike Pittsburgh's 10-day round of urban and regional races, tours and bike education kicks off Fri., Aug. 14, with a fundraiser at Pittsburgh Opera, in the Strip. Arrive in style: Join other cyclists at 7:30 p.m. by the Cathedral of Learning fountain, in Oakland. Then ride down to nosh on goodies from local establishments, wash 'em down with local brews, and cut a rug to Steve Patchan's band; he's not just the city's bike/ped coordinator, he's also a rock star. (A VIP "Economic Stimulus" pre-party includes a heftier ticket price and jaw-dropping snacks from the likes of culinary rock star -- and cyclist -- Kevin Sousa.) Next morning, if you're not too worn out, combine biking and pinball with a nine-mile ride to the Professional Amateur Pinball Association headquarters, in Scott Township. Meanwhile, throughout the week, a mobile bike-repair shop run by high school kids interning with Free Ride! and Urban Youth Action continues touring the city, hitting spots like the East End Food Co-op, the East Liberty Farmers Market and the Carnegie Library. Other events include the Aug. 23 Tour De History, a jaunt through some of Pittsburgh's historic African-American cultural spots in Homewood, the North Side and the Hill District, sponsored by the Major Taylor Cycling Club and Venture Outdoors. Festival events are accessible to all different ages and skill levels, and many are free of charge. Melissa Meinzer Fri., Aug. 14, through Sun., Aug. 23.www.bike-pgh.org

 

Thu., Aug. 13 -- Music

Attend a live Resonance show and you'll hear traces of Jamaican reggae, American funk and Brazilian bossa nova, to name only a few. The Caribbean quartet's front man, Daniel Muenier, travelled to Ghana and Trinidad to master the steel drums. He founded the band seven years ago to flesh out his sound with a guitarist, bassist and traditional drummer. Tonight, the quartet brings its jaunty, tropical tunes outdoors to the Mr. & Mrs. Ira Gordon Pavilion at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Andrea Bullard 7 p.m. 1047 Shady Ave., Shadyside. Free. 412-361-0873 or pittsburgharts.org 

 

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Fri., Aug. 14 -- Health Care

He's a physician who became a governor who ran for president. As a national Democratic strategist, he helped pave the way for Obama's win. But Howard Dean is still talking health care. Toting his new book, Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform (Chelsea Green), Dean visits today for the Netroots Nation conference, leading a morning town-hall meeting called Rx for Reform. If you can't afford the registration, participate online -- or see Dean this afternoon, at his Joseph-Beth Booksellers signing. Bill O'Driscoll Netroots meeting: 9 a.m. (David Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown; www.netrootsnation.org). Signing: 2 p.m. (2705 E. Carson St., South Side; ticket free with book purchase; 412-381-3600).

 

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Fri., Aug. 14 -- Ribs and Rock

Why is classic rock so often paired with the open-air gnawing of animal bones slathered with secret spicy sauces? Maybe that's just what life was like in the '70s and early '80s. Carnivores should head to the Amphitheatre at Station Square this weekend for Ribs on the River -- and the reaper. Tonight's concert features The Iron City Houserockers and the reunited Buzz Poets; tomorrow it's Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, and on Sunday, the inimitable Blue Öyster Cult. Numerous barbecue vendors will be on hand throughout, burning for you. Aaron Jentzen 7 p.m. ($10). Also 4 p.m. Sat., Aug. 15 ($10-20) and 2 p.m. Sun., Aug. 16 ($10-20). Station Square. 412-434-7600 or www.ampstationsquare.com

 

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Fri., Aug. 14 -- Film

Sure, the 1946 detective classic The Big Sleep is confusing. Then there's Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 remake. Titled Made in U.S.A., and starring Anna Karina in the Bogart role, it's meant as nothing less than a deconstruction of cinema. Legal troubles kept it off U.S. screens until this year; in his new Village Voice review, J. Hoberman called it "the least-seen, most quintessential movie of Godard's great period" and "Godard's most sustained derangement of narrative convention." Or, as Karina's character says, "We were in a political movie. ... Walt Disney with blood." A new 35 mm print visits the Melwood Screening Room for three days, starting tonight. BO 8 p.m. Also 6 and 8 p.m. Sat., Aug. 15, and 3 p.m. Sun., Aug. 16. 477 Melwood Ave., N. Oakland. $7 ($6 students/seniors). 412-682-4111 or www.pghfilmmakers.org

 

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Friday, August 14 -- Rock

Colin Meloy is, at this point, smart-rock royalty. His band, The Decemberists, has produced album after album of folk-inspired, lushly orchestrated chamber pop, moving up the ranks from indie label Hush to Kill Rock Stars then Capitol Records. Nary a bookish pop-nerd doesn't own the band's latest, The Hazards of Love, a concept album grown from Meloy's investigations of Britfolk singer Annie Briggs' 1964 record of the same name. The band brings the rather literary album to life tonight at the Byham Theater. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $45. 412-456-6666 or www.pgharts.org

 

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Sat., Aug. 15 -- Open House

Whether its big blue tower clock is functioning or not, the Brew House is a bona fide South Side institution. Tonight's Annual Brew House Members Exhibition and Open Studio Tour includes fresh art, live entertainment and tours of the novel living and studio spaces carved into this former brewery. Performers include the 16-piece Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra, seeking connections between classical, rock and pop. ELCO's sets feature a collaboration with Tadashi, a Columbus, Ohio-based Japanese dancer and performance artist with a background in Butoh, ballet ... and swordsmanship. Also performing are aerialist Erin Carey (of the Zany Umbrella Circus) and sideshow revivalist Lucky The Pain-Proof Man. BO 7 p.m.-midnight. 2100 Mary St., South Side. Free. 412-381-7767

 

Sat., Aug. 15 -- Film

Fierce poet and academic Audre Lorde spoke truth to power, and pissed off a whole lot of white feminists, pointing out how racism and heterosexism marred their efforts at liberation. The documentary A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde, released a few years after her death in 1992, screens Downtown tonight as part of New Voices Pittsburgh's second annual LGBTQ Women of Color Reproductive Justice series, The Power of Visibility and Voice. Filmmaker Ada Gay Griffin, a native of Washington, Pa., visits to discuss the film. Melissa Meinzer 7 p.m. 937 Liberty Ave. (3rd floor), Downtown. $10 suggested donation. 42-362-7927

 

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Sat., Aug. 15 -- Art

Pittsburgh's only art gallery across the street from a working steel mill marks its first anniversary tonight. UnSmoke Systems hosts Night Out: Braddock, with work by the studio's resident artists and others, including Stephanie Armbruster, Emilia Edwards, Marc Nieson and Josh Tonies. Plus, the repurposed former schoolhouse rocks with tunes from Humanaut DJs Aaron Clark and Paul Alexander. BO 7:30-10:30 p.m. 1137 Braddock Ave., Braddock. Free. www.unsmokeartspace.com

 

Sun., Aug. 16 -- Rock

If you've so much as cracked open the band's autobiography, The Dirt, you have to be surprised that Motley Crüe's not only alive, but feeling good -- and ready to kickstart your hearts again. The band celebrates the 20th anniversary of Dr. Feelgood with an expanded edition of the album and by performing it top-to-bottom on this summer's Crüe Fest tour. Joining Nikki, Mick, Tommy and Vince at the Post-Gazette Pavilion today are Godsmack, Theory of a Deadman, Drowning Pool and Charm City Devils -- and every Aquanetted dude around. AJ 5 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. $16.50-95. All ages. 724-947-7400 or www.livenation.com


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Wed., Aug. 19 -- Zydeco

In 1979, Louisiana organist Stanley Dural Jr., worked up his accordion chops and launched his own band, Buckwheat Zydeco. Thirty years, many albums and endless tours later, the acclaimed musician has released Lay Your Burden Down (Alligator Records). Besides Dural's foot-tapping compositions, the album includes a wide range of covers: the scorching opener, Memphis Minnie's "When the Levee Breaks"; the Springsteen ballad "Back in Your Arms," given a reggae-inflected groove; even a Captain Beefheart song, "Too Much Time." AJ 7 p.m. Diesel, 1601 E. Carson St., South Side. $20 ($23 day of show). 412-431-8800 or www.dieselpgh.com


Wed., Aug. 19 -- Pogo

Who are all those extreme dudes, and why are they boinging around our city? It's Pogopalooza, the sixth annual world championship of extreme pogo! Pogo-ers from around the country, plus Canada and England, elevate jumping around on a springy stick into visual poetry, with flips and stunts and all manner of intense eye-candy. The four-day, multi-venue extravaganza starts today and wraps up with the Aug. 22 competition at Schenley Plaza, in Oakland , where you can watch the best of the best out-wowzer each other. Give it a go yourself -- they'll have sticks on hand. MM Opening performance: 7:30 p.m. (Carnegie Mellon campus, Oakland). Continues at various venues through Sat., Aug. 22. Free. www.pogopalooza6.com

 

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Thu., Aug. 20 -- Music

Cale Parks is probably best known as the blindingly skilled drummer and vibraphonist from Polyvinyl band Aloha. When he's not touring with Aloha, however, he's known to collaborate with bands like Joan of Arc, and has a solo career -- one that brings him to Brillobox tonight. Parks' largely electronic solo work ranges from what might be called IDM to synthpop a la The Postal Service, only way better. Opening are tourmates Lemonade, and closing the evening are the DJs of the regular Brillobox dance night Body Double. AM 9 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $5. 412-621-4900

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