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Short List: Week of August 26 - September 2

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Thu., Aug. 26 -- Music

Come hear Bill and Mickey's band -- that would be The Rhythm Devils, led by Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and percussionist Mickey Hart. The band plays Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead tonight with a lineup that includes talking-drum whiz Sikiru Adepoju, known to Pittsburgh audiences through Hart's recent Global Drum Project performances. Unlike that project, the Devils are a more traditional band, with vocalists and guitarists Tim Bluhm and Davy Knowles, as well as bassist Andy Hess (Gov't Mule, Black Crowes). Aaron Jentzen 8 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. $30-36. 412-368-5225 or www.carnegieconcerts.com

 

Thu., Aug. 26 -- Stage

It's radio without the little box, and it's a darn good time. Bricolage continues its Midnight Radio series, reviving the days when actors performed live on air, backed by vintage sound effects. The three-night run that opens tonight features "The Sin Eater," Bob Corcoran's classic suspense tale about travelers stumbling on practitioners of a bizarre ancient custom, way out yonder in Appalachia. (The play first aired in 1962, on the long-running CBS radio series Suspense.) The variety format also includes comedy sketches; a new work by Pittsburgh playwright Tammy Ryan; and musical guest Meeting of Important People (unplugged). Your repertory company features Tony Bingham, Tami Dixon, Wali Jamal, Sheila McKenna and Angela M. Vesco. Bill O'Driscoll 9 p.m. Also 9 p.m. Fri., Aug. 27, and 9 p.m. Sat., Aug. 28. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10 (tonight); $20 (other nights). www.webbricolage.org

 

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Friday Aug. 27 – Rock

In pop and rock circles, My Morning Jacket is one of those rare acts that doesn't get a lot of flak from any one crowd: While not everyone digs everything Jim James and company put out, few question that they've got a knack for well-written songs that don't offend the senses. MMJ is versatile and thoughtful, an instance of a real talent making it (relatively) big. A similarly respectable rock band, locals 28 North, hits its hometown on the tail end of a summer-long tour to open the show tonight at the Trib Total Media Amphitheatre. Andy Mulkerin 6 p.m. Station Square, South Side. $35.50-40. 412-642-1100 or tribtotalmediaamp.com

 

ART BY LEX COVATO
  • Art by Lex Covato

Fri., Aug. 27 -- Art

For the show opening tonight at Fe Gallery, the artists are writing all over the walls -- and at the closing reception, visitors will have the same privilege. The idea is to create "permanent" (if painted-over) art in the storefront gallery; the show, titled Leaving My Mark, is the penultimate as curator for Jill Larson, who founded Fe seven years ago. (Larson will remain both in town and involved with the gallery). The 10 artists include Steven Boksenbaum, Lex Covato, Deanna Mance and Thomas M. Weprich. BO 7-9 p.m. Show continues through Oct. 9. 4102 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Free. 412-412-860-6028

 

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Friday Aug. 27 – Games

It's been a year since the inception of Obscure Games Pittsburgh, the group that brings us opportunities to take part in sports like stickball, human curling and silverball (human pinball). How do you celebrate a birthday like that? With the Steel City Games Fest -- a weekend-long event featuring the best and weirdest obscure sports ever (or never) invented. The games take place at various East End venues, from Bloomfield to Braddock, in addition to infiltrating Hothouse, the annual party run by the festival's funders, the Sprout Fund. It's all free and open to anyone of any skill level over 18. AM 8 p.m. Continues daily through Sun., Aug. 29. Opening festivities at Ellis School Armory, 6482 Aurelia St., Shadyside. Free. steelcitygamesfest.com

 

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Fri., Aug. 27 -- Comedy

"Before 9/11, I was a nigger. All of a sudden on 9/11, I'm an American. White people run up to me, 'Mr. Nigger, we love you! Come here, welcome to the family!' ... That shit lasted 30 days. But I made a come-up in them 30 days. All my loans got paid. Nigger got credit cards. I knew what it was to be a white American for 30 days." Actor and stand-up comic Eddie Griffin does four shows at the Improv, starting with two tonight. BO 8 and 10:30 p.m. Also 7 and 9:30 p.m. Sat., Aug. 28. 166 E. Bridge St., West Homestead. $30. 412-462-5233 or www.improv.com

 

Sat., Aug., 28 -- Outdoors

Morels, chanterelles and boletes, oh my! But when it comes to mushrooms, let's be honest: It's sometimes hard to know what you're looking at. Train your mycological eye with expert Ron Donlan at the Mushroom Workshop at Jennings Environmental Education Center. Learn about these important and oft-misunderstood fungi and enjoy a woodland stroll, during which you'll touch, smell and learn to identify which mushrooms are safe to taste and which are best left alone. Registration is required. Jenelle Pifer 10 a.m.–1 p.m. 2951 Prospect Road, Slippery Rock. Free. 724-794-6011 or www.dcnr.state.pa.us

 

Sat., Aug., 28 -- Outdoors

Before the days get too much shorter and the clouds too much thicker, Pittsburghers of all ages have several more prime weeks to get out and play. Today's opportunity is Venture Outdoors' third and final free Family Outdoor Festival, which sets up camp in Allegheny Commons. The calm waters of Lake Elizabeth facilitate beginner-friendly kayaking, as well as hiking, biking, rock-climbing and geocaching, all in Pittsburgh's oldest city park. All-day music is provided by DJ Nick Nice, with a performance by Royal Tribe Music. JP Noon-4 p.m. North Side. Free. 412-255-0564 or www.ventureoutdoors.org

 

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Sat., Aug. 28 -- Rock

The longtime San Francisco punk band Swingin' Utters is still around after more than 20 years. But if, like some of us, you haven't checked in with the band since Five Lessons Learned, know this: Much of the melodic '77 throwback vibe that characterized early Utters has been updated with a Pogues-y folk-punk sound, informed by friends like Dropkick Murphys and One Man Army (whose Jack Dalrymple now plays with the Utters). They appear tonight at Diesel in support of a new EP (Brand New Lungs) and in anticipation of a full-length to be issued next month. With The Menzingers, Rustbelt Homewreckers, Dollar Shots. AM 7 p.m. 1601 E. Carson St., South Side. $14-16. All ages. 412-431-8800

 

Sat., Aug. 28 -- Rock

By this point, you probably know how you feel about Coheed and Cambria. (It's probably similar to how you feel about Rush.) Plenty of emo and hardcore bands have taken a page from C&C over the past decade, but none have come close to the band's epic, proggy sweep and surprising commercial success. The group's latest, Year of the Black Rainbow, is a prequel to its four previous albums, all of which follow a sci-fi storyline, penned by singer/guitarist Claudio Sanchez, called "The Amory Wars." Yup. C&C plays Ches-A-Rena tonight, with guests Circa Survive and The Dear Hunter. AJ 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.). 1216 Pittsburgh St., Cheswick. $27.50. 412-589-4244 or www.chesarenapgh.com

 

Sat., Aug. 28 -- Festival

If you're one of those people who loves it when a few thousand scenesters, arts types and party folk converge upon a single destination for an evening, you probably already know about tonight's Hothouse. The eighth edition of the Sprout Fund's "live annual report" and fundraising bash sets up shop at the cavernous old Don Allen Auto City, in Bloomfield. Sprout funds everything from individual artists to community initiatives on the environment; Hothouse showcases these ventures, plus live music and other performances, and food and drink from local outlets. Tonight's bands include Slim Cessna and Friends, and The Working Poor. Sprout's still seeking volunteers, who get in free. BO 9-midnight ($25-60); the 7-9 p.m. VIP party is $150. Baum Boulevard at Liberty Avenue, Bloomfield. www.sproutfund.org

 

Sun., Aug., 29 -- Food

Few summer taste sensations are more celebrated (or worth the bad breath) than the alluring combo of tomato and garlic. Sing the praises of the pair at the sixth annual Red, Ripe & Roasted: Tomato & Garlic Festival, at Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Held on the front lawn and in Phipps' outdoor garden, this year's festival features a culinary demonstration and tasting, seed swap, farmer's market and guest appearances by chef Joe Colantuono and gardening expert Doug Oster. Donate a bag of fresh produce to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and get in free. JP 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 1 Schenley Park, Oakland. $9-12. 412-622-6914 or www.phipps.conservatory.org

 

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Wed., Sept. 1 -- Rock

With an arty, psychedelic new album out on Frenchkiss Records, and buzz from the likes of Pitchfork, new Brooklyn band Suckers seems on a roll, after forming just two years ago. Their album Wild Smile offers a contemporary take on quality New Wave source material like David Byrne, with wild vocals that occasionally break into Princely falsettos, such as on the twitchy track "Before Your Birthday Ends." Suckers play Brillobox tonight with local rock outfit Casino Bulldogs (themselves enjoying a higher profile these days) and We Are the Dead. AJ 9:30 p.m. (doors at 9 p.m.). 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $8. 412-621-4900 or www.brillobox.net

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