Short List: Week of December 31 - January 7 | Short List | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Short List: Week of December 31 - January 7

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Thu., Dec. 31 -- Hip Hop

It's been quite a while since we heard from The Impossebulls. The online hip-hop crew with Pittsburgh connections originally formed in the late 1990s through Public Enemy's message board, and was signed to Chuck D.'s SLAMjamz label. Starting in 2006, Impossebulls members Tirade and C-Doc the Warhammer put out several releases as LOWdown; an Impossebulls remix album, Weapon of Choice Vol. 1, came out in 2007. Anyway, the Impossebulls play their first local show in a long time tonight at 31st Street Pub, with The Lopez from Philadelphia, Tah Phrum Duh Bush from NYC and Thin Sketch. Aaron Jentzen 10 p.m. 3101 Penn Ave., Strip District. $7. 412-391-8334 or www.31stpub.com

 

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Fri., Jan. 1 -- Art

Amid the jungle of orchids at Phipps Conservatory lurk the Longfellows. These tall, thin glass creatures -- they've been adorning area billboards for months -- are now in the final month of their mystical Pittsburgh exhibition. Glass artist Hans Godo Fräbel is internationally famous for his otherworldly creations, many of which are on display with the plants at Phipps until Jan. 20. Clowns cavort on a fountain, colorful lizards emerge from the foliage, jokers dance on playing cards above reflecting ponds ... and Fräbel's Longfellows frolic by a vernal pond. Lucy Leitner 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 700 Frank Curto Drive, Schenley Park. $7-10. 412-622-6914 or www.phippsconservatory.org

 

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Sat., Jan. 2 -- Exhibit

On Feb. 14, 1861, on the way to his inauguration, Abraham Lincoln slept here -- in Downtown's Monongahela House. Two months later, the Civil War began. The dual exhibits that bring the two events together are in their final weekend at the Heinz History Center. Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War and Lincoln Slept Here follow Lincoln's struggles through the war, with video and interactive displays. (Would you have voted for Lincoln in 1864?) Artifacts include: rare original copies of the Emancipation Proclamation; Lincoln's writing desk and top hat; and the very bed and bedroom set the president-elect used that night at the Monongahela House. Museum admission for the exhibits' final two days is half-price. Bill O'Driscoll 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District. $5. 412-454-6000 or www.heinzhistorycenter.org

 

COURTESY OF LISA SCHAFFER
  • Courtesy of Lisa Schaffer

Sat., Jan. 2 -- Music

We know you love a parade. And while it isn't a parade in the traditional sense -- you should've gotten your fill of those on TV yesterday, anyway -- we're pretty sure you'll be into the Philly Folk Parade. It's a tour package featuring three folky Philadelphia outfits: The Great Unknown, The Spinning Leaves and Chris Kasper, and it marches into Howlers tonight. The tour's sounds range from The Spinning Leaves' Americana-tinged soft psych to the more straightforward pop of The Great Unknown, and the similarly triple-A radio-friendly, singer-songwriter work of the golden-voiced Kasper. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5. 412-682-0320 

 

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Sat., Jan. 2 -- Rock

It's been a few years since Brown Angel unleashed its sick brutality on Pittsburgh. In 2005 and 2006, the band, fronted by ex-Conelrad guitarist Adam MacGregor and backed by the rhythm section of Mike Rensland (Magic Wolf) and John Roman (Microwaves, 1985), rained doomy noise-metal on the city with regularity. It's been on a bit of a hiatus since then, with MacGregor traveling and pursuing graduate studies. The Angel returns tonight, though, to rekindle the plodding heaviness and cacophonous feedback at Gooski's. Some other local angels of doom -- death-metal trio Abysme and the shapeshifting Slices -- fill out the bill. (Brown Angel also appears on CP's music blog, FFW>>, this Monday in our "MP3 Monday" feature.) AM 10 p.m. 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $5. 412-681-1658

 

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Sun., Jan. 3 -- Outdoors

Considering the popularity of a certain Stanley Cup-winning franchise, Pittsburghers with their own aspiring Sid the Kid will surely eye scenic Schenley Skating Rink during these chilly months. The hill-topping outdoor rink is open daily (including New Year's Day). Children can take skating lessons Wednesday and Friday afternoons. But from 9:30-11:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the rink is reserved for adults. College students, meanwhile, can jump off the keg-stand for two-hour student-discount sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays. In this Olympic season, figure skaters and forecheckers can share the ice at Schenley -- whose regular schedule resumes, post-holiday, this weekend. LL 1:30-9 p.m. today; hours vary daily. Overlook Drive, Schenley Park. $3-4 (skate rental extra). 412-422-6523 or www.schenleyrink.com

 

Mon., Jan. 4 -- Jazz

With live music quite slow this week, we'd encourage you to start off 2010 by giving your eardrums, dancing feet, liver and whatever else a little time off, too. Aw, c'mon now: This is a great time to catch the Interval jazz night at AVA, featuring pianist extraordinaire Howie Alexander and friends from the city's jazz scene. And if the holidays have left you a little strapped for cash, no worries -- there's no cover charge. AJ 8 p.m. 126 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty. Free. 21 and over. 412-363-8277 or www.shadowlounge.net

 

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Tue., Jan. 5 -- Circus

With its 26 performers dressed as fire hydrants, cars and shoppers, Cirque Dreams Illumination reinvents the urban landscape by bringing the ordinary to life. The first U.S. company to infuse European cirque with theater arts and the American circus, Cirque Productions has toured domestically and internationally since 1993, with themed shows ranging from the holidays to the jungle. In Cirque's first trip to the 'Burgh in 12 years, Dreams Illumination explores an imaginary metropolis, bustling with so much life that even the phone booths -- they still exist in this anachronistic land -- can dance. Acrobatics and dance are set to a unique score that combines jazz, pop, ballroom and hip hop. Meanwhile, the performers, whether posing as inanimate objects or humans, are clad in elaborate, dazzling costumes hand-crafted by the company's wardrobe department. The first of eight shows here is tonight. LL 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Jan. 10. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $21-61. 412-392-4100 or pgharts.org

 

Wed., Jan. 6 -- Poetry

Who says poetry has to be work? Today's Pittsburgh Poets Playshop, hosted by local poet Crystal Hoffman, is all about the fun side of verse; instead of poring over scansion, activities at this all-ages playshop include found poetry (created by isolating and/or arranging phrases already published by someone else) and collaborative writing games. Think less Rubaiyat, more Dada. It's the first in a monthly series at the Carnegie Library Main Branch, and goes down at noon -- making it perfectly timed for those to whom a little experimental poetry for lunch sounds filling. AM Noon. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-622-3151 or newandfeatured@carnegielibrary.org

 

Wed., Jan. 6 -- Cycling

The cold, the dark, the ice -- Western Pennsylvania winters are not exactly conducive to bicycling. But with the right knowledge and proper, gear it's possible to bike safely and enjoyably, for transport or recreation. Tonight's the first installment of Trek of Pittsburgh bike store's winter lecture series. The free talk is Commuting 101, with information about city cycling from Lou Fineberg, of advocacy group BikePGH. The hour-long talks continue weekly this month, with programs on tire choices (Jan. 13) and more. BO 7 p.m. 5965 Penn Circle South, East Liberty. Free. 412-362-8735 or www.trekofpgh.com

 

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Wed., Jan. 6 -- Stage

It took a while -- four decades, give or take -- but the National Football League club that Art Rooney Jr. purchased in 1933 eventually blossomed into the league's top franchise. As the Steelers have since demonstrated, sports has its ups and downs. But one thing's certain: The next five days mark your last chance to see The Chief, the definitive stage account of Rooney's life, related by the cigar-chomping raconteur himself as embodied by lauded actor Tom Atkins. The play, by Rob Zellers and Gene Collier, is popular enough that it's been staged annually since its premiere, in 2003. But now Pittsburgh Public Theatre is retiring it. Eight valedictory performances begin tonight. BO 8 p.m. Continues through Sun., Jan. 10. O'Reilly Theatre, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. $15-65. 412-316-1600 or www.ppt.org

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