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Short List: Week of November 11 - 18

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Thu., Nov. 11 -- Art

It's hard, in humble newsprint, to visually represent the eight images going on display today at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. They're print versions of gigapixel imagery -- super-high-resolution, interactive images created by combining up to hundreds of individual digital photos, usually for scientific study. But courtesy of the Fine International Conference on Gigapixel Imagery for Science -- the first scientific meeting exploring such technology, held at Carnegie Mellon University -- you can see a "bait ball" of salema fish off the Galapagos Island; a huge penguin colony; ancient petroglyphs; and more, both panoramically and right up close. Bill O'Driscoll 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Exhibit continues through Dec. 31. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11-15. 412-622-3131 or www.carnegiemnh.org

 

Thu., Nov. 11 – 1990s

If you spent the late 1990s in a college dorm, you're excused for feeling a bit torn tonight. Troubadour Ben Folds plays at Club Zoo, but Barenaked Ladies are at the Carnegie Library Music Hall -- both shows, CP noticed, being put on by the same promoter, Drusky Entertainment. Even if you (cough) "had a million dollars," you couldn't catch both. Might we suggest merging the concerts, into something called ... "Barenaked Folds: Nostalgia for the Nineties"? (Actually, that sounds ... unpleasant.) Aaron Jentzen Ben Folds with Lady Danville (7 p.m., 1630 Smallman St., Strip District; $30; 800-745-3000). Barenaked Ladies with Jukebox the Ghost (7:30 p.m.; 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall; $37-75; 412-368-5225). All ages. www.druskyentertainment.com

 

COURTESY OF ALISSA ANDERSON
  • Courtesy of Alissa Anderson

Fri., Nov. 12

The catalog of Andy Cabic's Vetiver is centered around a mixture of pop accessibility and sonic subtlety. The indie-pop-folk hero's album Tight Knit was released last year on Sub Pop to a warm critical reception. Despite the frontman's close associations with artists on the weirder side of folk (Devendra Banhart, Vashti Bunyan), the album dances between Wilcoesque alt-country and twee pop. Vetiver headlines tonight at the Rex Theater in a show opened by British Columbia's Yukon Blonde and local country-rock heroes The Harlan Twins. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $12-15. All ages. 412-381-6811 or rextheater.com

 

Sat., Nov. 13 -- Words

Joseph F. Szalanski emigrated from Poland. But in 1932 -- during the Great Depression -- he ended up, like so many men, riding the rails. Unlike most, however, Szalanski kept a careful diary of his experiences. Now the son Szalanski never met has used that diary as a basis for a book. Local author Joseph Szalanski discusses and signs Boarding the Westbound: Journey of a Depression-era Hobo (Word Association Press) today at the Pittsburgh Mills Borders. BO 1 p.m. Tarentum. Free. 724-275-5820

 

This Sun of Robert - COURTESY OF RICHARD CLARAVAL
  • Courtesy of Richard Claraval
  • This Sun of Robert

Sat., Nov. 13 -- Art

Among the more striking works at Associated Artists of Pittsburgh's centennial show this year was Richard Claraval's "Faun." The serpentine figure dramatically jutted from the Carnegie Museum's wall, culminating in a human head, arms and torso. The award-winning "Faun" is among the works in the critically lauded area artist's new solo show at Friendship's Spinning Plate Gallery. Titled This Sun of Robert, it addresses the pain of growing up with a verbally abusive parent. The opening reception is tonight. BO 6-9 p.m. Show continues through Dec. 31. 5720 Friendship Ave., Friendship. 412-877-7349

 

Sat., Nov. 13 -- Dance

Nego Gato Afro Brazilian Music and Dance Ensemble is Pittsburgh's pipeline to African culture as it found the New World via the Brazilian slave trade starting 500 years ago. Tonight, founder Jose Sena's company marks its 25th anniversary in the U.S. with From Kongo to Brazil, featuring its trademark elaborate costumes and capoeira, that blend of dance and martial arts. The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater show features special guest Titos Sompa. The Congo-born singer, dancer and vocalist is founder and artistic director of the Michigan-based Mbongi Dance Theater Project. BO 8 p.m. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $10-20. 412-201-4546 or www.negogato.org

 

Sat., Nov. 13 -- Screen

As the country's first full-time professional songwriter, and a pioneer of pop, Stephen Foster (1826-1864) is arguably the most important artist Pittsburgh has ever produced. Each year, the Lawrenceville Historical Society and the Allegheny Cemetery Association fete this native son with the Stephen Foster Music and Heritage Festival. If you've never made it over, visit armchair-style, as WQED-TV's Filmmakers Corner showcases Doo-Dah Days!, local filmmaker John Kirch's hour-long documentary about the festival honoring the guy who wrote "Oh! Susanna" BO 10 p.m. www.wqed.org

 

Sun., Nov. 14 -- Stage

"I don't know how this whole big bad wolf thing got started, but it's all wrong," narrates A. Wolf, who claims he was framed, in Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. Emerald City Theatre's stage adaption of this beloved children's book offers the revisionist version of the classic story courtesy of Pittsburgh International Children's Theater. Its Pittsburgh premiere is today's staging at the Byham Theater, but the show also plays five area schools this week, including Gateway High School (Wed., Nov. 17). Weenta Girmay 2 p.m. Also 10:30 a.m. Mon., Nov. 15. (101 Sixth St., Downtown.) Continues through Sun. Nov. 21, $9.50-11. 412-321-5520 or www.pghkids.org

 

Sun., Nov. 14 -- Comedy

Doctor's office visits, wiggling around UPS packing rules -- it's the everyday stuff picked over by a million standup comics. But Brian Regan makes it work somehow. With his everyman manner and sharp eye for detail -- and lots of funny faces -- Regan's been a regular Letterman guest since the mid-'90s. On the heels of his latest Comedy Central special, The Epitome of Hyperbole, Regan visits the Benedum Center for a show tonight. BO 7 p.m. 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $40. 412-456-666 or www.pgharts.org

 

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Mon., Nov. 15 -- Words

Pete Dizinoff has some serious upper-middle-class suburban woes: He's on the brink of divorce, accused of malpractice and lusting after his best friend's daughter -- who happens to be dating his son. A Washington Post Best Book of 2009 and a New York Times Editor's Pick, Lauren Grodstein's A Friend of the Family (Algonquin Books) builds suspense reminiscent of a Hitchcock thriller. Grodstein visits the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh to read and discuss the novel, which is new in paperback. WG 7 p.m. 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. Free. 412-521-8011 or www.jccpgh.org

 

Maserati - COURTESY OF MARY SLEDD
  • Courtesy of Mary Sledd
  • Maserati

Tues., Nov. 16 -- Rock

Maserati is one of those bands with a name that just fits: Its uptempo instrumental guitar rock sounds like the continental sports car of indie music. The songs on the band's latest full-length, Pyramid of the Sun, build and release with echo-y guitars laying over top of simple synth loops, creating a sound that lies somewhere between Kraftwerk and disco. Pittsburgher A.E. Paterra (Zombi) plays drums with the band tonight at Garfield Artworks; the new record was the last on which the band's late drummer, Jerry Fuchs, played before his death last year. Parlour and Bad Speler open. AM 8 p.m. 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. $8. All ages. 412-361-2262 or garfieldartworks.com

 

Tue., Nov. 16 -- Rock

Along with Witchcraft and The Sword, Priestess is among the recent metal bands that prove metal can still be fun, sexy and rock 'n' roll -- not just a mookfest. The Canadian band debuted in 2005 with Hello Master, which RCA re-released the following year. Priestess has since toured widely with the likes of Megadeth, parted ways with RCA and released its follow-up, Prior to the Fire. The video for its single "Ladykiller" doesn't skimp on blazin' guitar solos or costumes that seem part furry, part Manowar -- perfect. Priestess plays the 31st Street Pub tonight with Naam and Molasses Barge. AJ 9 p.m. 3101 Penn Ave., Strip District. $10 ($12 at the door). 412-391-8334 or www.31stpub.com

 

Mike White at Copacetic Comics - COVER ART BY JIM RUGG
  • Cover art by Jim Rugg
  • Mike White at Copacetic Comics

Wed., Nov. 17 -- Words

If you like your film writing as idiosyncratic as it is smart, you'll appreciate Cashiers du Cinemart, the cheekily titled Detroit zine. After 14 years, editor Mike White has assembled Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers du Cinemart Collection (Bear Manor Media). Nine writers contribute everything from interviews with cult heroes like Bruce Campbell to pop-savvy musings on Star Wars and the blaxploitation flick Black Shampoo; White even tells how he exposed Tarantino's plagiarism in Reservoir Dogs. Tonight's reading, signing and talk with White at Copacetic Comics features Pittsburgh artist Jim Rugg, who did the book's cover art. BO 7 p.m. 3138 Dobson St., Polish Hill. Free. 412-251-5451

 

Wed., Nov. 17 -- Words

A parade of local poets helps The New Yinzer Presents wrap up its 2010 reading-series season tonight at ModernFormations Gallery. More than a dozen poets are on hand, including Ed Steck, Margaret Bashaar, Kevin Finn, Scott Silsbe, Jerome Crooks, Laura Davis and Jonathan Loucks. The event also serves as a retirement party of sorts for poet and TNY Presents co-director Kristofer Collins, who's leaving the TNY staff. As always, the online mag's monthly reading features a potluck-contribution option in lieu of admission fee. BO 8 p.m. 4919 Penn Ave., Garfield. $5 (or potluck contribution). 412-362-0274 or www.newyinzer.com


Thu., Nov. 18 -- Words

The unmanned aerial vehicles known as drones have been a U.S. weapon of choice in the war in rural Pakistan. But their use is controversial. A.S.M. Ali Ashraf, of the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, has done research indicating that such strikes are not precise, that they cannot avoid civilian casualties, and that they are carried out with tacit support from the Pakistani state. He debunks misconceptions about drones and more in today's lunchtime lecture entitled "U.S. Drone Strikes: Three Myths versus Three Realities." WG Noon. 4130 Posvar Hall, Schenley Plaza, Pitt campus, Oakland. Free. 412-648-7426

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