Sometimes you wake up wondering where you are, or where all your money went, or who the hell that is. But for me, Friday's first rays illuminated another heavy-night telltale: mysterious fast-food wrappers. I tried to replay the previous night, staring down at the wrappers like a desperado in an old Western who encounters still-warm campfire embers. "The general's men were here an hour ago ... "
But warm was hardly the operative word the night before, when what started out as a quiet drink with friends led to the Brillobox's Big Throwback hip-hop and funk party. The cold scared away just the right number of people (last month it was oppressively cramped), and those who made it were ready to party: a little breakdancing in the corner, and Omar-Abdul holding court on the turntables, fresh off the release show for BZE's Cuban Smoke Sessions Volume 2.
Another chance to feel the night chill was Friday's Gallery Crawl, Downtown: Instead of spilling into the streets, attendees dashed quickly between galleries. Wood Street Galleries attracted a good crowd, partly due to the fact that the featured band, Shade, actually sounded good in that space -- a nice balance of sounds, unlike the deafening reverberations usually found there on the Crawls.
Remember how, on Prince's most recent tour, you got a free copy of Musicology with each ticket? Well, Woodlab, a new bi-weekly music night at ModernFormations, is gonna be like that ... sort of. Each of the mainly acoustic shows includes a compilation featuring the artists performing that month, produced in limited editions by Pittsburgh-based label Sort Of Records. So, that means your February compilation will feature tunes from David Bernabo, Anita Fix, Hills (Will from The Skinks) and Daryl Fleming, all appearing on Feb. 14, and Pairdown, Kevin Finn, Evan Knauer and Sam Matthews, playing the Feb. 28 show. Visit www.myspace.com/woodlab for more info.
Jason Deutsch might not be a household name yet, but the raspy-voiced Pittsburgh-based pop-rocker is making a bid for a larger audience with a new music video and some glossy new recordings that recall Red House Painters, Goo Goo Dolls and Switchfoot. If you want to check it out, stop by the free video-premiere party Downtown on Fri., Feb. 9, at Olive or Twist, with additional music by DJ Zimmie. (More info at www.myspace.com/jasondeutsch.)