They grow up so fast! At least that seems to be Joshua Bakaitus' m.o. The Charleroi native was only 12 when he started promoting punk and hardcore shows in his hometown and surrounding suburbs. Since then, his company Bridgeport Entertainment has steadily expanded, hustling mainly punk and hardcore concerts at venues including Mr. Small's and the now-defunct Lawrenceville Moose.
When I interviewed the then-19-year-old promoter for a profile in 2006, he said he hoped to eventually "get a job for a bigger company, not too too big," and now it seems he's done just that. After approaching veteran music promoter Brian Drusky about working together, Bakaitus recently joined Drusky Entertainment as a talent-buyer.
And already, "it's opened up a lot of doors," says Bakaitus, citing booking agents and bands that are now eager to work with him. Drusky Entertainment books many large events in State College and Pittsburgh, including Spoon's April 7 show at the Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead.
Bridgeport Entertainment will phase out live shows as Bakaitus takes his events to the new company. "A lot of things are going to be at Stratus, in the Strip," he says. His ongoing plans for Bridgeport include artist management, such as working with Deep Sleep Empire, a new-to-Pittsburgh band Bakaitus compares to The Receiving End of Sirens and Minus the Bear.
"I definitely want to change it up, too," Bakaitus says. Part of that changeup will be a change of scenery -- with his business moving from Charleroi, he plans to relocate to Pittsburgh in August.
Perhaps it has something to do with the moon or the Mayan calendar, but it seems that this Saturday night is a preferred time for CD-release parties of a rootsy nature. At the Rex Theatre on Sat., April 5, Mark Scheer & Five Star Dive releases All the Time in the World, a collection of Stonesy country-blues boogie with a beer chaser. The showcase will also feature Audios, The Blues Junkies, The Cosmosonics and "strolling performer" Steven E. Adams.
Meanwhile, at Cefalo's, in Carnegie, ex-Houserocker Bill Toms releases his own Spirits, Chaos, and a Troubadour Soul, a largely acoustic disc produced and released by Tom Breiding on AmeriSon Records. Special guests at Cefalo's will include Lorenzo Bertocchini and Erin Sax Seymour. As Toms sings on the new record, "It's Saturday night somewhere."