Friday, May 6, 2016

HughShows Weekend Independent Music Guide May 6-8, 2016 
There are always shows happening in Pittsburgh over the weekend that are worthy of your attention and may not be widely advertised in our traditional media outlets. Please go out to #SupportPGHMusic!

Friday May 6, 2016

Saturday May 7, 2016

Sunday May 8, 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cracker at the Hard Rock

 Since 1986 (jeez... where did 30 years go?) I have only missed David Lowery perform in Pittsburgh once. I was in my car on my way to the show when my buddy told me it was already over. Damn!
I never made that mistake again and he returns to Pittsburgh on Friday (5/6) to play a late show with Cracker at the Hard Rock Cafe as blog faves Steelesque support. Get your tickets here. See you there!

First/Last - The Mixus Brothers

"The dusk begins to melt away into the heavens, blending the horizon into inevitable mirage. Heat waves descend in the distance as two shadowy figures begin to come into view. One: the old timer, an axe in each hand and a scowl on his lips. The other: the bandito with a short fuse and a low gauge crowd pleaser slung high on his hip. Such is the beginning, and ultimate end of The Mixus Brothers. Sworn to avenge their alleged slights they travel the dark roads of an America that misunderstands and underestimates them. They're out for revenge, they're coming for you...and nothing will stand in their be on the lookout, Jebbh and Red think your town may be next..."

The Mixus Brothers is an Americana band from Pittsburgh who will be performing songs from their new album Let the Cards Decide this Saturday (5/7) at Diesel Club Lounge as they support Mail the Horse from Brooklyn. I want to thank Johnny Willett AKA Red Mixus (Drums/Vocals)  and Jacob Stempky AKA Jebbh Mixus (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Red Mixus: First LP I was ever given was Nervous Night by The Hooters; first tape I ever bought with my own money was Motley Cru's Girls, girls, girls; and the first CD I bought was Invisible Touch by Genesis....
Jebbh Mixus: First albums I ever bought were (on the same day in 1986) the 45’s of the singles “Stand By Me” (from the soundtrack of the movie) and the Bangles “Walk Like An Egyptian” … I listened to them about 10 times each that night.

Your last album bought?
Red: I'm a vinyl guy, always have been since my youth. Something about how they feel and the great artwork and the last few records I bought were by The Cars, Christopher Cross and Grand Funk Railroad.
Jebbh: Last album I bought was Roger Miller’s Greatest Hits.

Favorite album of all time?
Red: That's always tough. Even genre to genre would be difficult. I mean, could you make a genuine case that At Folsom Prison is or isn't better than Led Zeppelin III? I once listed Neutral Milk Hotel's On Avery Island as the best alt rock album of all time, but I have no doubt that I could debate twenty other albums are better as well...
Jebbh: It keeps changing for me, but some of my favorites are Beach Boys - Pet Sounds, James Taylor – Greatest Hits, Pink Floyd – Obscured By Clouds, A-Ha – Scoundrel Days, Led Zeppelin II, Nirvana – Nevermind, Ice Cube – Death Certificate, PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love, The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow, The Osborne Brothers – Once More , The M’s – Future Women, M-Ward – Transfiguration of Vincent, The Radar Brothers – The Fallen Leaf Pages, The Fruit Bats – Tripper.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Red: Any/all 'comeback albums' or 'reunion albums' by bands who should have/could have broken up and stayed broken up. Also anything by The Police or The Eagles...yuck.
Jebbh: Radiohead – In Rainbows… Just could never get into as much as I liked Radiohead…and Liz Phair – Liza Phair…I liked her a lot but then this album came out…

First concert attended?
Red: 10/16/84 - Ratt & Billy Squire.  I was 9 years old. Saw it at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Jebbh: First one I ever purchased a ticket myself for and attended was Lollapallooza 1992 – Pearl Jam, RHCP, Soundgarden, Ministry, Ice Cube – It was absolutely amazing… I crowd surfed to Pearl Jam’s song “Alive” and started a huge sod fight during Ministry’s song “Jesus Built My Hotrod”, epic stuff.

Last concert?
Red: Neko Case a couple weeks ago.
Jebbh: I attended a concert for my buddy’s band The Claudette’s … really cool ragtime piano.

Favorite concert ever?
Red: A split between : Lollapalooza One (Janes Addiction, NIN, Rollins Band, Souxsie & the Banshees...etc..) 1991 Dallas, TX and: U2, The Pixies, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprosy 1992 at the Pyramid in Memphis.
Jebbh: I have been to some amazing shows but some that stand out for me are: Fugazi at the Phoenix Plaza Amphitheater in Detroit in 1993, The Flaming Lips – St. Andrew’s Hall Detroit in 1995, Brian Wilson’s Presents Smile - Michigan Theater 2004.

Least favorite concert?
Red: Very rarely went to concerts I knew I wouldn't enjoy, but I did (over the years) buy tix and only go for opening bands I felt were better than headliners. An example being going to see Weezer on their first tour in 1994 and leaving before The Melvin's performed...
Jebbh: Front 242 at Lollapalooza 1993 – It was so loud and obnoxious I had to seek shelter from the noise.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Red: Pittsburgh is a gem of a city. I've lived on both coasts and in the true Midwest but nothing has the culture, geography/topography or opportunity of this place. You have four real seasons (usually) and for the most part the people are kind and hardworking.
Jebbh: Pittsburgh is a very cool city with something for everyone, especially kids and artists… I have had some great experiences and I love being surrounded by the scenic sights… I worked along the Monongahela for a couple of years and could stare at that river all day.

Thanks, fellas. So Jebbh, noting both Obscured by Clouds AND The Fallen Leaf Pages as faves? Dude, we have to hang!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

First/Last - Rachael Sage

"Rachael Sage has had an illustrious career as an independent artist, respected and praised by the likes of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Rolling Stone and Billboard. She has shared the stage with Ani DiFranco, Sarah McLachlan, and Shawn Colvin and her songs have appeared on MTV, HBO, “Fame” soundtrack and Lifetime TV's "Dance Moms". She has made a name for herself as one of the most active touring artists in independent music with her dynamic stage show, signature flair and colorful stage banter."

Rachael Sage is a singer-songwriter from New York City who comes returns to Pittsburgh on Friday (5/6) at the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh with support from blog faves Sun Hound behind her latest album Choreographic. I want to thank Rachael for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Honestly, I don't remember what album I first bought by myself. Generally, I would borrow all my parent's records and I remember obsessing over an early smattering of artists including: the Broadway cast recording of "A Chorus Line", Saturday Night Fever, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton John, The Beatles and Elvis. At sleepaway camp I remember hearing Billy Joel and later, The Police, U2 and Madonna which were all very formative. But I will say that the first album that completely blew my mind and shifted me from a deeper place was Carole King's Tapestry. My best friend shared it with me when I was 11, and it changed my creative DNA on many levels.

Your last album bought?
I bought two at the same time: Glen Hansard's Didn't He Ramble and Esperanza Spalding's Emily's D+Evolution. Both brilliant albums!!

Favorite album of all time?
Elvis Costello: Spike.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Hmm... I really don't like to tear anyone down for what may arguably be my own poor impulse-buying decisions, so this is a question I'm just not comfortable answering! Plus, I can always turn any CD into a very nice, glitterized coaster – so I'm lucky I'm crafty :)

First concert attended?
U2, in Hartford, CT. Maria McKee opened with her band Lone Justice and it was absolutely incredible!

Last concert?
The last really big concert I saw was Bruce Springsteen, in London. I enjoyed a more intimate performance by Belinda Carlisle recently, in NYC.

Favorite concert ever?
It's a tie between Prince in San Francisco, and Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. 2 songwriting and instrumental geniuses at the peak of their abilities... humbling and inspiring all around!!

Least favorite concert?
I continue to be huge fan, but I saw 10,000 Maniacs in college and just got the distinct feeling they were not enjoying themselves and would rather have been doing anything else. Maybe they'd just had a fight or something, but there was visible tension and an almost angry refusal to perform any requests or do an encore; it was a strange evening and we all felt it, in the audience!

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I've always really enjoyed performing in Pittsburgh! It's a very soulful city, and I find the audiences to be really enthusiastic and passionate. One of the great loves of my life also happens to hail from Pittsburgh... so needless to say I'm always on a search of "Pittsburgh character" lol. This particular show will be especially meaningful because Pittsburgh has such a strong dance community, which has embraced my music so much and the show is All Ages – so I'm hoping to see some families, and maybe some young dance students who'll know the material that's been featured on "Dance Moms" or at various local competitions. The ALDC has really supported my music in an unexpected way, so I'll definitely be playing some songs from the show – like the one I produced for Maddie Ziegler, "Happiness" – along with the new material from Choreographic!

 Thanks, Rachael. I have to say that you will forever have a spot in my concert going conscience as being the last performer to ever play at Garfield Artworks before it closed.