The Pitt News

Vinyl meets vegan at Amazing Books & Records

Vinyl meets vegan at Amazing Books & Records

Rio Maropis / Staff Writer

January 20, 2016


Filed under Culture, Culture / Food Drink, Culture / Music

Oakland’s newest commodity won’t be the first in the neighborhood to house books and records under the same roof — but it will be the first to add a vegan cafe.  It’s a quiet, rainy day, with an indie rock vinyl spinning on the record player in one of the corners — it’s audible, gentle an...

The Nothing: Kid Cudi’s abysmal return

Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

January 14, 2016


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Kid Cudi knows a thing or two about being lonely — at the top and the very bottom. What’s apparent from the rapper’s fifth studio album “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven,” which was released Dec. 4, through Republic Records, is that he is no less lonely than he was when he was the “Man on the M...

Exit Starman: David Bowie dies at 69

Exit Starman: David Bowie dies at 69

Amanda Reed / Staff Writer

January 12, 2016


Filed under Culture, Culture / Film, Culture / Music

In 1977, David Bowie sang “I will be king, and you, you will be queen.” Little did he know how literal that would become. After a nearly 50-year career that transcended musical and societal labels, Bowie’s cosmic career as one of Pop music’s most important figures came to an end when he died Sun...

A pop culture review of 2015

A pop culture review of 2015

Jack Trainor / Culture Editor

January 6, 2016


Filed under Culture, Culture / Film, Culture / Music, Culture / Television

“Back to the Future Part II” may have predicted tablets, flat screen televisions and video conferencing in 2015, but not even Doc Brown could have foreseen Jon Snow’s fate. Last year hosted many unpredictable scenarios and return-to-forms, from Justin Bieber’s chart-topping comeback to “True Detective...

In the mood: Jazz concert caps weeklong event

In the mood: Jazz concert caps weeklong event

Noah Coco / for The Pitt News

November 10, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music, Top Stories

On any other stage on Pitt’s campus, Senior Vice Chancellor Kathy Humphrey might have been the most remarkable guest to sing the blues, but Saturday night was the exception. Humphrey joined a cast of legendary jazz musicians as the annual week-long jazz seminar came to a close. Former director of ...

Guthrie talks ‘Glee,’ music career

Guthrie talks ‘Glee,’ music career

Alessandra Roberto / for The Pitt News

October 27, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

What do you get when you mix the careers of Ryan Adams with Justin Bieber? Noah Guthrie.  Earning his initial fame from a cover of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It,” which went viral on YouTube, Guthrie is the definition of a 21st century artist. Hailing from the small town of Greer, S.C., Guthrie i...

Haunted happenings

Elaina Zachos / Senior Staff Writer

October 22, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Food Drink, Culture / Music

Midterms and deadlines are a horrific reality right now, but make sure you get a chance to prowl through some of the late-October festivities ghosting around Pittsburgh this month. From a macabre art show to amateur photography, here’s the rundown of some events going on this weekend. Thursday, Oct. 22 T...

Supporting the scene: DIY music promoters showcase underground acts

Supporting the scene: DIY music promoters showcase underground acts

AJ Weber / for The Pitt News

October 13, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Most nights begin with the sound of a guitar tuning up, amplified feedback and the grin of a performer before strumming a chord. The routine is wonderfully common to Nate Dietrich and Brett Shumaker, the founders and operators of the DIY music promotion group, Don’t Let The Scene Go Down On Me! N...

Bands battle for spotlight

Bands battle for spotlight

Annabelle Hanflig / for The Pitt News

October 9, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

O’Hara wasn’t a solid act when the group first auditioned for Battle of the Bands in 2013. “We were pretty disjointed at that point, as we only had three members,” O’Hara’s lead singer and founding member, Jake Sternberg, said. “Of course we lost the battle the first time we played.” They...

Daily rhythms: Pitt student creates online playlist following

Daily rhythms: Pitt student creates online playlist following

Brady Langmann / Staff Writer

October 8, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

It was 3 a.m., and Alex Oraschewsky had just returned to his apartment from clubbing in Ireland. It was Saturday — he didn’t have to report to Celtic Collections the next day, an Irish record label he interned with during his study abroad program in summer 2014. Good thing, too — Oraschewsky...

Mac awakens with ‘GO:OD AM’

Mac awakens with ‘GO:OD AM’

Tarun Sathish / for The Pitt News

September 29, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

The Pittsburgh kid has grown up. Mac Miller has matured into a sage rapper with lyrics to match his excellent beats in his first major studio album “GO:OD AM,” which dropped Sept. 18. It’s  the rapper’s best work to date, as he mostly ditches the “frat rap” lyricism of sex, party and drugs ...

A melodic restoration: Thrival Festival aims to restore Hazelwood

A melodic restoration: Thrival Festival aims to restore Hazelwood

Brady Langmann / Staff Writer

September 23, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Of the three producers behind this weekend’s Thrival Innovation and Music Festival, not one has a background in the music industry. Executive producer Dan Law once focused in foreign policy with a master’s degree in public and international affairs. He’s backed by Danielle Belko, formerly a p...

Fifty years: ‘Highway 61’

September 7, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Bob Dylan’s lasting impact in American pop culture used to astound me as a younger person. I tried to grasp how people thought of the nasally-voiced songwriter, on a scale of popularity or critical regard, as on par with The Beatles. But just as The Beatles will live forever in the mind of music,...

Pitch-burgh: A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer and fall concerts

Pitch-burgh: A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer and fall concerts

Marcus Ranii-Dropcho / Staff Writer

August 30, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

With its storied jazz history, bringing up the likes ofdrummer Art Blakey and saxophonist Ahmad Jamal, Pittsburgh has always been connected to music. Its strategic location between Chicago and New York attracts various genres of concerts, from jazz to indie rock. While it may not be privileged and rural e...

“At.Long.Last.A$AP” an unremarkable tribute

“At.Long.Last.A$AP” an unremarkable tribute

Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

June 24, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

“At.Long.Last.A$AP”A$AP RockyReleased: May 25Grade: B+After much speculation and delay, the sophomore album from hip-hop artist A$AP Rocky, “At.Long.Last.A$AP,” dropped unexpectedly on May 25.Compared with the hazy, slightly eerie but ultimately energized and swaggy music of Rocky's preceding works,...

Idolized: Local hopefuls vie for ‘American Idol’ slots

Idolized: Local hopefuls vie for ‘American Idol’ slots

Nick Mullen and Chidi Nwakpuda / The Pitt News Staff

June 23, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music, National News, News, News / Campus Life, News / City

When Amario Gian finished singing his cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me,” “American Idol” competitors and bystanders greeted him with cheers and applause as he left the audition area.But when producers told him that he didn’t advance in the competition, he left to join hundreds of other rejected...

Nick Jonas colors Pittsburgh Pride in the Street

Nick Jonas colors Pittsburgh Pride in the Street

Kelechi Urama / Staff Writer

June 16, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Halfway through his Pittsburgh Pride in the Street performance on Saturday, Nick Jonas took a break from his own music and turned to his piano player, Chase Foster.“Chase, what you got for me?” Jonas asked, as Foster began a slowed down, jazzier version of Outkast’s classic “Roses.” The cr...

Fun in the Sun: Three Rivers Arts Festival kicks off with worry-free whirlwind

Fun in the Sun: Three Rivers Arts Festival kicks off with worry-free whirlwind

Brady Langmann / Staff Writer

June 9, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Art, Culture / Food Drink, Culture / Music

With a chaotic weekend that included a Taylor Swift concert at Heinz Field, PrideFest and the Three Rivers Arts Festival, there’s plenty that could’ve gone wrong.Thankfully, the Arts Festival’s featured public installation — New York City artist Rudy Shepherd’s “Black Rock Negative Energy Abso...

Pitt a plentiful, collegiate playground

Jai-W Hayes-Jackson / Staff Writer

May 28, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Film, Culture / Food Drink, Culture / Music, Culture / Theater

Ready to experience the magic of the Steel City? Pittsburgh has a lot to offer. From PNC Park to the Andy Warhol Museum, the city has something for everyone’s bucket list. Here are the top five things you’ll want to check off before your time is up at Pitt.Catch a show at the Benedum Center Whether...

6 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make at Pitt

Jai-W Hayes-Jackson / For The Pitt News

May 28, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Film, Culture / Food Drink, Culture / Music

Your first year at Pitt will bring you late-night pizzas, enough pictures of the Cathedral to fill a photobook and a catalog of opportunities to grow as a person as you navigate the many necessary and unnecessary mistakes that come with leaving the nest.For starters, you’ll bring way more clothing an...

Pitt Arts decorates student life with culture and class

Pitt Arts decorates student life with culture and class

Chang Zuo / For The Pitt News

May 28, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Art, Culture / Film, Culture / Food Drink, Culture / Music, Culture / Theater

For Pitt student Stephanie Liang, one of her most memorable experiences at Pitt Arts was watching a 4D play. As an audience member, she and other students got up on stage and  followed the actors of “Tamara” at Quantum Theater while they watched scenes unfold.“It showed me how far people can pu...

To the Point: Three Rivers Arts Festival gives students a taste of the artistic side of Pittsburgh

To the Point: Three Rivers Arts Festival gives students a taste of the artistic side of Pittsburgh

Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

May 28, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Art, Culture / Food Drink, Culture / Music

Next month, Downtown Pittsburgh will transform from a bustling metropolis into a world-class festival and celebration of the arts.Sponsored by Dollar Bank and produced by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Three Rivers Arts Festival will take place downtown at Point State Park, Gateway Center and in th...

Toro y Moi offered tired, indecisive show at Mr. Smalls

Toro y Moi offered tired, indecisive show at Mr. Smalls

Chris Estes / For The Pitt News

May 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

At 11 p.m. on Thursday night, Chaz Bundick, who goes by the stage name Toro y Moi, checked in on his fans, asking them, “How are you guys doing?” Before the cheers were over, he powered through the remaining 30 minutes of his set at Mr. Smalls Theatre.Headliner Toro y Moi and his four-man band p...

Mixed media: Artists rave at museum’s cultural extravaganza

Mixed media: Artists rave at museum’s cultural extravaganza

Chris Estes / For The Pitt News

May 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Art, Culture / Music

Guests of the #NOWSEETHIS party at the Carnegie Museum of Art this Saturday had an opportunity to check out local fifth graders’ art projects before breaking it down on a sweaty, chaotic dance floor.The Carnegie Museum of Art, in partnership with VIA — a Pittsburgh group dedicated to showcasing local an...

Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Cherry Bomb’ explodes with current fans

Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Cherry Bomb’ explodes with current fans

Nick Mullen / For The Pitt News

May 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Tyler, The CreatorCherry BombGrade: B- Tyler, The Creator is known for his notorious cockroach snack in the music video for his critically acclaimed debut single “Yonkers” in February 2011. As a member of the eccentric rap collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, he has shocked, offended and fascinated the mai...

Curren$y cashes in with ‘Pilot Talk III’

Curren$y cashes in with ‘Pilot Talk III’

Nick Mullen / For The Pitt News

April 15, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Curren$yPilot Talk IIIGrade: B Grab a good pair of headphones, because New Orleans rapper Curren$y has returned with his long-awaited third installment of Pilot Talk.The album sees the reunion of Curren$y and producer Ski Beatz, who worked on the first two Pilot Talk albums in 2010 to help launch Curren$y’s career. Beatz...

Ava Luna returns to strange, unexpected roots on ‘Infinite House’

Ava Luna returns to strange, unexpected roots on ‘Infinite House’

Dan Willis / Staff Writer

April 14, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Ava LunaInfinite HouseGrade: AAva Luna has planted itself at the fruitful intersection of two of 2015’s least trendy influences: punk and soul. Okay, yes — punk is popular, but Ava Luna has no interest in the joy-dividing melancholy or post-confessionalist evisceration that have defined its contemporary genr...

‘Every memory of lookin’ out the back door’: Natty Light and Nickelback both bland, vital stepping stones

‘Every memory of lookin’ out the back door’: Natty Light and Nickelback both bland, vital stepping stones

Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

April 9, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Food Drink, Culture / Music

There comes a turning point in every adolescent’s life — or, shall we say, every 21-year-old’s life — when he or she must make the conscious decision to start liking beer. By college, beer is nearly unavoidable — far more commonplace than the occasional sip from dad when mom wasn’t looking. ...

Godspeed You! Black Emperor turns in brisk look at apocalypse

Godspeed You! Black Emperor turns in brisk look at apocalypse

Marcus Ranii-Dropcho / For The Pitt News

April 8, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Godspeed You! Black EmperorAsunder, Sweet and Other DistressGrade: BCritics often throw around the term “atmospheric” when discussing post-rock acts of the last decade. I hesitate to describe genre pioneer Godspeed You! Black Emperor with a single word, but something like stratospheric might be a mo...

Earl Sweatshirt brought somber tunes and militant stage banter to Mr. Smalls

Earl Sweatshirt brought somber tunes and militant stage banter to Mr. Smalls

Nick Mullen / For The Pitt News

April 6, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Earl Sweatshirt likes to keep things slightly somber. “Make the lights look like your cat just died,” he told the lighting technicians at Mr. Smalls Funhouse on Friday night. Honoring Earl’s request, the technicians dimmed the lights to a deep blue.Unlike many rappers who infuse their lyrics with sinc...

Nickelback rock anthem to replace ‘Sweet Caroline’

Nickelback rock anthem to replace ‘Sweet Caroline’

Dan Sostek / Assistant Sports Editor

April 1, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Editor's note: This is a satirical story.Diamonds aren’t forever. At least Neil Diamond’s legacy at Pitt isn’t.Pitt announced on Tuesday that the singer-songwriter’s hit “Sweet Caroline” will no longer signal the culmination of the third quarter of home football games at Heinz Field.Repl...

You’ll never believe what happened when Tyga crashed the Indoor Show

You’ll never believe what happened when Tyga crashed the Indoor Show

Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

April 1, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Editor's Note: This is a satirical story.Halfway into “The Show Goes On,” Tyga took to the Fitzgerald Field House stage at the annual Indoor Show on Saturday and grabbed the mic from Lupe Fiasco.“What are you doing here? I didn’t offer you a guest spot on this joint — that was ‘Dumb It Dow...

Lupe Fiasco preached, brought the hits to Pitt

Lupe Fiasco preached, brought the hits to Pitt

Evan Malachosky / Staff Writer

March 30, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

On Saturday night, Lupe Fiasco advised audience members at the Fitzgerald Field House to be more skeptical of the genre that made him famous.Fiasco asked a female concertgoer in the front row about one of his songs, “Did you like that beat? Did you like the chorus? Did you like my lyrics?”Pitt Pr...

Waxahatchee takes hazy, but triumphant head trip on third album

Waxahatchee takes hazy, but triumphant head trip on third album

Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

March 26, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

WaxahatcheeIvy TrippGrade: A-Katie Crutchfield’s third LP as Waxahatchee, Ivy Tripp, should be in the music library of every college student approaching graduation. She reaches some inconvenient truths about adult life on this record, which she translates into piercingly sincere words for the rest o...

Courtney Barnett sits, thinks and emotes on excellent debut LP

Courtney Barnett sits, thinks and emotes on excellent debut LP

Dan Willis / Staff Writer

March 23, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just SitGrade: ANo one asked “SNL”’s Dan Aykroyd to make Crystal Head Vodka. No one sat around wondering when singer-songwriter Nathan Williams from Wavves would start releasing instrumental hip-hop. No one picked up Toby Keith’s 1993 debut albu...

Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Butterfly’ a rich, vitriolic masterpiece

Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Butterfly’ a rich, vitriolic masterpiece

Dan Willis / Staff Writer

March 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a ButterflyGrade: AEarlier this year, New York pop critic Sasha Frere-Jones left his post to become executive editor of the user-generated lyric annotation website Genius (formerly Rap Genius). In an interview with Newsweek, he said that his goal for the site was “raising the stan...

Better off dead?: The heartbreak of finding a band past its expiration date

Better off dead?: The heartbreak of finding a band past its expiration date

Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

March 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Last March, the ’90s indie rock pioneers Neutral Milk Hotel came to Pittsburgh for the last time in the foreseeable future. It was part of a massive farewell tour that won’t end until June. As was the case in Pittsburgh, the tour gives the fans, most of whom are in their early-to-mid thirties now,...

Madonna throws away pop identity, dignity on ‘Rebel Heart’

Madonna throws away pop identity, dignity on ‘Rebel Heart’

Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

March 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

MadonnaRebel HeartGrade: D+It might be difficult to imagine how 56-year-old Madonna could reach a lower low than her Super Bowl halftime show supported by the laughably condemned LMFAO, but perhaps her prolonged musical career made such a case inevitable. Rebel Heart, Madonna’s 13th full-length album, hi...

Big Sean works on focus with third LP

Big Sean works on focus with third LP

Dale Shoemaker / Assistant News Editor

March 3, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Big SeanDark Sky ParadiseGrade: BIn his music video for the single “I Don’t F*ck with You,” which GOOD and Def Jam released in November, Sean plays a high school football quarterback making the final drive of “the big game.” In the first half of the video, he is unfocused. He snaps the ball...

Imagine Dragons mature, bring another collection of singles

Imagine Dragons mature, bring another collection of singles

Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

March 3, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Imagine DragonsSmoke + MirrorsGrade: BAfter a double-platinum album and nearly two years of rocking the world on tour, the alternative rock band from Las Vegas is back with new material. Imagine Dragons returns, older and wiser, with its sophomore album, Smoke + Mirrors.The band formed in Sin City in 2009...

This Weekend … 2.25 – 3.1

The A&E Staff

February 26, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music, Culture / Theater

Thurs., Feb. 26 (through Mar. 6)“Urinetown”Studio TheatreCathedral of Learning basement8 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sunday)Tickets available at box officePitt’s Theatre Arts program will perform Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann’s biting satirical musical “Urinetown” this week. The student-directed Student Labs production t...

Drake takes on Cash Money, hints at major leap forward on new mixtape

Drake takes on Cash Money, hints at major leap forward on new mixtape

Dale Shoemaker / Assistant News Editor

February 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

DrakeIf You're Reading This, It's Too LateGrade: A-Scene: Inside the Cash Money Records main office, Young Money floor. Standard office layout with rows of cubicles. Tour posters for Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj and Tyga line the walls. In the back corner is Lil Wayne’s desk, cleaned out. Only pile...

This (Valentine’s Day) Weekend…

The A&E Staff

February 12, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Fri., Feb. 13The New Pornographers with JaillMr. Smalls Theatre400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale8 p.m.$30The Canadian power poppers bring their exuberant Brill Bruisers tour to Pittsburgh this weekend — but the supergroup will be without its greatest vocal superhero. Neko Case won’t be touring with the band’s rotating lineup this t...

Sleater-Kinney makes triumphant return on ‘No Cities to Love’

Sleater-Kinney makes triumphant return on ‘No Cities to Love’

Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

February 2, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Sleater-KinneyNo Cities to LoveGrade: AIt’s not the riot grrrl that’ll make you denounce religion, government and sexism, but Sleater-Kinney’s return to music after a 10-year hiatus carries the same wit, emotion and alternative guitar tuning that made it hugely influential in the ’90s.Sleate...

Belle and Sebastian tinker and evolve on new album

Belle and Sebastian tinker and evolve on new album

Danah Bialoruski / For The Pitt News

January 29, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Belle and SebastianGirls in Peacetime Want to DanceGrade: A- Almost 20 years in, Belle and Sebastian explores new territory on its ninth album, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, but the result is unmistakably true to the band’s history.     Stuart Murdoch, lead singer and songwriter of the Scottish i...

The Decemberists emerge from darkness with consistent, personal new album

The Decemberists emerge from darkness with consistent, personal new album

Grace Kelly / Staff Writer

January 26, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

The DecemberistsWhat a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World Grade: B+ The Decemberists descended into Dante’s nine circles of hell and just returned, enlightened and with a new album in hand. It’s not that The Decemberists’ past albums have been poor — on the contrary, they were deep, head...

This Weekend … 1.23 – 1.24

The A&E Staff

January 22, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

This Weekend...Fri., Jan. 23LotusStage AE400 North Shore Drive, North Shore8 p.m.$22 advance / $25 at doorThey’re no Flying Lotus, but the similarly named, less experimental “jamtronica” band Lotus returns to Pittsburgh less than a year after they last played at Stage AE. Equal parts Phish and ...

Bulbasaur and Beethoven: ‘Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions’ caught Heinz Hall last Saturday

Bulbasaur and Beethoven: ‘Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions’ caught Heinz Hall last Saturday

Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

January 19, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Cosplayers might usually feel out of place at the symphony, but a recent Heinz Hall performance was a costume-appropriate gala.A Pokémon-themed symphony, starring the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, graced the historic, gilded hall on Saturday, and it was about the most immaculate blend of low and hig...

Strip District Music Fest to spotlight local artists

Strip District Music Fest to spotlight local artists

Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

January 15, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Pittsburgh may not boast the famous local music scene of a New York or an Austin, but this weekend, the city will show off its scene-building chops.The Strip District will house more than 70 local bands and artists in at least 10 venues between noon and 2 a.m. on Saturday during its inaugural Strip Dis...

Viet Cong’s debut a visceral fusion of ugliness and beauty

Viet Cong’s debut a visceral fusion of ugliness and beauty

Dan Willis / Staff Writer

January 15, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Viet CongViet CongGrade: AViet Cong have a reverence for menace — the particular dynamic of pain and pleasure that they display on their wiry self-titled debut makes this much obvious. Arising from the ashes of the much-missed Women, this Albertan art-rock quartet co-opts agony into songs that are wild,...

Time Capsule: LCD Soundsystem’s eponymous debut turns 10

Time Capsule: LCD Soundsystem’s eponymous debut turns 10

Dan Willis / Staff Writer

January 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

It is impossible to feel contempt for LCD Soundsystem. No matter what your opinion is of frontman James Murphy’s three-albums-and-done dance-punk collective, you still aren’t going to roll your eyes at an upfront and razor-sharp song like “Losing My Edge.”That’s because, at a time when ever...

TPN’s picks for the best upcoming concerts

TPN’s picks for the best upcoming concerts

The A&E Staff

January 5, 2015


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music, Specials / Welcomebackspring2015

After a typical end-of-year concert dry spell to close out 2014, the early months of 2015 reveal a manifold forecast of artists storming Pittsburgh. Here are some of The Pitt News’ most anticipated shows of the new year.Hamilton Leithauser — Jan. 15, Club CafeHamilton Leithauser, crooning frontman for ...

Forget Mozart: Studying doesn’t need classical music backdrop

Forget Mozart: Studying doesn’t need classical music backdrop

Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

December 8, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music, Specials, Specials / Fallfinals2014

Some subscribe to the belief that classical music can boost intelligence — the “Mozart Effect.” I’m not here to bust myths, but, when it comes to studying, I’ve almost always favored rock bands over symphonies — and it’s made life impossible.The life of an avid music fan can often mirr...

Trey Anastasio Band rocks Stage AE with lengthy, new jams

Trey Anastasio Band rocks Stage AE with lengthy, new jams

Sam Bojarski / Staff Writer

December 1, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Outside Stage AE on the North Shore, Brent Milstrom, a 50-year-old seasoned tour veteran and his friend peer into two narrow windows on a double door. It’s 5:30 p.m. — a full 2.5 hours before Trey Anastasio and his band are supposed to take the stage — and the band is about 1.5 hours into its ...

Taylor Swift matures, shocks with her wildly catchy ‘1989’

Taylor Swift matures, shocks with her wildly catchy ‘1989’

Elizabeth Rakow / For The Pitt News

November 19, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Taylor Swift1989Grade: B+It’s cool to hate Taylor Swift. She’s a powerhouse female performer who consistently releases hit after hit, giving new meaning to the word “catchy” and a refreshing sense of authenticity to the phrase “stuck in your head all day.” Swift recently declared herself a femin...

However you spell it, Parquet Courts deliver the goods

However you spell it, Parquet Courts deliver the goods

Dan Willis / Staff Writer

November 17, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Two bands released two albums this year. I know that doesn’t sound that impressive, but this story gets slighly more complicated.I would like to say that the two excellent albums Sunbathing Animal, released in June, and Content Nausea, released in November, are both albums by Parquet Courts — as in g...

This Weekend Rundown 11.13 – 11.16

The A&E Staff

November 12, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Thursday, Nov. 13ShaggyMr. Smalls Theatre400 Lincoln Ave., MillvaleTime: 8 p.m.Admission: $20Believe it or not, Shaggy has released four albums in the last four years. The reggae fusion singer hasn’t scored a hit like “Angel” or “It Wasn’t Me” on any of those LPs, but both of those songs st...

Run the Jewels ruin lives on nuanced, brutal sequel LP

Run the Jewels ruin lives on nuanced, brutal sequel LP

Dan Willis / Staff Writer

November 11, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2Grade: AThere’s a moment toward the end of “All Due Respect”, a highlight from hip-hop duo Run the Jewels’ second eponymous album, when the following takes place: El-P tells you that your parents are going through a tumultuous divorce that is entirely your fault and th...

Shut up, Mark Kozelek: your music deserves better

Shut up, Mark Kozelek: your music deserves better

Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

November 11, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Fact: Mark Kozelek has a lower approval rating than Congress, Ebola and ISIS. OK, maybe not Congress.It hasn’t been easy to like the Sun Kil Moon singer lately. Even though Kozelek put out one of the most acclaimed albums of the year, the astonishing Benji, he’s dominated music blog headlines in th...

Chad Stokes brought energy, career-spanning set to Mr. Smalls

Chad Stokes brought energy, career-spanning set to Mr. Smalls

Andrew Fishman / Staff Writer

November 5, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Midway through his set at Mr. Small’s Theater in Millvale, Pa., Chad Stokes asked a question that solidified why he loves Pittsburgh.“Where else could you play to a crowd like this on a Monday night but Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?” Stokes is one of the lead singers and founding members of popular ...

New R&B songstress Tinashe stuns on debut record

New R&B songstress Tinashe stuns on debut record

Jack Shelly / For The Pitt News

October 28, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Meet Tinashe. She’s a fresh face to the genre of R&B, which has been recently dominated by female talent such as Beyoncé Knowles. But don’t confuse the two — this is no Beyoncé.     This summer “2 On,” the lead single from her debut album, Aquarius, dominated airplay on urban contempor...

Pink and City and Color mesh well for You+Me

Pink and City and Color mesh well for You+Me

Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

October 27, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Spinning You+Me’s nascent album, rose ave., via iTunes or Spotify feels utterly anachronistic. It belongs on your parents’ dusty record shelves alongside Peter, Paul and Mary and Bob Dylan, yet it features some of the most contemporary recording artists: Alecia Moore (American superstar Pink) and Dallas...

Sweet Caroline: A history of Pitt’s sing-along tradition

Sweet Caroline: A history of Pitt’s sing-along tradition

Abby Hoffman / For The Pitt News

October 24, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music, Specials, Specials / Homecoming2014

As a University with nearly 30,000 students, some may argue that there is no way for the entire Pitt population to rally together and generate enough school spirit to rattle an entire stadium, but one popular ‘60s song makes it a possibility. At home football games every fall, Panther fans anticipate...

Bend, but no snap: The logistics behind a successful Pitt Band show

Bend, but no snap: The logistics behind a successful Pitt Band show

Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

October 24, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music, Specials, Specials / Homecoming2014

Right before every Pitt football game, a famous scene from “The Matrix” is duplicated — without any flying bullets or slow motion.Stephen Ruzzini, the Pitt band’s drum major, slowly lowers his back until it’s nearly parallel to the ground, and the feathers of his plumed hat touch the 50-yard-li...

Against Me! and Branan hog the spotlight from Gaslight

Against Me! and Branan hog the spotlight from Gaslight

Danielle Fox / Assistant News Editor

October 21, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

What Gaslight Anthem lacked in individuality Friday night at Stage AE, it painfully made up with an overactive light show and an arduously long 26-song set. It was the end to the band’s fall U.S. tour, roughly one year after the group visited Pittsburgh to play at Mr. Small’s. The band has since...

Pittsburgh musicians set to celebrate Oakland’s 175th birthday at Oakland Forever festival

Pittsburgh musicians set to celebrate Oakland’s 175th birthday at Oakland Forever festival

Sam Bojarski / Staff Writer

October 9, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

A local paper, called the Harris’ Intelligencer, dubbed a neighborhood just outside of Pittsburgh “Oakland” for the numerous oak trees that lined its hills ­— 175 years ago.Now, that once-rural space is nearly unrecognizable. Much Oakland history has been written since then, and the neighbor...

Real Estate let its beach party get a little ‘wild’ at the Altar Bar

Real Estate let its beach party get a little ‘wild’ at the Altar Bar

Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

October 6, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Fans of the band Real Estate know exactly what to expect from the New Jersey alt-rockers by now — a chilled-out beach party. Real Estate brought its beach-bum vibes to the Rust Belt last Wednesday at the Altar Bar in its shy, tight-lipped manner. But newly added keyboardist Matt Kallman and drummer ...

Pitt musician spotlight: The Brothers Craig score first big opening gig for Hoodie Allen

Pitt musician spotlight: The Brothers Craig score first big opening gig for Hoodie Allen

Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

October 1, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

After winning Pitt’s most recent round of Battle of the Bands, acoustic trio The Brothers Craig will make their live debut opening for Hoodie Allen at Fall Fest.Roommates Stephen Kraus, Paul Carey and Jack Loeffler started the band after months of playing for fun in their apartment.“After a while, w...

WHY? varied their formula at Altar Bar to mixed results

WHY? varied their formula at Altar Bar to mixed results

Jack Trainor / Staff Writer

September 29, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Cincinnati indie-rock band Why? is difficult to categorize. “Indie-rock” might not even be an adequate label, given how vague the term has become. Sometimes jangly rock and other times rap, Why? has always seemed to elude the confines of a single sound. Why? performed in Pittsburgh on Thursday at th...

Time Capsule: ‘American Idiot’ captured the zeitgeist like no other, catapulted Green Day to arena status

Time Capsule: ‘American Idiot’ captured the zeitgeist like no other, catapulted Green Day to arena status

Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

September 29, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

“I don’t want to be an American idiot.”This phrase is probably still uttered 10 years later under disenchanted breaths when citizens discover that the government spies on them and that the United States launched airstrikes at ISIS.Green Day’s anthemic 2004 album American Idiot channeled bleeding-...

Mr Twin Sister returns with astounding, beautiful new album

Mr Twin Sister returns with astounding, beautiful new album

Dan Willis / Staff Writer

September 22, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Mr Twin SisterMr Twin SisterGrade: AFor Long Island chintzy pop quintet Mr Twin Sister, formerly sans-Mr, style and genre are entirely porous. Attempts to pin down the band’s influences result in absurd musings about “J-Pop Christmas carols with heavily flanged P-Funk bridges” and “Saint-Etien...

Oakland house shows offer cheaper, more intimate live music

Oakland house shows offer cheaper, more intimate live music

Shawn Cooke and Lucy Clabby / A&E Staff

September 17, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Forty kids, bobbing their heads together in a narrow North Oakland basement — it might sound like the awkward early hours of a college house party, but there isn’t any Avicii or “Turn Down For What” blaring over the speakers. Instead, Onward Progress, an experimental post-hardcore band from Cra...

Interpol’s latest an uneven, bland release

Interpol’s latest an uneven, bland release

Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

September 17, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

InterpolEl PintorGrade: C+“El pintor” translates from Spanish to English as “the painter.” Interpol takes this title literally by brushing only a few broad strokes of sound across the record’s 40 minutes.Interpol starts its fifth studio album off with a phenomenally charged start. “All t...

Spoon introduces wild new member, strobe light to Pittsburgh

Spoon introduces wild new member, strobe light to Pittsburgh

Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

September 16, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

After unleashing their psychedelic jam “Who Makes Your Money?” on the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall last Thursday, Britt Daniel of Spoon took a moment to defend the record that it originally appeared on.“That one’s from Transference. It’s been taking some hits lately,” Daniel said.Altho...

Pitt Musician Spotlight: The Balcony Scene takes Altar Bar

Pitt Musician Spotlight: The Balcony Scene takes Altar Bar

Elizabeth Rakow / For The Pitt News

September 16, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

A Google search of “The Balcony Scene” will likely result in anything from Pierce the Veil lyrics to “Romeo and Juliet” references. But after a bit of scrolling, you’ll run into an up-and-coming Pittsburgh band currently making its way through several local venues and breaking into the sce...

U2 gives themselves away, bores on Songs of Innocence

U2 gives themselves away, bores on Songs of Innocence

Sam Bojarski / Staff Writer

September 15, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

No matter how many times U2 reinvents its musical identity, few people are likely to forget the budding young Irish rock band that carried itself to stardom with the early hits “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Pride (In the Name of Love).”For U2, this simple fact is a double-edged sword. Throughout ...

Time Capsule: Arcade Fire’s masterpiece found medium between intimacy and stadium-ambitions

Time Capsule: Arcade Fire’s masterpiece found medium between intimacy and stadium-ambitions

Dan Willis / Staff Writer

September 11, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

Time Capsule is a new series for The Pitt News that commemorates seminal releases in entertainment at or around a milestone anniversary. As the years pass, a work can gain greater context or significance than when it was first released. This retrospective series will strive to illuminate our favorite p...

Drusky promotes charity alongside Pittsburgh’s concert scene

Drusky promotes charity alongside Pittsburgh’s concert scene

Evan Malachosky / Staff Writer

September 8, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

In 2012, Brian Drusky decided to arrange a philanthropic Christmas competition.Drusky, the founder of local concert promoter Drusky Entertainment, asked fans in the community to submit photographs of themselves donating toys or food or volunteering at shelters to the Drusky Entertainment Facebook page. Th...

S. Carey talks power of nature, his early days with Bon Iver

S. Carey talks power of nature, his early days with Bon Iver

Shawn Cooke / A&E Editor

September 1, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

If you know only one thing about Bon Iver, there’s a good chance it has something to do with the log cabin. Over the band’s transformation from quiet Wisconsin folk project to festival headliner and Kanye West-collaborator, its origin story has taken on mythical proportions. It’s widely documented that foundi...

The Talkbox dissects under-the-radar upcoming fall releases

The Talkbox dissects under-the-radar upcoming fall releases

Dan Willis & Shawn Cooke / The Pitt News Staff

September 1, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

After a mostly cool summer for new music releases, a whole bunch of artists will be rushing to drop albums in the coming months before they head out on fall tours. Although some of the more high-profile releases  — such as new records from Flying Lotus, Foo Fighters, SBTRKT and that Taylor Swift will ga...

The Gaslight Anthem favors reliable consistency on ‘Get Hurt’

The Gaslight Anthem favors reliable consistency on ‘Get Hurt’

Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

August 26, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music

The Gaslight AnthemGet HurtGrade: BGruff, grating vocals mixed with trills, finesse, melodious riffs and smooth chords certainly seems like a counterproductive and illogical combination.Except it’s the formula molded by New Jersey pseudo-punks The Gaslight Anthem on their new album Get Hurt. The guitars, bass and drums provide an almo...

Pittsburgh’s large performance spaces draw diverse lineup

Pittsburgh’s large performance spaces draw diverse lineup

Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

May 28, 2014


Filed under Culture, Culture / Music, Specials, Specials / Newstudentguide2014

Mr. Small’s Funhouse400 Lincoln Ave.MillvaleMr. Small’s more than makes up for its quaint size with an awesome, earsplitting PA sound system. Shows are often filled to bursting at a 650-person capacity, and it can get cramped and hot inside, especially when the metal, hardcore and thrash bands get...

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