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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Favorite Pittsburgh bands, 2009

Black Moth Super Rainbow

I don't write about local bands as often as I should. Or, at all. This blog was originally intended to contain musings on pop music and culture, with absolutely no Pittsburgh angle. But that has changed, as I've been writing about local venues and shows more frequently than I expected.

I would like to focus more on local music, especially since there are only a handful of Pittsburgh music blogs out there. There isn't a Brooklyn Vegan of Pittsburgh - there's no blog that covers every local and national concert in the city, in comprehensive fashion with daily news, reviews, features and interviews. This could be that blog someday. But not now.

Having said all that, it's time for a brief mention of some local bands I enjoy.

I'm not sure if BMSR can be considered "local" anymore, since they're touring all over and have national representation, but I'm going to include them because they're my favorite Pittsburgh act. Their freaky psychedelic pop has earned them acclaim from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and even the New York Times, which called their live show "one glorious buzz." Just check out the fascinating "Milk Skates" and "Hairy Candy" on their MySpace page. This shit is bizarre. And beautiful.


They may have the world's most unfortunate band name, but their music is significantly better than their moniker. I'm a fan of their sweet pop songs like "Modern Days," but they also excel on more relaxed folk/alt-country tunes like "Sea and the Sun" and "Victim is a Saint."


One of the region's most popular rock acts. But when I saw them open for somebody at Mr. Small's, they never even announced the name of their band! Or if they did, they did so in such mumbling fashion that I never heard it. Only a few days later did I discover that I'd actually seen Life in Bed. This is my biggest beef with local bands - they don't pimp themselves out enough! If I was in a band, I'd be mentioning the name of my band after EVERY SONG. Come on guys, if you want people to get into you, you have to tell them who you are! You can't just mumble your name once at the end of the set and expect everyone to catch it!


Pittsburgh's fastest-rising band, Good Night, States have earned a significant following in a relatively short amount of time. Much of their breezy pop music recalls Wilco, though they're not as sleepy as Jeff Tweedy's band sometimes gets. (Is it blasphemy to call Wilco boring? Guess what, I just did.) They also know how to market themselves, something that most local bands never seem to master.


Singer/pianist Joy Ike's engaging neo-soul is a rare treat in this town. Her strong voice and pleasant personality make her live shows a joy to witness. She's also a workhorse - whatever your favorite coffee shop is, you can bet she's performed there.


The Science Fiction Idols were a great local band for a long time, but upon their split a few years back, most of the band moved on to form the Cosmosonics. Drummer Angel O and singer Gary D'Grave are the heart of the group, which blends punk, metal and glam rock into a tasty combination.

There are a bunch of other local acts that are also making waves - Donora, The Takeover UK, Centipede Eest. Sorry guys, maybe I'll work you into the next post.

Got any other local acts I should check out? Leave a comment!


HughshowsRedux said...

Meeting Of Important People-'Kinkians' rock

Local Honey-country rock

Br'er Fox-stripped down blues rock

Brewer's Row-heard a little of their stuff and me likey

Chet Vincent & The Big Bend-psychobilly

I too should focus on local music more.

What other local music blogs are out there that I don't know of?

Scott said...

I think it's just us and BNac.

Thanks for the local band tips!

BeckEye said...

I remember going to see Room to Move and Sleeping Giants all the time. Boy, am I old.