From grunge, to hip-hop, to country, to Icelandic folk, July has something for everybody. Read on for ten July concerts that are guaranteed to be Sound Picks.
Wednesday, July 8. 7:30 p.m.
Mr. Smalls – 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale
Mudhoney signed to Seattle’s Sub Pop Records in 1988 and quickly came to epitomize the label and the city’s flourishing grunge scene. The band is still signed to Sub Pop, who declared, in 2013, that there was no better band to represent the label: “No other group has consistently kicked as much ass as Mudhoney, nor has anyone come close.” Opening are Pittsburgh’s own garage rock legends, The Cynics, and the next generation of garage rock noise, the bad boys of Blawnox, The Nox Boys.
Wednesday, July 8. 8 p.m.
Pittsburgh Winery – 2815 Penn Ave.
Iceland has an outsized musical output for a nation whose population isn’t much bigger than Pittsburgh’s. Árstíðir (Icelandic for “Seasons”) sing in both Icelandic and English and are known for delicate compositions centered around acoustic guitar and multi-part harmonies. Their new album, Hval was released earlier this year and saw the band expand their sonic palette to include synths, electric violin and even drums! Don’t go expecting Sigur Ros, but it will be beautiful nonetheless.
Sunday, July 12. 8 p.m.
Club Cafe – 56-58 South 12th Street
For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, Twin Sister changed their name to Mr. Twin Sister in 2014. Many fans speculate that the song “Out of the Dark,” off of their self-titled 2014 album, is a clue. The song touches upon transgenderism and contains lines like “I am a woman, but inside I’m a man, and I want to be as gay as I can.” The Brooklyn-based band are tough to pigeonhole, but most of their songs possess a groove-heavy, synth-pop style that’s as danceable as it is catchy.
Tuesday, July 14. 8 p.m.
Club Cafe – 56-58 South 12th Street
Electric Citizen, from Cincinnati, play a far-out style of heavy metal that should please fans of The Sword and early Sabbath alike. Local metal band Carousel open, and be on the lookout for their new album, 2113, at the merch table. Main support act Mondo Drag sound pretty much exactly what you’d want a band named “Mondo Drag” to sound like, dude.
Wednesday, July 15. 7 p.m.
Cattivo – 146 44th Street
Singer/songwriter Katie Crutchfield just performed at Pitt at the end of March, so it is a good sign that her fans wanted her back again so soon. Crutchfield is still on tour in support of Ivy Tripp, her third LP and first on Merge Records. Most of the early lo-fi flavor is gone on this record, but the Waxahatchee hallmarks — intensely personal lyrics, fuzzy guitar — are still there. There was talk of a letdown after her breakthrough Cerulean Salt album, but Ivy Tripp proves those fears misguided. This is a diverse, original composition almost universally lauded by fans and critics alike. Philly punk duo Pinkwash open.
Friday, July 24. 8 p.m.
Altar Bar – 1620 Penn Ave.
Waka Flocka Flame is running for President. If elected to office, President Flame’s first act will be to legalize marijuana. He’ll also make it illegal for dogs to enter restaurants, and people with big feet will no longer be permitted to walk on the sidewalk. Campaigning for head of state is a time-consuming endeavor, but hopefully he’ll find time to release Flockaveli 2, his long-awaited follow-up album. If it’s as half as entertaining as his campaign platform, fans are in for a treat:
Sunday, July 26. 8 p.m.
Thunderbird Cafe – 4023 Butler St
Blueprint is part of the Rhymesayers camp, the seminal hip-hop label formed by Slug, of Atmosphere, and home to other eminent indie rappers like Aesop Rock, Freeway and MF Doom. Some hip-hop fans might recognize the name from his Soul Position collaborations with fellow Columbusite RJD2. Supastition and DJ Rare Groove also perform, with local openers TBD.