Sound Picks: 10 can’t-miss Pittsburgh concerts in October

Luna. Photo by Stefano Giovannini.

Luna. Photo by Stefano Giovannini.

Southern rap and Southern rock. Northwest grunge, and a boatload of local bands. Don’t forget some Layer Cake for dessert.

Lee Bains III and Glory Fires. Photo by Wes Frazer.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires

Thursday, October 1. 10 p.m.

Smiling Moose – 1306 East Carson Street


Sometimes, you just wanna rock. Forget the synths, kick out the jams, and start melting faces. Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires give listeners that unmistakable southern rock sound blended with a snarling punk ferocity. The band are touring in support of Dereconstructed, their second album and first on the Sub Pop label. Rounding out the bill are Nashville’s Pujol and Jay Wiley, frontman for Pittsburgh’s The Hawkeyes.

Layer Cake. Poster by Joe Mruk.

Layer Cake. Poster by Joe Mruk.

Layer Cake – Music & Art Festival

Saturday, October 3. 1 p.m. – 2 a.m.

James Street Gastropub – 422 Foreland St.

$15 adv./ $20 d.o.s.

Always wanted to get into the local music scene, but weren’t sure where to start? Check out dozens of local musicians spread out over three stages at the inaugural Layer Cake. Presented by local promoter Ziggy Sawdust, the lineup boasts over 35 bands, a dozen live painters and a comedian hosting each of the three stages. Check out the glorious Joe Mruk poster for the full lineup. Go for even an hour and you’re guaranteed to find something you like.

MC Lyte. Photo courtesy the artist.

MC Lyte. Photo courtesy the artist.

MC Lyte – VIA Main Event

Saturday, October 3. 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Spirit Lounge – 242 51st St.


Legendary Brooklyn rapper MC Lyte headlines VIA 2015’s main event. Not only was Lyte was the first female rapper to release a full-length album, with 1988’s Lyte as a Rock, she was also first female solo rapper ever nominated for a Grammy. She’ll be performing as a legacy artist at VIA, with visuals provided by Mexico City’s Alfredo Salazar-Caro. Lyte just recently released her first album in 12 years, Legend. The album was available for one day only, on Record Store Day 2015, and only on vinyl. But you’re in luck: the only other place to score a copy is at one of her shows.

3 Hour Tour. Poster by Aaron Shafer.

3 Hour Tour. Poster by Aaron Shafer.

3 Hour Tour

Sunday, October 4. 1:30 p.m.

Gateway Clipper – 350 W Station Square Dr.


A typical one-hour riverboat sightseeing tour of Pittsburgh runs $20. Plunk down an extra Jefferson and spend three hours on the Gateway Clipper’s “Princess” riverboat partying with some of Pittsburgh’s finer musical acts at the third annual 3 Hour Tour. Performing will be local indie rockers Wreck Loose, The Commonheart, Round Black Ghosts and Paul Luc. And if we’ve learned anything from T-Pain, it’s that everything is better on a boat:


Strange Wilds

Tuesday, October 13. 8 p.m.

Spirit Lounge – 242 51st St.

$8 adv./ $10 d.o.s.

Olympia is 60 miles southwest of Seattle, birthplace of Riot Grrl, and the final resting place of Kurt Cobain, whose ashes were scattered in a creek there in 1994. (It was where Cobain “had found his true artistic muse,” or so says Charles Cross.) That’s where this band is from. Strange Wilds is a noisy, raucous, sneering punk rock trio who will spit you up and chew you out   that would put them right at home with rest of the late ’80s – early ’90s Seattle grunge scene. They signed to Sub Pop on the strength of just one EP:


Wednesday, October 14. 8 p.m.

The Andy Warhol Museum – 117 Sandusky St.

Sold Out

Is it too early to call Luna the official house band of the Andy Warhol Museum? Dean Wareham & co. played a free show in the museum’s parking lot back in 2000, as part of a street bazaar celebrating the cultural underground’s influence on Warhol. Years later, the museum commissioned Dean & Britta to compose songs for a series Andy’s screen tests, which premiered at the Byham in 2008 as 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests. The pair returned last year to perform in front of three more Warhol screen tests as part of Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films. There’s a distinct Velvet Underground vibe that runs through Luna’s music, which makes the Warhol partnership that much more fitting. They return to the Warhol next month as part of their nationwide reunion tour.