Though Pittsburgh’s distinct lack of beaches is alarming (who do we talk to about this!?), you can get a sonic sampler platter of Caribbean sounds every month at Spirit for Afro-Caribbean Saturdays. Expect to hear hip-hop, soca, kompa (from Haiti), Afrobeat and more. The next event is Aug. 21.
A great mix of everything, from cutting-edge electronic music culled from Boiler Room sets to old-school disco to pop songs burning up the airwaves on WAMO. Nothing is off-limits for Diamond Life’s DJs Party Time and Jesley Snipes. It’s true — you’ll hear hip-hop and new wave and funk, of course, but also maybe some psych (Flaming Lips), glam (David Bowie) and classic indie rock (Velvets and Le Tigre) too. The next Diamond Life is Aug. 27 at Spirit.
Nightlife in Pittsburgh continues to be shaped by its queer techno underground, especially via Honcho. It has proved that anything can fly as a venue. In July, Honcho took to the water aboard the Gateway Clipper in an event called Vaccine Waters (Congresswoman Maxine Waters was a no-show, however). The upcoming Honcho Campout 2021 is an outdoor event featuring dozens of artists from all over the world, deep in the woods at Four Quarters Farm in Artemas, Pa. (Bedford County), Aug. 19-22. It’s already sold out.
Black women and LGBTQ+ communities move to the forefront with Huny at the helm. Techno, house, dancehall, vogue beats — “anything with a nasty beat can get it.” Cherry Bomb! goes off next on Aug. 13 at Spirit.
What’s the next step beyond “dive bar”? Belvedere’s Ultra-Dive. Along with Spirit, Belvie’s has the most diverse lineup of dance nights in one place, ranging from Requiem (Aug. 12 and 26, new Goth/Darkwave/Synthwave) to Bad Girls (Aug. 27, all music by women, from Lizzo to Doja Cat), to All Night R&B (Aug. 28).