Leader of the psychedelic punk outfit ITHAK and the noisy experimental hip-hop group Anarchist Republic of Bzzz, Seb El Zin is now making mischievous, subversive Middle Eastern-inflected electronic music.
July 16, Psychedelic Furs, James: Roxian Theatre, McKees Rocks
Despite the name, The Psychedelic Furs were a particularly dark, noisy and mysterious manifestation of British post-punk. (That is until, somewhere in the deepest reaches of the 1980s, when the song “Pretty in Pink” put them squarely into every “Sounds of the ‘80s” cheery musical montage ever created.) They’re bringing more than just that one blockbuster hit with them to the gorgeous, newly restored Roxian.
July 17, Mekons: Andy Warhol Museum, North Side
One of the best British bands of the past 40 years started in angry, political first-wave punk — then gradually developed an honest obsession with old American country music. They’ve always prized energy and passion over musical proficiency, but you can’t help but get good at your instrument if you play it 40-plus years.
July 18, Belle & Sebastian, Men I Trust: Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland
When you make perfect pop music that isn’t all that popular — not as big as, say, Ariana Grande — what do you call it? If it’s full of meticulously-crafted melodies and world-weary Glaswegian languor plus the odd ray of sunshine poking through, well, you could probably still call it “pop.” Or just Belle & Sebastian.
July 20, Wiz Khalifa, French Montana, Playboi Carti, Moneybagg Yo: KeyBank Pavilion, Burgettstown
Wiz Khalifa returning to his hometown as the conquering hero is always a party, a chance to set his black-and-gold soul free in familiar territory. This time, he’s bringing French Montana along with him.
July 21, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Cate Le Bon: Hartwood Acres, Hampton
Every once in awhile the Allegheny County Summer Concerts Series will throw in a surprise or two. This year, it’s definitely Kurt Vile. His peculiarly laidback lyrical approach may veer into stream-of-consciousness at times, but his classic multi-guitar attack is familiar enough to get Neil Young or Tom Petty fans nodding their heads while tossing a beverage or frisbee your way. Don’t miss Cate Le Bon, whose new album, “Reward,” was just released via Mexican Summer.
July 31, Steve Gunn, Pairdown: Club Cafe, South Side
Usually, you get the virtuoso musician gene or the songwriter one, not both. Being blessed with both seems a little unfair. Steve Gunn somehow manages to be one of the world’s most brilliantly original acoustic guitarists — full of intricately-filigreed fingerpicking, without an extraneous note out of place — and a songwriter of ever-increasing power.