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EVENTS 12.29 – 10am-5pm SPECIAL HOLIDAY HOURS The Warhol will be open on Monday, December 29 from 10am to 5pm.

1.17 – 8pm SOUND SERIES: AMERNET STRING QUARTET WITH PIANIST AMY WILLIAMS Warhol theater Co-presented with the Music on the Edge series of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Music FREE parking in The Warhol lot. Advance Tickets $15/$10 students; Door Tickets $20/15 students

1.21 – 8pm SOUND SERIES: KEN VANDERMARK / NATE WOOLEY DUO Warhol Theater FREE Parking in Warhol Lot Tickets $15/$12 Members & students

1.30 – 7pm EXHIBITION OPENING: SOMEDAY IS NOW: THE ART OF CORITA KENT Sponsored by UPMC FREE

1.3 – 8pm SOUND SERIES: JESSICA MEYER AND SETH JOSEL Warhol theater Co-presented with the Music on the Edge series of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Music FREE parking in The Warhol lot. Advance Tickets $15/$10 students; Door Tickets $20/15 students

Exposures / A new window display and artist product series at The Warhol Store. This project provides a platform to artists—both local and international—selling limited edition works, and it showcases young, emerging artists in a way similar to how young Andy Warhol ÀUVWVRXJKWH[SRVXUHLQ1HZ<RUN&LW\ Open during museum hours or call 412.237.8303

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The Andy Warhol Museum receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency and The Heinz Endowments. Further support is provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014


{EDITORIAL}

12.17/12.24.2014

{COVER PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL}

VOLUME 24 + ISSUE 51

[NEWS]

06

“The unfortunate result from this stew of haphazard practices is, far too often, unnecessary injuries or even death inflicted upon innocent citizens.” — Attorney Timothy O’Brien on the city’s unmarked police units known as “99 cars”

[VIEWS] long view is that, Keystone XL or 18 “Doyle’s no, our climate strategy must be to move more quickly toward renewable energy.” — Bill O’Driscoll on Congressman Mike Doyle’s views on the Keystone XL pipeline

[TASTE] own a coffee company, I’d 24 “IfwantI didn’t to be a craft-cocktail bartender.” — “Cold-brew cocktail evangelist” Sarah Walsh

[MUSIC]

28

“It’s way less fun when you realize how much thought I put into a stupid Vine.” — Local musician Ali Spagnola on pleasing her many online followers

[SCREEN] film resembles a domestic horror 40 “The story, in which off-kilter behavior stands in for ominous creaks and shadows.” — Al Hoff reviews Foxcatcher

“The reader, much like the speaker, doesn’t always come out of these poems with clear answers, and maybe that’s the point.” — Fred Shaw on new collections by Chuck Kinder

[LAST PAGE] never seen Santa kill someone 63 “Ifwithyou’ve a stripper pole, then this is the movie for you.” — A round-up of bad holiday movies from CP staffers and readers

{REGULAR & SPECIAL FEATURES} NEWS OF THE WEIRD BY CHUCK SHEPHERD 20 EVENTS LISTINGS 46 SAVAGE LOVE BY DAN SAVAGE 55 FREE WILL ASTROLOGY BY ROB BREZSNY 56 STUFF WE LIKE 60 N E W S

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{ART} Director of Operations KEVIN SHEPHERD Production Director JULIE SKIDMORE Art Director LISA CUNNINGHAM Graphic Designers SHEILA LETSON, JEFF SCHRECKENGOST, JENNIFER TRIVELLI

{ADVERTISING} Director of Advertising JESSIE AUMAN-BROCK Senior Account Executives TOM FAULS, PAUL KLATZKIN, SANDI MARTIN, JEREMY WITHERELL Advertising Representatives DRA ANDERSON, MATT HAHN, CJ KELLY, SCOTT KLATZKIN, MELISSA LENIGAN, JUSTIN MATASE, DANA MCHENRY Classified Manager ANDREA JAMES Radio Sales Manager CHRIS KOHAN National Advertising Representative VMG ADVERTISING 1.888.278.9866 OR 1.212.475.2529

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{MARKETING+PROMOTIONS} Marketing Director DEANNA KRYMOWSKI Marketing and Promotions Coordinator LINDSEY THOMPSON Advertising and Promotions Coordinator ASHLEY WALTER Radio Promotions Director VICKI CAPOCCIONI-WOLFE Radio Promotions Assistants ANDREW BILINSKY, NOAH FLEMING

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DECEMBER 19 // AIMEE JANE WILLER BAND DECEMBER 20 // VELVEETA DECEMBER 26 // RADIO TOKYO DECEMBER 27 // HOUSE OF SOUL

{ADMINISTRATION} Business Manager LAURA ANTONIO Circulation Director JIM LAVRINC Office Administrator RODNEY REGAN Technical Director PAUL CARROLL Interactive Media Manager CARLO LEO

{PUBLISHER} STEEL CITY MEDIA

[ARTS]

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Editor CHARLIE DEITCH Arts & Entertainment Editor BILL O’DRISCOLL Music Editor ANDY MULKERIN Associate Editor AL HOFF Multimedia Editor ASHLEY MURRAY Listings Editor MARGARET WELSH Assistant Listings Editor CELINE ROBERTS Staff Writers REBECCA NUTTALL, ALEX ZIMMERMAN Staff Photographer HEATHER MULL Interns DANIELLE FOX, SAMANTHA WARD

TA S T E

NEW YEAR’S EVE DECEMBER 31

GENERAL POLICIES: Contents copyrighted 2014 by Steel City Media. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Pittsburgh City Paper are those of the author and not necessarily of Steel City Media. LETTER POLICY: Letters, faxes or e-mails must be signed and include town and daytime phone number for confirmation. We may edit for length and clarity. DISTRIBUTION: Pittsburgh City Paper is published weekly by Steel City Media and is available free of charge at select distribution locations. One copy per reader; copies of past issues may be purchased for $3.00 each, payable in advance to Pittsburgh City Paper. FIRST CLASS MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS: Available for $175 per year, $95 per half year. No refunds.

CITYSCAPE // HEADLINERS TWICE AS NICE // OUTSIDE OF THE CLUBHOUSE DJ AJ FRESH // VIBE

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“THIS IS A POLICE TACTIC THAT CARRIES A VERY HIGH RISK OF CITIZEN HARM.”

INCOMING RE: For musicians, age can be an obstacle (Dec. 3) “As a student of vaudeville and also a theater professional, I’ve long said that we need venues in Pittsburgh for variety shows. We need a place where a few or several different performances take place of an evening, and folks in the neighborhood become accustomed to heading out to the theater on those particular nights of the week to take in whatever is playing. The variety shows could include all sorts of performers, of all ages. They could get paid, as in vaudeville, by how many persons were in the act and/or whether they were headliners/ next to closing. Or they could get a percentage of the take for the evening. And there could be amateur nights on some evenings.” — Web comment from “Audrey Glickman”

99 PROBLEMS UNIT MEASURE

RE: #TUT (Throw Up Thursday): Santorum announces 2016 presidential run (Dec. 11, online only) “No chance in hell.” — Dec. 11 post on City Paper’s Facebook page from “Tiffany Peska Engle” “I can’t stand anymore of these reinvented politicians.” — Dec. 12 post on City Paper’s Facebook page from “Lori Keslar” “Keep running stuff like that & I won’t invite you to the Santorum White House.” — Dec. 11 tweet from parody account “Rick Santorum*” (@RickSantorumUSA)

“Sidney Crosby almost gave the mumps to Marc-Andre Fleury at Penguins practice but the virus floated right by him.”

Police records show ‘99 cars’ lack department-wide mission, regulation, oversight {BY REBECCA NUTTALL}

I

N 2010, CAPA High School student Jordan Miles was beaten

during an altercation with three plainclothes “99-car” officers as he walked to his grandmother’s house. In 2011, 24-year-old Lawrence Jones was shot and killed after officers in a 99 unit stopped him for playing loud music. These incidents aren’t the only issues with these Pittsburgh Police units. Known by their numeric designation, “99,” the units feature plainclothes police officers patrolling in unmarked cars. They have also concerned activists for years. Following the Miles incident, for example, the Citizen Police Review Board launched an investigation into 99 cars, and in December 2012, the board held a hearing on the subject. At that hearing, Brandi Fisher, president of the Pittsburghbased Alliance for Police Accountability, testified: “Being that the complaints you receive from … the community are mostly because of the 99 cars, I think there needs to be something — some kind of way to gauge their effectiveness.” But despite regular controversy surrounding the program, to date there has been no overhaul of 99 cars, which are given more latitude to operate than other units. According to information obtained by City Paper under the state’s open-records law, there is no bureau-wide policy for 99 cars. Currently, five of Pittsburgh’s six police zones have a 99 car. The scope and mission of the units varies from zone to zone, as do

— Dec. 15 tweet from “Ian McLaren” (@iancmclaren)

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

requirements and criteria for the officers selected for the detail. And without these guidelines, say law-enforcement experts and officials, more high-profile incidents are in the bureau’s future. “The problem with the 99-car tactic … it is often used without appropriate forethought, it is not properly regulated or supervised, and the officers assigned are often not adequately trained in its proper application,” says Pittsburgh-based attorney Timothy O’Brien, who has filed several civil lawsuits on behalf of clients who say officers in these units have violated their civil rights. “The unfortunate, predictable result from this stew of haphazard practices is far too often unnecessary injuries or even death inflicted upon innocent citizens.” However, changes could be in the works. The high-profile incidents involving 99 cars and conversations with the community have shaped how Pittsburgh’s new Police Chief Cameron McLay plans to oversee the unit going forward. “I came in with some real concerns about the 99 car,” McLay says. Based on media reports, he said he was “picturing them functioning as a plainclothes jump-out squad. So I came in with the intention of reshaping that and being a little more dictatorial about how these cars are deployed.” AS PART OF its public-records request, CP asked for all policies, objectives and mission statements regarding these undercover CONTINUES ON PG. 08

RECORDS CHECK: Run-in with Jordan Miles wasn’t first controversial incident for three 99-car cops SEE STORY BY ALEX ZIMMERMAN ON PAGE 11


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units; documentation on training and qualification requirements; documentation on arrests, search warrants, warrantless searches and use-of-force incidents connected with 99 cars; and demographic information for officers in 99 cars. Responses to the request varied by police zone. While some of the city’s zones sent only 99-car related documentation that already existed — including memos and daily activity reports — other zones submitted newly compiled information and statistics. The city did not provide documentation from Zone 4’s existing unit, which covers Oakland, Shadyside and Squirrel Hill. No department-wide guidelines for 99 cars were provided, indicating that such guidelines do not exist. Instead, each zone defines the role of its unit. Chief McLay says that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “It originally was intended to be used as a discretionary resource for the zone commanders to deal with any number of problems that may be going on in the zones,” McLay says. In the North Side’s Zone 1, for example, an August 2010 memo from zone commander RaShall Brackney to assistant chief Maurita Bryant explains that 99-car officers are to serve as “intel-liason officers,” providing information on gang activity. They’re also supposed to handle all drugrelated complaints made to the mayor’s 311 complaint line, or obtained by communityrelations officers. An August 2009 memo from then-Lt. Kevin Kraus says the Zone 5 unit (East End) focuses on “neighborhood crime issues,” including “suppressing illegal narcotic activity, illegal firearms and violent crime.” Zone 2 Commander Eric Holmes, who oversees the Hill District, Strip District, Lawrenceville, Polish Hill and Downtown,

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provided a summary of his 99 unit that included recent activity. According to the summary, in 2014, the unit “acted in an operational support role for Zone Two uniformed officers … as well as enforcement of ‘Quality of Life’ crimes and other illegal activity.” Scott Schubert, the commander in Zone 6, which consists of the West End and South Hills, did not outline his 99 cars’ mission. But he did provide reports detailing activities ranging from surveillance to traffic stops. While McLay is unconcerned by the lack of uniform guidelines, critics say it can be problematic. “There should be a bureau-wide policy,” says retired Brentwood police chief Wayne Babish, chief investigator for the Allegheny County Solicitor’s office. “That policy should include what officers are expected to do and what they should not do.” Zone 3, which covers the South Side and hilltop neighborhoods, provided no information on the mission of its 99 cars, but did provide a list of officers in the cars from 2007 to 2014. It also enumerated arrests and field contacts. “There needs to be more transparency on what it is they actually do, who they actually report to,” says the Alliance for Police Accountability’s Fisher. “What are the policies and procedures that 99 cars have to follow if there [are] any, and if there’s not, it’s definitely necessary to have them.” Without a clear directive, experts say that 99-car officers often find themselves operating out of bounds. Babish says such a directive would include background requirements and training to deal with situations unique to a 99 patrol. “Police officers actually want to be told what to do,” says Babish. “For the majority of police officers, they will do what they are told to do. They just want to see something in black and white.” McLay says that over time, 99 cars in Pittsburgh seem to have evolved to focus on drug and weapons enforcement because those are the problems facing Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Rather than dictate what 99 units tackle, he says, he will focus on ensuring these officers make community residents feel safe and protected. “The expectation I have is that the zone commanders are going to be receptive to the zone’s community-policing needs,” McLay says. “I made it clear that what I do not want to see is the use of 99s for what’s known in the community as jump-out squads. My expectation is that they’re doing a broad problem-solving approach as well as [addressing] this drug and gang violence.” SIMILAR PLAINCLOTHES units exist in other

cities and experience similar issues. One CONTINUES ON PG. 10


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issue is the frequency of traffic stops and the number of citizens injured after stops by plainclothes officers in unmarked cars. “An undercover car should not be used to do routine traffic stops,” says Beth Pittinger, executive director of the Citizen Police Review Board. “There are going to be occasions when they’re going to have to stop a moving violation that’s posing a significant threat. But as a matter of routine, no.” While an aggregate of traffic stops in Zone 6 was not provided, daily activity reports from 99 officers demonstrate a pattern of regular traffic stops from 2010 to 2012. In 2012, for example, 384 traffic stops were conducted. The 99 car in Zone 6 was disbanded at the end of 2012 “due to manpower constraints,” Commander Schubert said in an August 2014 memo. More recent statistics reveal that traffic stops remain a common practice by 99 cars. In 2013, the Zone 2 unit had 131 traffic stops. As of August of this year, the Zone 2 unit had performed 37 traffic stops. “You don’t want unmarked cars pulling people over unless it’s an absolute necessity,” Pittinger says. “That’s not their job. It’s not an appropriate use of resources. And it can be a very dangerous practice not only for the civilians involved but for the officers.” State law doesn’t prohibit plainclothes officers in unmarked police cars from performing traffic stops where there is an immediate threat. But their cars must be equipped with flashing lights or sirens. Still, even where 99 cars are legally allowed to perform traffic stops, the practice raises problems. “Why would an unmarked detail be doing traffic stops?” Pittinger says. “And what’s the nature of those stops? Faulty taillight or inspection sticker? What they’re really looking for is a way to engage that individual.”

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Pittinger said traffic stops done by 99 cars could be pretextual stops, where a police officer detains a person for a minor infraction because he or she suspects that the person of a more significant crime. “Pretextual stops: That’s a traditional shady police practice,” says Pittinger. According to field-contact reports from Zone 6, 99-car officers initiate traffic stops for reasons ranging from broken taillights to loud music. In one 2012 report, 99 car officers ran a car’s registration which came back “revoked for insurance cancellation.” The passenger of the vehicle was arrested after officers say they found prescription pills and heroin on the passenger. While McLay says 99 officers should not be precluded from doing traffic stops, he too worries about pretextual stops. “My preference is that if we make stops for drug activity that those stops are based on reasonable suspicion,” McLay says. “I’m not a fan of pretextual traffic stops, where we stop you for a broken mirror when what we really want to talk to you about is that hand-to-hand exchange we just thought we saw. I’d much rather my officers be upfront.” Some 99-car traffic stops, such as the case of Lawrence Jones of the North Side, have not ended so smoothly. Jones was shot and killed after he was stopped for playing his music too loud. “The police officers were in plainclothes,” says O’Brien, the attorney who initially represented the victim’s mother in a lawsuit. “The police did eventually identify themselves. But it was one of those cases where a relatively innocuous encounter ends with critical force by police.” According to court documents, two 99car officers stopped Jones for violating the city’s noise ordinance. After the officers stopped Jones and began questioning him, he started to drive away from the officers, hit a van and was shot by one of the officers, according to a lawsuit filed against the city. The lawsuit alleged that inadequate training led to Jones’ death. His mother, Evelyn Reese, contended that the police should not have made a traffic stop in plainclothes and an unmarked vehicle. Reese’s lawsuit alleged that with plainclothes units, the city and the police bureau have a policy of “deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of citizens … resulting in citizens suffering unnecessary serious injury and/or death.” An undisclosed settlement between Reese and the city was reached earlier this month. “It’s always been our contention that these 99 cars are not used in the appropriate context,” O’Brien says. “Our view is that this is a police tactic that carries a very high risk of citizen harm, and because of that it


has to be closely regulated.” In the Miles case and other incidents, citizens say they ran from plainclothes officers because they didn’t know who they were. The same has been true in traffic stops, and some wonder whether plainclothes officers conducting traffic stops causes confusion about their identity. “That’s reasonable and it makes complete sense to me,” says McLay who plans to decrease the use of plainclothes for 99-car work. “I’m not sure why they need to be in plainclothes to be doing this work. I’m going to be watching very carefully to make sure the fact that they’re in plainclothes isn’t causing fear or problems in the community.” THE LACK OF specific training for 99-car officers has also often been criticized. Like oversight, training varies by zone. According to documents, officers receive training in areas including: concealed weapons, drug paraphernalia, street gangs and traffic control. Other training includes “Top Gun training” — a drug-enforcement training course — and “Mexican Drug Cartels training.” Other zones have no “written standard training requirements.” In addition, very little is known about the qualifications officers need to be assigned to a 99 car. In Zone 3, there are no “written qualifications for an officer to be assigned to the unit,” acting commander Larry Scirotto said in an August 2014 memo. The same is true for Zone 1 and Zone 6. In January 2007 in Zone 5, according to a memo by Lt. Reyne Kacsuta, an officer was recommended for the 99 car because of “good instincts when investigating drug users and dealers.” Kacsuta recommended another officer because he was a “diligent officer who pays attention to details.” According to a 2013 memo from Zone 2 Commander Eric Holmes, officers interested in the 99-car unit “should have completed three years of service with the Bureau.” Training certifications are also considered, according to the memo. “You must seriously consider the background of police officers you assign to these cars,” Babish says. “This should include psychological exams. Are they prepared to do this kind of work? You have to look at their disciplinary record.” McLay says he will continue to leave selection of 99-car officers up to commanders, but plans to implement mandatory training in search-and-seizure procedure. Newly appointed assistant chief Scott Schubert will be responsible for overseeing 99 cars. “Putting people out there with insufficient direction, insufficient training, insufficient supervision is where people with the best intentions in the world are likely to make mistakes,” says McLay.

RECORDS CHECK Run-in with Jordan Miles wasn’t first controversial incident for three 99-car cops {BY ALEX ZIMMERMAN} ON CHRISTMAS EVE 2009, three Pitts-

burgh plainclothes officers in an unmarked Monte Carlo detected the scent of marijuana in the air. They spotted two men — the only people nearby — turned their car around and got out to investigate. Moments later, the officers would be in a physical confrontation with Lamar Johnson, one of the men they thought could be responsible for the odor. They wrestled him to the snow-covered ground, suspecting he had a gun in his coat and that he might be trying to swallow narcotics. No drugs or guns were recovered, though, and Johnson was released without being charged. Before the officers’ shift was over, however, Johnson had lodged a complaint against them.

“UNLESS THE POLICE BRASS BEGINS PUNISHING VIOLATORS, THE DEPARTMENT WILL NEVER BE BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL.” The incident went down exactly 19 days before the same three officers — Michael Saldutte, David Sisak and Richard Ewing — wound up in a violent confrontation with 18-year-old Jordan Miles, at the time an honor student at the Pittsburgh Public High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. As in Johnson’s case, the officers thought Miles was acting suspiciously and that he might have a gun in his coat. Miles filed a civil lawsuit against the officers in federal court, a case that ended up in front of two separate juries. But despite similarities between the Johnson and Miles encounters, the jurors never heard about Johnson or much else about the officers’ records. A judge ruled the evidence was prejudicial, frustrating Miles’ legal team. “The Lamar Johnson case is almost exactly the same,” says Kerry Lewis, an attorney who represented Miles. “Three weeks before, [they] jump out of a car and throw [Johnson] to the ground. […] That indicated to me that that’s their style.”

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CONTINUES ON PG. 12

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RECORDS CHECK, CONTINUED FROM PG. 11

Johnson and Miles, both African-American, were confronted by officers in “99 cars,” controversial undercover units that are the focus of a separate City Paper story this week. But documents recently obtained, including depositions and internal memos, reveal separate incidents in which the officers who confronted Miles had been previously criticized by supervisors. Problems, according to documents, range from lying in police reports to conducting illegal searches — and involved recommendations for remedial training and discipline. Nearly two months before the Miles incident, for instance, Lt. Reyne Kacsuta recommended retraining in criminal procedure and rules regarding search warrants after Ewing, Saldutte and Sisak forcibly entered a residence without a warrant, according to a memo obtained under the state’s right-to-know law. And in a separate incident years earlier, Ewing — before he joined the 99 unit — and another officer were involved in a traffic stop in which they lied about having obtained consent to search the car, then-Zone 5 Commander RaShall Brackney alleged in a deposition for the Miles trial. These incidents are important on their own, but also point to systemic concerns about how officers are disciplined. Why were officers who had been criticized for using illegal search practices allowed to patrol in undercover units with less supervision, eventually engaging Miles in one of the most high-profile confrontations with the public in recent years? Were they properly disciplined or retrained when supervisors and citizens raised concerns? Did the discipline escalate? The city would not make police officials available to comment on those lines of in-

quiry, but Bryan Campbell, a lawyer for the Pittsburgh police union, says Sisak, Saldutte and Ewing “were believed to be good, proactive officers.” “They’re given a yearly evaluation by their supervisors, and these officers had good evaluations,” he says, “They’re not some rogue unit that’s doing whatever they want to do.” But according to Brackney, a former supervisor, the officer’s histories are checkered. Though she wasn’t their commander during the Miles incident, she testified in her deposition that they “were to be closely monitored; that they had a history of lying; that they had a history of not completing their paperwork; not accurately reflecting their paperwork; not accurately submitting their Field Contact Search & Seizures; [and] not rising to the level of reasonable suspicion on mere encounters with persons.” Deficiencies in accurate reporting, she added, “literally can cost lives and the officer’s career.” None of the incidents detailed in the documents obtained by CP, however, cost the officers their careers. Though Ewing is now an officer in McCandless, all three men are still patrolling the streets. SEPARATE LEGAL teams that represented

Miles in his two civil trials tried to argue the officers’ histories — particularly their conduct during the Lamar Johnson incident — were relevant in establishing a pattern of physical confrontations with people who shouldn’t have been suspected of being criminals. And while some elements of the Johnson incident were made public in a brief lawyers submitted in 2012 asking for a new trial, sworn depositions from Miles’ first

{PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL}

Jordan Miles

trial reveal details that have not previously been known. Depositions are sworn statements made by parties, usually in the discovery phase of a civil lawsuit. In the Miles case, the witnesses were questioned by Miles’ attorneys with the officers’ attorneys in the room. According to portions of a police report read during Sisak’s 2011 deposition, Sisak, Ewing and Saldutte became suspicious of Johnson after smelling marijuana near the intersection of Montezuma Street and Loire Way, in Lincoln-Lemington. The officers were in an unmarked “99” car at the time, and Ewing testified they didn’t activate the car’s lights or sirens. The officers didn’t notice a joint or pipe as they walked toward Johnson, who was walking with another man. As they approached and identified themselves as police, Johnson put a hand in his pocket and “moves his cupped hand towards his mouth and placed an unknown object in his mouth,” according to a police report authored by Ewing, which was read

into the record during Sisak’s deposition. And while there was no immediate sign of a pipe, joint or any drug use, the report indicated that Ewing saw the right side of Johnson’s coat hanging closer to the ground, bouncing off his body as he walked. That’s when he suspected Johnson had a gun. According to the report, Johnson complied when he was ordered to stop, but didn’t face Ewing squarely and “reached his right hand into his right pocket,” later saying, “‘What the fuck are you stopping me for?’” The physical confrontation began when Sisak tried to pull Johnson’s hand out of his pocket and “wrapped his arms around Johnson’s arms and around Johnson’s upper chest to prevent him from reaching his pockets or waistband.” The incident escalated from there. Ewing wrote that he was afraid Johnson was trying to swallow drugs, so he used a maneuver designed to open Johnson’s mouth, but that eventually both men lost their footing and fell to the ground. In the end, “Johnson was not arrested due to the fact we could not determine for sure what Johnson had in his mouth,” according to the report. “Johnson later stated it was a piece of candy.” Sisak testified that a pat-down never revealed or identified the object the officers thought might be a weapon. Lewis, Miles’ attorney in his first trial, thinks the circumstances should sound familiar to those who know the Miles case. In 2010, Miles accused the same officers of jumping out of their car without identifying themselves as police officers, and then assaulting him. The officers claim they clearly identified themselves as officers and confronted Miles because he CONTINUES ON PG. 14

Research Study of

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

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Dec. 28 Wreck Loose and Dan Bubien Band Dec. 29 The Midnight Horns featuring Danny Donahoe, Kenny Blake, Steve Treddle, Craig King, Donna Davis and Ronnie Biggs and more

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was lurking near a house. Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union legal director Vic Walczak says the Johnson and Miles incidents are reminiscent of practices that have plagued the bureau for decades. He points to the “jump squads” of the 1990s, in which plainclothes police frisked “large numbers” of black men and arrested them if they found anything, and if not, “they jumped back into their vehicles and disappeared.” “Officers who violate the Fourth Amendment [which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures], whether in or out of uniform, need to be disciplined,” Walczak wrote in an email response to these specific cases. “Until and unless the police brass begins consistently and appropriately punishing violators, the department will never be brought under control.” In 2012, as part of an argument for a new trial, Lewis wrote that Johnson would have testified that the officers, “jumped out of an unmarked car without identifying themselves as police officers and without provocation or basis assaulted him, including throwing him to the ground and choking him. […] As happened with Jordan Miles, however, no weapon or contraband was found. Nor was any object produced from the pocket which supported their alleged observations.” Though there was an internal investigation stemming from a complaint Johnson filed, the incident never resulted in a ruling that the officers violated policy. Asked in his deposition if “anybody in the chain of command” ever admonished the actions in the Johnson incident, Ewing said that they had not, an answer repeated in Saldutte’s deposition. Campbell, a lawyer for the police union who represented Saldutte, says the Johnson incident and the officers’ histories are “totally irrelevant.” “The only thing in the Jordan Miles [case] that’s relevant is did the officers act in an objectively reasonable manner on the night in question.” Sisak’s attorney, Jim Wymard, and Ewing’s attorney, Robert Leight, did not return calls for comment. Miles’ confrontation with the officers left his head bloodied, bruised and missing dreadlocks that were ripped out during the scuffle. In 2012, a jury found in favor of the officers on the claim of malicious prosecution against Miles, but deadlocked on whether the officers erroneously arrested him or used excessive force. This March, a separate jury awarded Miles around $ 119,000 for false arrest, but said the officers did not use excessive force. Miles’ current lawyer, Joel Sansone, who provided CP with the depositions in the

case, says the Johnson incident is relevant as a matter of “common sense” and may have swayed the jury. He says he plans to appeal the case. “We were constrained in the case by the ruling that none of the officers’ prior incidents would be admissible,” Sansone says, acknowledging that introducing all aspects of personnel records “can be unfair.” “But the fact that they did the same thing [in the Johnson case] — and they’re called out for giving false reports — you just think those are things the jury would need to know.” THE DEPOSITIONS also reveal incidents

years before the Miles case that raised concerns for Brackney, the officers’ supervisor at the time. In one 2006 case that led to an internal investigation, Ewing and another officer were involved in a traffic stop that started when they pulled over an African-American man named Sam Gibson “for a registration issue with his plates,” according to Brackney’s testimony. After running his driver’s license, Ewing and Officer Jonathan Killmeyer, who were in uniform, found that there was a warrant from Georgia connected to Gibson — but that it was a non-extradition warrant, meaning they couldn’t take him into custody. According to Brackney’s testimony, they asked “if [Gibson] had any drugs, weapons, or dead bodies in the vehicle.” The officers searched the car and patted down Gibson and his nephew, who was in the car with him, according to the deposition. But internal investigators could never find paperwork showing consent was obtained for the search, and their traffic-stop report “indicated that none of the occupants were frisked, which is contradictory to both Officer Ewing’s and Killmeyer’s statement that Mr. Gibson and his nephew were both patted down,” according to an internal investigative report cited in the deposition. After Gibson lodged a complaint, the city’s Office of Municipal Investigations found that Ewing and Killmeyer had conducted “an illegal search and seizure,” Brackney’s deposition shows. “I had concluded … that my officers were not truthful in their reporting of their official police reports and their traffic stops that they had submitted for review to their supervisors,” Brackney testified. “I recommended that they be disciplined. I also recommended that they be retrained and counseled.” Brackney isn’t the only supervisor who recommended retraining after expressing concern over the officers’ use of warrantless searches. CONTINUES ON PG. 16


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RECORDS CHECK, CONTINUED FROM PG. 14

Roughly three years after the Gibson traffic stop, and about a month before the Lamar Johnson incident, Kacsuta warned then-Zone 5 Commander Kevin Kraus about an incident in which Ewing, Saldutte and Sisak “forcibly” entered a residence without a warrant, according to a memo obtained under the state’s right-to-know law. The November 2009 incident unfolded after the officers used a confidential informant to arrest a “male juvenile” they suspected of selling drugs off a porch. When they arrested their suspect, he yelled, “‘Get out of here bro,’ indicating he had a co-conspirator,” according to the memo. Though it’s not entirely clear, the memo suggests the search for a co-conspirator led the officers at around 10 p.m. to an apartment occupied by an elderly woman. “They heard noise inside the apartment and forcibly entered without a search warrant. [The woman] told the officers that some people had been hanging out on her porch and was too afraid to ask them to leave or call the police,” Kacsuta wrote. “I do not believe that the officers had probable cause. … However, even giving the officers the benefit of the doubt and concluding that they may have had probable cause, they did not have exigent circumstances. Without exigent circumstances, a search warrant is required to forcibly enter

a home to search for drugs.” Kacsuta wrote that the officers “did not assess” the risk of entering the residence and “did not follow the operational plan,” adding that she recommends retraining in criminal procedure, rules regarding search warrant and exceptions, and additional training “regarding narcotics investigation.” But, she added, Ewing, Sisak and Saldutte “are very ambitious officers who are under pressure to succeed. They are not malicious in their actions, but in their zest to make this drug case, they made a mistake.” Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Sonya Toler said that neither Saldutte and Sisak, both active police officers, was authorized to speak without Chief Cameron McLay’s permission and that he couldn’t give permission because “he doesn’t know the background” of the incidents. She noted he would be briefed and would agree to an interview “as soon as possible.” That did not occur by press time. Ewing did not respond to a request made through McCandless Chief Gary Anderson, who confirmed Ewing is currently an officer there, but wouldn’t comment further. Toler said she would not comment on the officers’ disciplinary records, citing the police union’s contract with the city. Kraus, the commander to whom the

Kacsuta memo was addressed, said he didn’t recall the incident, and otherwise said the officers were among the best. He’s now a chief deputy in the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office. In fact, when choosing officers for his zone’s undercover 99 units, “All the information that I reviewed and the people who applied for it — hands down those were the best applicants for [those] positions.” Kraus would not comment extensively on the officer’s histories, but said one of the things that impressed him were Ewing, Sisak and Saldutte’s arrest statistics. Felony arrests for narcotics and firearms were all considered, Kraus says. And according to the bureau’s reports, Saldutte and Ewing led the department in weapons (VUFA) arrests, with 99 between the two of them in 2009. Adding Sisak’s 32 arrests, the trio were responsible for 20 percent of weapons arrests within the entire bureau of police that year. Sisak was responsible for 1,000 arrests over a four-year period ending in August 2009, his deposition shows. But lots of details about how the officers were chosen for undercover 99car work don’t come through in each of their depositions. According to Ewing, for instance, Sgt. Robert Lee recommended him in his application to work in a 99 car, but he didn’t learn until after the fact that Lee had recommended him. In another question from a Miles attorney, this time in Sisak’s deposition, it’s

revealed that Lee recommended Sisak for the position “no matter what you may have heard about him,” noting problems with “p.m. supervisors.” Sisak replies that he doesn’t know of any issues with those supervisors. For his part, the ACLU’s Walczak is pushing for the police to better monitor encounters with the general public by making the department’s officers document all pedestrian stops. It would allow supervisors to look at officer behavior and drive a conversation about how different communities should be policed. Walczak says the three stops described above involving Ewing, Sisak and Saldutte “raise serious questions and concerns about these officers’ regard for Fourth Amendment rights of African-American suspects. With conduct like this, it’s no wonder that communities of color are afraid of and dislike the police.” Campbell, the police-union lawyer, expressed frustration with that sentiment and the current wave of outrage toward police practices — from Pittsburgh to Ferguson, Mo. He says the media largely ignore how police are trained, which is why cases like Miles’ “got blown all out of proportion. … They set their own standards for what officers can or can’t do. “Officers are trained and they act in a certain way — and the general public and the media say, ‘We don’t have to look at it through those eyes.’” A Z I M M E RM A N @ P G HC I T Y PA P E R. C OM

{BY MATT BORS}

Dec. 19, 2014 | 6–10 pm Show off your ugliest holiday sweater at our adults-only holiday party! Measure acidity using poinsettias, create polymer snow, and make eggnog. Not even the Grinch could say no to this party! Visit CarnegieScienceCenter.org to register. Cost: $10 in advance/$15 at the door

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IDIOTBOX


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C AT H E D R A L O F H O P E . O R G

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

AS CONGRESSMEN GO, Rep. Mike Doyle is pretty friendly toward the environment. Doyle, who represents Pittsburgh and many suburbs, reliably votes for conservation, renewable energy and fighting air and water pollution. In 2009, he labored to garner support for the Waxman-Markey bill, which had it passed would have been landmark climate-change legislation. In 2013, Doyle’s rating on the League of Conservation Voters’ National Environmental scorecard was 82 percent — nearly double the U.S. House average. Until recently, Doyle had also unfailingly opposed bills supporting TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. The 875-mile pipeline, running from Alberta to Nebraska, would transport up to 830,000 barrels a day of Canada’s tar-sands oil to Gulf Coast refineries. Pipeline opponents have staged protests at the White House branding it an ecological and climate disaster. The project requires White House approval, and President Obama rejected TransCanada’s original application in 2012. In January, the State Department issued an impact study that said Keystone XL wouldn’t harm the environment because the oil could be transported by other means. But Obama has yet to rule on TransCanada’s revised application. That delay frustrates pipeline supporters. It also frustrates Doyle, who in November voted to approve the permit allowing pipeline construction. Doyle, a Democrat, says he voted mostly to urge Obama to simply make the call. Though he likes that the pipeline would create construction jobs, Doyle says he’d also be fine if Obama said “no.” While the Senate blocked the measure, the Keystone XL debate remains with us. What’s really at stake? The tar sands (technically, “bituminous sands”) aren’t liquid underground, like conventional crude. Rather, bitumen is a thick goo that is either strip-mined or burned from the ground, rather than drilled for. Such processes have destroyed huge swaths of Alberta’s virgin forest, and created toxic runoff and other industrial damage. Tarsands production is also much more energy-intensive than producing conventional oil; it takes two tons of tar sands to make one barrel of oil. Canada’s oil production is fifth-highest globally, and more than half of it comes from the tar sands. Tar-sands reserves are

vast, and could be exploited for decades. That’s what climate activists fear: Because of bitumen’s higher carbon content and bigfoot extraction methods, using tarsands oil emits 17 percent more greenhouse gasses than using conventional oil. Climatologist James Hansen — twice arrested protesting Keystone XL — has famously said that Keystone XL would be “game over” for the climate. Doyle, however, agrees with those who argue that tar-sands oil will be produced even if Keystone XL is denied. “They’re gonna do it one way or another,” he says — whether via another pipeline (say, one headed to the West Coast) or by rail. Pipeline opponents, by contrast, view Keystone XL as “the linchpin for a continued and grand expansion of the tar sands,” in the words of Sierra Club legislative director Melinda Pierce. Critics, noting that pipeline projects in Canada itself also face public opposition, say that halting Keystone XL would at least slow tarsands extraction. And they point out that rail isn’t a cure-all substitute. Disaster-prone, rail transport of oil faces grave safety concerns. And then there’s capacity. According to a June 2014 report by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, even greatly expanded rail capacity wouldn’t meet tar-sands growth projections: “The capacity provided by all the [pipeline] proposals” — including Keystone XL — “will be needed by 2030 to meet the forecast growth.” Still, the wild card is the price of oil. That State Department report, for instance, predicted that because rail’s expense shaves profit margins, “pipeline constraints” could affect tar-sands production after all if oil prices drop below $ 75 a barrel. At press time, oil was going for about $60 a barrel. vie Oil prices, of course, change continuously. Doyle’s long w is that, Keystone XL or not, our climate strategy must be to move more quickly toward renewable energy. But just as Doyle says he’ll keep fighting for renewables in Congress, the green groups that support that struggle will also be battling this pipeline. Says Lena Moffitt, a National Wildlife Federation climate-change expert: “Even if tar-sands projects are economical, we don’t have to be the country locking in this low-cost option for the most polluting industry on the planet.”

IS KEYSTONE XL “THE LINCHPIN FOR A CONTINUED EXPANSION OF THE TAR SANDS”?

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Welcome to Craft Beer 101. Over the next 2 weeks we will be featuring and educating you on the top craft beers of the week. Spend the holidays with your favorite craft beer.

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014


WATCH THEIR FACES LIGHT UP WINTER LIGHT GARDEN AND FLOWER SHOW

Now Open Let the magic of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens enchant you as you walk in a winter wonderland filled with glowing lights, vibrant blooms and other wondrous sights. The only thing brighter will be the smiles on their faces. To plan your holiday adventure, visit phipps.conservatory.org.

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THE CULINARY TRADITIONS OF MEXICO AND THE CARIBBEAN ARE SIMPATICO

AN EXPANDING FAMILY {BY REBECCA NUTTALL} At Hello Bistro’s grand opening of its new Downtown location on Dec. 10, staffers were eager to tell patrons about their favorite menu items. And some of those menu items might be familiar to loyal consumers of Eat’n Park, one of Pittsburgh’s biggest restaurant chains. Hello Bistro is owned and operated by the same group, and Eat’n Park favorites appear on its sister establishment’s menu. “One of the reasons we came up with Hello Bistro is it allows us to have a restaurant concept in a place where we can’t really put an Eat’n Park,” says Kevin O’Connell, senior vice president of marketing for Eat’n Park. Hello Bistro staples include “the “E’nP Super Burger,” as well as Eat’n Park’s potato soup and ranch dressing. But Hello Bistro also expands Eat’n Park’s popular salad bar, offering 55 toppings, ranging from artichoke hearts to wasabi peas. “We wanted to make a connection to Eat’n Park by having those fan favorites,” says O’Connell. “Hello Bistro is really inspired by taking the things that are most popular at Eat’n Park and designing it for the next generation.” But there are differences between the two. Hello Bistro features unique beverages like Weyland’s Soda, an allnatural drink brand sweetened with sugar cane. Other menu offerings include breakfast sandwiches served all day and hand-cut French fries. Hello Bistro’s Downtown spot joins two other locations, in South Side and Oakland. RNUTTALL@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

292 Forbes Ave., Downtown. 412-434-0100

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FEED

This holiday project ct combines two o food items into oa lovely air freshener, ner, ornamentt or even last-minute inute “thoughtfully handmade” gift. The classic citrus pomander ball couldn’t be simpler: Puncture an unpeeled orange (or lemon or grapefruit) with whole cloves, ideally in an attractive pattern. Add a ribbon, if hanging up, then enjoy the lovely spicy, citrusy fragrance. (Pro tip: Cloves can be tough on tender fingers; use thin gloves, or work in stages.)

{PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL}

{BY ANGELIQUE BAMBERG + JASON ROTH}

T

HE ORIGINAL Casa Rasta was a big

concept in a tiny space: MexicanCaribbean fusion, primarily in streetfood formats (tacos, burritos, tortas), served out of a small kitchen in Beechview into a smaller dining room. Word spread, and it wasn’t long before customers were lining up. During the summer months, sidewalk tables expanded the restaurant’s capacity by a few pleasant seats, and business at the take-out counter was brisk. Now, in a great example of success breeding more of the same, Casa Rasta has expanded. But instead of ditching its original Beechview location for a bigger, more mainstream address, the restaurant has — happily — chosen to open a second location on happening Highland Avenue in East Liberty. It’s a great fit: the small-scale and affordable, Caribbean-accented fare, combined with the buzz of an up-and-coming dining destination. The new space — which formerly housed Abay — is still small enough to feel intimate. It’s deep and narrow, with palm fronds suggestive of cabana roofs,

Grilled baby octopus in guajillo chile and garlic oil with coconut rice and fajita-style vegetables

local art on the walls and the inevitable reggae soundtrack. And with a proper dining room comes a bigger menu, with more than a dozen entrees, some of which go beyond simple mash-ups of ingredients from one place into a dish from another. The fusion of Mexican and Caribbean food is both unique and self-evident: The two regions are geographically close and their culinary traditions are simpatico. Yet, in Pittsburgh, Casa Rasta is the first to focus on the alchemy of these two cuisines.

CASA RASTA 130 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty. 412-362-7969 HOURS: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. PRICES: Appetizers, soups, salads, tacos $3-12; entrees $9-15 LIQUOR: BYOB

CP APPROVED We started with the list of taco fillings and branched out from there. Casa Rasta offers the usual suspects — carne asada, pork

carnitas, poblano chiles and potato — but also some more intriguing options, such as milanesa (thin breaded steak), Jamaican jerk chicken and shrimp curry. The fillings are all available in tortas, tostadas, burritos or quesadillas, as well. Our quesadilla al pastor effectively combined rich pork, with sweet, tangy pineapple and crisp red onion, all held together by just enough melted cheese and a wellcrisped tortilla. No island presence here, but it would stand up proudly to anything on offer at a taqueria. Tinga — shredded chicken in chipotle sauce — was juicy, flavorful, and authentically folded into doubled, warm tortillas. For sausage fans, there’s not only chorizo, but soyrizo (vegetarian) and chorizo verde, green chorizo, in style of Toluca, Mexico. This we had to try. In queso fundido, melted-cheese dip served in a hot skillet with tortillas on the side, the brilliant green sausage was amazingly grease-free. Its flavor was mildly spicy with hints of green chile, adding savor as well as crumbly texture to the mild white cheese. Cilantro CONTINUES ON PG. 24

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leaves countered with their citrusy brightness and diced onion added a pungent note. The entire combination was addictive. Fried avocado was served with isleño sauce, a ketchup-red blend of tomatoes, onion and pimento olives. It offered a briny, piquant contrast to the rich avocado, strips of which held their form in a coating of crisp breadcrumbs. Chiles en nogada are Casa Rasta’s version of chiles rellenos. The cheese-filled poblano peppers were draped with a walnut-studded goat cheese-cream sauce and garnished with pomegranate seeds. With these ingredients, the dish could be mistaken for an on-trend American update of a Mexican classic, but it is actually a traditional dish from the state of Puebla. (Its three colors — green, white and red — represent the colors of the Mexican flag.) That said, to our tastes — accustomed to goat cheese more parsimoniously employed as a salad topping — we found the abundant cheese-cream sauce on the heavy side.

On the RoCKs

{BY CELINE ROBERTS}

BOOZE AND COFFEE: STRONGER TOGETHER? Sarah Walsh is a “coldbrew cocktail evangelist” I’ve long been envious of Italy’s café corretto, the tradition of “fixing” coffee with a shot of liquor. For those looking for extra zing in their mugs, Pittsburgh has kept its coffee and cocktails distressingly far apart. Thankfully, Sarah Walsh is working on it. This self-proclaimed “cold-brew cocktail evangelist” — who owns the Caffé D’Amore coffee bars in Pittsburgh Public Market and Marty’s Market — has a contagious passion for her craft. She speaks lovingly of extraction processes, types of beans and the quality of roasters. Coffee is “this act of hospitality that’s been around for two thousand years,” she says. “Because of the tools we have at our fingertips now, we can do different things than we’ve ever been able to do.” With two coffee bars and a host of collaborative projects, it’s unlikely that Walsh sleeps, a testament to her enthusiasm and the quality of her product.

WALSH BRAINSTORMS WITH LOCAL BARTENDERS AND BARISTAS.

Red Stripe ribs, proudly bearing the name of Jamaica’s iconic beer, were the center of an entrée platter that added layer upon layer of flavor. The ribs were rubbed with Caribbean spices, basted with a citrusy beer glaze, and then served atop a mound of rice prepared Mexican-style but seasoned, it seemed, with a hint of allspice. The only miss was black beans, perfectly textured but also perfectly bland. A healthy splash of a garlicky sauce that also came on the plate fixed them right up, but we’re not sure why they were so flavorless to begin with. In its new East Liberty location, Casa Rasta combines the tropical, sometimes spicy flavors of Mexican and Caribbean food in more ambitious entrees as well as taqueria fare.

Cold brew in hand, Walsh has been brainstorming with local bartenders and baristas “to figure out how to pair these things in ways that really respect both, where you’re not sacrificing one or the other,” she says. “If I didn’t own a coffee company right now, I’d want to be a craft-cocktail bartender.” Pittsburgh Coffee Week afforded her a chance to bring her ideas to life at Constellation Coffee, where she taught a class on coffee cocktailing using spirits from local distillers Boyd & Blair and Wigle Whiskey. While her coffee bars lack liquor licenses, Walsh is eager to keep trading knowledge with Pittsburgh bartenders about liquor and coffee, and hopes to find a way to bring more coffee cocktails to the public. Her success organizing the ShrubDown, an all-in-goodfun competition where bartenders, tea purveyors, farmers and baristas face off with their best fruit, vinegar and seltzer concoctions, puts her on the map as a supporter of the bar community. Expect more from her, especially if you’re willing to loan her some time at your bar.

INF O @PGH C IT YPAPE R . C O M

INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

Casa Rasta owner and chef Antonio Fraga

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014


Dine In/Take Out/Delivery

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THE FOLLOWING DINING LISTINGS ARE RESTAURANTS RECOMMENDED BY CITY PAPER FOOD CRITICS

DINING LISTINGS KEY J = Cheap K = Night Out L = Splurge E = Alcohol Served F = BYOB

ALI BABA. 404 S. Craig St., Oakland. 412-682-2829. Service is quick at this Middle Eastern restaurant, designed to feed students and nearby museum-staff lunchers. It can get loud and close during busy times, but the atmosphere is always convivial. A wideraging menu ensures that carnivores and herbivores alike leave satisfied. JE ATRIA’S. Multiple locations. www.atrias.com. A local chain, Atria’s locations offer distinctly different atmospheres but the same quality steaks, chops and pasta menu. Suburban spots are for quiet casual dining while the North Side location is pure sports pub. Regardless of the ambience, the sherry crab bisque and the pasta fra diablo are superb. kE BOHÈM BISTRO. 530 Northpointe Circle, Seven Fields. 724-741-6015. This charming North Hills venue offers sophisticated comfort food and peasant fare, designed to be shared in a casual atmosphere. Deviled eggs, pulled pork, roast chicken, mac-and-cheese and a selection of items available as tartines, crepes or flatbreads. Yes, a croque madame can be a superbly presented as a flatbread. KE BRILLOBOX. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. 412-621-4900. A bar that serves well-designed retro chic with its whiskey and beer, Brillobox is (for now) the cool place to be. The menu isn’t lengthy, but it’s broad: Choose from bar staples or more inventive (and veggie-friendly) specialties such as Moroccan roasted-vegetable stew or herbed polenta wedges. JE CAFÉ RAYMOND. 2103 Penn Ave., Strip District. 412-281-4670. A perfect place to catch lunch or a snack during Strip District shopping forays, this little café offers an array of artisan breads, French pastries, fine cheeses and refined delicatessen fare. The few tables up front — augmented by sidewalk seating in season — have the feel of a bright, cozy, Parisian café. J DINETTE. 5996 Centre Ave., East Liberty. 412-362-0202. This refined California-inspired pizzeria and wine bar offers a small menu mostly featuring gourmet thin-crust pizzas. The focus here is on fresh, local and

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

Bohèm Bistro {PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL} sustainable. Inventive pizzas include toppings such as wilted greens, littleneck clams, goat cheese and Brussels sprouts. Guests at the wine-bar counter get a front-row seat for the pizza-making. KE EDEN. 735 Copeland St., Shadyside. 412-802-7070. The food here is inspired by the raw-food movement, but it’s hardly dreary health food. The menu is simple, with a few options in each category: starter, main (raw), main (hot) and sweet. Some dishes were frankly salads, while others were raw, vegan adaptations of cooked comfort foods. (Chicken can be added to some dishes.) There is also an extensive menu of freshly squeezed and blended juices and smoothies. JF

Il Pizzaioli {PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL} EGGS N’AT. 8556 University Blvd., Moon Township. 412-262-2920. This stylish and cheery diner offers a variety of pancakes, as well as sandwiches and combo platters of breakfast foods. The “Mama Evans” pancakes are filled with blueberries and bacon, a

combination that is smoky, sweet and savory all at once. Also on offer: muffuleta, a New Orleans-style multi-layered and pressed sandwich. J GIA VISTO. 4366 Old William Penn Highway, Monroeville. 412-374-1800. The menu at this welcoming Italian restaurant ranges from simple classics to elegant inventions. Whether it’s a fried risotto appetizer enlivened with a elemental but sublime red sauce, or a perfectly cooked salmon on a Mediterranean-inspired bed of beans and vegetables, the fare exhibits the kitchen’s attention to detail. KF HARRIS GRILL. 5747 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-362-5273. A neighborhood bar and grill (with two outdoor patios) where fun is as important as the fresh food and the cold beer. What else to make of a place that serves “Britney Spears” (chicken tenders on a stick), Cheeses of Nazareth and The Wrongest Dessert Ever, and offers free bacon at the bar on Tuesdays? JE HOKKAIDO SEAFOOD BUFFET. 4536 Browns Hill Road, Squirrel Hill. 412-421-1422. This buffet-style restaurant rises above the scourge of the steam table to offer some true gems among its panoply of East Asian offerings. There’s standard Chinese-American fare, but also sushi, hibachistyle Japanese cooked to order, popular offerings such as crab legs and roast Peking duck, and even frog legs. KF IL PIZZAIOLI. 703 Washington Road, Mount Lebanon. 412-344-4123. This popular neighborhood café serves Neapolitan-style pasta and


$ 2 DRINKS Yama {PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL} pizza, including the scandalously cheesy quattro formaggi pizza. The front room overlooks bustling Washington Avenue; in season, lucky diners can enjoy the rear garden courtyard. KE J.W. HALL’S STEAK AND SEAFOOD INN. 2284 Broadhead Road, Aliquippa. 724-375-6860. This old-fashioned, family-style steakhouse offers a satisfying, well-executed menu of surf-andturf favorites, including broiled shrimp appetizer, langostinos and prime rib. The menu’s emphasis on steak and seafood rises to special occasions, while plenty of pasta dishes, sandwiches and pub-style appetizers accommodate regulars. LE

brunch and dinner. The artfully prepared cuisine suggests a cross between current fine-dining culture (locally sourced foods, sous vide meats), lounge favorites (sliders and fish tacos) and Southern comfort (chicken with black-eyed peas and greens, watermelon salad). LE SOBA/UMI. 5847-9 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412-362-5656/ 412-362-6198. Here, the local Big Burrito group offers two different menus in the same building. Soba offers pan-Asian fusion (from Korean barbeque to Thai corn chowder and Vietnamese hot-and-sour shrimp) in a minimalist yet elegant restaurant/lounge. Umi’s Japanese menu, meanwhile, focuses on sushi and teriyaki; it’s a perennial finalist in City Paper’s “Best of Pittsburgh” issue. LE

LEGENDS OF THE NORTH SHORE. 500 E. North Ave., North Side. 412-321-8000. Despite its name, Legends is no sports bar: STAGIONI. 2104 E. Carson St., It’s a family-friendly restaurant South Side. 412-586-4738. This with a local flavor. The menu cozy storefront restaurant offers is almost exclusively Italian: a marriage of traditional Offerings include ingredients and classics such as gnocchi modern, sophisticated Bolognese and penne sensibilities. From in vodka sauce, and inventive salads more distinctive . w ww per utilizing seasonal specialties such as a p ty ci h pg ingredients and filet saltimbocca. KF .com house-made pastas to flavorful meat entrees MALLORCA. 2228 E. and vegetarian plates, the fare Carson St., South Side. exhibits a masterful combination 412-488-1818. The ambience here of flavors and textures. KF is full of Old World charm, with just a touch of hipness bolstered VALLOZZI’S PITTSBURGH. by attentive service. The fare 220 Fifth Ave., Downtown. 412is Spanish cuisine, and there’s 394-3400. The venerable Italian no mistaking the restaurant’s restaurant from Greensburg now signature dish: paella, featuring has a Downtown outpost. In this a bright red lobster tail. In warm elegant space, some classic dishes weather, enjoy the outdoor patio are updated; a few favorites, like along lively Carson Street. KE turtle soup are retained; and the fresh mozzarella bar deserves NOLA ON THE SQUARE. 24 to become a classic. Try the Market Square, Downtown. distinctive pizza, with a layered, 412-471-9100. Offering a boldly cracker-like crust. LE refined take on straight-up, traditional New Orleans food, YAMA. 538 Third St., Beaver. NOLA’s menu is an invitation 724-774-5998. This Japanese to kick back, relax and savor restaurant offers familiar favorites the flavors: cheesy griddle grits such as tempura, sushi and with a chunky tomato sauce teriyaki, but takes an artistic and green beans; oyster stew; approach to authentic cuisine. and catfish strips paired with Thus fried gyoza dumplings are spicy papaya. KE garnished with a small tumbleweed of finely grated carrot, SAVOY. 2623 Penn Ave., Strip and an octopus salad is graced District. 412-281-0660. The Strip District now has a swanky spot for with cucumber matchsticks. KF

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LOCAL

“THE TAGLINE IS ‘POP MUSIC FOR SMART PEOPLE.’”

BEAT

{BY ANDY MULKERIN}

POWER

SICK JAMS The Sicks is a band made up of a bunch of guys who have been in bands in Pittsburgh for decades — just never all together. “I always joke, the Pittsburgh thing is, we all just reconfigure into different bands,” guitarist Sam Matthews says. “But this doesn’t sound like Caustic Christ, it doesn’t sound like Kim Phuc — it’s different.” That’s just a fraction of the band’s pedigree: Matthews is The Sicks’ elder statesman, having been around for the first wave of punk, and played in The Bats and The Crow Flies. The young guns, if you can call them that, who join him are Corey Lyons and Eric Good (who played together in Aus-Rotten in the ’90s, and then Caustic Christ) and Rob Henry (vocalist for Kim Phuc, in which Lyons also played). The band’s original drummer, Mark Miller, once played in The Bats; currently, the band’s drummer is relative newcomer Nick von Krusentjerna. But The Sicks are far from a rehash of the past. There’s a vintage feel to the band’s minimalist punk rock, but it doesn’t pull too much from any of the musicians’ past projects. While Henry’s vocals hearken to his Kim Phuc work, the riffs and rhythms are different from what that band brought. And there’s more of a post-punk feel than the hardcore punk of Caustic Christ. Originally, Matthews and Henry wanted to play together post-Kim Phuc. Then, through time spent hanging out at Mind Cure Records, in Polish Hill, listening to music, Matthews found he bonded with Good as well. “He and I were always on the same page. … One of our theories is, what’s missing in punk music these days is verse, chorus, middle — actual songwriting. Guitar solos, all that stuff. A lot of the stuff we’re hearing [recently is] just one riff [that] changes dynamically.” After releasing a demo on tape and online earlier this year, The Sicks cut a 7-inch with Dave Rosenstraus at his Braddock studio, for release via the Austin-based Fair Warning Records. This weekend, the band releases the 7-inch with a show that also features The Gotobeds and Blood Pressure. It’s a tough thing to pin down a hybrid sound like The Sicks’, but Matthews jokingly says, “I like to say we’re ‘protopunk-punk-rock-post-punk.’”

“WHAT’S MISSING IN PUNK MUSIC THESE DAYS IS VERSE, CHORUS — ACTUAL SONGWRITING.”

AMULKERIN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

THE SICKS 7-INCH RELEASE with BLOOD PRESSURE, THE GOTOBEDS. 10 p.m. Sat., Dec. 20th. Gooski’s, 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $5. 412-681-1658

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MOVE

{BY BRIAN CONWAY}

B

Y NOW, you’ve probably heard something of the Ali Spagnola saga: Well-intentioned Carnegie Mellon art student makes and markets a “power hour” drinking-game album of 60 original one-minute songs. She receives a cease-and-desist letter for using the trademarked term “power hour,” spends three years (and $ 30,000 of her own money) fighting and eventually winning a legal battle to free the term for herself and future generations of party-minded college students, and becomes Internet-famous in the process. You won’t believe what happens next. “I’m moving to L.A.,” she says. “I’ve got to make the follow-up to The Power Hour Album.” For a couple more weeks, at least, Spagnola is still in Pittsburgh. When I met with her recently at a South Side coffeeshop, she was dressed in jeans and a pink Power Ranger hoodie. “I was actually wearing this last night at the strip club,” she told me. “That’s how awesome I am today.”

ALI SPAGNOLA’S FAREWELL POWER HOUR 10 p.m. Fri., Dec. 26. Club Café, 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com

The strip-club visit was the latest of Spagnola’s “Snapchat Stunts,” which basically involve Ali and some friends going out and acting a fool. Anybody can watch it unfold in near real-time on Snapchat, or later on YouTube. Today, Spagnola has well over 1.4 million followers on Twitter. Her Vine account, launched last April, numbers more than 360,000. That places Spagnola

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

CONTINUES ON PG. 30

{PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL}

Ali Spagnola


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in the top 650 Vine users worldwide, a resignation letter.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;My most legit job right now is Fanfew spots above the likes of Zac Efron and dango,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I make music videos Will Ferrell. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think most of my followers just for them about their upcoming movies. think Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a comedian,â&#x20AC;? says Spagnola, â&#x20AC;&#x153;or Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve only done one so far, and it was like, make free jokes on the Internet for to announce Transformers 4. I basically a living, which is not the case. There are rapped through the ďŹ rst three Transformplenty of times when theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be like, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Oh, ers movies in two minutes, so you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to watch them before you see the you do music too?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not hard to understand the mis- fourth one.â&#x20AC;? Since then, Fandango released a secconception. Aside from the live power ond music video written by Spaghour and the occasional cover nola. In it, she plays a crazed song on YouTube, Spagnolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s E Hunger Games fan camped N musical pursuits have been I L N O outside a theater three limited as of late. Her most RAscenes XTth E d e weeks prior to the Mockrecent album is still The in h e t b n ia o G ,ag Spagnola hole ingjay, Part One premiere. Power Hour Album, released with Ali w a d n a monster ped cream Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s concise, clever, catchy in 2011 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a lifetime ago in ip lot of wh .pghcity and just the right amount the social-media age, espeat www m paper.co of corny â&#x20AC;&#x201D; everything thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cially for someone with four made her so popular thus far. albums under her belt. The ultimate goal, Spagnola â&#x20AC;&#x153;The app came up,â&#x20AC;? she explains, referring to the mobile version says, is nothing less than pop stardom. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going for,â&#x20AC;? she says. she designed of The Power Hour Album, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and other stuff too. I was touring; I was â&#x20AC;&#x153;To keep whatever Internet presence that I have, but make some music that doing comedy.â&#x20AC;? Until recently, Spagnola served as a still resonates.â&#x20AC;? But will the legions of Ali Spagnola fans member of the Pittsburgh Penguins Ice Crew. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like ice dancing if janitors did also become fans of Ali Spagnolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think anything that I do will be it,â&#x20AC;? she jokes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wanted to make some viral incident about getting ďŹ red from the Pens, too disparate from what I did before,â&#x20AC;? she but instead it was, you know, a pleasant says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still me. And, if anything,

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Macklemore wrote â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Thrift Shop,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clearly a funny song, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also really freaking catchy and actually good music. And then he can also turn around a write a song about gay marriage, and be taken seriously on both levels.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The tagline is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;pop music for smart people,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? she continues. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So, witty lyrics that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be shallow to appreciate, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still very catchy, upbeat kind of stuff that you can dance to.â&#x20AC;? Spagnolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s move to LA will come a

I hope that my fan base would want something fresh.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;[I have] two or three [songs] that are at very early stages,â&#x20AC;? she says about the new album. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not going to be a game, or anything. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not going to be [another] Power Hour. I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t say itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comedy music, but it will be the funny, tongue-in-cheek, witty stuff that I am usually writing.â&#x20AC;? Pressed for details, she provides this example:

?MIZMXZW]L\WIVVW]VKM\PMWXMVQVOWN\PMĂ&#x2026;Z[\ :IaUWVL2IUM[)[[WKQI\M[JZIVKPWâ&#x20AC;ŤŮťâ&#x20AC;ŹKMQV*MI^MZ SAM W. SPANOS, CRPCÂŽ

MARK Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;LEARY, CRPCÂŽ

Senior Vice President, Investments Managing Director, Branch Manager sam.spanos@raymondjames.com

Vice President, Investments mark.oleary@raymondjames.com

JOSEPH D. THOMPSON, MBA

GENNARO A. MARSICO, J.D., CFPÂŽ, CIMAÂŽ, CRPCÂŽ

Vice President, Investments Branch Business and Operations Manager joseph.thompson@raymondjames.com

Vice President, Investments gennaro.marsico@raymondjames.com

VICKIE BOBCHAK, CRPCÂŽ

TODD C. TODORICH, CRPC

ÂŽ

Senior Registered Service Associate vickie.bobchak@raymondjames.com

Vice President, Investments todd.todorich@raymondjames.com

ROBERT M. LEWIS, CRPCÂŽ

TRACY STARKWEATHER, CRPCÂŽ, AAMSÂŽ

Vice President, Investments robert.lewis@raymondjames.com

Senior Registered Service Associate tracy.starkweather@raymondjames.com

GEORGE KRUTH, CRPCÂŽ

STEPHEN A. KIMMEL, CRPCÂŽ

Vice President, Investments george.kruth@raymondjames.com

Senior Registered Service Associate stephen.kimmel@raymondjames.com

Temporary address: 2009 Mackenzie Way, Suite 100 // Cranberry Township, PA 16066 Mailing address: 1069 Third Street // Beaver, PA 15009 T 844.545.2259 // F 866.522.9664 // Please visit our website: spanosgrp.com Š2014 Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC 14-RJA-0575 TA 11/14

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014


year after she left her job as lead artist at Evil Genius Designs, a video-game company and spin-off of CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center. “[The job] was super fun; it was tough to leave that,” she says. “It just became very clear that I needed to dedicate all my waking moments to music. And I didn’t have time to cram it in from 5-9 anymore. I was moonlighting as a rock star instead of being a full-time rock star,” she says with a laugh. Quitting a successful and rewarding job to pursue stardom may sound naive, if not downright foolish, but so far Spagnola has been successful nearly every step of the way. Her successes are as much attributable to her acumen and forethought as they are her talent. “It’s way less fun when you realize how much thought I put into a stupid Vine, or how many scripts I’ve written for Vines, or how many backlogs of tweets that I’m working until they’re just right,” she says. “There’s an oddly low-key, yet completely fierce ambition about Ali,” says Nathan Zoob, of the band Wreck Loose. Zoob knows Spagnola from their days at CMU, when she played drums in The Mercy Rules, a band they were in together. “She knows exactly what she wants,” he says. Before moving away, Spagnola, along with her drummer, Colin Murphy, has one final Power Hour scheduled, the day after Christmas at Club Café. “It’s going to be a freaking blast,” she says. “We’re making sure I go out with a bang.” Besides the show, I asked Spagnola what she has planned for her waning days in Pittsburgh. “I have an Evernote about it,” she says. “I have Evernotes about everything! It’s this complex [software-based] note system where you can categorize, and tag, and search through all of your ideas. It’s pretty fantastic.” Among the items on her to-do list: try 3-D printing at the Carnegie Library, do a Livestream Power Hour for her Internet fans, and eat at Primanti’s. And while Spagnola admits to being both nervous and excited to be leaving Pittsburgh, she’ll only ever be a red-eye away. “All my family is here,” says the Beaver County native, “and I’ll definitely come back for CMU’s homecoming. I do Carnival every year, so I’ll be back here in April, I’m sure.” Before that, Spagnola is scheduled to appear at SXSW. Only this year, she’ll be there not as a performer, but as a panelist. The panel discussion? “How to quit your day job and live your dream full time.”

NEW RELEASES {BY ANDY MULKERIN}

COASTAL REMEDY TO THE WORLD (SEVEN FIELDS ENTERTAINMENT) WWW.COASTALREMEDY.COM

This full-length is a follow-up to the Indiana, Pa.-based band’s self-titled debut, which came out two years ago. My quibble with the debut was that it was all over the place; this one shows the four-piece spent time honing its material and maturing. Each song follows from the last, and Coastal Remedy has found its sound: somewhere between singer-songwriter pop, grunge and late-’90s emo-core. Acoustic guitar underlies much of the material, but most of it has a loud, rock-band finish. Even the odd instrumental finds its place in the larger landscape of the album. At just shy of an hour total, it might be a bit much to digest as one album — the inherent risk is that even fans won’t often make it to track 14, if anyone still listens to an album through these days — but it’s conceptual and well-planned regardless.

COME HOLY SPIRIT COME HOLY SPIRIT (SELF-RELEASED) WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/COMEHOLYSPIRITPGH

Eight-track full-length cassette release from the project of Gina Favano with Sam Pace (Gangwish) and Aaron Lindberg (Lungs Face Feet) backing her up. Polyrhythms and semitones bring a non-Western feel to much of this release; Favano’s singing often rests between incantation and spiritual. The first several tracks are moody and unresolved, but they give way in the end to the more free-and-easy “Too Many Damn Sticks” and the exuberant “Grand Island.” Shades of David Byrne, only less reserved, or maybe art-pop minus most of the pop.

INFO@ PGHC ITY PAP ER.CO M

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# I T S M I L L E RT I M E # P I T T S B U R G H


{PHOTO COURTESY OF NICOLE C. KIBERT}

CRITICS’ PICKS

White Wives [PUNK] + THU., DEC. 18 It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard from White Wives, but rumors of the band’s demise were apparently greatly exaggerated. The sort-of-supergroup headed up by Anti-Flag’s Chris #2 and Roger Harvey (of Roger Harvey and the Wild Life) is back for a short Northeast tour. Tonight’s hometown show acts as a release show for the band’s 7-inch, which has been out for a year. Joining the band at The Shop tonight: Mace Ballard, Grand Piano and The Homeless Gospel Choir. Andy Mulkerin 7 p.m. 4314 Main St., Bloomfield. $5-7. All ages. www.a-frecords.com

[COUNTRY-RAP] + THU., DEC. 18 County-rap star Bubba Sparxxx broke out to an unsuspecting market with Timbaland in late 2001, and hasn’t slowed down over the past decade. The face behind early-’00s Chicago classics “Ugly” and Afrobeat Project “Ms. New Booty” has introduced a heavier country voice on his latest 2014 release, Made on McCosh Mill Road. The change seems a better fit than the past club hits, perhaps because Sparxxx, born Warren Anderson Mathis, hails from the backwoods of Georgia. You can hear old and new sounds tonight at Altar Bar with Diamond State Empire, Bigler Bros. and Jordan York. Samantha Ward 7 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $16-18. All ages. 412-206-9719 or www.thealtarbar.com

[ROCK] + FRI., DEC. 19 Joe Grushecky is an Iron City native and one of

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those anomalous rock stars who never quite grabbed the big spotlight. Grushecky and his band, The Houserockers, released their debut album in 1979 on MCA Records, and despite critical favor from Rolling Stone and Billboard, never received widespread attention. Later in its career, the band was spruced up by some contributions from Grushecky’s longtime friend Bruce Springsteen; the two have played quite a few shows together, Bubba both in Pittsburgh Sparxxx and in New Jersey. Now on tour supporting his most recent album, Somewhere East of Eden, Grushecky is rocking harder than ever. Joining the band at this show will be Ed Manion, of the E Street Horns; could Bruce make an appearance too? SW 9 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $12. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafe live.com

Pittsburgh’s

Live Music Scene!

Tickets at www.jergels.com

MONDAY, DECEMBER 29

[AFROBEAT] + FRI., DEC. 19 Earlier this year, the Chicago Afrobeat Project pulled through town with none other than legendary Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen in tow. That was only a short tour, but the band is back (without Allen this time) in a more intimate setting, at Thunderbird Café tonight. The longtime Afrobeat interpreters have played with numerous Kuti affiliates and other well-known rockers; tonight, they’re joined by Afroheat, the DJ duo of locals Vex and SMI. AM 9 p.m. 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $12-15. 412-682-0177 or www.thunderbirdcafe.net

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TO SUBMIT A LISTING: HTTP://PGHCITYPAPER.COM/HAPPENINGS 412.316.3388 (FAX) + 412.316.3342 X194 (PHONE) {ALL LISTINGS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY 9 A.M. FRIDAY PRIOR TO PUBLICATION}

THU 18 CLUB CAFE. Eve Goodman, Tom Valentine, Dave Pellow, Janelle Burdell, Pete Freeman, Ben Shannon. South Side. 412-431-4950. DOWNEY’S HOUSE. Marino Erwin. Robinson. 412-489-5631. LAVA LOUNGE. The Common Heart, Round Black Ghosts, Nameless in August. South Side. 412-431-5282. LEVELS. Scott & Pete Duo. North Side. 412-231-7777. REX THEATER. Turkuaz w/ Jonathan Scales Fourchestra. South Side. 412-381-6811. THUNDERBIRD CAFE. Slim Forsythe Big Band, Paul Labrise Trio, Trout Season. Lawrenceville. 412-682-0177.

FRI 19 ALTAR BAR. Red Dragon Cartel, Homicide Black, Silk9. Strip District. 412-263-2877. AMBRIDGE SONS OF ITALY. Cindy & Dave. Ambridge. 724-266-3991. CATTIVO. School of Athens. Lawrenceville. 412-687-2157. CLAIRTON AMERICAN LEGION.Daniels & McClain. Clairton. 412-400-1141. CLUB CAFE. Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers. South Side. 412-431-4950. CRANBERRY ELKS. Bo’Hog Brothers & the Rhythm Hawks. Cranberry. 724-776-9908. GOOSKI’S. Patton, Motometer, Under Everything. Polish Hill. 412-681-1658. HAMBONE’S. Charlie Wheeler Band. Lawrenceville. 412-681-4318. HARD ROCK CAFE. Identity X, Alter The Design, Misaligned Mind, Anthems of Apathy. Station Square. 412-481-7625. HOWLERS COYOTE CAFE. Nightly Standard, Neon Swing X-perience. Bloomfield. 412-682-0320. JIM’S PUB 66. The Dave Iglar Band. KOLLAR CLUB. Ghost Guts, The Harlan Twins, Andre Costello & The Cool Minors, The Red Western, Satin Gum, Chrome Moses, Chet Vincent & The Big Bend, Grand Piano. South Side. 412-431-2002. LATITUDE 360. Radio Tokyo. North Fayette. 412-693-5555. LEVELS. John Sarkis Trio. North Side. 412-231-7777. MOONDOG’S. Bill Deasy & Rob James, Allegheny River Boys. Child Health International

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

Foundation Benefit. Blawnox. 412-828-2040. RINKY DINKS ROADHOUSE. The Rusty Haywhackers. 724-228-1059. SMILING MOOSE. Sablowskis, T-Tops, The Lopez, Playoff Beard. Calendar comp release. South Side. 412-431-4668. SMOKEHOUSE BAR & GRILLE. OGWS. Beechview. 412-344-8700. SOUTHMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Aurora, Sylvania, Crossings Crew, Vakasa Kavi. Mt. Lebanon. 412-452-6749. STAGE AE. Spacefish, 80 Degreez. North Side. 412-229-5483.

SAT 20 ALTAR BAR. The Spacepimps, Patent Pending, Look Out Loretta, Dash City Skyline. Strip District. 412-263-2877. BRILLOBOX. Grand Piano, Outside Inside, Beagle Brothers. Bloomfield. 412-621-4900. CLUB CAFE. Southside American,

The Mutiny (Early) The Rents, Shameless Hex (Late). South Side. 412-431-4950. DOWNEY’S HOUSE. Bottom Floor. Robinson. 412-489-5631. GOOSKI’S. The Gotobeds, The S/CKS, Blood Pressure. Polish Hill. 412-681-1658. HARVEY WILNER’S. Max House & the Percolators. West Mifflin. 412-466-1331. HOG’S HEAD BAR & GRILL. The Kardasz Brothers. Spring Garden. 412-231-9488. HOWLERS COYOTE CAFE. Circles & Squares, Jeremy Caywoon & the Way of Life, Morgan Erina. Circles & Squares CD release. Bloomfield. 412-682-0320. KENDREW’S. The Grid. 724-375-5959. KNUCKLEHEAD’S BAR. The Dave Iglar Band. Ross. KOLLAR CLUB. Marah. South Side. MOONDOG’S. The Anti-Psychotics, Crooked Cobras, Six Speed Kills. Blawnox. 412-828-2040.

MP 3 MONDAY THE NEFFS {PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE MAST}

ROCK/POP

Each week, we bring you a new track from a local band. This week’s offering comes from The Neffs; stream or download “Slow Deal,” from the band’s new album, Roam, on our music blog, FFW>>, at pghcitypaper.com.


NIED’S HOTEL. Slim Forsythe & the Turbosonics. Lawrenceville. 412-781-9853. THE R BAR. The Rockit Band. Dormont. 412-942-0882. SPEAL’S TAVERN. Oak Leaf. 724-433-1322.

HOWLERS COYOTE CAFE. AF The Navigator, Holm, Stillborn Identity, Middle Name Danger, Lazy JP. Bloomfield. 412-682-0320.

SUN 21 HOWLERS COYOTE CAFE. Endless Mike & The Beagle Club, SFX, Reinforced. Bloomfield. 412-682-0320.

THE R BAR. Tas Cru. Dormont. 412-942-0882. SLOPPY JOE’S. Wil E. Tri & the Bluescasters. Mt. Washington. 412-381-4300.

TUE 23

FRI 19

THE MCKEESPORT PALISADES. Totally 80s. McKeesport. 412-400-9977. WOOLEY BULLY’S. Dave Iglar Band. New Brighton. 724-494-1578.

THE DEAD HORSE CANTINA & MUSIC HALL. Muddy Kreek Blues Band. McKees Rocks. 412-973-3295. LEGACY LANES. Ron & The RumpShakers. 412-653-2695. NOLA ON THE SQUARE. John Gresh. Downtown. 412-471-9100.

DJS THU 18 BELVEDERE’S. Neon w/ DJ hatesyou. 80s Night. Lawrenceville. 412-687-2555. CLUB TABOO. DJ Matt & Gangsta Shak. Homewood. 412-969-0260.

BLUES THU 18

SAT 20

ELWOOD’S PUB. Ms. Freddye’s Home Cookin’ Band. 724-265-1181. NOLA ON THE SQUARE. Billy the Kid & the Regulators. Downtown. 412-471-9100. www. per OBEY HOUSE. hcitypa g p DRUM BAR. DJ NugBill Toms & Hard Rain, .com get. North Side. Jill Simmons & Friends, 412-231-7777. Jimmy Adler Blues Band. THE NEW AMSTERDAM. Desus. Crafton. 412-922-3883. Lawrenceville. 412-682-6414. THUNDERBIRD CAFE. ONE 10 LOUNGE. DJ Billy Price Band. Lawrenceville. Goodnight, DJ Rojo. Downtown. 412-682-0177. 412-874-4582. VERDETTO’S. Yoho’s Yinzide ROWDY BUCK. Top 40 Dance. Out. North Side. 412-231-3004. South Side. 412-431-2825. RUGGER’S PUB. 80s Night w/ DJ Connor. South Side. JIMMY K’S GRILLE. 412-381-1330. The Bobby Short Reunion w/ “Southside” Jerry. New Brighton. 724-384-8683. DIESEL. DJ CK. South Side. 412-431-8800. DRUM BAR. DJ Jack Millz. BOCKTOWN BEER & North Side. 412-231-7777. GRILL. Sweaty Betty. Monaca. GUS’S CAFE. Pittsburgh 412-788-2333. Caribbean/International Saturdays. Lawrenceville. 412-315-7271. REMEDY. Push It! DJ Huck ANDYS. Lisa Hindmarsh. Finn, DJ Kelly Fasterchild. Downtown. 412-773-8884. Lawrenceville. 412-781-6771. CAVO. Carlton Leeper, ROWDY BUCK. Top 40 Dance. Lito Corpuz Victoria Brady, South Side. 412-431-2825. Patrick Whitehead. Strip District. S BAR. Pete Butta. South Side. 412-610-1384. 412-481-7227. JAMES STREET WINGHART’S - OAKLAND. GASTROPUB & SPEAKEASY. Steel City Sundays. The Session Jam Roger W/ DJ Goodnight. Oakland. Humphries Jam Session. 412-874-4582. North Side. 412-904-3335.

FRI 19

FULL LIST ONLINE

SUN 21

SAT 20

TUE 23

JAZZ

THU 18

TUE 23

BZ’S BAR & GRILL. TwoStep Tuesdays feat. Groove Pharmacy. North Side. 412-323-2924.

WED 24 SPOON. Spoon Fed. Hump day chill. House music. aDesusParty. East Liberty. 412-362-6001.

HIP HOP/R&B THU 18 ALTAR BAR. Bubba Sparxxx. Strip District. 412-263-2877.

FRI 19 ANDYS. Maria Becoates-Bey. Downtown. 412-773-8884. OMNI WILLIAM PENN. Joe Negri w/ Max Leake. Downtown. 412-553-5235. SUPPER CLUB RESTAURANT. Erin Burkett & Virgil Walters. Greensburg. 724-850-7245.

the Slide Worldwide. East Liberty. JAMES STREET GASTROPUB & SPEAKEASY. Christopher Williams. North Side. 412-904-3335. LEMONT. Take Two. Mt. Washington. 412-431-3100. VILLAGE TAVERN & TRATTORIA. Tony Campbell & Jazzsurgery. West End. 412-458-0417.

SUN 21 OMNI WILLIAM PENN. Frank Cunimondo. Downtown. 412-553-5235.

MON 22 ECLIPSE LOUNGE. Open Jazz Night w/ the Howie Alexander Trio. Lawrenceville. 412-251-0097.

TUE 23 FIFTH AVENUE PLACE. Roger Barbour Jazz Quartet. Downtown. THUNDERBIRD CAFE. Space Exchange Series w/ Chrisparkermas. Lawrenceville. 412-682-0177.

WED 24 ANDYS. James McClellan. Downtown. 412-773-8884. CAFE IO. Dave Brosky. Playing the Chapman Stick. Mt. Lebanon. 412-440-0414. RIVERS CLUB. Jessica Lee & Friends. Downtown. 412-391-5227. VILLAGE TAVERN & TRATTORIA. The Dante’ Soulsville Project. West End. 412-458-0417.

ACOUSTIC DOWNEY’S HOUSE. Montrord. Robinson. 412-489-5631.

FRI 19 ELWOOD’S PUB. The Unknown String Band. 724-265-1181.

SAT 20

HAMBONE’S. Calliope East End Appalachian Jam. Lawrenceville. 412-681-4318.

WED 24 ALLEGHENY ELKS LODGE #339. Pittsburgh Banjo Club. Wednesdays. North Side. 412-321-1834. PARK HOUSE. Shelf Life String Band. North Side. 412-224-2273.

THUNDERBIRD CAFE. Chicago Afrobeat Project. Lawrenceville. 412-682-0177.

REGGAE FRI 19 CAPRI PIZZA AND BAR. Bombo Claat Friday Reggae w/ VYBZ CONTINUES ON PG. 38

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OPEN HOUSE!

412.431.0700

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SUN 21

FRI 19

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1305 E. CARSON ST.

OLIVE OR TWIST. The Vagrants. Downtown. 412-255-0525. WIGLE WHISKEY BARREL HOUSE. The Whiskey Rebellion. North Side. 412-224-2827.

WORLD

SAT 20

Register today for the NEW SEMESTER!

THU 18

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Visit pittsburghCLO.org for a complete schedule

STOP BY TODAY AND FIND YOUR MARTIN GUITAR OR UKULELE!

Next semester beginss January 12 NEW CLASS! ENROLL ONLINE or Film Acting for TV & call 412-281-2234 for ages 8-18.

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C L A S S I F I E D S

37


CONCERTS, CONTINUED FROM PG. 37

Machine Intl Sound System. East Liberty. 412-362-1250. EL TORO LOCO. Freedom Band. South Side. 412-431-1100.

‘C C A U S E H E R E W E C OM M E.

SAT 20 THE BRIDGE TAP HOUSE. Hop A Train. Clairton.

These tours aren’t slated to come to Pittsburgh, but maybe they’re worth a road trip!

COUNTRY THU 18 ELWOOD’S PUB. The Fiddlers. 724-265-1181.

SAT 20

PHILADELPHIA

SMOKEHOUSE BAR & GRILLE. Justin Fabus Band. Beechview. 412-344-8700.

{FRI., FEB. 13}

CLASSICAL

Doomtree

FRI 19

Boot & Saddle

CHATHAM BAROQUE. Fête Parisienne, w/ music by Telemann, Muffat & Couperin. St. James Parish, Sewickley. 412-741-6650.

WASHINGTON, D.C. {TUE., APRIL 07}

SAT 20

Ólöf Arnalds

CHATHAM BAROQUE. Fête Parisienne, w/ music by Telemann, Muffat & Couperin Synod Hall, Oakland. 412-621-6204. PITTSBURGH CIVIC ORCHESTRA. Upper St. Clair Theater, Upper St. Clair. 412-279-4030.

RAYMOND LUKE, JR. AND BRYAN TERRELL CLARK PHOTOS BY JOAN MARCUS. ALL OTHER PHOTOS BY ANDREW ECCLES.

NEW YORK CITY

SUN 21

{JULY 18-23}

CHATHAM BAROQUE. Fête Parisienne, w/ music by Telemann, Muffat & Couperin. Chatham University, Shadyside. 412-365-1100.

Madison Square Garden

OTHER MUSIC FRI 19 CARNEGIE LIBRARY OF HOMESTEAD MUSIC HALL. Trans-Siberian Experience: The Wizards of Winter. 412-368-5225. LEMONT. NightStar. Mt. Washington. 412-431-3100.

U2

Strip District. 412-642-6622. PALACE THEATRE. Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. Greensburg. 412-377-7025. TWENTIETH CENTURY CLUB. Holiday Cabaret w/ Kevin Glavin. Oakland. 412-621-1499.

SAT 20

CARNEGIE LIBRARY OF HOMESTEAD MUSIC HALL. The Tenors. 412-368-5225. LATITUDE 360. FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH. Dancing Queen. North The Early Mays w/ The Fayette. 412-693-5555. Riveting Rosies. Shadyside. 412-621-8008. HEINZ HALL. Highmark HAMBONE’S. Holiday Pops. Pittsburgh Cabaret : Showtunes, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Standards & Mendelssohn Choir www. per Blues by Ian Kane. pa & guest artists pghcitym Lawrenceville. .co perform favorite 412-681-4318. carols & holiday tunes like “Sleigh Ride,” “Joy to the World” and more. Downtown. 412-392-4900. PALACE THEATRE. Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. Home for EAST LIBERTY PRESBYTERIAN the Holidays. Greensburg. CHURCH. Christmas w/ the 724-836-8000. Brass Roots & Organ. East Liberty. ST. ANDREW’S EPISCOPAL 412-441-3800. CHURCH. The Pittsburgh FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Camerata. Recounting Finding Christmas w/ Greg & the Nativity. Highland Park. Rebecca Sparks. Downtown. 412-421-5884. 412-726-4217. ST. PAUL’S UNITED METHODIST MULLANEY’S HARP & FIDDLE. CHURCH. Three Rivers Ringers Tim & John Christmas Singalong.

SAT 20

MON 22

HEINZ HALL

TRUSTARTS.ORG • BOX OFFICE AT THEATER SQUARE 412-392-4900 • GROUPS 15+ TICKETS 412-471-6930 MOTOOWNNTHEEMUSICAAL .COOM PNC Broadway Across America-Pittsburgh is a presentation of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony and Broadway Across America. MOTOWN® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF UMG RECORDINGS, INC.

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

HOLIDAY MUSIC FRI 19

FULL LIST ONLINE

Hand Bell Ensemble. Allison Park. 412-486-7006.

SUN 21 CARNEGIE LIBRARY, OAKLAND. Pittsburgh Music Academy Plays the Holidays. Oakland. 412-622-3114. HEINZ HALL. Highmark Holiday Pops. Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn Choir & guest artists perform favorite carols & holiday tunes like “Sleigh Ride,” “Joy to the World” and more. Downtown. 412-392-4900. OLD ST. LUKE’S. The Early Mays. Scott. 412-969-7072. PARKWAY JEWISH CENTER. Have a Swingin’ Chanukah Dance, Concert & Holiday Celebration. Penn Hills. 412-823-4338. ST. JOHN’S LUTHERAN CHURCH OF HIGHLAND. Pittsburgh Mandolin Orchestra. McCandless. 412-364-1606.

TUE 23 BYHAM THEATER. Jim Brickman. Downtown. 412-456-6666. HAMBONE’S. Tim & John Christmas Singalong. Lawrenceville. 412-681-4318.


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IN PITTSBURGH

December 17 - 23

The Abominable Snow Jam 2: Identity X & more

WEDNESDAY 17 13th Annual Pittsburgh Holiday Doo Wop Show

HARD ROCK CAFE Station Square. 412-481-ROCK. Over 21 show. Tickets: ticketfly.com or 1-877-4-FLY-TIX. 9p.m.

HEINZ HALL Downtown. 412392-4900. Tickets: heinzhall.org. 7:30p.m.

SATURDAY 20

Robert Randolph & the Family Band

The Spacepimps Holiday Show

JERGEL’S RHYTHM GRILLE Warrendale. 724-799-8333. Tickets: jergels.com. 8p.m.

The Perfect Gift: Christmas with the Tenors

Courage My Love

SMILING MOOSE South Side. 412-431-4668. All ages show. Tickets: ticketfly.com or 1-877-4-FLY-TIX. 6:30p.m.

THURSDAY 18 Turkuaz w/ Jonathon Scales Fourchestra

REX THEATER South Side. 412-381-6811. Over 21 show. Tickets: greyareaprod.com. 9p.m.

Bubba Sparxxx

ALTAR BAR Strip District. 412-

ALTAR BAR Strip District. 412263-2877. All ages show. Tickets: ticketfly.com or 1-877-4-FLY-TIX. 6:30p.m.

DECEMBER 20 CARNEGIE OF HOMESTEAD MUSIC HALL 263-2877. All ages show. Tickets: ticketfly.com or 1-877-4-FLY-TIX. 7p.m.

MR. SMALLS THEATRE Millvale. 412-821-4447. All ages show. Tickets: ticketweb.com/opusone or 866-468-3401. 7p.m.

FRIDAY 19

Red Dragon Cartel feat. Jake E Lee

Radio Tokyo

ALTAR BAR Strip District. 412-263-2877. All ages show. Tickets: ticketfly.com or

LATITUDE 360 Robinson Twp. 412-693-5555. Tickets:

LATITUDE 360 Robinson Twp. 412-693-5555. Tickets: latitude360.com/pittsburgh-pa. 9:15p.m.

latitude360.com/pittsburgh-pa. 9:15p.m.

1-877-4-FLY-TIX. 7p.m.

Spacefish

Dancing Queen

Trans-Siberian Experience: The Wizards of Winter

The Perfect Gift: Christmas with the Tenors

CARNEGIE OF HOMESTEAD MUSIC HALL Munhall. All ages show. Tickets: ticketfly.com or 1-877-4-FLY-TIX. 8p.m.

CARNEGIE OF HOMESTEAD MUSIC HALL Munhall. All ages show. Tickets: ticketfly.com or 1-877-4-FLY-TIX. 8p.m.

newbalancepittsburgh.com

SUNDAY 21

Breakfast or Lunch with Santa

TRAX FARMS South Hills. Reservations required. For more info visit traxfarms.com. 9:30a.m. or 12:30p.m.

MONDAY 22 Winter Light Garden and Flower Show

PHIPPS CONSERVATORY Oakland. For more info visit phipps. conservatory.org. Through Jan. 11.

Holiday Magic Laser Show CARNEGIE SCIENCE CENTER North Side. For shows & times visit carnegiesciencecenter.org. Through Jan. 4.

TUESDAY 23

People Gas Holiday Market MARKET SQUARE Downtown. For more info visit downtownpittsburgh.com/ holidays. 11a.m.

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WALK ON {BY AL HOFF}

THERE IS NO HOPE OF THE FRIENDSHIP BRIDGING THE COLOSSAL WEALTH AND POWER DIVIDE

Jean-Marc Vallée’s Wild opens with a scene that sounds a bit like a vigorous sexual encounter at the remote mountain top depicted. But as the camera pulls back, the moaning, cries and panting reveal something not very pleasant: These are the sounds that a woman makes as she pries her bloody foot, broken nails and all, out of a too-small hiking boot.

Reese Witherspoon

It’s the first dodge-then-reveal in a film full of them, a story of one woman’s unlikely soul-searching and rebirth via a 1,100-mile solo backpacking trek along the length of California in the late 1990s. The film is adapted from Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling, eponymous memoir, and she’s played here with some brio by Reese Witherspoon, who despite the extra grime still can’t convince me she’s as hard and reckless as Strayed’s account suggests. Vallée, who scored big with last year’s Dallas Buyers Club, intercuts the hiking journey with disjointed flashbacks to Cheryl’s past, where things went wrong. The back-and-forth helps provide something to process other than Witherspoon hiking (through admittedly gorgeous scenery), though some of these historical lows are Lifetime caliber. Strayed’s journey is to “the unexplored places in my head,” but falls down in clarifying the trope that one must get lost in order to get found. The film was enjoyable enough, but it felt more like a fun hike along the ridge rather than a harrowing slog back from the bottom. Starts Fri., Dec. 19. AHOFF@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

HOLIDAY DAY ENT SILENT ORTS SHORTS Celebrate te the season with some oldies-but-goodies: “There Ain’t No Santa Claus” (1926); Our Gang in “Good Cheer” (1926); and “Big Business” (1929), with Laurel and Hardy. Also, holiday music on the organ performed by Jay Spencer. 4 p.m. Sun., Dec. 21. Hollywood

CAUGHT {BY AL HOFF}

I

N THE MID-1980S, wrestler Mark

Schultz (Channing Tatum), an Olympic medalist, is adrift, overshadowed by his older, more gregarious brother, David (Mark Ruffalo), also an Olympic wrestling medalist. So he’s flattered and intrigued when John du Pont (Steve Carell) — of the super-rich chemical family — invites him to reside at the fam wrestling facility he’s built on his country wr estate, Foxcatcher Farms. The goal is est to build and train teams for the 1988 Olympics, and in time, Mark convinces Oly David to join Team Foxcatcher as a coach. Da On the one hand, Foxcatcher is the true story of three men — two wrestlers tru and their oddball benefactor — whose an relationship ends in tragedy. It’s also an rel examination of money and power; of how men struggle to define themselves; and of how institutions such as work, patriotism and sports can mask cultural and individual pathologies. This is to say that Bennett Miller’s finely crafted drama is really about a lot, even as it doesn’t have a lot of plot

Man to man: John du Pont (Steve Carell) and Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum)

and lacks easy emotional toe-holds. It’s among this year’s best films, featuring great work by the actors, and a sure hand intertwining storytelling and more layered myth-busting. But be forewarned: It’s chilly and bleak.

FOXCATCHER DIRECTED BY: Bennett Miller STARRING: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo Starts Fri., Dec. 19

CP APPROVED The film’s main thread is a slowburning and somewhat remote character study, during which the largely unrelieved tension between the men ratchets up. Du Pont and Mark — both damaged, searching and awkward — initially find purpose in the other: Du Pont vibes off Mark’s athleticism and youth, while Mark thrives under the paternal care of du Pont. But du Pont’s buckets of money can’t hide his delusional megalomania and cruelty, and Mark’s fairy-tale gym

quickly turns into a cage. Nor is there any hope of the friendship bridging the colossal wealth and power divide. The film at times resembles a domestic horror story, in which off-kilter behavior stands in for ominous creaks and shadows, and unease stalks its primary settings: the patrician confines of du Pont’s mansion, all hunting trophies, chintz sofas and gilt; the fluorescent-lit gym, liberally emblazoned with the Foxcatcher team logo; and the foggy rural expanse of the farm, in which the characters appear lost. The estate is named Foxcatcher for the sport practiced by its wealthy inhabitants, but it’s a creepily apt shorthand for the whole ill-pursued relationship: the snaring of the attractive prey by the entitled operating with unfair advantage. (“My friends,” du Pont lies, “call me ‘Eagle,’” further underscoring his predatory nature.) As in hunting, you can chase and even catch the fox, but that trapped animal isn’t the glorious creature you desired. A H OF F @ P G HC I T Y PA P E R. C OM

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014


Wine

FILM CAPSULES CP

= CITY PAPER APPROVED

Die Hard (1988) - 12/17 @ 7:30pm - 40 stories of sheer adventure! Starring Bruce Willis.

-Black - - - - Christmas -----------------------------------Purple - - - - -Rain - - - -Movie - - - - -Party -------------------------White - - - - Christmas -----------------------------------The- - -Redsin - - - - -Tower: - - - - - -Toe- - -Tag- - -DVD- - -Release - - - - - - Party ----------Breakfast - - - - - - - and - - - -a- Movie ---------------------------Silents, - - - - - -Please! - - - - - -Holiday - - - - - -Shorts - - - - - -and- - -Songs ------------

NEW THIS WEEK ANNIE. The perky 1977 Broadway musical Annie became a clunky movie in 1982. It gets a spirited makeover in a new film version that replaces the munificent Daddy Warbucks with cold-hearted workaholic billionaire Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx), who’s flopping in his race for mayor of New York. So he brings foster child Annie Bennett (Quvenzhané Wallis) — an imaginative little charmer who believes that “luck is for suckers” — into his Manhattan penthouse for a game-changing extended photo op. Little did he know he’d fall for the tyke, even though we all do. This Annie has four new songs and re-scores most of the remaining older ones in a jazzy pop key. The script essentially never acknowledges that the two leads are black, and the story’s two romances are cross-culture. So it’s a post-racial fantasy for our tense times, with specks of social consciousness, nods to the role of social media in politics, and even a few meta-winks to itself as a musical. The supporting cast (Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale) performs ably, although director Will Gluck sometimes cranks up the orchestra to mask some merely capable voices. And Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) is fantastic — alert, thoughtful and more than just a “natural,” the worst compliment you can pay a child actor. Starts Fri., Dec. 19 (Harry Kloman)

(1974) - 12/18 @ 7:30pm, 12/19 @ 10:15pm, 12/21 @ 9:30pm, 12/23 @ 9:30pm - The sort of Christmas you DON’T dream of.

CP

BIG EYES. Tim Burton directs this account of the husband-and-wife team of Walter and Margaret Keane, painters who collaborated — or did they? — on the popular “big eye” paintings of the early 1960s. Starts Thu., Dec. 25. THE GAMBLER. Mark Wahlberg stars in this drama about a college professor whose risky gambling habits put in him the sights of gangsters. Rupert Wyatt directs. Starts Thu., Dec. 25.

Winey Wednesdays

- 12/19 @ 6:30pm - Prizes, dancing, rare Prince art, and the movie Purple Rain (1984).

Wednesday is the midweek pick for by-thebottle wines, but we invite your wining every day.

(1954) - 12/21 @ 7:00pm, 12/23 @ 7:00pm, 12/24 @ 4:00pm - A holiday classic, starring Bing Crosby, music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. - 12/20 @ 6:00pm - A screening of the film, extra footage, and more! - 12/21 @ 10:30am - with the film White Christmas (1954), buy tickets by 12/18 for catered brunch. - 12/21 @ 4:00pm - Laurel and Hardy, Our Gang, and more, with live theater organ music.

HARRIS GRILL 2004-2014 www.HarrisGrill.com

Annie for standoffs, battles and a recurring bit of unfunny comedy. Some people (and non-people) die, but there is little emotion to be found in this spectacle-wannabe clutter. Then, there are the odd bits that make The Hobbit feel like a trial-by-eyeball prequel to The Lord of the Rings. It’s the final insult in this epic exploitation of viewers’ affection for that successful trilogy. In 3-D, in select theaters. (Al Hoff) THE IMITATION GAME. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as mathematician Alan Turing, who was a key codebreaker for the British during World War II. Morten Tyldum directs. Starts Thu., Dec. 25. THE INTERVIEW. James Franco and Seth Rogen work for a tabloid-TV show and are tasked by the CIA with assassinating Kim Jong-un, during an interview. Rogen and Evan Goldberg direct this comedy. Starts Thu., Dec. 25. INTO THE WOODS. Rob Marshall directs this adaptation of the popular Broadway musical about fairy tales, with songs by Stephen Sondheim. Meryl Streep stars. Starts Thu., Dec. 25. NIGHT AT THE MUSUEM: SECRET OF THE TOMB. Shawn Levy directs this third iteration of the series; this time, museum nightwatchman Larry (Ben Stiller) travels the globe to “save the magic.” Starts Fri., Dec. 19.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES. Well, the title is fair: The final chapter of Peter Jackson’s so-very-long adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel is mostly a battle between five sets of creatures — some human, some created in the digital lab. If you like watching video games, you might be mildly interested, but I found this to be pretty dull. There’s no recap to catch up those unfamiliar with the book and who were last in Middle Earth a year ago: We open with Smaug the dragon flying over that town, same as we left him at the end of Episode 2. Then everybody — and I do mean everybody — ends up at the dragon mountain

TOP FIVE. Chris Rock writes, directs and stars in this comedy about a comedian, Andre Allen, who, tired of playing a silly character (“Hammy the Bear”), is trying to go legit as a serious actor. The film, which takes place over a day, has him out promoting Uprize, his earnest account of a Haitian slave rebellion. He’s also juggling two women — his fiancée (Gabrielle Union), who has turned their nuptials into a reality-TV series, and Chelsea (Rosario Dawson), a reporter trying to ferret out who Allen really is. Dawson and Rock have an easy banter, and their riffs on subjects trivial and serious are the most solid part of the film. (Ignore the clunky rom-com aspect.) Top Five presents a mix of mildly provocative topics — race, gender, media — and cheerfully vulgar, crowd-pleasing set pieces rooted in sexual adventure. (You may never divorce Cedric the Entertainer from his outrageous scene here.) You might wish it were sharper and smarter throughout — Rock is better than rolling out another gross-out scene. And Rock was certainly generous to his comedian buddies, giving plenty of screen time to cameos by Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld and many more. (AH)

Cavacini

UNBROKEN. Angelina Jolie directs this bio-pic about Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell), an Olympic runner

Off Butler Street /Across from Goodwill

Garden Center Christmas Trees Wreaths Poinsettias Christmas Cactus Garlands ... and much more! 100 51st St / Lawrenceville

412-687-2010 Open 7 days a week, 11am-9pm

CONTINUES ON PG. 42

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FILM CAPSULES, CONTINUED FROM PG. 41

GOLDEN GLOBE

®

DRAMA

N O M I N E E

BEST ACTRESS • REESE WITHERSPOON

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARD NOMINEE ®

BEST ACTRESS • REESE WITHERSPOON

Top Five who became a Japanese prisoner of war during World War II. Starts Thu., Dec. 25.

ONGOING THE BABADOOK. Jennifer Kent directs this unsettling indie horror film about a stressed-out single-mom, her troubled young son and the possible monster that lurks in their house. A smart take on the is-it-madness-or-is-it-a-monster dilemma, as filtered through a frayed parent-child relationship. Fri., Dec. 19, through Sun., Dec. 21. Harris (AH)

CP

REPERTORY

BASED ON THE INSPIRATIONAL BEST SELLER BY

CHERYL STRAYED

SCREENPLAY BY DIRECTED BY

NICK HORNBY

JEAN-MARC VALLÉE

THE DIRECTOR OF

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

STARTS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19 IN THEATRES EVERYWHERE CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR THEATRES AND SHOWTIMES

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

ROW HOUSE CINEMA. International Animation: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (new from Japan’s Studio Ghibli, and adapted from a 10th-century folk tale; Pittsburgh premiere), Dec. 17. From up on Poppy Hill (Hayao Miyazaki’s 2011 tale about youth in post-World War II Japan), Dec. 17-18. A Cat in Paris (a housecat leads a double life as a burglar’s assistant in this 2012 French comedy), Dec. 17-18. Nocturna (a young boy plunges into the secret world of Nocturna, inhabited by curious creatures; Spain, 2007), Dec. 18. Wrinkles (residents of a senior-care home rebel in this 2011 Spanish comedy), Dec. 18. Our First Christmas series: Elf (Will Ferrell stars as an oversized Santa’s helper in this 2003 comedy), Dec. 19-21 and Dec. 23-25. Home Alone (1990 classic combines Christmas, burglary and a plucky kid), Dec. 19-25. Christmas Vacation (nothing goes right for the Griswold family holiday in this 1989 comedy starring Chevy Chase), Dec. 19-22 and Dec. 24-25. Die Hard (it’s an action-packed Christmas as Bruce Willis battles some terrorists in a L.A. skyscraper), Dec. 19-25. Call or see website for times and complete listings. 4115 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $5-9. 412-904-3225 or www.rowhousecinema.com

VACATION. For my money, the CP CHRISTMAS funniest entry in the “Vacation” franchise because it taps a universal truth: Other people’s behavior ruins your holidays, while your behavior contributes to other people’s misery. Jeremiah S. Chechik directs this 1989 neo-classic holiday comedy, penned by John Hughes. 7:30 p.m. Thu., Dec. 18 (AMC Loews); 8:15 p.m. Fri., Dec. 19 (Parkway, McKees Rocks; and Dec. 19-22 and Dec. 24-25 (Rowhouse, Lawrenceville). (AH) BLACK CHRISTMAS. A psycho killer terrorizes sorority girls during the Christmas break. This 1975 Canadian screamer from Bob Clark predates the late-1970s slasher films with some of that genre’s conventions — the killer POV-cam with heavy breathing; “The call is coming from inside the house!”; the bad girls getting killed first; and a surprising ending. 7:30 p.m. Thu., Dec. 18; 10:15 p.m. Fri., Dec. 19; 9:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 21; and 9:30 p.m. Tue., Dec. 23. Hollywood (AH) PURPLE RAIN. Albert Magnoli’s 1984 deliriously demented autobiographical vanity production about the Rise of Prince, including: riding his motorcycle, pitching a hissy fit, bleating out the title song and getting upstaged by Morris Day. 8 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m. for Purple Rain party). Fri., Dec. 19. Hollywood A CHRISTMAS STORY. Guess what Ralphie wants for Christmas? An official Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot air rifle. Will he get it? Discover this and other small wonders of holidays past in Bob Clark’s 1983 holiday film. 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 20. Parkway, McKees Rocks

DIE HARD. It’s pretty much the worst way to spend Christmas Eve, single-handedly defending a Los Angeles skyscraper from a dozen terrorists. But New York cop John McLane (Bruce Willis) makes it look fun. John McTiernan directs this 1988 actioner. 7:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 17 (Hollywood) and Dec. 19-25 (Rowhouse, Lawrenceville)

WHITE CHRISTMAS. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are a pair of entertainers who travel to Vermont with two singing sisters (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen) for the holidays. Besides the title song, Michael Curtiz’s 1954 film includes other Irving Berlin classics such as “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” and “Blue Skies.” 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sun., Dec. 21; 7 p.m. Tue., Dec. 23; and 4 and 7 p.m. Wed., Dec. 24. Hollywood

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 holiday classic, in which a harried man (Jimmy Stewart) rediscovers the simple joys of life. Thu., Dec. 18, through Mon., Dec. 22. Regent Square. Free

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET. In George Seaton’s 1947 charmer, a Macy’s store Santa, Kris Kringle, claims to be the real deal. 11 a.m. Sun., Dec. 21. Parkway, McKees Rocks

FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE. Clint Eastwood rides again in Sergio Leone’s 1965 film, which continues the monthly Spaghetti Western Dinner Series — patrons get a spaghetti Western and spaghetti. Dinner at 6 p.m.; screening at 6:30 p.m. Thu., Dec. 18. Parkway Theater, 644 Broadway Ave., McKees Rocks. $8. Reservations recommended at 412-766-1668 or lincolnbarber@yahoo.com.

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS. Critics were mixed on Ron Howard’s live-action 2000 adaptation of the Dr. Seuss story, starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch. “An instant classic,” trumpeted The Boston Globe; “shrill, strenuous and entirely without charm,” sniffed Variety. But overcoming difference of opinion is what the holidays are all about. 7 p.m. Sun., Dec. 21. Parkway, McKees Rocks


[ART REVIEW]

“POETS PRETEND THEY HAVE SOMETHING / TO HIDE / WHICH THEY DO OF COURSE”

MEDIUM RARE Contemporary photography is in a challenging moment. Image-making is changing rapidly: Camera technology and the Internet allow creation and dissemination of images faster, cheaper, easier. Pixels are now nearly indistinguishable from film grain — a tipping point for film purists? But as photographers exit the darkroom, does photography’s hard-earned mystique dwindle? Such developments ripple into studio practices, inspiring in some an urgency to push limits. April Friges’ sculptural/ photographic-emulsion hybrids in Spectator, at Filmmakers Galleries, rework the photograph in nontraditional ways, perhaps in iconoclastic homage to a medium experiencing an identity crisis. The Pittsburgh-based artist’s approach investigates photography as historical physical material — specifically, photo emulsion, paper and the support on which a photo hangs. The object-ness is emphasized by Friges’ lensless photogram process, creating not images, but various gradients of value on paper. Forgoing images, Friges focuses strictly on traditional photography’s defining trait, light sensitivity. Among the first pieces encountered (all works are entitled “Spectator”) is a nearly 20-foot-long sheet of photo paper pinned to the gallery wall. It is flat and black, except when specks of white on the surface appear and the material starts to bend and fold, finally crumpling into a cartoonish mass near the other end. While some iterations of these large hybrids hang precariously from pins, others are built into gallery corners, as if they had been there all along. There is a discrete sculpture on a pedestal: a wavy and twisted sheet of photo paper uniformly speckled. Its reverse side is painted with plaster; the brushstrokes’ cakiness imparts an endearing, homespun vulnerability. There are a few framed collages, and they fit in and resonate well. Irregular frames (think cellular mitosis, but with square frames) encase torn pieces of variously exposed gradients of photo paper that clump into corners, as if magnetically charged, grouping like visual puns, playing on/in the negative space. Spectator is a conceptual, but satiating and well-probed, investigation into photography; an aggressive, though oddly dainty at times, mass of tears, puckers, folds and impulses. Further, the size and animated energy of the works tug an empathic cord, as if the photogram, or photography for that matter, were being teased or tortured. All of which suggest the complicated but fruitful (love/hate even?) relationship Friges perhaps has with photography, a medium that needs to be pushed around. INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

SPECTATOR continues through Jan. 9. Filmmakers Galleries, 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland. 412-682-4111 or www.pittsburghfilmmakers.org N E W S

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April Friges’ sculpture “Spectator 1914”

{BY MICHELLE FRIED}

KINDER IN VERSE [BOOK REVIEW]

{PHOTO COURTESY OF DIANE CECILY}

{BY FRED SHAW}

A

Chuck Kinder in retirement

T PITT IN the early ’90s, classes

taught by novelist Chuck Kinder carried legendary status among my fiction-writing friends. The raconteur in Kinder seems alive and well, as the self-proclaimed “aging hillbilly-hippy poet-type” recently released his first two collections of poetry, All That Yellow and Imagination Motel. While the books share similar versions of many of the same poems, work that seems most interested in keeping memories of youth’s electricity alive, it’s often the poems they don’t share that are most interesting. For a West Virginia native, raised mostly on “roadkill and rage,” Kinder’s life is fascinating for its intersection with some of America’s brightest literary minds of recent decades. After graduating from West Virginia University, he hung with Richard Brautigan in San Francisco, then gained a prestigious Stegner Fellowship at Stanford in 1972, alongside future luminaries Raymond Carver and Scott Turow. He began teaching creative

writing at Pitt in 1980 and at his house in Squirrel Hill held something of a boozy salon, where visiting writers like Tobias Wolff rubbed elbows with Kinder’s students and others in the Pittsburgh writing community.

ALL THAT YELLOW By Chuck Kinder Low Ghost Press, 53 pp., $12

IMAGINATION MOTEL By Chuck Kinder Six Gallery Press, 118 pp., $9

Adding to the allure, future Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon studied under Kinder, and made Kinder the basis for the Grady Tripp character in his 1995 novel Wonder Boys. It’s been a whirlwind of a life for Kinder to reflect upon, as he retired from teaching this past spring and moved to Key West with his wife and “gun moll,” Diane Cecily. Kinder’s own best-known work is

Honeymooners: A Cautionary Tale, his roman a clef that recounts his adventures with Carver. It’s been said the manuscript swelled to 3,000 pages before being heavily revised. With multiple health problems and age catching up, Kinder claims in interviews he was unable to maintain the energy necessary to write novels, and started focusing on his literary first love: poetry. Much of the work in All That Yellow and Imagination Motel is sprawling and memoir-ish, relying on a sometimes idiosyncratic, yet conversational, diction. In “The Unbearable Mass and Beauty of Absence,” readers are introduced to All That Yellow’s main speaker, with Kinder writing, “Call me Charlie Trout / That is thanks to Richard Brautigan, or Troutbrain / as we called that bird back in the day / He is the character who determined I had the basic personality of a trout / Mostly bemused and beguiled easily …” Trout is a speaker obsessed with “tragic hippy princess” Rainy McCall. Many of the poems that deal with her have a stoner’s CONTINUES ON PG. 44

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SUNDAY

BRUNCH

KINDER IN VERSE, CONTINUED FROM PG. 43

Connecting People’s Resources with People’s Needs

NOW ON SUNDAYS! HARRIS GRILL 2004-2014 www.HarrisGrill.com

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rambling, philosophical tone. That approach is also on display in Imagination Motel, where Kinder writes, “who is this Charlie Trout character? & who are ‘we’? / It is a very good question / we wonder ourselves / We all wandered vaguely West across America / To crash those Golden Gates into / The Age of Aquarius with flowers / in our hair …” While the work in both books is honest, the reader, much like the speaker, doesn’t always come out of these poems with clear answers, and maybe that’s the point. Kinder’s experiments with different speakers are further seen in a series of ekphrastic poems, where he muses on life through the eyes of main characters in movies like Stagecoach, Tarzan and His Mate, High Sierra and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. They’re worthy examples not only for cinema-history lessons, but also show how film cues insights about important moments of sexuality, love and betrayal in viewers’ own lives.

DECEMBER D ECEMBER 5-28, 2014

Groups of 8+ 412.454.9101 call: 412.4 454.9101

Artist: A Alexandre lexandre Silva Photo: L ois Greenfield Lois

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

LIT BRIEFS {BY BILL O’DRISCOLL}

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Whenever the discussion’s about songwriters as poets, one name oft-cited is Paul Simon. Karen Lillis does Rhymin’ Simon one better with her new chapbook “album” of poems inspired by the musician’s 1975 solo LP Still Crazy After All These Years. Lillis writes that some of the 10 poems in Karen Lillis: The Paul Simon Project (NightBallet Press) are inspired by no more than the title of the corresponding track. But these accounts of lost love and hard-won wisdom are in key with Simon’s work, even if her “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” is about a one-night stand and “Gone At Last” is the story of a ring given to a departing lover. This is homage, but Pittsburghbased Lillis’ poems stand on their own. In “Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy,” a woman with a Lotto-dreaming lover finds “her unhappiness growing legs whenever she turns her back.” And Simon himself would surely love lines like “A latchkey kid for life / Pays it forward to his latchkey wife / But I missed you to death / While the house wore the lack of you.” (nightballetpress. blogspot.com

+ One favorite, a list-y meditative series concerning the 1970 film The Molly Maguires, has his speaker remarking, “Poets give short answers / To questions / Poets cultivate an air of mystery / Poets pretend they have something / To hide / Which they do of course / Only not what they pretend / They do …” It continues, “Finally, what poets seek is forgiveness / Even love, from those they betrayed …” His clear-minded perspective on the candor that the art form often embraces, less rambling here than in other poems, is what gives poems like these their strength. The use of metaphor in “The Old Sorcerer’s Daughter” nicely sums both books as a coming-to-terms with love and loss. Kinder begins with, “I have been for a long time / In the motel of this poem / Where Rainy once was …” and ends saying, “old motel remains open / & ready for business / Shining like a mirror / In the moonlight.” Kinder’s twin volumes act as a reliquary for times and people past.

Speed and Briscoe Press is offering a limited-edition reissue of Karl Hendricks’ debut chapbook of stories. And 2007’s Stan Getz Isn’t Coming Back is a good reason to hope for more fiction from Hendricks, the veteran indie rocker who owns Bloomfield’s Sound Cat Records. Hendricks’ specialty in these four stories is immature guys, like the protagonist of “Doug’s New Jacket,” an ambitiousless dishwasher who feels torn between two roomies: his doting, pregnant girlfriend and her sexy best friend. In the collection’s poignant, three-page title story, a young man’s drunken Saturday-night mooning over old jazz records becomes an unexpected opportunity to bond with his young daughter. And the collection’s longest story, “The Card Party,” is a carefully detailed dual portrait of a college dropout and the grandmother he’s sent to live with, its fulcrum her crankily ambivalent relationship with her fellow old-lady poker pals. Still, Hendricks might be at his best depicting his lone female protagonist. “Pam’s First Date” is told from the perspective of a bright 15-year-old girl whose older brother sets her up on a disastrous blind date with his dorky college classmate. Hendricks beautifully renders the date’s awkwardness and Pam’s struggle to navigate a crazy house party, all the while practically willing herself to grow up in a single night. (To purchase, search “Jerome Crooks” on Facebook.)

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[BOOK REVIEWS]


[PLAY REVIEW]

WAR WOUNDS {BY MICHELLE PILECKI} A FIRST PRODUCTION of one’s play is hard enough. But while “world premiere” has such a nice ring to it, playwrights find it even more difficult to obtain a second production, with a chance to improve and expand. And that’s the very gift that the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co. has bestowed on two participants from its 2013 Theatre Festival in Black & White: Holiday Edition!: full-length productions of Kim El’s An Ubuntu Holiday (opening this week, to be reviewed next week) and Ray Werner’s Christmas Star, running in repertory. Monteze Freeland once again directs Christmas Star, with a larger cast and broader story that fleshes out a holiday tale of war veterans, post-traumatic stress disorder and family dysfunction set near the end of 2005. Given that this is very much a suitable-for-all-audiences Christmas story, it’s hardly a spoiler to say that Werner wraps up Star into a neat package with a happy ending. Sure, it’s a bit facile, but there’s real dramatic tension and not a drop of saccharine, which already puts it way above most “holiday” fare.

From left: Lamont Walker II, Dominique Briggs, Latre Rembert and Anthony Gullikson in Christmas Star, at Pittsburgh Playwrights

This Star provides plenty of backstory and a bit-too-bright epilogue. The family central to the story is now white, not

CHRISTMAS STAR

continues through Dec. 28. Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co., 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10-25. 412-687-4686 or www.pghplaywrights.com

black, although their primary identification remains Catholic. The all-new first act drags a bit: Three young soldiers (a multiculti mix of white, black and Hispanic) recuperating in a military hospital tell their stories about life, recruitment, and the incidents that inflicted their physical wounds and their PTSD. A passionate nurse helps them heal spiritually as well

as psychologically and physically, reinforcing the therapy aimed to help them cope with their traumas. The second act mostly follows the original Star: the clash of the wounded Iraq vet and his anti-war-activist/Vietnam-vet father, with doting mom/wife trying to broker a truce. But there’s more depth this time around, as the son helps dad with the latter’s long-untreated scabs of war memories. The cheery epilogue is saved from turning sappy with an original (though formulaic) Christmas song by the playwright and Mike Gallagher, sung by LaTrea Rembert, as the IED survivor of the first act. Lamont Walker II also returns to tidy up the woes of the Puerto Rican vet, with a Flight 93-themed poem. The young Anthony Gullikson holds his own as the central character, with veteran thespian Susie McGregor-Laine outstanding as his mother mixing a tumult of emotions. Bill Crean switches gears as the conflicted father, and Dominique Briggs embodies the noble nurse. Star’s oft-repeated theme that America “lost its innocence” on Sept. 11, 2001, is at odds with the play’s own revelation of unpunished Vietnam War atrocities. But overall, there’s a lot to like and only a bit of humbuggery to grit one’s teeth at. I N F O@ P G H C I T Y PA P E R. C OM

Maggie’s Aberdeen, 2013. Architect: Snøhetta. Photo: © Philip Vile

Maggie’s Centres: A Blueprint for Cancer Care Closes January 5, 2015 Design Matters Explore how cancer care is facilitated in buildings that are bright and unorthodox; that prioritize essential human needs of social gathering and private contemplation; and that introduce gardens into the daily lives of patients.

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FOR THE WEEK OF

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DECEMBER 23

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{PHOTO COURTESY OF NATHAN SHAULIS}

SPOTLIGHT of the WEEK

+ FRI., DEC. 19 {MUSIC}

DEC. 19

Carnegie Science Center’s 21+ Holiday Party

+ THU., DEC. 18 {EXHIBIT} The Frick Art & Historical Center is offering its annual holiday tours of Clayton, the Henry Clay Frick family mansion. The historical home is decorated almost entirely using the family’s possessions, and this tour reflects Frick family Christmases from 1905 through 1913. Archival materials and photographs recount a dinner party that daughter Helen Clay Frick hosted in 1910. Today’s also the last in a series of December days offering extended hours at the site. You can even have your own holiday dinner in The Café, with seatings at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Danielle Fox 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Holidays at the Frick continues through Jan. 11. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. $6-12. 412-371-0600 or www.thefrickpittsburgh.org

Elisa-Marie Alaio’s choreography tells the story of a writer trying to create her masterpiece. The show’s four-weekend run opens tonight. Bill O’Driscoll 8 p.m. Continues through Jan. 11. 25 W. Main St., Carnegie. $5-35. 888-718-4253 or www.insideoffthewall.com

Praised by the New York Times for its “colorful virtuosity,” the 17th- and 18thcentury period-music group Chatham Baroque performs a program titled Fête Parisienne in three different venues this weekend. Special guests Stephen Schultz, on baroque flute, and Adam Pearl, on chamber organ, join the trio to perform works from French and German masters. Tonight’s show is at Sewickley’s St. James Parish; Saturday’s show is at Oakland’s Synod Hall, and Sunday’s at Chatham University. The program samples works by Georg Philipp Telemann, François Couperin and Georg Muffat, including Muffat’s “Sonata for violin and basso continuo.” DF 7 p.m. (200 Walnut St., Sewickley). Also 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 20 (108 N. Dithridge St., Oakland), and 2:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 21 (Chatham campus, Shadyside). $10-27. 412-687-1788 or www.chathambaroque.org

{DANCE} Fledgling dance-theater troupe fireWALL offers a four-week, split-over-the-holidays run of its new show, UPROAR. Like the play Or, — with which it runs in repertory at Off the Wall Theater (see “Spotlight,” next page) — UPROAR depicts a woman artist. Set to original music by Ryan McMasters,

DEC. 18

Frick Art & Historical Center’s Holiday Tours


sp otlight

Staging Liz Duffy Adams’ bawdy neo-Restoration comedy Or, might not be the ultimate holiday counterprogramming, but it’s up there. Off the Wall Theater has the Pittsburgh premiere of this critically acclaimed 2010 play, a raucous speculative fiction depicting one key night in the life of the legendary Aphra Behn, who in the 17th century became England’s first professional woman playwright. Adams places Behn fresh out of debtors’ prison and desperate to leave the spy trade for the theater. (Behn really was a spy, and really did time.) Behn is trying to complete her latest play despite distractions from: her new lover, actress Nell Gwynne; another lover, King Charles II himself; and ex-lover William Scott, a double agent who might be plotting regicide. All in a night’s work, set against a backdrop of the 1660s, whose freed-up mores some have compared to the 1960s. Behn was idolized by Virginia Woolf; Or, has drawn comparisons to Tom Stoppard, with Adams praised for her “formidable wit” and “highly literary imagination and radical instincts.” Erika Cuenca plays Aphra, while Robin Abramson and Ethan Hova share multiple roles. Says director John Shepard of Or,: “It’s kind of an homage to what we do in the theater, a tribute to the theatricality of writers and actors, the thrill of make-believe.” Bill O’Driscoll Dec. 19-Jan. 10. 25 W. Main St., Carnegie. $5-35. 888-718-4253 or www.insideoffthewall.com

Don your best holiday jumper, and go greet science and cash bars with festive cheer: It’s time for the Carnegie Science Center’s 21+ Holiday Party. In addition to meandering about the center’s four floors, guests can create fake — and much more tolerable — snow from polymers; concoct eggnog; and explore electrical circuits using Christmas lights. Local electric/acoustic trio Still Not Sober will perform in the RoboLounge, and with an additional ticket purchase, you can catch The Polar Express: An IMAX Experience or a Laser Holiday Magic show. DF 6-10 p.m. One Allegheny Ave., North Side. $10-15. 412-237-3400 or www. CarnegieScienceCenter.org

{STAGE} What better time of year for a little culture-clash comedy? Kim El’s Ubuntu Holiday depicts a Kwanzaa celebration that’s interrupted by a mistrustful Christian guest. The play began life as a oneact in Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.’s 2013 Theatre Festival in Black & White; local playwright El (known for her one-woman show Straightening Combs) has expanded it into a full-length piece. The troupe’s production, directed by Mils James, features a cast including Sundiata Rice and Nia Washington. The first show is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Continues through Dec. 30. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $15-20. 412-647-4686 or www.pghplaywrights.com

underway. At 115 years old, the three-week count is the longest-running citizen science project in the world; researchers use the data collected by countless volunteers to aid conservation by tracking things like how climate change is altering bird ranges. While it’s too late to formally register to participate in this year’s count, you can get a taste at Jennings Environmental Education Center. This morning, the center hosts a free, informal session as part of the Butler County Christmas Bird Count. Experts at Jennings’ indoor observation station will demonstrate observing, identifying and recording techniques. And maybe next year you can join one of this region’s compilation “circles.” BO 10 a.m.-noon. 2951 Prospect Road, Slippery Rock. Free. 724-794-6011 or jenningssp@pa.gov

{MUSIC} The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has a full house of

{PHOTO COURTESY OF ROGER FOLEY}

DEC. 21

The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley

guests in Heinz Hall this season. Performers on this year’s Highmark Holiday Pops program include the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and WQED’s Jim Cunningham. Expect both carols like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and more symphonic pieces like Marvin Hamlisch’s “Chanukah Lights.” Capping

a stop in Pittsburgh. This past February, veteran indie country-rock group Marah released Mountain Minstrelsy of Pennsylvania, an album inspired by a century-old book by folkorist Henry Shoemaker. Marah put the lyrics and fragments Shoemaker had collected to music, and recorded songs like the lyrical, rollicking “A Melody of Rain” in an analog studio it built in an old church in Millheim, Pa. (near State College). The album drew raves from everyone from No Depression to Pop Matters, and the live show’s been a hit at theaters and festivals across the country. The band includes 11-year-old fiddle prodigy Gus Tritsch. Tonight’s Hot Metal Christmas Show takes place at the 101-year-old South Side community hall known as the Kollar Club. BO 8 p.m. 3226 Jane St., South Side. $12-15. www.brownpapertickets.com

things off is “The Night Before Christmas,” with Rick Sebak narrating and cartoonist Joe Wos illustrating the story live. DF 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Also 2:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 21. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $24.75-99.75. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org

{MUSIC} A music phenomenon with Keystone State roots makes

{PHOTO COURTESY OF TIM YARRINGTON}

{PARTY}

+ SAT., DEC. 20

+ SUN., DEC. 21

DEC. 20

M h Marah

{ART}

{NATURE}

The late Dan Kiley was a pioneering landscape architect whose work dating to 1946

The Audobon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count is

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included such iconic sites as the St. Louis Arch, Dulles Airport and New York City’s Ford Foundation atrium. Locally, he worked on Downtown’s Agnes R. Katz Plaza, home to Louise Bourgeois’ “eyeball” sculptures. The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley, a traveling photo exhibition by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, includes 45 photos documenting 27 of the more than 1,000 projects Kiley did worldwide. The award-winning show is in the midst of a run at 937 Liberty Gallery, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. BO Noon-5 p.m. Continues Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 31. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. www.trustarts.org

+ MON., DEC. 22 {ART} David Aschkenas has shot photos around the world, and his work has appeared in publications from Time to Stern. But locally, the Pittsburghbased photographer is also known for his series on the demolition of the Civic Arena. And his latest exhibition explores another familiar (but extant) landmark. Snap Judgments: Capturing the Architecture of the Allegheny County Courthouse marks the first time Aschkenas’ photos of the courthouse (shot before its 2013 restoration) have been shown in public. Aptly, the venue is C&G Gallery, run by law firm Cohen & Grigsby in its offices in Downtown’s EQT Plaza. The show opened last month; viewings are by appointment only. BO Exhibit continues through Jan. 31. 625 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. Appointments at 412-297-4900

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THEATER A CHRISTMAS CAROL. An adaption of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story. Thu., Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m. Palace Theatre, Greensburg. 724-836-8000. A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Dickens’ classic Christmas tale. www.comtratheatre.org Fri, Sat, 7:30 p.m. Thru Dec. 20. Comtra Theatre, Cranberry. 724-773-9896. CHRISTMAS STAR. Ray Werner’s play about a Christmas Eve gathering between an Iraq War veteran, his Vietnam-vet father & his mother. Sat, 2 p.m. Thru Dec. 27. Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Downtown. ELF’ED. Interactive Murder Mystery Dinner Theater about one of Santa’s new elves who ends up receiving his last rights. Opens Nov. 8. Fri., Dec. 19, 7 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 20, 7 p.m. Gaetano’s Restaurant, Dormont. 412-343-6640. FEARLESS: A SHEPHERD’S STORY. The retelling of the story of the shepherd’s who came to Bethlehem w/ original

Jan. 18. Cabaret at Theater Square, music & dance. Special guests Downtown. 412-325-6769. include Sheila Beasley & Linda A MUSICAL CHRISTMAS Ross Brown. Tue., Dec. 23, 7 p.m. CAROL. Fri, 7:30 p.m., Sat, New Hazlett Theater, North Side. 12, 4 & 8 p.m. and Thru Dec. 21, 412-471-4332. 2 & 6 p.m. Thru Dec. 20. GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Benedum Center, Downtown. Charles Dickens’ classic. 412-456-6666. Presented by Pittsburgh Irish OR. One night in the life of & Classical Theatre. Thu-Sat, Aphra Behn, poet, spy, first 8 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 20, professional female playwright, 2 p.m. Thru Dec. 20. Charity in a plot full of love, Randall Theatre, Oakland. intrigue, murder 412-561-6000. & career making IT’S A WONDERFUL decisions.Presented LIFE: A LIVE RADIO by off the Wall PLAY. The American www. per Productions. Fri, Sat, pa holiday classic comes to pghcitym .co 8 p.m., Sun, 3 p.m., life as a live 1940’s radio Fri, Sat, 8 p.m. and broadcast. Thu-Sat, 8 p.m. Sun., Jan. 4, 3 p.m. Thru Thru Dec. 20. The Theatre Jan. 10. Off the Wall Theater, Factory. 412-374-9200. Carnegie. 1-888-71-TICKETS. MIDNIGHT RADIO: IT’S SMART BLOND. Born A WONDERFUL LIFE. Thu-Sat, Yesterday star Judy Holliday 8 p.m. Thru Dec. 27. Bricolage, lays down a series of tracks Downtown. 412-471-0999. about her rise to fame amidst MURDER FOR TWO. 1 actor the politics of the 1950s. investigates the crime, the other Tue-Sun. Thru Dec. 21. plays all of the suspects & they City Theatre, South Side. both play the piano. Wed-Sat, 412-431-2489. 7:30 p.m. and Sat, 2 p.m. Thru

PUBLICNOTICES P U BL I C NOT ICE S @P GH C IT YPAPE R . C O M

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FULL LIST ONLINE

THE GIFT OF THE ICE QUEEN. Original Gemini Theater musical Sat, Sun, 1 & 3:30 p.m. Thru Dec. 28. Gemini Theater, Point Breeze. 412-243-5201. UBUNTU HOLIDAY. Kim El’s play set at a Kwanzaa celebration interrupted by a distrustful Christian guest. Fri, Sat, 8 p.m., Dec. 21-28, 2 p.m. and Dec. 29-30, 7 p.m. Thru Dec. 27. Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Downtown.

COMEDY THU 18 COMEDY OPEN MIC HOSTED BY DEREK MINTO. Thu, 9 p.m. Thru Jan. 29 Hambone’s, Lawrenceville. 412-681-4318. OPEN STAGE COMEDY NIGHT. Thu Eclipse Lounge, Lawrenceville. 412-251-0097. PITTSBURGH IMPROV JAM. Thu, 10 p.m. Cabaret at Theater Square, Downtown. 412-325-6769.

FRI 19 “BEST OF THE BURGH” COMEDY SHOWCASE. Come out and see Pittsburgh’s best comedians every Friday. Fri, 8 p.m. Thru Feb. 6 Corner Cafe, South Side. 412-488-2995. LAST HAM STANDING. A short-form improv troupe from Washington DC presents a night of comedy for the whole family. BYOB. 8 p.m. Arcade Comedy Theater, Downtown. 412-339-0608. MAGICIAN-COMEDIAN EXTREME MICHAEL GIGLIOTTI. Amazing strolling magic & comedy. Fun for the whole family feat. Caesars Palace award winning Master Magician MICHAELANGELO. Fri, 5-7 p.m. Mullen’s Bar & Grill, North Side. 412-231-1112.

SAT 20

Sample Straub —12/20 Saturday, 5-7PM— 5-7PM—

Tobacco Beer Outlet LAWRENCEVILLE | 450 56TH STREET

DARHI FERKS IMPROV COMEDY. 8 p.m. Hambone’s, Lawrenceville. 412-212-7061. IMPROV COMEDY W/ WOODY DRENNEN. 9 p.m. Hambone’s, Lawrenceville. 412-681-4318. THESE ARE COMEDIANS. Live podcast recording of improv comedy feat. Jesse Irvin, Alex Stypula, & John Dick. 9:30 p.m. Hambone’s, Lawrenceville. 412-212-7061.

SUN 21 MUSICAL IMPROV SUNDAYS. Sun, 8 p.m. Thru Feb. 22 The Maker Theater, Shadyside. 412-404-2695. CONTINUES ON PG. 50

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VISUAL

ART

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Friday, December 19 th

“Language Games,” by Kenturah Davis, from I Just Want the Paper, at The Mine Factory in North Point Breeze

NEW THIS WEEK ART SPACE 616. Superheroes: The Comics Art of John Davis & Patrick Olliffe. Comic art from Jon Davis & Pat Olliffe. Olliffe is a cartoonist & illustrator who has worked almost exclusively in the comics field for over 25 years, for companies like Marvel & DC Comics. Davis is a local comics artist, currently working on a self-published mini series, titled “Worlds Apart”. On display Dec 19, 6-9pm & Dec 20, 12-6pm. Sewickley. 412-259-8214. BREW ON BROADWAY. Artist of the Month. Free art event & refreshments. Beechview. 412-951-9662. CHRISTINE FRECHARD GALLERY. Pasquale Pristera & Zivi Aviraz. Feat. artworks by the “wood zipper artist”, Pasquale Pristera & Zivi Aviraz. Opening reception Dec. 19, 6-8pm. Squirrel Hill. 412-421- 8888.

ONGOING 707 PENN GALLERY. Becky Slemmons: Gatherings. Exploring what happens when an artist enters the religious realm, pursuing a performative project, in an environment where conformity often dominates. Downtown. 412-456-2962. 709 PENN GALLERY. Recent Works by Sheila Cueller-Shaffer. Each abstract work represents a part of a narrative of an immigrant’s journey where anything can become the subject: a memory, a photo, or a change in

landscape through time. Downtown. 412-471-6070. 937 LIBERTY AVE. The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley. Commissioned photographs of significant landscapes across the nation & abroad. Downtown. 412-471-6070. AMERICAN JEWISH MUSEUM. Emily Newman & the New Chelyuskinites. Modeled on the 1933-34 Russian sea expedition that trapped 111 people on arctic ice for two months after their Chelyuskin sank w/ equal parts social documentary, tableaux & oral history. Squirrel Hill. 412-697-3231. ANDY WARHOL MUSEUM. 13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol & the 1964 World’s Fair. Warhol’s enlarged mug shots from an NYPD booklet featuring the 13 most wanted criminals of 1962. Chuck Connelly: My America. Part of the Pittsburgh 2014 Biennial. Permanent collection. Artwork and artifacts by the famed Pop Artist. North Side. 412-237-8300. ARTDFACT. Artdfact Gallery. The works of Timothy Kelley & other regional & US artists on display. Sculpture, oil & acrylic paintings, mixed media, found objects, more. North Side. 724-797-3302. ARTISTS IMAGE RESOURCE. Printwork 2014: AIR’s 3rd Annual National Juried Exhibition. North Side. 412-321-8664. BACKSTAGE BAR AT THEATRE SQUARE. PostImpressionism to Abstract. Artwork by Vickie Schilling

& Nadya Lapets. Downtown. 412-325-6768. BAR MARCO. Studio Direct. New Work by Seth Clark. Strip District. 412-471-1900. BE GALLERIES. Ron Copeland: Illuminations. Lawrenceville. 412-687-2606. BOULEVARD GALLERY. Boulevard Gallery’s Annual Holiday Event. Pottery, jewelry, sculptures, cards, photography, watercolor, oils, & acrylics. Verona. 412-828-1031. BOXHEART GALLERY. Blooming w/ Holiday Spirit. Work in various mediums by a diverse group of artists, in time for holiday gift-giving. Shop Small at Boxheart on Nov. 29 for original artwork & gifts while enjoying holiday goodies. Bloomfield. 412-687-8858. CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART. Maggie’s Centres: A Blueprint for Cancer Care. Installation showcasing models, photographs, drawings, & videos relating to the design of five cancer centers in the United Kingdom. Sebastian Errazuriz: Look Again Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals. The definitive retrospective & largest-ever presentation of this innovative artist’s work. Oakland. 412-622-3131. CHATHAM UNIVERSITY. Culture in Context. African Art from the Olkes Collection. Shadyside. 412-365-1232. CHRISTINE FRECHARD GALLERY. Selections of The Michael Berger Foundation’s Private Collection. Painting & prints from

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MON 22 COMEDY SAUCE. Hosted by Aaron Kleiber. Mon, 9:30 p.m. Thru Feb. 23 Pleasure Bar, Bloomfield. 412-682-9603. TFM IMPROV COMEDY. Full throttle improv every Monday night starring our resident house teams. Mon, 8 p.m. Thru Feb. 23 The Maker Theater, Shadyside. 412-404-2695. UNPLANNED COMEDY’S JAMBONE. Mon, 9:30 p.m. Thru Jan. 26 Hambone’s, Lawrenceville. 412-681-4318.

TUE 23 TUESDAY NIGHT STAND-UP. Tue, 9 p.m. Hot Rod Cafe, Mt. Washington. 412-592-7869.

WED 24

HARRIS GRILL 2004-2014 www.HarrisGrill.com

BEERHIVE COMEDY. Open Mic. Hosted by Aaron Kleiber. Wed, 8 p.m. Thru March 25 The BeerHive, Strip District. 412-904-4502. COMEDY OPEN MIC. Hosted by Ronald Renwick. Wed, 9:30 p.m. Scarpaci’s Place, Mt. Washington. 412-431-9908. STAND-UP COMEDY OPEN MIC. Wed, 8 p.m. The BeerHive, Strip District. 412-904-4502.

EXHIBITS ALLEGHENY-KISKI VALLEY HERITAGE MUSEUM. Military

artifacts and exhibits on the (planetarium), Miniature Allegheny Valley’s industrial Railroad and Village, USS Requin heritage. Tarentum. 724-224-7666. submarine, and more. North Side. ANDY WARHOL MUSEUM. 412-237-3400. Exposures. A window display CARRIE FURNACE. Built in 1907, & artist product series feat. Carrie Furnaces 6 & 7 are extremely Daniel Pillis. North Side. rare examples of pre World War II 412-237-8300. iron-making technology. Rankin. AUGUST WILSON CENTER 412-464-4020 x.21. FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF CULTURE. Pittsburgh: PITTSBURGH. Tough Art. An Reclaim, Renew, Remix. annual exhibition of original, Feat. imagery, film & oral interactive artworks “tough” history narratives to enough to withstand explore communities, kid handling. Take a cultures, & innovations. walk through a prism Downtown. forest, create cracks 412-258-2700. on kinetic stained BAYERNHOF www. per glass, reach for a sky pa MUSEUM. Large pghcitym of 600 LEDs, & explore .co collection of automatic the inner workings of an roll-played musical intergalactic sheep. North instruments and music boxes Side. 412-322-5058. in a mansion setting. Call COMPASS INN. Demos & tours for appointment. O’Hara. with costumed guides featuring 412-782-4231. this restored stagecoach stop. BOST BUILDING. Collectors. 724-238-4983. Preserved materials reflecting CONNEY M. KIMBO the industrial heritage of GALLERY. University of Southwestern PA. Homestead. Pittsburgh Jazz Exhibit: 412-464-4020. Memorabilia & Awards from CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART. the International Hall of Fame. Carnegie Trees 2014: Winter Oakland. 412-648-7446. Wonders. The Hall of Architecture DEPRECIATION LANDS w/ several towering 20-foot MUSEUM. Small living history Colorado spruce trees, each museum celebrating the adorned w/ handcrafted ornaments. Oakland. 412-622-3131. settlement & history of the Depreciation Lands. Allison Park. CARNEGIE SCIENCE CENTER. Ongoing: Buhl Digital Dome 412-486-0563.

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FALLINGWATER. Tour the famed Frank Lloyd Wright house. 724-329-8501. FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Tours of 13 Tiffany stained-glass windows. Downtown. 412-471-3436. FORT PITT MUSEUM. Reconstructed fort houses museum of Pittsburgh history circa French & Indian War and American Revolution. Downtown. 412-281-9285. FRICK ART & HISTORICAL CENTER. Ongoing: tours of Clayton, the Frick estate, with classes & programs for all ages. Point Breeze. 412-371-0600. HARTWOOD ACRES. Tour this Tudor mansion & stable complex. Enjoy hikes & outdoor activities in the surrounding park. Allison Park. 412-767-9200. KENTUCK KNOB. Tour the other Frank Lloyd Wright house. 724-329-8501. KERR MEMORIAL MUSEUM. Tours of a restored 19th-century, middle-class home. Oakmont. 412-826-9295. MARIDON MUSEUM. Collection includes jade & ivory statues from China and Japan, as well as Meissen porcelain. Butler. 724-282-0123. MCGINLEY HOUSE & MCCULLY LOG HOUSE. Historic homes open for tours,

lectures and more. Monroeville. 412-373-7794. NATIONAL AVIARY. Home to more than 600 birds from over 200 species. With classes, lectures, demos and more. North Side. 412-323-7235. NATIONALITY ROOMS. 26 rooms helping to tell the story of Pittsburgh’s immigrant past. University of Pittsburgh. Oakland. 412-624-6000. OLD ST. LUKE’S. Pioneer church features 1823 pipe organ, Revolutionary War graves. Scott. 412-851-9212. OLIVER MILLER HOMESTEAD. This pioneer/ Whiskey Rebellion site features log house, blacksmith shop & gardens. South Park. 412-835-1554. PENNSYLVANIA TROLLEY MUSEUM. Trolley rides and exhibits. Includes displays, walking tours, gift shop, picnic area and Trolley Theatre. Washington. 724-228-9256. PHIPPS CONSERVATORY & BOTANICAL GARDEN. Winter Flower Show & Light Garden. Feat. a variety of festive poinsettias, showy amaryllis & aromatic paperwhites, Winter Flower Show showcases illuminated glass art & evergreens glowing with thousands of LED lights. 14 indoor rooms & 3 outdoor gardens feature exotic plants CONTINUES ON PG. 52

Murph Dogg • “X-Mas in the Future” • 2014 Image on paper

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VISUAL ART

CONTINUED FROM PG. 49

the 200 piece collection. Squirrel Hill. 412-421-8888. CRAZY MOCHA COFFEE COMPANY. Artwork by Crystala Armagost. Bloomfield. 412-681-5225. ECLECTIC ART & OBJECTS GALLERY. 19th century American & European paintings combined with some of the world’s most talented contemporary artists & their artwork. The Hidden Collection. Watercolors by Robert N. Blair (1912- 2003). Hiromi Traditional Japanese Oil Paintings The Lost Artists of the 1893 Chicago Exhibition. Collectors Showcase. Emsworth. 412-734-2099. FILMMAKERS GALLERIES. Spectator. Work by photographer April Friges. Oakland. 412-681-5449. FRICK ART & HISTORICAL CENTER. Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal. Work by French-trained American artist, known for his sparkling canvases of women in gardens & other outdoor settings. Permanent collection of European Art. Point Breeze. 412-371-0600. THE GALLERY 4. Trip In / On Neon. Work by Pittsburgh based painter & illustrator Gabe Felice. Shadyside. 412-363-5050. GALLERY ON 43RD STREET. New Work by Jonelle Summerfield. Lawrenceville. 412-683-6488. GALLERY-VERY FINE ART. Group Show. Work by Linda Price-Sneddon, Peggy Habets, James E. Trusko & others. South Side. 412-901-8805. GLENN GREENE STAINED GLASS STUDIO INC. Original Glass Art by Glenn Greene. Exhibition of new work, recent work & older work. Regent Square. 412-243-2772. HUNT INSTITUTE FOR BOTANICAL DOCUMENTATION. Dangerous Beauty: Thorns, Spines & Prickles. Artworks & books that depict the defensive structures of thorns, spines & prickles that have evolved to protect plants from predation. Oakland. 412-268-2434. LA PRIMA ESPRESSO. Paintings/Prints of Italy. Prints of Vince Ornato’s oil paintings of Italy. Strip District. 412-281-1922. LAKEVUE ATHLETIC CLUB. Pop-Up Gallery. Work by a variety of artists. 724-316-9326. MANCHESTER CRAFTSMEN’S GUILD. Being Good. Documenting three Pittsburghers who are using their art & committing their resources, to improving

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distressed neighborhoods in the city: Vanessa German, photographed by Lynn Johnson; Bill Strickland, photographed by Scott Goldsmith; and Randy Gilson, photographed by Brian Cohen. North Side. 412-322-1773. MASER GALLERIES. Burton Morris: One Man Show. Paintings, serigraphs, pop-outs, posters. Shadyside. 412-687-0885. MATTRESS FACTORY. Artists in Residence. Installations created inresidence by Danny Bracken, John Peña, Ryder Henry, Kathleen Montgomery, & Benjamin Sota. Part of the 2014 Pittsburgh Biennial. Ongoing Installations. Works by Turrell, Lutz, Kusama, Anastasi, Highstein, Wexler & Woodrow. North Side. 412-231-3169. MENDELSON GALLERY. David Lewis, Terry Shutko & Friends. Shadyside. 412-361-8664. MICHAEL HERTRICH ART & FRAME. Holiday Celebration. A group exhibition feat. new works by the gallery’s stable of artists. South Side. 412-431-3337. MILLER GALLERY AT CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY. Armin Hoffman: Farbe/Color. Celebrating our Armin Hofmann exhibition of silkscreens &emerging talent from CMU School of Design 2014 Seniors. Oakland. 412-268-3618. MINE FACTORY. I Just Want The Paper. Homewood. 412-370-6916. MORGAN CONTEMPORARY GLASS GALLERY. texture&tension. Work by Alex Bernstein, Marsha Blaker, Byul Go, Romina Gonzales & Edison Zapata, Weston Lambert, more. Shadyside. 412-441-5200. PANZA GALLERY. Dave Klug & Friends. The work of Dave Klug, George Schill, Stacy Innerst & Wayno. Millvale. 412-821-0959. PHOTO ANTIQUITIES. Photos in Jewelry. An exhibit showcasing exquisite samples of photographic jewelry, popularized in the 1800s. North Side. 412-231-7881. PITTSBURGH CENTER FOR THE ARTS. 3 Guild Shows. 3 different shows presented at PCA: Women of Vision presents “Storytellers: Truth be Told”, Craftsmen Guild presents “Illusions” & Fiberarts Guild presents “Construct”. Shadyside. 412-361-0873.

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PITTSBURGH GLASS CENTER. Emerge/Evolve. Ft. selected works from Emerge 2014, Bullseye Glass Company’s eighth biennial kiln-glass exhibition for emerging artists, & work by three past Emerge finalists. Friendship. 412-365-2145. REVISION SPACE. Terry Boyd “Pins & Needles” Solo Exhibition. Drawing & embroidery techniques, incorporating drama, abstraction & performance into multi-faceted & intense pieces. Refreshments & tattoos of Boyd’s work. Open weekends & weekdays by appt. Lawrenceville. 412-735-3201. SHAW GALLERIES. Sincronia. Work by 6 contemporary artists from Venezuela. Downtown. 412-281-4884. SILVER EYE CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY. Close to Home. 7 artists use photography to explore different notions about home as a physical place w/ deep emotional connections. South Side. 412-431-1810. THE SOCIETY FOR CONTEMPORARY CRAFT. CRAFTED: A Celebration of the Handmade. Artisan-crafted mugs, cups and tumblers by 50 artists from across America. Strip District. 412-261-7003. SPACE. Obsessions. Showcasing six artists from across the U.S., exploring the nature of obsession through painting, sculpture, site-specific installation, video & performance. Ft. artists: Jeremiah Johnson, Jason Lockyer, Nathan Margoni, Mary Ivy Martin, Becky Slemmons & Laurie Trok. Downtown. 412-325-7723. TUGBOAT PRINT SHOP. Tugboat Printshop. Open studio. Lawrenceville. 412-621-0663. UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH ART GALLERY. Restrike: Uncovering the Life and Work of Gertrude Quastler. Feat. the artistic styles of Gertrude Quastler from printmaking to sculpture. Oakland. 412-648-2423. WOOD STREET GALLERIES. Second/Second. Light & sound installations by Icelandic artist Finnbogi Pétursson. Downtown. 412-471-5605.

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Co-presented by Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc.

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[KIDSTUFF] and floral displays from around the world. Oakland. 412-622-6914. PINBALL PERFECTION. Pinball museum & players club. West View. 412-931-4425. PITTSBURGH ZOO & PPG AQUARIUM. Home to 4,000 animals, including many endangered species. Highland Park. 412-665-3639. RACHEL CARSON HOMESTEAD. A Reverence for Life. Photos and artifacts of her life & work. Springdale. 724-274-5459. RIVERS OF STEEL NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA. Exhibits on the Homestead Mill. Steel industry and community artifacts from 1881-1986. Homestead. 412-464-4020. SENATOR JOHN HEINZ HISTORY CENTER. Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia. Exhibit feat. nearly 2,000 once-hidden treasures exploring Pittsburgh’s important role as a Gateway to the West & a national hub for the steamboat building industry in the mid-19th century. From Slavery to Freedom. Highlight’s Pittsburgh’s role in the anti-slavery movement. Ongoing: Western PA Sports Museum, Clash of Empires, and exhibits on local history, more. Strip District. 412-454-6000. SEWICKLEY HEIGHTS HISTORY CENTER. Museum commemorates Pittsburgh industrialists, local history. Sewickley. 412-741-4487. SOLDIERS & SAILORS MEMORIAL HALL. War in the Pacific 1941-1945. Feat. a collection of military artifacts showcasing photographs, uniforms, shells & other related items. Military museum dedicated to honoring military service members since the Civil War through artifacts & personal mementos. Oakland. 412-621-4253. ST. ANTHONY’S CHAPEL. Features 5,000 relics of Catholic saints. North Side. 412-323-9504. ST. NICHOLAS CROATIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. Maxo Vanka Murals. Mid-20th century murals depicting war, social justice and the immigrant experience in America. Millvale. 421-681-0905. THE TOONSEUM. Comic-tanium: The Super Materials of the Superheroes. See how Batman, Iron Man, Captain America, & other comic characters use real-world minerals, metals, & materials science & engineering to boost their powers & save their worlds. Downtown. 412-232-0199. WEST OVERTON MUSEUMS. Learn about distilling and coke-making in this pre-Civil War industrial village. 724-887-7910.

HOLIDAY THU 18 MANTA CLAUS. Last minute shopping for men, at multiple

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

This season, Gemini Children’s Theater offers something a little different from the usual lineup of Christmas Carols and Nutcrackers. Its current show, The Gift of the Ice Queen, borrows from Hans Christian Andersen, as well as from various Scandinavian legends and fairy tales. The original, interactive musical production tells what happens after a villager angers the queen of the ice fairies by stealing snow from her garden. 1 and 3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 28. 7501 Penn Ave., Point Breeze. $12. 412-243-5201 or www.geminitheater.org

Lawrenceville locations, w/ free drinks, snacks, gift wrapping & gift advice. 5-9 p.m. SECRET SANTA SHOPPING SPREE IN HARMONY. Last minute shopping w/ live music & art. Multiple locations. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. 724-473-0983.

FRI 19 - SAT 20 CHRISTMAS LASER SPECTACULAR. Laser show to holiday music. Ticket sales benefit families in need. 6 & 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 20, 6 p.m. Canonsburg United Presbyterian Church, Canonsburg. 724-745-0800.

DANCE THU 18 UPROAR. A revealing glimpse into the “creative process” of our heroine, who experiences all the typical ups & downs, rejected ideas, & writers’ block. Presented by fireWALL dance theatre. Sun, 7 p.m., Thu., Dec. 18, 8 p.m., Sat, 7 p.m., Sun, 7 p.m., Wed., Dec. 31, 7 p.m., Sat., Jan. 3, 4 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 10, 3 p.m. Thru Dec. 28 Off the Wall Theater, Carnegie. 1-888-71-TICKETS.

THU 18 - WED 24

SHOP SMALL, SHOP HANDMADE. I Made It! Market & Think Shadyside present a pop up shop ft. 20 artists each week. Above Shady Grove. Sat, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thru Dec. 20 Shady Grove, Shadyside. 412-697-0909.

THE NUTCRACKER. Presented by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. The classic story of Clara & her Nutcracker Prince w/ scenes from Pittsburgh. Opens Dec. 5. Thu, Fri, 7 p.m., Sat, 2 & 7 p.m., Sun, 12 & 4:30 p.m., Tue., Dec. 23, 7 p.m. and Wed., Dec. 24, 2 p.m. Thru Dec. 28 Benedum Center, Downtown. 412-454-9109.

SUN 21

SAT 20

SAT 20

CELEBRATE THE SEASON DANCE & WINE PARTY. A beginner ballroom class followed by a dance. Food will be provided, byob. 6 p.m. Pittsburgh Dance Center, Bloomfield. 412-681-0111. HAVE A SWINGIN’ CHANUKAH - DANCE, CONCERT & HOLIDAY CELEBRATION. Swing classics w/ Klezmer & traditional Jewish Chanukah tunes. 4-6:30 p.m. Parkway Jewish Center, Penn Hills. 412-823-4338.

WINTER WONDER-LESQUE. A burlesque show feat. Nina La Voix, Dolly Debutante, Kat De Lac & a special guest. Presented by The Steel City Kitty Show & hosted by Larry LaMour. 10 p.m. Smiling Moose, South Side. 412-431-4668.

SUN 21 UPROAR. A revealing glimpse into the “creative process” of our heroine, who experiences all


the typical ups & downs, rejected ideas, & writers’ block. Presented by fireWALL dance theatre. Sun, 7 p.m., Thu., Dec. 18, 8 p.m., Sat, 7 p.m., Sun, 7 p.m., Wed., Dec. 31, 7 p.m., Sat., Jan. 3, 4 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 10, 3 p.m. Thru Dec. 28 Off the Wall Theater, Carnegie. 1-888-71-TICKETS.

FUNDRAISERS SUN 21 BOOK ‘EM BOOKS TO PRISONERS WORK PARTY. Read & code letters, pick books, pack ‘em or database ‘em! Sundays 4-7 p.m. or by appt. Thomas Merton Center, Garfield. 412-361-3022.

Book Exchange, Bloomfield. 412-224-2847.

KIDSTUFF THU 18 - WED 24 BACKYARD EXHIBIT. Musical swing set, sandbox, solar-powered instruments, more. Ongoing Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, North Side. 412-322-5058. BOUNCE. An interactive exhibit celebrating the world’s most amazing ball. Experience how it moves, how it looks & the story of how it came to be. Ongoing Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, North Side. 412-322-5058.

FRI 19 YOUTH MAKER NIGHT- GAME NIGHT EDITION. Learn how to build a board game from scratch. 5-7 p.m. Assemble, Garfield.

LITERARY THU 18 ENGLISH LEARNERS’ BOOK CLUB. For advanced ESL students. Presented in cooperation w/ the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. Thu, 1 p.m. Mount Lebanon Public Library, Mt. Lebanon. 412-531-1912. THE HOUR AFTER HAPPY HOUR WRITER’S WORKSHOP. Young writers & recent graduates looking for additional feedback on their work. thehourafterhappyhour.wordpress. com Thu, 7-9 p.m. Lot 17, Bloomfield. 412-687-8117.

SAT 20

ART OF ORIGAMI: HOLIDAY EDITION. Join us for an interactive workshop on the art of Origami. 2:30 p.m. Carnegie Library, Downtown. 412-281-7141. FAMILY FRIENDLY KIDS OPEN MIC. Sat, 6 p.m. Hambone’s, Lawrenceville. 412-681-4318. LEARN TO ICE SKATE. Teaching basic skating fundamentals of balance, edge control & stopping. Classes for all ranges of expertise. All ages. Schenley Park Ice Rink. LISTEN IS SILENT Sat, 10 a.m. Thru POETRY SLAM. This Feb. 28 Schenley www. per a p ty poetry slam is set Park, Oakland. pghci m o .c up to listen to stories 703-597-6905. of the young people MARTY’S MARKET throughout our cities. KIDS’ CORNER. Ages 5-11. Five minutes on stage is the cry, Sat, 3-5 p.m. Marty’s Market, the laughter, the pain & the Strip District. 412-586-7177. joy of some people. Hosted by SANTA VISITS. Photos w/ Fred “Fu” Underwood. 7 p.m. Santa at Phipps Conservatory. Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, Sat, Sun, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thru East Liberty. 412-363-3000. Dec. 20 Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Garden, Oakland. 412-622-6914. ITALIAN CONVERSATION. Third and First Sat of every month, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. HOMEWORK HELP. For Carnegie Library, Oakland. grades 1-8. Tue, 3:30-5:30 p.m. 412-622-3151. Assemble, Garfield. PENNWRITERS SPRINGDALE WRITERS GROUP. Third Sat of every month Springdale Free Public Library, Springdale. SURVIVAL BASICS. Tue, 724-274-9729. 3-4:30 p.m. Schenley Park, Oakland. 412-477-4677.

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SAT 20

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GERMAN CONVERSATION CLUB. Second and Fourth Mon of every month, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Carnegie Library, Oakland. 412-622-3151.

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TUE 23

OTHER STUFF

LET’S SPEAK ENGLISH! Practice conversational English. Tue, 6 p.m. Carnegie Library, Squirrel Hill. 412-422-9650. PITTSBURGH CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY READING GROUP. Tue, 6 p.m. East End

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WEDNESDAY MORNING WALK. Naturalist-led, rain or shine. Wed Beechwood Farms, Fox Chapel. 412-963-6100.

THU 18 ACCOUNTING & TAXES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. CPA Robert Henkels as he gives small business tax tips & discusses accounting procedures & what you need to know about keeping

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your books straight this tax season. 12:15 p.m. Carnegie Library, Downtown. 412-281-7141. ADVANCED ITALIAN CONVERSATION. Thu, 10 a.m. Mount Lebanon Public Library, Mt. Lebanon. 412-531-1912. ART NIGHTS AT THE SPACE UPSTAIRS. Bring your own medium for a communal creation night w/ music by King Friday. Third Thu of every month, 8 p.m. The Space Upstairs, Point Breeze. 412-225-9269.

Third Sat of every month, 2 p.m. Thru Dec. 20 412-271-7660. HAIR TODAY & GONE TOMORROW. A charitable event, raising awareness for mental illness. It will present various, unique hair styles as a medium for art, to showcase, different types of mental illnesses. Learn more about mental health illnesses & the effect it has on individuals & entire families. 7-10 p.m. Fahrenheit the Evolution Salon, Penn Hills. 412-704-7057. KOREAN II. Sat, 11 a.m.12:30 p.m. Thru Jan. 31 Carnegie Library, Oakland. 412-622-3116. SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCING. Lessons 7-8 p.m., social dancing follows. No partner needed. Mon, 7 p.m. and Sat, 7 p.m. Grace Episcopal Church, Mt. Washington. 412-683-5670. SOUTH HILLS SCRABBLE CLUB. Free Scrabble games, all levels. Sat, 1-3 p.m. Mount Lebanon Public Library, Mt. Lebanon. 412-531-1912. SPANISH CONVERSATION GROUP. Friendly, informal. At the Starbucks inside Target. Sat, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Target, East Liberty. 412-362-6108. SWING CITY. Learn & practice swing dancing skills. Sat, 8 p.m.

Fri, 5-10 p.m. Thru Jan. 30 Andy Warhol Museum, North Side. 412-237-8300.

SAT 20 BEGINNER TAI CHI CLASSES. www.pittsburghtaichi.com Sat, 9 a.m. Friends Meeting House, Oakland. 412-683-2669. DROP-IN TOURS. A tour of the Mattress Factory’s current exhibits led by a museum educator. 12-1pm, Dec. 20 & Jan. 3. and Sat., Jan. 3 Mattress

[VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY]

NATIONAL AVIARY

If you love all things feathered, you probably already know that the National Aviary is the only independent, indoor, nonprofit zoo dedicated solely to birds. Help support this unique institution by volunteering. It is currently in need of an admissions clerk, but there are many opportunities for people of all skills to lend a hand. Fill out a volunteer application at www.aviary.org/ volunteers.

CONVERSATIONAL CHINESE & CHINESE CULTURE. Thu, 7 p.m. Mount Lebanon Public Library, Mt. Lebanon. 412-531-1912. INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION OF PITTSBURGH. Social, cultural club of American/ international women. Thu First Baptist Church, Oakland. iwap. pittsburgh@gmail.com. NATIONAL AVIARY AT NIGHT. 21+ event. 5-9 p.m. National Aviary, North Side. 412-323-7235. RENAISSANCE DANCE GUILD. Learn a variety of dances from the 15-17th centuries. Porter Hall, Room A18A. Thu, 8 p.m. Carnegie Mellon University, Oakland. 412-567-7512. WEEKLY WELLNESS CIRCLE. Group acupuncture & guided meditation for stress-relief. Thu DeMasi Wellness, Aspinwall. 412-927-4768. WEST COAST SWING. Swing dance lessons for all levels. Thu, 7 p.m. Pittsburgh Dance Center, Bloomfield. 412-681-0111.

Factory, North Side. 412-231-3169 ex 536. EMPATHY FIRST. A compassionate communication & conflict transformation study group based on the work of peace activist, Dr. Marshall Rosenberg.

Wightman School, Squirrel Hill. 412-759-1569. TUGBOAT PRINTSHOP OPEN HOUSE. Open studio for holiday shopping. 11 a.m.4 p.m. Tugboat Print Shop, Lawrenceville. 412-980-0884. WIGLE WHISKEY BARRELHOUSE TOURS. Sat, 12:30 & 2 p.m. Wigle Whiskey Barrel House, North Side. 412-224-2827.

SUN 21 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CAFE. Weekly letter writing event. Sun, 4-6 p.m. Panera Bread, Oakland. 412-683-3727. ARABIC FOR BEGINNERS. Second and Third Sun of every month, 2-3 p.m. Carnegie Library, Oakland. 412-622-3151. BOARD GAME NIGHT. Third and First Sun of every month, 6 p.m. Brew on Broadway, Beechview. 412-437-8676. CHINESE II. First and Third Sun of every month, 2-3 p.m. Carnegie Library, Oakland. 412-622-3151. PFLAG GREENSBURG. Support, education & advocacy for the LGBTQ community, family & friends. Third Sun of every month, 2 p.m. Trinity United Church of Christ, Greensburg. 412-518-1515. PITTSBURGH REPTILE SHOW & SALE. Buy,sell, trade, & learn CONTINUES ON PG. 54

FRI 19 AFRICAN DANCE CLASS. Second and Third Fri of every month and Fourth and Last Fri of every month Irma Freeman Center for Imagination, Garfield. 412-924-0634. FRIDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE. A social, traditional American dance. No partner needed, beginners welcome, lesson at 7:30. Fri, 8 p.m. Swisshelm Park Community Center, Swissvale. 412-945-0554. FRIDAY NIGHT CREATURE FEATURE. A creature painting & a creature movie. Fri, 7-11 p.m. Thru Jan. 22 The Night Gallery, Lawrenceville. 412-969-7197. GOOD FRIDAYS. 1/2-price regular museum admission & a cash bar.

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FORGET NICE COME BE NAUGHTY!

Tuesday is

Join us THURSDAY THURSDAY,, December 18 for some

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HARRIS GRILL 2004-2014 www.HarrisGrill.com

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about reptiles. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun., Jan. 18, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun., Feb. 15, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sun., Feb. 22, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Harmar House. 724-516-0441. SUNDAY ART & FOOD MARKET. Local artists & foodies. Sun, 1-5 p.m. Thru Dec. 21 The Night Gallery, Lawrenceville. 412-969-7197. TEA CLASS & TASTING. History of tea, steeping techniques, Storing Tea, Health Benefits, more. Tea samples & European cookies will be served. Reservations required. Sun, 7 p.m. Thru Jan. 25 Margaret’s Fine Imports, Squirrel Hill. 412-422-1606.

EVERYONE IS A CRITIC EVENT: Steel City Slam, Capri Pizzeria and Bar, East Liberty CRITIC: Nykkia McCray, 26, a stayat-home mom from Bellevue WHEN: Tue.,

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MON 22

It was a showcase of fellow humans’ talents. Hotep, the featured poet, the way she speaks impressed me. There’s a lot of emotion in her words. She writes about kind of knowing yourself, being a strong woman or just being comfortable with expressing your feelings. I never realized that Pittsburgh’s poetry scene was so deep. The slam winner, Victoria Shineman — her vagina poem was awesome. More power to her. It was cool that we [the audience] got to participate and be judges. The whole environment was really fun and relaxed. There’s food, other refreshments, and it’s like a chill, local kind of atmosphere in Capri Bar. It doesn’t seem professional and uptight. Maybe Steel City Slam could explain the rules of the open-mic night a little bit better. Then, maybe I’ll participate, maybe not. The slam is definitely something I look forward to going to again, and maybe getting more involved with.

BOUNDARIES & SELF CARE. A support group for women 30+. Second and Fourth Mon of every month Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry. MORNING SPANISH LITERATURE & CONVERSATION. Mon, 10 a.m. Mount Lebanon Public Library, Mt. Lebanon. 412-531-1912. SAHAJA MEDITATION. Dimple meditation techniques, which will improve your physical, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual health Mon, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Thru Jan. 5 Mount Lebanon Public Library, Mt. Lebanon. 412-531-1912. SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCING. Lessons 7-8 p.m., social dancing follows. No partner needed. Mon, 7 p.m. and Sat, 7 p.m. Grace Episcopal Church, Mt. Washington. 412-683-5670. SPELLING BEE WITH DAVE AND KUMAR. Mon Lava Lounge, South Side. 412-431-5282.

BY DANIELLE FOX

ENGLISH CONVERSATION (ESL). Wed, 10 a.m. Mount Lebanon Public Library, Mt. Lebanon. 412-531-1912. LET’S SPEAK ENGLISH! Practice conversational English. Wed, 5-6 p.m. Carnegie Library, Oakland. 412-622-3151. BOUNDARIES & SELF PFLAG WASHINGTON. CARE. Fourth and Second Tue Support, education & advocacy of every month, 6-7:30 p.m. for the LGBTQ community, family Anchorpoint Counseling & friends. Fourth Wed of every Ministry. 412-366-1300. month First Presbyterian CAPOEIRA ANGOLA. Church, Downtown. Tue, 6:30-8 p.m. 412-471-3436. Irma Freeman THE PITTSBURGH Center for Imagination, SHOW OFFS. A Garfield. 412-924-0634. . w ww per meeting of jugglers HOT METAL a p ty ci pgh m & spinners. All levels BLUES. Blues dancing. .co welcome. Wed, 7:30 p.m. Lessons: 8-9pm. Union Project, Highland Dancing: 9 pm-12am. Tue, Park. 412-363-4550. 8 p.m. Thru Dec. 23 TAROT CARD LESSONS. Wed, Peter’s Pub, Oakland. 7 p.m. Dobra Tea, Squirrel Hill. 412-681-7465. 412-449-9833. WEST COAST SWING AFTERNOON TEA DANCE. WEDNESDAYS. Swing dance Lessons offered to beginners. lessons. Wed, 9 p.m. The Library, Wed, 12-2:30 p.m. Thru Feb. 25 South Side. 916-287-1373. Pittsburgh Dance Center, Bloomfield. BOBCAT PLAYERS. Auditions BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT for the 2015 season. Jan. 10, GROUP. For Widows/Widowers 15 & 17. For appointments over 50. Second and Fourth call or email bobcatplayers@gmail. Wed of every month, 1-2:30 p.m. com. Visit www.bobcatplayers.com St. Sebastian Church, Ross. 412-366-1300. for information. 412-953-0237. DETROIT STYLE URBAN THE RAGE OF THE STAGE BALLROOM DANCE. PLAYERS. Auditions for 3rd floor. Wed, 6:30-8 p.m. “BLOODY HELL,” A postHosanna House, Wilkinsburg. apocalyptic stage adaptation 412-242-4345. of “Dracula.” Call or email

TUE 23

FULL LIST ONLINE

WED 24

AUDITIONS

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

rageofthestage@yahoo.com for more information. McKeesport Little Theater, McKeesport. 724-292-8427.

SUBMISSIONS 2014-2015 WALDMAN INTERNATIONAL ARTS & WRITING COMPETITION. Seeking creative writing, short film & visual arts submissions from middle & high-schoolers exploring the theme of Real Life Superheroes in the Face of Persecution. Submissions accepted through Jan 15, 2015. 412-421-1500. THE DAP CO-OP. Seeking performers & artists to participate in First Fridays Art in a Box. For more information, email thedapcoopzumba@ hotmail.com. 412-403-7357. THE HOUR AFTER HAPPY HOUR REVIEW. Seeking submissions in all genres for fledgling literary magazine curated by members of the Hour After Happy Hour Writing Workshop. afterhappyhourreview.com. THE NEW YINZER. Seeking original essays about literature, music, TV or film, & also essays generally about Pittsburgh. To see some examples, visit www.newyinzer.com & view the current issue. Email all pitches, submissions & inquiries to newyinzer@gmail.com.


Savage Love {BY DAN SAVAGE}

We just did a live taping of the Savage Lovecast at Seattle’s Neptune Theatre. Audience members submitted more questions — anonymously, on index cards — than we could possibly answer during the Q&A segment of the show. So I’m answering some of the questions we didn’t get to in this week’s column. Here we go: My partner wants me to pee on him. I’m not so into it. Now what? Should I do the “one and done” thing or put it on the big “no way” list? One and done — and with any luck, after seeing what a big nothing peeing on someone actually is, you’ll have a change of heart and peeing on your partner will wind up on your “once in a while, if you’re good, and only after I’ve had a few beers so it’s basically just hot water” list. My boyfriend seems to love the dog more than me. What gives? Apparently the dog does. My dick gets dry and kinda bumpy. Lately, there have been more bumps. Why? You might want to ask someone who reads braille to run their fingers over your cock — you know, just to rule out the possibility that Helen Keller is trying to communicate with you from the great beyond. You might also want to see a doctor — it could be HPV (sexually transmitted) or molluscum contagiosum (sometimes sexually transmitted), both of which require treatment, or it could simply be “pearly penile papules,” which are harmless and do not require treatment.

quest to orgasm in someone’s mouth or do I continue to subject poor women to failure? Mix blowjobs and handjobs together — jerk your cock to the point-of-inevitability place — and you’ll not fail. My gay husband of five years knew what he was getting when he got into our relationship: a total bottom. Now he wants to find a top to play with, but he also knew that I was not “open to open.” That was the price of admission. Can you tell him to stop annoying me? The price of admission cuts both ways. The price of admission he had to pay to be with you: no other partners for him, no getting topped again, ever. But if he’s not willing to keep paying that price, then you may have to decide whether you’re willing pay his price: He gets to play with another top — always safely, once in a great while, maybe with you — or he walks. I provide counseling to a client who accesses the S&M community fairly frequently. She has shared with me that she often attends a dungeon in order for someone to inflict pain on her — not because she enjoys it, but because she’s hoping they’ll go far enough to put her life in jeopardy. She does not use the safe words provided to her. What are the ethics of this? Unless the kinksters at the dungeon she attends are engaged in extremely risky forms of edge play — breath control, asphyxiation, fire play, gun play — her life is not in danger. (Suicide-by-cop is a thing, suicide-by-tit-clamp is not. So here’s hoping she’s bullshitting you.) But if she somehow managed to find the one public dungeon on earth where tops rely on bottoms to use their safe words to prevent their own deaths during edge play: What your client is doing is unethical and unfair. A top’s consent matters in a BDSM scene, too — and the people she’s playing with consented to top her, not off her. Tell her to knock it off.

“UNLESS YOU HAVE A DIAPHRAGM MADE OF MARBLE, YOU’RE IN NO DANGER”

Would you let a grateful, mostly straightish guy give you a handjob for all the good work you’ve done in the world? And would you let a straightish woman watch? Yes and no.

What is the proper etiquette at most fetish/ sex clubs? Can you go and simply observe and not participate? Some fetish/sex clubs allow people to observe on the theory that today’s nervous newbie observer is tomorrow’s confident active player. Other fetish/sex clubs welcome only active players because they don’t want to be overrun by voyeurs, gawkers or tourists. Most clubs have contact info on their websites, so your best course of action is to email the place you want to attend and ask them. In the past, I’ve had boyfriends who were horrible gift-givers (Christmas, anniversary, birthday). Is the thought and time a guy puts into gift-giving an indicator of a good mate? I’m a lousy gift-giver but a decent mate — at least that’s what my husband tells me — so I may not be the best person to answer this question. But you’ve had multiple boyfriends who were lousy gift-givers — so this may be a question you can answer for yourself. Set aside the gift-giving issues/lapses/horrors and ask yourself whether your boyfriends are decent mates otherwise. I have not come from a blowjob since I was a 17-year-old boy. Do I give up on my

I have a glass dildo that I love, but I worry it might break if I go at it too rough. Is this possible? I don’t want to show up in the ER with glass in my vagina. Glass dildos — quality ones — are safer than many other kinds of dildos (nonporous surfaces, no icky chemicals), and one would have to be dropped from a great height onto a very hard surface to actually shatter. So unless you have a diaphragm made of marble and you’re relying on velocity to insert your glass dildo — your partner drops it from the top of a building, you catch it with your pussy — you’re in no danger.

blogh.pghcitypaper.com

The first hit is free. Actually, so are all the others.

Thanks to everyone who came to the live taping of the Savage Lovecast — including Adult Baby Jesus and the Human Menorah — and a very special thanks to the iTunes editorial team for naming the Savage Lovecast one of the iTunes Best of 2014, along with Serial, WTF, The Moth, and TED Radio Hour. Such amazing company! The complete list of top podcasts is here: iTunes. com/bestpodcasts2014. You can find the Lovecast at savagelovecast.com.

SEND YOUR QUESTIONS TO MAIL@SAVAGELOVE.NET AND FIND THE SAVAGE LOVECAST (DAN’S WEEKLY PODCAST) AT THESTRANGER.COM/SAVAGE

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Free Will Astrology

FOR THE WEEK OF

12.17-12.24

{BY ROB BREZSNY}

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “A savage desire for strong emotions and sensations burns inside me: a rage against this soft-tinted, shallow, standardized and sterilized life.” So says Harry Haller, the protagonist of Herman Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf. His declaration could serve as an interesting point of reference for you in the coming months, Sagittarius — not as a mood for everyday use, but as a poetic inspiration that you periodically call on to invigorate your lust for life. My invitation has a caveat, however. I advise you not to adopt the rest of Haller’s rant, in which he says that he also has “a mad craving to smash something up, a department store, or a cathedral, or myself.”

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I have lived near an open-space preserve for five years. Up until the last two months, it has been a peaceful, quite place. But then the coyotes moved in. Just after dusk every evening, a pack of them start yipping and yowling in the distance. At first I found the racket to be eerie and unsettling. It activated some primal unease in me. And yet the coyotes have never actually been a problem. They don’t roam into my neighborhood and try to bite people or prey on pets. So now I’ve come to relish the situation: The wild things are close and exciting, but not dangerous. I’m guessing this has a metaphorical resemblance to what your life will be like in the next six months, Capricorn.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Stanstead, Quebec, and Derby Line, Vt., are really a single town that straddles the border between the U.S. and Canada. Many of the people who live there have dual citizenship, but they’re still supposed to carry their passports with them at all times. I suspect you may

experience a metaphorical version of this split in the coming months, Aquarius. You will be in a situation that has a split down the middle or a seemingly unnatural division. Whether it turns out to be a problem or an opportunity will depend on your adaptability and flexibility.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): When a dead tree topples over in the woods, its withered branches may get entangled with the branches of a living tree that’s standing nearby. As years go by, the living tree must grow the best it can with the decaying wood trapped in its midst. Has something like that ever happened to you? Are you still carrying the rot that other people have burdened you with? If so, the coming months will be an excellent time to get disentangled. A tree isn’t capable of freeing itself from the dead weight of the past, but you are — especially in the first half of 2015.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Too much happiness can make you unhappy,”

get your yoga on! give the gift of good health JLIWFHUWLÀFDWHVFDQEH SXUFKDVHGRQOLQHDW

VFKRROKRXVH\RJDFRP

reported journalist Marta Zaraska in the Washington Post. Citing research by psychologists, she concluded that being super-extra cheerful can make you selfish, gullible and more prone to stereotyped thinking. On the other hand, she said, maintaining merely moderate levels of happiness is pretty damn good for your mental and physical health. So here’s the takeaway, Aries: The astrological omens suggest you’re due for a surge of joy and pleasure. Just be careful it doesn’t spill over into rash, delirious excess. Here’s your watchwords: well-grounded delight.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):

In the 19th century, the Grimm brothers gathered more than 200 old fairy tales from a variety of sources and published them in an unprecedented collection. Many of their stories are still popular, including “Cinderella,” “Snow White,” “Hansel and Gretel” and “Rapunzel.” Around the same time they did their work, a storyteller named Franz Xaver von Schönwerth assembled his own compendium of fantastic myths, fables and folklore. Unlike the Grimm brothers’ book, his work faded into obscurity. But it was rediscovered in 2011, and 500 lost fairy tales are now finding their way into newly published books. I foresee a comparable phenomenon happening for you in 2015, Taurus. Forgotten stories will return. Raw material from the depths will resurface. Interesting news from the past will come flowing into the present.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

Studies suggest that 57 percent of all people with access to the Internet have engaged in the practice known as ego-surfing. This modern art form consists of searching Google for mentions of one’s own name. This is a suspiciously low figure unless we factor in the data uncovered by my own research — which is that a disproportionately small amount of Virgos go ego-surfing: only 21 percent. If you are one of the 79 percent of your tribe who does not indulge, I invite you to remedy the situation. It’s an excellent time to risk exploring the potential benefits of increased self-interest and self-regard.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

Your first task is to ascertain the half-truth, the whole half-truth and nothing but the whole half-truth. Only then will you be able to find the other half of the truth. I realize it may be frustrating to use this approach. You’d probably prefer to avoid wrangling with the deceptions and misdirections. But I think it’s the only way to jostle loose the hidden or missing information. For best results, be a cunning and unsentimental detective who’s eager to solve the mystery. Don’t focus on finding fault or assigning blame.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

One of the ingredients that makes yoga mats so soft and springy is the chemical azodicarbonamide. The same stuff is added to the soles of shoes. There’s a third place where it’s used, too: in the burger buns sold by McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and other fast-food joints. I’m not suggesting that you order a big supply of azodicarbonamide and ingest it. But I do hope you will consider the metaphorical equivalent: doing whatever’s necessary to make yourself bouncy and fluffy and pliable and supple and resilient.

You may already know what I’m about to tell you. It’s a core principle at the root of your Scorpio heritage. But I want to focus your attention on it. In the coming months, you’ll be wise to keep it at the forefront of your conscious awareness. Here it is, courtesy of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: “You have it in your power to invest everything you have lived through — your experiments, false starts, errors, delusions, passions, your love and your hope — into your goal, with nothing left over.”

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

“There are two kinds of light,” said author James Thurber, “the glow that illuminates, and

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VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

When I started writing horoscopes many years ago, I was a good astrologer but an unexceptional writer. Eventually, the practice of composing 12 packets of pithy prose every week allowed me to improve my authorial skills. The stuff I composed in the early years wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t want to present it as my work anymore. So should I feel guilty that I got paid and appreciated for those old efforts even though I was less than perfect? Did I get away with something I shouldn’t have gotten away with? I don’t think so. I was doing the best I could at the time. And even my unpolished astrological musings were helpful to many people. Now, Libra, I invite you to apply these meditations to you own unfolding destiny.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):

VWULSGLVWULFWVTXLUUHOKLOOQRUWKKLOOV

the glare that obscures.” Lately you have been an abundant source of that first kind of light, Leo. The fire in your heart and the gleam in your eyes have not only brightened the mood wherever you’ve gone. They have also clarified confusing situations, warmed chilly attitudes and healed dispirited allies. Thank you! In the coming weeks, I’d love to see you continue on your hot streak. To help ensure that you do, keep your ego under control. Don’t let it pretend that it owns the light you’re emitting. With a little introspection, you will continue to generate illumination, not glare.

What’s the one feeling you want to feel more than any other in 2015? Tell all: Truthrooster@ gmail.com.

GO TO REALASTROLOGY.COM TO CHECK OUT ROB BREZSNY’S EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES AND DAILY TEXT-MESSAGE HOROSCOPES. THE AUDIO HOROSCOPES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE BY PHONE AT 1-877-873-4888 OR 1-900-950-7700


ROOMMATES

AUTO SERVICES

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FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO PLACE A CLASSIFIEDS ADVERTISEMENT, CALL 412-316-3342 EXT. 189

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ABC SELF STORAGE

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER

CLASSIFIEDS

25 x 60 storage or workspace $500 plus taxes, 12.5x40 $250 plus taxes. (2) locations: Mckees Rocks & South Side. 412-403-6069

GENERAL HELP

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$1,000 WEEKLY!! MAILING BROCHURES From Home. Helping home workers since 2001. Genuine Opportunity. No Experience required. Start Immediately www. mailingmembers.com (AAN CAN)

AIRLINE CAREERS begin here – Get trained as FAA certified Aviation Technician. Financial aid for qualified students. Job placement assistance. Call Aviation Institute of Maintenance 800-725-1563 (AAN CAN)

Rehearsal Space

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WANTED! 36 PEOPLE

PREGNANT? THINKING OF ADOPTION? Talk with caring agency specializing in matching Birthmothers with Families Nationwide. LIVING EXPENSES PAID. Call 24/7 Abby’s One True Gift Adoptions. 866-4136293. Void in Illinois/New Mexico/Indiana (AAN CAN)

WWII ITEMS

Need individual to work independently and must be self motivated for our Homestead and Northside locations. Salary between $12-$15/hr commensurate with exp. Must pass criminal background check. Call Jack 412-403-1711

to Lose Weight. 30-day money back guarantee. Herbal Program. Also opportunity to earn up to $1,000 monthly. 1-800-492-4437 www.myherbalife.com

starting @ $150/mo. Many sizes available, no sec deposit, play @ the original and largest practice facility, 24/7 access.

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Call 412-657-5558

Call Preferred Primary Care Physicians at

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for DYI Auto Mechanic Lift and Compressor

412-403-6069

FUN PART-TIME JOB Looking to make some extra holiday cash? Work the final Steeler Games at Heinz, Pitt and Duquesne basketball games, and get the opportunity to work next year’s Heinz summer concert series. Landmark Event Staffing, an industry leader in event staffing and security, is looking to hire enthusiastic, customer-service oriented people to work events in and around the city of Pittsburgh. You must be at least 18 yrs. of age and able to pass a criminal background check. Veterans, students, retirees and those looking for an exciting first OR second income are ALL welcome to apply. Call our Pittsburgh office to set up an appointment.

412-650-6155

412-321-2707

ADMINISTRATIVE

ASSISTANT

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE WANTED!

Join the winning team of Steel City Media!

Steel City Media is seeking F/T A.E. FOR WRRK and WLTJ radio. 2 yrs min. sales experience, possess excellent verbal skills & a self-starter. Requires own vehicle and auto insurance. Submit resume or email: Steel City Media, Attn: Chris Kohan, 650 Smithfield Street, Suite # 2200. PGH., PA 15222 or c.kohan@steelcitymedia.com No phone calls please. EOE.

We are currently seeking a p/t Administrative Assistant that possess the following qualifications: must be a team player, handle various projects and office duties, meet deadlines, file and distribute internal correspondence, faxes and incoming/outgoing U.S. mail. Candidate must be able to assist sales, traffic, marketing, circulations and other various departments including the operations of the front desk. Flexible hours. Please email or fax resume with cover letter to:

Laura Antonio • Business Mgr 650 Smithfield Street, Ste 2200 Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Email: laura@steelcitymedia.com Fax: 412-316-3374 No phone calls please. • EOE

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NOW HIRING: CNC Machinists and Skilled Assemblers in RIDC Park, O’Hara Township • Competitive pay and excellent benefits • Clean, climate-controlled facility • Winner of Pittsburgh Business Times Manufacturer of the Year 2011 and 2012

Apply online in the career section of our website: www.aerotech.com or call 412-967-6800

EEO/AA/M/F/Vet/Disability Employer

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014


WE’RE HIRING! PITTSBURGH LOCATION &&EVg`lVn8ZciZg™E^iihWjg\]!E6&*''%

FULL-TIME CALL CENTER REPRESENTATIVES AD6C8DJCH:ADGH

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SPANISH BILINGUAL SKILLS NEEDED!

K^h^i PHEAA.org/jobs to apply. E=:66>H6C:FJ6ADEEDGIJC>IN:BEADN:G

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*Stuff We Like:

HOLIDAY EDITION

A Softer World

{PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY}

This Internet comic, with morbid text placed on top of otherwise average photographs, is often sad, depressing and, duh, hilarious. Especially at the holidays. www.asofterworld.com

The huge-ass Christmas tree in front of the City-County building Every year, the city of Pittsburgh solicits a tree donation from a resident. This year’s tree, a 45-foot blue spruce, came from someone’s vacant piece of property. It’s also doubly green: The lights are all LED.

A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack The 1965 holiday TV special itself is a treasure, and Vince Guaraldi’s jazz-trio soundtrack is a desert-island pick, if the desert island happens to be Christmas Island.

A Claymation Christmas Celebration

{PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY}

Claymation shorts fill this 1987 CBS special that ran for a few years before fading into obscurity. Fortunately, it’s available on DVD, replete with ice-skating hippos, waffle-eating dinosaurs and the California Raisins.

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.17/12.24.2014

Baking Christmas cookies

MaeveMade ornaments

Nothing brings a more intense warm, fuzzy feeling than listening to music and baking and decorating fancy cookies for the string of upcoming holiday parties.

These handmade Polish-star paper ornaments offer a unique take on holiday decorating, and they’re locally made. www.etsy.com/shop/maevemadeshop


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420 W. Market St., Warren, OH 44481 76 West, 11 North, 82 West to Market St. 6 lights and make a left. 1/4 mile on the left hand side.

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Superior Chinese Massage

Free Table Shower w/60min 1310 E. Carson St. 412-488-3951

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Open 9am-12 midnight 7 days a week! Licensed Professionals Dry Sauna, Table Shower, Deep Tissue, Swedish

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Xin Sui Bodyworks

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Aming’s Massage Therapy

Chinese Massage • $39.99/Hr. 412-349-8628

Grandng Openi

TWO LOCATIONS 1190 Washington Pike, Bridgeville (across from Eat n’ Park)

412-319-7530 4972 Library Road, Bethel Park

1744 Greensburg Pike, North Versailles, 15137

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Positive Recovery Solutions

JADE Wellness Center

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[CHRISTMAS CAROL MESS NO. 1]

Ebenezer

Santa’s Slay

ing Jack Palance) as a Canadian TV production sets up Scrooge (a terrify lous subplot involving Ridicu West. Old the in cheat card and r saloon-owne supplies the Christmas der) Schro Ricky ful dread (a a myopic young cowpoke Christmas Past is an of Ghost out. left high-noon shoot-out that Dickens howlers like “your life Age-y New ic ronist anach spews who maid Indian is a door you choose to go through.” (Al Hoff)

If you’ve never seen San ta kill someone with a stripper pole, then this is the movie for you! It’s not Xmas without this naughty black comedy filled with B-list celeb cam eos and curling! Ho ho ho! (Leanne Schrae der, Penn Hills, PA) NO. 1] [HOLIDAYS ON MARS

All I Want for Christmas

Santa Claus Conquers tians the Mar movie is bad! Low rent,

Elizabeth is a miserable, self-centered workaholic who doesn’t realize that nearly everyone in her life hates her ... until an elf gives her an ugly Christmas pin that gives her the ability to read everyone’s minds! Will hearing what people really think change her attitude, give her the Christmas spirit and help her land a man? If you too are wearing a magical Christmas pin, you already know what I’m thinking: Has any single woman ever not found a man at the end of a made-for-TV movie? (Lisa Cunningham)

EVERYTHING about this writing. We had better low budget, half-assed high school plays. The my in g gin han scenery ning/closing song, ope g kin exception is a roc ’ll be humming it You ” “Hooray for Santy Claus! and beyond. son y sea for the rest of the holida s everywhere. bin re sto lardol in D Look for the DV ights) He n hto Brig , (Maureen Kowalski

Fred Claus

Santa has a brother and he’s an asshole. Well, he’s Vince Vaughn, which is kind of the sam e thing. Predictable, tired and not very funny, this 2007 film is just plain bad, even after you add in a cast that includes Paul Giamatti and Kevin Spacey, and the “all-Christmas-movies-h avea-little-bit-of-charm-so-th eycan’t-be-all-bad” bonus points. (Charlie Deitch)

’TIS THE

NOTHING TAKES the edge off being overwhelmed by all the fellow-feeling and cheery bell-ringing of December than indulging in a dreadful holiday movie. It will make you laugh and provide a safe outlet for releasing any seasonal rage. We polled staffers and readers, who weighed in with some of their favorites.

A bunch of soon-t ss-dresser, a suicide counselors, a cro e hopped up itiv fug ukulele-player and a dressed as and rs ilize nqu tra l ma on ani your own like nd sou y ma Santa Claus the cast of ds lea rtin family party. Steve Ma ction, murder, evi h oug thr fits mis e lovabl pregnant woman a stuck elevator and a uire a feel-good req you with a gun. And if remember st holiday message: “Ju re is hope ... the e, hol pot ry that in eve letters.” the nge rra if you ... rea Rochester, N.Y.) (Lauren Daley-Maurer,

A Diva’s Christmas Carol In 2000, VH

2] N MARS NO. [HOLIDAYS O

ns artia theldM s r e u ge q sa n ish o dd C Yi s Sanhotacan’Ct lolaveua sci-fi movie withntana Cl80au0-syetoarsa-ove their race?

An All Dogs Christmas Carol

Topping Ebenezer for bizarre extraneous plots, the main narrative of this animated film involves stopping a winged dog from employing a huge whistle that turns pooches’ eyes green and makes them steal presents. Somewhere is this muddle of songs, pink angles and homeless dogs that hang out at a bar, one tough old boxer dog gets the requisite three ghosts and learns to be kind. (AH)

TA S T E

[CHRISTMAS CAROL ME SS NO. 3]

A H O F F @P G H C IT Y PA P E R .C O M

[CHRISTMAS CAROL MESS NO. 2]

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This orst Xm the absolute w Hulk Hogan, is n is an evil ga Ho e. tim l movie of al and gets amnesia millionaire who Claus. He ends up Santa believes he is yed by Ed il scientist (pla fighting an ev trying to take over an is Begley Jr.) who t the magical crystals ge orphanage to e crystals In the end, th underneath it. lk Hogan Hu , ns io os pl ex to do cause massive tle lit s ha it and Santa saves the day, e th of de ays outsi with the holid is as bad as it sounds. . It Claus moniker m, Castle Shannon) lla Ha P. ne (Sha

SEASON

s Mixedo-bNe-uut nemployed

N E W S

s Muwsrecstlle With er San19ta o pr ng rri 96 film, sta as

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W ns to abduct Sa er, this film is advising Martia one of the worst movies ev r Santy Claus! fo ed ay m tivities. Hoor Routinely na liday list of ac ho r ou e) on Sid ee a must-s (Sue Kerr, North

-1 took a stab at the Dic kens classic, updating the ban ker Ebenezer to a miserly pop diva, Ebo ny, played flatly by Vanessa Willia ms, who is quite unbelievable at simply recreating herself. And Ebony’s tra nsformation to charity isn’t very convin cing: Christmas morning, she’s on the cell phone demanding Wolfgang Puck make 100 turkey dinners now, and she gives her beleaguered band free tickets to her show that evening. Wh oopee. (AH)

Ernest Saves Christmas

In 1988, there was one celebrity who appealed to both suburban kids and redneck adults: Jim Varney, or, more accurately, his alter ego, Ernest P. Worrell. When this film premiered in November of that year, I saw it with my friend and her Skoal-chewin’ father. The three of us didn’t just chuckle at the dimwitted man-child’s holiday exploits — we damn near hyperventilated (especially when ol’ Ernest takes the reins of Santa’s sleigh)! Of course, my buddy and I were 9 and her dad spent most of his time alone in the wilderness, but the laughter was genuine. Knowhutimean? (Kristy Locklin, Ross Townshi p)

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Profile for Pittsburgh City Paper

December 17, 2014  

Pittsburgh City Paper Volume 24 Issue 51

December 17, 2014  

Pittsburgh City Paper Volume 24 Issue 51