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EVENTS 12.9 – 9-10:30am SENSORY-FRIENDLY EVENT FOR TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS: FARHAD MOSHIRI Free; Registration is limited to 15 participants

12.30 – 3pm DANDY ANDY: WARHOL’S QUEER HISTORY Join artist educators for Dandy Andy, a monthly tour that focuses on Warhol’s queer history. Free with museum admission

1.5 – 7pm ART IN CONTEXT: BORDER CROSSINGS The Warhol theater Artists, scholars, and community members come together to consider creative expression in relation to timely political and social concerns. Free; Registration suggested

1.11 – 8pm SOUND SERIES: BEYOND: CONCERT 1 FEATURING THE BEYOND FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA Carnegie Music Hall (Oakland) Co-presented by the Music on the Edge series of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Music The first concert of the Beyond Microtonal Musical Festival and Symposium features NYC chamber group LOADBANG. Tickets $15/$10 students and seniors in advance, $20/$15 students and seniors at the door

Visit us without paying museum admission. Open during museum hours. Call 412.237.8303.

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 12.06/12.13.2017


12.06/12.13.2017 VOLUME 27 + ISSUE 49

[EDITORIAL] Editor CHARLIE DEITCH News Editor REBECCA ADDISON Arts & Entertainment Editor BILL O’DRISCOLL Associate Editor AL HOFF Digital Editor ALEX GORDON Staff Writers RYAN DETO, CELINE ROBERTS Music Writer MEG FAIR Interns HALEY FREDERICK, HANNAH LYNN, JAKE MYSLIWCZYK, AMANDA REED

[ART] Director of Operations KEVIN SHEPHERD Production Director JULIE SKIDMORE Art Director LISA CUNNINGHAM Graphic Designers JEFF SCHRECKENGOST, JENNIFER TRIVELLI {COVER ILLUSTRATION BY ALTERNATE HISTORIES}

[LAST PAGE]

Local artists are getting creative to make sure you have a holiday card that is truly unique. PAGE 46

[NEWS]

[ADVERTISING] Associate Publisher JUSTIN MATASE Senior Account Executives PAUL KLATZKIN, JEREMY WITHERELL Advertising Representatives MACKENNA DONAHUE, BLAKE LEWIS, JENNIFER MAZZA Classified Manager ANDREA JAMES National Advertising Representative VMG ADVERTISING 1.888.278.9866 OR 1.212.475.2529

1 PM Afro American Music Institute Boys Choir 2 PM Greer Reed Dance Ensemble 5 PM Barrels to Beethoven Steel Pan Ensemble

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[OUT THIS WEEK]

Find our 2017 Holiday Guide on stands this week for tips, tricks and gift ideas to make your season bright.

News 06 Views 13 Weird 14 Music 16 Arts 24 Events 28 Taste 31

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THIS WEEK

“IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME UNTIL SOMEBODY GETS REALLY HURT UP THERE.”

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On the latest Sound Bite, City Paper talks with Jeremiah Seltzer of Mill Creek Trout Farm about raising organic trout. Listen in at www.pghcitypaper.com.

It’s the holidays, and sure, you can keep warm with hot cocoa, but CP’s Hannah Lynn has an even better idea: mulled wine. Catch her how-to video online at www.pghcitypaper.com.

CP recently reported on a racist video as part of our work with ProPublica’s Documenting Hate project aimed at collecting reports of hate crimes and bias incidents. If you’ve been a victim or a witness, tell us your story at www.pghcitypaper.com.

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NE MORNING in October 2016, long-

time youth-care worker DeWayne Collins was on duty at the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center in Pittsburgh. That day, Collins was watching over one resident when a supervisor dropped a second resident at his unit. That resident was later found unresponsive, with a cord wrapped around her neck. According to a state violation report, Collins “neglected the supervision” of the resident for 30 minutes, between 10:28 a.m. and 10:58 a.m. She was found inside the unit office, with a cord wrapped around her neck in an apparent suicide attempt. The report states that she was slouched in the chair, shaking — awake but

unresponsive — with her eyes rolled back in her head. Shuman staff and administrators didn’t call 911 until 18 minutes after the girl was discovered.

Problems at Pittsburgh’s Shuman Center reflect larger issues within the juvenile-justice system. {BY HALEY FREDERICK} Collins was fired after the incident. In June, he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he had assumed that another employee would be coming back to watch the girl, since he

had already been told to watch another resident exclusively. He said he was distracted for 10 minutes by a book he was reading on conspiracy theories. Due to this incident and others like it, this past summer the Shuman Center was issued its third consecutive provisional license by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The provisional license was issued after DHS inspected the facility and found a number of violations. A fourth provisional license could cause revocation of the facility’s license. City Paper talked to a former employee who worked at Shuman for more than 20 years. That person says meaningful reform at the facility has yet to be seen. The former CONTINUES ON PG. 08

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employee says that many of the problems that were revealed years ago are issues that the facility still struggles with today. Understaffing, mismanagement, and inappropriate use of force on residents are just some of the problems that this employee, who stopped working at Shuman this year, says continue to plague Shuman. “There’s stuff that happens with those kids and they try to cover it up and they get caught once in a while,” says the former employee, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. Shuman has seen a string of problematic incidents over the past decade. Experts say Shuman isn’t alone in needing reform — the entire juvenile-justice system is in need of change. But if local leaders and administrators don’t soon find a way to reform the center to the state’s liking, that fourth provisional license could be on the way, and the Shuman Center could be on the way out. “It’s only a matter of time until somebody gets really hurt up there,” says the former Shuman employee. ON AVERAGE, 3,500 youths are admitted

to Shuman Center, located in LincolnLemington, each year. Repeat admissions account for approximately 40 percent of that total, and the average length of stay is about 15 days. The center houses young people who are awaiting a trial that will decide whether they’ll be placed on probation or in a detention facility. Tiffany Sizemore-Thompson, an assistant professor at Duquesne University’s law school, says the facility’s purpose is similar to the county jail, but for people ages 21 and under. “You’re either at Shuman pending the outcome of your case or you may be at Shuman if something has gone wrong either on your probation or at your placement and you get sent back to Shuman as a holding space until the next thing happens,” Sizemore-Thompson says.

{©2017 GOOGLE MAPS}

A satellite view of Shuman Juvenile Detention Center

Shuman had its license taken away in December 2015 and has been operating under provisional licenses ever since. A collection of nearly two dozen inspection/ violation reports issued over the past decade illustrates a history of problems involving employee misconduct and policy and procedure violations at the administrative level. In 2013, according to one of the state’s violation reports, Taymar Young, who was 16 years old at the time, was pushed to the ground by a guard. The biggest problem, according to the state, was the fact that it took the administration at Shuman four days to report the incident. According to a state violation report from April 2016, a staff member threw a resident against a bed so forcefully that the metal frame sliced into the resident’s skin, nearly severing the child’s ear. The resident was taken to the hospital and received 30 stitches. And these are just a few of the vio-

lent incidents reported over the past five years. Juvenile-justice lawyer Jessica Feierman says a single instance of violence in a juvenile-detention center is too many. “It’s certainly true that one of the problems with secure facilities and especially larger secure facilities is that the research consistently shows that despite everyone’s best intentions, it’s not uncommon to have violence,” says Feierman, associate director of the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center. “The bottom line is, regardless of what’s happening anywhere else, this facility and every facility has a responsibility to ensure that young people in their care are safe and not subject to violence.” Since the state issued a third provisional license to Shuman this summer, Shuman Deputy Director of Operations Richard Gordon says the center has been working to address problems. “We continue to train staff in more appropriate ways to interact with violent and aggressive youth,” Gordon said in a written

response to CP. “We collaborated with a consultant to create cultural and organizational change. We have restructured our administrative team. We have improved upon our own quality-control process. And we continue to work in close collaboration and cooperation with the state on this issue.” CP asked Gordon about Shuman’s training policies and whether staff are retrained if they violate policy by using an inappropriate amount of force. While CP could not validate the claim, Gordon wrote that Shuman “offers the most training of any facility in the state.” “At the beginning of each year, we schedule each staff [member] for 96 hours of training in many areas as it relates to the treatment of youth,” Gordon wrote. “The state mandates that each staff person that has direct and significant contact with youth have a minimum of 40 hours of training yearly.” In addition to violations involving violent altercations between residents and staff, inspections at Shuman have shown that administrators there have failed to follow regulations. According to a report from January 2017, DHS found Shuman in violation of a regulation that states that during “awake hours” there must be one child-care worker present for every six children. At times Shuman has operated with a ratio of one worker for 10 children. In his response to the violation report, Gordon wrote that in 2016, Shuman hired 14 child-care workers and supervisors, but also lost 13 employees in those positions. Gordon wrote that when employees call off work or take vacation, they are often unable to properly staff the building. “When staff members are not at work for a variety of reasons, mandated overtime is necessary to ensure regulated ratios are met,” Gordon told CP. The former Shuman employee who left the facility earlier this year says that trying to address understaffing with mandatory overtime has had negative consequences. CONTINUES ON PG. 10

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It’s The Tot That Counts. On Friday, December 8th, don’t just get caught in the morning rush. Catch the holiday spirit. Bring a toy down to Steel Plaza station and help lift a child’s spirits for the holidays. Friday morning, December 8th from 6:00 till 9 am, Toys for Tots will be collecting new, unwrapped children’s gifts. Port Authority is proud to join with media sponsors Q92.9 FM and the United States Marine Corps in asking you to help fill a child’s heart with joy and happiness this holiday season. ompliment fee c so f Cof

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“You’re not getting forced to do an hour or two, you’re getting forced to do double shifts,” the employee says. “Then on top of working a 16-hour shift, they don’t even have enough people to come back and give you a break.” The former employee also alleges that staff working the night shift aren’t fulfilling their duty to perform regular overnight bed checks, an allegation that has been listed in violation reports by the state in years past. Back in 2009, eight workers at Shuman were discovered to be lying about how often they performed bed checks, and some were even found sleeping on the job. Feierman says strong leadership is necessary to fix problems at juvenile-detention facilities. “To respond effectively to young people in facilities, you need a combination of thoughtful leadership and adequate resources and staffing,” says Feierman. But over the past six years, Shuman has had four different directors attempt to lead the facility down a more successful path. The short stints under each director’s leadership have left Shuman without a consistent vision. “There have been directors who have been willing to collaborate with stakeholders across the system to try to make Shuman safe,” Sizemore-Thompson says. “I’ve

heard a variety of different ideas from different directors but nothing seems to ever really get off the ground.” In addition to poor leadership, some have claimed that the state’s lack of financial support for Shuman is effectively setting the center up for failure and leaving it unable to adequately staff the facility and handle the many kids with mental illnesses who are under its care. The center has seen its budget decrease over the past five years. In 2012, it was budgeted for $7,057,969 for personnel. By 2017, that figure had fallen to $5,812,424. “We believe that Allegheny County and the state have supported Shuman Center in many ways, including financially,” wrote Gordon. “Obviously, everyone would love to have more money in their wallet, but we do not have any unmet needs and have the appropriate resources for our operations.” Others say the center isn’t equipped to handle the psychological needs of the children it serves. The former employee who spoke to CP says that as a detention center, Shuman’s focus isn’t therapeutic. Children can be in Shuman for a few days or for more than a month, and while they’re there they don’t have access

to mental-health care unless they’re in a “crisis.” In a report from 2016, when the facility contained 49 children, 25 of them were recorded as having a mental illness. In 2015, when there were 40 children in Shuman, eight had mental illnesses. Sizemore-Thompson operates two clinics that provide legal representation for juveniles in Pittsburgh. Prior to that, she was the head of the juvenile division of the Allegheny County Public Defender’s Office. She’s worked with many kids who have spent time in Shuman, and has been inside the facility a number of times to meet with her clients. “My kids who I have had there who have serious mental-health issues tend to not have access to their medication, or Shuman will change their medication while they’re there. It is not a place where I would want a client with severe mental-health issues because it doesn’t seem to be able to handle those types of kids at all,” says Sizemore-Thompson. Gordon wrote that residents at Shuman have access to medical and mental-health professionals around the clock, but that federal and state guidelines for insurance and reimbursement of services determine what services can and cannot be provided to people in detention centers. “Our average length of stay is short (12 days) which also creates difficulty in creating a stable environment for change,” Gordon wrote. “We are not a treatment facility, but we aspire to provide those services the best we can with the resources we are allotted.” Further violations at Shuman could get the facility shut down for good. And Feierman worries that if Shuman does close, the kids detained there could be sent to facilities in neighboring counties. She says that isn’t a desirable outcome. “It’s traumatic to be pulled out of your home and family and

put in an institution, and it’s all the more traumatic if you’re placed far from home,” she says. The kids could also be sent to private facilities, or Shuman itself could be privatized. But Feierman doesn’t like this option either, as she says that in for-profit facilities the goal of making a profit often outweighs the goal of adequately caring for young people. DESPITE ADMITTED problems at the facility, experts say Shuman is just one part of a much larger, often dysfunctional system. It wouldn’t be fair, in other words, to pretend that Shuman is a flawed part of a perfect system. On the whole, experts agree that the U.S. juvenile-justice system is flawed. Feierman says the real problem with juvenile detention centers is that we overuse them. According to the Allegheny County Office of Juvenile Probation, in 2015, 73 percent of referrals to juvenile probation were for nonviolent crimes. Those youths’ charges involved things like drugs, theft, or failing to pay court fees. “That’s a national phenomenon,” says Michael Yonas, senior program officer at the Pittsburgh Foundation. The United States has the highest rate of youth confinement worldwide. It’s nearly four times higher than that of second-place South Africa. Yonas lead a qualitative study on juvenile justice in Allegheny County for the Pittsburgh Foundation’s “100 Percent Pittsburgh” initiative, which recognizes that some Pittsburghers haven’t been able to participate in the city’s economic growth, and is dedicated to finding ways to bridge that divide. One of the project’s focus populations is youth ages 12 to 24, so the foundation took interest in these young people’s involvement in the juvenile-justice system. Fifty-three kids were interviewed in focus groups for the study, many of whom had spent time in Shuman. Yonas noted many common themes in the kids’ experiences.

“THAT’S A NATIONAL PHENOMENON.”

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CONTINUES ON PG. 12

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.06/12.13.2017

He said that these kids are looking for adults who care about them. Some of the children involved in Yonas’ survey said they found these supportive mentors within the juvenile system. And while a lot of the news at Shuman has been negative, one girl shared a positive story. “They highlighted people from throughout the system — including one young woman sharing [that] a Shuman guard … kept saying to her ‘you’re special, you’re a queen, you’re great,’” Yonas says. The girl said the tenth time she heard these affirmations, she started to think that maybe this guard was right about her. “And this young woman from the 412 Zone” — a program for kids in the fostercare system or experiencing homelessness — “now wants to be a Shuman officer to help other young women,” says Yonas. This isn’t the only positive story to come out of Shuman. Sizemore-Thompson also emphasizes that in her many visits to the facility, she’s met Shuman employees who are there because they really care about the kids. “There are some of the youth-care workers that genuinely are really nice,

caring people and people that I’m glad are there,” says Sizemore-Thompson. Ultimately, experts say improving the country’s juvenile-detention centers means changing the juvenile-justice system as a whole. Another theme that came up again and again in the Pittsburgh Foundation’s study is that many of the kids felt they had been placed in the system so quickly for a petty offense, and once they were in, they couldn’t seem to get out. “A lot of things happened that got me there,” said a 17-year-old female interviewed in the study, “and nobody ever went back and asked me what happened and how I had got there.” The kids shared that they felt forever marked as a “bad kid” after one mistake — which was often an action that resulted from something in their life that was out of their control. They cited things like abuse, absent parents, and poverty as factors that contributed to the events leading to their referral to the system. Says Yonas, “We should recognize that many of the actions that they’re taking part in that land them in a place like Shuman or the juvenile-justice system is a symptom of something deeper.” I N F O@ P G H C I T Y PA P E R. C OM

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NORMALIZED DYSFUNCTION {BY CHARLIE DEITCH} IF YOU GREW UP in Wellsville, Ohio, in the mid- to late 1970s and were looking for a kickball game, chances are you ended up in my yard at some point. I lived there until age 9 and the game attracted boys, girls, kids, tweens, teens and even the occasional parent. I think I was 7 or 8 years old when I had a huge crush on a 12- or 13-year-old girl who lived down the street. The only thing I’d learned about courtship at that time was what I saw on the TV shows and movies of the time. So, one hot summer afternoon, this girl was playing second base and I’d just kicked a solid double. I whistled at her and she smiled and said something in a jokey way about me being a pig. I smiled, and when she turned around, I grabbed her butt. As I started to laugh, she spun around and cracked me hard across the face. I began wailing and my mother came over to ask the girl why she had hit me. She told my mother and I saw the anger on my mom’s face turn from the girl to me. She snatched me up by my neck and dragged me into the house. She sat me down and went to great lengths to explain to me why what I had done was “wrong, repugnant and disrespectful.” I told her I was sorry through tears and went out to apologize to the girl who was, of course, gracious. I was sure I had learned my lesson. But my mother wanted to make really certain that I understood. She called me back into the house and told me to get her paddle. Spankings were commonplace in my house as a form of punishment. Not overused, by any means, but when we really screwed up, we were whipped. A normal punishment was three cracks. On that day, she told me it was important that I realized the seriousness of what I’d done. She laid that paddle on my behind five times. We both cried, I sat on the couch with her, and she told me more about how a man should act toward a woman. She made sure I understood why my punishment had to be so severe. I didn’t understand everything that she told me back then, but as I got older, it all started to make sense. Sure, telling the story today, I wonder what people will think of my mother. She wasn’t a barbarian; things were different 35 years ago. A lot of kids were spanked and, most importantly, I never did anything like that again. I learned an important les-

son that day and it is one that I have carried with me my entire life. Quite frankly, I’ve always been surprised by the number of men who, apparently, never learned this lesson. Even more surprising? That they’ve been able to get away with it for so long. Our society is every bit the unfair, discriminatory, inequitable, cock-controlled patriarchy that women have said it was for decades. But their complaints have been dismissed, pushed aside and demeaned by these men and their system. When accused, many men have simply denied it and doubled down on their sense of entitlement: Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Donald Trump, John Conyers, Al Franken, and on, and on. And adult women aren’t the only victims. The number of accusations against men by children is heart-wrenching and stomach-churning. Roy Moore, the U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama, is accused of sexually assaulting girls, in episodes dating back decades, yet despite the accusations he’s still running and is enjoying support from the White House. Actor Kevin Spacey is accused of sexually harassing minors, including Broadway actor and sometime-City Theatre performer Anthony Rapp. But these accusations aren’t new. Actor Corey Feldman has been sounding alarm bells about child molestation in Hollywood for some time now, and his complaints have been met with dismissive skepticism. And that type of victim-blaming by people in power is why these things haven’t been taken more seriously until now. Make no mistake, a lot of people knew what was going on and did nothing. And that’s not just in Hollywood or Washington; it’s happening everywhere. The post-9/11 rallying cry of “if you see something, say something” shouldn’t just apply to the public’s obsession with trying to prove their neighbor is a terrorist. Take Weinstein. His behavior wasn’t a secret to anyone, including film directors and actors who worked for him. Yet they did nothing, and he victimized woman after woman. But imagine if someone would have called him out early on. Imagine if he received a punishment that was swift, severe and memorable. It wouldn’t have just stopped Weinstein; it would have sent a message to others acting the same way. At least, I know that worked on me.

OUR SOCIETY IS EVERY BIT THE COCKCONTROLLED PATRIARCHY THAT WOMEN HAVE TOLD US IT WAS FOR DECADES.

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White people living in Lawrenceville, Ga., had the chance of a lifetime on Nov. 16 to attend a “Come Meet a Black Person” event sponsored by Urban MediaMakers, a group for filmmakers and content creators. Cheryle Moses, who founded the group, said she read in a 2013 study that most white people don’t have any nonwhite friends. “I want to do my part to change things,” she told The Washington Post. “I have never met a black person,” one person commented on Moses’ Facebook post. “What do you recommend I bring that they would like?” Later, WXIA-TV reported that more the two dozen people showed up to share chili and cornbread, but fewer than a half-dozen were white.

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The Detroit Police Department got a little carried away on Nov. 9 while trying to address a persistent drug problem on the city’s east side. Two undercover special-ops officers from the 12th Precinct were posing as drug dealers on a street corner when undercover officers from the 11th Precinct arrived and, not recognizing their colleagues, ordered the 12th Precinct officers to the ground. Shortly, more 12th Precinct officers showed up, and the action moved to a house where, as Fox 2 News described it, a turf war broke out as officers from the two precincts engaged in fistfights with each other. An internal investigation is underway, and the police department has declined comment.

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A family in Vero Beach, Fla., were rudely awakened early on Nov. 11 when Jacob Johnson Futch, 31, climbed onto their roof, as he later told authorities, to carry out a meeting with an agent of the Drug Enforcement Agency. WPTV reported the family didn’t know Futch and called Indian River Sheriff’s deputies to say that someone was stomping on their roof, yelling and howling. When asked, Futch admitted injecting methamphetamines earlier that morning. He was charged with trespassing and held in the Indian River County jail.

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An unnamed man in Frankfurt, Germany, called police 20 years ago to report his Volkswagen Passat missing, believing it had been stolen. In November, the car was found just where the driver had left it, according to Metro News — in a parking garage that is now scheduled to be demolished. Police drove the 76-year-old to the garage to be reunited with his car, which is unfit to drive, before sending it off to the scrap heap.

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Office workers at Cambridge Research Park in Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, England, feared the worst as they rushed outside on Nov. 13 after watching a hot-air balloon crash into a fence in their parking

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lot. Strangely, no one was in the basket of the balloon, although the gas canister was still running. Eyewitness Jack Langley told Metro News: “Either they had bailed out and jumped out before crashing, or the balloon escaped from its mooring lines.” Cambridgeshire Police later discovered the balloon had taken off when the pilot got out of the basket to secure it to the ground.

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In the wee hours of Nov. 5, before the McDonald’s in Columbia, Md., had opened, a woman reached through the drive-thru window and tried to pour herself a soda, but she couldn’t reach the dispenser. The Associated Press reports that, rather than driving down the road to a 24-hour restaurant, she can be seen on surveillance video squeezing herself through the drivethru window, pouring herself a soda and collecting a box full of unidentified items before taking off. The thief remains at large.

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Montreal police may win the Funsuckers of the Year award after pulling over 38-year-old Taoufik Moalla on Sept. 27 as he drove to buy a bottle of water in Saint-Laurent. Moalla was enthusiastically singing along to C+C Music Factory’s song “Gonna Make You Sweat,” when a patrol car pulled behind him with lights and sirens blaring. Officers directed him to pull over, and four officers surrounded Moalla’s car. “They asked me if I screamed,” Moalla told CTV News. “I said, ‘No, I was just singing.’” Then he was issued a $149 ticket for screaming in public, a violation of “peace and tranquility.” “I understand if they are doing their job, they are allowed to check if everything’s OK,” said a “very shocked” Moalla, “but I would never expect they would give me a ticket for that.” His wife, however, said she wasn’t surprised and would have given him a ticket for $300.

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REVITALIZED {BY MIKE SHANLEY} Chris Brokaw originally released Canaris as a CD on his own Capitan Records in 2008. Among the six tracks of solo acoustic guitar music, the title track offers more than 17 minutes of controlled feedback, created by amplifying the instrument and manipulating it in a manner that transforms a primitive howl into an arresting tone poem. If that doesn’t sound unusual enough, it’s preceded on the album by a 12-minute acoustic piece called “Drink the Poetry of the Celtic Disciple.” While nowhere nearly as loud as “Canaris,” it has an equally visceral source: It was originally recorded by Vlad Tepes, a black-metal band from France. Brokaw clearly has a fondness for the source material, strumming aggressively to recreate the tension of the original even as his delivery adds a new sense of beauty to it. After playing in New York and Boston with ’90s indie rock bands like Come and Codeine, Brokaw knows a thing or two about sustaining momentum. The shorter tracks on Canaris don’t feel any less engaging. Their unique voicings might recall veteran acoustic pickers, but Brokaw plays with an intensity that sounds very current, even nine years after it was recorded. Dan Allen always felt that Canaris needed to be heard on vinyl. The avid music enthusiast launched the Omentum label to do vinyl re-releases for the first Modey Lemon; their successor Old Head; and Texas garage punks Lord High Fixers. Doing the same for Brokaw was a foregone conclusion. The record not only recreates Pittsburgh artist Bill Wehmann’s original cover art, which he redrew for the occasion; it also includes liner notes by both Vlad Tepes member Wlad Drakkstein and Steve Lowenthal, of Swingset Magazine and VDSQ Records, who has released albums by Brokaw. Drakkstein submitted the notes unsolicited after Brokaw contacted him for permission to release the song on the record. Allen, always one to espouse the power of vinyl, said he even noticed new elements in Canaris in this format. “There were some sounds popping out that weren’t there when I heard it on CD,” he says. Brokaw’s return to Pittsburgh doubles as a cassette-release show for openers Expires. INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

CHRIS BROKAW LP RELEASE with EXPIRES 9 p.m. Sat., Dec. 9. Black Forge Coffee House, 1206 Arlington Ave., Allentown. $6. 412-291-8994

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{PHOTO COURTESY OF JANETTE BECKMAN}

Louis Hayes

IMPROV, TWO WAYS {BY MIKE SHANLEY}

D

ESPITE EVERYTHING else that’s happened this year, 2017 was a good year for seeing national jazz acts in Pittsburgh. At loft-style spaces and midlevel theaters all the way up to museum auditoriums, a healthy dose of improvised music came to town this year. Before this otherwise-trying year heads out the door, the city hosts two last adventurous shows, just a few days apart. The acts are united in the spirit of improvisation, but deliver it in two vastly different ways. Drummer Louis Hayes knew the direction he wanted to take from a very young age. Growing up in Detroit, he wanted to be a successful musician, like those before him who had moved up and out of the Motor City’s bustling jazz scene. He was trying to figure out how, when, in 1956, he received a call from pianist Horace Silver, inviting the then-19-year-old Hayes to join his band. Within days, Hayes met the pianist at the New York train station, and they struck up a rapport that would last

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.06/12.13.2017

more than five decades. Silver’s compositions set the standard for hard bop, combining the harmonies of bebop with groove and melodies that drew on gospel and blues. Hayes’ keen accompaniment played a crucial role in songs like the polyrhythmic “Señor Blues.” “I learned a lot about how to play compositions from Horace,” Hayes says. “I never tried to count. I just felt it. That way I was free to do what I wanted to do.”

LOUIS HAYES QUINTET 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 9. New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $30. 412-320-4610

Hayes says the pianist liked to rehearse frequently, and his quintets spent a good deal of time on the road. He recalls coming to the Crawford Grill, in the Hill District, shortly after hooking up with the pianist.

Hard bop’s appeal has endured, but Hayes was too caught up in the music at the time to think about its legacy. “We were just playing the art form, creating and growing,” he says. “And enjoying what we were doing. It was a challenge. So, in order to be around those people, you had to be able to live up to the challenge.” When Silver passed away in 2014, Hayes received many offers to participate in tributes to the late pianist. Hayes was already leading the Cannonball Legacy, a group that saluted another high-profile boss of his, saxophonist Cannonball Adderley. But the drummer was cautious about jumping into just any project devoted to Silver. “I had a rapport with Horace’s first wife and son. That’s what helped me make my mind up, why I got into this,” Hayes says. “His wife and son wanted me to do it. Horace would say certain things to me about this before he passed.” Serenade for Horace features 10 Silver compositions, along with a Hayes original


Nels Cline

that salutes his boss. Released on Blue Note, the label where it all began, it features the drummer in the company of Pittsburgh native Steve Nelson on vibes and heavy bassist Dezron Douglas, who arranged the album with Hayes. “We all felt good about it, and we all are friends. So it was easy for us to pull this together and make it work.”

NELS CLINE, GERALD CLEAVER, LARRY OCHS 7:30 p.m. Mon., Dec. 11. Spirit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $20-25. 412-682-0591

GUITARIST Nels Cline’s discography takes

up a lot of space, both in terms of quantity and style. Along with numerous improvisational projects, his instrumental trio Nels Cline Singers, and last year’s mood-music update Lovers, Cline is probably best known for playing in Wilco, which he has done for 13 years. One project that hasn’t been well documented is the cooperative trio in which he plays with saxophonist Larry Ochs and drummer Gerald Cleaver; that act comes to town this week. “This seems like our third winter that we’re going to do these little tours,” Cline says, from his home in Brooklyn. “Larry decided that since he tends to come out [to the East Coast] this time of year, we should try to play some gigs. It’s really that simple. We don’t have a recorded document yet or a moniker and for some reason we can still get gigs.” Ochs, of the longstanding Rova Saxophone Quartet, knew Cline when the guitarist lived in California, and they’ve worked together in numerous settings. Ochs’ playing “references certain aspects of the saxophone vocabulary that one just doesn’t hear that way,” Cline says. “His playing is powerful, even though he’s not trying to be one of those macho screamersaxophone guys.” The trio convened when Ochs invited Cline to join him and Cleaver at a performance in Brooklyn a few years ago. Cline had wanted to play with Cleaver for a while, so he jumped at the chance. Without any preparation beforehand, they NEWS

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developed an immediate rapport. “I love playing with Gerald, because he can do so many different things,” Cline says. “Some nights, Gerald is playing beats almost the whole time. I think a lot of people probably wouldn’t expect that. They’d expect [nothing but] free-jazz drumming.” With all the music that he plays, Cline says free improvisation is the one type where he feels confident or relaxed. It seems like an odd statement from someone who can blow minds any time he picks up his instrument, but he explains: “Music generally tends to be pretty hard for me. But just starting from zero and going —that’s my favorite zone. Particularly with individuals [with whom] one can feel, at the end, that something satisfactory or inspiring has been created.” I N F O @PGH C IT YPAPE R . C O M

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CATHARTIC {BY MEG FAIR}

{PHOTO COURTESY OF RACHEL MURRAY-FRAMINGHEDDU}

Off With Their Heads

Black Marble

FULL TIME {BY IAN THOMAS} IN COVERAGE of Black Marble’s second full-length record — It’s Immaterial, released last October — much was made of founder Chris Stewart’s move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. More than a geographical shift, the move would also bring a shift in Stewart’s attention. In Los Angeles, he began to focus solely on music, rather than splitting that time with a full-time job as an art director, as he did in New York. In the intervening year, Stewart has re-tooled the lineup of his dark-wave outfit and found a workable, productive routine. In doing so, he has come to a deeper understanding of his work ethic, of Black Marble’s distinctive synthdriven aesthetic, and where it fits into an increasingly synth-heavy landscape. “Since then I’ve just been touring, really, and writing another record,” Stewart says in a telephone interview. “The period of time between the first LP and the second LP was a long time, so I’m trying to be a little bit better about that this time.” Stewart has approached songwriting for his new album as his full-time job. More than anything, it has given him the opportunity to expand on his ideas. “Over the course of a given day, if I stick with it, I do manage to have some sort of positive results come out,” he says. “I have a conviction that I’m going to have 10 songs that I like. I might have to write 50. I might only have to write 12. I’m purposely forcing myself not to worry about it and just sort of do the routine.” Stewart expresses some regret over the constraints he imposed on himself

while creating It’s Immaterial and how those constraints affected the final product. “The approach that’s changed for me, that’s been helpful, is just not being so stressed out about the timeline,” he says. “I thought it was good to put myself under a lot of pressure, almost like a stylistic conceit, but I think that was a mistake.” He hopes the rigor with which he’s approaching his new record, coupled with the capacity to experiment, will yield a cohesive whole with distinctive parts.

BLACK MARBLE

9:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 13. Sprit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $10-12. www.spiritpgh.com

Synth-driven sounds are having a pop-culture moment — for example, the Stranger Things theme — in which listeners hear references to beloved cultural moments of the past. But Stewart does not see Black Marble as an appeal to nostalgia. If he has any nostalgia around synthdriven music, it is for the heyday of Veronica Vasicka’s Minimal Wave program on East Village Radio, when the possibilities of the sound were revealed to him. The appeal was not in the slickness of the music; in fact, it was quite the opposite. “The music itself was great music, but it was made by inexperienced people using cheap instruments. There was a lot of hiss, because they were using shitty tape machines, and things would sometimes get played a little out of time,” he says. “There was a real handmade quality to it,” he adds. “That appealed to me. So, something that I try to keep, and something that I think is the spirit of the music that I make, is that quality where you get a sense that it’s just a person.” INF O @PGH C IT YPAPE R . C O M

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Off With Their Heads makes music that is honest and raw. The Minneapolis-based band’s high-octane punk has catchy riffs and gritting vocals that rip open old wounds, while sharing stories of constant battles in self-improvement and survival. Because the lyrics are so open about mental-health struggles, the brain behind the the musical project and vocalist Ryan Young found it was a big topic of conversation with show-goers. “I get people coming up to me at every single show telling me that [our music] helps them, so that’s cool,” writes Young in an email to City Paper. “I used to get people coming up and begging for help or advice, and a show is really not the place for that. So I started a podcast where I talk to friends in the arts about their own struggles with life.” That podcast is Anxious and Angry, a name drawn from OWTH’s track “Nightlife” off 2013’s Home. With over 180 episodes recorded, Young is carving a space for people to write in and get advice from artists they admire, while also working through his own problems. “In a way, [Anxious and Angry] is almost like a therapy session I try and do weekly. It’s a good way to keep in touch with people that need it,” says Young. “Sometimes the person that needs it most is me.” While the podcast and Off With Their Heads performances are designed to provide catharsis, each are also emotionally consuming. “It can get really heavy, but that’s life. I’ve found shying away from the heavier things only gives them more power. I try not to be afraid of that.” MEGFAIR@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

OFF WITH THEIR HEADS 7 p.m. Sun., Dec. 10. Howlers, 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $12. 412-682-0320 or www.howlerspittsburgh.com


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Twisted Pine [INDIE ROCK] + FRI., DEC. 08

[FUNK] + SAT., DEC. 09

The breakdown of the five bands playing Smiling Moose tonight is 60 percent Pennsylvania and 40 percent Jersey, in case you have strong feelings about it one way or the other. First up from the Garden State is the fuzzy, guitardriven indie rock of Ragged Lines, and the almost-pop-punk of American Lions. Despite living in landlocked Pennsylvnia, Cape Cod makes breezy, melancholy beach tunes. The Big Shaboozie offers bluesy alt-rock, and Soda Club, the only ’Burgh band on the roster, is gearing up for its debut dream-pop EP. Hannah Lynn 10 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $7. 21 and up. 412-431-4668 or www.smilingmoose.com

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong gets its name from an experiment by psychologist B.F. Skinner, who famously taught pigeons to play, well, ping pong. But it’s much more fun to imagine the Baltimore funk/jam band as a bunch of birds bopping around on stage, and its energetic, fun sound as the ball. Plus, these guys know how to carry out a motif; the album covers have featured a pigeon crushed by a disco ball, a pigeon advertising jam, and a naked woman with a pigeon perched on her shoulder. The group plays Mr. Smalls, along with jazzy Colorado groove-band Magic Beans. HL 8:30 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $1517. All ages. 412-821-4447 or www.mr smalls.com

[PSYCH ROCK] + SAT., DEC. 09 Louisville band Wax Fang started out solidly in the world of indie rock. But on its last few releases, the group started working in more psychedelic and electronic sounds, producing tracks filled with its traditional lively guitar riffs, plus some dreamy synth beats. In October, Wax Fang released its latest single, “Glass Island” — an eight-minute track that starts off with minimalist electronic beats and smoky vocals, before breaking into a full rock jam halfway through. It might help to imagine Spoon mixing with eerie ’80s dance music. Or, you could just hear it for yourself when the band plays Brillobox, along with the Pittsburgh punk group Fangs of the Panda, recently resurrected after its initial run in the early aughts. HL 7 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave.,Bloomfield. $7. 21 and up. 412-621-4900 or www.brilloboxpgh.com

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Soda Club

[FOLK] + WED., DEC. 13

String band Twisted Pine met and formed at Berklee College of Music, in Boston, a reliable breeding crowd for folk and its adjacent genres. The group bears a name fitting of its sound. Its jazzy-tinged bluegrass twists and turns, jumping from melancholy mandolin-picking to fervent violin, accompanied by rich vocals that effortlessly dip between octaves. The material arcs toward sweet nostalgia, such as reminiscing about late-night roof talks or the optimism of a 21st birthday. Twisted Pine plays Club Café, accompanied by local folk groups The Hills & The Rivers, and Sweetheart of the Barricades. HL 8 p.m. 58 S. 12th St., South Side. $10. 21 and up. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com

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TO SUBMIT A LISTING: WWW.PGHCITYPAPER.COM/HAPPENINGS {ALL LISTINGS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY 9 A.M. FRIDAY PRIOR TO PUBLICATION}

ROCK/POP THU 07 DIESEL. EDX. 9 p.m. South Side. 412-431-8800. HOWLERS. Take Me With You, Bubblesort, Amadea, Futurism. 9 p.m. Bloomfield. 412-682-0320. REX THEATER. Cris Jacobs w/ Derek Woods Band. 8 p.m. South Side. 412-381-6811.

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412- 45

TRUS TARTS. ORG 20

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.06/12.13.2017

AT TH BOX OFFICE

BRILLOBOX. Shade w/ The Olypus Mons & Flash. 20th Anniversary Show 9 p.m. Bloomfield. 412-621-4900. THE FUNHOUSE @ MR. SMALLS. When Particles Collide, Old Game & The Park Plan. 9 p.m. Millvale. 412-821-4447. HOWLERS. Molly Alphabet, Ben Dumm and The East Side Band, Joe and The Negatives. Bloomfield. 9 p.m. 412-682-0320. MOONDOG’S. Jim Donovan & the Sun King Warriors. 8:30 p.m. Blawnox. 412-828-2040. OAKS THEATER. Rumourz. 7:30 p.m. Oakmont. 888-718-4253. ROCHESTER INN HARDWOOD GRILLE. SpinCycle. 8:30 p.m. Ross. 412-613-5725.

SAT 09 BAJA BAR AND GRILL. The Clintones. 9 p.m. Fox Chapel. 412-963-0640. CLUB CAFE. Matt Aquiline & The Dead End Streets w/ Tim Vitullo. CD release show. 10:15 p.m. South Side. 412-431-4950. DOWNEY’S HOUSE. RPG’s. 9:30 p.m. Robinson. 412-489-5631. THE PARKWAY THEATER. AcousticGruuve. 8:30 p.m. McKees Rocks. 412-766-1668. PEPPERS N’AT. Lenny Smith & The Instant Gators. 8:30 p.m. Braddock. 412-660-0600. PLUM BORO AMERICAN LEGION POST #980. Charlie Hustle and The Grifters. 8 p.m. Penn Hills. 412-795-9112. REX THEATER. Hackensaw Boys. 9 p.m. South Side. 412-381-6811. THE MOUSETRAP. The Collisions. 9:30 p.m. North Fayette. 412-719-1260. TWIN OAKS. The Platinum Band w/ Southside Jerry. 9 p.m. Twin Oaks. 412-678-3321.

WED 13 PALACE THEATRE. Melissa Etheridge: Merry Christmas, Baby. 8 p.m. Greensburg. 724-836-8000. REX THEATER. Dopapod w/ the Clock Reads. 8 p.m. South Side. 412-381-6811.

DJS THU 07 BELVEDERE’S. NeoNoir Dark 80s w/ Erica Scary. 10 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-687-2555. MR. SMALLS THEATER. Centrifuge Thursdays. At the Funhouse. 9 p.m. Millvale. 412-821-4447. PERLE CHAMPAGNE BAR. Bobby D Bachata. 10 p.m. Downtown. 412-471-2058. RIVERS CASINO. DJ Cake. Levels. 6 p.m. North Side. 412-231-7777.

FRI 08 ANDYS WINE BAR. DJ Malls Spins Vinyl. 5 p.m. Downtown. 412-773-8884. DEE’S CAFE. Punk Night w/ DJ Ian. 10 p.m. South Side. 412-431-1314. THE FLATS ON CARSON. Pete Butta. 10 p.m. South Side. 412-586-7644.

ONE 10 LOUNGE. DJ Goodnight, DJ Rojo. 9 p.m. Downtown. 412-874-4582. RUGGER’S PUB. 80s Night w/ DJ Connor. 9 p.m. South Side. 412-381-1330.

SAT 09 DIESEL. DJ CK. 10 p.m. South Side. 412-431-8800. PERLE CHAMPAGNE BAR. DJ Tenova. ladies night. 9 p.m. Downtown. 412-471-2058. REMEDY. 2 Hype! Dance Party. 10 p.m. 412-475-8409.

TUE 12 THE GOLDMARK. Pete Butta. Reggae & dancehall. 10 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-688-8820. SEVICHE. Hot Salsa & Bachata Nights. 10 p.m. Downtown. 843-670-8465. THE SUMMIT. Dig Now Sounds w/ Hot Honey. 9 p.m. Mt. Washington. 412-918-1647.

WED 13 SMILING MOOSE. Rock Star Karaoke w/ T-MONEY. 9:30 p.m. South Side. 412-431-4668.

MP 3 MONDAY ANJROY

SUN 10 THE R BAR. Billy the Kid’s Steel Town All-Stars. 7 p.m. Dormont. 412-942-0882.

MON 11 SPIRIT HALL & LODGE. Nels Cline, Gerald Cleaver, Larry Ochs Trio. 7:30 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-586-4441.

Each week we post a song from a local artist online for free. This week, it’s “Motion,” by Anjroy. Sugary synths and ear-worm vocal melodies make for a fun, easy listen. Stream or download “Motion” for free on FFW>>>, the music blog at pghcitypaper.com.


HEAVY ROTATION

TUE 12

OTHER MUSIC

RILEY’S POUR HOUSE. Martin Rosenberg. Tue. Jazz Happy Hour w/ Martin Rosenberg. 5:30 p.m. Carnegie. 412-279-0770.

Here are four songs that CP music writer Meg Fair can’t stop listening to:

THU 07 LINDEN GROVE. Karaoke. 8 p.m. Castle Shannon. 412-882-8687.

WED 13

FRI 08

RIVERS CLUB. Jessica Lee & Friends. 5:30 p.m. Downtown. 412-391-5227.

FKA Twigs

LINDEN GROVE. Nightlife. 9 p.m. Castle Shannon. 412-882-8687. RIVERS CASINO. Right Turn Clyde. Levels. 9 p.m. Tony Janflone Jr. Drum Bar. 9 p.m. North Side. 412-231-7777. STAGE AE. Vesperteen. 7 p.m. North Side. 412-229-5483.

ACOUSTIC

“Figure 8”

THU 07 ELWOOD’S PUB. West Deer Bluegrass Review. 7:30 p.m. Rural Ridge. 724-265-1181. VINES. The Eclectic Acoustics. 7 p.m. Mars. 724-742-0860.

Angel Olsen

“Acrobat”

SAT 09 BEULAH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Vocal Confluence Holiday Show. 2 p.m. Churchhill. 412-447-1396. CARNEGIE LECTURE HALL. Lusana w/ Ashley Davis. 7:30 p.m. Oakland. 412-316-1915. RIVERS CASINO. Mark Ferrari. Levels. 9 p.m. Michael Christopher. Drum Bar. 9 p.m. North Side. 412-231-7777.

FRI 08 BAR 3 MILLVALE. Todd and Dale. 8:30 p.m. Millvale. 412-408-3870. DOUBLETREE BY HILTON HOTEL PITTSBURGH - CRANBERRY. The Eclectic Acoustics. 6 p.m. Cranberry. 724-766-6900. RIVERS CASINO. Right TurnClyde. 9 p.m. North Side. 412-231-7777.

St. Vincent

“Jesus Saves, I Spend”

WED 13 THE FUNHOUSE @ MR. SMALLS. Diet Cig, Rue, Scratchy Blanket. 6 p.m. Millvale. 412-821-4447. SPIRIT HALL & LODGE. Black Marble, You. 9 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-821-4447.

SAT 09 DOUBLE WIDE GRILL. Right TurnClyde. Mars. 724-553-5252. THE HARDWOOD CAFE. The Eclectic Acoustics. 7 p.m. Butler. 724-586-5335.

Mykki Blanco

(feat. Princess Nokia)

“Wish You Would”

HOLIDAY MUSIC

SUN 10

FRI 08

HIP HOP/R&B WED 13 ROCKS LANDING BAR & GRILLE. Tony Campbell feat. Teresa Hawthorne. 7:30 p.m. McKees Rocks. 412-875-5809. STAGE AE. Lil Uzi Vert w/ Playboi Carti, G Herbo & SOB x RBE. 7 p.m. North Side. 412-229-5483.

ANDORA RESTAURANT - FOX CHAPEL. Pianist Harry Cardillo & vocalist Charlie Sanders. 6:30 p.m. Fox Chapel. 412-967-1900. THE WOODEN NICKEL. RML Jazz. 7:30 p.m. Monroeville. 412-370-9621.

SAT 09

CIOPPINO RESTAURANT & CIGAR BAR. Roger Barbour Band. 7 p.m. Strip District. 412-281-6593. THE MONROEVILLE RACQUET CLUB. Jazz Bean Live. 7 p.m. O’DONNA’S. The Bo’Hog Brothers. Monroeville. 412-728-4155. THE SPACE UPSTAIRS. 8 p.m. Beaver. 878-313-3418. Second Saturdays. Jazz-happening series feat. live music, SAVOY RESTAURANT. multimedia Anita Levels. www. per experimentations, 9 p.m. Strip District. a p pghcitym more. Hosted by The 412-281-0660. .co Pillow Project. Second Sat. of every month, 8 p.m. Point Breeze. 412-225-9269. MOONDOG’S. Shot O’ Soul. WALLACE’S TAP ROOM. Tony 8:30 p.m. Blawnox. 412-828-2040. Campbell Jazzsurgery. 5 p.m. WHEELFISH. Strange Brew. 8 p.m. East Liberty. 412 -665 - 0555. Ross. 412-487-8909.

BLUES THU 07 FRI 08

FULL LIST ONLINE

SAT 09

SUN 10

SUN 10

NOLA ON THE SQUARE. Strange Brew. 1 p.m. Downtown. 412-471-9100.

ROCKS LANDING BAR & GRILLE. Tony Campbell, John Hall, Howie Alexander & Dennis Garner. 7 p.m. McKees Rocks. 412- 875- 5809.

JAZZ

MON 11

THU 07 RILEY’S POUR HOUSE. Jazz Happy Hour w/ Martin Rosenberg. 5:30 p.m. Carnegie. 412-279-0770.

NEWS

HAMBONE’S. Ian Kane, Ronnie Weiss & Tom Boyce. Jazz Standards, showtunes & blues. 6:30 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-681-4318.

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BIDDLE’S ESCAPE. Sweetheart of the Barricades. 11 a.m. Regent Square. 412-247-1870. HAMBONE’S. Ukulele Jam. 6 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-681-4318.

City Brass: Christmas Brasstacular. Feat. world-renowned euphonium players Steven and Misa Mead. 7:30 p.m. Oakland. 800-292-7222.

FRI 08

blogh.pghcitypaper.com

EVALINE LUTHERAN CHURCH. Advent Music. Advent is a traditional time of reflection and renewal. This Advent concert features ancient and new compositions for harp, guitar and voice, drawing from both Christian and Jewish musical traditions. The music of The Stapletons features harp and acoustic guitar, tightly interwoven vocals, and ethereal harmonies inspired by Celtic tradition and Gregorian chant. 6 p.m. Friendship. 412-759-0522. THE LEGACY THEATRE. Sounds of the Season Holiday Concert. 5:30 p.m. Allison Park. 412-748-6640.

SAT 09 CHARTIERS VALLEY INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM. Candles in the Window. 11 a.m. Scott. 412-403-0002.

SUN 10

Clicking “reload” makes the workday go faster

TRINITY HIGH SCHOOL. Annual Latshaw Pops Christmas Tour w/ the Chelsea Davis Dancers! 3 p.m. Washington. 724-853-4050.

MON 11

THU 07 CARNEGIE MUSIC HALL. River

WESTMINSTER COLLEGE. The Ten Tenors: Home for the Holidays. 7:30 p.m. New Wilmington. 724-946-7354.

WED 13 ALLEGHENY ELKS LODGE #339. Pittsburgh Banjo Club. 8 p.m. North Side. 412-321-1834. GRIFFS GROUNDS COFFEE CAFE. Union Jack. 5 p.m. Penn Hills. 412-704-5235. PARK HOUSE. Shelf Life String Band. 9 p.m. North Side. 412-224-2273. WALNUT GRILL. The Eclectic Acoustics. 7 p.m. Robinson. 412-747-2100. WHEELFISH. Jason Born. 7 p.m. Ross. 412-487-8909.

REGGAE THU 07 PIRATA. The Flow Band. 9 p.m. Downtown. 412-323-3000.

CLASSICAL SUN 10 ALEXANDRA THOMPSON, CELLIST. Cellist Alexandra Thompson attended St. Paul’s growing up, and now plays in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra! She will perform an assortment of classical works and holiday favorites. Proud father and retired PSO member, Thomas Thompson will be in attendance with beautiful wife and singer, Christine Thompson. 4 p.m. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Lebanon. 412-531-7153.

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What to do December 6-12 WEDNESDAY 6 QTY

Cris Jacobs Band REX THEATER South Side. 412-381-1681. With special guest Derek Woods Band. Over 21 event. Free event. 8 p.m.

Busty and the Bass

Dayshift, Sunhound, A Money & the Downtown City

THURSDAY 7

Midnight Radio: A Christmas Story BRICOLAGE PRODUCTION COMPANY Downtown. 412-471-0999. Tickets: bricolagepgh.org. Through Dec. 23.

Sonny Digital SMILING MOOSE South Side. 412-431-4668. With special guests Reese La Flare, Black Boe & DJ Fresco. All ages event. Tickets: ticketfly.com

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SUNDAY 10

or 1-877-4-FLY-TIX. 6 p.m.

CLUB CAFE South Side. 412-431-4950. With special guest Honey. Over 21 event. Tickets: ticketweb.com/opus one. 8 p.m.

REX THEATER South Side. 412-381-1681. With special guest Caye. All ages event. Tickets: greyareaprod.com. 8 p.m.

IN PITTSBURGH SAMMY WILK & DEREK LUH CATTIVO SUN., DEC. 10

Matt Pond

CLUB CAFE South Side. 412-431-4950. With special guests Ricky Lewis & Cold Weather. Over 21 event. Tickets: ticketweb.com/opus one. 8 p.m.

Nathan James: Growing Pains

Secondhand Sketch: 3 Year Anniversary Show

AUGUST WILSON CENTER Downtown. 412-456-6666. Tickets: trustarts.org. Through Dec. 9.

ARCADE COMEDY THEATER Downtown. 412-339-0608. Over 18 show. Tickets: arcadecomedytheater.com. 9 p.m.

A John Waters’ Christmas: Holier & Dirtier CARNEGIE LECTURE HALL Oakland. For tickets and more info visit warhol.org. 8 p.m.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.06/12.13.2017

CATTIVO Lawrenceville. 412-687-2157. All ages event. Tickets: ticketfly.com or 1-877-4-FLY-TIX. 6:30 p.m.

MONDAY 11

CLUB CAFE South Side. 412-431-4950. Over 21 event. Tickets: ticketweb.com/opus one. 8 p.m.

FRIDAY 85

Sammy Wilk & Derek Luh

SATURDAY 9

249 Lawrenceville. For tickets and more info visit avantgardeshows.com. 10 a.m.

Well Known Strangers CABARET AT THEATER SQUARE Downtown. 412-456-6666. Over 21 event. Tickets: trustarts.org. 10 p.m.

Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION

MR. SMALLS THEATRE

Millvale. 412-421-4447. With special guest The Magic Beans. All ages event. Tickets: ticketweb.com/opusone. 8:30 p.m.

TUESDAY 12

Louis Hayes Quintet

Celtic Thunder w/ PSO

NEW HAZLETT THEATER North Side. Tickets: kentearts.org or 412-322-0292. 8 p.m.

HEINZ HALL Downtown. 412-392-4900. Tickets: pittsburgh symphony.org. 7:30 p.m.

Mark Lucas

BACKSTAGE BAR AT THEATER SQUARE Downtown. 412-456-6666. Free event. 5 p.m.


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[DANCE REVIEW]

IT’S HARD TO DETERMINE WHICH IS MORE DANGEROUS

WINTER MOVES As in 2016, with Alexandra Damiani’s “Portrait De Femmes,” Point Park University’s Conservatory Dance Company ends this year with one of the season’s very best works, Adam Hougland’s “Cold Virtues.” Part of the stylistically varied Winter Dance Concert at Pittsburgh Playhouse, Hougland’s signature ballet, created in 2003 for Louisville Ballet, was the type of genius that makes a choreographer’s name. Likened to Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons), the ballet, set in a Depression-era speakeasy layered in stage fog, felt like a dream sequence from a Gene Kelly movie. Dancing to Philip Glass’ “Violin Concerto,” a cast of 14 in period garb appeared to revel in Hougland’s expertly crafted twisting and turning choreography. Predatorily stalking the stage were Paige Devitt and Eric Lobenberg, who repeatedly unfurled their fingers from clenched fists at their hips, looking like a pair of sinister flamenco dancers. Zeroing in on speakeasy innocents Anne Morgan and Tyler Kerbel, the two went to work corrupting them in a seductive power struggle that in the end saw Morgan’s character displace Devitt’s as the speakeasy’s cold-hearted queen. In a ballet full of great dancing, the brightest spotlight shone on Morgan, who mesmerized in a trance-like performance worthy of repeated viewing. The program also included former Mark Morris Dance Company dancer John Heginbotham’s 2016 work “First.” Set to music by Schubert, Heginbotham’s choreography — showing Morris’ influence — was dense with large sweeping movements and a dizzying array of clever hand and arm positions that sat well on CDC’s all-female cast of a dozen. Next came dance icon Lucinda Childs’ “The Chairman Dances” (2000), inspired by an episode during Nixon’s 1972 visit to China. Dancing to composer John Adams’ composition of the same name, John DeNeff opened the postmodern work by moving a large rectangular frame around him. He was then joined by 13 others engaged in sharp, individually tracked sequences that at times had the feel of Irish stepdance meeting the clinical choreography of Merce Cunningham. Sleek and deceptively challenging, the work proved riveting, and CDC’s dancers acquitted themselves nicely. Rounding out the concert was dancedepartment chair Garfield Lemonius’ entertaining new work “Maestro,” set to a suite of Bach string compositions, in which a dozen dancers embodied both orchestra conductor and instruments. INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

POINT PARK UNIVERSITY CONSERVATORY DANCE COMPANY WINTER DANCE CONCERT continues through Sun., Dec. 10. Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. $10-24. 412-392-8000 or www.pittsburghplayhouse.com

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One of the works in Point Park’s Winter Dance Concert {PHOTO COURTESY OF KATIE GING}

{BY STEVE SUCATO}

{IMAGE (DETAIL) COURTESY OF PRIVATE COLLECTION}

Farhad Moshiri’s “Self-Portrait on Flying Carpet”

[ART REVIEW]

PERSONAL LANDSCAPES {BY LISSA BRENNAN}

F

ARHAD MOSHIRI has been producing exhilarating, waggish, deft and joyous art over decades and across continents, from his youth in his birthplace of Shiraz, Iran; to his education at Valencia’s California Institute of the Arts; to the present, when he divides his time between Tehran and Paris. Despite his considerable body of work, he’s never had a solo museum exhibition prior to The Andy Warhol Museum’s Farhad Moshiri: Go West, organized by the Warhol’s chief curator, Jose Carlos Diaz. Viewing this comprehensive and diverse collection, that barely seems possible: It reveals Moshiri as an electrifying artist generating work both stimulating and reflective. The pieces in this wide-ranging assembly fall into three categories. In one, a handful of three-dimensional sculptures are created by embedding unexpected ob-

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.06/12.13.2017

jects into supporting backdrops: a board mounted upon the gallery wall, and sometimes the gallery wall itself. In the new commission “Mountains and Rivers,” keychains tacked to the wall compose a range of peaks and valleys, and just below spell “rivers.”

FARHAD MOSHIRI: GO WEST continues through Jan. 14. The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Side. 412-237-8300 or www.warhol.org

Chosen for their omnipresence, found on nearly every person at every moment, keychains are as unique as they are ordinary, and one can get lost in perusing the symbols people choose to carry — sports insignia, brand logos, religious paraphernalia,

cartoon characters, totems of luck and good fortune — to connect them to what’s theirs. Firmly implanted in its surroundings is “Tranquility.” From a distance, the work spells out its own title, and perhaps suggests the idea of that title. Up close, however, it gives the word the lie: Each letter is shaped by knives of various sizes and purposes piercing the wall. Knives are utilized again in a series of three works on canvas on board. This trio does not employ the blades to form a word or picture, but rather finds them traveling toward an unseen target beyond. In two of the three, run-of-the-mill wood-handled kitchen tools are frozen; the third engages daggers multi-colored and fancy. It’s hard to determine which is more dangerous: the rustic and straightforward, or the decorative and refined. Another category comprises Moshiri’s


jar paintings, large-scale works in oil, tempera, acrylic and glue. Moshiri began making paintings of these traditional vessels when his searches for their physical subjects led to false accusations that he was collecting protected artifacts. His interpretations are rooted in the depth and gravity of ancient history, yet hum and resonate with vivid color — bright teal, in-your-face pink, DayGlo orange — and the vitality of the present. While both Moshiri’s object sculptures and his urn imagery are undeniably appealing, it’s the third category of work which dominates this exhibition, not only through sheer quantity (it occupies most of the museum floor dedicated to it) but by its ability to render the viewer spellbound. Fashioned with beads, crystals, sequins, glitter and pearls, these pieces, quite literally, shine. The shimmering, sparkling images draw from pop art, advertising, children’s books, comics, decorative design, symbolism, the cultures of the various environments Moshiri has inhabited. A bathing beauty in a mid-century, atomic-era Western pin-up pose is coy in a swimming costume that would have been seen on stateside shores during Prohibition. In a trio of self-portraits, the artist represents himself underwater in a diving helmet, atop a flying carpet, scribbling furiously with tongue clamped between teeth a la vintage Dennis the Menace, envisioned as a child every time. In multiple works, totems from one half of the globe rest adjacent to those from another, hallmarks of Persian folklore juxtaposed with cartoony bits of Americana in quilt-like patchworks of emblems and icons — side by side, but decidedly separate. Perhaps the No. 1 showstopper in a gathering full of them is “America.” This enormous, wall-sized piece depicts a scene straight out of a 1930s Hollywood oater, set in the Wild West in the middle of the 19th century, as rendered by Mad magazine’s Sergio Aragones during the 1980s. It’s all there in this saloon scene: a nervous piano player; a barkeep thoroughly over it; cowboys swinging from chandeliers, tumbling down staircases, crashing through balcony railings, shooting, punching, and drinking; barrels and bottles and bullets; and the arrival of a swaggering sheriff followed by a skeptical horse. It’s comical on the surface, until you consider the name of the work, the artist’s origins, and the implication that that is how we’re thought of. It’s taken an unreasonably long time for Moshiri’s oeuvre to be so thoroughly represented, and it’s likely that this particular exhibition will live beyond its time at The Warhol. Its lifespan here is fleeting; see it now and have time to see it again before it moves on.

[BOOK REVIEW]

SUNKEN TREASURE

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MUSIC

GIVE THE GIFT THAT FITS

{BY FRED SHAW} As one of the four classical elements, water represents life, and symbolizes purification of the soul. In Pittsburgh-based poet Cameron Barnett’s anticipated debut collection, The Drowning Boy’s Guide to Water (Autumn House Press), water serves as a complex and versatile metaphor. In “Letter to Sandy,” Barnett writes, “Water can be so difficult sometimes /… but pain is more than feeling.” The many references to water and pain (emotional, physical and existential) gush forth in powerfully perceptive ways. Barnett often uses Pittsburgh as a setting, and his connections to the city run deep, especially in heartfelt pieces like “Iron Angel” and “Bishop on a Slant,” which reference his grandfather, civilrights activist Bishop Charles H. Foggie. More importantly, Barnett, who works as a language-arts teacher, received his masterof-fine-arts degree from Pitt, where he was editor of the journal Hot Metal Bridge and studied with heavyweights like Terrance Hayes, Yona Harvey and Lynn Emanuel. And while a poem like “Baby” is written after Hayes, this 95-page collection highlights a writer who’s found his own voice. In “To the Octopus,” Barnett uses an incident — “I got coldcocked in the mouth once / by a kid blacker than me for Talking / white to him outside the cafeteria, / lost four teeth to the tiled hallway” — to strike narrative balance. He then imagines himself adopting the cephalopod’s survival instincts, writing “Camouflage is essential. /… Watching you now I know why / you blacken the water and run.” The zoomorphism utilized throughout plays sympathetic and effective. In the title poem, Barnett references water again, his speaker describing “[t]he strength of chlorine, / the indoor pool, swim class clinging / to the kickboard then jumping from the ledge / into the arms of the smiling white lady, / only mostly sure she would catch you.” Here, swimming represents a thin line between life and death, black and white, allowing him to call up frustrations of casual racism, the death of Trayvon Martin and the difficulties of interracial dating. He ends by writing, “When you are drowning, don’t forget to practice good form: / float on the surface; part the water with your lips; / only swallow as much as you can hold.” It’s a striking, fatalistic turn, speaking to cultural weariness. And though one series of poems here, “The Bones We Lose,” feels tacked-on and stylistically different, The Drowning Boy’s Guide to Water will leave readers gratified after plunging into its well-crafted insights, swirling with perspective.

INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

NEWS

SCORE YOUR TICKETS TODAY!

From the football field to the battlefield and back, Rocky Bleier tells his own incredible story in this unforgettable one-man play.

BY

GENE COLLIER DIRECTED BY

SCOTT C. WISE

9 Shows Only!

DECEMBER 28 – JANUARY 6 O’REILLY THEATER CALL

BUY ONLINE

412.316.1600 PPT.ORG PRODUCTION SPONSOR

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{PHOTO COURTESY OF ROCKY RACO}

From left: Ethan Saks, Mindy Woodhead, Aviana Glover and Darren Weller in Kinetic Theatre’s Love, Love, Love

[PLAY REVIEW]

RE-GENERATION {BY TED HOOVER} IN WHAT MUST be classified as a most brazen bit of holiday-season counterprogramming, Kinetic Theatre Co. presents the regional premiere of Mike Bartlett’s corrosive 2011 comedy Love, Love, Love. Believe me, there aren’t coal mountains in West Virginia big enough to produce the lumps so richly deserved by the characters in this play.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE continues through Dec. 17. Kinetic Theatre Co. at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $20-40. 800-718-4253 or www.kinetictheatre.org

#PiecesOfPittsburgh: The Pittsburgh Crèche, a nativity scene in Downtown Pittsburgh

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In 1967, in a grubby flat somewhere in London, we meet up with a very uptight young man (Henry) just barely tolerating his layabout, wastrel squatter of a brother, Kenneth. On this evening, his desire to get rid of Kenneth is even more urgent than usual, as he’s got a bird (Sandra) coming around and hopes of, at least, some snogging. Kenneth being who he is (and plays being what they are), the prodigal doesn’t leave but, instead, stays to romance Sandra, leaving Henry, literally, out in the cold. In the next scene we meet up with Ken and Sandy some 20 years later. They’ve since married and produced two children now in their mid-teens, Jamie and Rosie. All four hate each other like poison and there’s a good deal of swearing, drinking and smoking going on, and you just know that nothing good’s going to come of any of it. And it doesn’t when, in the last scene, we find the four 20 years hence. Things

have gone from pot to worse, with the now middle-aged children treating their parents as horribly as the parents treated them when they were middle-aged. Slow curtain. The end. Andrew Paul directs this Kinetic Theatre production like a house afire — thankfully — and his four-person cast play with a teeth-rattling urgency. Darren Weller and Mindy Woodhead, as Ken and Sandra, are almost hideously beautiful luxuriating in their own nauseating selfishness. These are fearless performances played without ego. Ethan Saks and Aviana Glover are the wounded and then wounding children, with a choking rage and an ancient hurt just throbbing below the surface. This production, with Paul’s direction, zooms by like an ambulance transporting a shooting victim. But to what end I couldn’t tell you. I’m not one of these people who needs to “like” the characters in a play. They don’t have to be nice or kind or good to hold my attention — interesting and original is what I’m after with, as a bonus, wit. But the characters in Love, Love, Love are none of those things. They’re small, dull and whiny, with lives as unimportant as they are uninteresting. Their problems are completely self-manufactured, and Bartlett’s attempts at meaning and insight are trite at best and clichéd at worst. Watching all of this on parade makes for a very tedious two hours. What made Bartlett think the world was crying out for yet another dysfunctional-family drama is anyone’s guess. And why any theater company would want to produce it, like the silence of God, passeth all understanding. And to all a good night. I N F O@ P G HC I T Y PA P E R. C OM

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.06/12.13.2017


THE SKIVVIES

Broadway’s LAUREN MOLINA and NICK CEARLEY return to Pittsburgh with a daring holiday treat!

“IRRESISTIBLE!”

Featuring

– The New York Times

SLEIGH MY NAME

Paige Davis Daina Michelle Griffith Michael McGurk Stephen Santa musical improv by

babyGRAND and more stars of Pittsburgh’s stages!

Installation image of Prosecuterix

[ART]

OUT OF THE BOX {BY BILL O’DRISCOLL} IN THE U.S., “prosecuterix” is a little-used term for a female prosecutor. In India, a prosecuterix is a woman who alleges someone has raped her. Prosecuterix is also artist Sarika Goulatia’s project highlighting stories of sexual assault and exploring the taboo surrounding them. Sparked by a traumatic incident from her own childhood in India — when she was 10, a man on a crowded city bus took her on his lap, and then put his hands under her underwear — she devised a way to let people tell such stories anonymously.

Goulatia conceived of Prosecuterix several years ago, but she says the project “took on a life of its own” after Americans elected president a man who’s boasted of committing sexual assault. Prosecuterix debuted in May as part of DIGS — Sexism in the Arts, a group show at Artists Image Resource, where many visitors — especially millennials, says Goulatia — opened the boxes to read the stories (which are also accessible via QR code). “It just opened up this taboo subject,” she says. Last month, Prosecuterix reopened as a solo exhibit at the Carlow University Art Gallery at the request of art-history professor Sylvia Rhor. Last week, about 40 boxes sat piled on tables in the stark white space. Stories are solicited via a drop box in the gallery or at prosecuterix@gmail.com. (Participants can request that their stories remain unpublished or placed in sealed boxes, or can even contribute a blank page.) One patricipant who was raped by a neighbor wrote: “I felt like it was all my fault, and I was worthless.” Rhor says that when visitors open the boxes they go “inside” the experience, and that the disconnect between the stories, quotes and images requires people to question their assumptions about sexual assault. “It really asks you to think on so many different levels,” she says. The gallery is open noon to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and by appointment at gallery@carlow.edu.

“IT JUST OPENED UP THIS TABOO SUBJECT.”

Goulatia solicits the stories, prints them out and places them in shoeboxes, traditional vessels for keepsakes and secrets. The boxes are wrapped in white paper, each illustrated with a digitally altered sketch of a random person found online; a quote from an assault victim; and a quote from a victim-blamer or rape apologist. The images and quotes, provocatively, are unrelated to either each other or the story inside.

SPO NSO RS

PROSECUTERIX continues through Jan. 31. Carlow University Commons, 3333 Fifth Ave., Oakland. www.carlow.edu/gallery

NIGHTS DECEMBER 15 & 16 TWO ONLY!

TICKETS ON SALE NOW STARTING AT $40 412.431.CITY (2489)

Use code CITYCITY to save $5 on single tickets

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FOR THE WEEK OF

12.07-12.14.17 Full events listed online at www.pghcitypaper.com Nathan James moved to New York City in 2012. Today, the Pittsburgh-native actor and Pitt grad is getting roles like that of Billy Crystal’s drinking buddy in the in-production comedy film We Are Unsatisfied. James is also teaching — screenwriting at HBO, acting at Princeton University — and writing: his monologue “Superiority Fantasy” recently made headlines in Portland, Ore. The monologue is part of Hands Up: 7 Playwrights 7 Testaments, a touring set of one-acts written in response to police shootings of black men. A July 2016 performance by AfricanAmerican actor Alonzo Chadwick led to an unexpected dialogue between Chadwick and veteran Portland Police Capt. Michael Crebs. Crebs told news site Oregon Live that James’ play had helped him understand why African-Americans fear police. “It really touched my heart,” Crebs said. That’s a hard act to follow. But James will try on Dec. 8 and 9 when he returns to Pittsburgh with a revamped version of Growing Pains, his potent one-man show about coming of age in Pittsburgh in the 1990s, as part of the hip-hop generation. It debuted 10 years ago, at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, and he performed it here again in 2013, at the August Wilson Center, site of this week’s performances. The 75-minute blend of poetry, monologue and multimedia has “changed from being a bunch of different [characters] to being a story,” says James, reached by phone. He plays characters including a man who gave him unhealthy advice about recovering from heartbreak, and a gangster rapper named Venom. Another scene links the 1995 KKK rally here to James’ great-great uncle Terry, who fled slavery in North Carolina. James has performed Growing Pains at venues including New York’s United Solo Theatre Festival. Now he’s bringing it back somewhere he doesn’t have to define the Strip District, or explicate Steelers fandom. “It’s a very, very Pittburgh show,” he says. “This place made me who I am”

{PHOTO COURTESY OF HANDERSON GOMES}

^ Thu., Dec. 7: A Christmas Story

thursday 12.07

BY BILL O’DRISCOLL

8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 8, and 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 9. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $20. www.trustarts.org

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.06/12.13.2017

TALK Debórah Dwork speaks on “Raising Their Voices: Children’s Resistance through Diary Writing and Song” tonight at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. The lecture, co-presented by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh and Pitt’s Jewish Studies program, focuses on children’s voices and creativity as a form of resistance during the Holocaust. Dwork teaches Holocaust history at Clark University and is a scholar-in-residence at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington, D.C. Amanda Reed 7 p.m. 650 Schenley Drive, Oakland. $18 (free for students; $36 includes private reception). 412-681-8000 or www.jfedpgh.org

STAGE You knew it was coming: Midnight Radio, the Bricolage Production Company series that performs oldschool radio plays live, follows its holiday stagings of It’s A Wonderful Life (2014) and Yinz’r Scrooged (2015) with A Christmas Story. Philip Grecian’s comedy is based on the beloved 1983 film about 9-year-old Ralphie Parker, his family, and his longing for a certain air rifle. The voiceand-sound-effects cast, including Tony Bingham, Tami Dixon and Monteze Freeland, is augmented by live music from

Cello Fury. The first performance is tonight. Bill O’Driscoll 8 p.m. Continues through Dec. 23. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $25-35. www.bricolagepgh.org

STAGE Celebrate the holiday season with a little laughter. Tonight at Carnegie Stage is the Pittsburgh premiere of The Carols, an original musical comedy by Jennifer Childs and Pittsburgh’s Monica Stephenson. It’s December 1944, and three singing sisters, an out-of-work comic, a pianist and a curmudgeonly landlady gather at the VFW to stage the annual performance of A Christmas Carol, which must go on without the men. AR 8 p.m. Continues through Sun., Dec. 17. 25 W. Main St., Carnegie. $5-30. 724-873-3576 or www.carnegiestage.com

friday 12.08 CON The Sangawa Project, the region’s premiere Japanese pop-culture event for adults, returns today for its seventh year at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Green Tree. Presented by the Pittsburgh ^ Thu., Dec. 7: The Carols


s i n o s a e s this holiday town!

t n w o d g n i popp

peoples gas holiday market Open Daily at 11 through December 23 • Featuring artisan gifts from around the world, including Ireland, Italy, Africa, Germany and South America. {IMAGE FROM THE UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM, COURTESY OF HADASSAH BIMKO ROSENSAFT}

• Plus you’ll find special Pittsburgh gifts, designer jewelry, photography, artworks and even fabulous homemade treats.

^ Thu., Dec. 7: Debórah Dwork

Japanese Culture Society, the three-day convention lets fans 18 and older enjoy cosplay, a costume battle, a gaming room, panel talks and more. Special guests include Colleen Clinkenbeard, a voice actor and director known for animes like Kid Gohan, and Robert McCollum, who voices Reiner in Attack on Titan. AR 4:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Continues through Sun., Dec. 10. 500 Mansfield Ave., Green Tree. $40. www.sangawaproject.com

• Visit Santa’s House for Photos with just a suggested $5 donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank • New for 2017: the Holiday Karaoke Contest! Every Monday and Tuesday evening from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. through December 12, contestants will compete to move on to the grand finale on Monday, December 18, where one lucky winner will go home with a cash prize of $1,000!

ART Artists Image Resources opens one of its biggest shows of the year. PRINTWORK is a national juried exhibition featuring nearly 50 artists from two dozen states, including local talents Matthew Diclemente, Kellie Hames and Stephanie Taylor. There’s also a featured solo exhibition of works by Aaron S. Coleman, an Arizonabased artist whose work addresses such issues as police brutality, racial discrimination and global warming. The juror is West Virginia University art professor and nationally exhibited artist Joseph Lupo. The reception is tonight. BO Reception: 6-8 p.m. (free). Exhibit continues through Feb. 4. 518 Foreland St., North Side. 412-321-8664 or www.artists imageresource.org

holiday saturdays Enjoy free Fifth Avenue Place Holly Trolley Rides and free Horse Drawn Carriage Rides at PPG Place, go ice skating, see the larger than life Creche, and enjoy family friendly fun throughout the Golden Triangle. Also, free Downtown Parking!* *Pittsburgh Parking Authority garages only.

Downtown Shopping Downtown is home to retailers of apparel, jewelry, toys, gifts, and much more! Don’t miss the four cool Downtown Holiday Season Pop Ups!

COMEDY

kidsplay

Stewart Huff brings his socially conscious comedy to Pittsburgh {PHOTO COURTESY OF STEVEN PASCOE} at Plate & Bowl ^ Fri., Dec. 8: Sangawa Project restaurant. Huff, who has toured nationally for over 20 years, is known for highlighting society’s shortfalls with snark and a sarcastic Southern drawl. He has performed at the Orlando Fringe Comedy Festival and the Aspen Comedy Festival, and has been featured on NPR and HBO. Also performing tonight are comedians Krish Mohan and Pittsburgh-based Zach Funk. AR 7 p.m. 5409 Bryant St., Highland Park. $8-$10. 412-404-7573 or www.facebook.com (“plate & bowl”).

817 Liberty Avenue, Saturdays and Sundays, through December 23 Free activities, free trolley rides, crafts, stories and more!

for full details visit DowntownPittsburgh.com/Holidays

COMEDY Sean Conroy, a founding member of esteemed Upright Citizens Brigade house team The Swarm, brings his acerbic comedy tonight to Steel City Improv Theater. His new standup show, The World’s Smallest Giant, covers everything from fistCONTINUES ON PG. 30

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EVERYONE IS A CRITIC

{PHOTO COURTESY OF JONATHAN ARYEH WAYNE}

^ Sat., Dec. 9: Second Saturdays

EVENT: St.

fights to “Showtime”-era Lakers forward Kurt Rambis. Conroy is also a regular in UCB’s flagship ASSSSCAT show and is head writer for Adult Swim’s Mr. Pickles. Jordan Moore and local favorite Anne Casper open. AR 8 p.m. 5950 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. $10. 412-404-2695 or www.steelcityimprov.com

Nik Party,

Penn Brewery, Troy Hill

CRITIC: Jim

Bluemle, 68, a retiree/ski instructor from Penn Hills

WHEN: Thu.,

saturday 12.09

Nov. 30

St. Nicholas Day is an introduction to the Christmas season, so this event is a combination of Oktoberfest and Christmas. It’s a big party. This is a special beer that they only brew once a year, and my wife and I always look forward to the St. Nikolaus Bock Bier. This is my 10th annual St. Nicholas Day party. My birthday is December 5, and usually it’s closer to my birthday, so it’s an annual birthday gift. Occasionally neighbors will join my wife and I here. I’m a little bit surprised tonight, because it’s a lot more crowded tonight than it was last year. It’s always on a Friday, and the attendance seems to be dropping off a little each year, but now it’s back to the very crowded, packed room that the brewery used to have. The event itself hasn’t changed much over the last 10 years. BY AMANDA REED

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.06/12.13.2017

CRAFTS Join Carton Wallet today at the Ace Hotel for a workshop on producing pen cases, wallets and business-card cases from corrugated cardboard found and salvaged in Pittsburgh. Carton, an online retailer based in Japan, was founded in 2009 by Fuyuki Shimazu, who creates the brightly colored creations with cardboard sourced from more than 20 countries. AR 11 a.m. 120 S. Whitfield St., East Liberty. Free with RSVP. 412-361-3300 or www.acehotel.com/pittsburgh

GAMES

wants to go out with a rising inflection. The Versify Grand Finale Reading features Krista Cox, John Fantin, Brianne Griffith, RB Mertz and Adriana Ramirez reading for one last time at White Whale Bookstore. BO 7 p.m. 4754 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. www.facebook.com (“versify finale”)

DANCE For a decade, The Pillow Project has presented Second Saturdays, a monthly all-night “jazz happening” combining multimedia with improvised music and movement in the intimate, lounge-style confines of the loft-like Space Upstairs. Tonight, Pillow Project co-conspirators Pearlann Porter and John Lambert wrap the series with one last event, featuring resident musician PJ Roduta, guest drummer Dave Throckmorton and resident movement artists. So visit tonight — there’s also a food truck and free hot cider — but fear not, jazz-happening fans: Porter promises a new series, titled Sessions, come spring. BO 8 p.m.-2 a.m. 214 N. Lexington Ave., Point Breeze. $10 suggested donation. www.thespaceupstairs.org

Nationally syndicated Pittsburghbased cartoonist Joe Wos is touring regionally with his new book for puzzle-lovers of all ages, Myths and Monsters. The book’s 50 colorful, solvable mazes MUSIC incorporate such playful elements Grooves with a purpose sound as as Bigfoot’s feet, the Cyclops’ eye, local vocalists Liz Berlin (of Rusted and the kraken’s tentacles. Wos, Root) and Phat Man Dee present whose hand-drawn mazes have Shine the Light with Social Justice received international attention, Disco. It’s the premiere performance signs and sketches in copies of his of the project linked to Social Justice books today, at the Monroeville Disco: Songs to Fight Fascists By, their Mall Barnes & Noble, and Sunday, forthcoming album of protest music {ART BY JOE WOS} at Heinz History Center. Sunday’s you can dance to. Tonight’s concert ^ Sat., Dec. 9: Joe Wos event includes the relaunch of his blends jazz, rock, gospel, poetry, 2015 picture book The Three Little dance, hip hop, and disco, with Pigsburghers, as told in Pittsburghese. BO Noon-2 p.m special guests including Pastor Deryck Tines and the Lemington (Monroeville Mall; www.stores.barnesandnoble.com). Gospel Chorale, poet Christina Springer, and burlesque Also 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun., Dec. 10 (1212 Smallman St., performer Lita D’Vargas. Original tunes like “Fourth Reich Strip District; www.heinzhistorycenter.org). Free Arising” join covers including “I Will Survive” and “Ball of Confusion.” The show, at the Jewish Community Center’s Katz WORDS Theater, spotlights the JCC’s new Center for Loving Kindness After five years, Versify is ending its run as a showcase for and Civic Engagement. BO 7 p.m. 5738 Darlington Ave., local poetry talent. But organizer and poet Robert Walicki Squirrel Hill. $10-25 (13 and older). www.jccpgh.org

thursday 12.14


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ON

THE VEAL WAS EXTRAORDINARILY RICH AND FORK-TENDER.

BACK IN UPTOWN The Merante Bros. Italian-American Market, in Uptown, has reopened after decades of inactivity. And other than some new floors, a new façade, some upgraded appliances and fresh paint, not much has changed. Members of the family that run the market, the Merantes, are still salty with each other, and traditional Italian-American dishes are in abundance, like hot sausage in tomato sauce. “I thought, ‘Just to do hot sausage once a week,’ then I realized people want it every single day,” says Marco Merante, who runs the shop with his father, Pasquale Merante, as well as his three brothers and mother. Marco adds that the menu is also accommodating. “If someone comes in and asks for something, we will most likely do it.” The market offers all the regular corner-store offerings: pastries, candy, cans of pop, a bit of produce. But Merante also specializes in fresh-made hoagies on locally baked Italian bread and an array of Italian deli sides, like marinated olives and pasta salad. Some days, the lunch special is Italian roast beef and, other days, it’s fresh-baked pepperoni bread. Pasqaule’s wife also makes homemade pizzelles for the shop. Pasquale says the family has made so many pizzelles, that it even has its own pizzelle press with a specialized family emblem on it. “Like a union pin,” says Pasquale. Marco says the store has also started catering, and last month, filled an order for workers at the nearby UPMC Mercy. The market opened in October, and Marco says the store is getting “busier and busier every day.” Pasquale says the shop is ideally situated for the lunch crowd of UPMC workers and construction crews that are becoming more common in Uptown. “You give these guys a chipped-ham sandwich, and they are happy,” says Pasquale. The market is open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends, but also stays open late during Penguins games. “Until the puck drops,” says Pasquale. RYANDETO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

Merante Bros. Italian-American Market in Uptown {CP PHOTO BY RYAN DETO}

{BY RYAN DETO}

{CP PHOTO BY VANESSA SONG}

Chef’s antipasto tray, with assorted meats and cheeses

NEIGHBORHOOD

SWANKY {BY ANGELIQUE BAMBERG + JASON ROTH}

L

ET’S NOT BEAT around the bush: Dinner at Eighth & Hays was the best meal we’ve had in Homestead. And if that sounds like faint praise, consider that we’ve yet to be disappointed in a restaurant in the former steel capital of the world — not on the town side of the tracks, anyway. Even amid this field of solid contenders, Eighth & Hays stands out. Located in a made-over former Eat ’n Park that is now attached to the venerable Duke’s Upper Deck, Eighth & Hays is a wine bar-slash-wood-fired-pizza restaurant that sits in a sweet spot between swank and casual, between well plated and finger food. A pair of gas fireplaces dividing the bar area from the dining room warmed the interior’s au courant cool-gray color scheme, and

seating ranging from high-top tables to cushy club chairs completed the inviting vibe. Actually, there was something else, something a little harder to pin down than the interior design decisions: an ineffable

EIGHTH & HAYS 130 W. Eighth Ave., Homestead. 412-326-0009 HOURS: Wed.-Thu. 4-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 4 p.m.-midnight PRICES: $9-15 LIQUOR: Full bar

CP APPROVED sense of neighborliness. People greeted each other from different tables, and it was hard to tell who worked there versus who was a regular.

Eighth & Hays is a 21-and-over place, which we assume is an artifact of arcane state liquor laws, as there’s no obvious incompatibility between family dining and a menu of charcuterie, sandwiches and pizzas. That said, it’s a sophisticated selection, ranging from buttermilk fried chicken on brioche to veal cheeks with mushroom risotto and asparagus. Despite the emphasis on pizza and panini, the menu relied on very few of the standard defaults beloved of the gastropub and modern-bistro genres. A starter of blistered kielbasa could have been a simple nod to the local workingclass staple, but the kitchen did a lot with a little. It started with an outstanding, wellbalanced sausage that was sliced thin on the bias, then drizzled with a lightly sweet-

2 Marion St., Uptown. 412-261-4943 NEWS

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NEIGHBORHOOD SWANKY, CONTINUED FROM PG. 31

NFL Sunday Ticket! WE Show all Games!

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tart glaze to temper the savoriness without pushing into actual sweetness. Narrow slivers of fire-toasted pita were addictively crunchy-chewy, and a plenty of good grainy mustard rounded out the flavor profile. Charred cauliflower with chimichurri was only very lightly charred and retained a faint crunch. Instead of the classic blend of bold herbs and olive oil, the dressing was a sort of Parmesan-cream enlivened with herbs. It was flavorful in a refined, modulated way. The salad selections were more interesting than most, combining plenty of ingredients without resorting to everything-but-the-kitchen-sink status. We chose the beets and bleu, a mass of mixed greens studded with nicely roasted golden beets, red onions, dried cranberries, crushed candied pecans and crumbled bleu cheese. Somehow, the pecans almost mimicked bacon, adding crunch, salt and a hint of sweetness. The salad was heavily dressed in a honey-shallot vinaigrette, more heavily than we would have liked, but fortunately the flavor was subtle. Similarly, of a dozen pizza choices, only the Margherita was really a traditional Italian pie. The rest were an array of gourmet styles, such as pot roast, shrimp scampi and “Italian flag” (topped with red sauce, pesto, alfredo and much more). Angelique was tempted by the pear and bleu cheese, but ultimately succumbed to the “swine,” which evoked common meatlovers’ pizzas while completely surpassing them. Pulled pork provided a tender baseline, while bacon added smoky notes and pancetta, aromatic richness. Beyond the meats, charred tomatoes brought extra depth of flavor, and scallions and other herbs kept it bright. The crust was light and crisp, with just enough chew to stand out from cracker-style flatbreads. Daily specials let the kitchen stretch beyond finger food. On our visit, there were oysters Rockefeller, a cold surf-and-turf appetizer, an open-faced turkey sandwich, and our choice, the above-mentioned veal cheeks. Though the accompanying mushroom risotto was distractingly al dente, beyond that, the dish was flawless. The risotto’s flavor was good, the asparagus was blistered and bold, and the veal was extraordinarily rich and fork-tender. A simple pan sauce pulled the dish together, knowing better than to compete with the wonderful meat. Eighth & Hays’ atmosphere, its service, and the conception and execution of its menu were all top-notch. Neither a bythe-numbers gastropub nor a pretentious destination restaurant, it’s fine enough for a special night out, but too good not to go tonight. INF O @PGH C IT YPAPE R . C O M

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.06/12.13.2017

[PERSONAL CHEF]

HOMEMADE FRENCH CRIES {BY KELLY ANDREWS, GREENFIELD} Last week I made homemade French fries and then videotaped myself crying while eating them and uploaded it to Instagram (@zecatsmeow). The weeping had nothing to do with the level of spice, nor appreciation for my ability to make a decent potato. It was the kind of crying that comes after spending many meals alone in a large, bare dining room where the only sound is one’s own chewing and the clank of fork against plate. This week, I added toppings like bacon and jalapeño peppers and managed to keep my eyes dry despite feeling malaise from the lack of sunlight, general existential dread, and the fear I’ll never experience a healthy, romantic relationship before dying, which is likely to be any day now what with things like the threat of North Korea. I recommend adding lots of fresh parmesan and bleu cheese, though really, any kind of cheese will make a potato exponentially tastier. INGREDIENTS • 2 potatoes • 2 tbsp. olive oil • 1 tsp. chili powder • 1 tsp. garlic salt • 1 tsp. Paprika • 2 jalapeño peppers, deseeded and chopped • cheese(s) of your choice • pre-cooked bacon, cut into bits INSTRUCTIONS Set a medium pot of water to boil and scrub the potatoes clean, leaving the skins on. Boil for approximately 30 minutes. For a real French-cry kind of dish, you can listen to Edith Piaf’s “Chanson Bleue” on repeat or queue up Amélie if you’re feeling slightly hopeful, like maybe there is another weirdo out there who cries a lot while doing things like weeding a garden. Once the potatoes have cooled enough to handle, cut into wedges and put in a bowl with a lid. Add olive oil and spices, secure lid and pretend you’re using a Shake Weight for 30 seconds, which if you’ve ever used a Shake Weight is about how long anyone lasts. Spread potatoes onto a pan and bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Flip the potatoes and add cheese and other toppings. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream so you have one less thing to feel bad about. I N F O@ P G HC I T Y PA P E R. C OM

WE WANT YOUR PERSONAL RECIPES AND THE STORIES BEHIND THEM. EMAIL THEM TO CELINE@PGHCITYPAPER.COM.


MEXICAN RESTAURANT & BAR STRIP DISTRICT

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WINTER BEERS

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Work yourself into a lather. Rinse. Repeat.

A rundown of boozy beers built for the cold {BY DREW CRANISKY} I LOVE THE cartoonishly drunk Santa at the beginning of Miracle on 34th Street. Slouching and slurring, he offers up a simple explanation for why he’s tanked the morning of the big Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: “Well, it’s cold. A man’s got to do something to keep warm.” It’s a quote I think of often in the wintertime. Scientifically speaking, alcohol actually lowers your core body temperature, which is why drinking in extremely cold conditions is risky. But booze does trick you into feeling warmer by dilating your blood vessels and bringing more blood to your skin’s surface. And that warm and fuzzy feeling is enough for many of us to put away the pilsners and reach for something a bit boozier. Aside from hot cocoa, few things taste better after a day in the snow than something strong and Belgian. While plenty of Belgian beers fit the bill, the dark strong ales are especially suited to the colder months. Despite ABVs that creep into the double digits, the sharp sting of alcohol is hidden by malty sweetness and fruity esters (those distinctive flavors produced by Belgian yeasts). Though some examples of this style are highly sought after and therefore quite rare, others are readily available. Try St. Bernardus Abt 12, a rich Belgian quad with lovely dark fruit notes, or Gulden Draak, a dark ale with touches of caramel. Barleywines are beers, but they earn their name by being just as strong and

complex as wine. The centuries-old style is a perfect wintertime sipper thanks to a rich maltiness, nuanced toffee and fruit notes, and high alcohol content (usually 8 to 12 percent). You’ll often see barleywines described as English or American: The American style tends to highlight hops. Barleywines are perfect candidates for aging, with flavors maturing and changing over the years. Keep an eye out for Hell With The Lid Off, the annual barleywine celebration that Kelly’s Bar and Lounge holds at the end of every winter. Speaking of aging, winter is the perfect time to dive into the world of barrel-aged beers. Though barrels have been part of the brewing process for centuries, the trend of aging beers in used whiskey barrels (or those of other spirits) is a relatively recent one. Many point to Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout, which debuted in 1992, as the first commercial example. Though brewers throw all sorts of beer into used barrels, high-gravity stouts and porters yield some of the best results. The rich coffee and chocolate notes pair beautifully with the vanilla and caramel of the barrels. While many barrel-aged beers are extremely rare, it’s easy to find some great (and local) options. East End, Roundabout, Voodoo and many other area breweries regularly release excellent barrel-aged offerings. Grab as many as you can find — after all, a man’s got to do something to keep warm.

WE CATER!

BARLEYWINES ARE A PERFECT WINTERTIME SIPPER.

I N F O @PGH C IT YPAPE R . C O M

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BOOZE BATTLES {BY CELINE ROBERTS}

Each week, we order the same cocktail at two different bars for a friendly head-to-head battle. Go to the bars, taste both drinks and tell us what you like about each by tagging @pghcitypaper on Twitter or Instagram and use #CPBoozeBattles. If you want to be a part of Booze Battles, send an email to food-and-beverage writer Celine Roberts, at celine@pghcitypaper.com.

THE DRINK: LIMITED TIME EGGNOG

VS.

Tinseltown (Harris Grill Downtown)

Miracle on Market (The Original Oyster House)

245 Fourth Ave., Downtown

20 Market Square, Downtown

DRINK: Bourbon Pumpkin Eggnog INGREDIENTS: Bulleit Bourbon, eggs, pumpkin purée, spices OUR TAKE: The texture of this drink is a silky introduction to impending colder days. Pumpkin provides some savory notes to balance the sweetness of the bourbon, and the typical baking spices are warming on the tip of your tongue.

DRINK: Jingle Ball Nog INGREDIENTS: Cognac, Amontillado sherry, peanut butter, almond milk, pandan, cream, nougat syrup, egg, nutmeg OUR TAKE: This is high-rent eggnog, in which sherry and cognac add depth and subtlety to a rich cocktail. Peanut butter is a welcome addition, with its nuttiness complementing the nutmeg and adding smoothness to the drink’s texture.

Learn more about Pittsburgh’s food scene on our podcasts Sound Bite and Five Minutes in Food History online at www.pghcitypaper.com.

One Bordeaux, One Scotch, One Beer Stobi Vranec 2015 $10/glass “Macedonian wines are popular right now. I like the red and the white from this producer. The red drinks really well, and gives you red fruit and plum on the nose. The twist top is nice, too — no dealing with a cork.” RECOMMENDED BY JOHN DAILEY, BARTENDER AT CASELULLA @ ALPHABET CITY

Stobi Vranec 2015 is available at Caselulla @ Alphabet City.

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.06/12.13.2017


IT’S NOT EVERY BAD MOVIE THAT BECOMES A TREASURED HIT

JUST THE FACTS {BY AL HOFF} It should be simple for a guy nicknamed “Science Guy” to make a transition from TV personality to scientific expert. But Bill Nye: Science Guy, a new profile directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, says: Not so fast. Everybody under 40 knows Bill Nye from his eponymous PBS shows on which the effervescent, bow-tied bean-pole explained science to kids (and likely plenty of adults, too). His on-air goofiness made knowledge palatable and engaging, as when he explained photosynthesis while driving a car covered in lush green grass.

Bill Nye

But the show shut down in 1998, and Nye has worked to find a new place in America’s increasingly fraught culturalscientific landscape. The last two decades have seen a resurgence in creationism (a.k.a. not believing in evolution), as well as polarizing debates about whether human behavior contributes to climate change, or whether climate change even exists. Nye, who has a degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell, began tossing himself into public debates. To both acclaim and criticism, he debated Ken Ham, founder of Kentucky’s Creation Museum, in Kentucky. And he decided to remake himself from zany teacher into a fierce advocate of addressing climate change: “Nowadays, I’m talking to adults and I’m not mincing words.” The film bounces around, capturing the assorted sides of Nye. Scenes of Nye taking goofy selfies bounce against others where his motivations are questioned (how enamored of fame is he?) or where he hunkers down in a lab to oversee a new “solar sailing” vessel. The central question of how does one become a “scientific statesman” in our current media environment, which is entertainment-driven and filled with misinformation and even disdain for science, is an intriguing one. Nye is clearly up to the task — he’s articulate, knows his facts, is unafraid to take on challengers. But the film, in its quest to be entertaining, drives into some sillier potholes, such as the work-out routine of a climatechange denier. But judging from how the millennials depicted in this film lose their minds when Nye walks by, that cohort should definitely check out this film to see what their grammar-school tele-buddy is up to. Starts Fri., Dec. 8. Hollywood

“Oh, hi, Mark”: James Franco as Tommy Wiseau

MOVIE MAGIC {BY AL HOFF}

A

FTER ITS release in 2003, Tommy Wiseau’s film The Room, was heralded by some as “the worst film ever made.” Assigning a definitive ranking in this category would take years, but let’s just stipulate that The Room is on the list. It has since become a cult classic beloved for its awfulness; it is also that rare film in an era of home viewing that is a cult theatrical experience, playing for repeat audiences who have developed a shared experience of responding to the film’s many unintentionally funny scenes, i.e., hollering “Focus!” and throwing plastic spoons. There’s no explaining how one poorly made film and not another shifts into this canon, but now, at least, we have the back story of The Room. The 2013 book The Disaster Artist, co-penned by one of the film’s stars, Greg Sestero, recounts the production of the laughably bad love-triangle drama, and now that book is a very enjoyable movie directed by James Franco. Franco also stars as Wiseau, here por-

trayed as man of many intriguing contradictions: He is sensitive yet obstuse, guileless and mysterious, devoted to his art yet utterly terrible at it. Wiseau is an oddball, but his force of personality sweeps up aspiring actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) and the two move to Los Angeles, where Wiseau makes his masterpiece, The Room. It stars himself, Sestero and an assortment of untalented performers gamely delivering Wiseau’s dead-on-arrival dialogue.

THE DISASTER ARTIST DIRECTED BY: James Franco STARRING: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen Starts Fri., Dec. 8

CP APPROVED The Disaster Artist is a … bio-comedy or a docu-com, I guess. It recreates history, but it is often quite funny. Wiseau is a figure of some amusement, but the film doesn’t mock him so much as celebrate his tenac-

ity. Look, the dude had a vision and he saw it through; if he was deluded about what it all meant and how it would turn out, well, that’s hardly an uncommon human failing. And guess who gets the last laugh? It’s true that audiences didn’t respond to The Room as Wiseau hoped, but they did embrace it. It’s not every bad movie that becomes a treasured hit; Wiseau gifted the world with a mishap of a movie that provides as much entertainment as a “good” one. Even viewers who haven’t see The Room should be able to relate to this affectionate real-life shaggy-dog tale about dreamers, set in the shadow of Hollywood. Room fans will thrill to the inside jokes, and everybody will dig the impressive list of actors who turn up in cameo roles. And be sure to stay for the credits. They play out, sideby-side, scenes from the 2003 movie and recreations by Franco, Franco and crew, and at the very end, there is a bonus scene with Mr. Wiseau himself.

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(on skates, natch) comes to life to help a man open a groovy nightclub. Featuring the combined talents of Olivia Newton-John, Robert Beck, joke-rockers The Tubes and Pittsburgh’s own Gene Kelly. Also on deck: a deliriously over-produced soundtrack with tunes by Newton-John, Cliff Richard and ELO, and combinations thereof. Among the film’s survivors: director Robert Greenwald, who now produces left-wing docu-rants such as Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, and who’s probably OK now with you laughing at his disco-disaster film. Midnight, Sat., Dec. 9. Row House Cinema (AH)

FILM CAPSULES CP

= CITY PAPER APPROVED

NEW JUST GETTING STARTED. Action comedy about a retired FBI agent and an ex-mob lawyer in a retirement community, starring Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones and Rene Russo. Written and directed by Ron Shelton (Bull Durham). Starts Fri., Dec. 8

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION. For my money, the 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. It’s all about giving and getting! Everyman Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) tries to lay on the perfect Christmas, but is undercut by his low-rent cousin (Randy Quaid), uptight neighbors, demanding elderly relatives, his boss, a squirrel and a tangle of Christmas lights. Jeremiah S. Chechik directs this 1989 neo-classic holiday comedy, penned by John Hughes. Noon Sun., Dec. 10. Tull Family Theater, Sewickley (AH)

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REPERTORY THE PEACE AGENCY. Sue Useem’s 2016 documentary profiles Lian Gogali, an Indonesian woman who heads an all-female movement seeking to bring nonviolent grassroots activism to their conflict-torn region of Poso. In Indonesian, with subtitles. 6:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 6. Eddy Theater, Chatham University campus, Shadyside. Free. www.justfilmspgh.org THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA. In Isao Takahata’s 2013 hand-drawn animated film, an elderly bamboo-cutter finds a mysterious tiny child in the stalk of a tree, and raises her to be a princess. Subtitled and dubbed; check at www.rowhousecinema.com. Dec. 6-7, Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 13-14. Row House Cinema THE WIND RISES. Hayao Miyazaki’s 2013 anime, a loose biography of Japanese airplane-designer Jiro Horikoshi, is a paean to aeronautics, as well as an exploration of transforming the artistic into the practical. Subtitled and dubbed; check at www.rowhousecinema.com. Dec. 6-9, Dec. 11-12 and Dec. 14. Row House Cinema

Film Kitchen ONLY YESTERDAY. In Isao Takahata’s 1991 animated work, a young woman, during a visit to the country, recalls her Tokyo childhood. Subtitled and dubbed; check at www.rowhousecinema.com. Dec. 6-8, Dec. 10-11 and Dec. 13. Row House Cinema

GREMLINS. The little furry guys sure are cute, but when the rules get broken, hordes of misbehaving gremlins get loose, unleashing comic mayhem on a small town. Joe Dante directs this 1984 comedy. 7:30 p.m. Thu., Dec. 7. AMC Loews Waterfront. $5

PORCO ROSSO. In the 1930s, a former Italian fighter pilot is transformed into a pig, in Hayao Miyazaki’s 1992 anime. Subtitled and dubbed; check at www. rowhousecinema.com. Dec. 6-10, Dec. 12 and Dec. 14. Row House Cinema

SPIRITED AWAY. In this 2001 animated film from Hayao Miyazaki, a 10-year-old girl and her family accidentally wander into the spirit world, where the parents are turned into pigs and their daughter must figure out how to save the day. Subtitled and dubbed; check at www.rowhousecinema.com. Dec. 8-9 and Dec. 12-13. Row House Cinema

LET S GET ’

S CIAL Spirited Away PRINCESS MONONOKE. In Hayao Miyazaki’s animated 1997 tale, a cursed warrior journeys into the forest, where he gets caught up in a battle involving humans and gods. Dec. 8, Dec. 10 and Dec. 12-14. Row House Cinema IN SEARCH OF FELLINI. A small-town girl who has discoverd an escape from harsh reality in the films of Federico Fellini goes to Italy to find him in this new film by Taron Lexton. Ksenia Solo, Maria Bello and Mary Lynn Rajskub star. Dec. 8-14. Parkway Theatre

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XANADU. Believe it or not, kiddies, once upon a time, gloriously ill-conceived films burst hopeful from un-ironic soil, seeking approval (or at least box office), and not mocking laughter. One of those was this 1980 roller-disco musical in which a Greek muse

LA DOLCE VITA. Fellini’s 1960 masterpiece follows a journalist (Marcello Mastroianni) through a series of encounters in a corrupt and dispirited post-war Rome. With Anouk Aimée and Anita Ekberg. Fellini’s first film shot in a wide-screen format deserves a theatrical viewing. 4 p.m. Sun., Dec. 10, only. Parkway Theatre

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THE IMPRESSIONISTS AND THE MAN WHO MADE THEM. In this 2015 documentary, director Phil Grabsky takes viewers through the Inventing Impressionism show installed at London’s National Gallery. The exhibition features Impressionist works from the collection of Paul Durand-Ruel, and includes artists such as Manet, Monet, Degas, Sisley and Renior. 7:30 p.m. Mon., Dec. 11. Tull Family Theater FILM KITCHEN. The monthly series for local and independent artists spotlights new shorts, most of them documentaries, by Holly Hey, Ivette Spradlin and Adrienne Wagner. Series curator Matthew R. Day’s featured work is Hey’s “Crossing Water,” a close look at one volunteer group’s efforts to deal with the water crisis in Flint, Mich. The 25-minute film follows volunteers including group co-founder Michael Hood as they help residents install filters, deliver bottled water and, really, reweave a broken community’s sense of itself. The frustration is evident in an interview with one highly engaged (and aggrieved) resident — a woman raising her grandchild — and in Hood’s voice when he says, “It seems like most of the common-sense approaches here have been cast aside.” Films by Spradlin include a teaser for “Nothing Is All That I Yearn For,” an inprogress portrait of Derr Robinson Steadman, an eccentric Vietnam veteran and drawer of surreal, darkly humorous comics, and the inventive “Derr Recreations,” in which deadpan performers re-enact his drawings. (Sample: “The choices are help me or eat me.” “How about if I asked for someone to help me eat me?”) The Dec. 12 Film Kitchen also features shorts by Adrienne Wagner including “My Grandpa’s Garage,” a portrait of her beloved grandfather, a World War II veteran, schoolteacher and inveterate tinkerer and stuff-collector; and “Super 8 Graveyard,” a dialogueless montage of home movies and additional footage that packs an unexpected punch. 8 p.m. Tue., Dec. 12 (7 p.m. reception). Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland. $5 (Bill O’Driscoll) IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Celebrate the season with Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 holiday classic, in which a harried man (Jimmy Stewart) rediscovers the simple joys of life. 7:30 p.m. Tue., Dec. 12 (AMC Loews, Waterfront) and 7:30 p.m. Tue., Dec. 12 (Tull Family Theater, Sewickley)


HISTORY LESSONS

“THERE IS NO BETTER WAY TO PRACTICE GOLF.”

This week in Pittsburgh Sports History {BY CHARLIE DEITCH} DEC. 7, 2006 Pittsburgh Steelers running back “Fast” Willie Parker sets the team record for most rushing yards in a single game when he totals 223 yards against Cleveland.

“Two-Ton” Tony Galento

DEC. 8, 1952 In the 1930s, “Two-Ton” Tony Galento was a heavyweight boxer. He was the first man ever to knock down Joe Louis. By 1952, Galento was working as a professional wrestler, and on Dec. 7 had participated in a match at Speney’s Palisades, in McKeesport. The next day, state troopers were called to a turnpike gas station in Irwin, Pa. Galento and his manager, Bill Johnson, had gotten into a dispute over Galento’s pay from the night before. Galento won the argument when he knocked out Johnson’s front teeth. “Two-Ton” Tony was arrested, but the charges were dropped when Galento offered to pay $250 to get Johnson’s mug fixed.

DEC. 8, 2000 Media reports indicate that NHL legend Mario Lemieux has ended his three-year retirement and rejoined the Pittsburgh Penguins. {CP PHOTOS BY JAKE MYSLIWCZYK}

DEC. 9, 1940

Cool Springs PGA Pro Jeff Ellis

Art Rooney sells the Pittsburgh Pirates (not yet Steelers) to Alex Thompson of Boston. Rooney then buys a majority stake in the Philadelphia Eagles. Thompson and Rooney would swap cities, however, before the start of the 1941 season.

A RANGE OF OPTIONS

DEC. 10, 1973 Pittsburgh’s Bruno Sammartino wins his second WWWF World Title by defeating Stan Stasiak.

DEC. 11, 2005 Sure, it was just one play in a career of great plays, but the day Steelers star Jerome Bettis ran through legendary Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher on the way to a touchdown is one worth remembering. That game also marked Bettis’ last career 100-yard rushing performance. Two months later, the Steelers won their fifth Super Bowl; “The Bus” retired shortly after.

DEC. 13, 1972 Steelers broadcaster Myron Cope runs into crooner/actor/icon Frank Sinatra at a restaurant in Palm Springs, Calif. and asks him to join Franco’s Italian Army, a fan club for rookie Franco Harris. Sinatra agrees, shows up the next day at practice, and is inducted into the group as a one-star general.

T

of winter means many good things: holidays, gifts, deliciously spiced alcoholic beverages. But for golfers in the Pittsburgh area, winter sucks. It’s cold and wet, and sunlight is limited, so hitting up the links is hardly attractive. But the folks at Cool Springs Sports Complex, in Bethel Park, have winter golfers covered. Their driving range has eight platforms where golfers can hit balls onto the range, complete with heaters and an overhang for rain protection. And newly improved technology can even simulate the experience of playing on a real course. Cool Springs’ Toptracer driving range uses two cameras to track the distance HE COMING

a golf ball travels down to the inch, so golfers can analyze their shots. A computer monitor displays the ball’s flight trail, how high it flew and its speed, and

New technology at a South Hills driving range helps winter golfers simulate the real golf-course experience. {BY RYAN DETO} estimates how the ball would roll after hitting the ground. Toptracer also has games that help golfers improve. Cool Springs’ PGA pro Jeff Ellis says the technology makes hitting balls at the

range addicting. He adds that with all the information that is given in real time about each shot, using Toptracer can “enhance your practice.” “There is no better way to practice golf,” he says. When Pittsburgh City Paper visited, Ellis demonstrated just how this works. Once the ball flies off the driving-range mats, two cameras track the ball until it flies out of view. Ellis says balls can be tracked at night and in the rain. The only time the cameras will have trouble following the ball is in “heavy snow.” Ellis says the cameras are so accurate they can pick up and monitor up to 20 balls at a time. For one shot, Ellis hit the ball straight

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Every time you click “reload,” the saints cry.

into the driving-range pond. But because he was playing Toptracer’s “closest to the pin” game, the screen located his shot at only 23 feet from his intended target. The simulator even allows for friendly competition between players all over the country, as long as they’re playing on the system. Ellis says Cool Springs’ system has been in place since 2015, but Toptracer has added new features, games and more accurate statistical tracking every year. “It’s pretty amazing,” he says. “It’s actually recording the golf ball.” Ellis says that by simulating a game, Toptracer can also help replicate the pressure that comes with playing on an actual course. “People always tell me, ‘I hit it great at the driving range, but not on the course,’” says Ellis. “Well here, you have to challenge yourself.” Ellis is hoping to raise the profile of the Toptracer technology and convince golfers to give it a try in the winter. He is organizing a virtual tournament at the range in January with the tentative title “Freeze Your Balls Off.” He also wants to throw a charity golf-a-thon, where participants strike golf balls for

24 hours straight. “We can do things that you really can’t do because of night-time and winter weather,” says Ellis. Toptracer costs an additional $5 for each bucket golfers hit at the range. Golfers can also pay $48 for a round of 18-hole virtual golf, which includes the price of balls and can be split between up to four golfers. On really nasty-weather days, Cool Springs also offers two indoor golf simulators, where golfers still hit real golf balls, but do so into a flexible screen that estimates the ball’s flight, and then displays it on the screen. (This is similar to a video game, but Ellis says the technology is highly accurate.) Golfers using the simulators can play famous courses like Pebble Beach and TPC at Sawgrass. An hour on the simulator costs $48. Beyond the benefits winter golfers might see from Cool Springs’ technology, Ellis hopes the system can attract more young people to golf. “We got to get the kids out here, and have them get some exercise,” says Ellis. “As a PGA professional, my goal is to grow the game.”

“IT’S ACTUALLY RECORDING THE GOLF BALL.”

RYA N D E TO@ P G H C I T Y PA P E R. C OM

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[THE CHEAP SEATS]

BIG MOVES {BY MIKE WYSOCKI} THE COLLEGE-basketball world is saturated with sleazy recruiters and corrupt coaches. Not all of them, just many. An estimated .11 percent of college-hoops fans were surprised at the revelations that Louisville’s Rick Pitino and several other toplevel coaches were implicated in a scandal in which top recruits were persuaded to go to a certain school in exchange for some filthy lucre. The good news is, based on Pitt’s earlyseason performance, there is no reason to suspect that the Panthers are paying anyone to play there. If they are, the joke is on the recruiters. But men’s basketball isn’t the only NCAA sport to be tainted on a regular basis. College-football scandals are as prevalent as scandals involving congressmen.

But there is a college sport that manages to remain free of controversy: women’s basketball. And instead of being ignored, we need to start throwing our support behind these athletes. And at the top of that list locally are the Duquesne Dukes. Coach Dapper Dan Burt is rapidly advancing his program from the respectability initiated by Susie McConnell-Serio to prominence in the Atlantic 10 Conference. In a little more than four seasons, Burt has the Dukes on the precipice of the big time. A 7-2 start in the 2017-18 season brings Burt’s overall record to 96-48 atop the Bluff. Beaver Falls’ own Chassidy Omogrosso averaged 13.7 points per game, hit 66 threepointers, and started every game as a sophomore a year ago. She’s only getting better. A junior with the confidence of a pro, Omogrosso is a calming presence with a killer shot. Fellow junior starter Julijana Vojinovic CONTINUES ON PG. 40

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joins Omogrosso at guard. She confidently runs the floor for Burt’s team; she sets the pace for the offense. The Serbian-born player is a great example of Burt’s outreach to get the best possible players, even if he has to travel across the Atlantic to do it. Those two are joined by another junior guard who was born a little closer to home. Carlynton’s own Conor Richardson is also emerging as a top-notch player, and helps form the starting squad’s big three. Sophomore Paige Cannon is making a bid for more playing time in the front court. The Johnstown, Ohio, native recently had one of her best games in a battle against St. Francis. She started one game as a freshman last year and is on pace to start quite a few more this season, as will redshirt sophomore Eriko Kuttor. The Hungarian rebounding machine gives Burt some physical presence down low. Freshman Libby Bazelak has a sweet three-point shot and will also compete for some minutes on what is becoming a very talented roster. The top three teams in the Atlantic 10

are Dayton, St. Joe’s and St. Louis. Stupid Billikens, I hate them so much. Duquesne was predicted to finish behind those teams this season, and those are the teams they have to measure up to. And so far this season, the Dukes are quickly catching up. If you’re tired of hearing about amateur scandals or fed up with spoiled pro athletes, give this team a try. The seats are cheap and the action will be heating up at the A.J. Palumbo Center when conference play begins this month. Duquesne welcomes the Akron Zips on Dec. 9. On Dec. 17, Central Michigan plays an afternoon game at the Palumbo, and UMass visits for an afternoon game on New Year’s Eve. In the middle of that is the big test. The Dukes travel north of the border to Toronto for a showdown against the gold standard of women’s college basketball. There is no better test for these ladies than to go up against the absolute best, the UConn Huskies. If they even make the game close, it would be a tremendous lift for the program. If they pull off a victory, there’s a new Queen in town.

THE DUKES ARE QUICKLY BECOMING THE BEST TEAM IN THE ATLANTIC 10

MIK E WYSO C K I IS A STANDU P C O ME DIAN. F O L L OW HI M ON T W I T T E R: @ I T S M I K E W YS OC K I

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ACROSS 1. Fit in with 7. Big boom demonstrations 13. Type of salad dressing 15. Early Christian 16. “Hip Hop Hooray” hip-hoppers 18. She plays Jane on “Jane The Virgin” 19. Hardened 20. “Rick and Morty” co-creator Harmon 21. Like a geezer 22. Time to clean up? 23. Entrée complement 24. Tarot cards and crystal-ball users 27. “Senses Working Overtime” new wavers 28. “___ Gold” (1997 movie seen more in crosswords than actually seen by movie viewers) 29. Dismal, in verse 31. Bread winners 33. Cameo, e.g. 35. Rings 37. Classic Halloween costume 40. Tries to get the #1 pick in the draft, likely 41. Bow-hunting rocker Nugent 43. Basic belief

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45. Walk in the woods 46. LA’s region 48. “Was ___ blame?” 49. English cathedral city 50. Baby Bjorn rider 51. Wonder Woman’s friend Candy 52. “You blew that big time!” 55. “Stay focused” 56. One-man band, e.g. 57. Strive (toward) 58. Hill ___ (“Back To The Future” setting)

DOWN

14. Old telecommunications name 15. Two-wheeled theme-park transport 17. Probably my favorite icecream flavor 23. Protective cover 25. 2018’s “Tomb Raider” (looks decent) 26. Schooner flappers 28. Vacant, as an apartment 30. Temperature takers, for short 32. Towel holder 34. In la la land 35. Some newspapers

1. Seven-tile words in Scrabble 2. Sold on Amazon, say 3. Clean dirty money 4. Kurylenko who played a Bond girl 5. Medical grant agcy. 6. Like some tony communities 7. Building enlargement 8. “Wind in the Willows” animal 9. Superlative ending 10. Scholarly pupil 11. Angry vlog missives 12. Trailer units

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36. Mushroom with dark spore prints 38. Part of a monogram 39. BLT ingredient 40. Warriors’ stomping ground 42. Mild expletives 44. Pleasantly warm 46. [Bo-o-o-o-oring] 47. No. 2 in the statehouse 50. Disney exec Bob 51. Chemical compound 53. Recentlybenched QB Manning 54. That lady, in São Paulo {LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS}

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OFFICIAL ADVERTISEMENT

OFFICIAL ADVERTISEMENT

THE BOARD OF PUBLIC EDUCATION OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PITTSBURGH

THE BOARD OF PUBLIC EDUCATION OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PITTSBURGH

Sealed proposals shall be deposited at the Administration Building, Room 251, 341 South Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213, on December 19, 2017, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for a Service Contract for the following:

Sealed proposals shall be deposited at the Administration Building, Room 251, 341 South Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213, on December 19, 2017, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for a Service Contract for the following:

PGH. ARSENAL Corridor Ceilings & Lights General and Electrical Primes Pgh. Allderdice High School New Pool Cover Mechanical and Electrical Primes Pgh. Allderdice High School Stair Tower Renovations and Misc. Work General Prime Pgh. Classical 6-8, Gifted Center, and Prof. Development Center Replace Fire Alarm System, Elevators, and EM Generator General and Electrical Primes Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on November 21, 2017 at Modern Reproductions (412-488-7700), 127 McKean Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219 between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. The cost of the Project Manual Documents is non-refundable. Project details and dates are described in each project manual. We are an equal rights and opportunity school district. Parent Hotline: 412-622-7920 www.pps.k12.pa.us

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.06/12.13.2017

PGH. ALLDERDICE HIGH SCHOOL Classroom Ceilings & Lighting General and Electrical Primes PGH. BEECHWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Faรงade Restoration, Window Replacement and Site Improvements General and Asbestos Primes PGH. MILLER AFRICAN-CENTERED ACADEMY Retaining Wall, Parking Lot Paving and Hazardous Material Removal Work General Prime

Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on November 6, 2017 at Modern Reproductions (412-488-7700), 127 McKean Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219 between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. The cost of the Project Manual Documents is non-refundable. Project details and dates are described in each project manual. We are an equal rights and opportunity school district. Parent Hotline: 412-622-7920 www.pps.k12.pa.us


FOR THE WEEK OF

Free Will Astrology

12.06-12.13

{BY ROB BREZSNY}

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): As far back as ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece, people staged ceremonies to mark the embarkation of a new ship. The intention was to bestow a blessing for the maiden voyage and ever thereafter. Good luck! Safe travels! Beginning in 18th-century Britain and America, such rituals often featured the smashing of a wine bottle on the ship’s bow. Later, a glass container of champagne became standard. In accordance with the current astrological indicators, I suggest that you come up with your own version of this celebratory gesture. It will soon be time for your launch.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You may feel quite sure that you’ve gotten as tall as you’re ever going to be. But that may not be true. If you were ever going to add another half-inch or more to your height, the near future would be the time for it. You are in the midst of what we in the consciousness industry call a “growth spurt.” The blooming and ripening could occur in other ways, as well. Your hair and fingernails may become longer faster than usual, and even your breasts or penis might undergo spontaneous augmentation. There’s no doubt that new brain cells will propagate at a higher rate, and so will the white blood cells that guard your physical health. Four weeks from now, I bet you’ll be noticeably smarter, wiser and more robust.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You come into a delicatessen where you have to take a numbered ticket in order to get waited on. Oops. You draw 37 and the counter clerk has just called out number 17. That means 20 more people will have their turns before you. Damn! You settle in for a tedious vigil, putting down your bag and crossing your arms across your chest. But then what’s this? Two minutes later, the clerk calls out 37. That’s you! You go up to the counter and hand in your number, and amazingly enough, the clerk writes down your order. A few minutes later, you’ve got your food. Maybe it was a mistake, but who cares? All that matters is that your opportunity came earlier than you thought it would. Now apply this vignette as a metaphor for your life in the coming days.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): It’s one of those bizarre times when what feels really good is in close alignment with what’s really good for you, and when taking the course of action that benefits you personally is probably what’s best for everyone else, too. I realize the onslaught of this strange grace may be difficult to believe. But it’s real and true, so don’t waste time questioning it. Relish and indulge in the freedom it offers you. Use it to shush the meddling voice in your head that informs you about what you supposedly should be doing instead of what you’re actually doing.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You may get richer quicker in 2018, Aries — especially if you refuse to sell out. You may accumulate more clout — especially if you treat everyone as your equal and always wield your power responsibly. I bet you will also experience deeper, richer emotions — especially if you avoid people who have low levels of emotional intelligence. Finally, I predict you will get the best sex of your life in the next 12 months — especially if you cultivate the kind of peace of mind in which you’ll feel fine about yourself if you don’t

get any sex at all. P.S.: You’d be wise to start working on these projects immediately.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The members of the fungus family, like mushrooms and molds, lack chlorophyll, so they can’t make food from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. To get the energy they need, they “eat” plants. That’s lucky for us. The fungi keep the earth fresh. Without them to decompose fallen leaves, piles of compost would continue to accumulate forever. Some forests would be so choked with dead matter that they couldn’t thrive. I invite you to take your inspiration from the heroic fungi, Taurus. Expedite the decay and dissolution of the worn-out and obsolete parts of your life.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I’m guessing you have been hungrier than usual. At times you may have felt voracious, even insatiable. What’s going on? I don’t think this intense yearning is simply about food, although it’s possible your body is trying to compensate for a nutritional deficiency. At the very least, you’re also experiencing a heightened desire to be understood and appreciated. You may be aching for a particular quality of love that you haven’t been able to give or get. Here’s my theory: Your soul is famished for experiences that your ego doesn’t sufficiently value or seek out. If I’m correct, you should meditate on what your soul craves but isn’t getting enough of.

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LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In accordance with the long-term astrological omens, I invite you to make five long-term promises to yourself. They were formulated by the teacher Shannen Davis. Say them aloud a few times to get a feel for them: 1. “I will make myself eminently teachable through the cultivation of openness and humility.” 2. “I won’t wait around hoping that people will give me what I can give myself.” 3. “I’ll be a good sport about the consequences of my actions, whether they’re good, bad or misunder-

stood.” 4. “As I walk out of a room where there are many people who know me, I won’t worry about what anyone will say about me.” 5. “I will only pray for the things I’m willing to be the answer to.”

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): To discuss a problem is not the same as doing something practical to correct it. Many people don’t seem to realize this. They devote a great deal of energy to describing and analyzing their difficulties, and may even imagine possible solutions, but then neglect to follow through. And so nothing changes. The sad or bad situation persists. Of all the signs in the zodiac, you Scorpios are among the least prone to this disability. You specialize in taking action to fulfill your proposed fixes. Just this once, however, I urge you to engage in more inquiry and conversation than usual. Just talking about the problem could cure it. In your imagination, visit the person you’ll be in four years. What key messages do you have to convey? FreeWillAstrology.com

get your yoga on!

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The brightly colored birds known as bee-eaters are especially fond of eating bees and wasps. How do they avoid getting stung? They snatch their prey in midair and then knock them repeatedly against a tree branch until the stinger falls off and the venom is flushed out. In the coming weeks, Cancerian, you could perhaps draw inspiration from the bee-eaters’ determination to get what they want. How might you be able to draw nourishment from sources that aren’t entirely benign? How could you extract value from influences that you have to be careful with?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The coming months will be a ripe time to revise and rework your past — to reconfigure the consequences that emerged from what happened once upon a time. I’ll trust you to make the ultimate decisions about the best ways to do that, but here are some suggestions. 1. Revisit a memory that has haunted you, and do a ritual that resolves it and brings you peace; 2. Go back and finally do a crucial duty you left unfinished; 3. Return to a dream you wandered away from prematurely, and either re-commit yourself to it, or else put it to rest for good.

JLIWFHUWLÀFDWHVcan be purchased online at

schoolhouseyoga.com

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The astrological omens suggest that now is a

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

NEWS

favorable time to deepen your roots and bolster your foundations and revitalize traditions that have nourished you. Oddly enough, the current planetary rhythms are also conducive to you and your family and friends playing soccer in the living room with a ball made from rolled-up socks, pretending to be fortune-telling psychics and giving each other past-life readings, and gathering around the kitchen table to formulate a conspiracy to achieve world domination. And no, the two sets of advice I just gave you are not contradictory.

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’ LET S

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Savage Love {BY DAN SAVAGE}

I used to be a fan of your column, Dan, but something happened to you. Maybe it’s stress, the current political climate, or some other issue — I don’t know. I used to look forward to your columns because they were fun, smart, and helpful — but I don’t enjoy what I’m seeing now. If something did happen to you, reach out for help. You’re on the verge of losing a loyal reader. READER ENQUIRING ABOUT DAN’S ENERVATING RESPONSES

I’ve been getting letters like yours — what happened to you, Dan, you used to be more fun — at this time of year, every year, for the last 25 years, READER. Maybe I get moody when the weather gets gloomy and that spills into my column annually. And perhaps the current political climate — a rather reserved way to describe the destruction of our democracy — is making my seasonal grumping worse. Another possible factor… I don’t know how long you’ve been reading, READER, but I’ve been writing this column for a long time. And back before the internet came along and ruined everything for everyone, I used to get a lot of how-to/ what’s-that questions about sex acts and sex toys. A column explaining butt plugs to readers who knew nothing about them — and lacked easy access to butt-plug info — was as much fun to read as it was to write. But every sex act and every sex toy has its own Wiki page now, which means I don’t get to write fun columns about butt plugs anymore, READER, and you don’t get to read them. Now the questions all revolve around someone being deeply shitty or someone deluding themselves about how deeply shitty they’re being. Columns filled with questions about and from people behaving badly are never going to be as delightsome as those butt-plug columns of yore. But thank you for writing in to share your concern, READER, and rest assured that nothing truly terrible has happened to me — besides Trump, of course, but Trump happened to all of us, not just me. Still, I don’t want to lose you as a reader, so I’m going to make an effort to sunny things up a bit over the next few weeks. OK! Let’s see what else came in the mail today! Hopefully something fun!

an adult, right?!? You’re not Roy Moore-ing it, are you?) Sooner or later, your significant other is going to discover what’s been going on, and your relationship with both of these women will be destroyed. You’ll be able to move out and move on, RUIN, but your former significant other isn’t going to be so lucky. Because while you won’t always be her SO, and hopefully won’t ever be her husband, her daughter is always going to be her child. So while you may get out from this relationship with some light scarring, your ex and her daughter will be left with open, gaping wounds for the rest of their lives. My advice: Pull up your pants, cancel the wedding, and get as far away from your SO and her daughter as possible. A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend and I were engaging in mutual masturbation when she squirted all over my hand — a large amount — and she was completely mortified. It was the first time it happened for her, and it’s happened several times since. She is upset. I’ve been with a couple of other women in the past who squirted, and I am absolutely fine with it. I love it, in fact! I did my absolute best to reassure her that I think it’s great and there’s nothing to be ashamed of, but she’s really embarrassed every time. The last time, she was close to tears with fears that she’d urinated. My question: There’s so much great writing about female ejaculation around, but rather than bombard my GF — who is the most amazing, incredible person — with links to article upon article, how can I help her feel OK about this?

“EVERY SEX ACT AND EVERY SEX TOY HAS ITS OWN WIKI PAGE NOW.”

)ROORZXVWRƓQGRXW ZKDWōVKDSSHQLQJ @PGHCITYPAPER FACEBOOK.COM/ PITTSBURGHCITYPAPER 44

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.06/12.13.2017

My significant other and I rarely have sex. A while ago, I had a sexual encounter with her daughter. We continued to have sexual encounters for some time. Now my significant other and I may be getting married. Her daughter and I broke it off, but it started up again after a week. I am attempting to break things off with my significant other’s daughter again, but I’m having a hard time. Please advise. RESTRAINING URGES IS NECESSARY

Ugh. Do you see what I mean, READER? It’s hard to come through with jokes, erudition and uplift when you’re responding to questions like this one. OK, RUIN. Marrying a woman whose adult daughter you can’t keep your dick out of… yeah, that’s a bad idea. (And her daughter is

SINCERE QUESTIONER UNDERSTANDS IT’S REALLY TERRIFIC

This one’s pretty good, READER. It’s an oldschool, pre-internet Savage Love question. Sexy and playful — charming, even. OK, SQUIRT. You can help her feel OK about this by continuing to use your words (“I love this, it’s so hot!”), by sharing those articles with her (she needs to hear from and about other women with her superpower, not just from her boyfriend), and by lapping that shit up. Swallow, SQUIRT. And so what if it is piss? (And many argue it isn’t.) Piss isn’t sterile, as Mike Pesca took time out of his day to explain to me on the Savage Lovecast back when alleged human being Donald Trump’s alleged pee tape was all over the news. (Goddammit. Our current political climate snuck up on me. Sorry about that, READER.) But there are a lot more bacteria and whatever else in saliva, and we dump spit into each other’s mouths like it’s maple fucking syrup. If you guys are swapping other fluids regularly, why not swap a little of this one, too? And remember: It’s only been two weeks — it may take her some time to learn to love her new superpower. Maybe watch some X-Men movies (it’s a superpower, not a mutation!), and keep being upbeat and positive about the way your girlfriend’s body works. Good luck! On this week’s Lovecast, comedian extraordinaire Cameron Esposito: savagelovecast.com.

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


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Support local artists this season with these festive cards made in Pittsburgh {COMPILED BY LISA CUNNINGHAM} 1. COMMONWEALTH PRESS compressmerch.com

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Dec. 6, 2017 - Pittsburgh City Paper  

Holiday Guide Volume 27 Issue 49