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Squirrel Hill: 412-521-8010

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South Hills: 412-278-1975

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017


EVENTS Every Friday in January FREE GOOD FRIDAYS PRESENTED BY UPMC HEALTH PLAN Each Friday in January, enjoy free museum admission, special guest DJs, Gusto & Naeem and a cash bar. Free Good Fridays are presented by UPMC Health Plan.

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 Tickets $15/$10 students and seniors in advance, $20/$15 students and seniors at the door

Thurston Moore:

Music + Radio Radieux: Film 2.9 – 8pm The Warhol theater, Co-presented with WYEP. Free parking available in The Warhol lot. Tickets $25/$20 members & students

1.12 – 7:30pm SOUND SERIES: BEYOND: CONCERT 2 FEATURING LOADBANG The Warhol theater Co-presented by the Music on the Edge series of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Music Tickets $15/$10 students and seniors in advance, $20/$15 students and seniors at the door

We welcome the inimitable songwriter/guitarist Thurston Moore to the museum’s intimate theater. On a brief solo acoustic tour, 4VVYL^PSSWLYMVYTPUMYVU[VMH[TVZWOLYPJÄSTWYVQLJ[PVU2UV^U as a founder of the iconic underground/alternative rock band, Sonic Youth, Moore has also worked with a wide range of musicians such as John Zorn, David Toop, Cecil Taylor,

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.

Faust, and Glenn Branca. NEWS

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017


12.13/12.20.2017 VOLUME 27 + ISSUE 50

[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

[ADVERTISING] {COVER PHOTO BY CHANCELOR HUMPHREY}

[MUSIC]

“I brought my guitar and a suitcase and found a job within a couple of days.” PAGE 18

Associate Publisher JUSTIN MATASE Advertising Representatives MACKENNA DONAHUE, ANDREA JAMES, PAUL KLATZKIN, BLAKE LEWIS, JENNIFER MAZZA National Advertising Representative VMG ADVERTISING 1.888.278.9866 OR 1.212.475.2529

[MARKETING+PROMOTIONS] Marketing Director LINDSEY THOMPSON

[NEWS]

[ADMINISTRATION]

“The future is bright for Uptown.” PAGE 06

Office Coordinator THRIA DEVLIN Circulation Manager JEFF ENGBARTH Office Administrator RODNEY REGAN Interactive Media Manager CARLO LEO

[PUBLISHER] EAGLE MEDIA CORP.

[FOOD]

It’s the middle we’re worried about, the casual, affordable sit-down meal. PAGE 32

News 06 Views 14 Weird 16 Music 18 Arts 25 Events 29 Taste 32

Screen 36 Sports 38 Classifieds 42 Crossword 43 Astrology 44 Savage Love 45 The Last Word 46 NEWS

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GENERAL POLICIES: Contents copyrighted 2017 by Eagle Media Corp. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Pittsburgh City Paper are those of the author and not necessarily of Eagle Media Corp. LETTER POLICY: Letters, faxes or e-mails must be signed and include town and daytime phone number for confirmation. We may edit for length and clarity. DISTRIBUTION: Pittsburgh City Paper is published weekly by Eagle Media Corp. and is available free of charge at select distribution locations. One copy per reader; copies of past issues may be purchased for $3.00 each, payable in advance to Pittsburgh City Paper. FIRST CLASS MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS: Available for $175 per year, $95 per half year. No refunds. PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 650 Smithfield Street, Suite 2200 Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.316.3342 FAX: 412.316.3388 E-MAIL info@pghcitypaper.com

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THIS WEEK

ONLINE

“UNFORTUNATELY, YOU STILL HAVE BAD LANDLORDS THAT STILL OWN LARGE SWATHS OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD.”

www.pghcitypaper.com

Last week, Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe’s shenanigans saw him trending on social media. To read all about it, check out our Politicrap blog at www.pghcitypaper.com.

The temperatures might be frigid, but you can still enjoy the food and ambiance at Kennywood. To see a preview of the park’s Holiday Lights display, visit www.pghcitypaper.com.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is all dressed up for the holidays. Check out our photos from Phipps’ Winter Light Garden at www.pghcitypaper.com.

{CP PHOTO BY RYAN DETO}

4 Seneca St. in Uptown has been owned by Bob Eckenrode since 2004. The property’s doors and windows are boarded up, and it has sat vacant for years.

HELD-UP TOWN

CITY PAPER

INTERACTIVE

Our featured photo from last week is by @drtymtnbiker. Use #CPReaderArt to share your local photos with us for your chance to be featured next!

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U

PTOWN, A Pittsburgh neighborhood of fewer than 1,000 residents, is ready to explode. For decades, the neighborhood that abuts the Monongahela River between Downtown and Oakland, has been dominated by vacant buildings and parking lots. But with large development plans recently announced, Uptown is due for a huge transformation. UPMC is expanding its Mercy Hospital with a 300,000-squarefoot vision-care center, and the Pittsburgh Penguins finally released plans for a massive, 28-acre mixed-use development in the adjoining Lower Hill District, right next to PPG Paints Arena. Additionally, regional leaders are promising that a modernized bus line will run through Uptown, which could drastically improve the landscape

of the neighborhood’s two thoroughfares, Fifth and Forbes avenues. UPMC Mercy president Mike Grace told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in November that the hospital’s expansion will be “transformative for Uptown.”

Speculators have been holding onto hundreds of properties in Uptown for years. What does that mean for the neighborhood’s future? {BY RYAN DETO} However, many Pittsburghers have likely heard this before. Starting around 2009, city leaders, developers and promi-

nent thinkers dubbed Uptown the “next hot neighborhood.” The one-third-squaremile neighborhood checks all the boxes for a development tinder box: close proximity to the region’s two biggest job centers, Oakland and Downtown; affordability; great public transportation; and plenty of undeveloped land. But in the time since Uptown started receiving attention, neighborhoods like Lawrenceville and East Liberty have taken off and become hot housing and retail markets, while Uptown has remained mostly stagnant. Why didn’t Uptown take off too? Some nonprofits and public officials say that land speculators are to blame. A handful of people own hundreds of properties in Uptown. Critics say these property-owners are waiting for the market to catch fire to maximize CONTINUES ON PG. 08

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017


Port Authority’s Job Perks program now offers

Flexible options for flexible schedules Stored cash value on a ConnectCard is now available through Port Authority’s Job Perks program. In addition to monthly passes, stored cash value may be added incrementally up to $200. It’s a great option if your schedule is flexible or unpredictable and it could save you hundreds of dollars on your taxes. Talk to your employer about signing up today by calling 412.566.5283

Port Authority.org NEWS

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HELD-UP TOWN, CONTINUED FROM PG. 06

their profits, but in doing so they are holding back the neighborhood by refusing to sell or renovate their properties. Realestate developers, meanwhile, defend property-owners and say they are merely capitalizing on the current system. City leaders and nonprofits want to see Uptown become a neighborhood for all income levels and backgrounds, while property-owners are likely to cater to those who will cough up the most cash. And these differences have set up a battle to determine what Uptown will look like moving forward. “The future is bright for Uptown,” says Pittsburgh City Councilor Daniel Lavelle (D-Hill District), who represents Uptown. “Unfortunately, you still have bad landlords that still own large swaths of the neighborhood. They still hold most of the community back.” In 2014, Uptown was chosen by Portland, Ore.-based city-planning nonprofit EcoDistricts to participate in an “Eco-Innovation District” plan, which aims to develop the neighborhood into an inclusive place with great public transit, homes powered by green energy, and a commercial district filled with small businesses. Pittsburgh city planners, Uptown nonprofits and architects were provided training and resources on building an equitable neighborhood.

{CP PHOTO BY JAKE MYSLIWCZYK}

This series of vacant rowhouses on Gist Street has been owned by Bob Eckenrode since 2005. The façades were recently given a new coat of paint.

Jeanne McNutt, of nonprofit developer Uptown Partners, says her group has worked hard to bring more than 200 housing units to Uptown over the past several years. McNutt notes that Uptown has a large number of affordable-housing projects and, currently, one of the highest percentages of subsidized units of any neighborhood in Pittsburgh.

However, McNutt worries that all of Uptown’s plans for equity could be jeopardized by the actions of land speculators, and of one in particular: Bob Eckenrode. The Mount Lebanon real-estate agent and landlord owns more than 40 properties scattered throughout Uptown. They are listed under his or his wife’s name, or those of his two limited-liability companies, BRGS and JCWS. Eckenrode has been buying property in Uptown since the early 2000s, according to property records. An analysis of Eckenrode’s Uptown properties conducted by Pittsburgh City Paper suggests a pattern. When Eckenrode purchases an Uptown property for more than $100,000, he usually rents out units in that building. When he buys buildings or parcels of land cheaply (typically for less than $50,000), he sits on them. Eckenrode currently owns at least 17 vacant properties in Uptown, which he purchased for a combined total of about $500,000; most of them have sat vacant for more than five years. Some properties have their windows and doors boarded up. Eckenrode has never sold a property in Uptown. And he’s not alone. Allegheny County property records show a dozen additional properties sitting vacant in Uptown that are owned by people who live outside the neighborhood. Eight of those were purchased more than 10 years ago. Many areas of Uptown are empty and blighted. McNutt believes this is compromising the neighborhood’s quality of life and is making it harder to develop Uptown. “Despite our good work to responsibly and equitably revitalize our neighborhood,” wrote McNutt in an email to CP, “the amount of vacant and boarded-up properties Mr. Eckenrode owns in Uptown

continues to give a public impression of blight. Many millennials, immigrants, and others are eager to purchase an affordable home in Uptown to fix up for their own. Unfortunately, Mr. Eckenrode’s many vacant properties are not available because he will not sell.” CP reached Eckenrode by phone on Dec. 8, but he denied a request for an interview and didn’t want to comment for this story. Rick Schweikert, a Pittsburgh real-estate agent with the firm Keller Williams, has dealt with Eckenrode and other propertyowners in Uptown. He doesn’t endorse Eckenrode’s and others behavior, but says that under the current system, they’re not doing anything wrong. “It is a free-market system, where anybody can buy any property they can afford,” says Schweikert. “They can be disposed of any way they want as long as it fits city-planning guidelines. Personally, I am very much in favor of government having a bigger say in how property is disposed of, but at the same time, we live in a capitalist system.” Under this system, it’s typically wealthy people who already own a lot of land who end up buying most of the properties in neighborhoods like Uptown. In Pittsburgh, this system is reaping huge benefits for real-estate developers. In the December 2016 issue of Pittsburgh Economic Quarterly, published by the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Social and Urban Research, economist Chris Briem notes the meteoric rise of real estate as a popular and high-paying profession. From 2010 to 2014, according to U.S. Census figures, the Pittsburgh region saw an increase of 1,355 real-estate nonemployer filings, the most of any nonemployer sector. (Nonemployers are businesses with no paid employees; the real-estate sector includes both developers and landlords.) And in that same time period, propertyowners and landlords pulled in hefty earnings, more than $98,000 a year on average. This is by far the highest earnings of any nonemployer sector in Pittsburgh. In Uptown, real-estate developer Sal Williams owns more than 100 properties. For years, Williams either demolished buildings to convert into parking lots or sat on the properties, waiting for the best moment to sell. Recently, Williams has started to sell many of his properties, and he is making a killing. In June, Williams sold four lots at the corner of Fifth and Pride to J&H Commercial Holdings. He bought the lots throughout the 1990s and early 2000s for a total $221,000, but sold them for $700,000. In 2015, Williams sold a large parcel to Uptown Associates for a $685,000 profit. That parcel CONTINUES ON PG. 10

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RESPONSIBILITY

from

M AT T E R S

Happy Holidays

for Drinking Responsibly this Holiday Season!

Thanks...


HELD-UP TOWN, CONTINUED FROM PG. 08

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became the upscale lofts Flats on Fifth. Schweikert admits it can be difficult for average residents to get their hands on affordable properties, but he says Pittsburgh officials need to pass laws that would help inexperienced buyers compete with the likes of Eckenrode. At the same time, Schweikert says that “a lot of properties would have just fallen to the ground” had it not been for developers like Eckenrode. For example, CP noticed that at least one of Eckenrode’s vacant properties, a rowhouse on Forbes, is undergoing rehabilitation. But City Councilor Lavelle feels some of those units currently held by speculators shouldn’t just remain at the mercy of property-owners in perpetuity. He says city government can help new homeowners buy and fix up properties thanks to Urban Redevelopment Authority programs that offer consolidation loans for purchase and rehab costs. But Lavelle says land speculators are repressing programs like these by purchasing many homes in soon-to-be desirable locations like Uptown. If speculators would look to sell some of their properties, says Lavelle, “One of the first things we would be able to do is rehab the vacant and abandoned buildings. And

those buildings could become a wonderful entry point into Uptown for young families.” Lavelle says speculators appear to have “no concerns for the communities in which they own a lot property.” He adds that the URA would be happy to work with developers, and would even offer financial incentives and expertise, as long as developers are willing to work with the community. Currently, Lavelle says there is little the city can do to make speculators like Eckenrode work with the community, since Eckenrode is keeping his buildings up to code and paying his property taxes. (Eckenrode’s property taxes in Uptown range from highs of around $600 a year for large parcels to as low as $12 a year for some small buildings.) In the end, it might already be too late for a truly equitable Uptown. Schweikert says the odds are stacked against nonprofits, the city and even average buyers. He says property-owners have already purchased most of the best, affordable property in the neighborhood. The era of finding great deals in Uptown are waning. “I think it’s too late, there is nothing left,” says Schweikert. “Those days are gone in Uptown for sure.” RYA N D E TO@ P G HC I T Y PA P E R. C OM

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017


SHOP TO HELP

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See Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 3D playing Dec. 15–Jan. 11 in The Rangos Giant Cinema. Tickets sold separately.

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WTF

idential candidate Hillary Clinton. “We’ve always been the ones on the front line of any social-justice movements, but we’re the least invested-in. It’s time for people to start trusting black women and investing some of these resources back into us.” It also means building a pipeline of candidates, Rudiak says, something a large political-action committee, like EMILY’s List, which supports only candidates to national offices, doesn’t do. WTF Pittsburgh hopes to complement efforts like She Should Run, which trains women to run for public office. Despite raising $80,000 for her primary campaign for the District 4 City Council seat and serving in Rudiak’s office for her entire tenure, Deemer lost in the spring primary to a businessman with no political experience who had the backing of party leaders and several large unions. “As long as we have this culture of intimidation, donors worry that it could hurt their bottom line,” Deemer says. “[The PAC] isn’t going to be about who we know or who we like personally, but who is the best candidate to support women. These folks in power need to know that they don’t necessarily reflect the entire electorate.” Since female candidates may not have access to the power networks that men do, they tend to rely on a lot of small donations. And Rudiak says research has shown that a lot of women who do give money tend to favor charities or charitable causes rather than campaign contributions. “When you give $50 to your favorite breast-cancer research charity, that’s great, but if you give $50 to a progressive candidate, she may be able to allocate $50 million in funding for breast-cancer research,” Rudiak says. Garrett says she wants to see WTF Pittsburgh cultivate a new set of women donors. “We have to stop asking the oldboys’ club for money, they’re not giving it to us,” Garrett says. “We have to be intentional about electing more women, and that means raising money to support them.”

Recognizing dearth of women in elected office, Allegheny County politicians form new PAC {BY KIM LYONS} PENNSYLVANIA HAS never had a female

governor or U.S. Senator, despite being one of the original 13 colonies and having had ample time to elect one. “You look at Arizona, which became a state in 1912, they’ve had four female governors,” says outgoing Pittsburgh City Councilor Natalia Rudiak. “Women are summarily rejected and shut out of the political process in Pennsylvania because of the focus on incumbency and the focus on protecting friends and golfing buddies and drinking partners.” To that end, Rudiak and three female colleagues — former city-council candidate Ashleigh Deemer; Wilkinsburg mayor-elect Marita Garrett; and Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner — have started a political-action committee to support progressive female candidates in Southwestern Pennsylvania. “We want to let them spend time talking to constituents, not dialing for dollars,” Rudiak says. Women for the Future of Pittsburgh — whose tongue-in-cheek abbreviation is “WTF Pittsburgh” — was founded Nov. 8, a year to the day since Donald Trump was elected president. On paper, there are a lot of good reasons to start a political-action committee to support female candidates in the Keystone State. Pennsylvania ranks 49th when it comes to gender parity for elected office. And Allegheny County has only one woman among its 28 representatives in the General Assembly: Democrat Anita Astorino Kulik, of Kennedy Township. Then there are the intangibles of running for office in a town like Pittsburgh,

{CP PHOTO BY JOHN COLOMBO}

WTF Pittsburgh founders Marita Garrett, Ashleigh Deemer, Natalia Rudiak and Chelsa Wagner

dominated by an overwhelmingly male Democratic Party. “I had people who said to me, ‘You are better on our issues than anyone else, but we can’t support you,’ because there was this culture of intimidation,” Wagner says of her successful 2015 re-election race. Wagner says all the women behind WTF Pittsburgh heard some variation of “wait your turn” when running for their respective offices. But it can be done: Wagner says that although she was outspent 8 to 1 in that 2015 race, she ultimately prevailed. “But culturally, some of these dynamics that work against women are really deeply embedded. I don’t think it’s limited just to politics,” she says. Figures from the county’s Department of Human Services show that in 2016, some 77 percent of Pittsburgh house-

holds living in poverty were headed by single mothers. As of 2016, women in Allegheny County earned 68 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Other inequities involve race and health care. From 2008 to 2012, for instance, the infant-mortality rate for black infants in Allegheny County was nearly 14 percent, almost three times the rate for white babies, according to the Allegheny County Health Department. “These disparities go across the entire spectrum,” Wagner says. Garrett, who in May was elected Wilkinsburg’s first black female mayor, says women of color have long known they need to do the work themselves and not count on outside help. “Ninety-four percent of black women voted last year to save the world,” she says, referring to the women who voted for pres-

“WE HAVE TO STOP ASKING THE OLD-BOYS’ CLUB FOR MONEY, THEY’RE NOT GIVING IT TO US.”

I N F O@ P G H C I T Y PA P E R. C OM

STEELER STEEL R GAME FEA FEATURES

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017

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COMING SOON TO THE BLOCK - NORTHWAY MCKNIGHT ROAD NORTH HILLS!!!


CITIZEN POLICE REVIEW BOARD The following calendar maintains the tradition of meeting at 6:00 P.M. on the FOURTH TUESDAY of every calendar month except as noted. The several meetings proposed for Council Chambers attempt to respond to the public recommendation that meeting at a centralized location may encourage increased public attendance

JAN

COUN NCIL CHAM MBE ERS S

23 2018

510 CITY - COUNTY BUILDING 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (412) 255-2142 office

FEB

COUN NCIL CHAM MBE ERS S

27 2018

510 CITY - COUNTY BUILDING 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (412) 255-2142 office

MAR

PERSAD CE ENT TER R

27 2018

5301 Butler Street, #100 Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (412) 441-9786

APR

COUN NCIL CHAM MBE ERS S

24 2018

510 CITY - COUNTY BUILDING 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (412) 255-2142 office

MAY

COUN NCIL CHAM MBE ERS S

22 2018

414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (412) 255-2142 office

JUN

26 2018

C OUNC CIL CH HAMBERS JAN 510 CITY - COUNTY BUILDING

JUL

23 2018

24 2018

COM MBIN NED WITH SEPTEM MBE ER

JAN

23 2018

AUG

C OUNC CIL CH HAMBERS JAN 510 CITY - COUNTY BUILDING

SEP

414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (412) 255-2142 office

23 2018

25 2018

B ANKS SVILLE E PARK JAN Crane Avenue and Carnahan Road

OCT

414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (412) 255-2142 office

23 2018

23 2018

COM MBIN NED WITH DECEM MBER R

NOV

CO OUNC CIL CH HAMBERS JAN 510 CITY - COUNTY BUILDING

DEC

Pittsburgh, PA 15220 (412) 255-2370

510 CITY - COUNTY BUILDING

CARN NEGIE LIBR RARY Y OF PITT TSBURG GH | SQUIRR REL HILL L

2018

04 2018

23 2018

414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (412) 255-2142 office

5801 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (412) 422-9650

2018

The public will be notified of any change of date or location through media publication. For Further Information: 412-765-8023 NEWS

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[PITTSBURGH LEFT]

GET IT, MARTY {BY CHARLIE DEITCH}

Join us for an

UGLY SWEATER PARTY December 15

1025 Broad Street, North Versailles, PA 15137 • 412-829-2911 • www.BroadStBistro.com

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14

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017

I’LL BE THE FIRST to admit that I’m no fan of KDKA reporter and radio host Marty Griffin. Likewise, he’s no fan of City Paper, and has said so on his radio show over the years. But I have to admit that I was at least a little surprised on Wed., Dec. 6, when he posted on Twitter a photo of an Elf on the Shelf doll filming a bunch of Barbie dolls in a bubble bath. The caption on the meme read, “Elf on the shelf being investigated for sexual misconduct.” Griffin wrote in the tweet, “Where does it end?” CP reporter Ryan Deto noticed the tweet after it was retweeted by some fellow journalists. We saw it, read it and came to the same conclusion: It’s not funny. It’s tonedeaf, offensive and it makes light of sexual assault and harassment. Deto spoke to Alison Hall, the director of Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, who responded to Griffin’s post thusly: “This is not a time to try to be silly about this topic. I would expect more of him. He took today to send this, and something that is this absurd.” We contacted Griffin and station management last week, but they didn’t respond. They seem to be employing the strategy of ignoring the issue in hopes it goes away. Our web story and social-media posts were shared quite a bit, and some people expressed their displeasure with Griffin’s post. But beyond that, the incident hasn’t gotten much traction, although I’m unsure how many complaints the station has received. Griffin briefly spoke about the post on his Dec. 7 show, which, ironically, focused quite a bit on the sexual-assault and harassment allegations happening around the country. But his voice and statement weren’t remorseful. In fact, he almost seemed sad or disappointed that his “joke” wasn’t seen as such. “I find it fascinating what’s happening in America today about being so politically correct,” Griffin told his KDKA listeners. “I made a post yesterday that was funny, and you would seriously think it was Armageddon. But that’s the way it is.” Yes, Marty, that’s the way it is. We don’t make light of sexual assault and sexual harassment. That used to be the norm, and we see where that’s gotten us. We now live in a world where we wait for the next allegation to drop against men who have used their positions of power to harass, and in some cases, sexually assault, women who they had power over.

A screencap of Marty Griffin’s tweet

So, forgive us if we don’t think your “Where does it end?” comment is the least bit funny. In fact, it’s disturbing and sickening. In the past several years, Griffin has made his career as a reporter who stands up for people who need help or who have been wronged in some way. Did you get ripped off by the mechanic? Get Marty. Did you catch your housekeeper on a nanny cam stealing Oreos out of the cupboard? Get Marty. I’m not a fan of gotcha journalism, but that’s your shtick and a lot of people appreciate you for it. My dislike for this kind of journalism really started in 2006, when Griffin did a “story” about “uncovered illicit, possibly illegal, activity by a local minister, activities which at the very least violated the rules of his denomination.” Turns out Griffin filmed the pastor outside of an adult bookstore; the pastor, it turned out, was just a man struggling with his own sexuality. He had reportedly been set up by a man whom he had been in a relationship with; that man apparently turned Griffin onto the pastor’s activities. Before the story aired, however, the pastor killed himself. So when I see a post like the one Griffin did last week, I don’t see a journalist whose job it is to help people. I see a narrowminded narcissist who refuses to see what effect his actions have on others. This post just reinforces the culture that has allowed men to act this way for generations. And when he finally talks about it on his show, he acts hurt and persecuted because the PC police don’t get it. But guess what? It’s not about political correctness, Marty. It’s about your responsibility as a journalist not to become part of the problem. Especially as someone who tells viewers and listeners to “Get Marty” if they need help. But as I’ve seen a few times over the years, it’s Marty who doesn’t get it.

“THIS IS NOT A TIME TO TRY TO BE SILLY ABOUT THIS TOPIC.”

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


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News of the Weird

S E N D YO UR WE I R D N E WS I T E M S TO W E I RD N E W S T I P S@ AM UNI V E R S AL . C O M .

{COMPILED BY ANDREWS MCMEEL PUBLISHING}

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Chengdu, China, street barber Xiong Gaowu offers a most unusual service at his roadside location in Sichuan province. For $12, Xiong will scrap the inside of his customers’ eyelids using a straight razor, according to Reuters. Xiong suggests being “gentle, very, very gentle” when performing eyelid shaving, or “blade wash eyes,” as the technique is known in Mandarin. A Chengdu ophthalmologist, Qu Chao, says shaving may unblock moisturizing sebaceous glands along the rim of the eyelid, leading to a more comfortable and refreshed feeling. “If he can properly sterilize the tools that he uses, I can see there is still a space for this technique to survive,” Qu added.

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Traffic slowed to a crawl on I-95 in Palm Beach County, Fla., on Nov. 21 as President Trump’s motorcade arrived for the Thanksgiving holiday. Author and sportswriter Jeff Pearlman was among the delayed drivers, but things turned weird when “these people (kept) getting out of the car dancing,” he posted in a Twitter video. WPTV reported that Pearlman recorded the people two cars in front of him emerging from their car and twerking on the highway, then jumping and dancing around enthusiastically before getting back in the vehicle.

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A 35-year-old Indian man employed a unique method for dealing with his depression: swallowing metal. Maksud Khan was rushed to surgery at Sanjay Gandhi Hospital in Satna, Madhya Pradesh, India, after developing severe abdominal pains, according to Metro News. An endoscopy showed that Khan had “coins, nails and nut-bolts in his stomach,” said Dr. Priyank Sharma, who led the surgical team. In late November, surgeons removed 263 coins, 100 nails and other metal items, including razor blades and dog chains, from Khan’s stomach. His family had no idea he had been ingesting metal, and Khan promised doctors he would never eat metal again.

+ Thanks for sharing, @karolyn_emily and @downtownburgher!

Tag your photos of Pittsburgh with #CPReaderArt on Instagram for your chance to be featured next!

pghcitypaper 16

As elder members of the First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains, Tenn., gathered on Nov. 16 to discuss the recent church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, one of those present asked if anyone had brought a gun to church. One man spoke up and said he carries a gun everywhere, reported WATE-TV, and produced the gun, emptying the chambers before passing the weapon around. When the owner got the gun back, he replaced the magazine and recharged the chamber — accidentally squeezing the trigger and shooting himself in the hand and his wife in the abdomen. Both victims were taken by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

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On Oct. 10, Richard Lussi, 76, of Plains Township, Pa., succumbed to heart

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017

disease. But before he died, he made sure his family knew there was one thing he wanted to take with him: a cheesesteak from Pat’s King of Steaks in Philadelphia. “No onions because they’ll come back to haunt me!” Lussi told his family. So, the day before Lussi’s funeral, his son, John, grandson, Dominic, and two friends drove to Philly, where they ate cheesesteaks and bought two extra for Lussi’s casket. John told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the funeral director advised not putting the sandwiches in the coffin until after the viewing, “because people would take them.” Pat’s owner Frank Olivieri Jr. said he was flattered and proud that his cheesesteaks were held “so dear” by someone. “Maybe it’s a bribe for St. Peter,” he added.

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Lisa Cramps moved into a new home in Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire, England, this fall and quickly discovered a mysterious manhole cover in her backyard. Rather than ignore it, Cramps dug up the

cover and unearthed a World War II-era bunker underneath. Neighbors informed Cramps that the shelter pre-dates her house and originally had two stories, with the upper level partially above ground. “It’s very exciting to find this in our garden,” Cramps told Metro News. “I love Second World War history, and my mission now is to find out exactly why it’s here.”

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Linda Bringman, 64, of the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, died on Nov. 27 after being found unresponsive three days earlier with her head stuck between two posts of a wrought-iron fence. Paramedics were called around noon that day to a PNC Bank branch where the fence was located, and Bringman was taken to the Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Chicago Police could not provide an explanation for her being stuck in the fence, but they did not believe criminal activity was involved.

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LISTEN AS YOU READ: SCAN THE CODE FOR OUR NEW SPOTIFY PLAYLIST, A SOUNDTRACK TO THE STORIES IN THIS SECTION, OR VISIT WWW.PGHCITYPAPER.COM/BLOGS/FFW/

NEW LOCAL RELEASES {BY MEG FAIR}

Bindley Hardware Co. EVER SATISFACTORY HTTPS://BINDLEYHARDWARECO.BANDCAMP.COM

On Ever Satisfactory, Bindley Hardware Co. thoughtfully plays with genre boundaries to create a crossover-appealing record that uses rock, folk, Americana and country in a compelling mixture. Songs like “The Good Ones” lean more into the traditional twang, while tracks like “Down the Run” take a more stripped-down, busk-friendly Americana feel. “Alright All Ready!” is a much more rocking number, as is “Jaywalking,” an alt-country song with an earworm of a hook that may be the best on the record. The spectrum of sounds represented on Ever Satisfactory are a reminder of Bindley’s flexibility and range in songwriting. Ever Satisfactory is also full of lessons. For example, “Queen of the Upper Middle Class” is a fun ditty about a well-to-do, pampered woman with a wild streak and a penchant for partying. This hot mess of a woman is trying to buy people’s hearts with her charge card, but the sweet harmonies of Bindley Hardware Co. warn not to fall for the tricks — city “trash” and suburban queens don’t make a good pair, after all. And on “Down the Run,” BHC reminds you to stay out of trouble and avoid the bad boys if you want to stay well and alive.

Badluxe RIBCAGE XYLOPHONE HTTPS://BADLUXE.BANDCAMP.COM/RELEASES

Debut EP Ribcage Xylophone may only be four songs long, but it’s an encouraging sample of what new funk outfit Badluxe have to offer. Between Cea Carlesi’s dreamy voice -- which can shift from airy croon to strong belt -- and the grooving instrumentals of guitarist Stephen Conover, drummer Evan Ellis and bassist Anthony Pandolph, it leaves a lasting impression of a funky new outfit. The title track is a poppy rock song that digs into supernatural intuition, something that not everyone can relate to. Carlesi begs, “Don’t make me feel like I’m the only one” over a catchy interlude, before stripping down to solo drums and eventually, nothing at all. Album-closer “Loud” is a danceinducing, groovy number that calls forth some Michael Jackson and Prince-isms. “Loud” urges listeners to use their voices for good, to be loud and present and heard. It’s the kind of political anthem with heartfelt, belting vocals that makes you want to march in the streets or shake your booty. Maybe both.

{CP PHOTO BY CHANCELOR HUMPHREY}

Rachel Lynne

HARD RESTART {BY MEG FAIR}

S

OMETIMES IN LIFE you have to burn

everything down to get a fresh start. This is true of local musician Rachel Lynne, who moved to Pittsburgh from Georgia on a whim several years ago. In her early twenties, Lynne was in a long-distance relationship, a sort of penpal endeavor with a person she met on Myspace through a mutual friend. They spoke on the phone and via messenger for a year. She started visiting him in Pittsburgh and grew to love the city more with each visit. “The last time I came out here from Georgia, I decided I would overpack in case I found a job,” says Lynne. “I brought my

MEGFAIR@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017

guitar and a suitcase and found a job within a couple of days.”

DOWNLOAD RACHEL LYNNE’S SELF-TITLED DEBUT AND HER NEW HOLIDAY ALBUM, VACANCY at www.rachellynne.bandcamp.com

While it was an exciting fresh start, Lynne found the experience to be more overwhelming than she’d anticipated. She’d sold her car to move and was in a brandnew city far away from her family. “It turned out to be more than I signed up for, but I was here. And it took me a few

years, but I powered through what it mentally did to me,” Lynne says. “We broke up eventually, it didn’t work out. But I made friends and I was working and it was too late to turn back at that point, so here I am. “And actually, it’s all been really inspiring, all the stress and stories. So, I’ve managed to find myself by moving here and meeting the right people somehow. It’s all been really scary, crazy and wonderful. I like to shake up my life. I find it very inspiring.” All this stress, experience and heartache resulted in the collection of songs on her self-titled debut EP, a reverb-soaked, dark and dreamy voyage with alt-country tinges and plenty of emotive lyrics and


big musical movements. “I think I really hit rock-bottom moving here, just because I was so alone, and I didn’t realize the toll that would take on me,” says Lynne. “It really inspired me, all of that pain. I’ve been able to create something that gets me through it.” On the five tracks of Rachel Lynne, she bares her soul about heartbreak and uncertainty. The ache is audible in Lynne’s beautiful vocals, in the quiet breathy moments and soaring croons. “I’ve always struggled with anxiety, so [music is] kind of my way of communicating and connecting to other people. If people seem to relate to what I sing, it feels like a real moment,” explained Lynne. “I love being really personal and sharing that with other people.” In Georgia, Lynne played the open-mic circuit in Atlanta, but when she moved to Pittsburgh, the music part of her life initially took a back seat. After two relationships had ended, Lynne rediscovered her love of writing music and got back into the scene. She met Donny Donovan, of Hearken and Dinosoul, with whom she shared her Soundcloud. Donovan was immediately supportive and encouraging. “One night I met Donny at Spirit, and they said, ‘I was going to play this show, but I can’t play it anymore. Would you want to play it?’ And I said, ‘I don’t really have a band, but yes,’” laughed Lynne. “It was a month away, so it gave me a month to put a band together and practice and play the show. Our first show, I called us, ‘Rachel Lynne and the Last-Minute Band,’ because it was like we had three practices and that was it,” said Lynne. “But it was so well-received, and I was like, ‘Holy shit, I’m supposed to be doing this.’ “Had [Donny] not asked me to play that show, I might still be sitting in some corner sad, trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life.” Wasting no time, Lynne and her newly formed band recorded the EP at Mr. Smalls with Nate Campisi. The EP came out at the end of October and she has since released a mini-EP of dark, dreamy covers of Christmas songs with another musician, Vacancy. As the year slows down, she’s had time to reflect on the EP and sharing her music. “Getting [the music] out there, getting it out of my body? That’s been amazing. Finding out that I may have a purpose, it’s been a good feeling to have a light switch on and be like, ‘Go. And don’t stop.’ I’ve never felt that way, you know? It was like waking up.” “What I’m most looking forward to [in 2018] is seeing where this goes, figuring it all out. I’m learning so much, and I’m looking forward to learning so much more about myself as an artist.” M E GFA IR @ PGHC ITY PAP ER.CO M

NEWS

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MUSIC

RISKS AND REWARDS {BY BILL KOPP}

{PHOTO COURTESY BIG PICTURE MEDIA}

Matisyahu

Musician, rapper and beatboxer Matisyahu arrived at his singular style of music via an unusual route. Growing up a Jewish kid in New York City, he says, the first music he explored outside his parents’ record collection was that of reggae superstar Bob Marley. “I loved the music and everything that went along with it,” he told CP in a recent phone interview. “And the Old Testament references really piqued my interest.” He also developed a strong interest in hip-hop, nourished by witnessing The Roots backing Common, along with “a guy named Kenny Muhammad, who had a beatbox duo.” Matisyahu also credits his first experience with LSD — at age 16 while attending a Phish concert — as another “major influential musical experience.” All of those influences are evident in the music, filtered and given new life through Matisyahu’s distinct personality. In fact, one of the primary values of jazz — improvisation – is key to Matisyahu’s music, especially live onstage. “I feel a huge kinship with jazz,” he says. “Every night is a new opportunity to create something new. That’s what creativity is; it’s all about entering into that unknown space and taking those risks.” That musical risk-taking is something that Matisyahu requires from his musicians. “They’re just in love with their music, and that’s it,” he says. “I completely respect that attitude; it’s the approach that I take, too.” He views making music as the relationship between risk and reward: “the more it starts to fall apart, the harder the impact is when it comes back together.”

Enjoy

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MATISYAHU with COMMON KINGS and ORPHAN 7 p.m. Fri., Dec. 15. Rex Theater, 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $32. 412-381-6811 or www.rextheater.com +

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^

} OF TOPSHELF RECORDS {PHOTOS COURTESY

TOP SHELF {BY ELI ENIS} YOU CAN’T HAVE a conversation about

DIY rock music in the 2010s without mentioning Topshelf Records. The San Diego imprint has quietly, by industry standards, amassed one of the most eclectic catalogs of any independent label this decade. The sheer diversity of its output continues to be vastly underappreciated even by those within its niche audience. In some ways, this is understandable. Although Topshelf has released nearly 180 projects by 111 different artists, the biggest names to grace its roster have been The World Is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, Sorority Noise, You Blew It!, Nai Harvest and A Great Big Pile of Leaves, each of which broke out during the nowwaning emo revival of 2010-2015-ish. None of these acts is particularly similar, but each encapsulates a different aspect of the influential (and highly contentious) emo movement that has come to define much of what rock music has done in this decade, thereby threading Topshelf into the ever-expanding quilt of the genre’s history. However, the label has always been more than just a launchpad for bands that get dinged with rock’s three-letter word. A quick scroll through its artist log reveals a flight of bands across many genres that Topshelf lent a hand to early in their careers, establishing the ethos that it would be trivializing to limit itself to one style or scene. See, for example, the 2012

Slingshot Dakota

^ Prawn

split between Code Orange and Full of Hell, which shared a release date with You Blew It!’s breakout, Grow Up, Dude, and dropped long before those bands were the well-regarded forces in heavy music that they are now. That’s a mere fingernail scratch of the surface of Topshelf’s rich catalog, which continues to be both a platform and an influence for many promising up-andcomers throughout indie music today. In honor of the 2017 edition of the Topshelf Records Tour, which will feature Prawn, Slingshot Dakota, Queen Moo, and People Like You during its stop at Mr. Smalls Funhouse on Dec. 19, City Paper asked one member from each of those bands what their favorite Topshelf releases were.

PRAWN

WITH SLINGSHOT DAKOTA, PEOPLE LIKE YOU, QUEEN MOO 6 p.m. Tue., Dec. 19. Mr. Smalls Funhouse, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $12. 412-821-4447

Tom Patterson, Slingshot Dakota My all-time favorite Topshelf release has to be Pianos Become the Teeth’s The Lack Long After. The hurt and anger of vocalist Kyle Durfey is just so painfully beautiful, and the rest of the band composes a perfect album of songs that completely elevate these complex emotions into a work of art. While this record often gets pigeonholed as “screamo,” the maturity in both the musicianship and songwriting keeps this release fresh and timeless, which is why I always keep it in constant rotation.

Jamie Houghton, Prawn In our seven years working with Topshelf

Records, we’ve been lucky enough to share a stage, art space or basement with more bands on Topshelf than I can count. It’s extremely difficult to pick just one band or release. I think the two records that have really stood out to me and the rest of the band are the Grown Ups’ More Songs and Crash of Rhinos’ Knots. Grown Ups represent a certain time frame of music for me. DIY shows were king at this time and we saw them play a Topshelf showcase at SXSW. It was at a tiny bar packed to the brim with people; it was pure mayhem. Any time I listen to Grown Ups I’m very reminiscent of that show. We were all late in discovering Crash of Rhinos’ records. Both Knots and Distal actually had a big influence on Prawn’s newest record. The musicianship on their records is phenomenal. All the harmonies, the two bass guitars, and the explosive/technical drumming are very tastefully done. Wish we discovered them earlier so we could have seen them live.

Sai Boddupalli, People Like You Topshelf has put out a lot of very important albums for us throughout the years. A few of our favorites include A Forest of Polarity by Rooftops, For Long Tomorrow by toe, and GN by Ratboys. The instrumental, mathy offerings of Rooftops and toe have been a go-to listen for us on tours and drives, and GN by Ratboys is on all of our end-of-the- year album lists.

Jason Rule, Queen Moo The Topshelf release that absolutely changed the game for me was The Clippers’ An Evening With ... Their ability to create such strong and condensed pop songs was incredible to me when I [first started] playing music. To be totally honest, I think I may have inadvertently stolen the singer’s vocal style from singing along for so many years. It was the first purchase from Topshelf that I ever made, I believe. I would venture to say that record was one of the first things I ever heard that was, in the realest sense, “all killer no filler.” I N F O@ P G H C I T Y PA P E R. C OM

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CRITICS’ PICKS

BELVEDERES

The Long Hunt

ULTRA-DIVE THURS DEC 14

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[FOLK CAROLS] + SUN., DEC. 17

Washington, D.C-area emo punks The Weak Days have enough heart to make their passion believable, but enough chill energy to repeatedly and unironically describe things as “tight” on their latest record — also called Tight. For more emo tunes to really get you in your feelings, Indiana’s Caving sings raw and almost too-real tunes, like “Anatomy of a Crush,” featuring lyrics like, “I wanna tell you that I think you’re adorable / But I think I’d rather you just kick me in the shins.” Too real, don’t look me in the eye. The band is joined at Mr. Roboto Project by the local alt-rockers Distant Futures, fresh off the release of its first EP, Were. Balancing out the night is some folksy punk from The Childlike Empress. Hannah Lynn 7 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. All ages. $7. www.the robotoproject.com

Appalachian folk trio The Early Mays harmonizes so hypnotically that it’s hard to tell where one voice ends and another begins. It’s the perfect warm sound to get you in the mood for the holidays, as the members perform traditional carols and folk songs at Old St. Luke’s, as part of its 2017-2018 Chamber Music Series. HL 7 p.m. 330 Old Washington Pike, Carnegie. Free. All ages. www.oldsaintlukes.org

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NICE FOR YOURSELF 4016 BUTLER STREET PITTSBURGH, PA 15201 412-687-2555 WWW.BELVEDERESULTRADIVE.COM

[FOLK] + SUN., DEC. 17

20 BEERS ON TAP

There are studies that show that humans like slow-motion because it allows us to notice things we might not otherwise see. The rich and layered sound of folk veteran Aimee Mann is supremely slow. On her latest album, Mental Illness, she refuses to sing at a speed that the listener is used to, and this allows one to fully take in the breadth of her voice and lyrics, as she croons about everyday melancholy. She’ll play Carnegie Lecture Hall along with indie-rocker Ted Leo, with whom Mann has collaborated in their two-person group The Both. HL 8 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $45-59.50. All ages. 412-622-3131

[ROCK] + SAT., DEC. 16 It’s been 10 years since the release of power-pop group The Pink Spiders’ second album, Teenage Graffiti, and the band is celebrating with a tour. Its vibrant and rambunctious sound holds up, as the members yell, “don’t call it a crush / to be crushed like that,” on “Little Razorblade,” with all the pent-up energy of your romantic punk-teen heart. The Spiders will be joined at Mr. Smalls by the funny and melancholy pop of Third Class, ambient indie from The Petals, and funk rock from Dayshift. HL 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $12-15. All ages. 412-821-4447 or www.mrsmalls.com

MON: YOGA 8PM TUES: KARAOKE 10PM WED: DO SOMETHING

Aimee Mann {PHOTO COURTESY OF SHERYL NIELDS}

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[POST-ROCK] + THU., DEC. 21 Tonight’s a good night for heavy, dark guitar music at Brillobox. The Long Hunt delivers minimalist, gloomy instrumentals; Love Dumpster brings ridiculously fun surf-punk something or other; and Action Camp plays moody, often heavily distorted post rock. It’s gonna be a good one. Alex Gordon 8 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $7. 21 and over. www.brilloboxpgh.com

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AT TH BOX OFFICE

ROCK/POP

Like You, Queen Moo. 6 p.m. Millvale. 412-821-4447.

THU 14

DJS

DIESEL. Trapt. 7 p.m. South Side. 412-431-8800.

FRI 15 CITY THEATRE. The Skivvies: Sleigh My Name. 8 p.m. South Side. 412-431-2489. HOWLERS. Volcano Dogs w/ Turbo Lovers, Sulaco & The Cheats. Record release show. 9 p.m. Bloomfield. 412-682-0320. PARK HOUSE. Bindley Hardware Co. 9:30 p.m. North Side. 412-224-2273. REX THEATER. Matisyahu w/ Common Kings & Orphan. 8 p.m. South Side. 412-381-6811.

SAT 16 BAJA BAR AND GRILL. Second Shift. 9 p.m. Fox Chapel. 412-963-0640. CITY THEATRE. The Skivvies: Sleigh My Name. 8 p.m. South Side. 412-431-2489. CIOPPINO RESTAURANT & CIGAR BAR. Terrance Vaughn. 5 p.m. Strip District. 724-872-3333. CORAOPOLIS VFW POST 402. The Rockers. 8 p.m. Coraopolis. 412-264-3335. DOWNEY’S HOUSE. Bad Dadz. 9:30 p.m. Robinson. 412-489-5631. EXCUSES BAR & GRILL. Greywalker w/ Gahara & The Neverweres. 8 p.m. South Side. 412-431-4090. MARKET SQUARE. King’s Ransom. 7 p.m. Downtown. 412-471-1511. MOONDOG’S. Sqeuazen the Shaman. 8:30 p.m. Blawnox. 412-828-2040. REX THEATER. Aqueous w/ Cycles. 9 p.m. South Side. 412-381-6811. RILEY’S POUR HOUSE. Lenny & Denny. 8:30 p.m. Carnegie. 412-279-0770. ROCHESTER INN HARDWOOD GRILLE. The Eagles Tribute. 9 p.m. Ross. 412-364-8166.

THU 14 BELVEDERE’S. dj hatesyou 2.0. 80s night. 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. VDJ Rambo. Levels. 6 p.m. North Side. 412-231-7777.

FRI 15 ANDYS WINE BAR. DJ Malls Spins Vinyl. 5 p.m. Downtown. 412-773-8884. BELVEDERE’S. DJ admc. Rihanna night. 10 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-687-2555. DEE’S CAFE. Soul & Rock-nRoll 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. P-TOWN. Jellyfish. A monthly queer dance party. New wave + Italo disco + Post-punk. 10 p.m. Oakland. 412-621-0111. RUGGER’S PUB. 80s Night w/ DJ Connor. 9 p.m. South Side. 412-381-1330.

SAT 16 BELVEDERE’S. sean mc + thermos. 90s night. 10 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-687-2555. BRILLOBOX. Pandemic: Global Dancehall, Cumbia, Bhangra, Balkan Bass. 9:30 p.m. Bloomfield. 412-621-4900. 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. Push It! DJ Huck Finn, DJ Kelly Fasterchild. 10 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-781-6771.

MP 3 MONDAY BINDLEY HARDWARE CO.

SUN 17 THE R BAR. Billy the Kid’s Steel Town All-Stars. 7 p.m. Dormont. 412-942-0882.

TUE 19 HOWLERS. Drachemusik, 8 Cylinder, Doors in the Labyrinth, Thousandzz of Beez & Dan Minoza. 8 p.m. Bloomfield. 412-682-0320. THE FUNHOUSE @ MR. SMALLS. Prawn, Slingshot Dakota, People

Each week we post a song from a local artist online for free. This week it’s “Down the Run” by Bindley Hardware Co. It’s a treat for anyone who loves catchy harmonies, tasteful twang and cheeky warnings to stay out of trouble. Stream or download “Down the Run” for free on FFW>>, the music blog at pghcitypaper.com.


J. GOUGH’S TAVERN. The Academy Pickers. 8 p.m. Greenfield. 412-315-7029. PARK HOUSE. Shelf Life String Band. 9 p.m. North Side. 412-224-2273. WHEELFISH. Jason Born. 7 p.m. Ross. 412-487-8909.

SUN 17 THE PARK HOUSE. SoulfulFella & The Bike Funx. 6 p.m. North Side. 412-224-2273.

TUE 19 THE GOLDMARK. Pete Butta. Reggae & dancehall. 10 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-688-8820. THE SUMMIT. Dig Now Sounds w/ Hot Honey. 9 p.m. Mt. Washington. 412-918-1647.

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

REGGAE THU 14 PIRATA. The Flow Band. 9 p.m. Downtown. 412-323-3000.

WED 20

CLASSICAL

COLUMBUS, OHIO

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

FRI 15

{MON., DEC. 18}

HIP HOP/R&B

CHATHAM BAROQUE: A JUBILANT SEASON. The French Canadian soprano, Pascale Beaudin, returns to our stage for a joyful program of holiday favorites, including J. S. Bach’s exuberant cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen for soprano, baroque trumpet & strings. Guests Pascale Beaudin (soprano), Evan Few (violin), Kristen Linfante (viola), Alan Lewis (chamber organ), Shelby Lewis (natural trumpet). 7:30 p.m. St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church, Millvale. 412-687-1788.

Radiator Hospital

FRI 15

Ace of Cups

SAVOY RESTAURANT. Curtis Lewis Jr. 9:30 p.m. Strip District. 412-281-0660.

PHILADELPHIA

WED 20

{FRI., DEC. 15}

ROCKS LANDING BAR & GRILLE. Tony Campbell feat. Teresa Hawthorne. 7:30 p.m. McKees Rocks. 412-875-5809.

Municipal Waste Trocadero Theater

BLUES

COLUMBUS, OHIO

THU 14 NEW AMSTERDAM. Jack of Diamonds. 9 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-682-6414. O’DONNA’S. The Bo’Hog Brothers. 8 p.m. Beaver. 878-313-3418.

SAT 16 CHATHAM BAROQUE: A JUBILANT SEASON. The French Canadian soprano, Pascale Beaudin, returns to our stage for a joyful program of holiday favorites, including J. S. Bach’s exuberant cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen for soprano, baroque trumpet & strings. Guests Pascale Beaudin (soprano), Evan Few (violin), Kristen Linfante (viola), Alan Lewis (chamber organ), Shelby Lewis (natural trumpet). 8 p.m. Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside. 412-687-1788.

{FRI., DEC. 29}

Delay (20 Anniversary) th

Ace of Cups

FRI 15 CIOPPINO RESTAURANT & CIGAR BAR. The Midnight Express Band. 7 p.m. Strip District. 412-281-6593. MOONDOG’S. Tina Daniels Band & Friends. 8:30 p.m. Blawnox. 412-828-2040.

SAT 16 ROUTE 28 BAR AND GRILL. Strange Brew. 8 p.m. Blawnox. 412-794-8456.

JAZZ THU 14 RILEY’S POUR HOUSE. Jazz Happy Hour w/ Martin Rosenberg. 5:30 p.m. Lucarelli Jazz w/ Andy Yaulch. 8 p.m. Carnegie. 412-279-0770. SAVOY RESTAURANT. Roger Humphries & RH Factor. 8 p.m. Strip District. 412-281-0660.

FRI 15 ANDORA RESTAURANT - FOX CHAPEL. Pianist Harry Cardillo & vocalist Charlie Sanders. 6:30 p.m. Fox Chapel. 412-967-1900.

SAT 16 THE MONROEVILLE RACQUET CLUB. Jazz Bean Live. 7 p.m. Monroeville. 412-728-4155. WALLACE’S TAP ROOM. Tony Campbell Jazzsurgery. 5 p.m. East Liberty. 412-665-0555.

SUN 17 ROCKS LANDING BAR & GRILLE. Tony Campbell, John Hall,

NEWS

Howie Alexander & Dennis Garner. 7 p.m. McKees Rocks. 412-875-5809. VINOSKI WINERY. David Gurwin. 1 p.m. Belle Vernon. 724-872-3333. WYNDHAM PITTSBURGH UNIVERSITY CENTER. AAJPSP presents The Holidays and All that Jazz. Ring in the holiday season with the African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh, AAJPSP. We will also be celebrating one year of our quarterly jazz events, showcasing survivors of the former Black Musicians’ Union 471. 3 p.m. Oakland. 412-559-9094.

DOUBLETREE BY HILTON HOTEL PITTSBURGH CRANBERRY. EASE. 6 p.m. Cranberry. 724-766-6900.

SAT 16 OAKMONT TAVERN. Right TurnClyde. 10 p.m. Oakmont. 412-828-4155. PARK HOUSE. Abigail Adams. 9:30 p.m. North Side. 412-224-2273.

SUN 17

TUE 19

WED 20

FRI 15 BAR 3 MILLVALE. Todd and Dale. 8:30 p.m. Millvale. 412-408-3870. BIERPORT. Casual Hobos. 8:15 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-904-4248.

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EVENTS

SAT 16 BRILLOBOX. Milo, Scallops Hotel, v u d u L U C, Izzy Strange. 7 p.m. Bloomfield. 412-821-4447. THE FUNHOUSE @ MR. SMALLS. The Pink Spiders, Third Class, The Petals, Dayshift. 7 p.m. Millvale. 412-821-4447. RIVERS CASINO. Dancing Queen. Drum Bar. 9 p.m. Olga Watkins Band. Levels. 9 p.m. North Side. 412-231-7777.

WED 20 THE FUNHOUSE @ MR. SMALLS. Palisades, BLINDWISH, Ivory Coast, Tell No Tales. 6 p.m. Millvale. 412-821-4447.

EAST LIBERTY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Christmas in East Liberty. Feat. The Brass Roots, ELPC Chancel Choir & organist Edward Alan Moore. 7:30 p.m. East Liberty. 412-441-3800. PALACE THEATRE. Annual Latshaw Pops Christmas Show. 7:30 p.m. Greensburg. 724-836-8000.

SAT 16 ALLEGHENY ELKS LODGE #339. The Red Beans & Rice Combo Holiday Spectacular. 8 p.m. North Side. 412-321-1834. FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Finding Christmas. A concert of homespun carols sung in the glorious ambiance of candlelight and stained glass w/ Greg and Rebecca Sparks along with other Sparks House musicians. 7 p.m. Downtown. 412-726-4217.

SUN 17 THE LAMP THEATRE. Annual Latshaw Pops Christmas Tour. 2 p.m. Irwin. 724-836-8000.

MON 18 PALACE THEATRE. The Tenors. 7:30 p.m. Greensburg. 724-836-8000.

OTHER MUSIC

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.

ARTS

THE FUNHOUSE @ MR. SMALLS. Vibe and Direct, Roots of Rebellion. 7 p.m. Millvale. 412-821-4447. LINDEN GROVE. Uptown Rhythm & Brass. 9 p.m. Castle Shannon. 412-882-8687. RIVERS CASINO. Artistree. Drum Bar. 9 p.m. Etta Cox Trio. Levels. 9 p.m. North Side. 412-231-7777.

FRI 15

CHATHAM BAROQUE: A JUBILANT SEASON. The French Canadian soprano, Pascale Beaudin, returns to our stage for a joyful program of holiday favorites, including J. S. Bach’s exuberant cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen for soprano, baroque trumpet & strings. Guests Pascale Beaudin (soprano), Evan Few (violin), Kristen Linfante (viola), Alan Lewis (chamber organ), Shelby Lewis (natural trumpet). 2:30 p.m. Campbell Memorial Chapel, Squirrel Hill. 412-687-1788. A TINY GIFT: MUSIC FOR THE SOUL & THE SEASON. The Bell’Art Ensemble and guest soprano Lara Lynn McGill perform holiday music from around the world. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the mission of Third Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh. 7 p.m. First Presbyterian Church, Beaver. 412-371-4028.

FULL LIST ONLINE

ACOUSTIC

FRI 15

HOLIDAY MUSIC

SUN 17

HAMBONE’S. Calliope Old Time Appalachian Jam. 5 p.m. Lawrenceville. 412-681-4318. ST. JOHN’S LUTHERAN CHURCH OF HIGHLAND. Pittsburgh Mandolin Orchestra Christmas www. per pa Concert. Led by HAMBONE’S. Ian Kane, pghcitym .co Conductor Charley Ronnie Weiss & Tom Rappaport and assisted Boyce. Jazz Standards, by associate conductor showtunes & blues. 6:30 p.m. Elena Pavlova, the 30-plus-piece Lawrenceville. 412-681-4318. orchestra features the very popular PEPPERS N’AT. RML Jazz. vocal stylings of Gary Burdick. 7 p.m. Braddock. 412-370-9621. This performance will include a variety of Christmas carols, holiday standards and singRILEY’S POUR HOUSE. Martin along tunes. 3 p.m. McCandless. Rosenberg. 5:30 p.m. Carnegie. 412-364-1606. 412-279-0770.

MON 18

KATZ PERFORMING ARTS CENTER. Phat Man Dee & Liz Berlin: Shine the Light w/ Social Justice Disco. 6:30 p.m. Oakland. 412-821-4447. LINDEN GROVE. Karaoke. 8 p.m. Castle Shannon. 412-882-8687. STAGE AE. MEGA Pittsburgh feat. NGHTMRE, Snails, FuntCase & Boogie T. 8 p.m. North Side. 412-229-5483.

THU 14 THE FUNHOUSE @ MR. SMALLS. McCafferty, Heart Attack Man. 6 p.m. Millvale. 412-821-4447.

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CLASSIFIEDS

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What to do December 13-19 WEDNESDAY 13 Twisted Pine

CLUB CAFE South Side. 412-431-4950. With special guests The Hills and the Rivers & Sweetheart of the Barricades. Over 21 event. Tickets: ticketweb.com/opusone. 8p.m.

IN PITTSBURGH MONDAY 18

MATISYAHU REX THEATER FRI., DEC. 15

The Tenors: Christmas Together Tour THE PALACE THEATRE Greensburg. 724-836-8000. Tickets: thepalacetheatre.org. 7:30p.m.

Silent Disco Yoga BELVEDERE’S ULTRA-DIVE Lawrenceville. 412-687-2555. Over 21 event. For more info visit belvederesultradive.com. 8p.m.

Melissa Etheridge: Merry Christmas, Baby! THE PALACE THEATRE Greensburg. 724-836-8000. Tickets: thepalacetheatre.org. 8p.m.

THURSDAY 14

TUESDAY 19 Kenny Blake CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY Oakland. Over 21 event. For tickets and more info visit carnegiemnh.org. 6p.m.

Mega Pittsburgh

Jeffrey Osborne

STAGE AE North Side. With special guests NGHTMRE, Snails, Funtcase & Boogie T. Tickets: ticketmaster.com or 1-800-745-3000. Doors open at 8p.m.

AUGUST WILSON CENTER Downtown. 412-456-6666. Tickets: trustarts.org. 8p.m.

Water on Mars

Star Wars: The Last Jedi 3D

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

AUGUST WILSON CENTER Downtown. 412-456-6666. Tickets: trustarts.org. Through Dec. 16.

RANGOS GIANT CINEMA North Side. For tickets and more info visit carnegiesciencecenter.org.

HEINZ HALL Dowtown. 412-392-4900. Tickets: pittsburghsymphony.org. 7:30p.m.

24

FRIDAY 15

Matisyahu & Orphan After Dark: Strangest Things

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017

REX THEATER South Side. 412-381-1681. All ages event.

Tickets: ticketfly.com or 1-877-4-FLY-TIX. 8p.m.

The Skivvies: Sleigh My Name

Lawrenceville. 412-687-2555. Over 21 event. For more info visit belvederesultradive.com. 9p.m.

CITY THEATRE COMPANY South Side. 412-431-CITY. Tickets: citytheatrecompany.org. Through Dec. 16.

SUNDAY 17

SATURDAY 16

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

90s Night w/ DJ Sean & DJ Thermos BELVEDERE’S ULTRA-DIVE

Red Wanting Blue & The Alternate Routes Quartet

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

Nina Sainato & Friends w/ Eric Granata and Mark Johanson CLUB CAFE South Side. 412-431-4950. Over 21 event. Tickets: ticketweb.com/opusone. 8p.m.

Craft Beer School: Holiday Brew & Cheese CABARET AT THEATER SQUARE Downtown. 412-456-6666. Over 21 event. Tickets: trustarts.org. 6:15p.m.


[STAGE]

STORY CORE

IMAGINE NEVER HAVING BEEN PHOTOGRAPHED

Folk tales are a rich source of narrative art and cultural wisdom. What they’re typically not is a font of progressivism; too often, the characters and stories reinforce patriarchy, misogyny and other social ills. Abigail Lis-Perlis thinks that can change. The local theater artist’s new series, folkLAB, envisions “a new American folklore” of folklorically inspired narratives told in the voices of the oppressed. Each work will be devised by a small ensemble working with a tiny budget in a threeweek time frame. First up is Femme, whose cast of four female-identifying creators/ performers includes Lis-Perlis, Kelsey Robinson, Asia Bey and Paige Borak. Femme receives eight performances through Dec. 17 at Glitter Box Theater. (The show is selfand crowd-funded; performers will share in ticket revenues.) Lis-Perlis has helped produce some memorable theater in Pittsburgh since moving here in 2010. In 2014, she co-directed Throughline Theater’s visionary production of 16th-century morality play Everyman, and in 2015 co-wrote and co-directed Professor Eldritch’s Asylum for Uncanny and Extraordinary Women, an ambitious immersive work for Uncumber Theatrics and Devious Maid Productions. “People are opening up to experimenting with the form of how we create theater,” she says. One way is to return to roots, and, as Lis-Perlis says, “Folk tales are the building blocks of storytelling.” Working collaboratively, and inspired by their own favorite folk tales, the four creators devised a 45-minute work set in an unearthly realm where a young woman born from a bean goes on a coming-ofage journey. After climbing the beanstalk growing from her own head, she’s aided by three celestial (if relatably flawed) beings: a gardener, a scribe and a shaman. “People just get used up before they can even be anything,” says the bean-girl, played by Bey. “I want to be something.” To be performed for audiences of 20 or fewer on a series of intimate sets, Femme incorporates song (including a beautifully haunting theme), movement and ritual, with doses of humor, and draws on the diverse talents of visual artist Bey, dancer/ choreographer Robinson, and lighting designer Borak. In traditional folk tales, says LisPerlis, female characters are usually villains, damsels in distress, or heroes who “end tragically.” That means, she says, that “[t]here’s a lot to explore in terms of subverting tropes. … We’re creating our own new folk tale.”

Abigail Lis-Perlis in folkLAB’s Femme {PHOTO COURTESY OF AMY WHOOLER}

{BY BILL O’DRISCOLL}

{IMAGE ©ESTATE OF NAT FINKELSTEIN}

“Group Shot” with Andy Warhol (at left) and Factory habitués

[ART REVIEWS]

TALKING PICTURES {BY BILL O’DRISCOLL}

T

HOUGH unheralded at first, the Velvet Underground would loom large in rock history. And likely no one captured more early Velvets images than Nat Finkelstein, who (among his many distinctions) was house photographer for Velvets patron Andy Warhol’s Factory. A tantalizing 21 of Finkelstein’s photos from the mid-1960s form half of Up All Night, an exhibit at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination organized by Finkelstein’s widow, Elizabeth Murray Finkelstein, who lives in Pittsburgh. Mostly made in grainy black-and-white, the photos capture VU — then virtual nobodies — and other hipsters at the Factory and spots like pioneering youth-fashion boutique Paraphernalia. Lou Reed in wraparound shades; Sterling Morrison on a couch, reclining at the same casual angle as his nearby bass; Paraphernalia models — as led by Warhol himself, it’s good, self-conscious scene-making. Starkly contrasting VU’s Euro-mod cool is Up All Night’s other half, Finkelstein’s documentation of New York’s carnivalesque club scene circa 1990. A grid of 20 low-res, saturated-color stills depict blissed-

DRISCOLL@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

FEMME Dec. 13-17. folkLAB at Glitter Box Theater, 460 Melwood Ave., Oakland. $15. www.folklab.net NEWS

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Copy of an 1860 photo of Abraham Lincoln, original by Alexander Hesler

CONTINUES ON PG. 26

MUSIC

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25


Friday Jan 12

Saturday Jan 13

Green River

Jay Gates

CCR Tribute

Tribute ute to Barry M Manilow anilow

Saturday Jan an 27

Saturday Feb 3 Satu

Eagles Tribute LIVE IN CONCERT!

The Ultimate Eric Clapton Tribute

TALKING PICTURES, CONTINUED FROM PG. 25

Bell Bottoms Blues

Eaglemania

222 MAIN STREET • DOWNTOWN IRWIN 724-367-4000 • LAMPTHEATRE.ORG {IMAGE COURTESY OF CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART, GIFT OF WILLIAM T. HILLMAN}

Talbot’s 1844 photo “A Barouche Parked in the North Courtyard of Lacock Abbey”

PITTSBURGH’S

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SUND AY, D ECEM BER 31 ADM PM

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TTONS $10 • KIDS 5 & FIRST NIGHT F RIENDS VIP EX UNDER FREE PERIENCE $40

BOX OFFICE AT THEATER SQUARE • 412-456-6666

PARTICIPATING GIANT EAGLE LOCATIONS

TRUS TARTS. ORG /FIRSTNIGHTPGH

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out kids in a post-Reagan psychedelic playground, while in silent, projected video (shot at The Limelight) sequined and cosmeticized gender-benders and costumed animal mascots dance beneath strobes. It’s fabulous — yet when occasionally the camera pulls back, most of the revelers are revealed to be wearing ordinary street clothes, and you see how anybody can make a scene. Continues through Sun., Dec. 17. 5006 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. www.irmafreeman.org AFTER SEEING the big exhibit of some 260

Abraham Lincoln-themed photos and artifacts at Photo Antiquities Museum of Photographic History, you might not feel differently about Lincoln. But the show, curated by museum founder Bruce M. Klein, might give you insight into the country Lincoln led. The photos (most of them copies of 19th-century originals) cover everything from the first and last photos of Lincoln to a startling, shallow-focus close-up of the man in his coffin. There are multiple images copying or based on such iconic shots as Matthew Brady’s Civil War-years portraiture of an increasingly care-worn president, and memorabilia including the final check Lincoln ever signed. Perhaps most interesting, though, depictions of Lincoln in then-burgeoning popular culture, including hagiographic Lincoln trading cards and baseball-card-sized campaign photos. And you won’t soon forget the antique memorial cards depicting Lincoln and George Washington embracing in heaven, in an imaginary bromance whose existence says much about our need for heros. Continues through April. 501 E. Ohio St.,

North Side. 412-231-7881 or www.photo antiquities.org THOMAS JEFFERSON died in 1826, placing him in the final generation of humans with no chance of ever being photographed. Imagine never having been photographed. Yet before pioneers like William Henry Fox Talbot — the British gentleman scholar who in 1840 took the first photograph of a standing human — no one was. At the Carnegie Museum of Art, William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography offers 31 images getting their first-ever look in Pittsburgh. (All are actually inkjetprinted digital copies, because the originals decay in light.) Talbot’s innovations in recording and fixing images from life were virtually simultaneous with those of France’s Louis Daguerre, though the latter was quicker to publicize his Daguerreotype. (Oddly, the exhibit ignores Nicéphore Niépce, the French inventor whom many say pioneered photography a decade earlier still.) Included are some of Talbot’s early “photogenic drawings” (photograms) as well as examples of the silver-iodide calotype he perfected, thereby inventing the negative. Most depict buildings and trees, though posed humans figure in later; the images are ghostly in their shadows and blur, some harking to conventions of Romantic painting. Talbot, a poor draftsman, liked that his invention instantly gave him the power, previously unimagined, to render images in much greater detail than the finest painter could hope. Continues through Feb. 11. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412-622-3212 or www.cmoa.org D RI S C OL L @ P G HC I T Y PA P E R. C OM

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017


[PLAY REVIEWS]

RE-GIFT-ING {BY HARRY KLOMAN} YOU CAN TELL it’s Christmas when the tree goes up and the bank account goes down. But what if you don’t have a bank account? How can you prove that you love someone if you have no money to do it with? That’s the dilemma faced by Jim (Josh Mooiweer, who would make a good Motel in Fiddler on the Roof) and Della (Becky Brown) in John Jory’s adaptation of O. Henry’s beloved short story The Gift of the Magi. With ample tweaks to stretch things out, it’s on stage now courtesy of Point Park Conservatory Theatre Co. Church mice have more money than these two, and with Christmas coming, they’re desperate to find a way to buy each other gifts that say “I love you.” I won’t spoil the ending, except to say that it only proves how money has nothing to do with love. Oh, sorry: Spoiler alert. Penelope Lindblom directs this fleet production — a mere 50 minutes long — with a whirlwind of sound and movement: She treats us to eight Christmasy tunes, performed by the actors in character (more or less), and accompanied by a combo of two guitars, a violin and a flute. The lead guitarist (Somerset Young) doubles as the narrator — who occasionally goes meta (not unlike O. Henry), and who has a Southern accent, even though it’s set in 1906ish New York — and there’s a fair bit of dancing, although to be honest, it’s probably best called prancing. In fact, it all feels more like a let’s-put-on-a-show Christmas pageant than a play, so you’d better be in the mood for

{PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN ALTDORFER}

Davion Heron and Becky Brown in The Gift of the Magi at Point Park Conservatory Theatre Co.

always found to be true of the kids who study musical theater at Point Park. Still, having seen the school stage Tommy and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, I’m afraid that this merry confection rolls more than it rocks.

THE GIFT OF THE MAGI continues through Sun., Dec. 17. Point Part Conservatory Theatre Co. at Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. $10-24. 412-392-8000 or www.pittsburgplayhouse.com

crotchety building-keeper Miss Betty and tap-dancing Jewish comedian Melvin Shaatz. Nick Stamatakis pulls double duty as music director and onstage accompanist Teddy. Moira Quigley narrates as the middle child, Lily. She is grounded, sincere and eager to hold onto traditions in a world where the people she shares them with seem to be slipping away so fast. Her dark hair sets her apart from her blonde sisters, Rose and Sylvia, played by Mandie Russak and Kate Queen-Toole, respectively. The trio’s vocals carry the memories and love of real sisterhood and hold the show together. Stephenson’s music starts off with a beautiful risk: the three Carol sisters singing three-part a cappella harmony. The Duquesne School of Music grad would’ve been smart to carry this style throughout the show, making it feel fresher than the traditional musicaltheater fluff that follows. Director Robyne Parrish works against the first act’s pacing problems by milking every ounce of charm out of the Carol sisters. She’s worked hard to create light holiday fare that everyone can enjoy.

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

copious good cheer. (The singers often smile so broadly that I feared for the integrity of their mandibles.) The opening-night audience loved the shtick from Madame Vodskaya (Blake Doyle), a (to hear her tell it) former Russian princess who clawed her way through tragedy, and as she touts her tangled tale, the violinist mournfully accompanies her in the spotlight. The cast is all quite adept, which I’ve

THE CAROLS

A-CAROLING

continues through Sun., Dec. 17. Carnegie Stage, 25 W. Main St. Carnegie. $5-30. 724-873-3576 or www.insideoffthewall.com

{BY DREW PRASKOVICH}

IT FEELS MORE LIKE A LET’SPUT-ON-A-SHOW CHRISTMAS PAGEANT THAN A PLAY.

IT IS December 1944, and the VFW is

empty as the final year of World War II rages on. The Carols, a new musical with book and lyrics by Jennifer Childs and music by Pittsburgh-based Monica Stephenson, depicts three sisters (The Carols) insisting upon staging their annual production of A Christmas Carol. However, this year they will play all the roles themselves, with help from

The Carols, at Carnegie Stage is by no stretch perfect. Running gags wear thin, plot lines lose focus, and the show relies too heavily on well-established Christmas tropes. However, The Carols is worth revising, as the heart is there, and for a holiday show, that’s essential. At its core, The Carols is about loss, and the power the holidays have to reconnect us. I N F O@ P G HC I T Y PA P E R. C OM

T HE SPEL L BI N DI NG SEQU EL TO THE PH A NTOM OF THE OPER A

J A N UA R Y 2 7

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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 in Market Square • Featuring artisan gifts from around the world, including Ireland, Italy, Africa, Germany and South America. {PHOTO COURTESY OF MITSUKO VERDERY}

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

Photo collage of Mitsuko Verdery, Anya Clarke, Taylor Knight and Anna Thompson

[DANCE] • Visit Santa’s House for Photos with just a suggested $5 donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

FOUR PLAY

• Don’t miss the grand finale of the Holiday Karaoke Contest, Monday, December 18 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. One talented contestant will go home with a $1,000 cash prize!

IN DANCE’S version of a fix-up, choreog-

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!

{BY STEVE SUCATO}

rapher Sidra Bell introduced fellow New York dancemakers Anya Clarke and Mitsuko Verdery, of MICHIYAYA Dance, to Anna Thompson and Taylor Knight, of Pittsburgh’s slowdanger. Artistically, she thought, they had a lot in common. She was right. “We started talking about ideas and our work, and it felt organic and potent,” says Knight. “We thought we should make a quartet.” Now after a seven-month, two-city multidisciplinary collaborative exchange and its New York world premiere earlier this month, said quartet, cleverly titled fôr, makes its Pittsburgh premiere Dec. 15 and 16 at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s Alloy Studios.

“IT FELT ORGANIC AND POTENT.”

kidsplay 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

Verdery describes the hour-long abstract work as having “a lot of layered themes” including boundaries, identity, memory, distance and a collective experience. “Being that we created a work while living in two separate cities, natural boundaries were set in place for us,” writes Clarke in the same email. “We used the idea of boundaries and individualism as a generalized feel for the work. Through these two ideas our own sub-stories are built within the movement [and] props, lighting and sound.” The work is performed to a recorded original soundscape by Thompson and Knight, with live ambient vocalizations by the performers. Along with dancing, Clarke and Verdery use painter’s tape to create, live, a set design of mountains/cityscapes that will change throughout, suggesting shifting territories. At times, the performers will don canvas fencing masks as a metaphor for the boundaries we place on ourselves as individuals. In an interactive sequence, the dancers respond to audience suggestions; in another section, they use a 50-foot-long microphone cable as a bondage restraint. This is a dance work that seeks to be as visual as it is cerebral. And when the dancing stops, fôr will continue. A post-performance panel discussion moderated by CMU’s Suzie Silver will feature Thompson, Knight and Pittsburgh choreographers Staycee Pearl and Maree ReMalia discussing the work and the processes surrounding multi-city artistic collaborations.

SLOWDANGER AND MICHIYAYA DANCE PERFORM

FÔR 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 15, and 8 p.m Sat., Dec., 16. Alloy Studios, 5530 Penn Ave., Friendship. Pay what makes you happy. 412-363-3000 or www.kelly-strayhorn.org

Verdery, no stranger to Pittsburgh, earned a bachelor-of-fine-arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University. She writes via email that “[w]orking with Anna and Taylor has been very easy … we [she and Clarke] have never been in such an equal creative process.”

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017


FOR THE WEEK OF

12.14-12.21.17 Full events listed online at www.pghcitypaper.com Safe to say that The Skivvies’ upcoming stand at City Theatre will be this year’s lone Pittsburgh stage production with underwear sponsors. Cheeks Boutique and TRIM Pittsburgh are donating apparel to Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley because the pair perform in their undergarments. And they look good doing it, which is one reason this New York City-based “undie-rock” duo can tour nationally with its comedy act consisting of mash-ups and medleys of pop songs, plus banter. Another reason, of course, is talent: Their collective resume includes a list of Broadway and regionaltheater credits. The band has been hailed by outlets as diverse as People, Sports Illustrated and The Wall Street Journal.

^ Fri., Dec. 15: Black Nativity

thursday 12.14

BY BILL O’DRISCOLL

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friday 12.15 STAGE Plastic Boom, a group of juggling artists hailing from the U.S. and Sweden, brings Water on Mars to the August

8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 15, and 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 16. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $2040. 412-43-2489 or www.citytheatre.org NEWS

Wilson Center tonight and tomorrow as part of the EQT Bridge Theater Series. With help from touring circus-artist troupe Gandini Juggling, Water on Mars offers drama and humor in the frontier of space, with Plastic Boom juggling props including chocolate, giant card castles, and magnetic jump ropes. Did we mention they do backflips, too? Amanda Reed 7 p.m. Also 2 p.m. Sat., Dec. 16. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10.50-12. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org.

This Yuletide, as usual, there’s more than one option for catching a reformable Victorian miser on stage, singing. Starting tonight, Pittsburgh Musical Theater brings back Ken Gargaro’s A Lyrical Christmas Carol, scored with beloved carols, for four performances at the New Hazlett Theater. And continuing through Dec. 23, Pittsburgh CLO offers its 26th annual A Musical Christmas Carol, at the Byham Theater. The show features all-new costumes and Broadway veteran Patrick Page returning as Scrooge. Bill O’Driscoll Lyrical: 7:30 p.m.; performances continue through Sun., Dec. 17 (6 Allegheny Square East, North Side; $10-20; 412-539-0900 or www.pittsburghmusicals.com). Musical continues Dec. 15-23 (101 Sixth St., Downtown; $32.75-60.75, with half-price for ages 3-14; 412-456-6666 or www.pittsburghclo.org)

> Fri., Dec. 15: Water on Mars

The Skivvies, who formed in 2012 and last visited City Theatre in 2014, return with their holiday show, Sleigh My Name. With a nod to Destiny’s Child, and joined by a drummer, they wield instruments as various as ukulele, bells and glockenspiel. Expect seasonal favorites with a twist. For example, says Molina in a phone interview, “We play ‘Little Drummer Boy’ mashed up with ‘We Got the Beat.’” There’s a little improv, too — and plenty of local flavor: Each of the band’s two shows here features several stage talents as special guests, many of them locally based friends of the duo. For instance, appearing both nights are Daina Michelle Griffith, Michael McGurk and Stephen Santa. Other guests include Paige Davis, Kevin William Paul and Lisa Velten Smith. Both performances also feature an opening act by local improv-comedy fave Baby Grand (Conor McCanlus and Missy Moreno), who’ll perform a classic film in 10 minutes with an original score created live using audience suggestions.

Performances of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker continue at the Benedum Center through Dec. 27. Choreographed and staged by PBT artistic director Terrence Orr, and set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, PBT’s version of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 tale begins in circa-1900 Shadyside, where a young girl receives a nutcracker that takes her on a dreamlike adventure to the Land of Enchantment. From “The Waltz of the Snowflakes” to the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” The Nutcracker is filled with classical tunes re-imagined with Orr’s choreography. AR 7 p.m. Continues through Dec. 27. 237 Seventh St., Downtown. $28-109. 412-456-6666 or www.pbt.culturaldistrict.org CONTINUES ON PG. 30

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SHORT LIST, CONTINUED FROM PG. 29

EVERYONE IS A CRITIC

{PHOTO COURTESY OF RICH SOFRANKO}

^ Sat., Dec. 15: The Nutcracker

EVENT: Nathan

James’ Growing Pains at the

August Wilson Center, Downtownill

CRITIC: Stacie

Allen, 54, an insurance agent from Forest Hills Dec. 8

Brent Morin brings his silly, honest comedy to Pittsburgh Improv for five shows beginning tonight. Morin has appeared on Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central, Brooklyn 99 and Ground Floor. One year after his New Faces set at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, Variety named him one of the Top Ten Comics To Watch. In 2015, Morin released his Netflix-produced comedy special, I’m Brent Morin. AR 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Dec. 17. 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead. $20. 412-462-5233 or www.pittsburgh.improv.com

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Resonance Works opens its annual production of Amahl and the Night Visitors tonight at the Charity Randall Theatre. Gian Carlo Menotti’s 1951 opera tells the tale of an imaginative, disabled young boy (eighth-grader Liam McCarthy, a sevenyear member of the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus) and his mother (mezzo-soprano Ivy Walz), whose lives change upon the arrival of three mysterious strangers. The production features live music by the Resonance Chamber Orchestra. This weekend’s two performances are supplemented by collections of gift cards and non-perishable food and personal-care items for the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. AR 7:30 p.m. Also 3 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17. 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $9-48. 412501-3330 or www.resonanceworks.org

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017

Acclaimed French-Canadian soprano Pascale Beaudin visits Chatham Baroque for a program titled A Jubilant Season. Hand Handel’s andel e aria “Let the Brig Bright right ht Se Seraphim” and J.S. Bach’s h’s ca cantata “Jauchzet Gott in alle allen llen n Landen” L highlight three performan performances mances at thre three different venues this w ee end. Also jo eek weekend. joining Chatham’s core e trio trio r are guest mu musicians on violin, viola, vio l chamber organ, and natural trumpet la, (wh w ich looks exactlyy like something you (which wo wou would ld play at Christmast Christmastime). The weekend’s offerings include tw two family-scaled Peanut Butter & Jam Session singalong matine matinees with Beaudin, both on Sat Sat., Dec. 16. BO 7:30 p.m. (S (St. Nicholas Church, Millvale). Al Also 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 16 (Calvary Ep Episcopal Church, Shadyside), and 2:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17 (Ca (Campbell Memorial Chapel, Ch Chatham University). $10-35. SSing-alongs: in 10 and 11:30 a.m. a.m m Sat., Dec. 16 (Calvary ry E Episcopal; $5-8, free ffor o children under 3). or www www.chathambaroque.org w.ch

> Sat., Dec. 15: Amahl and the Night Visitors

It’s a one-man show where he’s talking about how he grew up and saw the world. He talks about how hip hop, rap and other music influenced him as he was growing up, along with what it’s like to grow up as a black man in the United States. I came out here tonight because I wanted something to do. I didn’t want to sit in the house on a Friday night. I like Nathan James’ energy and confidence. I like how he draws you in with everything he’s doing. I love everything. The event is really entertaining. The poetry surprised me the most. His inflection is really powerful. It was an excellent event, and I would recommend this to my friends because of the energy. That man is really talented.

< Sat., Dec. 15: Brent Morin

WHEN: Fri.,

OPERA

Langston Hughes called Black Nativity his “Gospel song-play,” and since its premiere off-Broadway in 1961, it’s been on stage somewhere in the U.S. nearly every December. Black Nativity is a tradition in Pittsburgh, too — one that continues with this year’s production, by Shona Sharif African Dance & Drum Ensemble and the Hill Dance Academy Theatre. The show, interpreting the Gospel of Luke with traditional spirituals and African drumming and dance, is directed by Debbie Blunden-Diggs, artistic director of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Six performances over the next two weekends take place at Pitt’s Alumni Hall Auditorium, starting tonight. BO 8 p.m. Continues through Sun., Dec. 23. Seventh floor, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. $10-25. 412-586-7903 or www.blacknativitypgh.com

COMEDY On the very weekend that The Last Jedi opens, one local theater artist says, “May the Farce be with you.” Star Wars: The Arcade Strikes Back is writer and director Jesse LE’s evening of multimedia sketch comedy at Arcade Comedy Theater. The parody, on stage tonight and tomorrow, features local favorites including John Feightner, Matt Hartman and Mindy Cooper in a series of live and taped sketches and musical numbers, none of them either long, long ago or far, far away. BO 9 p.m. Also 9 p.m. Sat., Dec. 16. 943 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $7-12. www.arcadecomedytheater.com

monday 12.18 SCREEN What is it like when people from traditional cultures tell their own stories? The Karamoja people, semi-nomadic herders


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!

^ Wed., Dec. 20: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

living in Uganda, have always been portrayed only by outsiders. Pittsburghbased filmmaker and educator Will Zavala, just returned from a filmmaking workshop in Uganda, presents a program of short documentaries produced by himself and his Karamoja students, about topics including child mothers, tobacco use and bedwetting. The screening, at Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Mini-Melwood, is part of the Documentary Salon series. BO 7 p.m. (6:30 p.m. reception). 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland. Free. www.pfpca.org

wednesday 12.20 MUSIC

SPO NSO RS

Tonight’s a rare opportunity to hear Cleveland’s acclaimed Burning River Baroque in Pittsburgh, and in the intimate confines of a house concert, no less. At Mount Washington’s Chatham Village Clubhouse, see Malina Rauschenfels (voice and baroque violin) and Paula Maust (harpsichord) perform At a Crossroad: Will You Love, Live, or Die? It’s an evening of French cantatas and harpsichord solos by composers including Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Julie Pinel and Nicolas Racot de Grandval. The concert includes Grandval’s epic parody “The Widow From Ephesus,” in which Rauschenfels sings six different roles. BO 7 p.m. 655 Pennridge Road, Mount Washington. $15. www.burningriver-baroque.org

STAGE Everyone’s favorite festive Dr. Seuss story comes to life at Heinz Hall beginning tonight. A touring production of How the Grinch Stole ^ Mon., Dec. 18: Documentary Salon Christmas! The Musical hits town thanks to PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh. Inspired by the 1957 children’s book, this 2006 Broadway musical follows a curmudgeonly creature whose heart is “two sizes too small” and his plan to steal Christmas from the holidayobsessed Whos of Whoville. The musical features well-known songs from the 1966 animated movie and an original score by Mel Marvin. There are eight performances through Christmas eve. AR 7 p.m. Continues through Dec. 24. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $30-96. 412-456-1390 or www.trustarts.org.

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NIGHTS DECEMBER 15 & 16 TWO ONLY!

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

CITYTHEATRECOMPANY.ORG

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THE CORE OF THE LUNCH MENU IS JUST OVER A HALF-DOZEN TANTALIZING SANDWICHES

FAST AND FRESH On Liberty Avenue, Downtown, the Korean-inspired fast-casual eatery Bae Bae’s Kitchen has taken over the cozy spot formerly occupied by Umbrella Café. The interior is now utterly charming, with lots of weathered wood, enlivened by dozens of small plants scattered about. There’s table seating, with retro-style metal chairs, for about two dozen, and five stools at a window-side bar where one can watch the sidewalk scene. Bae Bae offers the popular makeyour-own style of meal. Customers choose a base — either steamed rice (topped with seaweed and sesame seeds), glass noodles or mixed greens. Top this with a protein such as Korean fried chicken, roasted pork belly, bulgogi (grilled marinated beef) or crispy layered tofu slabs (with plum sauce). This is assembled attractively in a cardboard box, along with a lightly dressed side salad. Diners also get a choice of a small pre-packaged side, such as kimchi, daikon radish or seaweed salad. It’s a quick order, and it’s as easy to take to go as it is to dine in. The entrée boxes are a good-sized meal, and a great fresh alternative to the usual lunchtime fare of sandwiches, pizza and fast food. Bae Bae touts its ingredients as being locally sourced (when possible), and its menu reflects seasonal offerings. Currently, there is a tasty bit of fall on the menu — tempuradried sweet potatoes; these are sliced thin and deliver the perfect ration of crispy outside and tender inside. And there is a small selection of rotating specials. Notable beverages include ginger beer and kombucha. There is a selection of hot and cold teas and coffees, some Asian-inspired such as Vietnamese coffee or iced green tea with grapefruit. It’s a handy lunch spot to be sure, but unlike similar Downtown eateries, Bae Bae is also open for the early dinner trade. Grab something before catching a show, or a boxed meal or two to take home. AHOFF@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

Monday-Friday, lunch 11:30 a.m.3 p.m.; dinner 5-8 p.m. Saturday brunch 12:30-3 p.m.; dinner 5-8 p.m. 951 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-391-1890 or www.baebaes.kitchen

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Beef bulgogi over noodles {CP PHOTO BY AL HOFF}

{BY AL HOFF}

{CP PHOTO BY VANESSA SONG}

Cuban sandwich, with a side of loaded potato salad

NOUVEAU LUNCH {BY ANGELIQUE BAMBERG + JASON ROTH}

I

T SEEMS NO longer necessary to state that Pittsburgh’s restaurant scene is exploding, resulting in an embarrassment of dining riches. What we do think it important to discuss is how this is happening. Increasingly, we see a bifurcation of the market: At one end are walk-in, fast-casual franchises serving predictable choices at low prices, regarded by students and lunch-hour diners as healthier and tastier than fast food. At the other are aspiring Michelin-star recipients. Certainly, some exciting things are happening at the high end of the market, but a seat at this table comes at a price that is hardly accessible to all. It’s the middle we’re worried about, the casual, affordable sit-down meal. The proliferation of gastropubs was exciting at first, but one soon began to blur into an-

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017

other in the dim light of Edison bulbs. Not that the food isn’t good — much of it is. But the disappearance of traditional types of mid-range dining results in a dearth of real options between grab-and-go and blowthe-budget.

REDWOOD CAFÉ 698 Washington Road, Mount Lebanon. 412-668-0540 HOURS: Mon. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tue. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. PRICES: $6-13 LIQUOR: None

CP APPROVED Take the humble sandwich counter. Once a staple of downtowns and small towns, its tiny format encouraged friendly chit-chat of the type that nourished com-

munity bonds as well as hungry patrons. Fast food killed the sandwich counter long before the advent of the gastropub, and it hasn’t come back. Until now. You might think such a retro concept would re-emerge in Lawrenceville or some other hip enclave, but RedWood Café is in Mount Lebanon, where suburban culture meets urban form. The name is an homage to the finest restaurant of chef-owner Frank Tokach’s hometown, Donora, in its heyday, but Tokach has fitted his ambitions to his space. His brief breakfast and lunch menus and take-out dinner offer quality of conception over quantity of variation. At the core of the lunch menu are just over a half-dozen tantalizing sandwiches, augmented by a couple soups, a daily quiche, mac-and-cheese and salad. The


sandwiches run the gamut from grilled American cheese on housemade Pullman bread to crab cake on brioche. The brilliance of a good sandwich shop is that the kitchen can offer variety without stretching too thin: Seven sandwiches represent at least three distinct cuisines, but for all, the mastery of technique amounts to good prep and great ingredients. Take the crab cake. Many include so much breading that a bun is redundant; others are so lightly bound that they fall apart when lifted. But RedWood’s found the perfect balance, well bound yet light, saline, succulent and deliciously accented by a tangy lemon-mustard aioli. The softness of the brioche bun was also an ideal match for the tender patty. The Cubano looked fairly standard on the menu, with innovation limited to Dijon in place of yellow mustard and capicola for the ham. But the sandwich itself had even more going for it. Mojo pork lived up to its name: Where Americans will often use ordinary roast pork for their Cubans, RedWood chose savory, richly flavored shredded pork that would make a fine sandwich on its own. Better, in place of a few breadand-butter pickles, there were what seemed more like Italian giardinera; the kick from this was a welcome component to the big flavors in this finely pressed sandwich. Sandwiches come with a side of “loaded” potato salad, another flavor-packed item. A chunky, classic version of creamy potato salad was augmented by sharp shredded cheddar and smoky crumbled bacon for an effect that evoked a loaded baked potato. In contrast, mac-and-cheese was perfectly simple: elbows in a super-creamy sauce that was thin and mild, but with unmistakable real-cheese flavor. The build-your-own salad option was closer to a limited salad bar than the comprehensive offerings at fast-casual places: spring mix or romaine, balsamic or ranch, and then almost a dozen toppings ranging from classic cucumber and tomato to mealmaking garbanzos and eggplant. Adding one or more proteins can turn your salad into a complete entrée for a little more cost, but we liked that even the basic bowl — and it’s a big one — can make either a substantial lunch for one, or a side for two. Housemade macaroons comprise the only regular dessert. Their crispy-chewy, coconutty goodness was indulgent without busting our full bellies. Most days, a couple of to-go dinner entrees are available as well, and Tokach offers occasional prix fixe meals where he stretches his culinary muscles. Straightforward but surprising, familiar but not ordinary, RedWood Café shows that middle-of-the-road dining can be anything but mediocre. INFO@ PGHC ITY PAP ER.CO M

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NFL Sunday Ticket! WE Show all Games!

[PERSONAL CHEF]

ARCHrIsEo’Sn

REFRESHING SALAD CURE TO HOLIDAY FOOD

On Ca WING

{BY CELINE ROBERTS} With the holidays in full swing, heavy foods dominate our tables to substitute for all the sunlight we’re missing. But it’s nice to have a lift in the middle of the meal to help offset the pound of cheese you just ingested or the quart of eggnog you drank. Winter salads with lots of citrus (which is now coming into season) can come to the rescue. Limes are nearing the end of their peak, but substituting lemons is a snap. When I’m feeling particularly kitchen-savvy, I buy extra citrus during the winter months to preserve for later use. For fresh use though, brightening up salads is a great use for citrus. I made this dish for a dinner party I had with friends, and even the fennelopposed liked it. Fennel is a strong flavor, but sliced thinly it’s more manageable and makes for great crunch in a salad. Pomegranates are a lot of work but they are beautiful, and the ruby color looks festive against the greens. This salad is zesty and fibrous, perfect for aiding digestion. The best part of this dish is that it looks like you really thought it out, when the bulk of the work is just a lot of chopping. If your knife skills are a little shaky, it also provides a good opportunity to practice n slicing thinly, which I often y find myself getting pretty lazy on when I’m cooking for only myself.

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INGREDIENTS • 3 bulbs fennel • 7 stalks celery • ¼ cup celery leaves • 2 pomegranates • ¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes) • ¼ cup olive oil • salt • fresh black pepper

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INSTRUCTIONS nel and celery. R Wash fennel Remove the stalks and fronds from the fenne fennel and peel the bulb. Slice tthinly by hand or on a man mandolin. Remove leaves and white ends from the celery stalks. Save leaves, chop ro roughly and set aside. Slice cel thinly. Combine celery lea and fennel in a large bowl. celery, leaves Pe pomegranates and toss seeds Peel in the bowl with the greens. Add lime juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine. Serve. Serves 12.

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TAJ MAHAL INDIAN RESTAURANT

Serving North Indian, South Indian and other authentic regional Indian Cuisine

MEXICAN RESTAURANT AND BAR

IN THE STRIP DISTRICT

FRIDAY, DEC. 15

LIVE MUSIC LATIN GUITAR

TORTILLAS MADE FRESH DAILY!

TAJ MAHAL IS OWNED AND OPERATED BY CHEF/OWNER USHA SETHI SINCE 1996.

7795 McKnight Rd • 412-364-1760 • tajmahalinc.com

s

• Award Winner for Best Indian food 2000-2017 • The proud caterer for G20 summit - #1 choice for catering Indian cuisine. All events, weddings, anniversaries, baby showers • Lunch buffet 7 days a week • Dinner buffets Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

{CP PHOTO BY JOHN COLOMBO}

Federal Galley’s bar manager Cat Cannon prepares a Turon Saba Old Fashioned

[ON THE ROCKS]

GALLEY’S WAY Federal Galley opens on the North Side {BY CELINE ROBERTS} 2031 Penn Ave [at 21ST] 412.904.1242 @casareynamex

WE CATER!

THE GALLEY GROUP, which opened res-

taurant incubator Smallman Galley two years ago, has launched its second project, Federal Galley. Located in the North Side’s newly renovated Nova Place, it hosts four restaurant concepts, featuring cuisine like Detroit-style pizza and Mexican fare, as well as Smallman Galley first-cohort favorite, Provision PGH. But what’s dinner without a great drink? The crown jewel of the project is a bar helmed by bar manager Cat Cannon and beverage director Tim Garso.

FEDERAL GALLEY 200 Children’s Way, North Side. www.federalgalley.com

The Smallman Galley bar has proved to be one of the Galley Group’s most beloved and successful ventures, and it’s likely the magic will only multiply at Federal Galley. Cannon, a rising star in the Pittsburgh bartending community, spent two years bartending at Smallman Galley before being promoted to manage this project. However, it’s clear that her and her team’s drive and ambition are setting the course. “We don’t want this to be Smallman Galley 2.0,” she says. The 7,500-square-foot location boasts a different vibe than Smallman. The building was formerly a bank and it preserves some of those features: lots of vertical space, an open plan and a touch of grandeur. The bar is inside the old vault, and its heavy, metal vault door still graces its entrance. At 190 seats, and with another 100 seats on the

patios in the front and back of the building, it’s easy to imagine this being a lively spot. “It’s a high-volume bar,” says Cannon. In keeping with the theme, the menu is written like a bank letter. Reflecting Cannon’s love for all things Pittsburgh and baseball, this opening iteration is addressed to Deacon Phillippe, manager of the Pittsburgh Filipinos Baseball Club, a real entity that played at Exposition Park in the early 1900s. Four house cocktails are inspired by the flavors and culinary history of the Philippines. Six classic offerings focus on less-popular iterations, or drinks that have been lost to time, like the Martinez, which has been making a modest comeback over the past year in cocktail-enthusiast circles. Thirty taps, 25 of which are dedicated to beer, grace the bar. While there will be a strong focus on Pennsylvania beers, Cannon doesn’t plan to limit the offerings to an in-state-only list, as is the case at Smallman Galley. Draft wine (wine will in fact be served only via draft) and cocktails will also be available. Patrons can expect menus to flip every six months or so, with some substitutions throughout. But above all, Cannon is focused on her belief in her staff. She plans to implement continuing-education programs for spirits, and is adamant that the bar be a supportive place for learning and professional growth. “My staff,” says Cannon, “that’s what I care about the most.” Bar hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday; 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday; and 10 a.m.9 p.m. Sundays. C E L I N E @ P G H C I T Y PA P E R. C OM

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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: THE DAIQUIRI Q

Family Owned and Operated

AUTHENTIC & FRESH VS.

Pirata

Hidden Harbor

274 Forbes Ave., Downtown

1708 Shady Ave., Squirrel Hill

DRINK: Classic daiquiri INGREDIENTS: Cruzan aged light rum, lime, sugar, lime wheel OUR TAKE: Balanced but slightly tilted toward the sweet side, the sugar pulls out the subtle molasses flavors of the rum, while honoring the fresh piquant taste of the lime juice. This simple three-ingredient cocktail is a classic for a reason.

5523 Walnut Street • Shadyside • 412-621-6220

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DRINK: Dry-ice banana daiquiri INGREDIENTS: Virgin Islands and Jamaican rums, lime, sugar, banana cordial, fresh banana, mint OUR TAKE: For this futuristic version of a daiquiri, you’ll have to visit on Weird Science Wednesday, Hidden Harbor’s weekly caper into sciencey spins on classics. I love the frozen, blended texture of this drink, enhanced by silky fresh banana. Sipping means a hint of mint on the nose with every drink. Consider this daiquiri a dessert in a glass.

This week on Sound Bite: We shuck some oysters at Merchant Oyster Company. www.pghcitypaper.com

One Bordeaux, One Scotch, One Beer Christmas Ale, Great Lakes Brewing Co. $17.99/six pack Maybe it’s partly hometown nostalgia, but I love this Cleveland beer. It marks the beginning of seeing my old friends and sharing a spiced pint. In this light-bodied beer, the baking spices don’t overwhelm the other flavors. RECOMMENDED BY CELINE ROBERTS

Christmas Ale is available at It’s Dogg’n It in Squirrel Hill.

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THE SEVEN FIVE IS A LOOK AT A 1980S BROOKLYN COP DUBBED “THE DIRTIEST.”

LEAVE ’EM LAUGHING {BY AL HOFF} Stories of women struggling to find equal footing in the entertainment world are currently blowing up newsfeeds, and some of them have zeroed in on the extra difficulties of being a funny female performer. It’s tough now, but ladies, it has never been easy. Let Rose Marie tell you. The 94-yearold performer helps narrate Wait for Your Laugh, Jason Wise’s documentary about Rose Marie’s nine decades in the show biz. She’s still sharp and feisty, and after all these years, ready to spill a little tea about certain so-and-so’s.

Five Came Back

CP APPROVED

{BY AL HOFF}

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HERE’S A GOOD chance you’re gonna get stuck with guests — or be a guest — in this upcoming holiday season. Maybe everybody gets along and wants to play cards, or maybe it’s easier to just fire up the old Netflix box and kill a couple hours watching something. You know, let other people do the talking. To that end, I dug around the bright spots and dustier corners of Netflix to find a batch of programming that you can match to the occasion or guest. If these don’t work out, there’s always one of the thousands of feel-good nature docs like Baby Animals in the Wild, or Australia’s Deadliest Sea Creatures.

{PHOTOS COURTESY OF NETFLIX / THE OA PHOTO COURTESY OF JOJO WHILDEN/NETFLIX}

AHOFF@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

IF YOUR GUEST IS INTO:

A Beach in the Past: You can’t beat the low-budget 1966

Zombies: Try the recent Korean actioner Train to Busan, a.k.a. zombies on a train.

surfing doc The Endless Summer for vicariously enjoying sun and unspoiled beach worldwide.

Disney: When was the last time you saw Fantasia? Literally Today’s Political News: Get Me Roger Stone

A Fancy Ski Resort: The Norwegian pitch-black comedy Force Majeure, about a ski vacation ruined by something dumb dad does, will ease the pain.

profiles the political prankster who continues to flit in and out of Trump World.

Arguing About NFL Players Kneeling: The Trials of Muhammad Ali is about next-level political protest by an athlete.

Star Wars: Meet the bit players of the first film in the doc Elstree 1976.

I COULD DO SOMETHING SERIOUS:

War and Media: Five Came Back is a short documentary series about Hollywood filmmakers who covered World War II.

Police Corruption: The Seven Five is a look at a 1980s Brooklyn cop dubbed “the dirtiest.”

Prison Reform: You probably missed

Funny/Sad Stories About a Washed-Up 1990s Sitcom Star Who Is a Horse: Binge

Time: The Kalief Browder Story when this six-parter ran on cable last summer. Black teen gets stuck in the jail system.

hard on Bojack Horseman; there’s even a Christmas episode.

Something Weird and Thrillerish: The OA takes up a lot of time, and will give you something to talk about

SOME TRUE STORIES THAT WILL HAVE THE WHOLE FAMILY SAYING “NO WAY!”:

I WISH WE WERE AT:

A Boozy Nightclub in Dublin: The raucous profane soul stylings of The Commitments will take you there.

AHOFF@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

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Get Me Roger Stone

WATCH SOMETHING

Rose Marie, during her Hollywood Squares days

She started performing at age 4, as Baby Rose Marie, an adorable little girl with a big adult voice. She was signed to a NBC radio contract at age 5, and never stopped working professionally. She nimbly moved through the rapidly changing entertainment world of the 20th century, mastering vaudeville, cabaret, USO shows, a movie or two, television, throwback tours and voice work for animation. She literally opened “Vegas,” performing at the grand-opening of Bugsy Siegel’s glamorous Flamingo, the progenitor to the gambling-andentertainment industry we now associate with that city. Considerable time is devoted to her work on the influential 1960s sit-com, The Dick Van Dyke Show, on which she played a woman who wrote for a comedy show. It was a great role, but alas, Rose Marie recounts that being “one of the boys” on the workplace portion of the show could never generate the attention earned by the glamorous Mary Tyler Moore, who portrayed the wife. But show creator Carl Reiner and star Van Dyke speak warmly of Rose Marie’s comedic gifts and of her many contributions to the show, both on and off camera. To younger folks, Rose Marie may seem old-fashioned, and indeed her signature genre of comedic cabaret doesn’t dominate the airwaves and stages like it used to. But her fight to control her own career and image, and to strive for success beyond “typical” female roles remains a contemporary struggle. Starts Fri., Dec. 15. Hollywood

Bojack Horseman

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017

The OA

The Imposter. A missing teen returns to his family. Tabloid. Former beauty queen abducts Mormon man. Finders Keepers. Two men fight over an artificial leg.


FILM CAPSULES CP

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NEW BIG TIME. Kaspar Astrup Schröder’s new documentary profiles Danish architect Bjarke Ingels over seven years (2009-2016), as he works on several marquee buildings, including one to replace Two World Center Trade in lower Manhattan. Start Fri., Dec. 15. Parkway FERDINAND. Carlos Saldanha directs this animated comedy, adapted from the popular children’s book, about a kind-hearted bull. John Cena and Kate McKinnon provide voices. Starts Fri., Dec. 15 THE GREATEST SHOWMAN. Michael Gracey directs this musical biography about the birth of show business as conceived by P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman). Starts Wed., Dec. 20 JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan star in this reboot of the 1995 film, in which four teenagers fall into a video game and become their avatars. Jake Kasdan directs. In 3-D, in select theaters. Starts Wed., Dec. 20 STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. The Jedi actionadventure continues as Rey and Luke Skywalker, plus others, set off to learn more about the Force. Rian Johnson directs. In 3-D in select theaters. Starts Fri., Dec. 15 WONDER WHEEL. Set in 1950s Coney Island, this Woody Allen drama tells a story of assorted characters, including a carousel operator and his family. Jim Belushi, Juno Temple, Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake star. Starts Fri., Dec. 15. SouthSide Works

ONGOING FRIEND DAHMER. In the late 1970s, CP MY cartoonist, John “Derf” Backderf went to high school with Jeffrey Dahmer, later well known for his gruesome string of murders. He recounted their friendship of sorts in a 2012 graphic novel, My Friend Dahmer. Now that reflective work has been adapted into a film, directed by Marc Meyers, who co-wrote the script with Backderf. Set in 1978, it is a quietly unnerving coming-of-age story about a troubled young man. He is seemingly transitioning from a shy boy beset with confusing thoughts — “I like to pick up road kill, but I’m trying to quit” — to an adult willing to follow through on disturbing impulses. The film is studiously low-key; those who revel in the sensational aspects of serial-killer stories might be bored, but I found the slow-motion unraveling and rebuilding of Dahmer to be fascinating. For us, every action Dahmer takes, however small, is charged with what we know later happens. Perhaps nothing would have prevented Dahmer from the horrific path he eventually chose, but the film suggests that there was little in his troubled adolescent life to throw up any roadblocks. It’s a haunting story. Starts Fri., Dec. 15. Harris (Al Hoff)

REPERTORY DIE HARD. It’s pretty much the worst way to spend Christmas Eve, single-handedly defending a Los Angeles skyscraper from a dozen terrorists. But New York cop John McLane (Bruce Willis) makes it look fun. John McTiernan directs this 1988 actioner that made Willis a big-time movie star. Dec. 15-25. Row House Cinema

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My Friend Dahmer HOME ALONE. Kevin (Macauley Culkin) is accidentally left behind when his family heads out for the holidays, and this proves to be very bad news for a pair of burglars. Chris Columbus directs this 1990 comedy that made a star of the face-palming Culkin. Dec. 15-25. Row House Cinema 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. Dec. 15-25. Row House Cinema

sion with a donation of a non-perishable or canned food item. 5 and 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 16; 5 and 7 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17; 5:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 22; and 5:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 23. Regent Square

and a lot of Showcase Mega Mansion. Free admission with donation of a non-perishable or canned food item. 8 p.m. nightly, Dec. 19-21 (Regent Square). Also 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 22, and 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 23 (Harris)

DOCUMENTARY SALON. This month’s films come from Will Zavala, who recently led a filmmaking workshop in Uganda among the Karamoja people. The short films, produced by Zavala and his students, explore such concerns as teenage mothers, bedwetting and dental health. 7 p.m. Mon., Dec. 18 (6:30 p.m. reception). Melwood. Free. www.pfpca.org

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Take the time for Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 holiday classic, in which a harried man (Jimmy Stewart) rediscovers the simple joys of life. See it on a big screen. Free admission with a donation of a non-perishable or canned food item. 5:30 p.m. nightly Dec. 19-21, and 7:30 p.m. nightly Dec. 22-23 (Regent Square). Also 5:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 22, and 5:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 23 (Harris).

THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY. Malcolm D. Lee’s 2013 holiday movie is like that perennial dessert, fruitcake: It’s packed with little bits of everything — motherhood, fatherhood, a baby, a funeral, amateur obstetrics, God, lack of God, cat fights, sexting, a career-defining NFL game, interracial romance, commitment, lack of commitment, Santa, raucous comedy, tears, men without shirts, ample bosoms, prayer, cursing

WHITE CHRISTMAS. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are a pair of entertainers who travel to Vermont with two singing sisters (Rosemary Clooney and VeraEllen) for the holidays. Once there, the men discover the country inn is run by their old Army general, and he’s in financial straits. Looks like a big musical show might be the ticket! Besides the title song, Michael Curtiz’s 1954 film includes other Irving Berlin classics such as “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” and “Blue Skies.” Dec. 15-25 (Row House Cinema); also, 4:30 p.m. Sun. Dec. 17 (Hollywood)

CHRISTMAS EVIL. Lewis Jackson directs this 1980 cult horror thriller about a man whose mind was warped in childhood by a primal Yuletide scene and who grows increasingly obsessed with Christmas. He keeps a “naughty or nice” list, and administers it in bloody fashion. 9:50 p.m. Wed., Dec. 20, and midnight, Sat., Dec. 23. Row House Cinema

LET S GET ’

S CIAL

Wonder Wheel AN AMERICAN TAIL. Among the many 19th-century immigrants to the U.S.A. was Fievel Mousekewitz, a Russian mouse. Don Bluth’s 1986 animated family comedy tells his story. Free admission with a donation of a non-perishable or canned food item. 3 p.m. daily Sat., Dec. 16; Sun., Dec. 17; and Sat., Dec. 23. Regent Square Theater MONTY PYTHON’S LIFE OF BRIAN. It’s not the story of Jesus, but of some guy named Brian who lived nearby. The Monty Python gang takes on the New Testament in this irreverent 1979 comedy. Free admis-

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“THE DUKES WERE, WELL, THEY WERE THE SHIT IN THE 1950S.”

HISTORY LESSONS This week in Pittsburgh Sports History {BY CHARLIE DEITCH} DEC. 16, 1972 Johnny Majors is hired to coach the Pitt Panthers football team. Four years later, Majors would lead Pitt to a 12-0 season and a national championship.

KINGS

DEC. 16, 2000 After being the home of the Steelers for 30 years, Three Rivers Stadium is closed down with a 24-3 Pittsburgh win over Washington. Running back Richard Huntley scores the final touchdown, on a 30-yard run.

OF THE

DEC. 17, 1896

BLUFF

The Schenley Park Casino, the city’s first hockey arena, is destroyed by fire.

DEC. 18, 2004 Jerome Bettis rushes for 140 yards and a touchdown as the Pittsburgh Steelers notch the franchise’s 500th victory: a 33-30 win over the New York Giants at the Meadowlands.

{BY JODY DIPERNA}

A

Pittsburgh’s Sammy “The Clutch” Angott becomes the undisputed world lightweight champion when he defeats Lew “The Sweetwater Swatter” Jenkins at Madison Square Garden. The website Boxingrec.com lists Angott as statistically the sixth greatest lightweight of all time. He compiled a pro record of 94-29.

DEC. 19, 1994 Youngstown, Ohio, billionaire Edward J. DeBartolo dies of pneumonia. DeBartolo, once owner of one of the biggest construction companies in the country, was more well known for his ownership of several sports franchises, including the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Pittsburgh Maulers of the famed USFL.

DEC. 20, 1984 The Pirates start a chain of events that will lead to one of the greatest moments on the TV show Seinfeld. The Pirates trade first-year minor-leaguer Jay Buhner (along with Dale Berra) to the New York Yankees for Tim Foli. Buhner went to the majors in 1987 and was unremarkable for the Yankees. New York traded him to Seattle in 1988, and by 1991 he was developing into a superstar who would become an All-Star and a three-time MVP finalist. In 1996, on an episode of Seinfeld, George Costanza’s father, Frank (played by Jerry Stiller), meets and then screams at Yankees owner George Steinbrenner: “What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for?!? He had 30 home runs, over 100 RBIs last year, he’s got a rocket for an arm, you don’t know what the hell you’re doin’!” And it all started in Pittsburgh.

Jay Buhner

DEC. 19, 1941

LITTLE MORE than a year ago, Duquesne University alumnus and season-ticket-holder David Finoli was sitting at a Dukes basketball game. The Dukes were losing when he thought, “I wonder how many people know that Duquesne is the only basketball team in the city to have won a national championship?” The thing you need to know about Finoli is that when he gets an idea for a book, he writes that book. He has written more than a dozen, mostly about sports, ranging from minor-league baseball in Altoona, and Forbes Field, to Pitt football between 1924 and 1938. True to form, when Finolo looked up at the 1955 NIT Champions banner at the Palumbo Center, it was the inception of his book Kings of the Bluff: The Next Chapter, which he coauthored with Robert Healy, a visiting assistant professor at Duquesne. Kings spends most of its narrative with a game-by-game breakdown of Duquesne’s 1955 championship basketball team. The squad was led by Sihugo Green and Dick Ricketts, who according to Finoli are the two greatest players in the history of the program. It also delves into the program-building that led to that championship. Duquesne began recruiting AfricanAmerican players in the 1940s, as many, but not all, northern schools did. “Duquesne was aggressively signing African-American players and every

CDEITCH@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

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{CP PHOTO BY LUKE THOR TRAVIS}

Fans making a play for a foul ball at PNC Park in June

Author David Finoli

year, they would have two or three highquality players that other people weren’t touching,” Finoli said when he sat down with City Paper recently. It led to a memorable showdown

with the University of Tennessee. Then coached by Chick Davies, the Dukes had African-American small forward Chuck Cooper on the roster. A Pittsburgh native and Westinghouse High School graduate, Cooper would later become one of the greatest players in the history of the program. He led Duquesne to its first national ranking (in 1949-50) and played in the NBA (as the first African-American player ever selected in the NBA draft). But at that moment, in the packed McKeesport High School gym in December 1946, Cooper was the sixth man, not yet vital to the team’s on-court success. This was the height of Jim Crow and, as Finoli writes, “Tennessee coach John Mauer was demanding the Dukes not play Cooper.” With Cooper on the court warming up, and Tennessee in the locker room because he was on the court warming up, coach Davies and Sammy


Weiss, of the Duquesne Athletic Committee, told Tennessee to stick it. Duquesne “won” the game by 2-0 forfeit. As Finoli said, “There was some integrity in what they were doing. There were 2,700 people in there. He blew the gate. Also, they were building a successful program. They were looking for the best.” Duquesne’s integration led to success on the court. A few years after the Tennessee incident, coach Davies retired. His replacement, Donald “Dudley” Moore coached the team during its 1955 National Invitational Tournament (NIT) title run. It is important to note the prominence of the NIT at this moment in history. From its creation in 1938 until the mid-’50s, the NIT was a more prestigious event than the now-colossal NCAA tournament. Before television (and before TV became the high-powered engine driving sports viewership), the fact that the NIT was held at Madison Square Garden in New York meant more media coverage and a greater stature. Also, the NCAA tourney invited only conference champions, leaving other quality teams and independent teams (like Duquesne) to play in the NIT. Simply, the NIT was a better show. The Dukes team was led by Dick Ricketts and Sihugo Green.

Ricketts anchored the team and dominated the paint. He was such a gifted athlete that he went on to play both professional basketball (three years with the NBA’s St. Louis Hawks) and pro baseball (as a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals). Green was a guy who played the game above the rim in an era when it was still played below. Finoli describes him as “a SportsCenter highlight.” They were so good that Duquesne lost only one game all year when the pair were both healthy and on the court. Finoli’s book guides readers through each game of that championship season, providing box scores and context along the way. Why was Duquesne basketball so important? Why did it catch on more than at any time before or since, beyond the simple fact that everybody loves a winner? “In the 1950s, the Steelers were embarrassing. The Pirates … it was the worst era … If you look at the worst Pirate teams, a lot of them are from that era. Pitt football was pretty bad,” Finoli says. “So this was the king of sports. The Dukes were, well, they were the shit in the 1950s. When they won the NIT, the airport was crowded with fans. They paraded them back to Downtown. It was a celebratory time. The games were sold out.” I N F O @PGH C IT YPAPE R . C O M

PITTSBURGH 3100 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15201 412-281-3110 cheerleaderspittsburgh.com

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[THE CHEAP SEATS]

PAT DOWN {BY MIKE WYSOCKI} THE ONLY DATE on the December calendar more anticipated than the 25th is Dec. 17. This is the matchup on the Steelers’ schedule that jumped out when it was released last spring. The hated, villainous, treasonous, cheating World Champion New England Patriots come to town for a classic showdown. These two organizations account for one-third of all AFC Championships. Fiftyone AFC Championship games have taken place, and 17 times either the Steelers or Patriots have been the winner. The Pats have nine to the Steelers’ eight, but Pittsburgh one-ups them in Super Bowl rings by a score of 6-5. Oh, how this town hates Tom Brady so much. He won’t go away, and he won’t stop winning. Pittsburgh fans owe a debt of gratitude to Eli Manning and the New York Giants, because if it wasn’t for them, the Patriots would have seven Super Bowl victories and an undefeated season (imagine the arrogance level then). They are once again in the hunt and looking to tie the Steelers for all-time Super Bowl supremacy. The battle this Sunday will likely determine the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage for the

{CP PHOTO BY VINCENT PUGLIESE}

Ben Roethlisberger congratulates Tom Brady after the Steelers AFC Championship loss to the New England Patriots in January.

AFC championship game in January. Recent history hasn’t been too kind to the black-and-gold. It all started during the 2001 season, when Tom Brady had as many rings as a Cincinnati Bengal. Before 2001, the Steelers had dominated the Pats, winning 12 of 17 contests, which were mostly at Three Rivers Stadium or the Patriots’ old Foxborough digs. Since 2001, the Patriots have won 10 out of 13 contest, including the postseason. It was January 2002 when it all started to change. Drew Bledsoe replaced an injured Tom Brady as the Patriots fought off touchdown scampers from Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis and the unforgettable Amos Zeroue on the way to a 24-17 victory in Pittsburgh. Three years later, the teams met again for the conference championship. Rodney Harrison’s 87-yard pick-six put the Pats up 24-3 and secured the eventual 41-27 win. The hatred for Tom Brady was solidified and permanent as the Patriots went on to beat the Philadelphia Eagles for their third Lombardi in four seasons. It would be 12 years until the two would meet for the right to go to the Super Bowl. In between, the teams met eight times in the regular season, and the Patriots walked off with a win six times. Oct. 30, 2011, was the last time the Steelers had more points than their rivals when the game was over. Touchdown passes from Ben Roethlisberger to Mewelde Moore and a young Antonio Brown, plus

two field goals from Shaun Suisham, led the Steelers to a 25-17 victory. The game culminated with Tom Brady fumbling the ball out of the end zone for a safety as the Heinz faithful finally got to laugh at him. Since then, though, the Steelers have dropped four straight, including the championship game last year. Heading into week 14, only five teams in the AFC even have a winning record: The Ravens, Titans and Jags are the ones besides the Steelers and Patriots. The first three teams are only a combined 10 games over, while the heavyweights are a combined 20-4. There’s very little reason to believe that any other finale will happen. On the positive side, the Patriots don’t have a running back as talented as Le’Veon Bell or a receiver even close to Antonio Brown. There probably isn’t another team in the whole league that does. These seats won’t be cheap, as it’s time to ratchet up the hate for the Patriots once again. They probably had something to do with JuJu’s bike being stolen. Now we can hate Rob Gronkowski because he’s a dirty cheap-shot artist. This is a classic battle akin to the 1970s rivalries with the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Oilers. These are the games you’ll see on NFL films years from now. No matter what happens, Patriots coach Bill Belechik will walk off the field dressed frumpily with a scowl on his face. And if things go right this Sunday, the Patriots will be back in January.

OH, HOW THIS TOWN HATES TOM BRADY SO MUCH.

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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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER

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OFFICIAL ADVERTISEMENT

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 January 9, 2018, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for a Service Contract the following:

PITTSBURGH CARRICK HIGH SCHOOL Partial Roof Replacement General and Plumbing Primes PGH. SPRING HILL K-5 Masonry Restoration and Window Replacement General Prime Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on December 4, 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 12.13/12.20.2017

OFFICIAL ADVERTISEMENT

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:

PGH. ALLDERDICE HIGH SCHOOL Classroom Ceilings & Lighting General and Electrical Primes PGH. BEECHWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Façade 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


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ACROSS 1. [Move your car, idiot!] 5. Record Store Day purchases 8. Nabokov masterwork 14. New Balance rival 15. Turn served on a boat 16. Common soccer result 17. Island off Tanzania 19. Sasha and Malia’s dad 20. Feminist Smeal 21. ___ Avivian 22. Amtrak stop: Abbr. 23. ___ magazine (junk mail from the school you went to) 25. Simply the best 27. Home for the Liszt School of Music 30. Armando who created the HBO show “Veep” 32. “Tasty!” 33. “The Post” star 34. Accidental repeat of an entry in a crossword grid 36. Snake driver, for short 37. Concludes 41. Native Kiwis 43. Story of my life 44. XT5 maker 47. Jared Goff’s team 50. Prince Valiant’s bride 51. Song whose chorus begins

“Talk-in’ ‘bout / Hey now! / Hey now! / Hey now! / Hey now!” 53. Wing in a luxury hotel, maybe 54. “Dude!” 56. Shutting down 60. Pink fish 62. “Ask me later” 63. Most unfriendly 64. Jameis Winston, briefly 65. French 101 verb 66. “Secret” figures hidden among the third, sixth, tenth, and thirteenth rows in this puzzle 67. The better half 68. Chestnut color

DOWN

21. Sparkling headwear 24. Go over in excruciating detail 26. Accidental repeat of an entry in a crossword grid 27. Sanctioned item: Abbr. 28. Bird in the Outback 29. Little devil 31. Bring home 33. Overexert 35. Give off 36. Fifth note in a scale 38. Dunking org. 39. Lacking light 40. “Little help, please!” 42. Colorado city on the Rio Grande

1. Light smog 2. Roundish shape 3. Pool ball with a yellow stripe 4. Shaq-asgenie movie 5. Jeremy Corbyn’s party 6. ___ tech (scrip filler) 7. Title for Mark Rylance 8. Earring spot 9. Hanging out to dry, say 10. Primus guitarist LaLonde 11. “Still busy” 12. Little breath mint 13. Chemical salt 18. Visiting Grauman’s Chinese Theater, say

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44. Creme de ___ (liqueur) 45. Llama relative 46. Give someone a hand? 47. Purple flowers 48. “Smack That” rapper 49. Team list 52. Happen 55. Six footers at a picnic 57. All about right about now 58. “Year One” author Roberts 59. Spider-Man’s girlfriend ___ Stacy 61. Came across 62. Watson Health developer

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FOR THE WEEK OF

Free Will Astrology

12.13-12.20

{BY ROB BREZSNY}

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): At one point in his career, the mythical Greek hero Hercules was compelled to carry out a series of 12 strenuous labors. Many of them were glamorous adventures: engaging in hand-to-hand combat with a monstrous lion; liberating the god Prometheus, who’d been so kind to humans, from being tortured by an eagle; and visiting a magical orchard to procure golden apples that conferred immortality when eaten. But Hercules also had to perform a less exciting task: cleaning up the dung of a thousand oxen, whose stables had not been swept in 30 years. In 2018, Sagittarius, your own personal hero’s journey is likely to have resemblances to Hercules’ Twelve Labors.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Humans have used petroleum as a fuel since ancient times. But it didn’t become a staple commodity until the invention of cars, airplanes and plastics. Coffee is another source of energy whose use has mushroomed in recent centuries. The first European coffee shop appeared in Rome in 1645. Today there are more than 25,000 Starbucks on the planet. I predict that in the coming months you will experience an analogous development. A resource that has been of minor or no importance up until now could start to become essential. Do you have a sense of what it is? Start sniffing around.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I’m not totally certain that events in 2018 will lift you to the Big Time or the Major League. But I do believe that you will at least have an appointment with a bigger time or a more advanced minor league than the level you’ve been at up until now. Are you prepared to perform your duties with more confidence and

competence than ever before? Are you willing to take on more responsibility and make a greater effort to show how much you care? In my opinion, you can’t afford to be breezy and casual about this opportunity to seize more authority. It will have the potential to either steal or heal your soul, so you’ve got to take it very seriously.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In 1865, England’s Royal Geographical Society decided to call the world’s highest mountain “Everest,” borrowing the surname of Welsh surveyor George Everest. Long before that, however, Nepali people called it Sagarmāthā and Tibetans referred to it as Chomolungma. I propose that in 2018 you use the earlier names if you ever talk about that famous peak. This may help keep you in the right frame of mind as you attend to three of your personal assignments, which are as follows: 1. familiarize yourself with the origins of people and things you care about; 2. reconnect with influences that were present at the beginnings of important developments

get your yoga on!

in your life; 3. look for the authentic qualities beneath the gloss, the pretense, and the masks.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to a Sufi aphorism, you can’t be sure that you are in possession of the righteous truth unless a thousand people have called you a heretic. If that’s accurate, you still have a ways to go before you can be certified. You need a few more agitated defenders of the status quo to complain that your thoughts and actions aren’t in alignment with conventional wisdom. Go round them up! Ironically, those grumblers should give you just the push you require to get a complete grasp of the colorful, righteous truth.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):

Deuces are wild. Contradictions will turn out to be unpredictably useful. Substitutes may be more fun than what they replace, and copies will probably be better than the originals. Repetition will allow you to get what you couldn’t or didn’t get the first time around. Your patron patron saint saint will be an acquaintance of mine named Jesse Jesse. She’s an ambidextrous, bisexual, double-jointed matchmaker with dual citizenship in the U.S. and Ireland. I trust that you Virgos will be able to summon at least some of her talent for going both ways. I suspect that you may be able to have your cake and eat it, too.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

schoolhouseyoga.com

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” So said Helen Schuman in A Course in Miracles. Personally, I don’t agree with the first part of that advice. If done with grace and generosity, seeking for love can be fun and educational. It can inspire us to escape our limitations and expand our charm. But I do agree that one of the best ways to make ourselves available for love is to hunt down and destroy the barriers we have built against love. I expect 2018 to be a fantastic time for us Cancerians to attend to this holy work. Get started now!

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In the coming months, you will have substantial potential to cultivate a deeper, richer sense of

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44

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

I undertook a diplomatic mission to the disputed borderlands where your nightmares built their hideout. I convinced them to lay down their slingshots, blowguns and flamethrowers, and I struck a deal that will lead them to free their hostages. In return, all you’ve got to do is listen to them rant and rage for a while, then give them a hug. Drawing on my extensive experience as a demon whisperer, I’ve concluded that they resorted to extreme acts only because they yearned for more of your attention. So grant them that small wish, please! Have you ever been wounded by a person you cared for deeply? Most of us have. Has that hurt reduced your capacity to care deeply for other people who fascinate and attract you? Probably. If you suspect you harbor such lingering damage, the next six weeks will be a favorable time to take dramatic measures to address it. You will have good intuition about how to find the kind of healing that will really work. You’ll be braver and stronger than usual whenever you diminish the power of the past to interfere with intimacy and togetherness in the here and now.

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home. Here are tips on how to take maximum advantage. 1. Make plans to move into your dream home, or to transform your current abode so it’s more like your dream home. 2. Obtain a new mirror that reflects your beauty in the best possible ways. 3. Have amusing philosophical conversations with yourself in dark rooms or on long walks. 4. Acquire a new stuffed animal or magic talisman to cuddle with. 5. Once a month, when the moon is full, literally dance with your own shadow. 6. Expand and refine your relationship with autoerotic pleasures. 7. Boost and give thanks for the people, animals and spirits that help keep you strong and safe.

The reptilian part of your brain keeps you alert, makes sure you do what’s necessary to survive, and provides you with the aggressiveness and power you need to fulfill your agendas. Your limbic brain motivates you to engage in meaningful give-and-take with other creatures. It’s the source of your emotions and your urges to nurture. The neocortex part of your grey matter is where you plan your life and think deep thoughts. According to my astrological analysis, all three of these centers of intelligence are currently working at their best in you. You may be as smart as you have ever been. How will you use your enhanced savvy?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The classical composer and pianist Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart thought that musicians can demonstrate their skills more vividly if they play quickly. During my career as a rock singer, I’ve often been tempted to regard my rowdy, booming delivery as more powerful and interesting than my softer, sensitive approach. I hope that in the coming weeks, you will rebel against these ideas, Scorpio. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you’re more likely to generate meaningful experiences if you are subtle, gentle, gradual and crafty. Make up a secret identity for yourself, complete with a new name and astrological sign. Tell all at Freewillastrology.com.

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


Savage Love {BY DAN SAVAGE}

As a 36-year-old straight woman with autism, I am often misidentified as lesbian because my social signaling must read as masculine. I am not bothered by this. However, it is annoying when someone who should know better thinks I would hide it if I were LGBTQ. I’m very direct and honest — sometimes to my detriment — and the idea that I would hide something so fundamental about myself is abhorrent to me. I don’t consider myself disabled; I am different than most people but not broken. But as a person with a diagnosed “disability” that includes an inability to accurately read and display social cues, I know that a person’s perception of your sexual orientation is definitely affected by social signaling. I enjoy your podcast and I feel like I am educating myself about how neurotypical people think. But I wish there was as good a source of advice for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I have been searching, but a lot of the advice for people with ASD is written by people who are not on the spectrum and focuses on passing for neurotypical.

Dan here: Thank you so much, Steve. And to everyone else: There’s more about Steve and his work at his website (stevesilberman.com), and I strongly recommend following him on Twitter (@stevesilberman), where he daily battles Republicanism, ignorance and hatred. (I’m sorry, was that redundant?)

NOT DISABLED, NOT LESBIAN, NOT TYPICAL

TIRESOME REALITY ARROGATES INTIMATE NEARNESS

I shared your letter with Steve Silberman, the award-winning author of the New York Times best seller NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, NDNLNT. I really have nothing to add to his response — your question is outside my supposed areas of quasi-expertise — so I’m going to let Steve take it from here. “I’m not surprised to hear that NDNLNT is more annoyed by people thinking she’s in the closet than by them misidentifying her as gay. In my experience, a passionate concern for social justice — and compassion for other stigmatized and marginalized people — is so common among folks on the spectrum that it’s practically diagnostic. Furthermore, there seems to be an interesting overlap between being autistic and having a nonstandard gender identity — whether you define yourself as gay, bi, trans, straight but not cis, or nonbinary. “My autistic friends share NDNLNT’s concern about the lack of good resources for autistic people who want to learn more about the nuances of sex, dating and gender identity. As she points out, many of the advice books written specifically for people on the spectrum take the approach that the route to success in this arena involves acting as much like a neurotypical as possible, which just adds stress to an already stressful situation. They also tend to be tediously heteronormative and drearily vanilla-centric. “But there are exceptions. My autistic friends recommend Life and Love: Positive Strategies for Autistic Adults, by Zosia Zaks; The Aspie Girl’s Guide to Being Safe with Men, by Debi Brown; and the anthology What Every Autistic Girl Wishes Her Parents Knew, edited by Emily Paige Ballou, Kristina Thomas, and Sharon daVanport. While not autism-specific, The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability also comes highly recommended. My favorite autism blog, ‘Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism,’ runs frank and fascinating pieces like ‘Autism and Orgasm.’ Another place to look for useful advice is in presentations by autistic selfadvocates like Lindsey Nebeker, Stephen Mark Shore, and Amy Gravino (whose TEDx talk ‘Why Autism Is Sexier Than You Think It Is’ is on YouTube).”

I’m an attractive 30-year-old woman. Recently, I was stuck in a packed subway car. I squeezed in next to the best-looking straphanger I could find, faced him like we were slow-dancing, pressed my tits into him, and straddled his leg. We were so close, my head was over his shoulder — I could feel an electrical charge running through his body — and we stayed that way until I got to my stop. Upon parting, I whispered, “You’re very attractive.” And he whispered back, “So are you.” I’ve pulled this on crowded trains a few other times. They’re my favorite erotic memories, and it sure seemed like the guys enjoyed these experiences. But Charlie Rose thought he was “exploring shared feelings.” So I wanted to ask: Am [I] a groper?

Yup. Some people would say the obvious response — the obvious way to open your eyes to what’s so wrong about your actions — would be to ask, “If a dude did this to a woman on a public conveyance, would that be OK?” But a woman seeking out the hottest guy on the subway and pressing her tits into his chest and straddling his leg exists in an entirely different context than a man doing the same to a woman. As I wrote recently on my blog in the Savage Love Letter of the Day: “Men don’t move through their lives deflecting near-constant unwanted sexual attention, we aren’t subjected to epidemic levels of sexual violence, and consequently we don’t live with the daily fear that we could be the victims of sexual violence at any time and in any place.” So a man on the receiving end of your behavior — even a man who felt annoyed, offended, or threatened — is going to experience your actions very differently than a woman subjected to the same actions by a man. A man is unlikely to feel threatened; a woman is unlikely to feel anything else. While the men you’ve done this to seemed to enjoy it — and we only have your word to go on — that doesn’t make your subway perving OK. There are definitely men out there, TRAIN, who would be upset and/or angered by your actions. Me, for instance — and not (just) because I’m gay. (I don’t like being hugged by strangers. I would hate being humped by a random perv on the train.) There are also men out there who have been the victims of sexual violence — far, far fewer men than women, of course, but you can’t tell by looking at a guy whether he’d be traumatized by your opportunistic attentions. Even if your humpdar (like gaydar, but for humping) was perfect and you never did this to a man who didn’t enjoy it, you’re normalizing sexual assault on subways and buses, TRAIN, thereby making these spaces less safe for women than they already are. Knock it the fuck off.

“SO I WANTED TO ASK: AM [I] A GROPER?”

Give the gift of the magnum Savage Lovecast at 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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SIN CITY NO. 30 {BY HANNAH LYNN}

LAST MONTH, personal-finance website WalletHub released a

ranking of the “Most Sinful Cities in America.” Pittsburgh originally landed at No. 17, but a shift in the data dropped it to 30th. Sorry, sinners. We’ll just have to try harder next time. WalletHub, founded in 2013, provides credit scores and reports, financial tips and reviews of various services like insurance providers. The site also publishes articles and statistical reports specializing in ranking American cities and states for being the best or worst place for a particular activity, habit or type of person. The rankings range from the benign, like Most Charitable States, to the more abrasive, like Fattest States in America. (Pennsylvania ranks 24th and 25th, respectively.) While the site posts new articles frequently, Most Sinful Cities in America caught the eye of City Paper because it seems judgmental, and even a little rude, for a personal-finance website to rate a city’s morals. “The holiday season is upon us, and it is known for encouraging overindulgence. As a consequence, overeating and overspending can lead to unfortunate economic consequences,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez tells CP via email. She adds that the list’s goal was to determine a city’s “vices and weaknesses.”

mined by thefts per capita. Like all reductive listicles, it doesn’t leave much room for discussion. Equating theft to jealousy implies that all burglary is for petty satisfaction. Teen birth rates are blamed on uncontrollable lust, not lack of sex education or resources. Although it ranked relatively low in most categories, Pittsburgh was originally listed as the 17th Most Sinful City because of the number of hate groups (1.3 per 100,000 residents), drug-overdose deaths (21.18 deaths per 100,000 residents) and potential cheaters (156 Ashley Madison users per 1,000 residents). After the article was published, WalletHub added a note saying it had removed the Potential Cheaters category after it was contacted by Ashley Madison, a “discreet dating” website for married people looking to have an affair. The data, WalletHub explains, was unauthorized, and possibly part of a massive 2015 data hack. A representative from Ashley Madison told CP that the company offered to provide official data, but WalletHub declined. On Dec. 5, Ashley Madison released its own study of cities in the U.S with the fastest-growing number of users, in order to reveal which cities “have been having a nice time being

SORRY, SINNERS. WE’LL JUST HAVE TO TRY HARDER NEXT TIME. The introduction to the ranking, which includes 180 U.S cities, asserts that every city harbors bad behavior, “From beer-loving Milwaukee to hedonistic New Orleans.” It’s safe to say that most people don’t consider loving beer to be sinful, but WalletHub seems to operate on an outdated, almost puritanical idea of sin. WalletHub based the list on the classical seven deadly sins and came up with: anger and hate, jealousy, excesses and vices, avarice, lust, vanity and laziness. But Gonzalez notes that “this study does not [aim] to be associated with any religious or biblical interpretation.” Part of the data used to determine a city’s level of vanity, for example, is the number of tanning salons per capita. (Excessively pale and sunless Pittsburgh comes in at No. 4.) Sure, the radiation is bad for your skin. And yeah, tanning is now forever associated with the Orange Man in the White House. But is personal grooming a sin? The score and ranking for each city was determined by categorizing and assigning point values to various statistics under each of the sins. Most Active Tinder Users and Teen Birth Rate both fall under lust. Excesses and vices include Share of Obese Adults, Overdose Deaths and Coffee Drinkers. Jealousy is deter-

naughty.” With Los Angeles, New York and Washington unsurprisingly taking the top spots, Pittsburgh ranks 18th, with a 16 percent increase in sign-ups in 2017 (maybe this is another problem we can blame on techie migrants). If it seems confusing for a website that provides free credit scores to also create listicles, remember that it’s a genius marketing tool (we’re writing about them right now). Each time WalletHub publishes a new ranking, it emails it to publications of the involved cities, who then write a quick article citing WalletHub. CP’s Alex Gordon notes that he received emails from WalletHub almost once a day for most of November. Among them were States with the Best Elder Abuse Protection, Cities with the Biggest Holiday Budgets, and Best and Worst Cities for Veterans, which includes a link to the Best Military Credit Cards. It all feels in line with the internet’s obsession with rankings and listicles. There is no real use in any of the information; no one is going to pick up and move across the country because of a finance website’s ranking of the best and worst cities for singles. But to be ranked as anything feels noteworthy, especially in Pittsburgh, a city that seems to really love being on lists. INF O@ P G HC I T Y PA P E R. C OM

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 12.13/12.20.2017


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Dec. 13, 2017 - Pittsburgh City Paper  
Dec. 13, 2017 - Pittsburgh City Paper  

Volume 27 Issue 50