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INSIDE:

BRITTNEY CHANTELE'S GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY VOL. 3 ISSUE 3

Feb. 11, 2020 - Feb. 24, 2020

PGHCURRENT

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CIVILITY TRIAL

DOES THE PUBLIC REALLY HAVE ANY RECOURSE WHEN A JUDGE BEHAVES BADLY?

10 Day Long Party Featuring Â?Â? Restaurants and Pubs!

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STAFF Publisher/Editor: Charlie Deitch Charlie@pittsburghcurrent.com Associate Publisher: Bethany Ruhe Bethany@pittsburghcurrent.com Advisory Board Chairman: Robert Malkin Rob@pittsburghcurrent.com EDITORIAL

Art Director: Larissa Mallon Larissa@pittsburghcurrent.com Music Editor: Margaret Welsh Margaret@pittsburghcurrent.com Visuals Editor: Jake Mysliwczyk Jake@pittsburghcurrent.com Craft Beer Writer: Day Bracey info@pittsburghcurrent.com Columnists: Jessica Semler, Larry Schweiger info@pittsburghcurrent.com Listings Clerk: Makinley Magill Makinley@pittsburghcurrent.com Contributing Writers: Jody DiPerna,, Mike Shanley, Justin Vellucci, Amanda Reed, Hugh Twyman, Brittany Hailer, Emerson Andrews, Dan Savage info@pittsburghcurrent.com

contents

Vol. III Iss. III February 11, 2020

NEWS 4 | Civility Trial OPINION 7 | Brewed On Grant 8 | Double Standard

|

MUSIC 10 | Military Secrets 11 | Livin Good 12 | New Life 13 | First/Last 14 | Chart Toppers 19 | Music Listings ART 21 | 22 | 23 | 25 |

Shaped By Steel The Queen of Cardistry The Can't Miss Art Listings

FOOD 29 | Day Drinking EXTRA 30 | Savage Love

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The Fine Print The contents of the Pittsburgh Current are © 2019 by Pittsburgh Current, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this publication shall be duplicated or reprinted without the express-written consent of Pittsburgh Current LLC.The Pittsburgh Current is published twice monthly beginning August 2018. The opinions contained in columns and letters to the editors represent the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Pittsburgh Current ownership, management and staff. The Pittsburgh Current is an independently owned and operated print and online media company produced in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Beechview neighborhood, 1665 Broadway Ave., Pittsburgh, PA., 15216. 412-204-7248. Email us or don’t: info@pittsburghcurrent.com.

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | 3


NEWS

Caption

CIVILITY TRIALS DOES THE PUBLIC REALLY HAVE ANY RECOURSE WHEN A JUDGE BEHAVES BADLY?

A

BY CHARLIE DEITCH - PITTSBURGH CURRENT EDITOR CHARLIE@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

lot of people were shocked last week when a complaint surfaced that Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Tranquilli referred to a black woman on one of his juries as “Aunt Jemimah.” For me, though, I wasn’t surprised about what the judge said. Rather, I was shocked that someone reported it to the state Judicial Conduct Board and then, dare I say, pleasantly surprised that Tranquilli was suspended pending the board’s investigation. Why was I shocked? Because Allegheny County has had its share of not only questionable professional conduct by some judges, but also some, at times, baffling rulings in cases. And in these situations, little if

anything is usually done to the jurist in question. In the aftermath of these episodes, I find myself frustrated with what appears to be the lack of accountability that judges face. To be clear, I am not a lawyer but I have covered the courts quite a bit in my career and I sought out the opinions of some pretty good ones for this story. As a quick primer, Common Pleas Court Judges in Pennsylvania are elected to open seats on the bench. They run campaigns like other candidates but these aren’t political positions, at least they’re not supposed to be. But, as we’ve seen many times, politics has a tendency to creep in a lot of places where it really shouldn’t be.

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Once elected, however, judges then serve a 10-year term. At the end of the 10 years, they don’t face a standard election. Instead, they go through a retention election where their name appears on the ballot and voters decide “yes,” the judge gets another 10 years or “no,” and they must leave the bench. The problem is, that doesn’t happen very often. According to a spokesperson for the Allegheny County Bar Association, just one time since 1991has a sitting judge not been retained. And anecdotally, he says, there aren’t many from across the state who’ve ever lost their retention votes. So what does that mean? Does it mean that Pennsylvania has the finest, fairest judges in all the lands?

Of course not. The courthouse is full of people everyday who would take umbrage with that assertion. There are also many, many people who have had horrible interactions with the court system and not necessarily by their own doing. One citizen activist once told me that most people don’t even realize that a judge faces a retention vote. And if a judge happens to make a ruling that you don’t agree with or makes you question their fitness to serve, are you going to even remember that ruling when they come up for retention. Here’s an example. Last summer Judge Alex Bicket was presiding over a sexual assault case. A former Carnegie Mellon student, Joon Woo (Jason) Baik, was accused of raping a woman at his home. Following a trial, a jury found him guilty of sexual assault. When he returned for sentencing, however, Bicket overturned the jury’s verdict verdict and acquitted Baik because he said the evidence was “so unreliable and contradictory that it is incapable of supporting a verdict of guilty and thus insufficient as a matter of law.” The Post-Gazette reported at the time that a member of that jury said she was “appalled” at the ruling. A victim’s advocate said it seemed like an “abuse of power.” But if you’re upset that a judge would make a ruling like that, what’s your recourse? Bicket’s retention vote is next year. What are the chances that the average voter will remember, even if they were upset at the time? I have long thought that the retention system wasn’t the proper way to hold judges accountable. Writer Paul Muschick of the Allentown Morning Call encapsulated my feelings in 2018 when he wrote of retention votes, “That’s not right. That’s not an election.” His research turned up about five judges who’d ever lost a retention vote since 1989. That doesn’t seem like accountability. Maida Milone, the president and CEO of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, a non-partisan group that seeks a legal system where judges are fair, impartial and of good “judicial


NEWS temperament.” (Something Tranquilli is not, but more on that in a minute.) I brought her my thoughts and concerns about retention votes and judicial accountability. She looks at the issue from a different perspective. She, too, wants competent, fair-minded jurists on the bench, but doesn’t see elections as a way to necessarily do that, particularly in the case of retention or re-election. Worrying about their job could cause a judge to make a ruling in the best interest of their electability, and not in the best interest of the rule of law. “Generally, we don’t support partisan elections in judicial races,” Milone says. She said judges “are not representative legislators” and therefore shouldn’t be appointed as such. The judge’s allegiance should only be to the “rule of law.” That’s why PMC supports Pa. House bill 111, which would seat judges based on merit and not their ability to fundraise during a campaign. According to the proposed bill, candidates would be selected by “a bipartisan citizens’ nominating commission of lawyers and non-lawyers.” Those names would go onto the governor, who would select a nominee to go before the senate for confirmation. The judge would then serve for four years before facing a retention vote for a 10-year vote.” Milone says “there are some very fine judges who made it through the gauntlet” of partisan elections, but others who would serve well on the bench are discouraged by a partisan election. Most importantly, she says, it’s essential to hold on to “judicial independence in partisan times.” But 10 years is a long time. Currently, Pennsylvania is one of 20 states who holds some form of retention elections at some level of the judiciary. Of those states, Pennsylvania’s 10-year term is the longest with most settling somewhere between four and six years. Milone says she’s not married to the 10-year term, which she was ot aware was the longest in the nation. Although she says, it should be long enough that judges don’t “face the frenzy” of campaigning every two years.

There does seem to be a lot of sense in the system that Milone’s group and some legislators are advocating. It should also be mentioned, though, that while this plan does make some sense, there is a current movement by conservative legislators to elect state-wide judges by district, which would serve to stock the court with more conservative jurists and is actually more partisan than actual partisan elections. I asked Duquesne Law Professor Bruce Ledewitz his thoughts on retention votes and the Tranquilli situation. He told me via email, “Retention votes do not generally hold judges accountable, but there are exceptions.” He said the Tranquillli situation would be one of those cases if it bears out to be true. Well, if he makes it to his 2023 retention. Many groups called for Tranquilli’s suspension, a complete investigation and/ or resignation. Tranquilli’s remarks came following a trial in which the suspect was acquitted by the jury. Tranquilli, a 20-year prosecutor under DA Stephen Zappala, was livid that the prosecutor put the African American woman on the jury. “You weren’t out of strikes when you decided to put Aunt Jemima on the jury,” he said, according to a complaint filed by the defendant’s attorney. According to the Post-Gazette’s reporting of the case, Tranquilli “indicated he knows that the woman's "baby daddy" probably sells heroin and that her "presumed bias in favor of heroin dealers had caused or contributed to the not guilty verdict.” Tranquilli’s words are disgusting and clearly do not show a good “judicial temperament.” But as both Milone and Ledewitz point out, there is a complaint/investigative procedure in place through the Judicial Conduct Board and if the facts prove true it should be the one holding Tranquilli responsible. I, like others, are hopeful. But if yet another judge isn’t held accountable for their egregious actions. I, sadly, won’t be shocked.

BUTTIGIEG GOES DIGITAL IN PA BY JOH L. MICEK - FOR THE PITTSBURGH CURRENT INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM The polls haven’t even opened in New Hampshire, but former South Bend., Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg is already looking ahead to the battleground states that helped deliver the White House to President Donald Trump in 2016. On Sunday, the Democrat’s campaign announced it was launching a “six-figure digital ad buy on YouTube” in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maine, North Carolina, and Virginia, targeting voters in those counties that flipped to Trump after previously supporting former President Barack Obama. The spot, called “Unity,” will run in 6-, 15- and 30-second versions across the video sharing platform starting Tuesday, Buttigieg’s campaign said in a statement. As a montage of scenes across those states plays, Buttigieg, speaks in voice-over: “Something is stirring in America right now. You can feel it. In the bluest counties and the reddest. In rural towns and industrial cities. When Washington has never felt further from our everyday lives. All standing together. And if you are ready to build an American future defined by unity in the face of our greatest challenges–this is our chance.” Trump carried six states that Obama won in 2016: Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In Pennsylvania, Trump carried 56 of the Keystone State’s 67 counties, winning primarily in the state’s vast, rural middle and the working-class southwestern part of the state. He also flipped Luzerne County, a blue-collar stronghold in northeastern Pennsylvania, that had been reliably Democratic. By the time the votes were count-

ed, Trump carried the Keystone State by 44,000 votes, or less than a percentage point, over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Buttigieg, who came out a putative winner in the muddled Iowa caucuses last week, has positioned himself in that middle ground between U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who’s become a hero of the progressive left, and former Vice President Joe Biden, whom some Democratic voters see as the moderate alternative to Trump. A Franklin & Marshall College poll released late last month showed Biden at the front of the 2020 primary pack among Keystone State voters, taking 22 percent support. Buttigieg finished well at the back of the sample of 628 registered voters, logging 6 percent support. Pennsylvania does not hold its primary, however, until April 28 — a lifetime away in what remains a volatile campaign. With less than 48 hours to go before the polls open in New Hampshire, a WBZ/Boston Globe/Suffolk University tracking poll showed Sanders and Buttigieg within the margin of error, taking 24 percent and 22 percent support respectively. In a statement, Buttigieg’s deputy campaign manager, Hari Sevugan, said Buttigieg is “best positioned” to win over exurban and rural voters who went for Trump in 2016, even as the eventual Democratic nominee [turns out] the base and “solidify our gains in the suburbs.” The digital campaign will run on YouTube from mid-February through Super Tuesday on March 3 in the seven states, Buttigieg’s campaign said. John L. Micek is the Editor of the Pennsylvania Capital-Star where this story first appeared. penncapital-star. com

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | 5


on view at space

Trumpet To The Tulips curated by Kristen Letts Kovak November 22–March 15, 2020 812 Liberty Avenue, 412 325 7723 SpacePittsburgh.org on view at 707 GaLLeRY

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on view at 937 GaLLeRY

Misplaced Fortunes work by Ross Mantle January 24–March 13, 2020 937 Liberty Avenue, 412 456 2962 /937gallery A project of:

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OPINION

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OPINION

From the homepage of state rep candidate chris Roland.

SOME INCUMBENTS FACE A DOUBLE STANDARD BY JESSICA SEMLER - PITTSBURGH CURRENT COLUMNIST JESSICA@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

On Sunday, February 2, at the Pittsburgh Firefighters Hall in Hazelwood, the Young Democrats of Allegheny County held their Candidate Recommendation Forum (its second ever). A couple dozen candidates running for Congress, State Senate and State Representative in SWPA had two minutes to make their case before answering questions from the membership. It was especially exciting to hear from folks in contested primaries. Despite the Democratic electorate becoming increasingly progressive in Allegheny County, there is a hefty part of the old guard that has been resistant to progressive candidates.

State Reps Sara Innamorato and Summer Lee, and more recently County Councilors Bethany Hallam and Liv Bennett, were not supported by the Democratic establishment, even when the incumbents they challenged could have been mistaken for Republicans, and hadn’t really done much for their constituents. The refrain spoken again and again was “we must protect our incumbents.” This felt really lazy. After all, it inherently props up the status quo, mostly old white men. But hey! There was consistency. But, apparently, not for at least one incumbent. I was really curious to hear from North Braddock Borough Councilor Chris

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Roland, who is challenging Summer Lee in House District 34. In 2018, Lee defeated Paul Costa, a 20-year incumbent, in a landslide in the Democratic primary. She also increased voter turnout in her district by 54% by bringing folks into the fold who weren’t engaged before. Lee ran on an unapologetic platform for economic, racial, and environmental justice, and caught nationwide attention while doing it. Pittsburgh has consistently been lauded as the “most livable city,” while a study came out this year saying that the best chance a black woman has to improve her health is to move away. Lee speaks to issues from an inter-

sectional, multidimensional framework in large part because of her identity. At the forum she said, “The perspective I bring to Harrisburg is an important one; to be a poor black woman who is also a Democratic Socialist, to have that perspective is really meaningful.” Representation matters. Lived experience matters. In terms of legislative action, she’s currently leading the charge, along with Rep. Ed Gainey, around police officers and the use of deadly force. In working on a Dignity for Incarcerated Women bill, she went to three different prisons to center the impacted group and hear from them what they need. I read what I could find about Roland’s campaign, and I was turned off by some of his reasons for running. “Roland said he’d take a less confrontational approach on some hot-button issues than Lee has” is like dog whistling that an assertive black woman is combative by virtue of using her voice. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he posted a photo with the words: “Today we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and so many others who fought to include all in the American Dream. We have made great progress but there is still much work to do.” Pretty brazen for someone trying to oust the loudest voice for civil rights in our legislature, right? So after Roland’s speech, the time came for questions, and my hand shot up. To see this exchange for yourself, go to this link at the 31 minute mark. “You talked on your social media about making progress in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, that we’ve fought for things but need to continue to move forward. You’re now try-


OPINION ing to erase one of the strongest voices for civil rights in our legislature in Summer Lee -- how do you square with that?” Roland responded: “We have a large sports complex there that kids play little league and other sports… I cut all the grass there. I do all the maintenance there, I work for those kids…” He continued on about working with kids to get internships and job training, and sitting on an economic development board. Now that all may be relevant to ... something, but it wasn’t remotely a response to what I asked. In both his speech and response to my question he was soft spoken. He didn’t appear to be sure of why he was there or why he was running at all. Overall, he seemed in over his head. Witnessing this made me even more perplexed to see photos of County Executive Rich Fitzgerald at Roland’s campaign kickoff; it’s actually the background of his website’s homepage. The night before the Forum, Allegheny County Chief Executive Fitzgerald shared a photo with Roland from the Allegheny County Boroughs Association. This support is interesting, coming from a “protect-our-incumbents” person. In the beginning of the campaign, at least, Fitzgerald hadn’t officially endorsed Roland, even though those photos spoke volumes. But on Friday, Feb. 7, Roland listed Fitzgerald amongst his endorsements in his Stonewall Dems questionnaire. When the incumbent is a black woman, and you’re backing a white man, it really is a bad look. I’d wager that folks in power are intimidated by Summer Lee, and that is why folks who traditionally held protecting incumbents as sacrosanct are willing to prop up someone else. Summer is, like

Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm was, unbought and unbossed. Despite tremendous pressure, she’s held to her values and hasn’t stepped back from taking votes others might be afraid to.

Just this week, a bill passed the PA state house and senate that would allocate billions in subsidies to future petrochemical facilities. Apparently socialism is bad, unless it’s for frackers? Despite environmental advocates decrying the bill, only 5 out of 28 legislations in Allegheny County voted no, including Senator Lindsey Williams, Senator Jay Costa, Representatives Sara Innamorato, Dan Frankel, and of course, Summer Lee. Incumbents should be primaried. Challenged. Pushed. Regularly. Part of why we have so many conservative Democrats in SWPA is because of this obsession with loyalty towards incumbents. That loyalty and lack of challenge breeds complacency and entitlement. We need our elected officials to always be working to be better, to represent us; not just as mirrors, but as leaders of action on the issues we care about and for folks who haven’t had a voice in our political system. Democratic primaries should be a contest to move things forward, not backwards. As Summer said at the forum, “It’s important that we talk about how to galvanize and organize communities, because at the end of the day, if your legislator is advocating for bills and saying all these grand things, but we’re not able to get people in our communities excited, or help them and empower them and enfranchise them that they’re being included in the legislative process the whole way, then we’re not able to get there.”

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PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | 9


MUSIC MILITARY SECRETS

ON 'A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY,' BRITTNEY CHANTELE RECOUNTS THE HORRORS OF HER MILITARY SERVICE TO SPARE OTHERS FROM THE SAME BY BETHANY RUHE - PITTSBURGH CURRENT ASSOCIATE EDITOR BETHANY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

The day Pittsburgh Current sat down with Brittney Chantele, she was heading to Las Vegas to meet with Veterans for Peace, a non-profit “dedicated to building a culture of peace, exposing the true costs of war, and healing the wounds of war.’” They wanted to talk to the veteran and singer-songwriter about ways to reach out to other veterans and allies to help grow their mission. The timing was perfect. On February 22, Chantele will release her latest record, The Golden Opportunity, which tells the story of her military experience. Chantele is quick to explain it’s not based on just her years of service (2011 - 2018), “but the age that I got brainwashed into everything, so 14.” The first track is called “Recruiters.” Chantele reserves a lot of her ire for these particular people and their methods of drawing people in. “They drive cars that aren’t theirs and they sell you this vision. You like animals? You can be a veterinarian. You can be a dentist. You like dogs? You can have a dog. You want a family? We will take care of them, too,” Chantele explains. “They come after you before you ever have the chance to know yourself.” Ten days after graduating high school, Brittney Chantele arrived in Ft. Sill, OK to report for basic training. Even then, in the very beginning, Chantele felt something wasn’t right. “I realized this was one big mind game,” she says. She points to YouTube videos of drill sergeants screaming at scared recruits, sometimes 2 or 3 sergeants at a time. Chantele calls it trauma porn, but points out the military has another word for it. Resilience. The album also addresses the sexual assault Chantele suffered while enlisted and the realities of being a lesbian in the military. Both set her apart from others in her unit and gave her a different perspective to

the things being said around her. “The way that my peers would talk about (sexual assault) was so horrible and disgusting. It was always victim-blaming. ‘I bet you she’s just saying that because he wouldn’t go out with her,’” Chantele says. “There was also a lot of retaliation. People would do some really grimy, petty things. They would make up lies about how someone stole something. The friends of the person accused would band up and do things to make the victim’s life a living hell.” It was a heavy burden for Chantele. “This was going to be my career, this is what I was going to retire doing,” she says. But as she spent more and more time in the Army, she began to notice all of the ways she was being impacted. “There's a lot of things the military does to engrave into your brain what a terrorist or an enemy is supposed to look like,” she says. Chantele recounts a story in which her and a date were strolling along Mt. Washington and stopped at an overlook. There was another man on the overlook with them, of Middle Eastern descent. Chantele was giving him dirty looks, and when her date noticed, she explained that she thought that man was a terrorist and they should leave. The date's response was that Chantele could walk her ass home. Which she did. “I had a long walk home to think about everything. We ended up having a really long conversation about what the military does to you,” she says. “They don’t want you to have any feelings, and that’s inhumane.” Chantele was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a condition that causes pain and fatigue as well as sleep, memory and mood issues. “I 100 percent, fully believe that the military caused my fibromyalgia,” she says. “What I mean by that is my military sexual trauma, which is connected to my PTSD, caused the full body pain that I have. “It’s like a garbage bag you don’t

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Brittney Chantele (Current Photo by Jake Mysliwczyk)

want to take out, so you keep stuffing more and more in there. So the thing you threw away at the beginning is all the way in the bottom of the bag. So all this trauma was compacted on top of a sense of self, and my body was like, I’m sick of holding on to all of this trauma. So the bag explodes and all that garbage gets let loose in your system in the form of pain.” The Army, of course, disagrees, leading Chantele on a years-long battle to hold them accountable. A Golden Opportunity is also a return to more heavy hip hop, after her poppier, A Fire on Venus, last year. Chantele is choosing to focus less on what genre of music she’s making and more on what it means to her. “As long as I’m saying what I need to say, that’s all I care about. I need to be making this music for me, and not for other people,” she says. “With this album, I approached it as ‘however it comes out, is the way

it’s going to come out.” The subject matter is on the heavy side, but it’s still hip hop. “My goal with this album is yes, to explain my story and to lift this weight off my shoulders, but even if I just touch one teenager who is thinking about enlisting, that’s all that matters,” she says. “I would never tell anyone to not join. What I do want is to spread more information and more awareness.” This new record is her golden opportunity to do just that.

BRITTNEY CHANTELE ALBUM RELEASE PAR-

TY. The Golden Opportunity album release party. 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22. With special guests DR QRX, Treble NLS, and Said. Thunderbird Cafe and Music Hall, 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville. thunderbirdmusicall.com


MUSIC

Benny Benack III (Photo: Rayon Richards)

LIVIN' GOOD

B

BY MIKE SHANLEY - PITTSBURGH CURRENT MUSIC WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

enny Benack III recalls a conversation with his mother when he was signing up for high school classes. She wanted him to take AP Algebra and History courses. He didn’t see the point. “We both know I’m going to be a musician anyway,” he told her. “I’m not going to a real college. I’m going to go to a music conservatory. Let’s not keep up this charade here.” He had a point. Not only was he carrying on the family name, young Benny was also playing trumpet, the same instrument his grandfather played in his Pittsburgh big band. From a young age, Benack III was reared on albums by Louie Prima and Oscar Peterson. Instead of getting a summer job as a

lifeguard, he worked in his saxophone-playing father’s big band. His mom still made him take the AP classes, but he also became a musician, receiving both his undergrad and masters from the Manhattan School of Music. Of course the education might have fueled his approach to his music too. A Lot of Livin’ To Do, his second album, impressively balances his trumpet chops with his equally skilled voice, combining a blend of standards and originals. Benack and drummer/producer Ulysses Owens, Jr. spent a lot of time mixing the album, but the recording itself came together quickly. The trumpeter reached out to prolific bassist Christian McBride asking if he would play on it. Benack laid

out a six-month window, knowing that McBride’s schedule as a leader and artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival kept him busy. The bassist agreed, but his only free day was barely a month away. “With someone like Christian, you get a sense why he’s this global ambassador of jazz and why he’s the most recorded bass player in modern history,” Benack says. “He came in, sight-read all the music. He had everybody cracking up. He never played one out-of-tune note, never missed one entrance the whole day.” Among the dozen tracks, the album includes two by Fred Rogers, one being his theme song “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.” Rather than merely tipping his hat to another Pittsburgh

native, Benack brings out the jazz qualities that Rogers uses in his uplifting songs. He first discovered “It’s You I Like” in a Mister Rogers Neighborhood episode where a young Wynton Marsalis played the ballad with the show’s pianist Johnny Costa. “That tune in particular reminds me so much of the jazz standard ‘I’ll Be Seeing You,’” Benack explains. “As I was going back and deciding which ones to put on the album, it made me think how many of those songs fit the jazz standard — harmony and song form and melody.” Guest vocalists Alita Moses and Veronica Swift each duet with Benack on the album. Benack also casts Burt Bacharach’s gentle “What the World Needs Now” in a form inspired by the urgency of John Coltrane’s classic quartet, further reinforcing the song’s message. At a time when jazz audiences seem divided between instrumentalists who like to blow and singers with greater appeal, Benack, who lives in New York but still returns home frequently, gives equal time to both approaches without shortchanging either. While “Sub-Zero” shows his bop roots, “Irrepressible” reveals the lessons he’s learned from the Great American songbook. He’s perfectly content with both aspects of his work as well. “I want to stay true to the kind of music I love,” he says. “And try to live up to the standards that Cole Porter set as a songwriter. Or the standards that Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan and Kenny Dorham and Blue Mitchell and Clifford Brown [set] as bop trumpet players, and leaving it up to other people to decide what category that puts me in.”

BENNY BENACK III

CD RELEASE. 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave, North Side. Free (reservations required) www.cityofasylum.org

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | 11


MUSIC

Merce Lemon

NEW LIFE BY JUSTIN VELLUCCI - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

Y

ou think you love me. Well, look at me now.” With those simple words, softly cooed over a carefully plucked sequence of acoustic guitar notes, Bloomfield-based singer/songwriter Merce Lemon’s got you and got you good. The song expands, ever so slightly, with the addition of a restrained bass and a wash of guitar – but it ends before the story even begins. This is the fourth song off Ride Every Day, a reissue of two previous Lemon releases that the Pittsburgh label Crafted Sounds announced earlier this month and will release March 14. The song originally appeared in 2017 on Ideal For A Light Flow With Your Body, which was recorded

while Lemon lived in Seattle and borrows its title from tampon packaging. “It’s hard for me to listen to that now. It was a very specific time in my life: being alone in a new city, being a sad 19-yearold,” says Lemon, who legally changed her name from Merce Pierce when she was in the 10th grade. “You feel how much you’ve grown since then.” “I can barely listen to it without cringing,” she laughs, “though I guess that’s not a great way to sell it.” Lemon, a bike messenger and sometimes-barista, has grown tremendously and might be on the cusp of something big. She’s currently seeking a label for her new LP and hopes an upcoming

12 | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

performance at SXSW will help buoy her ambition. “Moonth, the new album, it’s all over the place,” Lemon says. “I don’t want to say, ‘There’s a song on there for everyone.’ But there’s a lot of different genres.” When performing solo, Lemon owes a lot to emotionally vulnerable singer-songwriters who came before her, from Liz Phair to Cat Power’s Chan Marshall to former Pittsburgher Shay Park, whose songs elicit a similar feeling of twee innocence. But she pulls no punches when it comes to, um, uncomfortable topics. (She sings a song about a yeast infection, for example.) She also is no longer a “solo” artist. In her band, she is backed by her father, Greg Pierce, on lead guitar; Alec Ebeling on drums; and Jim Lingo on bass. Sometimes, when Noa Lipsky’s in town from Denver, she sings harmony. Lemon likes playing in a band with her father. “He’s a fucking shredder,” she laughs. “He loves playing the music [and] we both are stoked to be playing shows together. It’s so chill and all my friends are like, ‘Your dad is SO COOL!’” Connor Murray, who runs Crafted Sounds, said there’s something special about Lemon. Once she has the spotlight, it won’t move off her. “Merce, her father, the other members of her band – they are all great people with a great dynamic and they honestly inspire me to keep doing cool things,” Murray said. “Ride Every Day is just me trying to shine a light on her. Where does she go from here? The sky is the limit.” Lemon will celebrate the reissue of her first two releases with a live show March 14 at 8 p.m. at Babyland in North Oakland. Silver Car Crash and Totally Miguel also are set to perform.


MUSIC FIRST/LAST BY HUGH TWYMAN - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

I

've never given up on where I wanted to be (in the music industry), however, when life pulls you in so many different directions, it sometimes takes you off-guard, and it becomes very easy to lose sight.� Ashley Puckett is a Country Music artist from Pittsburgh who releases her debut full-length entitled Never Say Never via MTS Records on February 14th. Ashley began learning guitar and songwriting at the age of 16 and immediately began performing at vocal competitions and community events, and eventually, landing at open-mic nights and shows in bars and clubs. Her musical influences (among them Lee Ann Womack, Carrie Underwood, and Miranda Lambert) are heard on the thirteen tracks written for the album. I want to thank Ashley for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last. The first album you ever bought? Probably the Dixie Chicks. Your last album bought? Joe Nichols or Josh Groban. Favorite album of all time? It’s tough to pick one but on the spot - Man With A Memory from Joe Nichols and Twice the Speed of Life from Sugarland. Least favorite/most disappointing album? Not sure I have one... First concert attended? A-Teens and Baha Men. Last concert? Jamey Johnson. Favorite concert ever? Leann Rimes or Miranda Lambert. Least favorite concert?

Can’t say I’ve had a least favorite Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh? Pittsburgh is full of entertainment, there’s countless amounts of great memories made in Pittsburgh for me. There’s a lot of nightlife, beautiful landmarks, scenery, restaurants, always something to do. Many Pittsburgh Steelers games I’ve enjoyed, too! Hugh’s Take: Thanks, Ashley. I never tire of hearing new musical talent from Pittsburgh. As I am admittedly not a country music connoisseur, I do know what I like and your album is amazingly good, especially for a first timer out of the gate. Hugh Twyman (AKA HughShows) has been documenting the Pittsburgh music scene since 2004. His website (www.hughshows.com) features a comprehensive Pittsburgh Concert Calendar, episodes of HughShowsTV, a newly launched public Pittsburgh music database, exclusive audio streams from local bands, thousands of his concert photos and his trademark First/Last interview series. Support Ashley Puckett: https://ashleypuckett.com

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pittsburghnorthside.com/mardigras PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | 13


MUSIC CHART TOPPERS

LIVE SHOWS YOU'LL WANT TO CHECK OUT THIS WEEK BY MARGARET WELSH - PITTSBURGH CURRENT MUSIC EDITOR MARGARET@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

INDIE POP

“I really view the people who benefit most from capitalism as parasites, who leech from us what gives us life, what makes life worth living,” Jana Hunter told Billboard Magazine last September. That spirit, in part, fuels his band’s recent record, The Competition. A lot has happened since the Baltimore-based Lower Dens’ last release, 2015’s Escape from Evil, both personally (Hunter started hormone therapy to transition to male) and globally (everything sucks and is bad!) Regardless, Lower Dens has never sounded more confident, powerful or empathetic: In a dehumanizing age, this new set of post-punk-y synth-pop helps keep your brain, body and heart connected. The band comes to the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls Thursday, Feb. 13. Ami Dang opens. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $18-20. www.mrsmalls.com

BLUEGRASS

Lower Dens’ Jana Hunter - Photo courtesy of Torso

DANCE

On Valentines Day, two of Pittsburgh’s best-loved dance-night crews link up for a one-off collaborative event. The DJs of Jellyfish will offer a fine selection of Italo disco, synth, new wave and post punk; Pandemic will be rocking some anti-valentines party tracks, as always focusing on global dance music from dancehall to Thai pop to Afrobeats to Ukrainian hip hop, and more. 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. Brillobox, 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. pandemicpgh.com

DANCE

What’s more important than Valentine’s day? Aquarius season, obviously. Even if your planetary placement sometimes puts you at odds with the Aquarians in your life (looking at you, fellow Scorpios), these assertive, independent, easy-going air-signs deserve a little recognition. On Friday, Feb. 14, event collective Darkness is Spreading hosts a dance party to celebrate “music, astrology, love across the galaxy and the Age of Aquarius.” DJs include Darkness is Spreading founder HUNY, BasedGrvce and OneWavyBabe. 9 p.m. Spirit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $5 before 10 p.m., $10 after. www.spiritpgh.com 14 | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

By the time she was a teenager, Sierra Hull had already performed at the Grand Ole Opry, the Kennedy Center, the White House and Carnegie Hall, and signed a deal with Rounder Records. The Tennessee-born multi-instrumentalist started playing mandolin at age 8, and now, at 28, is about to release her fourth full-length record, 25 Trips. Bluegrass is at the heart of Hull’s sound -- Alison Krauss is a major influence and a mentor, and Bela Fleck produced her 2017 Grammy-winning release Weighted Mind -- but Hull brings an elegant pop sensibility to her songwriting that is all her own. See her live when she comes to the Carnegie Lecture Hall Saturday, Feb. 15. 7:30 p.m. Schenley Drive, Oakland. $20-35. www.calliopehouse.org

COMEDY

A friend recently joked that every big company tells their ad department, “just make a Tim and Eric skit.” It's probably only a mild exaggeration. If commercial writers aren’t actually being instructed to copy Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s brand of dark, surrealistic, grotesque anti-comedy (which itself is heavily inspired by low-budget commercials and public access television), they’ve at least absorbed it through cultural osmosis. But there’s no substitute for the real thing! And Tim and Eric continue to get weirder, better, and sharper while remaining untarnished by cheap imitators. On Monday, Feb. 17 the duo brings the Tim and Eric 2020 Mandatory Attendance World Tour to the Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland. Please do not miss it, as attendance IS mandatory. 8 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $43 and up. www.druskyentertainment.com


Current Comics Rob Jones

Andrew Schubert


Heroineburgh By H-burgh and Wayne Brown

Jim Benton

Sucks to be an Animal by Sienna Cittadino

CARTOONISTS WANTED pittsburgh current is looking for local artists who would like to have their comics featured on our twice-monthly funny pages.

email: charlie@pittsburghcurrent.com


MUSIC LIVE MUSIC FRIDAYS AT BACKSTAGE BAR

SERIES Come to the Cabaret

Theater and Backstage Bar to take advantage of our full bar and dinner menu as you enjoy the free, live music every Friday/Saturday through March 27th. 5:00 PM. Backstage Bar at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave. Downtown. 412-456-6666

NOSTALGIA

INDIE ROCK, INDIE POP With

Dopamine, Palm Bodies, Clay Coast, Noahnolasname, Ingrid J 6:30:00 PM. Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave, Millvale. mrsmalls. com

FEBRUARY 15 JOSHUA REDMAN

JAZZ Come see one of the most

Feb. 14: Durand Jones and the Indications

MUSIC LISTINGS FEBRUARY 12 BIG SOMETHING VS. ANDY FRASCO & THE U.N. ROCK A 6 piece powerhouse

with a sound that is both unique and timeless, Big Something fuses elements of rock, pop, funk, and improvisation to take listeners on a journey through a myriad of musical styles. 8:00 PM. The Rex Theater, 1602 E Carson St., South Side. rextheater. net

THE HIGH DIVERS

INDIE ROCK Indie Rock out of

South Carolina known for their live shows. The Elwins and Juvenile Characteristics will also perform. 6:30:00 PM. Club Cafe, 56 S. 12th St., South Side. clubcafelive.com

FEBRUARY 13 SOULIVE

SOUL Roxian Live and Grey Area

Productions present Soulive with the Mike Dillon Band. Runs through February 14. 8:00 PM. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. greyareaprod.com

EXIST

METAL Baltimore-based

Prog-Metal band, Exist, hits town with Monotheist and Replacire. Doors open All ages 5:30:00 PM. Smiling Moose - Upstairs, 1306 E. Carson Street, Southside. http://smiling-moose.com/

FEBRUARY 14 THE CEILING STARES

INDIE Pgh-to-LA indie-pop trans-

plants return home for a Valentine's gig with locals Benefits & Holotypes 8:00 PM. Hambones, 4207 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-682-0591

DURAND JONES & THE INDICATIONS

R & B Live Nation Pittsburgh presents: Drand Jones & the Indications with Y La Bamba. 7:00 PM. The Hall at Spirit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. spiritpgh.com

QUEENSRYCHE

METAL 1980's Hair Metal Band

with John 5 and Eve to Adam. 8:00 PM. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. greyareaprod.com

acclaimed and charismatic jazz artists to have emerged in the decade of the 1990's preform. 8:00:00 PM. August Wilson Cultural Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. aacc-awc.org

A POST-VALENTINES STOMP! THE ABRUPTORS, KMAN & THE 45S, INCO FLDO, FUBAR

ROCK Pittsburgh Ska and Some

Die Nameless present... A Post Valentines Stomp w/ K-Man & the 45s, the Abruptors, iNCO, FldO, and FUBAR 8:30:00 PM. Howlers, 4509 Liberty Ave.

THEERADICATOR/ROB WALLACE &THEMESS/ EARLY30S

INDIE First of two release shows

in one day for The Early 30s' "People Are going to be so Impressed." 7:00:00 PM. Roboto, 5206 Penn Ave., Garfield. https:// www.facebook.com/ events/487440438576783/

FEBRUARY 16 SAINT MOTEL

INDIE L.A.-based Indie-pop band

touring behind its new record, "The Motion Picture Show." 8:00:00 PM. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. roxianlive.com

FEBRUARY 19 BENNY BENACK III

JAZZ Join us as third generation

Pittsburgh Jazz musician Benny Benack III returns home to celebrate the release of his sophomore album “A Lot of Livin’ to Do” 7:00 PM. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 20 THE 69 EYES

METAL Finnish Goth Rock Band 6:00:00 PM. Crafthouse Stage and Grill, 5024 Curry Rd., . 69eyes.com

FEBRUARY 21 MALIIBU MIITCH

HIP HOP Bronx-based rapper hits

the South Side 7:00:00 PM. Smiling Moose - Upstairs, 1306 E. Carson Street, . http:// smiling-moose.com/

TRIXIE MATTELL

ELECTRO FOLK The drag queen, singer/songwriter and comedian is touring on the heels of her new record, "Barbara." 8:00:00 AM. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Ave., North Shore.

FEBRUARY 22 WIVES

PUNK NYC's Indie rock/punk

outfit with support from Pittsburgh's own Richard Prkr and Glam Hand 7:00:00 PM. Roboto, 5106 Penn Ave., Garfield. https://www.facebook. com/events/490022208565282/

FEBRUARY 23 EMBRACER

INDIE Indie rock out of Charlston, WV. 6:00:00 PM. Smiling Moose - Upstairs, 1306 E. Carson Street. 412 -400-5135

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | 19


MUSIC FEBRUARY 24 ETHNIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE JAZZ Chicago AACM avant-garde

jazz legends since the 70s, with openers Patrick Breiner & Ben Opie 7:30 PM. First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Ave., Shadyside. 412682-0591

POST MALONE

HIP HOP/CRUNGE/TRAP The Runaway Tour with Swae Lee and Tyla Yaweh 8 p.m.. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. ppgpaintsarena.com

FEBRUARY 25 THE LUMINEERS

FOLK ROCK With special guests: Mt. Joy and JS Ondara 8 p.m.. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. ppgpaintsarena.com

FEBRUARY 28

With a bluegrass-infused score, The Last American Hammer combines comedy with empathy in small town USA.

CARMINA BURANA

SECULAR Since its premiere in

1937, Carl Orff's Carmina burana has thrilled audiences worldwide. 7:30:00 PM. Ingomar United Methodist Church, 1501 W. Ingomar Rd.. pccsing.org

MARCH 6 SOUL SESSIONS: LEELA JAMES HIP HOP, OTHER Come see the

February 22 March 1

famous Leela James preform some laid back R&B. 8:00:00 PM. August Wilson Cultural Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. aacc-awc.org

M AY 3 1 THE GREATEST GENERATION: AN AMERICAN ORATORIO

CLASSICAL/ORCHESTRAL

The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh presents The Greatest Generation: An American Oratorio, an homage to the American family at war. This oratorio combines the popular tunes from the World War II era with new original compositions and arrangements. TBA. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, 4141 Fifth Ave., Oakland. www.thmendelssohn.org

A heartfelt contemporary satire

exploring the fallout that occurs when the American Dream fails to materialize

pittsburghopera.org/hammer

20 | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

Season Sponsor Tuesday Night Sponsor: Ambridge Regional Distribution & Manufacturing Center


ART

Eliese Colette Goldbach

SHAPED BY STEEL

IN HER NEW MEMOIR, ELIESE COLETTE GOLDBACH EXAMINES THE "UNEXPECTED JOYS" OF MILL LIFE

Y

BY JODY DIPERNA - PITTSBURGH CURRENT LIT WRITER JODY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

ou probably don't imagine a young woman who has been published in Ploughshares and Best American Essays wrapping T-Rex-sized coils of processed steel and operating a crane, but Eliese Colette Goldbach did just that for three years working at the ArcelorMittal Cleveland Temper Mill. "It is so different from what most people experience in their daily lives," Goldbach told the Current recently by phone. "It was hard to convey the scope and size of the equipment. At various times I tried to boil it down in ways that people might under-

stand, like 'this piece weighs as much as an SUV.' It's amazing what you get used to when you're down there. These things become normal -- they become part of your daily life." The work required endurance, intelligence and tenacity. It demanded that workers balance on an edge between audacity and vigilance. When working 12-hour shifts in these conditions, around colossal moving equipment, train tracks, chemicals, and heat, danger is everywhere. Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit (Flatiron Books, 2020), is Goldbach's account of her time as a steelwork-

er -- the first day walking around the sprawling behemoth of a mill, learning to drive a forklift, skimming molten steel for waste product, and banding towering coils of steel for shipping. She worked almost constantly through her first six months in training before becoming an official member of the United States Steelworkers of America. "This is really hard to explain. I was basically spilling raw materials into these big huge bins that held hundreds of tons of stuff," she said. "There was this dust in the air -- I think dolomite was one of the things. It was unbearably hot, it was summer, and you're right above these huge furnaces that can explode or leak carbon monoxide into the air. You have your little carbon monoxide monitor and hope nothing goes wrong. It's definitely an insane environment to be in." She describes the nitty-gritty of the different jobs she performed in the mill but she also details what the work required of her physically and emotionally. She conveys the soul-breaking exhaustion unique to shift work and the bone-tiredness that comes with making steel. She writes about knocking elbows with a few co-workers, and the bonds she formed with others. She also writes about the unexpected joys of working in the mill. Most of us spend most of our time at work, but there are so few books, shows and movies that revolve around the things that take us through our days, most days of our life. But Goldbach allows the reader to feel the confidence she gains as she masters precise work in demanding conditions. She grew up driving by the mill, seeing the iconic flame of the old Republic Steel plant. That flame is a powerful symbol for Cleveland itself. According to Goldbach, it symbolizes the relevance of the place and the fact that this is a city, like Pittsburgh, built to make things. However, that in no way prepared her for life inside the mill. She says, "I think the flame came to symbolize various things. I remember I was afraid of it when I was young and I didn't like to breathe

when I was near the flame. Then it became a symbol of my own economic freedom. Then, because of the crushing hours of the mill and the danger of the job, I started to resent the flame a little bit." But Rust is more than just an account of Goldbach's time in the mill: it is a snapshot of all the things that brought her there. It is about economic anxiety, her ambitions and fears, and her coming to grips with bipolar disorder. The child of very conservative parents who loved Ronald Reagan and listened to Rush Limbaugh, the brand of Catholicism practiced by Golbach's family can best be described as evangelical. She believed very much in heaven and hell. When things went wrong in her life -- even when she was the victim of sexual violence -- she went to confession. Needless to say, she did not grow up in a pro-union household. And yet, what remains is a deep love and respect for her union brothers and sisters. Even now that she has hung up her hard-hat and teaches at John Carroll University, that feeling of togetherness and taking care of one another is what stays with her. "I still pass it and wish I could go back down there and be with people because I miss that camaraderie and solidarity that you find, especially in a union shop." The Writers Conference of Northern Appalachia invites proposals for presentations and workshops for our first conference to be held September 11-13, 2020 in Wheeling, West Virginia’s Oglebay Park and Resort. Writers from, living in or writing about the region of northern Appalachia are welcome to submit. Deadline April 15th. Information at the WCoNA website: https://writersconferenceofnorthernappalachia.com/

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | 21


ART 'THE QUEEN OF CARDISTRY' ANNA DEGUZMAN PLAYS HER CARDS IN DEBUT LIBERTY MAGIC SHOW

S

BY AMANDA REED - PITTSBURGH CURRENT STAFF WRITER AMANDA@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

ome magicians shy away from showing their tricks on social media. Anna DeGuzman, however, embraces it. “Some people can't afford to buy a magic kit. Some people don't have a family that comes from a creative background that will show them a trick. Some people just don't have access,” she says. “But with the Internet now, you have access to this whole world of knowledge where you can learn anything by yourself.” DeGuzman kicks off Liberty Magic’s second year with “The Queen of Cardistry,” running from Feb. 19 to

March 29, mixing card tricks with sleight of hand. “I want to reinvent the image of what a magician is, which is not, you know, the old top hat, suit, white gloves, you know, doves, bunny [out of a ] hat,” she says. Unlike other magicians—who often list books and mentors in their origin story—DeGuzman is self-taught. She first picked up the art after watching cardistry YouTube videos as a teen, entranced by the intricate packet cuts and displays. “I literally looked at it and I was like, ‘I could do that,’” she says.

22 | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

DeGuzman ventured further down the magic rabbit hole three years later, incorporating ordinary objects like Rubik’s cubes and mind-boggling mentalism into her routine. “They're totally separate art forms, but they complement each other very well,” she says. She began making videos and posting them to her YouTube channel and on social media, which she says has helped amplify her career. She’s been seen on Penn and Teller’s “Fool Us,” “Masters of Illusion” and has performed at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. “That's how I've been able to keep going, as a lot of people tend to see my videos and they want to see me live. And they inquire where and when they can see me,” she says. Despite performing live, DeGuz-

man says social media lowers the barrier of entry into the craft. “With social media, it just allows people to find magic a lot easier than going to a live show. If they don't even know that there are live shows in their talent, it's everywhere [on social media],” she says. Although magic can be a male-dominated hobby and profession — DeGuzman is only the second woman to have a residency at Liberty Magic, and, at 21, is the youngest — she says it’s not a gender-specific artform. “I never felt there was a space for a woman in magic because I never saw female magicians,” she says. “But hopefully, I inspire people to get into it, especially young girls, to show them that it's pretty cool. It's not nerdy. Like it's actually pretty lit.”


ART THE CAN’T MISS BY EMERSON ANDREWS PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

FEATURED EVENTS IN AND AROUND THE PITTSBURGH REGION

FEBRUARY 11

James B. Lieber, writer and lawyer who has argued twice successfully before the US Supreme Court on Constitutional rights cases, comes to City of Asylum @ Alphabet City to discuss gerrymandering in Pennsylvania and other states and to read selected passages from his book Victory: How Pennsylvania Beat Gerrymandering and How Other States Can Do the Same. The event is free with reservation. 7 p.m. 40 W. North Ave. Free. 412-435-1110 or alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 12

Mattress Factory invites 18 year-olds and up to trade romance for something a little more experimental this Valentines’ season as part of their Art And… series. Intimacy and Kink will include a talk with artist Nathan Hall, a performance by the Pittsburgh Pups and a speed dating session where attendees will have a few minutes with each of the kink expert panelists to ask their questions. Drinks and light snacks will be provided at the event. 6 p.m. 500 Sampsonia Way. $10 for students with ID, $15 for members, $20 general admission. 412-231-3169 or info@mattress.org

FEBRUARY 13

“I Loathe Lucy” is the Valentines’ Day event for Murder Mystery fans. Come to The Oaks Theater to help discover who’s done in America’s favorite and most famous redhead. Prizes will be given out to those who solve the mystery. 6:30 p.m. 310 Allegheny River Blvd. Oakmont. $15 auditorium seats, $20 table seats. 1-888-718-4253 or theoakstheater. com Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conductor Earl Lee and guest soloist Ray Chen join poets Melissa Dias-Mandoly and Keith S. Wilson for a night of “connections” at City of Aslyum @ Alphabet City. The event is free with reservation. 7 p.m. 40 W. North Ave. Free. 412-4351110 or alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 14

The 2020 Pittsburgh International Auto Show opens at the David Lawrence Convention Center. Classic cars, luxury cars and more will be on display from Feb. 14 through Feb. 17. Tickets must be purchased for each day the attendees plan to come to the show. Half-price general admission is available on Feb. 17. 6 p.m. 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd. Free for kids under 6, $6 for kids 6-16, $10 seniors, $12 general admission. 412-963-8909 or pittautoshow.com

Pittsburgh International Auto Show

Get creative with your Valentines’ Day gift at Pittsburgh Glass Center, where local glass artists will walk attendees through making glass flowers, heart-shaped pendants or love letters. Refreshments will be provided. For groups of five or more, pre-registration is required. 4:30 p.m. 5472 Penn Ave. $30 for pendant and letter workshop, $40 for flower workshop. 412-365-2145 or pittsburghglasscenter.org Howl at the Moon offers featured drinks and date night packages this Valentines’ Day. Enter to win a Happy Hour party for the night for you and your Valentine. 5 p.m. 125 7th St. Free admission. howlatthemoon. com

FEBRUARY 15

Sienna Mercato holds their third annual Rosé Soirée. Wine, cocktails, gift basket giveaways and a photo booth will be available to attendees through the day and night. 2 p.m. 942 Penn Ave. Free admission. 412281-2810 or siennamercato.com

FEBRUARY 17

The Dormont—Mt. Lebanon—Castle Shannon Rotary Club is raising funds at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse. Twenty percent of food and non-alcoholic beverage sales will go to the club, which will then be redistributed causes supporting literacy, health and wellness, children and family services and more. Participants must bring a copy of the rotary flyer to their server for proceeds to be donated. 11 a.m. 1819 Washington Rd. Upper St. Clair. Free admission. 412-942-2141 or tasteofthesouthhills.com PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | 23


ART FEBRUARY 18

FEBRUARY 23

The Incline and Alloy 26 host a Pitch-Your-Friend event, where attendees present to the crowd their single friend to potential suitors. A Q&A will follow each presentation, and one lucky couple will receive a date night on the town. All gender and sexual identities are welcome to participate in this event. Submit an application to present on a friend by Feb. 11., or just get a ticket to enjoy the show and maybe find a date of your own. 7 p.m. 100 S. Commons. $5 for The Incline members, $15 general admission. 412-567-8808 or theincline.com

Celebrate International Polar Bear Day at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Learn more about the challenges polar bears are facing in a changing climate as well as what people can do to help. The Zoo’s two polar bears, Koda and Snowflake, will also receive a special treat. This event is included with admission price. 11 a.m. 7:30 Baker St. $14 for kids and seniors, $15 general admission. 412-665-3640 or pittsburghzoo.org

FEBRUARY 19

City of Asylum @ Alphabet City hosts a screening of Sighted Eyes/ Feeling Heart in partnership with the Sembène Film Festival. The documentary focuses on playwright and activist Lorraine Hansberry. The screening is free with reservation. 7 p.m. 40 W. North Ave. Free. 412-435-1110 or alphabetcity.org

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens holds their first Nature of Place Symposium, discussing biophilia and the importance of green space in cities with a number of experts across many fields. The Symposium opens with a reception on Feb. 19 and continues with the Symposium itself the morning of Feb. 20. 6 p.m. One Schenley Park. For students with ID: $15 for reception only, $39 for reception and symposium. For general admission: $25 for reception only, $99 for reception and symposium. phipps.conservatory.org

FEBRUARY 24

FEBRUARY 20

Theater fans can make their own Audrey II at Pittsburgh Public Theater in partnership with City Grows. Ticket price includes the class and materials as well as admission to that night’s performance of Little Shop of Horrors. Attendees must use promo code PPTGROW when purchasing tickets. 7 p.m. 621 Penn Ave. $65. 412-316-8221 or ppt.org The Notre Dame Club of Pittsburgh holds the speaker series “In My Shoes”, discussing diversity in the workplace at the Union Trust Building. The event includes a number of panelists, networking opportunities and refreshments. Attendees may attend free with reservation. 5 p.m. 501 Grant St. Free. 412-561-3801 or kerry.boehner@gmail.com

FEBRUARY 21

The Heinz History Center holds their 22nd History Uncorked event, with this year featuring an 80s theme. Live auction bidding, food, dancing to music by local bands and DJs and more will be part of the festivities, while guests can explore all six floors of exhibits. 7:30 p.m. 1212 Smallman St. $65 general admission, $110 VIP admission. heinzhistorycenter.org Carnegie Science Center’s latest Sleepover event is candy-themed. Kids will learn how to make caramel, marshmallow shooters and test their engineering skills by trying to build the tallest candy structure. 6 p.m. One Allegheny Ave. $39. carnegiesciencecenter.org

FEBRUARY 22

Youth Author Mahogany L. Browne, whose works include Black Girl Magic and Woke Baby, joins City of Asylum @ Alphabet City for selected readings and a Q&A. The event is free with reservation. 3 p.m. 40 W. North Ave. Free. 412-435-1110 or alphabetcity.org 24 | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

Feb 24: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart


ART

Philippe Arroyo in 'Little Shop of Horrors (Photo: Michael Henninger)

ART LISTINGS ONGOING I CAME BY BOAT SO MEET ME AT THE BEACH

EXHIBITS Ayana M. Evans, New York-based performance artist, and Tsedaye Makonnen, multidisciplinary artist from Washington, DC, present new collaborative works and performances that explore the legacies of Black radical womanhood in relationship to well-being, ritual, and physical labor. Runs through March 29. Gallery Hours. The BNY Mellon Gallery, first floor, 500 Grant St., Downtown. aacc-awc.org

VANISHING BLACK BARS AND LOUNGES

EXHIBITS New Orleans-based photographer L. Kasimu Harris documents disappearing social halls and leisure clubs that were safe gathering spaces for African Americans for entertainment, benevolent causes, and community activism. Runs through March 29. Gallery Hours. Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation Gallery, 500 Grant St., Downtown. Aacc-awc.org

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

STAGE Pittsburgh Public Theater presents the classic Menken and Ashman musical. Through Feb 23. Times Vary. O'Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. ppt.org

ONGOING THE BOOK OF MERMAN

STAGE Two Mormon missionaries ring the doorbell of Ethel Merman and hilarity ensues in this new musical comedy. Runs through February 14. Times Vary. CLO Cabaret, 719 Liberty Ave., 6th Floor, Downtown. Visitpittsburgh.com

FEBRUARY 13 I LOATHE LUCY

STAGE Pittsburgh's best Murder Mystery troupe returns to The Oaks Theater with this great Valentines Day Murder Mystery "I Loathe Lucy." Only you can solve the crime as part of this immersive murder mystery! 7:30 PM. The Oaks Theatre, Oakmont, 310 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. theoakstheater.com

FEBRUARY 14 MAKESHOP: TOOLS THAT MOVE

KIDS Join us as we explore making tools that move! What happens when your tools move... without you? Come find out! From

10:00am - 5:00pm. Also Feb. 28 10:00:00 AM. Children's Museum, 10 Children's Way, Allegheny Square. Pittsburghkids. org

GARY GULMAN

COMEDY Stand up Comedian best known as a finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing. 6:00 PM. The Rex, 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. druskyentertainment.com

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

STAGE Beauty comes from within. So does the nature of the Beast. See both sides of the story in Beauty and the Beast. Runs through February 23. 8:00 PM. Benedum Center, 237 7th Street, Downtown. pbt.org

FEBRUARY 16 FREE ASSOCIATION READING SERIES

LIT/LECTURE Intimate readings with exceptional writers co-curated by Pat Hart and Marc Nieson of the Free Association Reading Series 5:00 PM. Alphabet City , 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 17 TIM & ERIC - MANDATORY ATTENDANCE WORLD TOUR

COMEDY Tim and Eric return to the road for a WORLD TOUR filled with more spoofs, goofs and insanity, including some very special surprises we can't talk about right now. 7:00 PM. Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. druskyentertainment.com

ART VOYAGE: ART THAT MOVES

KIDS Pack your bags and join us for an adventure around the museum! From 10:30am - 11:30am. 10:30 AM. Children's Museum, 10 Children's Way, Allegheny Square. Pittsburghkids.org

FEBRUARY 20 SARA PIPHER GILLIAM

LIT Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures presents the author of Reviving Ophelia, which examines the impact that social media has, explore the rising and empowering importance of student activism in girls’ lives. 7:00 PM. Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. www.pittsburghlectures.org

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | 25


ART FEBRUARY 23

SOUND SERIES: EKO CHAMBER COLLECTIVE

OTHER The Warhol welcomes you to come see a collection of different musicians join together in different sound. 8:00 PM. The Worhol entrance space, 117 Sandusky St., Pittsburgh. 412-237-8300

ORCHID AND TROPICAL BONSAI SHOW: OUT OF THIS WORLD

EDUCATION Blast off into a galaxy of garden goodness in this stellar new show. From 9:30am-5:00pm 9:30 AM. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, One Schenley Park. phipps.conservatory.org

NATURE OF PLACE SYMPOSIUM

LECTURE At Phipps' first Nature of Place Symposium, the concept of biophilla finds a new expression as leaders across disciplines come together to discuss the influence and impact of biophilla on their work and the work of the future. 8:00 AM. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, One Schenley Park, . phipps. conservatory.org

FEBRUARY 24 PITTSBURGH FASHION SUMMIT

FASHION Mayor William Peduto and The Downtown Community Development Corporation will host Pittsburgh's first ever Pittsburgh Fashion Summit with an aim to put Pittsburgh on the fashion map, Noon. Union Trust Building, 501 Grant St., Downtown. www.pghfw.com

FEBRUARY 21 THE CHELSEA GIRLS EXPLODED

EXHIBITS In celebration of the museum’s publication of Andy Warhol’s "The Chelsea Girls" and its ongoing film digitization project, The Chelsea Girls Exploded exhibition showcases the film and a selection of promotional material, photography, and art, while revealing the extent of the film’s influence on cinema and popular culture during its time. Runs through March 22. Museum Hours. The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Side. warhol.org

ANDREW SCHULTZ

COMEDY A native New Yorker and internationally touring stand-up comedian, Andrew Schulz is known for his hilarious and unapologetic viewpoints. Schulz challenges conventional wisdom with a NYC tone that is often idiotic, at times brilliant, and always hysterical. Runs through February 22. 7:30 PM. Pittsburgh Improv, 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead. improv.com/pittsburgh

TUBMAN

STAGE This one woman show presents the story of Harriet Tubman reimagined as a young woman growing up in Harlem through a theatrical lens. 10:30 AM. August Wilson African American Cultural Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Aacc-awc.org

SEMBENE FILM FESTIVAL: SIGHTED EYES/FEELING HEART

February 20: Eko Chamber Collective (Photo by Kitoko Chargois)

SEEING DOUBLE SCREENING

FILM Join us for a showcase of video art and tiny tiny films we curated! This free screening highlights Pittsburgh artists and makers creating work about duality. All works screened are three minutes or under! 6:00 PM. CDCP Project Space, 317 South Trenton Ave., Wilkinsburg. 412-552-3600

DANGEROUSLY IN LOVE

STAGE A collection of original material addressing the issue of abuse in teen relationships. Songs, dances, scenes and poems created and performed by the unparalleled ATC Teen Ensemble. Appropriate for ages 14+ Children under 10 not admitted. Ends Feb 22. 7:00 PM. Alumni Theater Company, 6601 Hamilton Ave., Homewood. www.alumnitheatercompany.org

YOUTH DROP-OFF WORKSHOP: LINO CUT WITH MOLLY

KIDS Create a relief design and carve it out of linoleum to make a print! This drop-off is for youth ages 10+. From 2pm-4pm. 2:00 PM. Children's Museum, 10 Children's Way, Allegheny Square. Pittsburghkids.org

TCHAIKOVSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO

CLASSICAL/ORCHESTRAL The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents Tchaikovsy's Violin Concerto. Don't miss one of two performances. Ends February 23. Times Vary. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. pittsburghsyphony.org

PHOTOGRAPHIC SILKSCREEN DEMONSTRATION

EDUCATION This is a daily event. Each day at 2pm the museum's artist educators demonstrate Warhol's silkscreen printing process from beginning to end. 2:00 PM. The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky Street. warhol.org

FEBRUARY 22 YOUTH AUTHOR SERIES: MAHOGANY L. BROWNE

LIT/LECTURE A reading by acclaimed spoken word poet, visionary, and activist Mahogany L. Browne who will present various stories from her many books. Her reading will be followed by a Q&A session. 3:00 PM. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

THE LAST AMERICAN HAMMER

OPERA Milcom Negley, a one-man militia, rages against the tyranny of federal overreach. Rubs through March 1 8:00 PM. Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Ave.. pittsburghopera.org March 9: Tarana Burke

26 | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

FILM The first-ever feature documentary about Lorraine Hansberry, presented by Sembene - The Film and Arts Festival. A short discussion and Q&A will follow the film. Event is free, but RSVP is required. Event from 7:00-8:30pm 7:00 PM. City of Asylum @ Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave. alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 26 WHAT DOES TROUBLE MEAN?: NATE SMITH'S REVOLUTION

FILM A screening of “What Does Trouble Mean?: Nate Smith’s Revolution” part of the 2020 From Slavery to Freedom Film Series. 5:30 PM. Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St., Strip. Heinzhistorycenter.org

COLUM MCCANN

LIT Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures presents Colum McCann to discuss Apeirogon, his latest novel about the real-life friendship of teo men united by loss. Entry includes copy of the novel. 7:00 PM. Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. www.pittsburghlectures.org

FEBRUARY 27 DISNEY ON ICE: ROAD TRIP A VENTURES

KIDS Hit the road with Mickey and his pals for a high-octane ride in Disney On Ice Presents: Road Trip Adventures. Exciting twists and turns await Mickey, Minnie, Goofy -- and you -- embark on a wild ride to your favorite Disney destinations. Runs through Dec. 29 7:00 PM. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave..

DISNEY ON ICE

KIDS Annual Showcase of Disney stars on ice Times Vary. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. ppgpaintsarena.com

TENDER: A CELEBRATION OF BLACK WOMEN & FEMMES IN PITTSBURGH LIT/LECTURE Join us for a reading and


ART book singing featuring contributors to "TENDER a literary anthology & book of spells: evidence." Event from 7:00-8:30pm. Event is free but RSVP is required. 7:00 PM. City of Asylum @ Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave.. alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 28 SCIENCE AFTER HOURS: TRUE CRIME EDUCATION Put your sleuthing skills to the test as secrets and motives are exposed at Science After Hours: True Crime. With no kids around, expect deeper science content, riskier experiments, and more! Event from 6:00-10:00pm 6:00 PM. Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.. carnegiesciencecenter.org

MARCH 1 LINDA SUE PARK

LIT/LECTURE Linda Sue Park is the author of more than two dozen books for young readers, including picture books, middle-grade and young-adult novels, short stories, and poetry. Following the event there will be a book signing. 2:30 PM. Carnegie Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave.. 412-622-8866

MARCH 6 THE OUTISDERS

STAGE S.E. Hinton's Classic novel about class war and friendship is presented by Prime Stage Theatre. Through March 15 Times Vary. New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. primestage.com

NEW WORKS SHOWCASE

STAGE Looking for a night of bold new work? Come check out 4 original plays, fresh music, inspirational dances, and brand new poetry all created and presented by ATC’s brilliant Professional Ensemble. Appropriate for ages 14+. Children under 10 will not be admitted. 7:00 PM. Alumni Theater Company, 6601 Hamilton Avenue, Homewood.

MARCH 9 PITTSBURGH OPERA FASHION SHOW

FASHION Don't miss the most fashionable night of the year with the Pittsburgh Opera Fashion Event! 6:30 PM. Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Ave.. pittsburghopera.org

TEN EVENINGS SERIES: ESI EDUGYAN

LIT/LECTURE Prize-winning novelist Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black is an epic adventure about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a man of the world 7:00 PM. Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Pittsburghlectures. orgwww.alumnitheatercompany.org

MARCH 16 ANNE ENRIGHT

LIT Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures presents Dublin-based author Anne Enright to discuss her newest novel, The Actress. Entry includes a copy of the novel. 7:00 PM. Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. www.pittsburghlectures.com

MARCH 18 THE TIPPING POINT

DANCE Multi-disciplinary, immersive production featuring local actors/dancers and a group of resettled refugees. Through March 29 7:00 PM. 25 Carrick Ave, 25 Carrick Ave., Carrick. https://25carrickave.com/

MARCH 20 HERE + NOW

DANCE This mixed-repertory production brings together three celebrated choreographers to create stunning dance for the here and now in the August Wilson Cultural Center. Runs through March 29. 8:00 PM. August Wilson African American Cultural Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. pbt.org

APRIL 6 TEN EVENINGS SERIES: MICHAEL ONDAATJE

LIT/LECTURE Man Booker Prize-winning author of The English Patient and recipient of the Golden Booker, Michael Ondaatje’s newest novel is Warlight, a mesmerizing tale of violence and love, intrigue and desire. 7:30 PM. Carnegie Library Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Pittsburghlectures.org

APRIL 17 BALANCHINE + TCHAIKOVSKY WITH THE PBT ORCHESTRA

SYMPHONY, DANCE Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s storied history with Balanchine and Tchaikovsky is revived in this mixed-repertory production celebrating two of ballet’s greatest contributors. Runs through April 19. 8:00 PM. Benedum Center, 237th Street, Downtown. Pbt.org

February 14: Gary Gulman guests Donnie Iris and The Ghost Hounds. 5:30 PM. Jergel's Rhythm Grille, 107 Slade Lane, Warrendale. givetochildrens.org/ shearthebeard

NEGRO LEAGUES CENTENNIAL COMMERATION

HISTORY Join the Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh Pirates, Josh Gibson Foundation, and Carnegie Museum of Art for an evening commemorating the centennial of baseball’s Negro Leagues. 6:00 PM. Sports Museum, 1212 Smallman St., Strip. heinzhistorycenter.org

FEBRUARY 14 BLACK WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

COMMUNITY LISTINGS

LIT/LECTURE In celebration of Black History Month, the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship and the Women’s Institute at Chatham University will host a panel of speakers representing “Black Women in Leadership & Community Development.” 7:30 AM. James Laughlin Music Center, 6585 Penn Ave., Larimer. chatam.edu/cwe

FEBRUARY 13

FEBRUARY 16

JERGEL'S RHYTHM GRILLE, DONNIE IRIS

FUNDRAISER Join Steeler Nation for "The Final Cut", year 10 of Shear Da Beard with special guest Brett Keisel. This event benefits Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, special

TROPICAL SUNDAYS

EXHIBIT Take 50% off admission every Sunday in February when you wear a tropical-inspired shirt to Phipps. 9:30 AM. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, One Schenley Park. phipps. conservatory.org

FEBRUARY 19 PITTSBURGH CITY COUNCIL

PUBLIC hearing Public Comment will be heard regarding the designation of four buildings as Historic Structures, including the City-County Building and Federal Courthouse. 1:00 PM. Council Chambers, 414 Grant St., Downtown. Pittsburghpa.gov

BLACK HISTORY MONTH LECTURE: FREEDOM'S BLOOD MEMORIES

LIT/LECTURE The sixth annual Black History Month lecture features Sowande Mustakeem, Ph.D., author of “Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage.” 6:00 PM. Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St., Strip. Heinzhistorycenter.org

FEBRUARY 21 CANDY ENGINEERING SLEEPOVER

OTHER Looking for fun, overnight things to do with your family? Bring them on down to the Science Center for a night full of fun. 6:00 PM. Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.. carnegiesciencecenter.org

FEBRUARY 22 YOUTH AUTHOR SERIES: MAHOGANY L. BROWNE

LIT/LECTURE Join us for a reading with acclaimed spoken word poet, visionary, and

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | 27


ART MARCH 13

APRIL 25

WORDPLAY

DJ In this monthly series, People read their own stories while the DJ spins a real-time soundtrack using anything from Brahms to Beyonce. You'll laugh, cry, and get intimate looks into lives of total strangers. Through Feb. 14. 7:30 PM. Bricolage Production Company, 937 Liberty Ave., Cultural District, 15222. Bricolagepgh.org

APRIL 1 NATIONAL GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE CERTIFICATION PROGRAM (NGICP)

EDUCATION This certificate program covers the design, installation, inspection, and maintenance of green storm water infrastructure relating to the Pennsylvania Best Management Practices (PA BMP) manual. Candidates who complete this program are prequalified to sit for the Water Environment Federation’s certification exam. Ends April 29. 8:30 AM. Energy Innovation Center, 1435 Bedford Avenue, Suite A, Hill District. 412482-3463

HANDBAG BINGO

OTHER Proceeds benefit Mainstay Life Services, a local nonprofit that provides lifelong, high-quality support services, ensuring that people with developmental disabilities lead fulfilling lives and realize their vision of a desirable future. Tickets are $30 which includes 11 games and lunch. 11:00 AM. Keystone Oaks High School, 1000 Kelton Avenue, Baldwin. https://tinyurl.com/ BingoPC

FOOD/DRINK LISTINGS FEBRUARY 15 PITTSBURGH CHOCOLATE, WINE AND WHISKEY FESTIVAL

FESTIVAL Entry includes unlimited tasting of Chocolates, wine and Craft Spirits Noon. Rivers Casino, 777 Casino Drive, North Side. riverscasino.com

February 17: Tim and Eric activist Mahogany L. Browne. Who will present various stories from her books. Following the reading will be a Q&A conversation. Event is free, but a RSVP is required. 3:00 PM. City of Asylum @ Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave.. alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 23 BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION

LIT/LECTURE Civil Rights Tour Presentation by Dr. Todd Allen. Dinner will be served and a Free Will Offering collected. 3:30 PM. Webster Avenue Christian and Missionary Alliance, 2325 Webster Ave., Hill District. tinyurl.com/WACandMA

FEBRUARY 25 NORTHSIDE MARDI GRAS FAT TUESDAY

FAIR/FESTIVAL The Annual Northside Mardi Gras celebration involves 25+ businesses in Pittsburgh's Northside and will be featuring New Orleans/Mardi Gras-inspired food/drink/retail specials and live entertainment! $10 in advance, $12 at the door, cash only 7:00 PM. Allegheny Elks, 400 Cedar Ave., Duetschtown. www.pittsburghnorthside.com/ mardigras

FEBRUARY 28 MOVIE NIGHT: E.T. THE TERRESTRIAL FILM Come watch everyone's favorite extra-

terrestrial friend in Botany Hall Auditorium, and then blast off through our Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: Out of This World! Event from 7:00-9:00pm 7:00 PM. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, One Schenley Park. phipps.conservatory.org

THIRD FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH AT 10:00 AM

MARCH 7 GIRL SCOUT SPACE NIGHT SLEEPOVER

EDUCATION See if you have what it takes to be an astronaut as you tansport yourself into outer space using virtual reality and design and test your own lunar lander. 6:00 PM. Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.. carnegiesciencecenter.org

GALLERY TALKS

LECTURE Gallery Talks is a daily event at the Warhol Museum. Gallery talks are led by museum staff members or Donald Warhola, one of Warhol's ten nieces and nephews. They have a thematic focus around a series of Warhol artworks or one of Warhol's artistic processes. Daily from 11am-3pm 11:00 AM. The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St.. warhol.org

MARCH 9 TRUTHSAYERS: TARANA BURKE

LECTURE Tarana Burke, civil rights activist, was the original founder of the "Me Too" movement. Which she started in 2006. Come see her speak on March 9. 7:00 PM. August Wilson Cultural Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. aacc-awc.org

28 | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

PITTSBURGH CURRENT

PODCAST


FOOD DAY DRINKING

KEEPING TABS ON THE CRAFT BEER SCENE IN PITTSBURGH AND BEYOND BY DAY BRACEY - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CRAFT BEER WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

Feb 7, 9:30 p.m.: I’m at Apis because the wifey got a hankering for mead and good conversation. You can find both here. Sara Marie, manager of this fine establishment, pours some Banana Nut Bread mead. It’s nutty and wild with honey, vanilla, and a hint of banana. I’m usually not a fan of banana-flavored anything, but this is more of a Nut Bread Banana than a Banana Nut Bread. It’s like Banana set you up on a blind date with Nut Bread, but isn’t actually with you on the date. In fact, you may not see Banana again until the wedding, but you’ll be eternally grateful for the introduction. Banana prefers an open bar situation and will bring a great gift to help offset the costs. Feb 7, 9:45p.m.: There's a Greek food truck outside. I haven't had a good gyro in a while! Feb 7, 10 p.m.: I guess it'll be a while longer before I get that good gyro. Not all lamb meat is created equally. And who owns a food truck with no hot sauce?! Luckily, Sara keeps some Sriracha in her purse. I don't know how much she's making, but this woman deserves a raise! Feb 7, 10:30 p.m.: We're at Thunderbird Cafe for a free event hosted by DJ Big Phil, featuring a stacked lineup including Mars Jackson, Bill Henry, & Benji. They're taking canned good donations at the door. I haven't been to Thunderbird since the remodel; it's unrecognizable. So much space. Two floors. Stone and exposed brick walls. A huge stage and dance floor. Long bar with monitors displaying the craft beer menu. Easily one of the best mixed-use venues in the city. My production gears get to turning. The place is packed with Pittsburgh's youthful notables: DJ Femi, Joel Carter of BBGuns, Cody Baker of Creatives Drink. I feel like the old creep at a frat party. I order a barrel aged stout to complete the look. Feb 8, 7:30 p.m.: I'm at Spirit for the

third annual Rhapsody in Brew, a home brew competition event to benefit the Edgewood Symphony. "Local brewers compete for home brew superiority while attendees get to sample the many beers and enjoy live music by the Bartlett Street Quartet, and Dennis Cline." Many of the TRASH & TRUB faithful are in attendance. I've only got 90 minutes left to take this flavor ride, with Pete Paredes as my guide. So, let's get to it! First up is a Dunkel, brewed by Rich Romanko. It's bready and malty and delicious, and indicative of a man known as one of the best brewers in Western PA.

the best stouts I've had this season. Just the right amount of mint to entertain yet not offend. At 6.7%, I can have a couple and not lose my shit. "Fall Wildflower" is a "barrel aged blended mixed fermentation golden ale," via Matt Firetto. "CNC Vienna malt biere de garde & rye saison base beers. Bottle conditioned with fall wildflower honey, lemon, figs, and cinnamon." Long story short, this shit fire! It gets ya here, and it gets ya right here! Pow! Right in the kisser!

"You've gotta try this hazy on the other side of the room!" Ok. "Here Comes Sunshine" is a 7.2% NEIPA from New Minglewoods Brew and also how folks typically describe my entrance into rooms. Citra, Mosaic, & Pacific Gem are the tri-hop combo that give this ale the rave inducing complexity.

I'm not into ciders all like that. However, I'm into Scott Miller Brewing ciders. They're soft and non-carbonated. Warm with subtle cinnamon to cuddle your taste buds next to a fireplace. Don't tell anybody this, but apparently you can make a +20% abv version of this same drink if you freeze then extract the liquid portion of it. You ever have an "ice" beer? Same process, but less trash and far more inebriation. "I say +20% because that's as high as my instrument can measure." In this purely hypothetical situation, I would greatly enjoy a sip of this fine elixir. In theory, it'd be the best thing I partake in at this event.

Just then, I bump into the other Black people in the room. They seem pretty cool. We discuss Fresh Fest while sipping "Schminty Mint Stout" from Long Shot Brewing Co. It's easily one of

Feb 8, 9:30 p.m.: I'm at The Abbey for the Late Night Drag Brunch fundraiser, a pj party organized by Ali Wyrostek of Rhinegheist Brewing for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Ali was the first

Next up is the Door Top/Bash Brew collab, "Thicc Flair." It's a strawberry milkshake IPA with hella starbursts thrown into the mix. Have I expressed to you my love for lactose?

beer rep to appear on the Drinking Partners podcast and sponsor our Night of EPIC Comedy. I can honestly say that our journey in craft beer would be drastically altered without her support. I can honestly say this event would be drastically altered without the fab drag in attendance. Speaking of which, Penguin Nitro is the drink la nuit. A creamy blonde stout with coffee & cocoa nibs. It's essentially a dark beer masquerading as a light ale. Well played, Ali. Well played.

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | 29


EXTRA

Savage Love

Savage Love | sex | relationships

M

BY DAN SAVAGE MAIL@SAVAGELOVE.NET

y boyfriend and I were having relationship issues until we tried something new: pegging. He wanted to try it, but he was afraid and sometimes said the idea disgusted him. Then we tried it, and it was better than normal vanilla or even kinky bondage sex. It was the most emotionally connected sex we’ve ever had. I actually pegged him three times in 24 hours. He says now he wants to be “the girl” in our relationship. He doesn’t want to transition to become a girl, but to be more “the girl” sexually and emotionally. I see this as sexy and loving. I’ve always taken care of him in a nurturing way, but this adds so much more. I feel bad about sending this long story just to ask a simple question, but… how do I be more “the guy” for my boyfriend who wants to be more “the girl”? Not just sexually, but in everyday life? The Boyfriend Experience “It’s amazing these two found each other,” said Key Barrett, a trained anthropologist. “They communicate and obviously create spaces to be vulnerable together and explore.” Barrett has studied female-led relationships (FLR) and written books—fiction and nonfiction— about them, TBE, and his first concern was your boyfriend succumbing to “sub-frenzy,” or a burning desire to realize all his fantasies at once. You guys aren’t new to kink—you mention bondage—but you’ve found something that taps into some deep-seated desires, and you don’t want to move too fast.

“Pegging opened up a huge box of shiny new emotions and feelings,” said Barrett. “That’s great, but they should take it slow, especially if they want this dynamic to be a part of the day-to-day relationship.” You also need to bear in mind that pegging, while wonderful, won’t solve your underlying (and unspecified) “relationship issues.” Unless, of course, the issue was your boyfriend feeling anxious about asking you to peg him. If he was worried about walking back his previous comments, or worried you would judge, shame, or dump him over this, that could have been the cause of your conflict, and the pegging—by some miracle—was the solution. But, hey, you didn’t ask about those other issues—you didn’t even name them—so let’s focus on your actual question: you being “the guy” and your boyfriend being “the girl.” “The boyfriend wants TBE to be ‘the guy’ in the relationship to reinforce his desire to be ‘the girl,’” said Barrett, “and she seems okay with this, although she does acknowledge that this would require more than the nurturing and caretaking she’s already showed toward him. That’s a valid concern. His desire to take the kink out of the bedroom and merge it with the day-to-day risks turning her into a kink dispenser. There’s also the aspect of the boyfriend’s gender stereotyping. Being dominant isn’t unique to men, and being submissive isn’t a ‘feminine’ trait. There are a lot of alpha men

30 | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

in FLRs who shine in support roles for the women they trust. Female-led relationships don’t rely on stereotypes. Indeed, they often flout them by relying not on stereotypical behaviors but on what is a natural dynamic for the couple. In that sense, each FLR is unique.” While it’s possible that “I want to be the girl” are the only words your boyfriend has to describe the dynamic that turns him on, for some men, sacrificing their “male” power and privilege is an intrinsic part of the eroticism of submitting to a dominant woman. And that’s okay, too. “If he legitimately wants to take on a role of supporting her and being her adoring submissive partner while thinking of that role as ‘feminine,’ it could work for them,” said Barrett. “He might really enjoy supporting her decisions and being more of a domestic partner. She might enjoy the support and validation that comes from having a partner who revels in her successes and strength. This could fulfill the ‘caring for him as if I were the boyfriend’ portion (what a loving a statement!) while still feeling natural for TBE.” So how can you get started as “the guy” in this relationship? “They should, again, start small,” said Barrett. “Maybe delegate a few tasks that were ‘hers’ to him, and she can tell him how she wants them done,” whatever it is (dishes? laundry? cocksucking?), “as this will help ensure the outcome they both want. I would also recommend they both read about what FLRs are and aren’t. FLRs are often kink-friendly, but kink is not required. And they need to remember the key word in ‘female-led relationship’ is ‘relationship.’” Follow Key Barrett on Twitter @KeyBarrettMSc. I’m a woman, and I was con-

tacted on an app by someone claiming to be a “guydyke.” Based on their profile pictures, I was basically looking at a white, cis, masc-presenting man who’s said he is queer but only attracted to women. And by masc-presenting, I mean I could not pick him out of a lineup of the most average of average-looking straight dudes: drab clothes, a week’s stubble, bad haircut. Granted, nobody is obliged to announce their gender identity through clothing or grooming choices, but how is this guy not straight? Perplexed “I happen to be one of those ‘old-school’ lesbians, despite not actually being what most consider to be old,” said Arielle Scarcella, a popular lesbian YouTuber (youtube.com/Arielle) with more than 600,000 subscribers. “Back when I was coming out in 2005, if a male person who lived as a man—a male who lived in such a way that he was always perceived to be a man—claimed he was a lesbian or a dyke, we’d shut them down. But in 2020, it’s only acceptable to accept everyone for what they say they are. I disagree. Part of being a lesbian, being a woman, is also cultural and societal. It’s not simply an identity. Living in the world as a woman matters. A biological male who presents as a man and has sex only with women will never know what it’s like to be treated as a woman or a lesbian. He can identify however he likes, of course, but he will be perceived as a straight man who’s fetishizing queer women.” On the Lovecast, spanking is for grown-ups! With Jillian Keenan: savagelovecast.com. mail@savagelove.net Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage


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CLASSIFIEDS For more information on how to place your classified ad, please call 412-945-0817

NOW HIRING!

Specializing in Auto, Home, Life, & Business Insurance John Kwateng Insurance Agency is seeking a part time/full producer. Ideal candidate must either hold a Property & Casualty License or Life and Health license. Please send resumes to jkwateng@farmersagent.com

For more information or for insurance inquiries call 412-532-9196

PITTSBURGH

CURRENT ADVERTISE WITH US. CONTACT: ANDREA JAMES ������������������������.��� �� 412.945.0817

                 

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PITTSBURGH CURRENT || FEBRUARY FEBRUARY 11, 11, 2020 2020 || 31 31 PITTSBURGH CURRENT


The Strip + Port Authority As long as the Strip has been “The Strip”, Port Authority has been providing transit service that is only

5

minutes to Downtown and 15 minutes to Lawrenceville and the North Shore. When parking

is at a premium and driving is kind of a pain, Port Authority offers a convenient alternative. To live or work in the Strip is not a dream. Transit makes it doable.

Remember, we have bike racks on every bus, and messenger bags are welcome. While you may not see buses on Smallman, we run on Liberty, the quick corridor on the edge of the Strip. We’ve got plenty of technologies to enhance the experience, Trip Planner, TrueTime, mobile apps and super customer service, even WiFi. So hop on board and relax. At least for 5 minutes.

PortAuthority.org

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 11, 2020 | 32

Profile for pittsburghcurrent

Pittsburgh Current Volume III, Issue III, February 11, 2020  

Do citizens have recourse when a judge behaves badly? Brittney Chantele's Golden Opportunity and a new magician invades Liberty Magic

Pittsburgh Current Volume III, Issue III, February 11, 2020  

Do citizens have recourse when a judge behaves badly? Brittney Chantele's Golden Opportunity and a new magician invades Liberty Magic