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INSIDE:

THE ACDC IS ON A HIGHWAY TO HELL

VOL. 3 ISSUE 4

Feb. 25, 2020 - March 9, 2020

PGHCURRENT

PGHCURRENT

PGHCURRENT

SERIAL SOUND

WITH ‘UNDERNEATH,’ CODE ORANGE WRITES THE NEXT CHAPTER OF ITS HARDCORE TOME

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2 | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT


STAFF Publisher/Editor: Charlie Deitch Charlie@pittsburghcurrent.com Associate Publisher: Bethany Ruhe Bethany@pittsburghcurrent.com

contents

Vol. III Iss. IV February 25, 2020

Advisory Board Chairman: Robert Malkin Robert@pittsburghcurrent.com

NEWS 4 | In Fighting 5 | Brewed On Grant

EDITORIAL

OPINION 7 | Highway to Hell 9 | Don't Lose Hope for Tomorrow

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 Columnist: Jessica Semler Jessica@pittsburghcurrent.com Listings Clerk: Makinley Magill Makinley@pittsburghcurrent.com Contributing Writers: Jody DiPerna, Jessica Semler, Mike Shanley, Amanda Reed, Hugh Twyman, Emerson Andrews, Dan Savage, Larry Schweiger, Stephen Caruso, Nick Eustis info@pittsburghcurrent.com

MUSIC 10 | Code Orange 12 | Action Camp 13 | First/Last 14 | New Sounds 15 | Chart Toppers 16 | Music Listings ART 22 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 29 |

Black Bars & Lounge Stay Gold Page Turner Magical Collection The Can't Miss Art Listings

FOOD 30 | Day Drinking EXTRA 34 | Savage Love

Logo Design: Mark Addison ADVERTISING

Vice President of Sales: Paul Klatzkin Paul@pittsburghcurrent.com

CREDIT:

COVER PHOTO BY: JIMMY FONTAINE The Fine Print

Senior Account Executive: Andrea James Andrea@pittsburghcurrent.com

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. One copy per person. The Pittsburgh Current is published twice monthly beginning August 2018.

Sales Associate: Ross Cortese Ross@pittsburghcurrent.com

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 25, 2020 | 3


NEWS

Before he can get to the November General Eletion, Pa. State Rep Daryl Metcalfe has to first get through a contested primary. (Photo: Pa. House)

IN-FIGHTING

REP. DARYL METCALFE, AN 'EXTREMIST, AND CHALLENGER TIMKO, A 'CLOWN', FACE OFF IN INTRA-PARTY BRAWL

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BY STEPHEN CARUSO - FOR THE PITTSBURGH CURRENT INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

messy primary fight between a former congressional hopeful and an arch-conservative Harrisburg veteran is brewing north of Pittsburgh. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, is mostly known for inducing rage in liberal circles for inviting white nationalists to his committee and hosting climate skeptics. But the 11-term western Pennsylvania lawmaker’s antics have provoked an intra-party challenge this spring. Air Force veteran Scott Timko, a 54-year-old from Metcalfe’s hometown of Cranberry Township in Butler County, filed paperwork this week for the April 28 Republican primary. Timko told the Penn Capital-Star (news partner of the Pittsburgh Current) this week that Metcalfe’s “grandstanding” has made enemies in the red-tinged district. “Conservative is one thing, but extremism is another thing,” Timko, a pilot and restaurant owner, said. “Quite frankly, Daryl is an extremist and I don’t think extremists serve their constituents.”

Timko originally announced in August 2019 that he would run against U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-17th District, whose seat includes Cranberry. Instead, Timko said he changed his mind after realizing he’d have a greater impact as a state representative. Beating Metcalfe, Timko said, would “be challenging,” because Metcalfe “runs a rough campaign.” And speaking to the Capital-Star, Metcalfe, a U.S. Army veteran and seasoned campaigner, came out swinging. “I’ve been fighting the fight in Harrisburg and clowns like this guy think they’re going to run with a last minute filing?” Metcalfe said, “He has no idea what a state representative is supposed to do.” Metcalfe, who said he had been “gearing up for a primary,” called Timko “unstable” a half-dozen times for the late switch into the state House race. He added that taking money to beat Democrat Lamb, only to now run in a primary against a Republican incumbent, showed a lack of integrity. Metcalfe, who bragged that he was a

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Tea Partier before it was cool, has been thrust into the state’s spotlight ever since the GOP took the House in the Tea Party wave of 2010. As a lawmaker and powerful committee chair, he’s taunted Democrats on social media and pushed proposals to block same sex marriage, validate birther conspiracy theories, and to make English the official language of Pennsylvania. He also single-handedly blocked a non-partisan bill to fix redistricting in Pennsylvania. He also consistently votes against budget compromises struck between Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the GOP-controlled General Assembly. But the hardline conservatism carries into Metcalfe’s dealings with local officials in the 12th House District, which includes Cranberry as well as the boroughs of Seven Fields and Mars. Metcalfe has feuded with Cranberry’s commissioners, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, because of his commitment to limited government. He “doesn’t bring the bacon back home,” one local official told the Post-Gazette.

Nearly half of the district’s voters live in Cranberry, an affluent suburb 20 miles north of Pittsburgh. Timko plans to capitalize on this split. “He’s got some supporters out here to be sure. But by my whip count, more often than not, [Metcalfe’s name] doesn’t produce a favorable response,” Timko said. Metcalfe denied that he hasn’t worked for his district, saying he’s always lent his name and voice to local projects as needed. Timko isn’t the first candidate to try and turn the district against the incumbent. In 2014, local school board member Gordon Marburger tried to run against Metcalfe in the GOP primary. He was knocked off the ballot, but then ran a write-in campaign that fell short by 10 points. Marburger ran again in 2016 and lost by double that margin. Far from being an extremist, Metcalfe said the “the majority of people in the district want their pocketbooks protected and their values protected, and that’s why they elect me time and time again.” Like Metcalfe, Timko said he was also a pro-Second Amendment Republican opposed to abortion rights. The challenger also called Metcalfe a career politician after serving for more than two decades. “[Metcalfe] talks about lower taxes and he took the lifetime pension option. So when he leaves the House he’s going to be paid for the rest of his life,” Timko said. In response, Metcalfe quipped that “if you didn’t save for retirement, your constituents shouldn’t reelect you” because it’s “foolish” to not save. He added he’s supportive of a complete move for all public employees to a defined-contribution retirement plan, such as a 401(k). One Democrat is also on the ballot, Dan Smith, who ran unsuccessfully in 2018 against Metcalfe. While only garnering about 42 percent of the vote, Smith’s finish was the best ever Democratic performance against Metcalfe. In fact, Smith was not only competitive against Metcalfe in Cranberry Township, he even beat the incumbent in one ward.


NEWS

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6 | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT


OPINION

Yes, that is a Maga Hat and yes, it was being worn at the Allegheny County Democratic Committee meeting while it's wearer talks to endorsed Democrat Heather Kass. (Photo courtesy of Bethany Hallam)

HIGHWAY TO HELL

THE ALLEGHENY COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE IS ON A PATH OF SELF-DESTRUCTION

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o say that it has been a wild week in Pittsburgh politics would be the understatement of the century. The Allegheny County Democratic Committee (ACDC) held its endorsement meeting on Sunday 2/16, with disappointing results.  In every race that the ACDC could endorse a man instead of a woman, they did.  The only exception to this was their endorsement for House District 36. Demonstrated Trump supporter Heather Kass won handily over disability rights advocate Jessica Benham.  City Councillor Anthony Coghill was whipping votes for

BY JESSICA SEMLER - PITTSBURGH CURRENT COLUMNIST JESSICA@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

Kass, even after renouncing his endorsement of her.  The only incumbent to not receive the endorsement was Rep. Summer Lee, the first black woman to hold office on this level from our region.  A committeeman with a MAGA hat was in attendance. The backlash from these results was hard and swift. Within 48 hours, news outlets all over the country were talking about it; Apple News, Newsweek, LGBTQ Nation, Fox News! Ironically, this was probably the best thing that could have happened for Summer and Jessica; the sympathetic coverage they have both received is a

political campaign’s dream (and a nightmare for the ACDC), and they can keep running their campaigns on the platforms that they want, without needing to tow the party line. That being said, each candidate paid $2,500 to be considered for the ACDC endorsement. That money will now be used to fund their opponents’ campaigns. Now is a good time to throw these badass women some change if you’re so inclined. We need their voices in the legislature, and from these recent shenanigans, it is clear that they’ve scared the hell out of the old guard. By midweek, in the aftermath

of the endorsement, I thought I’d switch gears to write about the Presidential Primary Debate in Nevada. This was going to be the first debate with Mike Bloomberg, and honestly, the idea of watching the other candidates take to him like a pack of hyenas was making me dizzy with glee. But suddenly, ACDC Chair Eileen Kelly and Anthony Coghill (Pittsburgh City Councilman (District 4) / ACDC Chair, City Ward 19 in Beechview) announced on Wednesday morning that they would be holding a press conference that afternoon. What followed was an incredibly bizarre political stunt, the

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 7


OPINION only potential benefactors being communications professionals who’ve hit the jackpot in terms of a case study on what NOT to do in a public image crisis. Kelly and Coghill wouldn’t begin until County Councilwoman Bethany Hallam left the room, an odd demand since 1) it was a press conference and 2) Bethany wasn’t the only non-press person there. After a few minutes, it became clear why they didn’t want her there. There were no revelations to be had. Coghill and Kelly defended the ACDC Endorsement, calling it “democracy in its most pure form.” As Coghill droned on, exalting the process, I was confused as to how this merited a press conference. Old white man says process that disenfranchises outsiders and minorities is fair: FILM AT 11. Eileen’s comments were just as non-press conference worthy. But what she lacked in substance, she made up for in offensiveness. Eileen wondered aloud why folks hadn’t forgiven Kass for her comments, and attempted to drag Councilwoman Hallam into a totally batshit-crazy false equivalence: “For some reason, no one wants to forgive her [Kass]… We have Bethany Hallam who has her own background, she comes out and says she’s sorry, she’s forgiven.” The fact that this was part of her prepared remarks, and not just an in-the-moment mistake, shows how absolutely broken Eileen’s political instincts and moral compass are. She knew she was coming for Bethany, and didn’t want her to be in the room when she said what she was planning to say. She compared Bethany, a recovering addict, to Heather, who said all addicts should die. I met with Hallam the next day to catch up on all of this. Full disclosure: I am friends with Hallam, but let’s be honest, you don’t have to be friends with someone to see how wrong this is. “I’m not going to ask for forgiveness for struggling with addiction for 10 years. I’ve

proven through my words and my actions that I’m worthy of support and their votes,” Hallam says. “It is not the job of someone suffering from addiction to ask for forgiveness from the general public. So for Eileen to say ‘we’ve forgiven Bethany,’ well I never asked for it, and I don’t want it. I’ve earned the right to a seat at the table. I worked my ass off, I spoke to regular folks, and that is why I’m here.” Which brought us back briefly to Kass. Heather hasn’t apologized in any meaningful way. We aren’t talking about a oneoff angry Facebook post about Obamacare. She had multiple posts praising Trump, speaking ill of opioid addicts, attacking environmental activism, and mocking LGBT identities. Coghill would go on to remark that folks just need to leave Kass alone. We’ve all had bad takes and opinions; that’s part of being human, we learn and do better. But when called out like Heather Kass was, a politician who is asking for support and votes from people she’s denigrated, there needs to be a genuine analysis of what was said and why it was hurtful. Hallam would like to know, “what has she done to learn, to grow, to better the communities she’s harmed?” We still don’t have an answer. The fallout from the press conference continues. Many prominent elected officials in the region have called for Eileen Kelly’s resignation, but if you ask Councilwoman Hallam, who has more reason than anyone right now to be upset with Kelly, that is not the answer to ACDC’s problems. “Eileen is a symptom of the larger problem. To act like removing her solves these problems is the same as saying we’re all fine if we remove Trump. It’s just not true.” The ACDC is funded by candidates seeking endorsements or to stay in the good graces of the group. State Rep candidates pay $2,500 to apply for the endorsement. Countywide judicial candidates pay $10,000. At many wards a candidate would have to pay $50 or $100 to be allowed

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to give a speech at a committee meeting. “Some candidates might have that money, but I’d rather take that and give it to another Democrat and help flip a seat. What are they (ACDC) doing to uplift the Democratic Party?” Asked Bethany. Contrary to what Coghill and Kelly indicated on Wednesday, most committee seats are filled not by folks who’ve been elected, but appointed by their ward chair with the county chair’s blessing. The list of committee members isn’t easily accessible. Even for elected officials, the elusive committee list is hard to come by. You shouldn’t need a Cloak of Truth, multiple maps, and a decoder ring to see who represents you on the Democratic committee. “Purest form of democracy” my ass. In the past, gatekeeping was consistently done to uphold incumbents, with some noticeable exceptions: County Controller Chelsa Wagner in (2015), City Councilwoman Deb Gross (2019) and of course most recently, State Representative Summer Lee (2020). Notice a pattern here? The Democratic establishment has a problem with strong, outspoken, progressive women. Speaking of rampant sexism, while it’s clear that Kelly is an utterly ineffective chair, it would be a mistake to have her shoulder this failure on her own. While she has her own fraught history handling racism, she wasn’t off base when she said it was “unbelievable” to her that Rich Fitzgerald would support Chris Roland over an African American incumbent. Coghill disavowed Eileen’s criticism of the County Executive post-press conference. But how can he distance himself from Eileen for naming this truth about Fitzgerald, one of the architects and enforcers of this broken system? While Fitz was whipping votes for Roland, Coghill was doing the same for Kass. They should be held accountable for their role in this as well. One of my good friends said in regard to this, “It’s past time we stop stack-

ing the deck against new voices and new perspectives.” Many everyday Dems weren’t aware of ACDC before this debacle, and what a depressing lesson in Local Politics 101, right? “Racism, pay-to-play deals, cronyism- it’s not the Democratic Party that I signed up for,” said Hallam. And yet, she has a very compelling argument for why doing away with ACDC isn’t the answer. To that end, hallam has been collecting signatures for over a year now to call for a full committee meeting, which hasn’t happened in years. “It shouldn’t be up to me on how we reform, but I want to help get us into the same room to discuss.” She said, “Bylaws need to be addressed. That could include setting more appropriate candidate fees, amending or abolishing the endorsement altogether, creating a more transparent process.” Some ACDC Committee wards are doing exactly what they were formed to do: be representatives and liaisons of their communities. A few notable committees have been doing some serious work. Ross Township now holds 8 of 9 commissioner seats. Thanks to the work of the Franklin Park Democratic Committee, three anti-fracking Democrats were elected this year. New County Councillor Tom Duerr defeated an incumbent because of the organization of the committee folks in Mount Lebanon and Bethel Park. Democratic committees are supposed to be the boots-onthe-ground for elections. The places mentioned above and others including McCandless, Fox Chapel, and the North Allegheny School Board all saw big wins this past cycle. We have examples of places that were historically Republican strongholds that have full, active Democratic Committees and we see what happens - we flip red seats. I confessed to Councilwoman Hallam that when I ran for office, I didn’t reach out to my committee. I felt disillusioned after what I’d seen, but I won on my own. “Great, but wouldn’t it have been nice if you’d had a whole committee behind you?”


OPINION DON'T LOSE HOPE FOR TOMORROW

I

BY LARRY J. SCHWEIGER - PITTSBURGH CURRENT COLUMNIST INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

n a time of deep despair and angst, let us not forget that in a functioning democracy, adversity can have a greater purpose. The outrageous scandals of the turn-of-century monopolies created the political space for Teddy Roosevelt to advance antitrust laws, to create the US Forest Service thwarting deforestation and to create many monuments and National Parks to protect the best of nature for future generations. When the self-serving fiscal policies of the "Roaring Twenties" culminated in the Great Depression, FDR called for the enactment of many infrastructure programs to restart the economy and he created the Social Security system. Watergate triggered a long list of legislative reforms intent on healing the vulnerabilities exposed by Nixon. Reforms created a more transparent government and placed some limits on abuses of presidential power. Post-Watergate, disgusted voters looking for integrity turned to a little-known moral Georgian Governor. Jimmy Carter issued warnings about climate change, and urged Americans to change energy habits. At the same time, he put solar panels on the White House. He protected more public lands than any other President when the Alaska lands legislation passed. We now face our darkest hours as a Nation with a blatantly corrupt President who operates the government like a crime syndicate. Trump divides Americans, degrades women, and minorities, imprisons immigrant children, insults our best allies in the world, and cozies up to tyrants. He has dismantled protections for air and water, and reversed climate actions. Too many morally stained cowards populate the Republican ranks in the House and Senate. They failed to remove Trump in the face of irrefutable evidence. Republicans are under the polluters’ influence by denying the climate crisis. They ignore alarming Russian influence in elections and load the courts with an unprecedented

number of Trump-appointed unqualified judges. We now have a grossly partisan Supreme Court enjoying junkets paid for by outside influencers often with interests before the court while operating without a code of ethics. The Supreme Court has unleashed toxic money. They have unfettered high-tech gerrymandering by declaring the practice beyond their jurisdiction. They gutted key provisions of the Voter Rights Act unleashing voter suppression and an unjust purging of voter rolls. The 2020 elections are fast approaching. The good news is that voters were activated in the 2018 midterms flipping the House by adding forty Democratic members to Congress and electing seven Democratic governors. This surge in voter participation must be enlarged, particularly in swing states. Trump will be here often because Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania voters are critical to electing a President who will clean house and appoint responsible judges at all levels. Many changes are needed, here are some high on my wish-list for post-Trump reforms. * Address the Climate Crisis with a set of durable solutions. America must lead the world in climate action. We can create millions of good jobs by building a clean energy system in every state. We must unwind every bad decision by Trump’s EPA, Energy, and Interior Departments. We must embrace an energy efficiency strategy, solar, wind, electric cars and highspeed rail aimed at eliminating carbon dioxide and methane emissions. Farmers must rebuild soils as carbon stores, and millions of trees must be planted. * End the legal myths that money equals Free Speech and Corporations are People In Citizens United v. FEC, the majority of the Supreme Court opened the door for Russian and other dirty money to flow through front groups to buy elections. Republicans in Con-

gress have failed to establish tighter rules to force timely disclosures of toxic money sources. According to Federal Election Commission data, the top 10 PAC’s in the 1979-80 cycle spent $30 million. An analysis of 2016 elections found that 2,393 super PACs had spent a whopping $1,066,914,448 in undisclosed money. In a lesser-known American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock case, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 to strike down a Montana ban on corporate contributions, thus extending Citizens United to state and local elections. Democracy is a fragile thing, and rebuilding after the U.S. Supreme Court has done so much damage will be arduous and uncertain. Court appointments by the next President will be critical to restore the integrity of our legal system. * Establish Fair Minimum Wages, Restoration of Progressive Taxation and Restoring Safety Nets: A 20-page U.N. warned: "The United States has the highest income inequality in the Western world, and this can only be made worse by the massive new tax cuts overwhelmingly benefiting the wealthy.” The report cited vast numbers of middle-class Americans "perched on edge," with 40 percent of the adult population saying they would be unable to cover an unexpected $400 expense. It’s time to ask billionaires to contribute their fair share. Labor Law Reform: Organized labor has long been an engine for social change and fair labor practices. Labor's influence has been systematically undermined as a result of crippling court decisions and the “right to work” laws in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Arizona went so far as to embed the so-called right to work into their Constitution. Labor laws must be reformed so organized labor can

once again be a stronger voice for all American workers. Voter Friendly Measures: H. R. 1, (116th Congress) must be enacted to expand access to the ballot box, eliminate the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules. In every state, authorize same-day voter registration, no-excuse absentee voting, and secure voting machines with paper backups. Key needed changes include: Restore Voter Rights and stamp out voter suppression including voter purges, the closing or moving of minority voting places, and eliminate rules impacting tribal communities; Establish fair districts through nonpartisan, independent commissions with clear guidance on how to create compact yet competitive districts; Abolish the electoral college a leftover from slavery, and move to a direct election democracy; Allow early voting to enable hard-working people greater access. Workers who must work two jobs need more flexibility in voting schedules. Long lines are a form of voter suppression for minorities and voters with demanding work schedules; Low-income workers often avoid registering to vote because they can't afford to miss work if called for jury duty. Allow low-income voters to file for a hardship exemption from jury duty or pay them the same wage they would receive while working if called; Make it easier for college students to vote either on campus or to vote absentee at home; Washington DC and Puerto Rico should be granted statehood extending to all American citizens the full rights granted under our Constitution, and by doing so, the U.S. Senate will be more balanced legislative body. Voters face an unprecedented opportunity to overturn the most corrupt administration in American history. Change at scale is still possible with a high voter turnout. Restoring democracy with sound measures and ending the existential climate crisis by legislating real solutions must be top priorities. We must use the adversity we face to achieve a purpose more significant than all of us. By confronting the climate crisis, we can protect the world and our children's future.

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 9


MUSIC

Code Orange: Dominic Landolina, Eric Balderose, Jami Morgan, Joe Goldman and Reba Meyers (Photo: Jimmy Fontaine)

SERIAL SOUND

WITH 'UNDERNEATH,' CODE ORANGE WRITES THE NEXT CHAPTER IN ITS HARDCORE TOME

C

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

ode Orange’s Jami Morgan is ready for a change of scenery. No, he’s not leaving the band. You’d have a better chance at removing one of his limbs than removing him from his bandmates. After all these aren’t mere bandmates, it’s fucking family. Family that was forged in 2008 when Morgan got together with Reba Meyers, Joe Goldman and Eric Balderose while still students at CAPA High School and started playing the beginnings of the hardcore/punk they play today. But ever since those days, the one constant has been Morgan singing from behind the drum kit. Even as he’s taken on the role of frontman, even after the band

was nominated for a Grammy, Morgan has stayed behind that kit since the original four were freshmen. But when they, along with guitarist Dominic Landolina, take the stage on March 14 at the Roxian Theatre in Mckees Rocks, the front man is finally moving out front. It’s been the five of us for so long but when I’m singing from the drum kit, you always felt that gap there,” Morgan says over tea at the 61C in Squirrel Hill where most of the band lives. Three of them in the same house. “We were in Europe opening for Slipknot and Shade (keyboardist) said this is what we need to do. So, I started practicing. “I think it makes us scarier, it gives us a new power. It’s going

10 | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

to help us connect to the crowd; it’s a different energy.” You get a taste of that energy, cranked up to level 300, on the band’s newest video, “Swallowing the Rabbit Whole.” Morgan walks into the frame at the 1:48 mark, grabs the microphone with both hands. He stands still, staring at the camera for less than a blink of the eye with a determined look that tells the voyeur, “buckle up, this is a brand new ride.” He begins to rock forward and back, before unleashing power that’s hard to replicate while sitting behind a snare and cymbals. Morgan snarls and growls through the tune. He now owns the space and is as comfortable out there as singer/guitarist Meyers. She had a similar

starring role in the video for the album’s title cut. The video is stark, graphic, loud and mesmerizing. It begins with emulation and ends with Morgan stepping off a building in a scene that you’ll swear was in the Crow. The band’s videos are worth pondering for a moment. The creation of these mini-films is completely made and controlled by the band. Those videos tell a tale that follows a storyline laid out by the songs, videos and album before before them. Code Orange has found an impressive level of success at such a young age and that’s not by accident. They design their own merch, in the video for “Rabbit,” they outfit the set in chrome, not because it looks sweet (although it does), but because it follows the story. On the day I met Morgan, he was wearing a pair of pants that a band member made. Yes, they make their own fucking clothes! But all of that is just evidence of the hardwork and close fabric of this band. The kind of hard work that led to a Grammy nomination in 2017 for Forever. Morgan says the work ethic comes from longevity and the kind of deep bonds that kids make. And while some of those friendships wane after high school as people go their separate ways, Code Orange doubled down on the togetherness to make the band work so well. “We’ve been around a lot of other bands, toured with other bands and you see that after awhile they’re not doing so well,” Morgan says. “Unless you start at the age, there’s no way you can grow together the way that we did. We were in high school playing in basements and VFWs. We were 16 playing adult house shows. “We’ve toured with Anthrax and we’ve also toured together crammed in a truck. We’ve been together for more than a decade and we’re 25, 26 years-old.” Their progression as a band and as friends can be heard in the music. Morgan says Under-


MUSIC

Code Orange: Reba Meyers, Jami Morgan and Joe Goldman perform at a 2017 show in Germany (Photo: Sven Mandel/Wikimedia Commons)

neath is the third installment of a story the band started two albums ago with 2014’s I am King, continuing on with 2017’s Grammy-nominated Forever and the recent, Underneath. “I am King started a thematic journey for us,” Morgan says. “The music lays out the bravado that we had,” Morgan says. “We were finding ourselves, our confidence.” That can be seen in interviews from the time. A reporter from the Portland Mercury asked Morgan why the band, touring in support of King, didn’t play any of their old

stuff. Morgan replied: “Nothing else matters. To me, when you make a record that [makes you] feel like how we feel about this record, the other records don't matter. They're obsolete.” Forever came after and Morgan says the industrial-heavy tracks came from a place of “revenge, resentment and bitterness.” Now with Underneath, Morgan says this record is kind of a reflection of what’s come from those previous experiences. It’s about, “living in a digital world; living with all the noise; everything is a joke; everything

is horrible and everything is over in a very short sliver of time.” Each song also has “a duality to it.” When you think about it, there’s also a duality about Code Orange. Their music and their sound has certainly evolved in the past 12 years. Evolved but not changed. In a world where everybody thinks you have to change to “make it,” they are still playing on their own terms. But on the flipside, they are actually making it. They have been nominated for a Grammy and with what I’ve

heard of Underneath, a second isn’t an impossibility. Also, in a couple months, Code Orange is playing Coachella. Let that sink in… Code Orange is playing Coachella. Code-Fucking-Orange is playing Coachella. The amazing part of that isn’t that they’re playing one of the biggest festivals of the year because they’re a really good band. It’s amazing because they haven’t changed what they do. Not only are they evolving, but the rest of the world is evolving into a place where the hardest of the harcore can share a stage with the poppiest of the pop. That’s why, Morgan says, things like Grammy nominations are important. It opens a door and let’s you in, just the way you are. “That’s how I measure success,” Morgan says. “Being able to do what we do, without compromising who we are. There were definitely shortcuts along the way that would have sped things up. But we’re out here working hard. Nobody outworks us. I’ve seen a lot of bands, nobody does what we do. It’s who we are.” To illustrate that, Morgan tells the story of the day the band heard they were nominated for a grammy. They were going to spend the day at Universal Studios in Florida. It’s one of their favorite activities.= and they drove all night to get there. “We were at Universal when we heard about the Grammy,” Morgan laughs. “We were yelling and running around. Then later, to celebrate we went to Olive Garden and told them we were nominated for a Grammy. They gave us a private room and we celebrated at Olive Garden. “I know that’s some true Pittsburgh trash-shit right there. But it was such a fucking great day.”

CODE ORANGE CD

RELEASE. 5 p.m. Saturday, March 14. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. $28-30 www. roxianlive.com

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 11


MUSIC

Action Camp's Maura Jacob (Photo: Dave Rubin)

SHARED EXPERIENCE

LONG-RUNNING TRIO ACTION CAMP CELEBRATES THE RELEASE OF A NEW SINGLE WITH A SKILL-SHARE EVENT BY MIKE SHANLEY - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

M

aura Jacob has ideas about how a band can work. “Bands are not just about how good of a musician you are, or how much do you agree about music or the art that you make,” says the bassist of Action Camp. “A lot of it is also personalities and relationships.” Jacob met Bengt Alexsander when both worked at a coffee shop in Boston. She was attending Boston University and had never played in a band, though she had sung in choirs for years. Multi-instrumentalist Alexsander was studying audio engineering and graphic design. Their musical tastes overlapped, so it wasn’t long before Jacob picked up the bass and they started

playing music together. That was 14 years ago. Action Camp’s discography now includes 11 releases of darkly arresting music ranging from albums to singles. Eventually Jacob moved back to her hometown of Pittsburgh in 2008, and Alexsander followed a few months later. After using programmed drum tracks for several years, the duo brought drummer Joe Tarowsky into the fold in 2016. When Jacob talks about the way Action Camp operates, from her approach to the bass to the trio’s approach overall, everyone plays an equal role. “I respect Bengt as a musician and a person. I respect Joe as a person and a musician,” she says.

12 | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

[We’re] trying to keep that in the forefront as we work together.” The group plans to release a new full-length album later this year, and they’re releasing the single, “Dissonance,” this weekend. Rather than go the usual route of hosting a release show with a live set, they’re presenting it as part of a skill-share event which aims to offer information to other musicians and artists. In addition to their recorded output, Action Camp took to the road extensively, with jaunts to the Midwest and up the East Coast. While many bands throw in the towel after a modicum of success, the group has continued unabated, even when Jacob entered graduate school. “I think all of us approach it, not just that it’s fun, but that it’s a genuine need to produce art, period,” she says. “I had people ask, ‘How do you juggle going to practice and writing these things when you’re also in school?’ Honestly, I never really thought about it. You just do it because it’s that important to you. I never sat down and said, ‘Okay, do I do this or do that?’ Nope. I’m going to figure out a way to make these things work together.” Jacob’s background in choirs helped her pick up bass-playing skills and balance them with her vocal duties. “I think about how these two things intertwine with each other. I think that I’ve always done Alto 2 and Soprano 2, all the harmonies in choir,” she says. “So when I think about playing the bass, the bass plays similar roles. It fits in between all the cracks. Initially learning it was kind of hard but once I started to pay attention to the bass not as separate from the vocal but how they mix and mingle together, then it got easier.” That same approach rubbed off on her bandmates. “We all view our individual parts in a way that might be more akin to

a choir, where they’re all interlocking,” Jacob says. “It’s whatever best serves as part of the song at this time and how they sit together. I think it started to branch out into the way we write too.” In some ways, the new single “Dissonance,” also talks about how conflict and tension can be creative forces that help a relationship grow. “When friction or 'dissonance' occurs you have to embrace it as not only inevitable but as an opportunity to go deeper and come out the other side better,” Jacob says. “You can do that by being genuine, having faith in your partnership, and by loving even the cracks in the relationship.” The song draws on the band’s blend of heavy sound and pop undercurrent for emphasis. Alexsander’s baritone guitar sounds dark and distorted during the verse, which breaks into a gripping chorus, pushed by Jacob’s dramatic vocals. This weekend’s Skill Session was inspired by actual action camps in which Jacob participated during her activist days in college. The afternoon event will also be like a salon with attendees able to get tips on do-ityourself music production with participants including music and light tech Jamie Fadden, musicians/online denizens Ky Voss, Brian Howe, Weird Paul and members of the Long Hunt. The afternoon ends with a listening party for “Dissonance”— which will be available on art prints with a download code — and some songs from the upcoming album. Of the event, Jacob says, “We wanted it to be a different format and more of an exchange. It felt like [we should] do something more full-themed rather than focused on us.”


MUSIC FIRST/LAST: SCRATCHY BLANKET SCRATCHY BLANKET IS THE MUSICAL EQUIVALENCE OF THE PHRASE 'IF THAT'S OKAY WITH YOU.' BY HUGH TWYMAN - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

Scratchy Blanket is an indie emo-punk band from Pittsburgh who are releasing their debut full-length entitled Something for Everyone on February 29. To celebrate, the band will take part of Leapfest that day, which has a stacked lineup featuring 10 of your fave DIY bands starting around 3pm at Glitterbox, culminating with a special Scratchy Blanket set to end the festivities. I want to thank Shannon Keating (Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/ Last. The first album you ever bought? Gorillaz self titled album from 2001. I bought it with my Christmas money and played it in my CD player for months. Your last album bought? This is a tough one since so much of the music I consume is on Spotify, but I believe it would be Ostraca’s 2018 EP Enemy, which is 6 songs on tape and totally beautiful. Favorite album of all time? Honestly, The Best Of Goldfinger, a Goldfinger compilation from 2005. Hear me out, it rules. Least favorite/most disappointing album? Unfortunately, this would be Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys by My Chemical Romance in 2010. They were my favorite band through middle school and high school, but I just couldn’t get into this album. I managed to get tickets for their limited reunion tour this

September, so that’s something. First concert attended? Besides the atrocity that was Creation Festival at age 10, I’d say my first real concert was The Toasters at Warped Tour with my dad. I must have been 11- or 12-years-old. I can’t remember who else we saw that day, but The Toasters were very memorable. Last concert? I went to the Baseball Dad EP release show at Lavender Town. String Machine and Afternoon Tea played as well. All three of those bands are some of the best in Pittsburgh and I love all of them dearly. Favorite concert ever? Either every single time I’ve seen The Front Bottoms, OR Sylvan Esso a couple years ago. Two of my favorite bands ever. Least favorite concert? I saw The Bouncing Souls at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park a few years ago. I LOVE them. They were one of the first bands I remember hearing as a child, and I was super excited to be there with my dad and one of my sisters. BUT, the sound sucked really bad and we could barely hear anything. It was as if all of the speakers were sideways facing the band, and none were projecting into the crowd. It was super weird and very disappointing. Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh? I love the old neighborhoods, especially the ones with folks who have been there for years and haven’t been tainted by new

MAY 21 - ROXIAN THEATRE

industry. So many of our communities here are unique and beautiful. As a small town rural kid at heart, I love that Pittsburgh is a small city, and that there are rivers, lakes, and parks nearby. There’s great vegan food, too. And of course the music community. Some people like to say there’s not a lot going on musically in Pittsburgh. But there are shows every night featuring a wide array of genres and artists. There is always something to do. Hugh’s Take: Thanks, Shannon. I don’t know who these people are who say there isn’t a lot going musically in Pittsburgh but obviously if they feel that way, they aren’t really looking at all. 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 Scratchy Blanket: https://www.facebook.com/ scratchyblanket/

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8*k?]*E?Đ E> PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 13


MUSIC

Shop over 10 acres with everything for your home!

NEW SOUNDS

00ts! 9 1 hibi Ex

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

I

n the five years since Music on the Edge presented its first Beyond Microtonal Music Festival, the perception of that music has evolved. Unlike typical Western music, which is built on a scale of 12 notes, microtonal music often features a wider number of pitches, from 17 up to 43 notes, depending on the scale. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the music will sound harsh to Western ears. Composers can evoke more color and emotion in a piece by drawing on a wider array of sounds. At the same time, the “Beyond” in the third festival’s title implies that this approach to composition has become more than just an experimental subgenre. “It’s becoming more of the musical language in general in new music. People don’t even think of it as microtonal anymore,” says Mathew Rosenblum, co-director of Music on the Edge and chair of the University of Pittsburgh’s Music Department. “It’s just sort of embedded in what we think of as new music language. But we want to shine the light on that aspect of things and pieces that use microtonality as the basis for what it’s about.” The festival includes international composers and performers as well as an array of Pittsburgh ensembles such as NAT 28 and Alia Musica Pittsburgh. MikroEnsemble, from Finland, utilize accordions and keyboards equipped to play quarter tones, the notes that their Western counterparts can’t produce. Rosenblum mentions FretX

Guitar Duo as an act which can challenge expectations. Their 20-minute piece by Helmut Lachenmann “is kind of noisy and a very interesting piece. Is it microtonal? Yeah. But It’s what comes out as a result of playing an instrument in a non-standard way,” says Rosenblum. Concerts take place at the New Hazlett Theater, the Andy Warhol Museum and the Frick Fine Arts Building in Oakland. The latter event is a free, threehour matinee while the other two events are ticketed. The theater concerts also feature video projections, which can enhance the impact of the music. A symposium session also takes place at the University of Pittsburgh’s Music Building. Rosenblum says this convergence of local, national and international performers is due in part to connections made at the previous Microtonal festivals. “We kind of lit the fire involving a lot of the groups in the festival. Some of them have commissioned composers that they met on our [2018] festival,” he says. While other cities have hosted festivals showcasing microtonal music, the scope of the one in Pittsburgh is making it one of the more prominent ones in the country, which suits Rosenblum. “I really wanted to develop this thing so Pittsburgh becomes a hub for this kind of activity,” he says. BEYOND 2020: MICROTONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL. Friday, Feb. 28

through Sunday, March 1. Various locations. Visit music.pitt.edu/ tickets for a complete schedule. 412624-7529

14 | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

MARCH 6-15

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MUSIC CHART TOPPERS

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

FASHION

On Thursday, Feb. 27, head to Spirit for Haus of Luxurae, a hair and fashion show for “the unapologetic, rebellious, high fashion and the ghetto fabulous!” Presented as a collaboration between Create Art Together and Luxurae, the evening will celebrate the convergence of hair and fashion with various facets of black culture. Singer-songwriter/producer Inez -- who released her acclaimed Voicemails and Conversations last year -- will perform, along with Diarra Imani, Arnita Simone and Joziah Council. Dress your best, and shake of those late-February blues. 7 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $12. www.spiritpgh.com

INDIE ROCK

February 29 isn’t a holiday, per se, but doesn’t it feel wrong to let it pass unnoticed? Fortunately, there’s Leapfest, which offers almost a full day of indie rock performances at the Glitterbox Theater in the Blumcraft building. Pittsburgh’s own “kind and polite” emo-power-pop band Scratchy Blanket gets a special nod here: The group will take this onceevery-four-year opportunity to celebrate the release of its sweet and lovely new record, Something For Everyone, on Acrobat Unstable Records. But there are many more acts to see that day, including Bowling Green, Ohio-based rockers Teamonade -- check out the band’s new single “goin thru it” to find out why that set is not-to-be-missed -- plus String Machine, The Petals, Equipment, Greg Mendez, summerbruise, and many more. 4 p.m. 460 Melwood Ave., Oakland. $10. All ages.

2017’s Sniff a Hot Rock. Taking its name from the second Blue Cheer record, Outsideinside draws from groove-heavy classic rock bands like Free, Funkadelic and Spooky Tooth. With Wheeler’s soulful howl at the forefront, II couples funky riffs with some genuine lyrical wisdom (maybe it's just me, but “there’s a fine line between being lost and being free” hits hard). Pet Clinic and Sweat open the show at Brillobox. 9 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville. $10. www.brillobox.com

DRONE

Naming your band after what many consider to be the most powerful mantra in existence is, well, a lot to live up to. But Om has always been as properly reverential as they are (at times) pummeling heavy. Formed in 2003 by bassist Al Cisneros and drummer Chris Hakius (two-thirds of the stoner band to end all stoner bands, Sleep) Om moved on from Weedian Nazareth to explore liberation via meditation. These days Om is a trio (Cisneros, Emil Amos and Tyler Trotter), and on Sunday, March 8, these droners (who rarely tour) will grace Spirit with a visit. Joining is Southern gothic alt-country outfit Wovenhand, a band that will offer more in the way of traditional song structure, as well as its own brand of religious mysticism. 8 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $20. www.spiritpgh.com

COUNTRY

Sturgill Simpson is one of the weirdest, wildest artists working in country music today. His latest, Sound & Fury, is a venture into ZZ Top-style rock ‘n’ roll sleaze, but there’s never a simple way to explain what Simpson is doing with his music, which goes beyond outlaw country to something almost futuristic. On Wednesday, March 4th, Simpson comes to the Petersen Events Center with country/bluegrass singer-songwriter Tyler Childers. Don’t miss this show; On a recent appearance on the Kentucky-based lefty podcast Trillbilly Workers Party, Simpson mentioned this tour might be his last for awhile. “There will be a day,” he said, “when i disappear like David Copperfiled and none of you motherfuckers will ever hear from me again.” (But hopefully that’s not any time soon.) 7:30 p.m. 3719 Terrace St., Oakland. $50.50 and up. www.peterseneventscenter.com

ROCK

I’ve been rocked by a lot of riffs in my time, and if i were to break it down in some mathematical fashion I’d estimate a not-insignificant percentage of those riffs were written and/or performed by Dave Wheeler. Fans of the singer-guitarist’s various bands (including Carousel and -- for real old heads -- Magic Wolf) can attest that he’s a Pittsburgh treasure. On Friday, March 6, Outsideinside -- Wheeler’s current band with Jim Wilson, James Hart and Panfilo Dicenzo -- releases II, the follow-up to

Outsideinside (Photo: Nic Lockerman)

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 15


MUSIC 6:30pm shows starts at 7:00pm. 6:30 P.M. The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave, Millvale. julisongs.com

SOCIAL JUSTICE DISCO 2020 ENVISION A BRIGHTER FUTURE PUNK Doors open at 6:00pm

show starts at 7:00pm. This event is all ages. 6:00 P.M. Mr. Smalls Theatre, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. socialjusticedisco.com

HIT CLIPS: THE 2000S PARTY A night of all your fav throwbacks from a simpler time when: Paris Hilton was more famous, Kim K Britney was going through it, Boy Bands were at their peak, and Baby Phat was good. This event is 18+. 11:00 P.M. The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. ???

THE SOUL REBELS

FUNK, HIP HOP, SOUL New

Orleans 8-piece that defies genre, infusing elements of hip hop, funk and soul 7:00 P.M. Thunderbird Cafe and Music Hall, 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville. roxianlive.com

CARMINA BURANA

SECULAR Since its premiere in

Brooke Annibale (Current Photo by Jake Mysliwczyk)

MUSIC LISTINGS FEBRUARY 25 THE LUMINEERS

FOLK ROCK With special guests:

Mt. Joy and JS Ondara. 8:00 P.M. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. ppgpaintsarena.com

FEBRUARY 26

WALLOWS - NOTHING HAPPENS TOUR 20202

AMERICANA Doors open at

7:00pm show starts at 8:00pm. All ages allowed. 7:00 P.M. MR. SMALLS THEATRE, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. wallowsmusic.com

FEBRUARY 27 CRAIG CARDIFF WITH ALYSSA HANKEY

FOLK Canadian folk singer plays

his show rescheduled from Dec. 27.

7:00 P.M. Club Cafe, 56 South 12th St., South Side. clubcafelive.com

LESPECIAL & FLETCHER'S GROVE

DEATH-FUNK, APOCALYPTIC DUB Lespecial carves their own

path in contemporary rock music, veering from hip-hop to metal, prog to house, pensive indie-rock to apocalyptic dub… and yet somehow still present a unified musical vision. 7:00 P.M. Thunderbird Cafe and Music Hall, 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville. roxianlive.com

BILLY GILMAN

COUNTRY, POP Former child

artist known for country and contemporary Christian. Reinvigorated his career with an appearance on season 11 of 'The Voice,' here he fin-

16 | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

ished second. Pittsburgh's on Justin Fabus opens. 7:30 P.M. Crafthouse Stage & Grill , 5024 Curry Rd., Baldwin. druskyent.com

ERIC PASLAY

COUNTRY Texas-born country

artist with Frank VIera and Dawn Savage in support. 6:00 P.M. Jergels, 103 Slade Lane, Warrendale,. drukyent.com

FEBRUARY 28

GLASS HALF FULL - A CELEBRATION CONCERT WITH JULIANNE WRIGHT COUNTRY Glass Half Full - a

celebration concert with JuliAnne Wright feat. Jeremy Caywood, Dru Badger, Amy Mmhmm, Tai Chriovsky & Lindsay Dragan and Her Band. Anyone under 21 needs a guardian/adult. Doors open

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

FEBRUARY 29

GATOR SHAKES W/ ARCHRIVALS, DEADLINE, AND NON PLAYABLE CHARACTERS Doors open at 7:00pm, show starts at 8:00pm. This event is all ages. 7:00 P.M. The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. gatorshakes.bandcamp.com

RJD2

ELECTRONIC, HIP HOP, POP

Doors open at 8:00pm, show quickly follows. This event is all ages, but the balcony area is 21+. 8:00 P.M. Mr. Smalls Theatre, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. rjd2.net

BROOKE ANNIBALE

FOLK Pittsburgh native whose sound has taken her career be-


MUSIC yond the Three Rivers. WIth Anna Vogelzang. 7:00 P.M. Thunderbird Cafe, 4023 Butler St., Larenceville. roxianlive.com

MARCH 3 BAY FACTION

POP Doors open at 7:00pm, show

starts at 8:00pm. This event is all ages. 7:00 P.M. The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. bayfaction.bandcamp.com

PHANGS

POP Nashville-based pop artist

appearing ith 90's Kids and T-Burk 6:00 P.M. Smiling Moose Upstairs, 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. druskyent.com

MARCH 4 SECKOND CHAYNCE

HIP HOP, SINGER/SONGWRITER Rapper/singer/song writer/creative based in Tampa Florida by way of Jacksonville Fl. He is a community activist and a mentor to young men in the urban community 7:30 P.M. Crafthouse Stage and Grill, 5024 Curry Rd,, Baldin. druskent.com

MARCH 5

ASHLEY MCBRYDE - THE ONE NIGHT STANDARDS TOUR COUNTRY Doors open at

7:00pm, show starts at 8:00pm. This event is all ages. Balcony area is 21+. 7:00 P.M. Mr. Smalls Theatre, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. ashleymcbryde.com

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

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

THE NERD HERDERS, REGAL SWEET, & THE REMOTE

OTHER, POP, ROCK Doors open at 7:00pm, show starts at 8:00pm. This event is all ages. 7:00 P.M. The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. thenerdherders.band

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

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

DWEEZIL ZAPPA

ROCK Top-notch singer/ guitarist and the talented offspring of the legendary Frank Zappa. 6:00 P.M. Jergels, 10 Slade Road, Warrendale. druskyent.com

MARCH 7

DLTSGDOM! X THE GREY ESTATES 2ND ANNUAL BIRTHDAY SHOW

DIY Performances by Short Fic-

tion, Hit Like a Girl and Calyx 7:00 P.M. Roboto Project, 5106 penn Ave., Garfield. https://tinyurl.com/ pcrobotosked

VERMONT

DIY Vermont with Swither, Anton

Ego and Catatoneya 7:30 P.M. Roboto Project, 5106 Penn Ave., Garfield. https://tinyurl.com/ pcrobotosked

DERMOT KENNEDY

FOLK ROCK, POP Irish performer touring North America behind his debut record, 'Without Fear.' 7:00 P.M. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave, McKees Rocks,. roxianlive.com

The Soul Rebels

MARCH 9

15 MINUTES OF FAME

OTHER This showcase is hosted

by a celebrity emcee and features a panel of judges that include Pittsburgh theater and music professionals. A winner will be chosen for each category in both age groups. The annual event will be presented on the set of Prime Stage's production of The Outsiders, which runs on March 6-15, 2020 at the New Hazlett Theater on the North Side. 7:00 P.M. New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square E.. ???

MARCH 10 MC CHRISE

HIP HOP Doors open at 7:00pm,

show starts at 8:00pm. This event is all ages. 7:00 P.M. The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. mcchris.com

MARCH 15

M AY 3 1

SPACE JESUS "MOON LANDING TOUR"

THE GREATEST GENERATION: AN AMERICAN ORATORIO

$25-40. 7:00 P.M. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave, McKees Rocks. roxianlive.com

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

ELECTRONIC Doors at 7 p.m.,

MARCH 26 REBA LIVE IN CONCERT

COUNTRY Come see the famous Reba McEntire in concert live on March 26. This event is all ages. 7:30 P.M. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave.. reba.com

M AY 1 4 FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH METAL Five Finger Death Punch

with Papa Roach, I Prevail & Ice Nine Kills will preform live on May 14. 6:00 P.M. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave.. fivefingerdeathpunch.com

CLASSICAL/ORCHESTRAL

JUNE 12

THOMAS RHETT: THE CENTER POINT ROAD TOUR 2020 COUNTRY Start off your summer

right and come see Thomas Rhett in live concert. 7:30 P.M. S&T Bank Music Park, Burgettstown PA. thomasrhett.com

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 17


ART

Scenes from the Exhibit Vanishing Black Bars and Lounges.

LAST CALL

PHOTO EXHIBIT AT AUGUST WILSON CENTE EXPLORES THE LOSS OF BLACK SPACES

I

BY BETHANY RUHE - PITTSBURGH CURRENT ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER BETHANY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

t seems appropriate to be talking about an artist from New Orleans on Fat Tuesday, the kickoff to Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras, the bacchanal, week-long celebration is what a lot of people think about when they think about New Orleans. But of course, it’s so much more than that. Photographer and writer L. Kasimu Harris lives and works in New Orleans, and his premiere exhibit at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, is a slice of something much more pressing. Vanishing Black Bars and Lounges is a photographic exhibit that

shines a light on the dwindling black-owned and black spaces in New Orleans. The installation is a premiere for Harris, and the largest installation he’s done to date. Kilolo Luckett, curator of visual arts at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, happened across Harris during an event in New Orleans. He was photographing a dining event for famed chef, artist and writer, Tunde Way. The two stayed in touch, and when an opening came up for a new exhibit, Luckett knew just who to call. Harris first started really think-

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ing about dwindling black spaces during his student days at Ole Miss. He came across a book, ‘Juke Joint’, by Birney Ives, that chronicled through photos Ives travels across Mississippi Delta from 1983 to 1989. ‘By the time I came across this book, a lot of the places had already declined,’ Harris recalls. ‘I thought to myself, I should do this in New Orleans.” He was thinking specifically of St. Bernard Avenue. “I wrote in my book that I should do this in a few years, and then I noticed that in my youth there were 9 black-owned bars on St. Bernard.

Then when I came of age there were three. And now there is one.” The transformation happening right before his eyes inspired Harris to ramp up his project to the now. “This is a street in a Black neighborhood, where all but one establishement is now owned by white people.” So he picked up his camera and started chronicling what was left, culminating in “Vanishing Black Bars and Lounges.” Harris’ photos capture various people and spaces with a candidness that conveys warmth and energy. The feel is made even more comfortable with the addition of a real bar, making the photos seem like they are even more alive. Luckett, who helped to bring the scene to life, knew that the exhibit would have a lot of resonance for a Pittsburgh audience. “I see strong parallels in what he is documenting in New Orleans and what has happened here,” says Luckett. “These gathering spaces, looking beyond the drink, is the social aspect. You pull that thread and you can see the lineage of these spaces. African Americans couldn’t congregate in public because of Jim Crow, so social clubs became our third tier to come together (after home and church).” Justin Strong, a Pittsburgh promoter and owner of the former Shadow Lounge, agrees that there is something very familiar with Harris’ work. Last week Strong held his Dope Ass People (DAP) at Tana in East Liberty. According to Strong, “it’s one of the few black-owned places left in East Liberty.” The event is “Black music that’s sort of gotten away from Black culture.” Using East Liberty as an example of a neighborhood where Blackowned businesses and spaces are becoming erased, Strong says “When you drive around East Liberty you don’t hear music, you don’t hear music coming out of the walls. You just see a lot of people sitting around eating. That’s why I have my party with a purpose.”


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Scenes from the Exhibit Vanishing Black Bars and Lounges.

As to why spaces are vanishing, the reasons are as vast as the institutions that have been lost. Access to capital, gentrification, and plainold apathy could be reasons. “Sure, things get featured during Black history month, but in the day to day, black-owned businesses don’t get covered. (We) might not be the trendiest, hand-crafted local, baby squirrel tears,” posits Strong, “so we don’t get the coverage.” Luckett saw first-hand the impact Harris’ work has had on a local audience. “I’ve seen people moved to tears. This feels like my uncle’s bar, this feels like my grandmother’s place. There is this familiar component to Harris’ work that resonates beyond race or culture.” For Harris himself, this work is larger than just one exhibit. “One of the driving forces for this exhibit is my love of ethnography.” He found it very hard to find information on

Black-owned bars and lounges, and considers this work to be a part of a historical chronicle for spaces that would otherwise become totally erased. “It could have happened with the Blues if it wasn’t for Alan Lomax, or could have happened with certain Mississippi dialects without Nora Zeale Hurston,” Harris says. When Black spaces shutter and history is lost, a disservice is done to all. “Black spaces and Blackness itself influences so much more than just Black America.” Vanishing Black Bars and Lounges appears at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center through March 29. L. Kasimu Harris, Tunde Way and journalist Brentin Mock will participate in an Artist Talk, moderated by Kilolo Luckett, on March 1st at 2:00 pm. More info can be found at aacc-awc.org.

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 19


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The Outsiders: Dakoda Hutton as Johnny Cade, Dominic Raymond as Ponyboy Curtis, and Carolyn Jerz as Cherry Valance. (Photo: Laura Slovesko)

STAY GOLD

PRIME STAGE THEATER'S 'OUTSIDERS' BRINGS HINTON'S CLASSIC TO THE STAGE

I

BY NICK EUSTIS - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

n the hyperconnected world of today, people love to be a part of a group. Oftentimes, groups coalesce around specific traits in people, traits that are usually set at birth, like race, gender, and sexuality. How do we bridge societal divides when these groups make it so easy to segregate ourselves? The Outsiders, Prime Stage Theater’s upcoming production, seeks to answer that question and more. The Outsiders tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis, a 14-year-old boy living with his brothers and friends in a working class neighborhood in Oklahoma. The play details his coming-of-age, and the conflicts between his group, the Greasers, and the Socs, the well-to-do kids across the railroad tracks. “The story is about Ponyboy

Curtis and him finding his place in the world,” said Tina Cerny, assistant operations director for Prime Stage. “How does he fit in with the rest of the world when he’s considered an outsider?” The show is based on the novel of the same name by S.E. Hinton, who was herself only a high school student when she wrote and published the book in 1967. To this day, The Outsiders is often included in the student English curriculum, part of the reason the work was selected to be performed by Prime Stage. “All of our shows are based on literature,” said Cerny. “I look at a couple of things: what students and teachers are reading in schools, what current topics are going on and could be addressed through the theatre, and opportunities for

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partnerships in the community,” said Wayne Brinda, producing artistic director for Prime Stage, in an email. “The Outsiders fits all the criteria. This story about teens can motivate today's young people to find and make personal connections with topics that are very relevant for today.” Because Prime Stage works to incorporate the curriculum of local schools, each production contains a student matinee performance, allowing the students to connect more deeply to their school readings through theater. Prime Stage also seeks to bring each work of literature to life authentically. To that end, The Outsiders was cast age-appropriately, with each actor being around the same age as the character they are portraying. While a challenge for director Scott

Calhoon, he could not be more pleased with the troupe of young actors he cast. “I felt really good about casting this show. When I walked out from callbacks, I had the perfect person in every role.” said Calhoon. To add to the authenticity of the production, consultant Richard Garland was brought in to help the cast better understand the work’s historical background. “The mentality about gangs now and what gangs were then are so different, how they fought, what they were about,” said Cerny. “We want to make sure the process is authentic.” Garland will also be participating in talkbacks after select performances, to discuss the history of youth and gang violence. “This also enables us to address the topic of youth gangs and what is happening in schools with the production and encourage audiences to participate in post-show talkback sessions led by Richard Garland, a well known advocate for young people and victims of violence,” said Brinda. There will also be three accessibility performances during the run, an audio-described show, an ASL interpreted show, and a sensory inclusive performance. This is just another way Prime Stage Theater produces fullfledged programs, rather than just shows, and they hope The Outsiders will leave its audiences more accepting and eager to read. “I hope they want to read it, and want to see what we brought from the book to this,” said Cerny. “Accept people’s differences, be good to each other, that’s the most important thing,” said Calhoon.

THE OUTSIDERS.

March 6-15 New Hazlett Theater Center for Performing Arts, 6 Allegheny Square E., North Side. https://primestage.com/


ART a response from a man in Wagga Wagga, Australia. She asked a man named Andrew Bogle, who had just retired to Sydney, to make the identification. Bogle was an ex-slave from a plantation in Jamaica who lived with and worked for the Tichbornes for 50 years. He traveled all over England and ended up seeing so many things. I started thinking I'd like to write something about Bogle, but in a different context. The idea of being born on a plantation, having the sense that your life was a very limited thing, that it would probably end early. Coming out of that and suddenly being transported into new societies -- that was my material. You create tension throughout the entire book. It's riveting. It was a very deliberate construction. There are different pleasures to get from different books, but as a writer, the greatest challenge is how do I keep the reader engaged and turning the pages. I'm very interested in writing taut sentences. It took a lot of re-writing and thinking about structure, but I like to do it, I like to pay attention to it.

Esi Edugyan

PAGE TURNER ESI EDUGYAN'S WASHINGTON BLACK, IS A RIVETING TALE OF DISCOVERY BY JODY DIPERNA - PITTSBURGH CURRENT LIT WRITER JODY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

N

ovelist Esi Edugyan has pulled off a rare feat with her novel, Washington Black, by creating a soaring page turner that also landed on just about every prestigious literary best of list in 2018. The titular Washington Black escapes brutal plantation life in Barbados in a cloud-cutter (hot air balloon), but as a free man, he struggles with the trauma and the danger hiding around every corner. He also discovers his gift as an artist and self-taught marine biologist. Edugyan recently

spoke with the Current via telephone from her home in Victoria, British Columbia. [Answers have been edited for length.] Your entry point for creating this story was a real event, yes? There was a series of trials in England in the 1860's and 1870's called the Tichborne Claimant Affair centering around the disappearance of a young aristocrat, Roger Tichborne, who was shipwrecked. His mother refused to believe he died. On the advice of a clairvoyant, she advertised looking for him and got

Washington's relationship with Big Kit is heart-breaking. How fraught and painful tender relationships must have been on a plantation. It was a really lovely thing because she is his first source of love, the first instance of his being somebody's beloved. Even though she's a hard character, there's a lot of warmth between them. It's not a transactional relationship -- it's this wonderful thing for him. I wanted to talk about Wash's facial scarring. It makes it impossible for him to hide. He is easier to spot, but difficult to know. He isn't really seen for who he is. Exactly. It really marks him. When you see a black man in that era and you see such vi-

cious scarring, you think this is the mark slavery. One of the men in the tavern cruelly says, you got that from your master. As readers we know it wasn't received that way. In Nova Scotia at this time, there are people who had their freedom for several decades and looked at people who had very recently been slaves, as being people who didn't have fully realized lives. In society that is largely white, he's not accepted as a black man. In societies that are black, he's not accepted due to his disfigurement. Do you ever get responses that it was a long time ago and there's no point in talking about it? I can understand a kind of atrocity-fatigue, I suppose. But how do we begin to understand where we are today without looking at that history and remembering that history? So much of the racial inequality we see in today's society, especially in America, comes from that history. How can you turn away from it and refuse to engage with it? To do that is to come to a place where you've forgotten it. To not engage with it really does no society any service. Wash is such a beautiful character. As he discovers himself, he learns that he is a talented artist, maybe even brilliant. He also becomes passionate about the unseen world underwater, which matches his own hidden depths. When he does the shallow water dive and sees the octopus -- you know in that moment that he feels like he's looking at an animal with whom he has a kinship. This creature is constantly shifting and changing to match its landscape, but also is distinct and will never be part of its landscape. That is very much what Washington is like.

ESI EDUGYAN

will speak at the Carnegie Music Hall on Monday, March 9th at 7:30

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 21


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MAGICAL COLLECTION

'TENDER; A LITERARY ANTHOLOGY AND BOOK OF SPELLS: EVIDENCE' DEFIES 'CONVENTIONAL DIMENSIONALITY' BY JODY DIPERNA - PITTSBURGH CURRENT LIT WRITER JODY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

"It's just built into the fiber -that magic. This is a celebration of black women and it just manifests throughout the book. She does that with her art and her life and that was something that was really important to Vanessa, as a visual artist, for the book itself to be art," Deesha Philyaw says of her coeditor, Vanessa German. Three years in the making, the collection, 'tender: a literary anthology and book of spells: evidence,' is the brainchild of and love letter to black women

in Pittsburgh. Artist Alisha B. Wormsley has contributed a video-trailer for the book, as well. With essays and poetry, photography and art, contributed by black Pittsburgh women, the collection defies conventional dimensionality. It is extraordinary literary artistry, a feast for lovers of words and images which launches this week at City of Asylum. Even the title is a unique call to the reader, according to German. "So it's evidence. But it's also a spell. A spell is magic, it

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is a giving," she told the Current via telephone while traveling. "It is a combination of ingredients that work together for a magical but also tangible purpose. So it is inviting you to enter a generative dimensional practice." The book went to press just as the report highlighting the severe racial and gender inequities in the city by the Pittsburgh Gender Equity Commission landed. Pittsburgh is a place that is not tender towards its black residents; it is a place that is downright detrimental to the health and well-being of black women in particular. German, the founder of Love Front Porch and ArtHouse, is well-known for her work as a visual artist, performer and poet. Philyaw is the author of 'Co-parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households after Divorce,' and 'The Secret Lives of Church Ladies,' forthcoming from WVU Press in the fall of 2020. Along with book designer Martha Wasik, cover artist Mequitta Ahuja, and seventeen other contributors, they are here to offer a space of tenderness for black women. The book is a balm in an inhospitable landscape. "You can open it up and see images and see the faces of black women, who might look like you. Some women, you might not realize they're black, but they are," German says. "To see their faces and to see the everyday wonder of their lives and creativity. There is the poetry of the image also -- every artist bio in there and image in there is part of the art. I wanted it to be as dimensional and substantial as possible while being a work of breadth and a work of life that could give you life, even if you're waiting in line at Walmart." She is meditating on the territories where artists work, the spaces outside of ordinary reach. There are planes of being beyond prevailing quotidian concerns.

Artists provide a connection, a mystical ethernet to plug the rest of into those other dimensions of being and soul tenderness. "I would even carry Ntozake Shange's 'spell #7' around with me across the country. And if I ever felt ungrounded or disconnected from a crystalized clarity or a crystalized truth, I could read any line of that and it would tune me in to the focus of what was true, so much so that I would sleep with it under my pillow." she explains. The submissions German and Philyaw received created good problems and hard work for them as they set out to assemble 'tender.' As editors, they needed to work tenderly to not not obscure any of these distinct voices. There are screen poems and memory collages, flash prose, creative nonfiction, memoir, poetry pieces that blend all of those elements together. There is first-person reportage from Tereneh Idia and definition defying work from Almah LaVon Rice. The contributors themselves are diverse, by age and experience and by exposure as writers. For some, this is their first publication. There are fresh entries by young writers, Shanikqua Peterson and Aaliyah Thomas, who both consider the complicated relationships between mother and daughter in distinct ways. TeOnna Ross takes the reader through an evocative scrapbook of memory and feeling, and Lisa Pickett exposes raw vulnerability and hard truths. All of the contributions, irrespective of form or medium, help to heal, celebrate and value black women.

TENDER:

A CELEBRATION OF BLACK WOMXN & FEMMES IN PITTSBURGH will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 27th at City of Asylum, 40 W. North Ave., North Side.


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

FEATURED EVENTS IN AND AROUND THE PITTSBURGH REGION

FEBRUARY 26 Mt. Lebanon Public Library hosts journalist Cody McDevitt for a presentation and discussion of his latest book, Banished from Johnston: Racist Backlash in Pennsylvania. The book covers the aftermath of the 1923 shooting of four policemen and the edict passed by the mayor of Johnston forcing African-Americans and Mexican immigrants to leave the community or face fines and jail time. The event is free with registration. 7 p.m. 16 Castle Shannon Blvd. Mt. Lebanon. Free. 412531-1912 or mtlebanonlibrary.org Film buffs can gather at the Carnegie Science Center for a screening in celebration of the 100th anniversary of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, history’s first true horror film. 7 p.m. One Allegheny Ave. $7.95 for members, $9.95 general admission. carnegiesciencecenter.org

FEBRUARY 27 City of Asylum @ Alphabet City hosts a number of the contributors to “TENDER a literary anthology & book of spells: evidence” for selected readings and book signings. The anthology was written by and for black womxn and femmes in Pittsburgh. The event is free with reservation. 7 p.m. 40 W. North Ave. Free. 412-435-1110 or alphabetcity.org Small Mall hosts a Tiny Talk with artist Karen Lue. Attendees can also view and buy her work. 6 p.m. 5300 Butler St. Free admission. 412552-3600 or smallmallpgh.com

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Short story writers 21 and up can test out their craft in the old school way at Assemble with a workshop hosted by Doctor Sparks. Participants will type the story they come up with on one of fifteen antique typewriters provided for the event, with the winner of best story taking home a prize. Drinks, snacks and all materials are included in ticket price. 7 p.m. 4824 Penn Ave. $35. 412-661-6111 or info@assemblepgh. org

FEBRUARY 29

FEBRUARY 28

Kids 10 to 14 years old can learn to make a felt, zippered pencil pouch with a sewing machine at MuseumLab. No experience is necessary, but registration is required. 2 p.m. 6 Allegheny Square E. $10. 412322-5058

The Carnegie Science Center continues their Science After Hours program with a True Crime session. Adult guests can learn more in-depth scientific concepts, see riskier experiments and try to solve the whodunnit. 6 p.m. One Allegheny Ave. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. carnegiesciencecenter.org

Actors and models in Pittsburgh are invited to a Professional Development training session with Women in Film and Media at the Heinz History Center. Registration after Feb. 19 does not include lunch. 9 a.m. 1212 Smallman St. $30 for members, $40 general admission. info@wifmpit.org or wifmpit.org

Pittsburgh Concert Chorale performs Carl Orff ’s Carmina burana with two pianos and percussion. Selections of this classic work have been made part of popular consciousness through ads. The concert will be held two nights, Feb. 28 and Mar. 1. 7:30 p.m. 1501 W. Ingomar Rd. Free for kids under 12, $8 for students 12 and up, $20 in advance and $23 at the door for adults. 412-635-7654 or pccsing.org

MARCH 1 Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures at Carnegie Lecture Hall continues with bestselling Author Linda Sue Park. Park has written more than two dozen books for young readers of various age ranges and serves on the PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 23


ART Advisory Board for the non-profit We Need Diverse Books. A book signing will follow the lecture. 2:30 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave. $10. 412622-8866 or info@pittsburghlectures.org

MARCH 2 OTB at the North Park Boathouse hosts the 3rd Annual Charity Event for the Woodlands Foundation, which raises awareness for children and adults with disabilities and chronic illness. The event will feature $2 off draft beers, $5 house wines, $1 off signature cocktails and $6 signature burgers. 6 p.m. 10301 Pearce Mill Rd. Allison Park. Free admission. 412-940-5000

MARCH 3 Teens are invited to workshop on storytelling in the digital age at Carnegie Library of Homestead. Attendees will get tips and practice pitching their stories for digital media. 4 p.m. 510 East 10th Ave. Free. 412-462-3444 or carnegieofhomestead.com

MARCH 8 Women in Film and Media presents the documentary Trailblazers of the Suffrage Movement - Celebrating 100 Years. With interviews from descendants of the Suffragists, Cecile Springer and Mayor Bill Peduto, the documentary promises a wide range of stories. Registration is required. 5:30 p.m. VIP reception, 6:15 p.m. doors open. 1212 Smallman St. $25 VIP, $15 general admission. wifmpit.org

MARCH 9 Pittsburgh Opera puts on a fashion show with local looks from Emphatics boutique, Diana Misetic, and more. The show also promises drinks, hors d'oeuvres, desserts and an operatic twist to match the stunning fashions. See Pittsburgh Opera’s website for details on VIP pricing and packages. 6:30 p.m. 2425 Liberty Ave. $45 general admission. pittsburghopera.org

MARCH 4 5.11 Pittsburgh holds a free Women’s Self-Defense Course following the SHARP (Sexual Harassment Assault and Rape Prevention) program and the Mary Conroy method of self-defense. Seats are limited and registration is required. 6 p.m. 7803 McKnight Rd. Free. 412-4043079

MAR

16

The PA Market holds a wine sampling of Pinot Noirs from around the world. Charcuterie provided with ticket price, and attendees are responsible for notifying organizers of dietary restrictions or allergies. Spots are limited, and registration is required. 6:30 p.m. 108 19th St. $40. 412-762-7872 or thepamarket.com

MARCH 6 Ms.Tre’Jae and seven piece band pay tribute to Mary J. Blige at The Oaks Theater. Hit such as “Real Love”, “You Remind Me”, “My Life” and more will be performed. 6:30 p.m. 310 Allegheny River Blvd. Oakmont. $18 side auditorium seats, $20 center auditorium seats, $24 table seats. 1-888-718-4253 or theoakstheater.com

MARCH 7 Girl Scouts are invited to a Space Night sleepover at Carnegie Science Center. Using virtual reality and design, participants will learn what it’s like to be an astronaut, sleep among the exhibits and enjoy a continental breakfast and free admission for the following day. 6 p.m. One Allegheny Ave. $39. carnegiesciencecenter.org 24 | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

Anne Enright 7:00 pm, Carnegie Lecture Hall, Oakland Tickets $33, includes a copy of Actress pittsburghlectures.org/tickets


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Cats, Feb. 24-March1

EVENT LISTINGS FEBRUARY 25 THE LAST AMERICAN HAMMER

OPERA Milcom Negley, a one-man militia, rages against the tyranny of federal overreach. Runs through March 1 8:00 P.M. Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Ave.. pittsburghopera.org

FEBRUARY 25 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. 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

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

CATS

STAGE A few months ago the film version of Cats came to theaters with a bunch of adults dressed n creepy costumes. But now you can see it as God intended, Live on Stage with a bunch of adults dressed in creepy costumes. Psrt of the PNC Brosdway series. Runs through March 1. 8:00 P.M. Benedum Center, 237 7th St.,Downtown. trustarts.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 P.M. 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 P.M. Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. www.pittsburghlectures.org

FEBRUARY 27 DISNEY ON ICE: ROAD TRIP ADVENTURES

KIDS, OTHER, VISUAL ARTS 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 P.M. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave.

TENDER: A CELEBRATION OF BLACK WOMXN & FEMMES IN PITTSBURGH FREE, LIT/LECTURE, OTHER Welcome to the best coffee shop in Elkhorn, Wiscosin, where the biggest challenge is pushing the cold brew - until someone new arrives... Isaac Gomez delivers a pulsating and searing new play about America divided and on the brink. 7:00 P.M. City of Asylum @ Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave.. alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 28 MAKESHOP: KINETIC ROBOTS

KIDS, OTHER This month in MAKESHOP we are investigating movement. Join us as we figure out how to make things that move, wiggle, roll and leap. From 10am-5pm. 10:00 A.M. Children's Museum, 10 Children's Way, Allegheny Sqaure. pittsburghkids.org

THE LAST AMERICAN HAMMER

Opera, Stage Milcom Negley, a one-man militia, rages against the tranny of federal overreach. 7:30 P.M. Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Ave. pittsburghopera.org

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 25


ART 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. 10:00 A.M. Children's Museum, 10 Children's Way, Allegheny Square. pittsburghkids.org

SCIENCE AFTER HOURS: TRUE CRIME EXHIBITS, HISTORICAL TOUR, OTHER, VISUAL ARTS 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 P.M. Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.. carnegiesciencecenter.org

MOVIE NIGHT: E.T. THE TERRESTRIAL FILM Come watch everyone's favorite extraterrestrial 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 P.M. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, One Schenley Park. phipps. conservatory.org

GUNS AKIMBO

FILM Mies' (Daniel Radcliffe) nerdy existence as a video game developer takes a dramatic turn when he inadvertently gets caught up as the next contestant with SKIZM, an underground gang live-streaming real-life death matches. 7:30 P.M. Harris Theater, Downtown. trustarts.org

ROY WOOD JR.

COMEDY Roy Wood Jr.'s comedy has entertained millions across stage, television and radio. Come see Roy perform! Runs through Feb, 9. 7:30 P.M. Pittsburgh Improv, 166 E. Bridge St. roywoodjr.com

FEBRUARY 29 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

LECTURE This session is one of the most important sessions any actor or model should attend as it will give you a good starting point if you're looking to get in the business. If you're already in the competitive business - this will help you excel in your career. 9:00 A.M. Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St. artsburgh.org

MARCH 1 THE LAST AMERICAN HAMMER

OPERA, STAGE Milcom Negley, a one-man militia, rages against the tyranny of federal overreach. Through March 1. 2:00 P.M. Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Ave. pittsburghopera.org

LINDA SUE PARK

LECTURE, 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 P.M. Carnegie Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave. 412-622-8866

Feb. 28: Roy Wood Jr.

MARCH 5 TONY ROBERTS

COMEDY Originally from Detroit comedian actor writer and (sometimes) director Tony T. Roberts has been blessed with the coveted honor of being the "Comedians-comedian". Come out and see a great performance by Tony Roberts. Through Msrch 8. 8:00 P.M. Pittsburgh Improv, 166 E. Bridge St. innovativecomedy.com

MARCH 6 CRY IT OUT

STAGE When it comes to being a new parent, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Brilliantly funny and painfully true, Cry It Out confronts the pressure to have it all when having it all is a giant lie. Through March 2. 8:00 P.M. City Theatre Company, 1300 Bingham Street, South Side

HOARD

STAGE Viv is the lead character in Lissa Brennan's stunning new play from Off the Wall Productions, Hoard. Claire is the 'hired help' who has been employed by Viv's daughter to clean up her mom's house. And you guessed it, Viv's a hoarder. Weekends through March 21. 8:00 P.M. Carnegie Stage, 25 W Main St., Carnegie. insideoffthewall.com

NEW WORKS SHOWCASE

STAGE Looking for a night of bold new

26 | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

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 P.M. Alumni Theater Company, 6601 Hamilton Avenue, Homewood. www.alumnitheatercompany.org

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

MARCH 7 GIRL SCOUT SPACE NIGH SLEEPOVER

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 P.M. 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 P.M. Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. pittsburghlectures.org

EXHIBITS, HISTORICAL TOUR, KIDS 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 P.M. Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.. carnegiesciencecenter.org

PITTSBURGH OPERA FASHION SHOW

GALLERY TALKS

TRUTHSAYERS: TARANA BURKE

EXHIBITS, 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 A.M. The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St.. warhol.org

OTHER, OPERA, STAGE, VIEWING, VISUAL ARTS Don't miss the most fashionable night of the year with the Pittsburgh Opera Fashion Event! 6:30 P.M. Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Ave.. pittsburghopera.org

LECTURE, STAGE 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 P.M. August Wilson Cultural Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. aacc-awc.org


ART MARCH 10 THE BAND'S VISIT

STAGE The critically acclaimed smash-hit Broadway musical The Band’s Visit is the winner of 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, making it one of the most Tony-winning musicals in history. Through March 15. 7:30 P.M. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Downtown. trustarts.org

MARCH 12 MOSES STORM

COMEDY Moses is a talented comedian and actor who can be seen on the upcoming NBC comedy SUNNYSIDE, from Mike Schur and Kal Penn. You may have seen him in many different TV shows, but have you ever seen him in person? Come out and see Moses perform live.Through March 15. 8:00 PM. Pittsburgh Improv, 166 E. Bridge St.. mosesstorm.com

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 19 KEVONSTAGE

COMEDY KevOnStage honed his comedic skills while growing up as a military kid. His humor and quick wit helped him make many friends while he had to move from city to city as a kid. And now he uses his comedic skills for his career. 7:00 PM. Pittsburgh Improv, 166 E. Bridge St.. kevonstage.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

D.L. HUGHLEY

COMEDY One of the most popular and highly recognized standup comedians on the road, D.L. Hughley. Come see him perform live. Through March 22. 7:30 PM. Pittsburgh Improv, 166 E. Bridge St.. realdlhughley.com

Feb. 28: Daiel Radcliffe in "Guns Akimbo"

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 10 PERKUP PERKUP

STAGE Welcome to the best coffee shop in Elkhorn, Wiscosin, where the biggest challenge is pushing the cold brew - until someone new arrives... Isaac Gomez delivers a pulsating and searing new play about America divided and on the brink. Through May 10. 8:00 PM. City Theatre Company, 1300 Bingham St., ???. ???

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 March 20: D.L. Hughley

M AY 1 5 F CK 7TH GRADE

*

STAGE In this world premiere production, award-winning singer-songwriter Jill Sobule - whose 1990s hits include "Supermodel" and the original "I Kissed a Girl" - takes audiences through a Rock'n'Roll celebration of coming of age and coming out. Through May 31. 8:00 PM. City Theatre Company, 1300 Bingham St., ???. ???

PHOTOGRAPHIC SILKSCREEN DEMONSTRATION

EDUCATION, HISTORY, LECTURE, OTHER 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

COMMUNITY 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

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 27


ART

PRESENTED BY THE PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST AND THE HUMANITIES CENTER AT CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

SMART TALK ABOUT STUFF THAT MATTERS

PITTSBURGH

HUMANITIES

FESTIVAL

March 27: Trolls Live

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 P.M. Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.. carnegiesciencecenter.org

MARCH 13 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. 7:30 P.M. Bricolage Production Company, 937 Liberty Ave., Cultural District, 15222. bricolagepgh.org

MARCH 27 TROLLS LIVE

KIDS Come see your favorite Trolls up close and personal! This event is for younger ages, but all ages are encouraged to come. Through Feb. 18 6:30 P.M. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave.. trollslive.com

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 A.M. Energy Innovation Center, 1435 Bedford Avenue, Suite A, Hill District. 412482-3463

APRIL 25 HANDBAG BINGO

GAMES 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 A.M. Keystone Oaks High School, 1000 Kelton Avenue, Baldwin. https://tinyurl.com/ BingoPC

FEATURED EVENTS TICKETS START AT $16.25

AUGUST 28 WORDPLAY

GAMES People read their own stories while the DJ spins real-time soundtrack using anything from Brahms to Beyonce. You will laugh, cry, and get intimate looks into the lives of total strangers. Through Dec. 29. 7:30 P.M. Bricolage Production Company, 937 Liberty Ave, Cultural Distict, 15222. bricolagepgh.org

NOVEMBER 6 WORDPLAY

GAMES People read their own stories while the DJ spins real-time soundtrack using anything from Brahms to Beyonce. You will laugh, cry, and get intimate looks into the lives of total strangers. Through Nov. 7. 8:00 P.M. Bricolage Production Company, 937 Liberty Ave, Cultural District, 15222. bricolagepgh.org

28 | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

SH!TFACED SHAKESPEARE: MACBETH FRIDAY, MARCH 20 BYHAM THEATER

IRA GLASS

SATURDAY, MARCH 21 BYHAM THEATER

BLAIR IMANI

SUNDAY, MARCH 22 GREER CABARET THEATER

MARCH 20–22, 2020 • CULTURAL DISTRICT BOX OFFICE AT THEATER SQUARE

412-456-6666 • GROUPS 10+ 412-471-6930 TRUSTARTS.ORG/ HUMANITIES


FOOD DAY DRINKING TAKING A ROAD TRIP FOR SOME ALLAGASH, SOON TO BE ON ITS WAY TO PITTSBURGH

BY DAY BRACEY - PITTSBURGH CRAFT BEER WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

Feb 10, 3 p.m.: I arrive at Allagash Brewing in Portland, ME, a beautiful peninsula that thrives on seafood and beer to keep their economy afloat. Allagash is a one of the nation’s 50 largest breweries, credited with the proliferation of Belgian whites across the country and is home to America's first coolship. What’s a coolship, you ask? It’s “a broad, open-top, flat vessel in which wort cools.� Basically, after the brewers get all the sugar from the malt into what is called a wort, they put it into this big shallow pool and allow weird and wild yeast to get in there and do what it does, which is ferment. This is where the funk in those funky sours comes from. In essence, Allagash brought the funk to America, albeit many years after George Clinton. So, why am I here? I’m glad you probably asked. Apparently, Allagash is once again adding Pittsburgh to its distribution list starting in March and has invited me to have a look at their operations up close. First thing I notice is that all of the employees seem happy and enthusiastic. That’s because they all earn a living wage and a trip to Belgium after five years. Did I mention they have health insurance and maternity leave? Listen, if you’re not treating your employees well, fuck you and your product. Lindsey and Liz, my tour guides, show me the tanks for the infamous Allagash White.

Back in the day, whit beers weren’t very popular. Rob Tod, the owner, fell in love with them, welded some dairy equipment together in a barn, and began to brew and distribute the unpopular swill throughout the region. Eventually, it found a cult following, later a mass following, and catapulted the company into beer royalty while initiating the nation’s first haze craze. They’ve since upgraded the equipment and techniques to ensure consistency in taste and quality. I am not the biggest fan of whits, despite Blue Moon being one of my earliest craft beer favorites. They are typically banana bombs with coriander out the ass. both areas, taking a less-ismore approach that doesn’t burn out your palate after the first sip. It’s like a good parent who knows how to keep their rowdy kids in check so that everyone else in the bar can enjoy their visit. Keep this in mind the next time your little bananas and corianders are throwing tantrums on the floor at my favorite brewery. We have a look at the original barn, sip some of that coolship funk, and discuss plans for the future, which includes a hangover. “You know what the best cure for a hangover is?� asked Lindsey. “Tap water. We have the cleanest and best tasting water in the country, right out of the tap.� I’ve been doing brewery tours for six years now and I have never heard anyone brag about the

tap water. But it’s true. Nearby Sebago Lake is one of only fifty surface water supplies in America that is so clean that it doesn’t require filtering. Meanwhile, I have guests sign a waiver before drinking the tap water at my house. And this isn’t by accident. Allagash is part of Sebago Clean Waters, a “collaborative involving organizations from Maine and away with the aim of protecting the Sebago Lake watershed through voluntary forestland conservation.â€? Which sounds pretty dope to me. You need good water for good beer. I just wish there was more the government could do to protect all waterways. Maybe create an agency, of some sort, for the protection of the environment? I’m just spitballing here. Don’t take me too seriously. Feb 10, 7 p.m.: I’m treated to a meal at Eventide, home of the trademarked Brown Butter Lobster Roll™. It’s worthy of the paperwork. A few members of the team are present and drink-

ing Allagash White. I’m drinking a stout from another local brewery because who drinks Allagash all day and then goes out and orders more? Company employees on the company card, that’s who. We order a bunch of plates of assorted, dead sea animals, some cooked, some not, and share stories, insights, and bites. Afterwards, I meet up with a friend who introduces me to one of Maine’s most popular watering holes, The Lost Bear. For the record, Thirsty Botanist of Boothbay Craft is a solid hazy, and Orono Bake Shop makes an amazing Imperial Chocolate Donut Stout. Have I expressed my love for adjuncts? Feb 11, Midnight: All of the restaurants are closed. Luckily, the gas station has egg salad sandwiches and Stoneface IPA on deck. Both great choices! Feb 11, 9 a.m.: Goddammit this hotel tap water is delicious! Someone get Trump on the line. Tell him I have an idea! To be continued‌

 "Beauty of the Beasts" 

      



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PITTSBURGH CURRENT | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | 29


EXTRA

Savage Love Love | sex | relationships

I

BY DAN SAVAGE MAIL@SAVAGELOVE.NET

’m a 31-year-old cis bisexual woman. I’m hetero-romantic and in a monogamish relationship with a man. We play with other people together. I’ve never liked giving blowjobs because I was taught that girls who give blowjobs are “sluts.” Phrases that are meant to be insulting like “You suck,” “Suck it,” “Go suck a dick,” etc. created a strong association in my mind between blowjobs and men degrading women. (Men take what they want, and women get used and called sluts.) As such, I never sucked much dick—and if I did, it was only briefly and never to completion. I also find spit and come kind of gross. Even when I get really wet during sex, it’s a bit of a turnoff, and I hate that it makes me feel gross and wish I could change my thinking around it. Early in our relationship, my husband noticed the lack of blowjobs and confronted me, saying they were really important to him. At first I felt a little insecure about being inadequate in this area, but then I decided to do some research, because I honestly thought it wasn’t just me and most women don’t like giving blowjobs. (Because how could they? It’s so demeaning!) But I learned lots of my female friends enjoy giving blowjobs—they like being in control, giving a partner pleasure, etc.—so I googled ways to start liking blowjobs and I’ve started to get into them! It’s great! Except I still don’t like when he comes in my mouth or if a blowjob gets super spitty. But my husband loves sloppy blowjobs; he says the lu-

brication feels good and he enjoys the “dirtiness” of it. If I know he’s getting close to coming or if it gets super wet and I have spit all over my face, my gag reflex activates and it’s hard to continue. I feel like I’m at an impasse. I want to give him the blowjobs he wants, but I don’t know how to get around (or hopefully start enjoying!) the super-sloppy-through-to-completion blowjobs he likes. Do you have any advice? Sloppy Oral Always Keeps Erections Drenched You play with other people together, SOAKED, but have you tried observing—by which I mean actively observing, by which I mean actually participating—while your husband gets a sloppy blowjob from someone who really enjoys giving them? If someone else was blowing your husband while you made out with him or sat on his face or played with his tits or whatever might enhance the experience for him… and you watched another woman choke that dick down… you might come to appreciate what’s in it for the person giving the sloppy blowjob. Most people who were taught that girls who give blowjobs are sluts were also taught that open relationships are wrong and women who have sex with other women are going to hell. You got over what you were taught about monogamish relationships and being bisexual years ago, SOAKED, and recently got over what you were taught

30 | FEBRUARY 25, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

about women who enjoy sucking cock. While some people have physical limitations they can’t overcome—some gag reflexes are unconquerable—watching someone enjoy something you don’t can make you want to experience it yourself. But even if your observations don’t trigger a desire to get down there and get sloppy and swallow his load yourself, your husband would be getting the kind of blowjobs he enjoys most and you would be an intrinsic part of them. If you set up the date, you’d be making them happen, even if you weren’t doing them. And if you were into the scenario and/or the other woman—if the whole thing got you off, not just off the hook—then there would be something in it for you, too. And take it from me, SOAKED, to be kissed with both passion and gratitude by, say, a husband (ahem) who’s really enjoying something someone else is doing for/to him—whether or not that something is something you also enjoy doing for/to him from time to time—is really fucking hot. So even if you never come around—even if sloppy blowjobs are something you have to outsource permanently—you and your husband can enjoy years of sloppy blowjobs together, with the assistance of a series of very special (and very slutty) guest stars. And you can get always get those blowjobs started—the non-sloppy, non-spitty initial phase—before passing the baton off to your guest star. Married 40-year-old gay guy here. I hate beards—the look, the feel, the smell—and I miss the good old days when the only beards gay dudes had were metaphorical. When I got back from a long business trip, my hot, sexy, previously

smooth husband of many years was sporting a beard. Unsurprisingly, I hate it and find it to be a complete turnoff. However, he says this is controlling behavior on my part, it’s his body and his choice, and he’s hurt that I’m rejecting him. He also says I’ll get used to it and he doesn’t plan to keep it forever. I agree that it’s his body and his choice, but I think he should still take me into consideration, and that it’s actually him who’s rejecting me, by choosing the beard over me. What’s your take? Spouse’s Hairiness Averts Virile Erection I’m with you, SHAVE, but I’m also with him. It is his body, and growing a beard is something he can choose to do with the face section of his body. But that my body/my choice stuff cuts both ways: Your body is yours, and what you do with your body is your choice. And you can choose not to press your body against his—or press your face against his—while he’s got a beard. If long business trips are a regular part of your life, maybe he could grow his beard out in your absence and shave when you get home. (Full disclosure: I have a pronounced anti-beard bias, which means I’m not exactly impartial.) On the Lovecast, all things weed with Lester Black: savagelovecast.com. mail@savagelove.net Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage


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PRESENTS

Anna DeGuzman IS

CARDISTRY THE QUEEN OF

FEBRUARY 19 - MARCH 29

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Profile for pittsburghcurrent

Pittsburgh Current Volume 3, Issue 4  

Pittsburgh's own Code Orange releases a new record, Daryl Metcalfe gets a primary Challenger and there's a whole lot wrong with the Alleghen...

Pittsburgh Current Volume 3, Issue 4  

Pittsburgh's own Code Orange releases a new record, Daryl Metcalfe gets a primary Challenger and there's a whole lot wrong with the Alleghen...