Review: Cousin Boneless – “Possession”

When they talked about making a transformation, they were talking about an ALL CAPS TRANSFORMATION. On last year’s Revel In The Rubble, the final installment in a “garbage parties” trilogy, Pittsburgh’s Cousin Boneless plied its bizarre and infinitely unique form of freak folk – think a mélange of antique-garde musings, Andrew Bird ambition, and the theatricality…

Review: Same – “Is Midnight”

Pittsburgh alt/indie quartet Same has released the digital-only single “Is Midnight” and the surprising thing about it isn’t its glassy-eyed beauty, but how different it sounds from the more driving refrains of a song like the band’s “Camp Vacation,” which opened 2016’s excellent Weird As Hell EP. The new track, available on Bandcamp, is pure…

Review: The Lampshades – “Astrology”

The Lampshades, a trio of Pittsburgh-by-way-of-Altoona ne’er-do-wells, is nothing if not ambitious. It hasn’t always entirely been this way. Sunshine, its 2005 debut, was more of a catalog of by-the-numbers power-pop than the loose-limbed junk-rock these guys have perfected on records like Arena Punk and Numbskull Nothinghead. Even after a good number of outings, though…

REVIEW: Radon Chong – “I Keep On Talking To You”

Captain Beefheart devotees, rejoice! Shape-shifter Don van Vliet might be deceased but his spirit – and that of his ever-evolving Magic Band – is alive and well in Pittsburgh. Local band Radon Chong channel the Captain with passionate precision, vibrant originality, and colorful flare on its nine-song debut, the mind bogglingly good I Keep On…

CONCERT REVIEW: Soda Club

The ascending Pittsburgh quartet Soda Club treated a hometown crowd to its lazy Sunday brand of guitar-driven indie-pop on a Saturday this month, peppering a highly danceable, hour-long set of originals with covers of 80s classics by The Violent Femmes, The Cure and, yes, Cyndi Lauper. Dueling fronts Shay Park (on guitar and ukelele) and…

CONCERT REVIEW: Horehound/T-Tops/Del Rios/Old Dream – Gooski’s, 1.08.16

Welcome to the firecrackers-strapped-to-your-Rust-Belt column “Welcome To Pittsburgh,” as today we find ourselves entranced by stars yet lamenting another fine night of noise at the Polish Hill dive bar/cheap beer institution Gooski’s. It’s been a week and change now and we just barely got sober enough to write this ourselves. Well, there was no clear…

REVIEW: The Turbosonics – Tres Gatos Suave

Inconsistencies, dagnammit! I want to really, really like, to love, to adore The Turbosonics‘ new CD, Tres Gatos Suave, a meaty slab of surf from one of Pittsburgh’s mightiest purveyors of the form. But, for every track like opener “Ricochet,” a real classic 60s rocker, there’s a dud like the trying-too-hard-to-be-Floydian “Meat Slicer From Outer Space.” For every surprise…

Welcome To Pittsburgh #2: T-Tops – S/T

Hello and thank you for kicking the snow off your feet as you cross the Popdose threshold of Welcome To Pittsburgh, Now Go Home. Thank you, also, for not abandoning us after our first installment with Broughton’s Rules, or after that embarrassing night in East Liberty we had a few past our limit at Kelly’s…

Welcome To Pittsburgh #1: Broughton’s Rules – “Anechoic Horizon”

In this fine, first edition of Welcome To Pittsburgh, a new, somewhat-irregular Popdose column dictating the independent musical pulse of the Rust Belt’s cultural capital, we find ourselves saddled with a quirky little record bearing an interesting lineage and a sense of composition writ large. The record in question? Broughton’s Rules’ Anechoic Horizon. Released by…