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Dazzletine returns to Pittsburgh with Brillobox show

October 24, 9:30 PM
Dazzletine’s lead singer/songwriter/creative force Dan Koshute doesn’t make music for small moments. The formerly Pittsburgh-based group’s 2011 debut record Heart, Mind, Bodies was a fever dream of glam rock grandeur and guitar god swagger, propelled by Koshute’s operatic, full-bodied howl of a voice. His choruses weren’t simply sung, they crashed down like tidal waves on a beachhead. The album was startlingly ambitious for being recorded in the bedroom of Dazzletine bassist Darren Diederich, featuring pristine production that was undoubtedly big enough to fill arenas. At the time, Diederich and Koshute described calibrating the perfect, pummeling mix on a song as “dialing in the army.”

They courted labels small and big alike back then, but never signed a deal. Three years later, the band has relocated to New York City, ready to grasp for the brass ring of music industry success with a new single and an album’s worth of material ready to record. For Koshute, it’s a new, optimistic era for the band, guided by his leadership.

Since our last record, we've gone through monumental change as our lives have tried to catch up with where we are artistically and where we are going,” said Koshute. “Because the new phase of Dazzletine is much more intertwined with my specific vision, the band has encouraged me to take a comprehensive leadership role, rather than the egalitarian gang setup we've had for the last couple years. They are entrusting me to take us as far as we need to go.”

The first taste of his vision is the single “Lajos” from the group’s forthcoming album Organomee, arguably Dazzletine’s tightest, most unrelenting song yet. It’s has all the things Dazzletine does well and has turned them up well into the red: guitar pyrotechnics, sing-along choruses, diamond sharp production, and Koshute’s roar, front and center. Koshute says that the ideas sketched out for the 13-track Organomee are ambitious. Inspired by the production of studio legend Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, The Cars, Ian Hunter, Dusty Springfield), the group spoke with him via Twitter, sharing with him their mix of “Lajos” as evidence of his influence. (According to Koshute, Baker was interested in recording with Dazzletine but was booked with projects for the next two years.) But, more talks with labels to sponsor the album’s recording sessions and subsequent tour have fallen through, most at the last moment. The labels have all given the same response: too risky.

“We've held the LP card close to our chest for the past year and a half as we've talked with labels... I can confidently say it's unlike anything I've ever heard. So, we're going to fund the sessions entirely on our own-- in the true spirit of freedom making independent art,” said Koshute. 

Now, Dazzletine returns to Pittsburgh to hold a “Halloween Mass” at Brillobox this Friday, supported by Pittsburgh acts Shaky Shrines and Andre Costello and the Cool Minors. The band bills the show as a “pre-record release party,” previewing new album tracks while preparing for the proper release show to be held in New York City at a later date. But even though the band now has their headquarters in the Big Apple, Pittsburgh will always be their home.

“Pittsburgh was the perfect womb, but we had to move to evolve into our next phase. We couldn't have hatched in any city other than Pittsburgh. We wouldn't have been allowed to survive past a few months,” said Koshute. “But we had to relocate to NYC for the sake of our future. The next chapter of the band is going to be much bigger and riskier than anything we've ever done before.” (4104 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville, Brillobox)

Being Good documents residents investing in communities through art

October 27 - January 2
There is no shortage of sweat equity being poured into distressed Pittsburgh neighborhoods through planning work, community engagement initiatives, and increased private and public investment. But outside of the most practical channels of revitalization, community stakeholders and local artists are contributing to the renewed life of their neighborhoods through more creative means. The upcoming documentary photography exhibit Being Good is a collaborative effort among three photographers to capture the work of three Pittsburgh natives who have invested in their communities through art.
The exhibition will focus on the work of Bill Strickland, founder of the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and CEO of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation; Randy Gilson, whose home on Arch Street is itself a work of art and a North Side landmark; and Vanessa German, a Homewood-based multi-disciplinary artist who utilizes refuse and found objects around her neighborhood for her three-dimensional collages. Local photographers Scott Goldsmith, Brian Cohen, and Lynn Johnson photographed the subjects, respectively. The event opens on Oct. 27 and runs through Jan. 2 at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, featuring a reception and artist talk scheduled for Nov. 6. For more information including short biographies on the artists and photographers, visit the event page at the MCG’s website. (Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, 1815 Metropolitan Street, North Side.) 

HITCHCOCK! A Halloween Party at the Carrie Furnace

November 1, 8:00 PM
For locals ready to enjoy a beautiful fall, Pittsburgh and the surrounding area definitely have their share of leaf-peeping activities and creepy Halloween haunts. And now, the city’s burgeoning craft beer scene is getting in on the autumn action as The Brew Gentlemen and the Independent Brewery Company team up with Bar Marco to host the horror film/craft beer nerdfest that is HITCHCOCK! A Halloween Party at the Carrie Furnace in Rankin.

The event is a welcome addition to the region’s busy fall event season. The craft beer festival is expected to draw visitors to the Braddock area and to raise the borough’s profile in the wake of new destination-ready businesses— like The Brew Gentlemen– already open there.
In addition to a dance floor, DJ and a bevy of local craft brews and craft cocktails, local eateries like PGH Taco TruckBlowfish BBQStreet FoodsGyros N’at, and Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches will set up shop in the shadow of the great Carrie Furnace to provide refreshment. The organizers also promise, according to the invitation, that the event will “have all of the components of a great Hitchcock film: suspense, romance, and psychological thrills.” Regardless of the vague intrigue being thrown around this inaugural event, the setting and good beer alone will hopefully make HITCHCOCK! a Pittsburgh fall event staple.

For event and ticket information, visit the Eventbrite website for HITCHCOCK! here.  (Carrie Blast Furnace, Rankin)

Rubblebucket revives indie rock at Rex Theater

November 1, 8:00 PM
The Brooklyn-based quintet Rubblebucket, who've been kicking around since 2007, have the unique distinction of making music that’s nostalgic for an extremely recent moment in indie rock. That moment (pretentiously pushes glasses up on nose) was called “Blog Rock,” a theatric brand of synth-driven guitar rock that flourished thanks to the rise in prominence of MP3 blogs like Pitchfork and Stereogum in the early- to mid-aughts.  And while, yes, enough time has passed that bands like Tapes n’ Tapes, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and the Black Kids, who plied their trade making similar music as Rubblebucket, now seem to be a part of an era of music rather than living, breathing entities, it still feels like the genre’s placement in the canon arrived too soon.
Apparently Rubblebucket agree with that sentiment, because their fantastic fourth full-length album Survivor Sounds (released late last August) hasn't really given up the ghost of that early millennial sound. And as someone who came of music appreciation age during the Blog Rock epoch, I couldn’t be happier. The record is full of loping, glitch carnival synths, static-y power chords, the occasional awkward horn section and the hushed, child-like vocals from lead singer Kalima Travers. Lead single “Carousel Ride” is so quirky, and misshapen, and 2005, mentally picturing it playing on an old Myspace audio player is far too easy. Lead track “On the Ground” is a dead ringer for any Rilo Kiley b-side, while “Sound of Erasing” sounds as if it could have fit in nicely on the Garden State soundtrack. All in all, the album is remarkable for how pleasantly familiar Rubblebucket is capable of sounding. For anyone ready to get all gooey about that time in their lives when indie rock seemed like it was going to change the world-- a time that probably doesn’t seem like it’s more than 10 years ago now-- Rubblebucket’s upcoming show at the Rex on Nov. 1 can’t miss. (1602 E Carson St, The South Side, The Rex Theater)
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Society for Contemporary Craft

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