Soul Asylum and Meat Puppets Ready to Rock Mr. Smalls; Neko Case at TRAF (Sat., 6/13/15)

1) Soul Asylum is an innovative alternative rock group that formed in Minneapolis in 1983 and have recorded many memorable songs including “Somebody to Shove,” “Runaway Train” and “Black Gold.” Their most recent album was 2012’s Delayed Reaction. Soul Asylum are sharing billing with Phoenix’s Meat Puppets. Many 90’s bands burned hot and faded out. One band that kept going through periods of highs and lows was Meat Puppets, whose heavy but flexible sound has incorporated punk, country, and psychedelic rock in their three decades. One of the band’s biggest hits was “Backwater.” They were so respected by the alt-rock vanguard that Nirvana invited them on stage for their “MTV Unplugged” performance. But the mainstream limelight was not for the eclectic and uncompromising Meat Puppets. They are still touring these days and tonight come to Mr. Smalls—the kind of cozy, but much-loved club they’ve inhabited since they began. Special guest is Honeyriders. 7:30 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.

 

2) “Country noir”—that’s the genre Neko Case classifies herself as. It’s a genre that was years in the making. She’s contributed lead and backing vocals to numerous songs by indie rock band The New Pornographers while also displaying a decided twang on her alt country solo records. The “noir,” meanwhile, comes from her sometimes macabre lyrics, such as on “Star Witness.” That track is off 2006’s critically acclaimed album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. Her most recent release, 2013’s The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, was met with similar acclaim. (Check out the bitingly ironic “Man.”) Her musical stylings and wit make her the perfect artist to play the last Saturday of the Three Rivers Arts Festival  7:30 p.m. Free. Point State Park, Downtown.

 

3) With a Lyndsey Smith & Soul Distribution / Rachel B double bill, it’s a good night for soul and R&B at Pittsburgh Winery. Smith and her band have plenty to be proud of: grand prize in Drusky Entertainment’s “On The Verge” Battle of the Bands, opening for Tower of Power and other national acts, headlining plenty of sold-out shows. Oh, and a funky EP, titled Soul Distribution. Not to be outdone, Rachel B self-released her debut EP, I’m the Boss, and her music could be heard on an episode of ABC’s General Hospital. She recently headlined a 10-city tour and has played venues like Chicago Symphony Hall and Berklee Performance Center. She is a rising star in Pittsburgh, just performed in New York City, and will soon embark on a mid-west tour. Yinz better bring your dancing shoes. 9 p.m., 2815 Penn Ave., Strip District.

 

4) This weekend, the Pittsburgh Pirates host the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park; today is game two. Arrive at Federal Street early for a Buccos block party, and plan to stay after the game’s conclusion for a concert by country stars Big & Rich. First pitch is at 4:05 p.m. 115 Federal St., North Shore.