Ben Folds Teams Up With PSO; Reuben and the Dark Plays Club Cafe (CPs Tues., 6/17/14)

1) Singer-songwriter Ben Folds  join forces with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on his Tour of Symphonic Proportions. Folds’ musical talent is matched only by the diversity of his career. He is perhaps best known as the front man of Ben Folds Five, or perhaps for jazzy covers of artists, like rap idol Dr. Dre. Besides his prolific output with his band and as a cover artist, Folds has also developed a penchant for collaboration over his  more than 20-year career, having collaborated on musical projects with not only fellow musicians, but also writers like Neil Gaiman and actors like William Shatner. His symphonic tour is only the latest in a long line of such collaborations—he’s playing with symphonies across the country and around the world. The show is full of his witty, often sarcastic hits, which with the addition of our hometown Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will only be enhanced. 7:30 p.m. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District.

2) Calgary-based indie-folk quartet Reuben and the Dark plays at Club Cafe. Led by Reuben Bullock, the Dark’s sound is sweeping and contemplative, the product of a preacher’s son who’s spent his life on the road, struggling with his own mortality and forever at odds with spirituality. Bullock has the rich, developed voice of someone who hasn’t always had a full, talented band backing him. Indeed, he began his career as a solo artist, and his first two albums were billed as solo releases. However, he now has a full and incredibly talented band, and with them presenting a complex, layered sound that employs a variety of instruments. To further enrich the sound, Christopher Hayden of Florence and the Machine produced Reuben and the Dark’s first official release as a collective. They’re an act to keep your eye on. With only one release under their belt—one that already sounds developed—the Dark seems destined for success. Joined by Road Runner. 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side.

3) Drusky Entertainment presents rapper Asher Roth at the Altar Bar, best known for his 2009 debut single, “I Love College.” One might attribute Roth’s success to his acceptance of and ability to embrace things that make him who he is: a kid from the Philadelphia suburbs who doesn’t try to disguise the fact. What’s he not: a gang-banger or drug dealer, or anything of that sort, nor does he try to be. Clearly determined not to resign himself to the history books as a one-hit wonder, Roth has developed both his sound and lyrical content in the years since “College.” Where once he rapped about college parties, he now raps about growing up—or trying to—and he does so against funky, psychedelic beats. Roth visits Pittsburgh in promotion of his second full studio album, RetroHash, released in April. Joined by Chuck Inglish, Cold Fingers, and Three High. 8 p.m.1620 Penn Ave., Strip District.

4) Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return in 22 Jump Street (released Fri., 6/13/14) with more action and hysterical horseplay. Co-written by Hill, the first film (21 Jump Street; based on the late 80s television show of the same name) tells the story of two young, oddly paired police officers going undercover as high school students to bring down a drug ring. The sequel, also written by Hill, is another action comedy featuring Morton Schmidt (Hill) and Greg Jenko (Tatum). They’re again going undercover, but this time as college students. With the help of their former foil (played by the always-hilarious Rob Riggle), they aim to investigate the same drug ring, which has, in spite of their success in 21 Jump Street, expanded. If the first movie’s any indication, this one is bound to be full of laughs, lessons learned, and, most importantly, car chases and explosions. Curiously enough, 22 Jump Street’s only real box office competition for its opening weekend is How to Train Your Dragon 2, another sequel featuring a performance by Jonah Hill. Check your favorite theater’s website for show times.

5) The Pittsburgh Pirates come home to PNC Park to take on division rivals Cincinnati Reds in the first of this three-game series. 7:05 p.m. 115 Federal St., North Shore.

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Dan Hoyt

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