Cool Picks Friday November 23, 2012

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1) With all the early, early morning “Black Friday” shopping specials, “Happy Hour” can come early today too. If you started work (shopping) early, like 4 a.m., then your “Happy Hour” would start at, say, noon. Maybe have lunch at  Walnut Grove, Applebee’s, or Chili’s (most of these restaurants are located at suburban mall compass points). Suggested lunch pairing includes a Mimosa, Bloody Mary, Margarita, Pina Colada, or glass of your favorite wine or craft beer. Or if it’s been a really tough outing at the mall or “big box,” maybe a shot of your favorite Irish whiskey–Jameson’s and Tullamore Dew are two great ones.

2) The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has just returned from a successful tour of Europe. Conducter Manfred Honeck and symphony, with featured artists Yefim  Bronfman (piano) and Gregg Baker (baritone), will take listeners on a fun-filled, musical holiday romp. Musical pieces include Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5,  “Emperor;” waltzes and polkas by the Strauss family, including the famous “Blue Danube” waltz;  with world-renowned baritone Baker singing Mancini’s “Old Man River” and more. Heinz Hall. 600 Penn Ave. Runs through Sunday (Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2:30 p.m.). Special offer for children ages 6-18. Downtown Cultural District.

3) Norm Nardini, Pittsburgh rock royalty, has said many times he’s a “rock ‘n roll lifer.” His passion and energy drive him in his continuing mission of rocking for the people. Nardini has played with top rockers John Bon Jovi, Ted Nugent, Big Mama Thornton, Aerosmith, Kansas and others. He’s fronted his own band, “Norm Nardini & the Tigers.” Nardini once told someone in New York City that he was from Pittsburgh. The man replied “Pittsburgh? Where’s that, Pennysltucky?” Norm’s from a rockin’ family; brother Art is the bassist for Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers.  Moondog’s  10 p.m.-2 a.m., 378 Freeport Rd., Blawnox.

4) Pittsburgh rockers The Clarks are in concert at Chrome Nite Club right across the border in Chester, West Virgina tonight. Opening is Gene The Werewolf. 9:30 p.m. 1298 Lincoln Highway.

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Rick Handler

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