Toasters Lead Ska Fest at Club Café (CPs 10/31/13)

1) Formed by a bunch of New York City comic book store employees in 1981, The Toasters may have done more than anyone to transform ska from the Jamaican-ized take on American R&B of the ’60s into the fierce, jumpy punk subgenre it is today. They did this not just through their own discography but from the swell of bands that signed with their Moon Ska Records, the first U.S. label specializing in ska. Today, Club Café has the honor of hosting The Toasters as the marquee act of its two-day Pittsburgh Ska Fest. Also on the bill are Pittsburgh’s own Bat Zuppel, a garage-rock duo, and Nightly Standard, a rare female-fronted ska act and a good one. 8 p.m. 56-58 South 12th St., South Side.

2) Thanks to some organizing from Cutitta Chiropractic, the Butler Street business district in Lawrenceville is hosting an all-ages Trick or Treat event. At dozens of stores along one of Pittsburgh’s most vibrant main drags, kids can get candy and adults in costume can get discounts, prizes, and treats. Because this is Lawrenceville, we might conclude that adult Trick or Treating is some kind of hipster trend (like midnight bowling or home brewing), and that a lot of the costumes will reference  Internet memes or French films from the ’70s. Anyway, where else in the city can you find businesses passing out treats to your old, tied-up-in-arrested-develop butt, so come on out! 6 to 8 p.m. Butler Street.

3) Representing a few areas of culture we don’t often see converge, The Devil Wears Prada is a Christian heavy metal band named after a chick-lit novel. They’ve worked hard to earn the respect of the metalcore world. (With their name and religiosity, they had to.) And the Dayton, Ohio-based band doesn’t just pay lip service to the message of Jesus; tonight it’s living the whole love-thy-neighbor/give-to-the-poor thing with a show at Mr. Smalls Funhouse to benefit The National Coalition for the Homeless. Opening are Pittsburgh’s own Once Nothing and Delusions of Grandeur. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.

4) Too conventional and working-class to fit into early alt-rock nation and too scratchy and understated to be arena-rockers, The Smithereens never got their due (even when Kurt Cobain was listing them as an influence). Still, the New Jersey quartet honed its sublime power pop for all of the ’80s and ’90s, and they never stopped touring. Today, they come to Jergel’s Rhythm Grille for the next in a line of never-ending club dates for these hard-working dudes. 8 p.m. 103 Slade Ln., Warrendale.

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Nick Keppler

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