1) In a battle of Conferences, it’s the Big Ten versus the Atlantic Coast Conference today as the Iowa Hawkeyes take on the Pitt Panthers. Pitt has its best start in years with solid defense, an improved offensive line and impressive running from James Conner (who ranks second in the nation in total rushing yards). Kickoff at noon. Heinz Field, 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore.
2) Slim Forsythe & his New Pay Day Loners open tonight for the Bumper Jacksons, a band that pays tribute to the best in Americana music from Appalachia to New Orleans. They were recognized as Best Traditional Folk Band in the Washington D.C. area at the 2013 Washington Area Music Awards. The Bumper Jacksons trade in old time country, jazz, swing and blues music and aren’t afraid to blend one or more styles or put a little updated twist on standards.
Forsythe has been working hard and gaining heat on the Pittsburgh music scene. Out of the friendly confines of his Nieds Hotel headquarters, Forsythe will play some authentic American music at Club Cafe and gain even more fans south of the ol’ Mon river. He has successfully funded a country music variety show concept for TV and the internet. Providing a steady beat for the band is new drummer Brad Smith. Smith previously played rock ‘n roll with Streetplayer and also works with Dynasty Arts Jazz Band and others. Doors open 6 p.m.; showtime is 7 p.m. 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side.
3) Lisa Lampenelli, an insult comic who bills herself as the “Queen of Mean,” is in town for one show tonight. Howard Stern, The King of All Media called her “a true original and a brilliant comedy mind who’ll steal the show every time.” Should be a good show, but best not sit in the front row, lest she turn on you. 8 p.m. Carnegie Library Music Hall, 510 E. 10th St., Munhall.
4) I had seen the name pomplamoose on my bag of grapefruit from the grocery store and thought, what a cool name. It turns out that there is a California musical duo by the same name (an English approximation of the French word for grapefruit). Pomplamoose is composed of a real life couple —Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn. They’ve gained a wide audience through videos on their YouTube channel which has over a 100 million views. Their music is a punched up, electronically infused pop with good melodies. They seldom tour so it’s a musically nutritious treat to have them in the ‘burgh. Special guests are Danielle Ate The Sandwich and John Schroeder. 9 p.m. Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.
5) Pittsburgh Winery hosts a grand musical bill in its performance space with JD Eicher and the Goodnights, Joy Ike, and Charlie Oxford. A delicious combination of tasty wine and music. 9 p.m. 2815 Penn Avenue, Strip District.