Pity Sex at Smiling Moose; Poptastic! Continues at Heinz History (CPs Thurs., 1/2/14)

1) Pity Sex, Self Defense Family, LVL UP, and Adventures are the colorful names of the bands gigging at The Smiling Moose tonight. Pity Sex is a raging rock band with great instrumental play and vocals and a touch of electronica that’s fused in a harmonic manner. 6:30 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St. South Side.

2) Following in the footsteps of Pop Art icon Andy Warhol, another Pittsburgh native, Burton Morris, celebrates his first major exhibition in his hometown. Poptastic! The Art of Burton Morris at the Heinz History Center features nearly 50 works by the Carnegie Mellon University graduate, including paintings, sculptures, and interactive works. Although his name is less familiar than Warhol’s, Morris’s iconic imagery is becoming better known through its use in such products as Absolut Vodka, Chanel, and Kellogg’s cereals. Bold colors and thick lines radiate a simplistic happiness reminiscent of the best colors from a Crayola 64 pack. Runs through Feb. 23. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District.

3) Freedom isn’t cheap, so it’s always a good time to examine its costs. You can do so at the Pennsylvania’s Civil War exhibit at the Senator John Heinz History Center. It chronicles Pennsylvania’s role in the Civil War, including the Battle of Gettysburg and Pittsburgh’s contribution as the “Arsenal of the Union.” View over 150 artifacts, including a smooth-bore Rodman Cannon reproduction that’s over 20 feet long and weighs 18,000 pounds; a tintype camera and portable printing press on loan from the Smithsonian Institution; tools, weapons, and uniforms (some made by Pittsburgh factories); 19th-century board games and musical instruments;  and letters, formal documents and more. Look for the signatures of soldiers inscribed into an “Old Iron City” camp fiddle retrieved by members of Pennsylvania’s 193rd regiment. Runs through Saturday.  Open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District.

4) Looking for the perfect New Year’s perk-me-up? Make a point to stop at Carnegie Coffee Company. Located in the former Carnegie Post Office, the newly opened coffee-house specializes in the European coffee experience. This is also the only coffee-house in the area serving llly coffee, which prides itself in educating growers on sustainability and ethical farm practices. Pair an espresso with locally made pastries and sandwiches, and you’ll have the boost you need to get through the rest of the week. 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. 132 E. Main St., Carnegie.

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Rick Handler

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