A Salute to Comedy with Gary Owen at Improv; Kenny Vance and The Planotones at Palace (CP’s Thurs. 9/26/13)

1) Once a Navy man, Gary Owen has toured as “America’s Funniest Serviceman.” (at least since “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”) He’s also been named by Ebony as Black America’s Favorite White Comic, and he delivers observations about sex, clubbing, and pop culture in the rapid-fire method perfected on BET’s Comic View. Today, this cross-cultural marvel comes to the Improv to start a four-day stint. 8 p.m. 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead.

2) Back in the ’50s and ’60s, there was something called doo-wop. It was a slow-tempo genre that consisted of multi-part harmonies and focused on innocent teenage love. Everyone involved or a fan of it is now at the other end of the life cycle, but some folks are keeping the sound alive. One is Kenny Vance, once a member of Jay and the Americans, a band whose hits included “Come a Little Bit Closer” and “This Magic Moment.” Today at The Palace, his nostalgia-infused band, Kenny Vance and The Planotones, will be dusting off some oldies but goodies. 8 p.m. 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg.

3) A cultural mishmash if there ever was one, The Ragbirds mix American folk-rock with Celtic fiddling and African drumming. The band formed in 2005 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, but moved to Ann Arbor, where there was a livelier music scene and  their style fit with the hip, literate vibe of the city. Lead by pixie-like cutie Erin Zindle, the quintet is full of multi-instrumentalists capable of delivering a different frenetic experience with each song. They’re touring behind their album Travelin’ Machine. Opening for them at Club Café tonight is local singer/songwriter Justin Endler. 8 p.m. 56 – 58 S. 12th St., South Side.

4) There is an all-female tribute band to Mötley Crüe and, of course, its name is Girls, Girls, Girls. Since 2006, these four ladies have been kick-starting hearts as they play the Crüe’s ’80s hits, dressed to kill in as much leather and Aqua Net as Vince Neil and the boys wore back in the day. Tonight at Jergel’s, they’re gonna make you feel alright. 8 p.m. 103 Slade Ln., Warrendale.

5) Today’s Allegheny County Radical Days events are free admission to Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museumtours of PNC Park and Heinz Field, tour of Pittsburgh Center for the Arts , and a Squonk Opera performance at the New Hazlett Theater. For more information visit the Radical Days Web site.


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Nick Keppler

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