1) George Clinton has been on a musical journey of exploration for many years. He started out in a doo-wop group called The Parliaments, modeled after Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, while working in a hair salon. Then he became a writer, arranger, and producer for Motown Records before working for other Detroit musical companies. As the leader of Parliament- Funkadelic, he was one of the top innovators of funk music, along with James Brown and Sly Stone. Combining music like that of Brown, Stone, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and others with different sounds and lyrical arrangements and a big dose of funky bass and drums, Clinton came up with an outline for his sound. This led to massive success for him in the 70’s with “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)” and “Flash Light,” among others.
It would also be remiss if Clinton’s creativity with shows, lyrics, titles, and costumes were not mentioned. He even had a spaceship he called his Mothership that descended to the stage at concerts. Parliment-Funkadelic also had an album called The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein, which later spawned the Clinton-produced female funk group The Brides of Funkenstein. His concerts are fun events. Clinton has been primarily a solo artist since the ’80’s but periodically collaborates with others. Formula412 opens. Doors open at 7 p.m. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.
2) The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust opens the Pittsburgh Biennial exhibition Public Record tonight at the Trust’s SPACE and 707 Penn Galleries. An opening reception takes place from 5:30 to 9 p.m., and the exhibition runs through Nov. 9. Public Record is a nine-person mixed-media exhibition in honor of Pittsburgh artists who explore love, absurdity, gaming, surveillance, and identity. The Biennial artists are Rafael Abreu-Canedo, Matthew Biederman (with Aljosa Abrahamsberg, Marko Peljhan, and Brian Springer), Carolina Loyola-Garcia, Paolo Pedercini, Caroline Record, Paul Rosenblatt, Martha Rial, Susanne Slavick, and Two Girls Working (Tiffany Ludwig and Renee Piechocki). Pulitzer- Prize-winning photojournalist Martha Rial, one of the featured artists, is known for expressing powerful and emotional messages and insights through her compelling photographs. The Biennial showcase of abstract art is presented by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. SPACE Gallery is located at 812 Liberty Ave., and 707 Penn Galleries is located, of course, at 707 Penn Ave., Cultural District.
3) Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District is happening tonight; it features visual arts, musical performances, and interactive exhibits. All events are free and take place at a variety of galleries, art spaces, and venues. Some galleries offer drinks and hors d’oeuvres. 5:30 – 9 p.m., Cultural District.
4) Like many successful comedians, Mo’Nique first hit the stage at a local club in her hometown of Baltimore, Md., on a dare from her brother. After a successful first set that generated a standing ovation, she started making higher profile appearances, including on “Showtime at the Apollo,” HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” “Apollo Comedy Hour,” HBO’s “Snaps,” and BET ‘s “Comic View.” At that point, the single mother of one quit her job with the local phone company to concentrate full-time on comedy. Mo’Nique landed a starring role in her own sitcom, “The Parkers,” on U.P.N network. She is also a writer and actress. Her portrayal of Mary Jones, a mentally disturbed and frighteningly abusive mother in the film Precious won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She’ll be appearing tonight at 8 and 10:30 p.m., with two shows tomorrow also. Pittsburgh Imrov, 166 E. Bridge St., The Waterfront, Homestead.
5) Pittsburgh pop-rockers The Van Allen Belt are performing at Brillobox tonight for a CD release party. Crystalline vocals with synth sounds and electronic beats are hallmarks of the band’s sound. Gangwish and Two Muffin Rabbit are also playing the event. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield.