Joe Grushecky to Jam Rivers; C Street Brass Has “No Limits” (CPs Thurs., 7/24/14)

1) Hometown rocker Joe Grushecky comes to the Rivers Casino Amphitheater for an outdoor performance with his band, the Houserockers. A household name in the Greater Pittsburgh area, singer-songwriter Grushecky has been touring and making music for over 30 years. His music is archetypal American rock ‘n’ roll in the same vein as that of his friend, mentor, and long-time collaborator, the rocker who needs no introduction, Bruce Springsteen. Listening to them just briefly, it’s apparent they have similar styles which they both forged independently before they started working together in the mid-‘90s. Grushecky’s gravelly vocal style gives credence to the many Houserockers’ songs laced with scathing, politically minded anthems like “Dark and Bloody Ground,” (The song  takes a swing at “Manifest Destiny”-powered American imperialism and was co-written by Springsteen and Grushecky in 1994). Even with all his success and popularity, Grushecky still enjoys making a personal daily contribution to society by teaching special education students at a regional school. This was his chosen field before his music career soared. 7 p.m. 777 Casino Dr., North Shore.

2) Chamber Music Pittsburgh presents C Street Brass and their newest recital performance, “No Limits,” featuring a guest appearance by local DJ Jakeisrain. Based at Pittsburgh’s own Carnegie Mellon University, this brass quintet takes pride in their understanding and appreciation of—as well as their ability to play—an impressive variety of music. The group is, as the Chamber Music website points out, “as comfortable in the sound of baroque music as it is in dubstep.” As the name of the performance implies, the C Street Brass fellows formulated the “No Limits” program as a showcase for that talent. It features selections that range from Bach’s “Contrapunctus IX” to the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and the contemporary electronic artist Gramatik’s “Obviously”—including everything in between. Like last week’s Chamber Music Pittsburgh concert (“Swinging With a Blindfold”), “No Limits” fits the organization’s “unbuttoned” rebranding mission to a T. Every ticket includes light snacks and a free drink ticket. 7:30 p.m. Kelly Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty.

3) Local rock/psychedelic punk band Trigger Happy takes the stage at Mellon Square as part of its Summer Concert Series. With a start time of 11 a.m., Trigger Happy plugs in just in time for your lunch break—and what better way to break the monotony of the ol’ 9 to 5? This four piece, composed of brothers Stephen and Keith King, along with “Plant” and “Phil-O-Cyben,” are mongers of heavy, slow, and, above all else, trippy punk rock. A key component of their signature sound is Phil-O-Cyben’s keyboard work, which is something like an organ broadcast from intergalactic space. ( Of course, that’s not to discount S. King’s grungy, distorted guitar play.) All in all, the talented foursome come together to form an at-times irreverent, slightly weird, but extremely solid musical package. Trigger Happy is an odd choice for a lunch-hour show, but if you’ve got a hint of the wilder side and relish irony, then the juxtaposition of psychedelic punk rock and business professional attire is not one you ought to miss. Duck out a bit early so you can check it out. 11 a.m – 1 p.m. Sixth Avenue and William Penn Place, Downtown.

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Dan Hoyt

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