Kaiser Chiefs Perform at Arts Festival; Dr. Dog Brings Good Times to Stage AE (CPs Tues., 6/10/14)

1) The English indie rock group Kaiser Chiefs have hopped the Atlantic to visit the City of Bridges for the Three Rivers Arts Festival. Making music for more than a decade, Kaiser Chiefs didn’t assume their current identity until 2003, following the release of their debut studio album and some career turbulence under the band name Parva. Harmonious and upbeat, Kaiser Chiefs are best known for their hit “Ruby,” which has garnered over 11 million views on the band’s official YouTube channel. Listening to this and their other tunes, it’s difficult not to compare them to Brit rock elders The Clash, in no small part because of vocalist Ricky Wilson, who sometimes seems to channel the late Joe Strummer. The group liberally uses keyboards and harmonies to bring everything together, forming an energetic, punky final package. Really, though, Kaiser Chiefs defy explanation; see for yourself at the Dollar Bank Stage. 7:30 p.m. Point State Park, Downtown.

2) Psych-rockers Dr. Dog visits Stage AE. Originating in West Grove, Pa., this six-piece ensemble has released seven albums since their debut one, Toothbrush, in 2002. Liberal use of harmonies and a variety of instrumentation lead to a lively sound that might be best described as a psychedelic indie rock jamboree. Having come a long way from their small-town roots, Dr. Dog now tours nationally. Band members pride themselves on a refreshing, raw sound, especially on their new album, Be the Void. Says guitarist/vocalist Scott McMicken, “We drew a lot of inspiration from […] music that’s got its roots in live expression rather than that studio-perfected sort of vibe.” In other words, though undoubtedly commendable in a technical sense, Dr. Dog is best consumed as a whole, which is indeed more than the sum of its parts. Joined by The Districts. 7 p.m. 400 N. Shore Dr., North Shore.

3) Americana folk-rock singer-songwriter James McMurtry takes the stage at Club Cafe. Born in Ft. Worth, Tex., and raised in Leesburg, Va., McMurtry has been playing music for over 20 years. He’s lived and performed throughout the country, from the East Coast to the Midwest, even in Alaska. (Europe, too, although he’s never lived there.) McMurtry’s career took off in the late 80s when his father, acclaimed novelist Larry McMurty (Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment), passed along a demo tape to John Mellencamp, who co-produced James’ debut album in 1989. Since then, McMurtry has received generous praise, most notably for his 2005 album, the vaguely political Childish Things, which truly demonstrates his narrative ability. Maybe he gets that from his father. Today, McMurtry is based out of Austin; this October will mark his first studio release in six years on a new label, Complicated Game. 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side.

4) Salsamba Latin Jazz Group is the crossroads at which traditional Latin music meets American jazz, the blend of two disparate musical traditions. Salsamba performs this afternoon at the lovely Agnes Katz Plaza, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Based here in Pittsburgh but active nationally for 27 years and counting, Salsamba plays a combination of original music (arranged and composed by band leader Eric Susoeff) and songs by legendary jazz artists like Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, and Dizzy Gillespie—all with a Latin kick. As is customary in jazz, much of their performance is improvised. In addition to Susoeff on guitar, Salsamba features George Jones on the congas, Eric DeFade on the saxophone and flute, Paul Thompson on bass, and Thomas Wendt on drums. 5 p.m. 7th  Street and Penn Avenue, Cultural District.

5) The Pirates hosts the Chicago Cubs in game two of a home stand. 7:05 p.m. 115 Federal St., North Shore.

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Dan Hoyt

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