Kevin James at CHMH; Sugar Hill Gang and Grandmaster Melle Mel at Jergel’s; Mr. Smalls Hosts Less Than Jake (Fri., 4/12/19)

1) You probably know Kevin James as Doug Heffernan, the funny parcel delivery driver for IPS on the popular CBS sitcom “The King of Queens” which ran from 1998 to 2007. On the show James’ character had a chaotic marriage, a father-in-law who lived in the basement, and a quirky bunch of friends. Other major roles have included Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Zookeeper, and Hitch. James cut his teeth in the New York comedy clubs and pulled pranks on people as an actor on the “New Candid Camera.” Later he moved to Los Angeles where he became friends with Ray Romano, whose show “Everybody Loves Raymond” was a big hit. He guest starred a few times on “Raymond” and this led to the development of his own show, “The King of Queens.” James also starred in the CBS sitcom, “Kevin Can Wait” from 2016-18. Tonight you can catch James back on the stage doing standup. He will also be returning May 2 for a second show. 8 p.m., Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, 510 E. 10th Ave, Munhall.

1) The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” was one of the first smash hit songs of the nascent rap/hip hop genre when it was released in August of 1979. “Now, what you hear is not a test I’m rappin’ to the beat /And me, the groove, and my friends are gonna try to move your feet.” is one of the early verses from the tune. The rap track interpolated Chic’s “Good Times.” Chic threatened to sue and got proper credit and compensation from the group. “Rappers Delight” was the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Sugar Hill Gang originally was composed of 3 members all from Englewood, New Jersey,  Michael “Wonder Mike” Wright, Henry “Big Bank Hank” Jackson, and Guy “Master Gee” O’Brien. After their initial success the group had hits in Europe, but no more in the U.S. Wonder Mike, Hendogg, and Master Gee are remaining members who tour as the Sugar Hill Gang. Also on the bill is Grandmaster Melle Mel & Scorpio Furious 5.They are also top performers from the early years of hip hop. Jergel’s Rhythm Grille, 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale. (RH)

2) If you want to relive ska punk’s glory days of the late ’90s, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Mr. Smalls with Less Than Jake. Combining the distinctive beats of punk with the horns and saxophones of ska, Less Than Jake hit the mainstream in 2003 with the album Anthem. The band has toured with Bon Jovi, The Warped Tour, and Bad Religion. We can hope to hear their famed “She’s Gonna Break Soon” as well as old and new favorites. Less Than Jake has a new EP out right now called Sound the Alarm. Openers are Mest, Punchline, and Kali Masi. 7 p.m. Sold out. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvalle. (EC/RH)

Less than Jake performing in 2006. Photo: bendus and Wikipedia.

Less than Jake performing in 2006. Photo: bendus and Wikipedia.