Comedian Lewis Black Brings Rants to Heinz Hall; Stage AE Hosts The Decemberists (Sat., 4/8/17)
1) There is an F-word that comedian Lewis Black loves to use, and it’s not “funny.” Although Black himself is. Some have even said he’s funnier than the S-word he also likes to use, and if you’re in the mood for a rant, Black is your man. This is the technophobic guy who brought his iPhone to an Apple store to ask for “an app that will turn this piece of [S-word] into a TELEPHONE.” On social and political topics, Black is belligerently liberal—don’t get him started on religion, or on Donald Trump, for he is a self-starter who needs no encouragement. And what makes his ranting effective, as comedy, is that he doesn’t only foam at the mouth and scream. He is a finely controlled ranter with a dead-on sense of comic timing. Black has also appeared in over 40 films and TV shows and written six books. He has a sizable amount of fans, and his official fan club is named Frustrated Union of Cynical Kindreds Universal. Black is ranting at Heinz Hall on his The Rant, White & Blue Tour. 8 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (MV, RH)
2) The Decemberists’ fourth album, The Crane Wife, turned 10 last year. “The Crane Wife 3,” a cut from the album, appeared on “Scrubs,” and the band performed it on the season six finale of “Parks and Recreation.” The Decemberists are touring this spring, promising to play songs from across their discography plus new ones. The Portland, Oregon, group amassed a gathering over the past decade with its indie, folk-rock sound, culminating in the number one album, 2011’s The King Is Dead. In that same year, the band collided auditory, literary, and televisual worlds with its music video for “Calamity Song.” The video, directed by “Parks and Recreation” co-creator Michael Schur, adapts a scene from David Foster Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest. 2015’s What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World is their latest album. Their concerts are known for audience participation, so be ready to contribute to their show at Stage AE. Julien Baker opens. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (CM)
3) Bill Toms and Hard Rain with the Soulville Horns are rockn’ out Club Cafe on the South Side tonight. Toms’ slightly raspy, deeply soulful voice and his guitar playing prowess combine with the drums, horns, and rest of the band to create a hot rock sound. This is Toms’ and band last main gig before they leave on a tour of Italy which runs through the end of April. Come say arrivederci (until we meet again) to the group. 9 p.m. 56-58 S. 12th St.
4) First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh is featuring a co-bill of great old-time music with Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller, and Red Tail Ring for their Song Space concert series. Hailing from central West Virginia Milnes and Miller share a love of old-time and country music. Milnes—who learned old-time music from his musician father—sings and plays the fiddle and guitar. Miller also plays the fiddle and sings. They make beautiful music together both with traditional compositions and their own songs. The duo, in addition to their concert dates, also play at square dances in West Virginia. Red Tail Ring is a duo of Michiganders—Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo—whose harmonies and musical skills on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, jawharp, and foot stomping make for a strong, unique revivalist sound. Sounds like a nice opportunity to chill and hear some great music. 7:30 p.m. 605 Morewood Ave., Shadyside.
5) Our Pirates take on the Atlanta Braves in the second home game of the season today. Hey folks you’ll probably especially want to go to this game with its super premium promotional tchotchke—a Francisco Cervelli That’s Amore Singing Bobblehead! Additionally It’s a Scratch’n Win Saturday. 7:05 p.m. PNC Park, 115 Federal St., North Shore.