Los Lonely Boys, Vans Warped Tour, Ladyfest, and Diesel 10th Anniversary Party (Fri., 7/15/16)
1) Trying to label musical genres these days is like trying to label ethnicities. There has been so much mixing and moving that it’s getting hard—and sort of pointless—to pin anybody down as anything. Maybe Los Lonely Boys are a Tex-Mex group or maybe they play Chicano rock, or maybe, as the Boys themselves call it, it’s “Texican rock and roll.” What’s certain is that the group hails from San Angelo, Texas and consists of the three Garza brothers: Henry, Jojo, and, ahem, Ringo, Jr. (Their father, Ringo Garza, Sr., had his own band and contrary to popular belief did not play Beatles music. Unless he did.) Perhaps the best way to describe Los Lonely Boys is to say they play feel-good music. Because, you know, it does feel good. Los Lonely Boys have cut several albums, including a self-titled release that went double platinum and Sacred, which peaked at no.1 on the U.S. Rock charts. Their latest is Revelation (2014) and they’re coming to The Altar Bar. With the Dan Bubien Band and Birds Over Arkansas. 8 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. (MV)
2) The Vans Warped Tour—which is at its core a punk rock showcase—long ago expanded to include dubstep, hip-hop, metal, reggae, and other genres. Begun in 1995, the Warped Tour is not only the largest touring music festival in the United States but also the longest-running. The tour launched Green Day, Blink-182, and even Katy Perry. This year, with nearly 100 acts playing the tour’s First Niagara Pavilion date, there’s too many to list. However, veterans of the Vans circuit include pop punkers Sum 41 and Yellowcard and the ska-punk bands Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake. Speaking of ska, The Interrupters are up-and-comers in the genre, who have previously toured with The English Beat. Set times and performance locations are not determined until the day of the show, so attendees should arrive early and seek the performance schedule, which is printed not on paper but on a giant, inflatable billboard. 11 a.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (CM)
3) “Girls to the front!”—a rallying cry for riot grrrl acts like Bikini Kill, the slogan called on men to step aside at punk shows and for women to mosh without fear of battery or sexual assault. That rallying cry is also the title of a song by Brazilian Wax, who are co-organizers of Ladyfest, an annual three-day event which features and empowers Pittsburgh female musicians. The other co-organizers are The Lopez, a duo who craft noisy, hooky garage rock armed only with a keyboard and guitar. Another notable act includes Murder for Girls, hot off the release of their debut LP, All the Wishes, a collection of ten original tracks on which unwavering vocals and fuzzy guitar dip and bend around a driving rhythm section. They, the Lopez, Brazilian Wax, and dozens of other acts will play this year’s Ladyfest at a myriad of local venues, like Howler’s and Spirit. For a complete list of these venues and the performers therein, check out the Ladyfest Facebook event page. A weekend pass, good for all of the venues, can be purchased at the A-F Records website. A portion of all proceeds benefit the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. Friday through Sunday, July 15 – 17. Performance times and places vary. (CM)
4) Diesel Club Lounge enters the double digits this Friday and Saturday with a 10th anniversary bash. Helping start the party Friday (10 p.m.) are Dzeko & Torres, a Canadian electronic music duo known as much for their originals (“For You”) as they are for their remixes (Imagine Dragons’ “Demons”). The celebration continues Saturday (10 p.m.) with a performance by Queens-native Ja Rule, also known for his originals and remixes. His 2001 single, “Always on Time,” which features R&B singer Ashanti, was the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100. That is, until Ja Rule’s remix of Jennifer Lopez’s “Ain’t It Funny” unseated it. On any Friday or Saturday, Diesel is open for club nights, boasting a state-of-the-art light and sound system. There’s also a mezzanine lounge for those seeking a VIP experience. Weekdays, Diesel often hosts either local or national touring music acts. For a unique summer experience, seek Skybar, the rooftop swimming pool above Diesel. In the evening, the staff lays a transparent cover over the pool, and patrons can dance while taking in the city skyline. Business casual dress code. Friday and Saturday 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. Weekday hours vary. 1601 E. Carson St., South Side.
Skybar is open Thursday, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Friday, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. ; Saturday, 2 – 8 p.m., 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Sunday, 2 – 8 p.m. 1601 (Sky Level) E. Carson St., South Side.
5) The Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival returns for a fifth year. Short films, feature films, documentaries, animation, and more will play for three days at The Father Ryan Arts Center in McKees Rocks, an on-the-up borough just minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. A panel of judges choose the films from a slew of entries. The finalists come from as far as Taiwan, although Sunday will feature a block of movies either made in Pennsylvania or by Pennsylvanian filmmakers. The festival begins 6:30 p.m. Friday with an opening ceremony, during which awards will be presented for the different film categories. Ronald Quigley, a retired Pittsburgh firefighter, moved to Los Angeles in 2002. He quickly caught the acting bug and has since appeared in movies, music videos, plays, and television episodes. In 2012, Quigley wrote, directed, and starred in The Last Act, a film which has played in theaters from Pennsylvania to Russia. That same year he founded the film festival. A complete schedule of the films and their start times can be found on the festival’s website. Friday, 6:30 p.m.;Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. 420 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. (CM)