MKTO Plays Stage AE; ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Rockets Into Theaters (CPs Tues., 8/5/14)

1) When Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller founded MKTO, they brought two things to the table: their initials and an infectious combination of pop vocals and hip-hop. Their single “Classic” is in the running to be the song of the summer. They met while pretending to be best friends on the Nickelodeon’s TV series “Gigantic.” Apparently, their on-screen relationship bled over into real life, and once the show ended, the two were free to collaborate along different lines. They’ve been a pretty big deal in Australia for a couple of years now, with three singles in a row  certified as platinum. They seem poised to have a similar run back home in the States. They’ll be at Stage AE with opening acts Action Item, Tiffany Houghton, and Liberty Deep Down. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.

2) For the last few years, Marvel Studios has been turning out one box-office smash after another featuring all of the heavy hitters from their Pantheon of superheroes. Many critics thought they were taking a big risk with their latest effort, Guardians of the Galaxy, which few outside the comic book intelligentsia are familiar with. But positive advance reviews are predicting another massive hit. The movie tells the story of a band of star-faring misfits who team up and save the entire galaxy from certain doom (take that, Avengers). There’s Groot, a talking tree; Rocket, a talking raccoon; Gamora, a green alien woman; Drax the Destroyer, a muscle-bound monster; and Starlord, a cocky human. Check with your favorite theater for times.

3) In 1853, the steamboat Arabia was built and launched in Pittsburgh. Three years later, it struck a tree and sank in the murky waters of the Missouri River, filled with countless items destined for the frontier. In 1987, after years of searching, Missourian Bob Hawley and his sons unearthed the remains of the Arabia and found thousands of artifacts perfectly preserved in the mud. Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia at the Senator John Heinz History Center features nearly 2,000 of these objects, eyewitness accounts from passengers aboard the doomed vessel, and a memorial to the wreck’s only casualty—a mule tied to sawmill equipment on a lower deck. The exhibit runs through Jan. 4 and is open along with the rest of the Heinz History Center seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District.

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Daniel J. Dombrowski

Daniel J. Dombrowski is a freelance writer and editor living and working in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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