Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie at The Pete; Jfilm Festival Opens Tonight at Carnegie Music Hall (Thurs., 5/2/24)

1) It looked like Chicago all over again! Back in the 1960s, the classic rock band Chicago started out with the name “Chicago Transit Authority”—until the actual CTA objected, and the band dropped the allusion to trains and buses. Then in the early 2000s in Seattle, frontman Ben Gibbard and his mates started an indie group called The Postal Service. And the actual USPS objected. This one turned out harmoniously, as the band and the actual entity even formed a mutual-promo relationship for a while. Since then, The Postal Service (the band) has had an idiosyncratic existence marked by hiatuses (hiati?) and reactivations, and no studio albums since 2003’s Give Up. But harmonious relationships persist! If Ben Gibbard’s name rings a loud bell, he also founded and fronts Death Cab for Cutie. And now the two bands are touring together—legendary indie rockers Death Cab for Cutie (latest studio album, 2022’s Asphalt Meadows, now released in a new acoustic version), plus mysterious sometimes supergroup The Postal Service, both on one bill, with Gibbard pulling double duty. Doesn’t get much more odd or historic than this. Catch the two bands sharing a stage, along with guest act Slow Pulp, at Petersen Events Center. 7:30 p.m. 3719 Terrace St., Oakland. (C.M., M.V.) 

2) Jfilm, the Pittsburgh Jewish Film Festival opens today and is an annual festival celebrating cinematic Judaica. Now in it’s 31st year, the festival features a variety of short and full-length films, talks, and events. The goal of the festival is to showcase the many varied aspects of Jewish life and culture and demonstrate that we are all part of a common humanity. Screenings will be held at the Carnegie Music Hall, The Oaks, and McConomy Auditorium. Tonight is opening night and features a special event with live music by John Bayless, dessert reception, and film. The opening film is the Pennsylvania premiere of Left Alone Rhapsody: The Musical Memoir of Pianist John Bayless! The film is described as : “Following a 30-year-long career as a solo pianist, Leonard Bernstein protégé John Bayless suffered a debilitating stroke. Left Alone Rhapsody chronicles his rise from a young musical prodigy to an internationally renowned recording artist, and his courageous struggle post-stroke to reinvent himself.” 7 p.m. Carnegie Music Hall, Carnegie Museum 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

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Rick Handler

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