Living Colour at Altar Bar; Sweet Honey in the Rock Plays Byham (CPs Sat. 11/9/13)
1) Living Colour added a dose of thudding funk bass and articulate political awareness, particularly of black issues, to the otherwise white world of early ’80s punk rock. Their 1988 single “Cult of Personality” turned an obscure sociology term into sweaty hard-rock hit. They disbanded in the mid ’90s but have reunited to resume touring and releasing new music as long as there is injustice in the United States. (So it might be a while before retirement). Tonight, they play Altar Bar, after an opening set by local improv-heavy jazz/blues sextet Blue Redshift. 9 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District.
2) Named after an obscure Bible verse about a place so awesome honey can be found by breaking stones (Psalm 81:16), Sweet Honey in the Rock is dedicated to spreading the Word through music—even to people who can’t hear. The all-female a cappella group has a member whose sole responsibility is conveying the lyrics to their gospel tunes and occasional secular pop number with sign language. In their 40-year lifespan, they’ve toured worldwide, performed at the White House, and are at the Byham tonight. 8 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Cultural District.
3) Having kids changes everything. Just ask Kelsey Friday. Those present in the Pittsburgh rock scene of the ’90s may recall Friday as the wailing lead singer of downbeat alt-rock band Brownie Mary. Fifteen years and two pregnancies later, she is now singing about the sun and being happy and why it’s OK to be afraid sometimes as the leader of the cutely named children’s music outfit Kelsey Friday and the Rest of the Week. She’s not relying on that material tonight at Club Café however. She and her former Brownie Mary bandmates will be ripping it up all night — or at least for as long as she could arrange a sitter. Mike Marks, former Brownie Mary bassist, opens with a solo set. 7 p.m. 56-58 South 12th St., South Side.
4) Natalie Stovall may play FM radio-friendly country but don’t mistake her for all the teen models some money-grubbing producer paired with a bunch of Nashville session musicians. Stovall is the real deal, a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter who works a frenzy on the fiddle and has been known to tackle Skynyrd and Zeppelin covers. With her backing band The Drive, she continues the tour in support of her debut EP today at the Meadows. 8 p.m. No cover. 210 Racetrack Rd., Washington.
5) Summer nights might be long gone but the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh is encouraging folks to lay on the long underwear, button up a jacket and come out to the Mingo Creek Park Observatory tonight for the Mingo Creek Bundle-up Starfest. Those who brave the chill might get a glimpse of Venus, as well as the Triangulum and Andromeda galaxies. 6 p.m. No cover. 10 Shelter Rd., Finleyville.
6) Today at Heinz Field, the Pitt Panthers take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. If allowed to name Notre Dame’s football team, we would have gone with a reference to the horror movie and call them the Belligerent Hunchbacks. 7 p.m. Art Rooney Way, North Shore.