Tesla Set to Spark Stage AE; Flow Tribe Ready to Get Down at Thunderbird (CPs Thurs., 8/14/14)

1) The 80s hard rockers known collectively as Tesla come to Stage AE equipped to electrify. Originally performing as City Kidd, the band became Tesla in 1986 around the same time as the release of their first album, Mechanical Resonance. A five-piece band originating in Sacramento, Ca., they came to fame in an era known for glamorous, leather-panted, hairspray-soaked rock stars. Yet Tesla found its own brand of success by remaining relatively humble and dedicated more fully to their music, rather than the extravagant lifestyle for which their peers were so well-known. The band has released numerous platinum albums, and with its 1990’s Five Man Acoustical Jam (a down-to-earth acoustic live album), found themselves in a pole position of influence for MTV’s “Unplugged” series. Impressively, Tesla’s current lineup features four of the five original members, having lost only Tommy Skeoch along the way; he was replaced by current guitarist Dave Rude. American Dog and The Vegabonds are special guests. Doors open at 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.

2) New Orleans-based funk rock Flow Tribe holds session at the Thunderbird Cafe. These six seasoned musicians came together in 2004 to form the Tribe, and they’ve continued cooking up a fusion of jazz, rock, funk, and blues ever since. In the decade since its inception, Flow Tribe has showcased a fanatical penchant for touring and was featured in MTV’s “The Real World: New Orleans” in 2010. With the “delicacy of a sledgehammer,” Flow Tribe dabbles in what its members call “backbone cracking music.” The funk is strong; backed by an ever-present, bubbling, rumbling bass backbone (immune to aforementioned cracking), the band presents audiences with a spicy blend of brass, harmonica, bluesy guitar, and freewheeling vocals—a mix the likes of which could only emerge from the exotic musical climate that is New Orleans. Notably, Flow Tribe has been a repeat performer at New Orleans’ annual Voodoo Music Experience festival. 9 p.m. 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville.

3) The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, a recent beneficiary of a large donation from billionaire-publisher the late Richard Mellon Scaife, is hosting the 103rd Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Annual Exhibition. This juried show features some of the best artists our region has to offer. Past artists selected for the show include Andy Warhol, Henry Koerner, Samuel Rosenberg, and Philip Pearlstein. Come see who could be the next Pittsburgh artist to hit it big and also view some exciting artwork. Tuesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Through Aug. 31. 4764 State Route 30 (Temporary Location until the renovated museum re-opens in Spring  2015), Greensburg.

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Dan Hoyt

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