1) I first became aware of The Black Keys some years back when I was driving my car and had the radio turned on when I heard one of the crunchiest, blues/rock songs I’ve ever heard. The song had killer guitar and drum work done in a tight, straight ahead, take no prisoners approach. The vocals sounded as if they were done by an old blues singer. I was loving the song and thinking to myself, “who the hell is this?” I pride myself on knowing a fair amount about music, but this song had me stumped. After hearing the song again a week later I did a search for it. The song was “Your Touch” by a group called The Black Keys. What was even more impressive was they were two young guys, Dan Auerbach (guitarist and lead singer) and Patrick Carney (drummer, vocals) from Akron, Ohio, who had produced such a rich blues/rock song. Well, The Black Keys have grown even bigger over the subsequent years and have nine studio albums under their belt now and have gained fame as one of the best rock bands in the U.S. Their latest album, Let’s Rock, was released this June. Special guest is Modest Mouse. 8 p.m. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown.
2) Chef Keson brings decades of culinary experience from her native Thailand and Pittsburgh Thai restaurants to Red Orchid. She, her husband, and her sister use fresh local produce to create one-of-a-kind dishes. Among those dishes are curries made from a family recipe. The curry fried rice is also a winner. The Pad Thai ($12.50) is great, but if one is looking for something a little different but also exceptional, try the Pad Ka Prao ($12.50). It is made “from the wok” with stir-fried garlic, bell peppers, green beans, and fried egg. Either ground pork or chicken for a protein. Try the Spicy Basil Pad Ka Prao for a spin. Both are served with jasmine rice. For a traditional beverage, there’s Thai Iced Tea and Thai Iced Coffee. It’s also BYOB. The menu includes multiple appetizers, soups, sides, and specials. The restaurant expanded some years ago and offers 24 seats in a spacious dining room. 5439 Babcock Blvd., Ross Township. (CM)