Trans Am Pulls Into Smiling Moose; Devonian Gardens at Thunderbird (CPs Sat., 5/24/14)
1) Bethesda-based three-piece Trans Am comes to the Smiling Moose armed to the teeth with a prolific discography of sludgy yet upbeat electro-schlock post-rock. Formed in 1990 near Washington, DC, Trans Am didn’t fully come into its unmistakable sound until the guys began recording their self-titled debut in 1995, a sound which continued to evolve up to and through their 2010 release, Thing, and their newest release, Volume X. Using a repertoire of beeps, buzzes, chirps, and other sometimes panic-inducing effects, along with Daft Punky vocoder filtering, Trans Am provides the cyborg score to the rise of the machines. The band members—vocalist Nathan Means, guitarist Philip Manley, and drummer Sebastian Thomson—will drag you, willing or not, into a digital dystopia. I, for one, welcome our cybernetic overlords. Trans Am is joined by The Lopez and local duo Microwaves. 8 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side.
2) Shannon and the Merger take the stage in an early show at Club Café. This Washington, PA-based cover band earns its name by merging hits new and old with a unique, sexy, bluesy spin of its own. In a tradition that often receives little in the way of praise or recognition, Shannon and the Merger stands out for the ability to energize a crowd. During a night out, sometimes all you need is a familiar soundtrack to lift your spirits, and lead singer Shannon Watson and her bandmates excel in this regard. They embody the spirit of the original track while infusing their own flavor, whether the song is classic rock, ’80s new wave, ’90s grunge, or contemporary top 40. Joined by Carolyn Hock. 7 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side.
3) Man Forever performs at Gooski’s. Led by John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions), this experimental percussion project is meditative, oddly mind-bending, and minimalist. Man Forever’s music consists of protracted percussive explorations backed by relatively simple electronic white noise. Only one or two tracks comprise each of Man Forever’s releases, with each track lasting more than 15 minutes—15 straight minutes of drumming, unchained by melodic arrangement. Verily, one best consumes Man Forever’s product by just letting the noise take over. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. 3115 Brereton St., Polish Hill.
4) Surf-psych-rock 5-piece Devonian Gardens (formerly known as Deadhorse) has come a long way from Calgary to join us here in Pittsburgh, with local up-and-comers Shaky Shrines. Equipped with more guitars and more strings than anyone can shake a finger at, Devonian Gardens oozes and grooves down the inter-dimensional express lane on an unstoppable, radical romp. Meanwhile, psychedelic doom rockers Shaky Shrines rumble, growl, shriek, and bellow their way through the collective unconscious cemetery of an overstimulated, cynical generation. And indeed, they do so at a pace nearly as rapid as the pace at which they’ve been pumping out albums. This show celebrates the release of their fourth—titled Hocus Bogus—in under a year. Also joined by Girl Scout. Weirdness abounds at the Thunderbird Cafe. 9 p.m. 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville.
5) Yet another skirmish between the Nationals and the Pirates takes place. Be among the first 25,000 fans to arrive and get a free Pedro Alvarez Silver Slugger Bobblehead. 7:15 p.m. 115 Federal St., North Shore.