From grunge, to hip-hop, to country, to Icelandic folk, July has something for everybody. Read on for ten July concerts that are guaranteed to be Sound Picks.

Mudhoney, w/ The Cynics, The Nox Boys

Wednesday, July 8. 7:30 p.m.

Mr. Smalls – 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale

$16

Mudhoney signed to Seattle’s Sub Pop Records in 1988 and quickly came to epitomize the label and the city’s flourishing grunge scene. The band is still signed to Sub Pop, who declared, in 2013, that there was no better band to represent the label: “No other group has consistently kicked as much ass as Mudhoney, nor has anyone come close.” Opening are Pittsburgh’s own garage rock legends, The Cynics, and the next generation of garage rock noise, the bad boys of Blawnox, The Nox Boys.

Árstídir. Photo by Matthew Eisman.

Árstíðir

Wednesday, July 8. 8 p.m.

Pittsburgh Winery – 2815 Penn Ave.

$20 (21+)

Iceland has an outsized musical output for a nation whose population isn’t much bigger than Pittsburgh’s. Árstíðir (Icelandic for “Seasons”) sing in both Icelandic and English and are known for delicate compositions centered around acoustic guitar and multi-part harmonies. Their new album, Hval was released earlier this year and saw the band expand their sonic palette to include synths, electric violin and even drums! Don’t go expecting Sigur Ros, but it will be beautiful nonetheless.

Mr. Twin Sister, w/ Moon King

Sunday, July 12. 8 p.m.

Club Cafe – 56-58 South 12th Street

$12 (21+)

For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, Twin Sister changed their name to Mr. Twin Sister in 2014. Many fans speculate that the song “Out of the Dark,” off of their self-titled 2014 album, is a clue. The song touches upon transgenderism and contains lines like “I am a woman, but inside I’m a man, and I want to be as gay as I can.” The Brooklyn-based band are tough to pigeonhole, but most of their songs possess a groove-heavy, synth-pop style that’s as danceable as it is catchy.

Electric Citizen

Tuesday, July 14. 8 p.m.

Club Cafe – 56-58 South 12th Street

$10 (21+)

Electric Citizen, from Cincinnati, play a far-out style of heavy metal that should please fans of The Sword and early Sabbath alike. Local metal band Carousel open, and be on the lookout for their new album, 2113, at the merch table. Main support act Mondo Drag sound pretty much exactly what you’d want a band named “Mondo Drag” to sound like, dude.

Waxahatchee

Wednesday, July 15.  7 p.m.

Cattivo – 146 44th Street

$12

Singer/songwriter Katie Crutchfield just performed at Pitt at the end of March, so it is a good sign that her fans wanted her back again so soon. Crutchfield is still on tour in support of Ivy Tripp, her third LP and first on Merge Records. Most of the early lo-fi flavor is gone on this record, but the Waxahatchee hallmarks — intensely personal lyrics, fuzzy guitar  — are still there. There was talk of a letdown after her breakthrough Cerulean Salt album, but Ivy Tripp proves those fears misguided. This is a diverse, original composition almost universally lauded by fans and critics alike. Philly punk duo Pinkwash open.

Waka Flocka Flame

Friday, July 24. 8 p.m.

Altar Bar – 1620 Penn Ave.

$28 (21+)

Waka Flocka Flame is running for President. If elected to office, President Flame’s first act will be to legalize marijuana. He’ll also make it illegal for dogs to enter restaurants, and people with big feet will no longer be permitted to walk on the sidewalk. Campaigning for head of state is a time-consuming endeavor, but hopefully he’ll find time to release Flockaveli 2, his long-awaited follow-up album. If it’s as half as entertaining as his campaign platform, fans are in for a treat:

Blueprint

Sunday, July 26. 8 p.m.

Thunderbird Cafe – 4023 Butler St

$8 (21+)

Blueprint is part of the Rhymesayers camp, the seminal hip-hop label formed by Slug, of Atmosphere, and home to other eminent indie rappers like Aesop Rock, Freeway and MF Doom. Some hip-hop fans might recognize the name from his Soul Position collaborations with fellow Columbusite RJD2. Supastition and DJ Rare Groove also perform, with local openers TBD.

The Tallest Man on Earth. Photo Credit: Cameron Wittig

The Tallest Man on Earth. Photo by Cameron Wittig

The Tallest Man on Earth

Sunday, July 26. 8 p.m.

Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead – 510 East 10th Ave, Munhall

$25

Swedish singer/songwriter Kristian Matsson has earned a cult following for his delicate acoustic picking and tuneful, rustic voice. He’ll be performing in support of his new album, Dark Bird is Home, which was released last month on the Dead Oceans label.

Iron & Wine, w/ Ben Bridwell

Monday, July 27. 8 p.m.

Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead – 510 East 10th Ave, Munhall

$35

Singer/songwriter Samuel Beam and Band of Horses lead singer Ben Bridwell are releasing a covers album, Sing into My Mouth, 10 days prior to their performance at the Library Music Hall. The pair have only eight concerts scheduled together, and we are quite fortunate that one of those dates happens to be in Pittsburgh. The album includes covers of songs by the Talking Heads, John Cale, JJ Cale and others. Here’s their excellent version of Sade’s track “Bullet Proof Soul:”

sturgill_simpson_cover

Old Crow Medicine Show, w/ Sturgill Simpson

Wednesday, July 29. 7:30 p.m.

Stage AE (outdoors) – 400 North Shore Drive

$35

Old Crow Medicine Show are a lot of fun live but Sturgill Simpson is the one you don’t want to miss. He’s an iconoclast wrapped in a cloak of classic country music. His newest album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, was a revelation. In the lead track, “Turtles All the Way Down,” Simpson lists the hallucinogens that changed his perspective on living. But, he continues, “love’s the only thing that ever saved my life.”

Deep Cuts:

Talib Kweli at Thrival Festival. Photo by Brian Conway

  • Alt-rock favorites Jane’s Addiction play Stage AE July 10
  • Hip-hop mainstay Talib Kweli visits Altar Bar July 14
  • Tamara Hope’s The Weather Station is at Club Cafe July 22.
  • Brandon Flowers, of The Killers, performs at Mr. Smalls July 27.
  • Brandi Carlile‘s tour hits Stage AE July 27, in support of her new album, The Firewatcher’s Daughter.
  • Spend “An Evening with the Dean Ween Group” at Mr. Smalls July 30.

 

Concerts aren’t enough? Check out the Top 10 Pittsburgh Events Not To Miss in July.

Looking for family fun? Be sure to read our Top 10 Family Adventures this July in Pittsburgh.

 

 

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