Local scene in music this week

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Flexure flexes with debut LP

• Ben Opie, the local sax great who has led the bands Watershed and Opek, says the new album from jazz supergroup Flexure, "Insert Title Here," is "the best documentation of one of my groups to date."

In Flexure, he is joined by Ian Gordon (trumpet), Chris Parker (electric guitar), Paul Thompson (bass), David Throckmorton (drums) and George C. Jones (percussion).

The album, recorded in January at the New Hazlett Theater by David Bjornson, consists of two pieces: the 18-minute "The Owl Defense" and 20-minute "Umbra/Scratching Post."

"Musically," he says, "it's somewhat in the vein of Miles Davis' recordings around the time of 'In a Silent Way' and 'Themes From Jack Johnson' but at the same time doesn't really sound like either of those records."

It will be released as a vinyl LP in a limited edition of 269 copies.

The release show is at Club Cafe, South Side, at 10:30 p.m. Saturday. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com.

From Boca to Berlin

• Hallie Pritts, of local Americana ensemble Boca Chica, steps out of her comfort zone for a project called Winter Wedding Party.

The album "Winter Wedding Party," released on Friday by the German label We Carry On, was recorded last year while the singer was in the area of Berlin named Wedding, spending 10 days in the studio with French producer Jules Etienne, whom she met as a teenager.

They came away with a nine-song set of cool folk-electronic-lounge-pop songs highlighting her airy vocals. The standout is a light, sexy sonic update of "Tu Veux Ou Tu Veux Pas," a song that Brigitte Bardot made famous in the '60s. They also spice things up with an Italo-disco track, "Your Heart Has Teeth."

Mr. Etienne is best known for his work with Japanese pop/avant-garde artist Hanayo.

"I've been wanting to record with this guy forever, and also record a bilingual album," the singer says. "I'm pretty excited about it."

Due to the international nature of the project, there's no release show scheduled.

"The biggest hurdle to performing it is that Jules is in Berlin. This is definitely more of a studio project due to the distance. No Pittsburgh performance plans as of yet but we have fun brainstorming about live show options for such a synth heavy record."

For more info, go to www.facebook.com/winterweddingparty.

Girl Talk + Freeway

• For his first release since 2010's "All Day," Girl Talk departs from his usual laptop mashups and applies his beats to a collaborative project with Philly rapper Freeway.

Girl Talk (aka Pittsburgh's Gregg Gillis) wrote more than 70 beats in preparation for the EP "Broken Ankles" and took them to one of his favorite rappers.

"I've been a fan of Freeway since I first heard him on '1-900-Hustler,' and I just thought he was the perfect fit for what I had in mind," he said in a statement. "I wanted the album to be diverse, and I wanted someone who could maneuver around quick changes mid-song. Freeway is the rare rapper who sounds natural on all types of beats, ranging from cut-up soul to menacing synth-jams. His energy is unreal, and he's able to keep up with any production."

The tracks have more of a song structure and instrumentation but still flow in his seamless style of record-making. "It's always important to me to have an album that works as a whole; something that has a calculated flow to it, which is intended to be listened to front to back."

They released the track "Tolerated" with the rest coming later in the fall via datpiff.com.

Songs for Aidan

• In September, 10-year-old Aidan Knox of Bentleyville was diagnosed with the rare cancer Ewing's sarcoma and was treated with radiation and chemotherapy at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

To lift his spirits, the family created the Youtube channel Songs for Aiden, where musicians/artists from around the world could offer him a song or words of encouragement.

It led to two "Songs for Aidan" compilations to raise money for the music therapy, art therapy and pet friends programs at Children's Hospital.

On Sunday at 2 p.m., there will be a Songs for Aidan benefit concert at Christian W. Klay Winery in Chalk Hill, featuring national artists Brandon Schott, Tracy Grammer and Jim Boggia.

The event will include wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres, a Chinese auction, door prizes and more. Tickets are $30; http://live-the-proof.com/songs-for-aidan-benefit.html.

Rolling Record Store

• Jack White has been a stranger to Pittsburgh, but we are getting one of his vehicles. The Third Man Records' Rolling Record Store, a mobile store on a converted school bus-van that made its debut at SXSW in 2011, will stop outside of Mind Cure Records, 3138 Dobson St., Polish Hill, on Friday from 3 to 8 p.m.

The mobile store is outfitted with two turntables and a microphone and is stocked with his label's vinyl releases, T-shirts, tote bags and other items.


First Published October 9, 2013 8:00 PM


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