Local scene in music this week


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Gotobeds heading to SXSW with Fear-ful new single

■ Texas weather will feel better than it ever has to the Pittsburghers heading to Austin next week for the SXSW music festival.

Garage-pop band The Neighbours will be joining the mighty Cynics for the Get Hip Records showcase at the Lit Lounge March 14.

Among others representing Pittsburgh will be Badboxes, Cello Fury, Drowning Clowns, Sharon Needles and The Gotobeds.

It’s the first trip there for The Gotobeds, which features two members of defunct punks and SXSW vets Kim Phuc: guitarist Eli Kasan and drummer Tom Payne.

“It’s basically an advertisement for your band, pretty much the whole point of the fest, which is cooler than CMJ or some [b.s.],” the guitarist says. “The idea is you go down when all this scattered media attention has all converged and try to catch the biggest fish.”

The Gotobeds debuted in late 2012 with a cassette and are working on a May/June LP release for 12XU, a label owned by Gerard Cosloy of the esteemed Matador Records.

“We got on Gerard’s radar after we played live on WFMU in Jersey last August,” Mr. Kasan says. “He called in to ask who the hell we were. I sent him a record and the demo tape, and he wrote back saying, ‘I immediately went online looking for the single when I heard it and couldn’t find it. Congrats on costing yourself a sale. What do you think I can do for you you can’t do for yourself?’ ”

The Gotobeds are timing their trip with the release of the 7-inch single on the local Mind Cure Records “New York’s Alright (If You Like Sex & Phones),” a twist on the old Fear song “New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones.”

“We basically bite every popular NYC band for the music — Sonic Youth, The Strokes, Television, Parquet Courts — and made a vague diss-track outta the lyrics just saying it’s ‘alright,’ which in itself is like a Lou Reed joke of just saying ‘alright’ in about every song.”

You can catch the Gotobeds at Gooski’s at 10 p.m. Friday with The Beagle Brothers. Admission is $6. The SXSW show is March 13 at Beerland. For band info, visit the Gotobeds Facebook page.

Rock for Osh

■ Two weeks ago, Pittsburgh rocker Tommy O’Shanick, better known as Tommy Osh (from Trash Vegas, Ultimatics, etc.) was telling us how he wanted to bring the old Decade vibe of the ’80s to a new spot on Forward Avenue — the Squirrel Hill Sports Bar.

He was booking the music lineup there for new owners Barry and Kevin White, of Penn Hills, and was set to launch it last weekend with Tom Kurlander & PaleBlueSound, a band he played in.

Sadly, the 47-year-old bassist from Oakland was killed in an early morning car accident on the South Side on Feb. 20. Plans for the Sports Bar’s music lineup were put on hold.

Fittingly, it now begins on Friday with a benefit concert for Osh’s family featuring Ford Thurston, of the Vibro Kings and Bear Cub, who is coming up from Nashville, and members of The Dirty Charms, Fungus and the Southside Allstars.

Vinni Belfiore, who leads the Southside Allstars, is taking over the booking at the venue. There will be a weekly jam night led by the AllStars either on Wednesdays or Thursdays (still to be determined), bands on Fridays and Saturdays, and a monthly Purple Tuesdays jam night.

“Tommy’s vision was to bring back the true rock club,” Mr. Belfiore says. “Live music and a place for musicians and fans to gather. More than just a venue. We had some good things happening before the old venue closed. He wanted to build on that. The location is easy to get to and the size is just right for local band shows.”

The show is at 8 p.m. Friday. Admission is $5. The venue is at 5832 Forward Ave., Squirrel Hill.

Filling the Cipher

■ The latest project from Herman “Soy Sos” Pearl is a tangent from his work with Soma Mestizo, Chill Factor International and 3 Generations Walking.

The DJ/producer/guitarist highlights Pittsburgh MCs with a banging remix LP as Encryption Cipher. The debut from the new label Pittsburgh Modular Records is described as what would happen if “Run the Jewels collaborated with Brainfeeder and Diplo.”

“I’d been playing around with remixes for some of the various MCs I’d been working with, experimenting with treatments using modular synthesizers and Ableton Live,” Mr. Pearl says. “Oftentimes, I was trying things that they normally might not be rapping over. When I heard Kanye’s ‘Yeezus’ and was checking stuff like Death Grips, I thought that people’s ears might be more acclimated to an approach like this. I had originally thought to call the project ‘Yinzus’ as a joke, but thought better of it.”

The release is a collaboration with DJ Thermos, who educates teens on hip-hop at the CMU project Arts Green House. He’s become an assistant at Mr. Pearl’s studio, Tuff Sound Encoding, where they worked on the final mixes for the Green House.

As for Encryption’s voices, “Most of the rappers are longtime studio clients of mine and some collaborators they have brought in,” the producer says. “They are some of my favorite artists to work with and some of the best in the area. Even though many times I will fulfill some producer duties in my role as engineer for these artists, this project allows me to go much further.”

The release show at 720 Music Clothing and Cafe, Lawrenceville, at 9 p.m. Friday will feature performances by Jon Quest, Shad Ali, Crystal Seth, R Sin and Hunter. Admission is free. For info, search Encryption Cipher on Facebook.


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