Hot List: Things to do this weekend

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Down on the farm

The Butler Farm Show got under way on Monday, but you haven't missed much.

It's loaded with motor sports this weekend, including figure-eight races at 8 tonight, a demolition derby at 8 p.m. Friday and semi- and tri-axle truck pulls at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The daily events feature The Wild World of Animals, magic and comedy by Todd Charles & Lee Germaine, and threshing demonstrations. Concerts include No Back Road tonight, East End Kids on Friday and Diamonds in the Rough on Saturday.

The Farm Show grounds are on Route 68, three miles west of Butler. Admission is $7. Information: 724-482-4000 or

Washington Fair

The Washington County Agricultural Fair kicks off with a lawn and garden tractor pull at 9 a.m. Saturday and a host of baking contests, including the cocoa cookie contest at 10 a.m.

Attractions on Saturday include the fair queen contest and music by Adam Brock (of "American Idol") and Phil Dirt and the Dozers, all starting at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, there will be horse and pony pulls at 5 p.m., a 7:30 p.m. doo-wop show from the Drifters, the Coasters and the Chiffons, followed by Zambelli fireworks at 9:45 p.m.

It runs through Aug. 18. The fairgrounds are in Arden. Admission is $9; $6 Sunday. Information: 724-225-7718 or

Indie rock at Smalls

Mr. Smalls has a busy weekend in store with three nights of indie music.

On Friday, bluesy British alt-rock trio Band of Skulls pulls in, having just played Lollapalooza. The Beauregards open the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18.

On Saturday, it's Aaron Freeman, better known as Gene Ween of Ween. He's come out with his first-ever solo record, "Marvelous Clouds," featuring his interpretations of songs by 20th century poet/songwriter Rod McKuen. Starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $18-$20.

Wrapping up the weekend there on Sunday at 8 p.m. is Ghostland Observatory, the Austin electro-rock dup of Aaron Behrens and Thomas Ross Turner. Tickets are $22.

Information: 1-866-468-3401 or,

Spears comedy

Comedian Aries Spears, a regular on Fox TV's sketch comedy show "MADtv," will appear at the Pittsburgh Improv at The Waterfront.

The comic landed a part in the movie "Home of Angels" at 17 after being spotted in a comedy club. He also appeared in "Out-of-Sync," portrayed Redd Foxx in "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" and starred alongside John Leguizamo in "The Pest."

Showtimes are 8 tonight; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday; 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. For more info and tickets, $20, or 412-462-5233.


Attack Attack!

Ohio metalcore band Attack Attack! invades Stage AE on Thursday and brings along an army of friends.

The Scream Like You Mean It Tour is an all-day affair with a Warped feel, featuring We Came as Romans, The Acacia Strain, Woe Is Me, Abandon All Ships, Oceano, Impending Doom, Like Moths to Flames, Texas in July, In Fear & Faith, Secrets, Glass Cloud, For All Those Sleeping, Close to Home, Volumes, At the Skylines and Hands Like Houses.

Attack Attack!, which formed in 2005 combining metal, electronics, shredding vocals and Christian-based lyrics, is touring on its third album, "This Means War," which All Music called its "hardest hitting and most coherent record to date."

Doors open at 2:15 p.m. Ticket are $23.50-$27. 1-800-745-3000.


Taste of NOLA

Playing the free show at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the South Park Amphitheater is Trombone Shorty, who grew up in New Orleans in the footsteps of jazz pioneers such as Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton and joined Lenny Kravitz on tour when he was just 19.

His major label debut, "Backatown," topped the Billboard contemporary jazz album chart in 2010, and since the release of the follow-up, "For True," in September he has appeared on the covers of Downbeat and Jazziz, and he and band Orleans Avenue have performed at The White House, the late-night shows and NPR's "Tiny Desk Concerts."


Story time

Call it old-school media. The Northland Public Library in McCandless offers people a truly wireless couple of days with the Three Rivers Storytelling Festival for children, teens and adults.

Here is the schedule:


9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Workshops for teens and adults ($35 per person, per workshop, tickets available at the library).

Noon-1:30 p.m.: Stories and lunch for seniors, $10/person.

10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m.: Storytelling for youth, ages 6-12, free, groups welcome.

7:30-9:30 p.m.: Free storytelling concert.

10-11:30 p.m.: Ghost stories.


10 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m.: Free storytelling.

7:30-9:30 p.m.: Free storytelling concert.

The library is at 300 Cumberland Road. For details: 412-366-8100 or


Puzzling tournament

Will Shortz, The New York Times crossword puzzle editor, is providing the puzzles for the Third Annual Pittsburgh Crossword Puzzle Tournament at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall on Saturday.

The puzzles will range in difficultly from easy to moderate for contestants of all ages and abilities. Event proceeds will benefit the Western PA/West Virginia Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. The event runs 1-4 p.m. The registration fee is $25 per individual and $40 per team in the pairs competition. To register and for more information:


African arts

The theme to this year's African Arts in the Park Festival is "Bridging African Rhythms and Jazz," with an idea "recognizing that African music is a strong contributor to the genre of jazz music."

Umoja African Arts Company's eighth annual African Arts in the Park Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday in Point State Park from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Performing on the main stage will be various West African dance and drum troops including Sankofa Village, Dreme Drum Dance, Legacy Arts Project and Tam Tam Magic.

Representing the jazz community will be Afro-American Music Institute, Jessica Lee Quartet, Elevations, Roger Humphries and RH Factor, AfroJazz, Chelsea Baratz Band, Ray Ryan and the Riverside Band, Tim Stevens and the Leonard Johnson Project, Kevin Howard Band, Dwayne Dolphin Band and Spirit Filled Ministries.

There will be a Culture Hut with African storytelling by Temujin the Storyteller and Jackie Jonas, drum workshops by Assane M'Baye and a demonstration of West Africa's influence on Jazz by Kuumba Inc. There will also be cooking and tasting demos that connect West African food and food from New Orleans by Phat Girlz Cookin' and Culinary Artists.

The Children's Hut will feature Spanish & French Arts & Crafts, Reading Is Fundamental, Carnegie Library activities, African storytelling & mask making, jewelry making, face painting, henna artists, petting zoo, Debo the Clown, a stiltwalker and a bounce house.

Food vendors will serve a variety of American and international food. The retail vendors will have several crafts, art and clothing. Admission to this event is free. Information:


• Hartwood Acres will present retro soul and R&B with the hard-traveling Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

• The Iron City Sound Downtown Live! summer concert series in Market Square continues at 5 p.m. Friday with John McDonald & The Mango Men playing the island music of Jimmy Buffett.

• East Winds Symphonic Band closes out the Bach, Beethoven & Brunch series at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Mellon Park, Shadyside.

• Reservoir of Jazz continues at Reservoir Drive in Highland Park at 5 p.m. Sunday with world jazz with Preach Freedom & Friends.

• Citiparks Cinema in the Park screens the traditional animation hit "The Princess and the Frog" at Brookline Memorial Park tonight; Arsenal Park (Lawrenceville) on Friday; Grandview Park (Mount Washington) on Saturday; and Flagstaff Hill, Schenley Park, on Sunday. Riverview Park (Observatory Hill) offers "The Help" on Saturday. Films start at dusk.

• ABBA the Concert brings the sweet sound of the Swedish hitmakers to the Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead at 7:30 tonight. Tickets are $37 to $62; 412-368-5225.

• You can meet the collectors and ask them to autograph the exhibition catalog at the 6 to 8 p.m. Friday opening of "Modern Dialect: American Paintings From the John and Susan Horseman Collection" at Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg. Featured are 68 works, most dating from the eras of the Great Depression and World War II. The exhibition continues through Nov. 4. Information: 724-837-1500 or

• Dance troupe the Pillow Project will be joined by Band Burrage at this month's installment of its "Second Saturdays" series. The night also will feature a multimedia dance performance, music by Brennan Elliot Pearson, "speakeasy" cocktails and Dozen Bakery goodies. It's 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at The Space Upstairs, Point Breeze. $10 donation suggested at the door. Information:

lifestyle - music


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