This is the first post for my blog that should look at music in and around pgh. Since this is the end of year, I will do my top 5 shows in pgh for 2008.
5) Okkervil River - Mr Smalls - 10/9/08 - Good show. Best thing about them was the lead singer...had a lot of pizzazz. The rest of his crew was a stiff but played fluidly.
4) Jaymay - Club Cafe - 6/14/08 - Not my favorite venue only due to the sound in this place...was on the fence whether to even go, but it was any early show plus 91.3 was sponsoring. I was not disappointed. She overwhelmed the place with her singer/songwriter prose. Amazing voice that made me feel for people who don't know about her. Check her out if you can.
3) Gnarls Barkley - New American Music Festival - 8/9/08 - For my money, the best band of the festival. Started out slow due to the heat, but picked up after 3 songs getting the crowd involved and putting alot of energy into it.
2) Margot and the Nuclear So and So's - Brillobox - 12/12/08 - I really like Brillobox as a venue (besides the fire haszard stairway) as its usually a great place to get an intimate show. But, if your first band is schedule to go on at 8, please make them go on. Don't wait an hour and force us to sit through 2 shiste bands when we have to work the next day. Obviously this was a very late show but Margot was as solid as ever. Using 8 musicians on a cramped stage, the sound was simply tight along with intricate details and instrument switches. This show started off with about 80 people but quickly lost steam as it stretched past 1am. Please Brillo, keep early shows and your bands on definitive schedule.
1) The Dodos - Garfields - 4/12/08 - Unbelieveable show. This was the same night as the New Pornographers so I didn't think there would be much of a crowd. To my chigrin, there were about 100 people at Garfields...the biggest attendance I had seen there. With all do respect to Garfields, the Dodos deserved a better venue, say the Warhol. But for 2 musicians (and a percussionist) the sound and intensity along with sweat by these 2 members was nothing more than awe inspiring. I cannot say enough about them. I really hope they come back around. Check them out on youtube if you can. The people who went to New Pornographers didn't get their money's worth.