The Beat: Country Crooner Slim Forsythe Takes the Stage at Thunderbird

The local lawyer-turned-singer buddies up with Paul Labrise and Chet Vincent for this one-night engagement.

Dec. 19
Most folks know that Slim Forsythe practiced law before his turn as one of Pittsburgh’s most famous country crooners, but that detail is worth mentioning again for those who weren’t in the loop. Catch Forsythe in all his honkytonk glory with Paul Labrise and Chet Vincent as they wallow and weave their way through a night of Appalachian ribaldry, saturated with alt-country and pop overtones.

[Thunderbird Café, 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville; 412/682-0177,]

Dec. 21
Combat the winter doldrums with rapturous choral music performed by the All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County at its Home for the Holidays concert. Daniel Meyer, artistic director of the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, will conduct the performance, under the direction of Mark Rozell.

[The Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg; 724/836-8000,]

Dec. 4
According to Rubblebucket’s website, “[the act] has spent the last five years building a reputation as a band that blurs lines.” Despite such an ambiguous description, the band rocks. Its performances at annual music fest Bonnaroo and collaborations with Questlove can attest, but see for yourself Dec. 4 at the Rex Theater.

[1602 E. Carson St., South Side; 412/381-6811,]

Dec. 6
Back by popular demand, Italian rockers from the group Goblin will be at the Carnegie Library Music Hall during the act’s second U.S. tour of 2013. Any band whose members are nicknamed the “Italian Soundtrack Kings” should pique the interest of Pittsburgh’s progressive-rock proprietors. Local space-rock band Zombi opens the show.

[510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall; 412/368-5225,]



Still Going Strong
Weird Paul Rock Band

With songs ranging from neo-funk slap bass to those that are sparsely lit, it’s nice to see the Weird Paul Rock Band still making some serious noise in a world full of jokers. “I’m Her Best Friend When She’s Drunk” tackles nice-guy angst with a subtle hilarity tinged by a bit of sadness. “I’ve Filled Up Many Tissues With My Tears” shows that Weird Paul and company are as capable of tugging on our heartstrings as tickling our funny bones. Don’t fret, though: Although the aforementioned might cause longtime listeners to wonder if the crew is getting soft, keep in mind that providing stark departures from everyday norms is good for the soul. Did I mention there’s slap bass?

A Need for Dissolution
Ivory Weeds

As one of the more prolific Pittsburgh-based artists, Ivory Weeds (aka John Chriest) soldiers onward, charting familiar topics with new tunes that contemplate the hushed whispers of yearning and long-buried sorrows. Sauntering waltz “Run Princess” meanders at a steady clip possessed of a particular gothic-revival vibe that would make fans of William Morris and world-weary troubadours alike take notice. Chriest always has shown a knack for creating songs that feel like intimate conversations; in his tracks, characters unleash a dialogue of epic minimalism. Yet with every song on "A Need for Dissolution" clocking in at more than four minutes, you still get the feeling that each moment is vital. Word on the street says that Ivory Weeds is currently on tour in Europe, which makes his latest CD the perfect primer for his return.


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