The contest is brainchild of Pittsburgh’s own AlphaLab Gear, a leading product accelerator, and TechShop, the nation’s premier “maker” facility providing tools and know-how for do-it-yourselfers. The AlphaLab Gear National Hardware Cup aims to find the top ideas in hardware (that is, tangible products, as opposed to software or services) across the nation. This year. teams will compete in Los Angeles, Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, Washington D.C., Chicago and Austin, with the grand finale playing out here in Pittsburgh in mid-April.
The winning team in each city will take home $3,000 cash, a year-long license for 3-D design software SOLIDWORKS and other prizes. The national winner — which will be decided back here in Pittsburgh — will earn $50,000 from Startbot VC.
Watch six Pittsburgh teams make their four-minute pitches to local venture capitalists and hardware CEOs from 6-8 p.m. on Feb. 21 at TechShop. Admission is free, but space fills up quickly, so reserve your seat today!
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What is this, June? February is supposed to be a slow month for shows, but there are top-notch concerts all month long, from country to rock, hip-hop to jazz, and a lot of post-punk.
Friday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m.
Stage AE – 400 N Shore Dr.
$39.50 adv; $42 d.o.s.
Kid Cudi’s last album, Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven, was something of a head-scratcher. It wasn’t as bad as, say, Lil Wayne’s attempt at rock (at least Andre 3000 liked this one), but between all the acoustic guitar and bizarre (if hilarious) sketches of Beavis and Butt-Head tripping on mushrooms, you can see why Pitchfork started their review of the album by asking, “Is Kid Cudi serious?” Still, it’s rare when a top tier rapper comes to down, so we’re willing to overlook this misstep in hopes of a killer live show.
Sound Scene Express Best of 2015 Concert, feat. Nevada Color, The Commonheart and more.
Saturday, Feb. 6 at 9 p.m.
James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy – 422 Foreland St.
Pittsburgh doesn’t have nearly as many music blogs as it deserves. Pittpunk has been on hiatus, Hughshows is scaling back in favor of a TV show, and the guy that did Pittsburgh Music Report has some other gig now. Fortunately, Sound Scene Express is picking up the slack–and then some. From concert photos, to album reviews, interviews and more, Randy and crew has Pittsburgh’s indie rock scene on lock. This year, their annual “Best of” awards is making the leap to IRL, with live performances from Nevada Color, The Commonheart, Ballon Ride Fantasy and Chase the Monkey, hosted by Danny Rectenwald, of Bastard Bearded Irishmen. Caspian
Tuesday, February 9. 7 p.m.
Cattivo – 146 44th St.
If you’re bummed that the Explosions in the Sky tour is skipping Pittsburgh, this Caspian gig is just what you need. That’s not to say that all post-rock bands sound the same, but those signature guitar swells work best in smaller venues, like Cattivo, where you can be completely enveloped by the sonic assault. The Massachusetts sextet is touring in support of their latest album, 2015’s Dust and Disquiet. Opening is O’brother, who you might remember as openers from when Minus the Bear played Club Cafe in late 2014. Here’s a taste of what to expect from Caspian:
Protomartyr, w/ Priests, The Gotobeds
Thursday, February 11. 9:30 p.m.
Brillobox – 4104 Penn Ave.
$10 d.o.s. (No presale)
If your eardrums aren’t already blown out from Caspian and O’brother, they will be after this one. Three of the best punk and post-punk bands in the country join together at Brillobox for an early “show of the year” candidate. Pittsburgh’s The Gotobeds will set the tone by blasting through 9 or 10 songs in about 30 minutes, at which point you’ll say, oh, that’s why that major label signed them. Then, from DC, it’s Priests, only 2 EPs into their career and attracting all types of hype, thanks to frontwoman Katie Alice Greer’s snarl and stage presence. Finally, the new kings of Detroit punk, Protomartyr, with a spoken-word delivery and wit as sharp and cutting as the guitar work. There’s no presale, so get there early to snag a ticket. Doors are at 9. Stretch & Bobbito
Saturday, February 13. 9 p.m.
Round Corner Cantina – 3720 Butler St.
$10 ($5 w/ movie screening ticket)
Source Magazine called The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show the best hip-hop radio show of all time. Airing on 89.9 WKCR, out of Columbia University, Stretch & Bobbito was where many of the best MCs of a generation first gained attention, from Nas, to Big Pun, to Jay-Z and more. The pair are touring the country in support of a new documentary, Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives, directed by “Bobbito” Garcia. Catch the movie at Row House Cinema at 7 p.m., followed by a post-screening Q+A. Then, make your way over to Round Corner Cantina for the after-party, where the duo will join local DJs on the ones and twos.
Monday, February 22. 8 p.m.
Mr. Smalls – 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.
Long before anyone really knew who Kurt Vile was, he started billing himself as “Philly’s constant hitmaker” as sort of a joke. Turns out the joke was more of a self-fulfilling prophecy. With his latest album, B’lieve I’m Goin Down, Kurt Vile is unequivocally a rock star. Vile performed lead single “Pretty Pimpin’” on The Late Show with J Mascis, then went off to perform in Europe and Australia for two months. The new album is softer than his previous album, the fuzzed-out Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze, but it has always been Vile’s lyrics – self-deprecating and tongue-in-cheek – that set the constant hitmaker apart from the pack. Disappears
Tuesday, February 23. 8 p.m.
Andy Warhol Museum – 117 Sandusky St.
$15 ($12 students/members)
From Chicago, Disappears performs dark, driving garage rock, reminiscent of Krautrock bands and Joy Division. The band will be performing two sets: The first set features their own material, including songs from their 2015 release, Irreal, and for the second set the band will perform David Bowie’s album Low, which they first recorded live at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in fall 2014. Pittsburgh native Noah Leger (formerly of the Karl Hendricks Trio) is on drums.
An Evening with Savion Glover and Jack DeJohnette
Friday, February 26. 9:30 p.m. (7 p.m. session sold out)
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild – 1815 Metropolitan St.
$27 – $52.50
Now for something different, Jack DeJohnette, one of the best jazz drummers of all time, performs with Savion Glover, one of the most well-respected tap dancers alive. DeJohnette was the primary drummer on Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew, and he toured with Davis for a number of years before setting off on his own. The event page on the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild site promises “multigenerational phrasing of elevated frequencies that propels sound to the fourth dimension and beyond,” and a “journey of melodies extracting unprecedented and beautiful music living within two masterful souls.” Who can resist?
Kacey Musgraves Country & Western Rhinestone Revue
Saturday, February 27. 7:30 p.m.
Stage AE – 400 N. Shore Drive.
Sorry Carrie Underwood, but if you see just one country singer-songwriter in Pittsburgh this month, make it Kacey Musgraves. Probably the only musician to be on the cover of both Redbook and The FADER, Musgraves pens clever, classic country gems that fans of both Katy Perry and Loretta Lynn can enjoy. Her major label debut, 2013’s Same Trailer Different Park, won the Grammy for Best Country Album, and the follow-up, 2015’s Pageant Material, is nominated for the same.
Friday, February 27. 8 p.m.
Mr. Smalls – 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.
This show will be exactly one year and one week from the last time Ramble Jon Krohn visited Mr. Smalls. Since 2002, with the release of his first album, the instrumental hip-hop masterpiece Deadringer, RJD2 has never stayed complacent, remixing his musical style as often as most artists change labels. He’ll be at Smalls in support of his new album, the soul-heavy Dame Fortune, which won’t be released until March 25th. Here’s the first single off of that album, “Peace of What”:
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That’s Fayette County you see in the lovely photo attached to this blogpost. Recently, our colleague Phil Cynar with the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (part of the Allegheny Conference, of which ImaginePittsburgh.com is a program) reached out to the PRA’s regional partners to help paint a picture of the places that help create “one extraordinary region” – as our 2015 holiday season promotional campaign touts. (Look for the campaign in regional print and online publications, as well as in this video.
Here is Phil’s Q&A with Bob Shark, executive director of Fay-Penn Economic Development Council.
In the spirit of the holidays, give us “five golden things” about Fayette County that might surprise people?
The county is the birthplace of the Big Mac.® In 1967, franchise owner Jim Delligati invented the Big Mac® at the McDonald’s on Morgantown Street in Uniontown.
Fayette County is home to one of Pennsylvania’s largest state parks. The gateway to the Laurel Mountains, Ohiopyle State Park encompasses over 20,000 acres and attracts over 1.5 million visitors annually. With its 65 miles of hiking trails, 18 miles of biking trails, a natural waterslide and some of the best Class 1 to Class 5 rapids for whitewater adventures in the East, is it any wonder?
Uniontown, the county seat of Fayette County, was founded on July 4, 1776 – the same date the Declaration of Independence was signed.
During the Coal Boom of the early part of the 20th century, Uniontown was home to at least 13 millionaires, the most (per capita) of any city in the U.S.
Fayette County boasts two Frank Lloyd Wright homes. The more renowned, Fallingwater has been named the “best all-time work of American architecture” by members of the American Institute of Architects and is on the Smithsonian’s list of “places to see before you die.” The second is Kentuck Knob – the former full-time residence of the I.N. Hagan family (owners of the notable local Hagan’s Dairy). The house was commissioned by the Hagans after a visit to nearby Fallingwater, a mountain retreat/summer home of their friends, the Edgar J. Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh, owners of former Kaufmann’s Department Store. Kentuck Knob is now owned by Lord Peter Palumbo of Great Britain and is open to the public.
What are your three wishes for Fayette County in the new year?
Improved transportation: extension of the rail lines and the airport runways at the Joseph A. Hardy/Connellsville Airport.
Continued improvement of the public infrastructure; providing water, sewerage and internet access throughout all of Fayette County.
Adequate emergency response services (police, fire, and EMS) for all and no reason to ever use them!
Finally, why the Pittsburgh region right now … considering business investment and live-work-play-learn opportunities?
Southwestern Pennsylvania is loaded with key ingredients: a low cost of living with a high quality of life; a talented workforce, both experienced and developing and one known for its work ethic; a wealth of education opportunities from technical schools to top-rated universities; a location in the heart of the Marcellus Shale with the availability of well-priced sites and a competitive cost of doing business. I think the question should be “why not southwestern Pennsylvania?”
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Military veterans: Architectural glass designer and manufacturer Forms + Surfaces is seeking a CNC Operator. Apply via the free ServiceToOpportunity.org program to get one-on-one contact with a hiring manager.
Not quite what you were looking for? Check out our Neighbors page to see what kinds of careers young and mid-career professionals are pursuing. You can reach out to the Neighbors for networking ideas via the LinkedIn addresses include in their profiles. And stay up-to-date with new job postings and other news about building a great life in the Pittsburgh region via our monthly newsletter, our RSS feed, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.