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Valerie Kuehne Returns + a Study in Turkish Pizza

Valerie Kuehne played at the Mr. Roboto Project in December and she ended up returning to Pittsburgh March 18th for probably the most messed up and least organized show that I've ever seen.

First up was Manson Girls, but I missed them.  Some guy got mad because he had heard them described as "the best band in Pittsburgh" and apparently disagreed significantly; I wonder who spread this idea around?  Anyway I did see "Middle Children" with only Jay Dowl and without Meg Georgiana.  She ended up being replaced by Dru Bruce (Mustache Required) and Pam Hanlin (Dumplings) for a bizarre band called The Mamas and the Papas.  Dru basically improvised nonsense lyrics that got progressively better as they went along over Jay's beats.  It was pretty much like Mustache Required, but less focused and with less clever wordplay.  This could end up pretty cool if it kept going.

Valerie played next, but first she approached the stage with a creepy clown mask which she quickly placed on a volunteer after spooking everybody out with it.  Valerie then walked around and told a story involving Billy who is obsessed with clowns; it was pretty cool/fucked up.  Afterwards she took up her cello and maybe improvised some songs about fucking (Steve Albini would be proud) intensely.

Greg McKillop was last, substituting for Valerie's original tour mate who had dropped off a few days ago.  He is a really nice guy and played some songs like you hear from train-hopping crust punks in the Southside or Squirrel Hill.  It was cool and simple, and there was a lot of heart behind his songs.  Greg is returning to Garfield Artworks on May 16th with his band Speaker for the Dead; Manny has described them as a "large-scale (10+ people) political emo-punk brass band".  It should be cool so come check it out.

After the show everyone went to Caliente Pizza Bar on Liberty Avenue.  It is a pretty cool place; very dry and still and also a Turkish pizza place with a Spanish name.  Manny emphasized that these are common nowadays.