Five Underrated Pittsburgh Punk Bands

Here are a few bands that deserve more attention for the blood sweat and tears they put into the scene.


For over twenty years, Liverball has been Pittsburgh’s most underrated band and they don’t care. They’re still preforming, they’re still recording, and they’re still trying to drink their livers away.  Liverball is one of the few bands that  you can hear the band’s progression without major label interference.

Del Rios

There are many bands we’ll never know, their vinyls have been lost and cassettes eaten. Del Rios puts together the best scraps of former Punk and Metal projects to form a new type of superband.  An MP3 won’t come close to describing the chaos of Del Rios Live.

Shady Ave

Remember when garage punk meant actually playing in a garage? Well, Shady Avenue will play any garage. Their FORTYCORE style of punk is smooth and wins over the ladies. Technically, Shady Avenue is from Clarion, PA, until 222 Ormsby adopted them granting them official Pittsburgh status.

Dollar Shots

The Dollar Shots are the essence of Yinzer Punk.  Dave (their drummer) recounts car troubles and explosions, spilt beer and ex-girlfriends, band member break ups and neo-nazi car chases. Hell, I don’t know how they survived this long but it makes for a great album.

Westboro Bastard Church

God Hates Punk.
Good band. Nothing new, nothing to aspire to.

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Pittsburgh Zombiefest 2010

Photos courtesy of v_rock

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TypewriterGirls: Portrait of a Dadaist as a Public School Official

Who: The TypewriterGirls Poetry Cabaret

Who Else: Dance by Staycee Pearl Dance Company; music by Amoeba Knievel; magic from Mark Swindler; poetry from Lynn Emanuel, Andrew Mulvania, and Skot Jones, and performances and private readings from The Poetry Brothel NYC.

What: A Poetry Cabaret featuring a letter writing station where audience members can express their concern about the dwindling quality of public education and lack of arts integration to elected officials, educationally-themed Dadaist drinking and writing games, readings from poets who also serve the… role of educators, magic, dance, live music, performances and private “lessons” from the famed Poetry Brothel from New York City, and the TypewriterGirls’ sketch comedy to tie it all together.

When: Saturday, October 23, 2010.  7 PM
Where: Modern Formations, 4919 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Cost: $7, or $5 with a letter to a politician expression

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Swoon Butterflies in Braddock

These photos are part of the same Swoon piece put in in 2008 in Braddock, PA.

Creative Commons Photos by Celeste.

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Submachine Halloween Reunion 2010

Pittsburgh’s legendary Submachine has been repaired and reunited. They launch their assault on soulless hipsters Friday, October 29th 2010 at the 31st Street Pub.

If you don’t know who Submachine is, you had better go.

Who Else: Del Rios, Savage Pinkos, & The Rustbelt Homewrecker
What: Submachine rises from the dead for a series of shows this Halloween.
When: Friday, October 29th 2010. 10pm
Where: The Legendary 31st Street Pub

There will be a follow up show at Mr. Smalls Skate Park the 31st.

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R.I.P. Kids. Credit: Mattew Niemi

KIDS was a prolific street artist based in Pittsburgh, PA.  Pittsburgh was playground and he loved every part of the city.  He passed away, but his graffiti haunts our city.

KIDS Rust Away. Credit: Mattew Niemi

I didn’t know him, but I felt like I did. He was everywhere I went in Pittsburgh: The Bloomfield Bridge, dumpsters in the Strip District, coffee at the Beehive, and drinking in Oakland. His reach goes beyond the local ally. His work can even be seen from space.

KIDS in Strip District. Photo: Dan Bucynski.

KIDS IS DEAD ALIVE. Photo: David Gingrich

KIDS couldn’t be packaged in a can. He produced stickers, triumphed with the paint pen, and even experimented with metal art. There is a small collection of his work on Flickr, but it doesn’t begin to scratch his career.

After his death, many artists have added messages to his works, including,”We Will Miss You, THANKS!” and  “We miss you already!

We’d like to add more to this article. If you knew him, or tagged along with him, please email or post a comment.

Photo by: Matt Niemi, Dan Bucynski, and David Gingrich.

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Mario Graffiti in Pittsburgh’s Little Italy

Mario Graffiti in Bloomfield. Photo: Ian Gowen

An Italian plumber in Bloomfield. This 8bit piece is an excellent example of Mario graffiti with wonderful placement.

Photo by Ian Gowen

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Swoon Femicide Piece in Garfield

Taken by hryckowian on flickr.

A ghostly image in Garfield.

Photo taken by Jim Winstead Jr.This piece is part of Swoon’s Femicide series.  As she crossed the border going down into South Mexico, she saw pink crosses painted on telephone poles marking the las muertas de Juárez (“The dead women of Juárez”). Each piece represents women that are missing and presumed dead.

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Stikman in Pittsburgh

Stikman in Pittsburgh's South Side. Credit: Dave Gingrich

Stikman visited the Iron City over a year ago, but his characters remain permanently fixed to our phone booths, bridges, and pavement. This marks one of his more recent campaigns, as he experiments with postal stickers, miniature sculptures, and other mixed media.

You can tour Stikman’s Pittsburgh visit with starting in South Side, head towards the West End Bridge, then explore W North Avenue. Look for his 2D and 3D figures found on pavements and buildings.

This particular piece is located at 12th & Bedford Sq. in South Side.

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bea. in Polish Hill

bea. at the Polish Hill Pedestrian Bridge. Credit: Matthew Niemi

While some choose galleries in Lawrenceville, bea makes the world hers.

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