27 Jun

Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands, with Pandemic!

Pittsburgh Winery (2815 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh PA 15222) 9:30 PM - 11:30 PM

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Special presale: Tickets are just $10 if you buy online before noon on Monday, June 8. Grab yours now.

Update – Pandemic Pete! If there is a music-driven party going on in Pittsburgh, you can count on Pete Spynda being involved. Bayardstown Social Club, Weather Permitting, the monthly Pandemic events, and much more. Pete will get the night rolling, so get there when the doors open!

Crystal Bright: Singer-songwriter, Ethnomusicologist, Keyboards, Accordion, Saw, Adungu, Concertina, Taiko (let’s just say she plays a couple of instruments, sometimes more than one at a time).

The full bio:

Out in the woods she lived, all alone. At least that’s what it felt like, never belonging to any one group and having a penchant for the oppressed. Crystal did not come from a musical family, and unlike so many children who are forced into music lessons, at age seven she practically ran away to her piano teacher’s house down the street – books in her basket – pedaling as fast as she could down the gravel road – dust flying behind. When she was still young, a little demon told her that she shouldn’t sing, that it sounded better when she just played the piano, but she was determined to ignore the demon and sing her heart out anyway.

But sometimes the influence of the demon rendered her silent and still, and her hands seemed to be void of life. As she grew up she traveled the world, dancing with the Romani people of Spain, residing in an “anarchist” collective, working in Yellowstone, and above all else learning about other cultures and their music. It was in Greensboro, NC in 2010 that she met what would become her first Silver Hand. Diego Diaz had witnessed her previous band that took him to another time and place, and he wished to contribute his haunting and ethereal guitar sounds to the music she began writing a few months before. It was around this time that Crystal’s hands began to grow back, and in less than a year collaborated with the North Carolina Symphony on an arrangement of her song “Toy Hammer” for their 2010 New Year’s Eve program at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh. She is constantly performing, has played over 400 shows in the United States as well as Quebec and has played alongside Beats Antique, Rising Appalachia, Autumn Owls, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, The Love Language, Adam Arcuragi, Larkin Grimm, Pearl and the Beard and many more. “Muses and Bones,” her second album, will cast you into an otherwordly, ethereal, hauntingly familiar yet strange landscape, ranging from deranged Cirque du Soleil to burlesque European Carnival.

Within Crystal’s unconventional song structures, you’ll hear her inspiration from P.J. Harvey and Björk, and a deep love for Yann Tiersen and the Gotan Project. Her lyrics and melodies portray the world as a dark and strange (and often funny) place deeply connected to fables and imagination. Stories such as “Little Match Girl” and “The Misplaced Zygote: Down the Wrong Chimney” convey folklore lessons that address phases in women’s lives where they need to be conscious of staying true to their intuition. Songwriting begins in many different ways, including inspiration from refrigerator magnet poetry or going to the movies alone at midnight, but is mostly a channeling process that happens late at night when the veil between reality and dreams is the thinnest. Expect the unexpected. Crystal’s songs reflect her educational background in Anthropology and Ethnomusicology and her experiences playing and singing various styles – Mariachi, Chinese, Balinese Gamelan, Ugandan, Samba and more. She is a mad multi-tasker who relentlessly alternates between accordion, musical saw (self-taught through YouTube videos), piano, adungu (a Ugandan harp), concertina and Taiko drum– sometimes more than one at a time! She possesses astounding vocal range and power that descends on a dime to delicate subtlety. One moment she sings, she soars – and the next – a falsetto whisper that slyly peeks behind the curtain.

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