Local Scene: 03/08/12

The Composure stays the course

• Now that Bruce Springsteen is back with The E Street Band, The Composure is free once again to do its own thing.

To review, back in November, the Pittsburgh pop-punk quartet found itself in the unlikely position of backing the Boss on a blazing version of "Dancing in the Dark" at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial. The band landed the opening gig that night thanks to Joe Grushecky's son Johnny being the bass player for The Composure.

"It was a defining moment in all of our lives that we will have to remember and brag to our kids about someday," says frontman Paul Menotiades.

The Composure marked the occasion by recording its own cover version of the song with Mr. Springsteen's "stamp of approval" and Allstar Weekend's Zach Porter on vocals. It's a bonus track on the band's second release, a six-song EP called "Stay the Course," filled with peppy pop-punk and topped with the frontman's sweetly melodic vocals. It stays the course, while adding a little extra pace.

"This EP has faster songs where as our old release was more mid-tempo the whole way through."

Mr. Menotiades, along with Cory Muro, are living a life bubbling over with pop-punk, as they double in the national touring band Punchline.

"The past two years have been 100 percent full time," the singer says. "The Composure has been trying to get out and stay on tour as much as possible."

So far this year, the band, which also features guitarist Seth Milberger, has toured with Squid The Whale, Bright and Early, and Allstar Weekend, playing sold-out shows in Pittsburgh, Philly and Boston.

So, with Punchline and The Composure both based here, along with a slew of other pop-punk bands, is there a lot of pop-punk support here?

"Actually, no," the singer says. "I notice a lot more pop-punk bands and people attending shows in the other cities we play. The last couple years I feel like rap has defined the Pittsburgh music scene."

The CD release show is at Altar Bar, Strip, on Saturday, with Kingsfoil, These Three Words, Trophies and Crossing Boundaries. Tickets are $10/$12 at www.ticketfly.com. Doors at 6 p.m.

Bid for Warped

• Speaking of Pittsburgh pop-punk, Mace Ballard is on a mission to win a spot on the Pittsburgh date of Warped Tour via an Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands.

To do this, the band has recorded a typically clever new song called "As a Matter of Stats," which can be heard at www.votemace.com. If you register and vote, then message Mace with what number vote you were, the band will send you the track for free.

Tall Tales of Deceptions

• The name might suggest psych- or garage-rock, but The Deceptions, somewhat deceptively, play a pretty straightforward brand of acoustic folk-rock.

On its second full-length, the Pittsburgh quartet -- Jared Fretz, Daniel Krofcheck, David LaRose and Greg Marchetti -- notes that it has taken a further step toward embracing "North American folk music." That means more picking, more twang and more storytelling on "Tall Tales From Green Meadow."

If you like "Workingman's Dead"-era Grateful Dead or early Jayhawks, you might want to check the band out.

The Deceptions play a CD release show at 7 p.m. Saturday at Club Cafe, South Side. The $10 admission gets you a free CD. Call 412-431-4950.



First Published 2012-03-07 23:36:55