Having fun is fun: an interview with Playoff Beard

I met up with pop punk trio Playoff Beard to talk about their new album, the origin of the band (and its name), tour stories, and their picks for Pittsburgh’s best. Don’t miss the “Fun is Fun” record release show this Saturday, October 7th at Howlers, with support from Latecomer and the Scratch ‘n’ Sniffs. I guarantee it will be fun! 

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They even had fun during this interview (maybe)

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Happy Birthday, Nate! Children of October / Playoff Beard / Whitethrash @ the Fallout Shelter (09/30/17)

Nasty Nate of the Scratch ‘n’ Sniffs and Thunder Vest was turning dirty 30, an event that he decided to celebrate with a show–and what a rager it was, featuring Beaver county locals Whitethrash and Children of October alongside Pittsburgh poppy punks Playoff Beard. I arrived at the Fallout Shelter around 9:30 and the place was already hopping. I love seeing shows in such intimate spaces, especially when they’re packed with so many friendly faces.

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Weekend Roundup pt 2: 9/30-10/1

~~ Saturday, 09/30 ~~

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The Deutschtown Music Festival wanted to fit in one more outdoor party for the year. The Skyline Party features 7 bands  and will be hosted by Hugh Twyman of HughShows Photography. The stage will be located in Allegheny Commons Park next to Sue Murray Pool (across the street from the Allegheny Elks Lodge). Bands playing include God’s Green ApplesLondon Johnson‘s Magnificent Street Entertainers, KaelberColonel Eagleburger’s Highstepping Goodtime BandOld GameTimbeleza, and Dinosoul.

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Metal fans, get your asses to Cattivo for an all-day metal/sludge/doom extravaganza! This amazing event is being put on by Shy Kennedy of Blackseed Records and is sure to be an amazing time.

The line-up is: CANTEnhailer – Monolith WielderArcharusHorseburnerWasted TheoryFoghoundEYEClouds Taste Satanic – Lady BeastBrimstone CovenSolace – The Midnight Ghost Train –  Earthride – Stinking LizavetaPenance – Valkyrie.

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Nate from the Scratch ‘n’ Sniffs and Thunder Vest is turning 30 and he’s celebrating with a banger of a show, featuring Playoff BeardChildren of October, and Whitethrash! Head down to the Fallout Shelter tonight to see the bands he’s handpicked and celebrate since he never throws parties and “no ones guaranteed another (birthday)”

Support Michael Devine (Zombo)’s campaign to be a state representative! Version Mary (from Ohio), Action Item (debut show), the return of the Allegheny Rhythm Ranger, Elkhound and Jim Storch will be heading up this event! Head out to Howlers for fun for your entire 21+ family, raffles, prizes, and no clowns.

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Weapons Of Choice, The Homisides, and Cumplete Basturds will be playing Sidebar tonight for Punk Night! They’re guaranteed to get you feeling something with their hard and fast playing.

Slim Forsythe & the Turbosonics!! This show will be outside (weather permitting) so dress accordingly! This is an all ages show and it’s for the best price of FREE. Rock, rockabilly, and some classic instrumental surf rock!

Thë Nërd Hërdërs, Rule of TwoJIFF will be playing at the Rock Room “where the PBR is cold and the pizza boats are cheap.” What’s not to like?

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LoFi Delphithe dark lines, The Park Plan, and Jeremy Caywood are helping us say “goodbye” to the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern (do you really have to go?) with some rockin’ jams. Be sure to grab some perogies and stuffed cabbage before they’re gone.

Dead River / Reflex Machine / The Russells / Father Flamethrower will be playing tonight at Gooski’s. Word is to “bring your passport, we’re going wild.” If you like fun, you’ll come out. Check out our review of the last time Reflex Machine was in town!

Molly Drag / Past Life / The Bird Hour / Shin Guard will be playing at Cafe Verona (if you don’t know where it is, you’ll need to message Don’t Let the Scene Go Down on Me! Collective for the address). This is a BYOB show if you’re 21+ and has a $5-$10 suggested donation. We’ll see you there to support some awesome touring bands as well as locals.

~~ Sunday, 10/01 ~~

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There will be no punk time for this punk show. Zombii will be coming in from Connecticut to join the Shutouts and Fuck Yeah, Dinosaurs! for a good time at Ruggers on a Sunday evening.

Black PussyStone Cold KillerOld Lords keep the rock, beer, and fun flowing with us tomorrow night at the Smiling Moose.

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This is Bren (from Modern Baseball)’s birthday-road-trip-acoustic-tour. Come out, celebrate, and hear some great music from Caitlin Bender (from CALYX) and Distant Futures (acoustic) on a Sunday night.

No One Expects the Punksburgh Inquisition: Pat McGhen (Playoff Beard/the Shutouts)

Photography by Scott Kostelnik


Today you get to hear from Pat McGhen: bass player in Playoff Beard, guitar player in the Shutouts, and avowed advocate for fun. 

List the names of every band that you’ve ever played in ever. 

The All-Stars, the Radio Beats, Smithfield, the Forbidden Five, the Atomic Disasters, Jagwagon, Dude Riot, the Shutouts, Playoff Beard. I’m sure there are more, but I can’t think of them.

What was the artist, album, or song that inspired you to play/write music? 

Green Day – Dookie was a total gamechanger.

What is your favorite piece of merch that you own?

Probably my Superdrag shirt that led to an excited conversation with their drummer about Cheap Trick.

Tell us one thing about the Pittsburgh music scene that could be better and one thing about the scene that you love. 

In the last few years, I’ve noticed the scene(s) being a lot more supportive of each other than I’ve seen in the past. As far as things that can improve, I dunno. Can we have some more drummers, maybe?

What’s something about you/your band that you think people should know that maybe they don’t? 

Tim is really good at Skate or Die 2.

If you had to pick only one of your songs for people to listen to, which one would it be? 

The Shutouts – What Can You Do?

Who would you cast in the movie of your band?

Tim would be portrayed by Tom Everett Scott. Steve Zahn would play Thom. Ethan Embry would play me.


How does your mom/family react to your music? Do they come to your shows?

My mom doesn’t come to shows, but she has always been super supportive of my interest in music. I think she’s actually even liked one or two of my bands!

What band or artist have you seen live the most number of times?

Probably the Queers.


What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you at a show as a performer or spectator?

While in the Radio Beats, I had to talk the cops into not shutting down a show in the middle of our set while still playing drums. It somehow worked, we finished our set, and I’m PRETTY SURE nobody got arrested.

You can see Pat playing bass with Playoff Beard tomorrow, Saturday 9/30 at the Fallout Shelter with Children of October and Whitethrash. For a change of pace, catch him playing guitar with the Shutouts on Sunday 10/01 at Ruggers with Fuck Yeah, Dinosaurs! and Zombii (CT). If you’re not sick of him yet, make sure to stop by the Playoff Beard record release show on Saturday 10/7 at Howlers with Latecomer and the Scratch ‘n’ Sniffs. If that’s too much Pat for you, just order the record online from Between the Days Records

You can listen to Playoff Beard on Bandcamp or Spotify, and the Shutouts on Bandcamp

The Spectres / The Park Plan / LoFi Delphi @ James Street (9/23/17)

The thing that I love about the Pittsburgh music scene is just how rich and diverse it is. I’ve been going to shows pretty regularly for the past few years and there are SO MANY bands that I haven’t yet had the pleasure of seeing, with more still popping up all the time. So even though we get many great touring acts coming through town, I’m a huge fan of all-local bills; it’s a wonderful opportunity to see how much talent we have here at home.

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The Spectres celebrating their big day.

Saturday was no exception to this. It was originally planned as a release show for the Spectres/the Me Toos‘ 7″ split (as well as a birthday party for the Me Toos’ drummer Kevin), but things took a twist when Kevin’s son upped the ante and decided he wanted to be released too. Kids: ruining plans from day zero (congrats on the new baby, Kevin!). The Me Toos sat out their release show, but luckily they were able to get LoFi Delphi to fill in and close out the show. Three locals, three first-time bands for me, and one heck of a good time.

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All the Shows: Weekend Roundup for 9/9 – 9/10, and a #SharePGHMusicMonth pick!

First things first: My #SharePGHMusicMonth pick for today is none other than bass duo Lorenzo’s Oil. I was incredibly charmed by Ian and Mary Beth when I first saw them at LadyFest. They sing medleys on a certain theme to the tune of popular songs, and it’s fun, fun, and more fun. Don’t miss them tonight at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern (see below for details!).

On to the weekend’s events!

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