Bands to Watch from Pittsburgh

Called "Pittsburgh's Hottest Band," the four-piece Lovebettie have brought their self-proclaimed brand of "swagger rock" to the attention of Jon Bon Jovi – who handpicked the band to audition – and as an afterparty act on Lady Gaga's Monsters Ball tour. Led by powerhouse singer and pianist Alexandra Naples, the group has been compared favorably with Fiona Apple.

Gene the Werewolf frontman Jon Belan talks about his alter ego in the third person. "Gene hates emo and is tired of the whining," he has said. Sounding not a little like the late AC/DC frontman Bon Scott, he wants to be known as no less than "the best guy in rock & roll." Recognized locally for their song "I Only Wanna Rock ‘n' roll," the band is now working on its third album.

Claiming influences including the Dubliners, the Pogues and Dropkick Murphys, the Bastard Bearded Irishmen say they're filling the void of Irish rock & roll "between Boston and L.A." In 2012, Pittsburgh's City Paper named the band the best in the area. Playing another time-tested, high-energy style are Masters of the Universe, who just released their second album, In a Galaxie Far Far Away. They have no qualms about missing out on the Nineties ska revival: "We started a ska band in 2005 because ska is the best music ever," one band member recently told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The three-piece band Donora consist of brother and sister Jake and Casey Hanner on drums and guitar, respectively, and Jake Churton on bass. They play a bubbly brand of indie, new wave-y pop. Their third release, an EP called Play Nice, came out in January.

The young post-punk band A Lovely Crisis consider themselves the "anti boy band." Mixing "teen angst" with "raw energy," their latest release is the new EP When Pigs Fly.

Playing a style of Nineties-influenced indie music they call "psychiatric rock," the Long Knives recently put out their debut album, Holy Ghost Points.