By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
Jack Dangers is a musical godfather to a lot of electronic-based artists who thrived in the '90s, from Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor (who used to open for Meat Beat Manifesto -- a project Dangers designed to allow him to collaborate with a loose list of others), with their razor-edged industrial sounds, to rave-era U.K. giants such as the Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers. MBM's eighteen-year career includes several acclaimed albums that stretch from the menacing (1990's 99%) to the hip-hop funky (2002's RUOK?).
Now Meat Beat Manifesto has embarked on its first tour in seven years. The act will present songs from the entire catalog in what may seem like a startling new context but is in fact true to the way many of the old songs were constructed: using clips from films. Dangers and fellow electronica wiz Ben Stokes will edit video of these clips live, in time to the music (which is also performed totally live, unlike many computer-based performances); the musicians will stand on the side of the stage so as not to detract from the main visual attraction.
This is not to say that MBM puts its sound second to its cinema. The group has always been about combining the best (and, sometimes, the rudest) elements of styles such as dub, funk, hip-hop, industrial, techno and jazz, and Dangers' role has long been one of conductor. MBM's latest LP, At the Center, is closer to the jazz of John Coltrane or even Sun Ra than the more brash and confrontational direction that was a part of the band's past. Suffice it to say that Nine Inch Nails would no longer be an appropriate tourmate.
Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15; call 618-274-6720 for more information.