This is the week where we throw a bone to the gamers out there. On Monday night, chiptune artist Solid State Disaster opens for Japan's Melt-Banana with an 8-bit squalor made through two Nintendo Gameboys jacked into the Firebird's house system.
And this weekend, the St. Louis Symphony hosts Distant Worlds at Powell Hall for two nights of live performances and video projections from the Final Fantasy video game series, while Action Bronson caters to another world of nerdom on Tuesday at the Ready Room -- the rapper actually hosts a foodie Web series called Fuck, That's Delicious, sponsored by VICE.
MONDAY, MAY 11
Melt Banana w/ Braining, Solid State Disaster Monday, May 11 The Firebird 8:30 p.m. | $14 By Daniel Hill Tokyo's Melt-Banana has been pulverizing the brains of its listeners to mush for nearly 25 years now. Fans of the venerable noise-rock outfit know its boundary-obliterating modus operandi well by this point: Expect melodies buried under a mountain of distortion, laser sounds, barked vocals and thunderous bass, with tempos shifting from head-nodding to hyper-blur on a dime. Melt-Banana finds the common ground shared by noise freaks, punks, grind fans and open-minded indie-rockers alike, absolutely owning the center of that Venn diagram. (Disclosure: RFT contributor Joseph Hess is a member of Braining.)
TUESDAY, MAY 12
Action Bronson w/ DJ Alchemist, Meyhem Lauren Tuesday, May 12 The Ready Room 8 p.m. | $30 By Daniel Hill March 23 was a pretty big day for hip-hop heads this year, serving as the release date for Earl Sweatshirt's follow-up to 2013's acclaimed Doris as well as Kendrick Lamar's huge return after 2012's good kid, m.A.A.d city -- two artists frequently named by critics among the most creative and intelligent lyricists working today. With all that noise, you may have missed Action Bronson's major-label debut, Mr. Wonderful, also released that day. His is an ambitious affair, a no-skipper featuring more experimentation than his past works, with production duties coming from the likes of Mark Ronson and the Alchemist, to name a few.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 13
Death Cab For Cutie w/ The Antlers Wednesday, May 13 The Pageant 8 p.m. | $37.50-$45 By Diana Benanti From the RFT Music archives: This happens. Heroes grow up, their priorities change, their music changes, and truthfully we'd start to hate them if they kept playing the same shit year after year. But most of the audience has grown up right alongside these boys from Bellingham, Washington; our high school and college years were spent with Death Cab in tow, plaintively dripping out of our car stereos and iPods and stuffed into tender moments on Six Feet Under and Grey's Anatomy. They were the underdogs once upon a time, and while that ship may have sailed from the moment The O.C. showed Seth Cohen's bedroom with its Transatlanticism poster on the wall, the band has always managed to maintain a down-in-the-mouth façade.
THURSDAY, MAY 14
San Fermin w/ American Wrestlers Thursday, May 14 The Luminary 9 p.m. | $12-$14 By Christian Schaeffer If you fell under the sway of the symphonic, cinematic pop of San Fermin's self-titled debut, you'll certainly find much to love on the octet's new LP, Jackrabbit. But rather than plot another suite of songs that take an intoxicating (if somewhat languorous) look at love and self-doubt, songwriter and composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone has turbo-charged his outfit, pumping synth, strings and skronky sax up front. Allen Tate still handles the male vocal parts with a fragile baritone, while newcomer Charlene Kaye displays a pop-star sheen on her songs.
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