JOYCE MANOR Mon 10/26 Wonder Ballroom

Slipknot w/Suicidal Tendencies, Beartooth; Memorial Coliseum, 300 Winning Way

There are quite a few (otherwise discerning) metal fans of a certain generation who swear by Slipknot's early albums—and not in a semi-ironic, guilty-pleasure way, either. Their affection is half-justified, critically speaking: The Des Moines group's 1999 self-titled album and 2001 follow-up Iowa are debatably "heavy," but noteworthy for being completely innovative and anomalous at the time of their release. (Slipknot are probably one of the first mainstream metal bands that didn't draw from obvious metal antecedents like Metallica, Sabbath, et al.—in other words, they found this medium all on their own.) On the other hand, the group are an interminable bad joke whose music is inextricable from the trashy "circus freakz" aesthetic they helped cultivate. So there you have it: Slipknot are better than Korn and Mushroomhead, but not much else.

Dreamdecay w/Pig Heart Transplant, Private Room; Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway

Seattle's Dreamdecay released one of the best and most aberrant punk records in recent memory with their Iron Lung-issued 2013 album N V N V N V—a crash course in musical tension and release. Opener "Nveedle" starts off at a plodding, excruciating buildup, before blowing wide open into a cascade of violent noise, while faster tracks, like the krautrock-y "Ceilinvg Fan," bear an asymmetrical, anti-pop bent that's equally as effective as the band's slower side. Tonight, the group performs its first show with new guitarist John Gee, who currently plays in post-hardcore project Carrion Spring and Portland-by-way-of-Santa Fe emo legends Kidcrash.


The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses; Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay

Video-game music adapted for the symphony is a relatively new phenomenon, and one that's still pretty questionable. On one hand, it's a valuable attempt at legitimizing something that a lot of people don't take seriously—Koji Kondo's compositions from The Legend of Zelda franchise (in addition to music from Final Fantasy and Pokémon, other games whose music has received symphonic treatment) are arguably on par with Ennio Morricone and John Williams' best work. And it's music that, in its original format, was marred by the unavoidable shortcomings of period technology (they're represented in-game by crude MIDI tracks rather than real instruments).

So it's cool to hear this music done justice by a real orchestra, but the oppressive, Vegas-y multimedia component—namely, the giant screen that plays footage from Zelda games, just in case you forgot where the music came from—detracts from what would be more effective as a purely musical experience. That being said, this is some of the best and most enduring game music ever created. Just bring a blindfold. 


Joyce Manor w/Girlpool, Dogbreth; Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell

Love Mercury Music Coverage?

Joyce Manor are in the unfortunate position of being the most popular pop-punk band who hate being a pop-punk band. Frontman Barry Johnson's reticence with what he views as a disconnect between Joyce Manor's audience and the band's own identity came to a head last fall with some highly publicized outbursts leveled at audience members stage diving—the most implicitly oppressive (and explicitly ridiculous) trademark of trashy hardcore shows.

The move alienated the contingent of the group's fanbase who still have subscriptions to Alternative Press, but it also inspired a long-overdue conversation about show etiquette and caused the punk community's more sensible hemisphere to reevaluate just how stupid and out of control the culture has the potential to be. And come the fuck on: If you're stage diving at a Joyce Manor show, you're trying too hard. 

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30