Despite being a huge homebody, I emerged from my cave last night (3/5/2014) to catch a show at Star Clipper. I was only kinda familiar with Mega Ran, but I knew shows like this didn’t happen often in St. Louis.
I don’t know any words to his songs, but I’m no stranger to Mr. Ran. All my friends love him, I caught half his set at last year’s Nerdapalooza, and one of my favorite DJ RoboRob remixes is of his song Mako Reactor. I’ve read interviews and artist profiles by my heavily geeked-out friend, and listened to a long interview he gave on My So Called 8bit Life. Despite all this, I had never sat down and listened to his music at length. As I sit and reflect on the reason “why,” I realize it was probably something as stupid as associating his name with the residual RAGE and DESPAIR inside me from my experiences with Mega Man games. *deeeeeeeep breath* Anyway.
My I-can’t-miss-this instincts were right, and ultimately the show turned out to be one full of laughs, true feels, and an ambiance of camaraderie.
I arrived to catch the back end of Danimal Cannon’s “chiptune, guitar shred, metal” set. The music was pretty chill for having a metal edge, but I may just find chiptunes abnormally soothing. Since I arrived late and can’t properly give Mr. Cannon the accolades he deserves, here is his bandcamp, where you can listen to his music and buy all of it if you love him.
Next up was Brentalfloss. He’s another pretty big name in nerd music that I had just never given the attention he deserves. If his set at the show is indicative of his catalog, I can assume that much of his music is Nintendo-based. The first song was an anthem to the Duck Tales NES game, which was prefaced by a funny recap of the show’s premise, in case anyone in the room was born after 1990 (holy shit, that show ended in 1990… excuse me while I go knit hats for my grandkids). Yes, Scrooge McDuck wore a tophat and no pants, and we loved him despite his abhorrent human characteristics. He also managed to go to space with no special equipment and battled moon creatures with his pogo stick cane.
Other songs on the set list included a song about DS streetpass life and a song called 2-2 Blues, which likened the search for love with the despair of water levels in Super Mario Bros. Side note: fuck water levels.
In an epic use of crowdsourced Mad Libs, the finale of Mr. Floss’s set left everyone’s gut aching. With such adjectives as “ghreazy” and occupation suggestions like “fluffer,” the resulting song had no choice but to become a hilariously immature rendition of “Piano Man.” I believe one of the biggest laughs came from a line about something sounding “like a fart.” Normally I’d look around to make sure no one realized I am five years old, but that feeling was fleeting and I laughed away.
Finally Mega Ran set up his instruments: a laptop, a Famicon, and a single speaker. The lack of equipment needed for a whole night of music of nerd music always impresses me.
After the gut-busting and inappropriate offerings of Brentalfloss, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Mega Ran. I knew his music was game-based, and I knew he was a funny dude, but I also knew he was one of the less-crude (at least publicly) personas in the genre. I have also always been somewhat intimidated by authority figures, so knowing about his past as a school teacher left me feeling like I might get in trouble. Instead, he opened with a story and a song about how he used rapping to get his 7th grade classes to pay attention. This was apt, as I spent his set kinda feeling like a pupil in Ran’s school of life.
Many of his songs are based on games like Mega Man and Final Fantasy VII, which is such an eargasm for people who have a special place in their hearts for those games. Having only played enough Mega Man to rage, and having only played the demo disc of Final Fantasy VII, I enjoyed the backstories, beats, and lyrical flow of each of the songs he performed, but I didn’t ultimately relate 100%.
The song that got to me the most was Dream Master. Second to the SMB library, the game I spent the most time playing as a kid and teenager was Little Nemo: Dream Master. The game does an amazing job at giving off an ethereal vibe that really struck a chord with me. The lyrics to Mega Ran’s take on Dream Master are very autobiographical, with a few lines dedicated to how games gave him an escape and ultimately led to him becoming Mega Ran. While I didn’t grow up to be a rapper or a leader dedicated to providing a positive influence, the ethereal worlds I experienced as a kid were an immense influence on who I grew up to be. Hearing his life story and knowing that games have such a universal effect on those who need a place to escape really made this a poignant inclusion in the set. Plus, Little Nemo has some of the most beautiful music I’ve heard in an NES game.
As is the highlight of any of his shows, Mega Ran did a freestyle for us. The audience held up random items and he crafted entire verses on things as random as lip gloss, keys, his own albums, and the random clothing accessories of the audience. He even attacked my phone’s NES controller case and rapped out the Konami code.
Songs about his lost love, Splash Woman, and a touching fulfillment of a fan request for his song “Best Friends” filled out the set. The latter is a damn good representation of the reputation Mega Ran has in the “nerd music” world. From what I’ve seen and heard, he’s a truly big-hearted, intelligent, and caring dude who is appreciative of both is fans and musical peers. I don’t know if I would have ever heard this song or understood its message he hadn’t performed it live, so thanks to the fan who requested it.
Thank you to all of the dudes who brought the Total Destruction Tour to St. Louis. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say thank you for thinking of us and letting us have the kind of experience we can’t have with a CD or by following a Facebook page or YouTube channel. Also, thank you to Star Clipper to opening your doors for meaningful gatherings like this.
Got pics of videos of the show? Feel free to share them in the comments or show love to Star Clipper by posting them on their Facebook page.Read More
You’ve likely heard that the second St. Louis Wizard World Comic Con is taking place April 4-6, 2014 at America’s Center. If you’re like me, you may have missed the huge list of celebs who will be on hand for photo ops [tickets available here]. I’m not even that star-crazy of a person, but the thought of getting a picture with Amy Pond just made my wallet jump out of my bag of its own accord.
If you’re still toying with the idea of meeting your favorite character from your favorite iconic show, here is the full list (as of now) of people who will be available for pics (at a price, of course). If I did shell out the cash, I’d have to spend a lot of time deciding between Adam West, Jason David Frank (my childhood need to meet a Power Ranger would be fulfilled), Sean Astin (same, only with X-Men), or Karen Gillan. In my dreams, Sir Patrick Stewart and Matt Smith would be added to this list. Oh well, there’s still a good offering.
- Adam West
- Alan Tudyk
- Allison Mack
- Adam West & Burt Ward
- Bruce Campbell
- Burt Ward
- Chris Jericho
- David Della Rocco
- Eliza Dushku
- Nathan Fillion, Glau & Tudyk
- Jason David Frank
- Jason David Frank (In Green Ranger Suit, Saturday Only)
- Jon Bernthal
- Milo Ventimiglia
- Nathan Fillion
- Lou Ferrigno
- Ralph Macchio
- Robert Knepper
- Sara Underwood
- Sean Astin
- Sean Patrick Flanery
- Allison Mack & Michael Rosenbaum
- Summer Glau
- Karen Gillan
- William Shatner
Head on out to the Archon Science Fiction / Fantasy Convention at #1 Gateway Center Drive – Collinsville, IL this October 4, 5, and 6th for three days of panels, vendors, games, and more.
Browse through local and national vendors in the dealers room, participate in various tabletop games and LARP events, sit in on panels, and listen to various Filk artists over the span of three jam-packed days.Read More
If you’re not busy this Saturday, August 24th, head out to MX Movies (618 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor, Saint Louis) for a free screening of a “A Dungeon Master’s Guide to Life,” made by St. Louis-based Brimis Entertainment.
Free Screening of the latest feature length comedy from Brimis Entertainment ” A Dungeon Master’s Guide to Life.”
Film starts at 11pm And drink specials start at 9pm with $2 PBRs and $3 rum and cokes. Open to the public as part of the MX filmmakers showcase.
The first Ecto Con took place in 2012, and the organizers — the same people behind Kawa Kon — are bringing it back for 2013.
The convention will take place at the St. Louis Hilton at the Airport on November 22, 23, and 24.
The event is geared toward Ghostbusters fans, and it is a small event, with only 75-200 attendees. There will likely be group events, panels, vendors, fan tables, and live music.
Keep up with the con through the official website and Facebook page.
Photo from the Ecto Con facebook album for 2012 — more pics here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.401316126628016.93632.305002992925997&type=3Read More
The year 2013 marks the ninth year of the Geekway to the West boardgaming convention in St. Louis. In 2013, this four-day event will take place from May 9th to the 12th at the Westport Sheraton.
The main draw of the event is the hundreds of games available to play. You can check out games from a game library, and you can enter to win every game you play. If 86 hours of tabletop gaming paired with a massive amount of giveaways and prizes sounds good to you, check out this year’s event. If you happen to miss it, keep up with the convention to stay up to date with future events.
Comic Geeks is a St. Louis-produced web series. The creators are currently running a crowdfunding campaign for the first season, which consists of 12 episodes that range from 5-15 minutes long. The show is a comedy that combines live action with animation.
From their Kickstarter:
What is Comic Geeks?
Comic Geeks is a show about being an adult while still indulging in the passions of youth. It follows three friends who feel burdened by the inescapable responsibilities of adulthood but balance their lives by obsessing over the minutia of comic books and pop culture.
Comic Geeks is about growing up and growing old.
Comic Geeks is about being yourself.