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ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out

NO REQUIRED

For anyone who ever stood around a video arcade on a Saturday afternoon watching serious gamers rip through an upright coinop cabinet of Contra or Ninja Gaiden on less than a dollar, it’s time to relive your middle school social experience. Bit Brigade, the alter ego of Athens, Ga prog-metal band Cinemechanica, churns out epic, Rushesque soundtracks in real time to old school Nintendo favorites while two gamers run through the games on a giant projection screen. Having previously conquered Mega Man as Megaband and Contra as Contraband in previous visits to Greensboro, they’ve shown before a local audience that they’re mastered two of the hardest video games ever made for Nintendo. For anyone who ever picked up the original Ninja Gaiden only to promptly have their butts handed to them by the axe-wielding guy at the end of the first stage, Bit Brigade’s no-death runs will make you look a little silly. They’re coming to Artistika Wednesday for a free show courtesy of WUAG with a pair of opening acts unconfirmed as of press time.

GRANT HART OF H’SKER D’ TO PLAY THE GARAGE

Bad behavior is absolutely no stranger to one of the most influential punk bands of all time. Even 22 years after H’sker D’’s breakup, there’s still no love lost between drummer Grant Hart and its more identifiable front man Bob Mould. Amidst trading barbs in the media, Hart took sole responsibility for the suicide of former manager David Savoy, claiming it was the tensions between he and Mould that were responsible. Other than adopting a more toned down musicality with a heavier focus on melody and lyricism, Mould hasn’t changed much. Case in point, the plug was pulled on a gig of his in Wisconsin last year after he began heckling and berating fans mid-show. He’ll arrive at the Garage this Saturday, armed with newish material, a devastating acoustic version of “Diane” and no need to challenge his volatility. The show starts at 9 p.m., tickets are only $7, and the Venables will open.

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