Jue Festival two: Maybe Mars showcase
Round two. Tonight's Jue Festival show at the Dream factory was the Maybe Mars showcase. To start you might want to check the bands and label out. AV Okubo don't seem to have a page though, fill me in in the comments if I'm wrong.
Quick shout out first. On the way to the show I stopped by the Neocha second birthday bash in their basement art studio/office. Neocha provide a networking site where artists and musicians can display their work and demos in their profiles. I often use it to link Chinese bands. Happy Birthday guys! Keep up the good work. If you go to the site - here it is - you can download a desktop mp3 player (the Next player) that goes through their entire database of Chinese indie music. Do it.
So. Tonight's show got the turn out it deserved. By mid way through the night it was nicely full and there was a great atmosphere. There was a lot of buzz about each band too. First up was AV Okubo. Everyone I bumped into at the show was telling me how good these guys are. I was a little surprised. With the tight rock combo, black suit and shirt type outfits and synth sounds I thought I'd been transported back into the eighties. They played a good set but not special. Next, everyone was lining up to tell me how usually they are much better, when I didn't seem so impressed. So obviously these guys are turning heads now and we will have to wait for their first CD on the label.
Snapline got a great reputation last year playing high energy shows of upbeat guitar punk with a modern nerdy edge and use of a drum machine. This included a legendary show at Logo in Shanghai. Their CD Party Is Over Pornostar scored big points too. They threw everyone a curve ball tonight by ditching their old sound completely in favour of a more slow and spacey electronic approach. It was still very cool, a recurring theme of the night, for those who like that kind of music and got a good reception. Now I was getting eager to hear Ourself Beside Me, who i'd come to see.
The three girls took the stage and succeeded where I'd seen The Molds fail not so long back. They launched into an uber-cool set of atmospheric anthems that was almost dismissive of the audience altogether. They twanged out cool riffs, sang mopey half spoken vocals, went at their own pace and played long stretches with their backs to the audience - but all with purpose and clear orchestration. They are on another plane of cool-ness that went way over my head but created a great atmospheric set.
Full disclosure, I bailed for Carsick Cars. Sorry about that, ran out of energy. Little observation. A few parallels between tonight and the Indietop showcase. Both a label showcase put on at Dream Factory (the closest we have to mid-scale touring venues). Both well attended. But where as Soma's Indietop do was characterized by over managed bands with new hairdos and styles, intro segments with ads and an MC explaining everything through the night - Splitworks just let the bands do the talking for themselves.
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