November 2010 Archives

It's here: Duck Fight Goose EP

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dfg flyer ep rel
Me and Jake write about Duck Fight Goose all the time, so if you're not familiar with them you can read about them here perhaps:

Also, you can check out their page here:

The first two demo tracks are more ambient/electronic driven and the last three are the guitar driven "death-ray rock" tracks.

Anyhow, DFG are one of the most exciting and original bands to come out of the scene lately. They are a kind of Miniless records super group featuring members of both Lava Ox Sea and Boojii. And this is the moment we've all been waiting for - a release date for their debut EP, produced by the band and Brad Ferguson.

The release show is at Yuyintang on December 18th and the 40 RMB ticket gets you an EP and a sticker. Marvelous. See you all there.
There was all kinds of madness happening over the weekend. The big draw was the Dead Elvis show on Saturday. But poor me ... I have been a bit out for the count with some cold or other so I rested up on my sofa and went for the Sunday show.

This night was all about the post-punk and related styles.The turn up was how you'd expect for a Sunday night at ten o'clock but a good group of people none the less, including some hung-over refugees of the previous two nights who genuinely felt they had to catch these bands.

BCR kicked things off. We've already said enough about this band and they are currently touring all over China on weekends. This time we got to hear some of the new material, which has developed well. The song Two Dogs with its infectious synth-punk opening, is going to be up there with the hits like Life Knife and Whale Song for sure. This band just keep going.

IDH wore their influences on their sleeve - literally. No, really. Front-man Xiaoyu had a prominent Bauhaus tattoo on his left forearm that the punters kept commenting on to each other. The band played a long professional set and went through the whole run of late-70s early-80s sounds by switching the line up. They had three members, one always on drums. The other two cycled between different combinations of bass, guitar or synth. To be objective about it, I felt the band really kicked it out when they used the synth and bass sound. Anyway, it was a delight for fans of the genre. A kind of connoisseur's satisfying conclusion to a weekend of gig madness.

Youtube Youku: BCR play in Beijing

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Shanghai was representing in the capital last weekend with X is Y and Boys Climbing Ropes playing in Yugongyishan and 2kolegas respectively.

Beijing DIY music blog Pangbianr blogged it all here.

And here's the video of BCR at 2kolegas, the track is Little Person. And if you like your post-punk stylings, BCR and IDH will play Yuyintang this Sunday 21st.

Carsick Cars split

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carsick cars 2009
Much the same as The Beijing Gig Blog in this post, I got a Doumail this morning announcing the end of the Carsick Cars line up as it always has been.

I'll just repost their translation here:

Sub ject: Car sick Cars
Time: 2010-11-17 03:00

We have made an important decision: due to cre ative differences and opportunities for members' per­sonal development, bassist Li Weisi and drummer Li Qing have chosen to leave the band; Zhang Shouwang and his new band mates will continue the work of Carsick Cars. The Novem ber 16 performance may in fact be the last time Carsick Cars perform together in their original form.

Since the first rehearsals and performances in 2005, for more than five years, we three have cre ated two studio albums, experienced more than 100 live performances, and toured the nation and over seas. These have been some of the most important experience and beautiful memories of our lives.

In the future, Li Qing and Li Weisi might make some more music with Snapline and Soviet Pop; and out­side of Car sick Cars, Shouwang will also be doing more experimen tal music with White+. In addi tion, it is quite possible that we three will collaborate in a free [lib eral] music project in the future.

来自: Car sick Cars
时间: 2010-11-17 03:00

话题: Car sick cars

  我们做出了一个重要的决定:由于音乐兴趣的差异和成员各自的发展计划,贝斯手李维思和鼓手李青选择退出乐队;张守望将和新的成员一起,继续Car sick Cars的创作。11月16日的演出也会是carsick cars原始成员的最后一次演出。
  在未来,李青与李维思会将音乐重心更多的放在Snapline与Soviet Pop上;而在Carsick Cars之外,守望同时也在进行着White+等音乐实验。而在将来我们三个也很有可能再合作一个更自由的音乐项目

Top Floor Circus' Shanghai represent gallery

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Jake has already written about this here. Top Floor Circus are letting people upload covers for their new album and all that.

For those new to the blog or scene, Top Floor Circus are Shanghai's most famous and respected punk band. They sing in Shanghainese, deal with local issues, are excellent performers who got fame following in G.G. Allin's footsteps - Aric will never forget the bottle up the a** show. They even got banned by the government during the Expo for making joke songs about it all.

The full gallery is here.

Shanghai represent!

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California slamming and Shanghai jamming

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I just read two articles about small underground scenes. One is about California punk in the 70's and the other is about Shanghai.

The Pairs EP by Ivan Belcic

I like frank pieces and I like discussing stuff with the gloves off - not stuff based on opinion and taste like who sucks and who rules. I mean, issues and ideas. So, I just want to share some thoughts, not as a counter to Ivan or to treat negativity as life or death, but because Ivan's writing is about something tangible and it has caused me to think. Comments are open, let's continue Ivan's call.
Ok, this is a follow up post dealing with this trip from just before Halloween:

You really needn't read on unless you are into urban exploration in Shanghai. You see, despite being in my late thirties, I still get a lot of pleasure in sneaking around like a ninja, ducking guards and going places you're not allowed to go.

I went back up the crane with the idea to take better photos. There were two problems. First, despite going around midnight, people are starting to know this place and security were actively doing rounds still. Secondly, I suck and my camera can't handle low light. By the way, there's a beautified disused railway line that starts by the skate park and is full of bushes and darkness. That's where I stashed my bike.

So, you'll need to open this crane picture for reference.

Here are the second level gates I talked about in the first post, from the inside, entering from the skywalk thing. See, wide, easy to climb and safe.
CR 004

This next photo looked so good to me at the time. Check the ref photo of the crane. I'm standing on the small landing thing halfway between the top level and the lower two levels, where the stairs turn. It shows part of both lower levels and a light on the ground. Alas, the pic looks rather flat. The lighter walkway is a level below the darker parts on the right. See? No?Boo Hoo.
CR 002

OK, so we'll just have a look out from the stairs above that landing then. Almost to the top. By the way, when you are actually on the top, it's dark and, if you're me, you suddenly realize how high you are. I would have passed out had I done this one.
CR 003

Youtube Youku: Fearless Lords of Twilight

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Here's an older video, well, from the end of June, showing Shanghai metal band Fearless playing their newest track Lords of Twilight. The song has replaced their cover of The Trooper by Maiden as their strongest live song and the band have come along way. I love the chorus, especially when they transition to it from the dual guitar hook at around the 4.00 mark.

More E*po post feedback: the fans' view

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In regards to the Expo post I have done one follow up already, based on the comments when Bren challenged the numbers and I slaved to make them available for checking.

Now I want to reproduce a lengthy comment from 'rubbish'.

'Rubbish' is a gig going fan who is not a writer, band member or scene analyst but who is an articulate professional whose comment reflects points on both sides of the coin. It's well worth the detailed read:

RDC album / other, less grating, bloggers

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moern sky nude surf
This is a kind of reminder that there are other voices around the blogosphere that are really worth checking out. This is especially true if you like detailed description/discussion of the music.

Shanghai band Rainbow Danger Club have just released an album featuring great work from their arsenal that showcases their layered, nuanced and ultimately rewarding compositions.

Talking of nuanced and layered. Now lets take the chance to check out these write ups of the EP featuring writing that is up to the music:

And never forget Adam at Luwan Rock. He's tech oriented and has his name over so many of the summers great recording projects.

White Eyes live @ Yuyintang

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white eyes gao
There were a bunch of shows on this weekend, including this one, but there was only one for me. Yuyintang were hosting Taipei punk/garage band White Eyes for the first time giving us the chance to attend one of those old timee YYT shows where it was packed and with proper crowd action.

It did end up being rammed and raucous. It was a testament to both the two support acts and the crowd that both openers got sizable mosh pits and great reception. Friend or Foe gave us a set of playful punk with the best song being about "household chemicals - cheap and good." Androsace played a great sounding mix of classic rock and quiet/loud grunge that kept up the pace and allowed people to get down for long periods.

I think White Eyes surprised everyone. Despite being known mainly for being punk and for singer Gao Xiaogao's wild stage presence, what we got was actually a very polished and professional modern rock act with a varied/measured set. They were great and the packed room was jumping and dancing right to the back. They reminded me of bands like Bigger Bang but without lame synth songs and no drop in energy. Keeping the punk side prominent within the more mixed modern style. Anyway it rocked.

Yuyintang during Expo - the actual stats

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Panda plane

Before we get going on this. I urge you to read this preface carefully, especially if you are going to comment.

The following stats are related to this post on the Expo.

The stats do not relate to all of it. Some may read the results and think it a normal or positive result, others not. I just want to throw them in. They don't relate to my point on attendances, for example.

In the comments on the linked post, our good friend Bren came in and said that he thought only a small amount of shows were, in fact, priced over 40 rmb. He gave some numbers to back this up. It was a strong point with evidence and I thought it worthy of follow up. 

So, I have been through the entire back catalogue of events at Yuyintang and tabulated every single one for name, date, price and international or domestic. Really, I did. If you want to see this first hand I will be happy to e-mail it to you - my mail is in the about page at the side there. I used the Yuyintang Douban host page which has not only the details but all the dated flyers too.

This is only for YYT, it's a kind of controlled sample. Please please, think before interpreting, whatever shortfall you think these numbers have, I probably agree with you.


All gigs named for headliners/billed acts.
All prices taken from standard/door price.
Some shows were cancelled.
Free shows and shows with no data are not included in the ticket price stats.
Some of these shows, for example that cost 40 or less, were odd ones like World Music or Jazz - but I kept them in anyway. 
Minor adjustments can be made by getting the grid from me and going through it yourself.

OK, some observations:

For the period of the Expo May 1st - October 31st

Total booked shows at Yuyintang: 124
International acts: 57 (57/124)
China based acts: 67 (67/124)

Of the China based acts - Shanghainese/Shanghai based: 38 (38/124 total shows)
Of those 38 - acts whose members are all or mostly Chinese 25 (25/124 total shows)

Ticket Prices:

of 124 shows:

under 40 RMB: 22
40 RMB: 42
(so 40 or less combined = 64)

over 40 RMB: 42
Free/spoiled data: 18

So 42 out of 106 ticketed shows were over 40 RMB or around 40% of shows.

To put that in context, prior to the Expo run up, the average indie scene ticket was 20-30 and 40 was the limit and considered pushing it but acceptable. Someone please put me right if they can, but prior to the start of Expo fever and the event itself, a show at YYT or previous incarnations/venues would almost never go over 40. So statistically we have 39% more high priced shows than before - a massive jump.

Zhu Lu He Feng launch folk label

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Shanghai label Zhu Lu He Feng have started a folk imprint called:

The aim is to promote more Shanghai based folk musicians and the first acts on the label are:

MR. (Moonrock)
Wu Weichun (吴维纯)

Shanghai Indie Folk is actually a popular genre with acts Mushroom Red and Cover People dominating the Douban stats. Labels Dew 11 and Music Fever also heavily favour folk. 

The new label and their first artists seem to fit the main mode of Shanghai indie folk as a kind of diy version of mainstream pop songs. Folk music is usually characterized by things like traditional local culture, realistic storytelling, humour standing in for humanity during hard times, imperfect but human voices and strong personalities. Let's see if Zlhf can unearth their own Xiao He.

They think it's all over ... it is now

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p368471622Update: fixing broken links

Last Friday I got the metro back from buying some winter stuff and sat down in front of the entrance to Zhongshan Park to have a quick drink. The air was crisp and chilly. My girlfriend turned to me and said, "Hey, where's Haibao?" Yes, the near omnipresent statue of Haibao had gone, and by Sunday night the Expo would be over.  

Here's what I wrote before it all started in full:

So, welcome to the piece where I give my take on the scene and how it has been affected by the Expo. Now, both the Expo and the scene mean different things to different people. So welcome to the defining of the terms.

The scene
The music scene can sometimes be thought of as the sum of all events related to music available in the city at any given point and can include industry built around it. Not here though. I write about the underground indie scene in Shanghai. It is characterized by a lack of functioning industry and a suspicious and authoritarian approach from government. I write about local youths who work to create their own culture outside of the mainstream using genres like punk, rock and indie music. I write about subculture. I write about identity and expression. You will find reviews of Chaos Mind playing Yuyintang. You will not find a DJ playing DKD, a promoter whose primary goal is 'a party' or a Jazz band playing a function. 

Talking of Yuyintang, the scene I speak of most commonly manifests itself in shows at Yuyintang and Mao, which I always use as case studies.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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