December 2011 Archives

We Are Shanghai CD and show on the way

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Update: If you look carefully at the flyer you will note their are two shows. The YYT show on the Friday then another the next day at Logo with a different line up.

Note: I killed the flyer a bit re-sizing it on shitty software, sorry guys.

I just randomly got my hands on a copy of the new compilation album We Are Shanghai. What's that you ask. Well, first up you can follow updates at their Douban site here:

This album is a joint effort by Zangnan Records, Luwan Rock and Twin Horizons. It is designed to bring together some of the bands that have been kicking around the scene these past couple of years.

Wait - there's an awesome release show coming up for this:

Credit where it's due, the guys behind the album reached out beyond their own immediate circle to get some real diversity in there. So as well as tracks from Rainbow Danger Club and Moon Tyrant, for example, you also have tracks from Sonnet and Dragon Pizza. Go to the party to get a CD, do it.

Here's the track listing:

1. Duck Fight Goose - Light is God's Bread
2. Boys Climbing Ropes - The Knitting Song
3. Stegosaurus? - Stinky Tofu
4. The Beat Bandits - Sukiyaki Beat
5. Break for Borneo - Complicated
6. Friend or Foe - Crazy Eye
7. The Dangxin Mofos - Geeky Boy
8. Rainbow Danger Club - Drown The Creatures
9. X is Y - Never Sever
10. Pairs - I Wanna Die in the Ocean
11. Dragon Pizza - Bomb Cola
12. Moon Tyrant - I am the Way
13. The Fever Machine - Heartbrokenbleedin' Again
14. The Instigation - No Way Out
15. The Horde - Beijing Sucks
16. Sonnet - Perfect Son
17. The Song Dynasty - Slow
18. Top Floor Circus - 进来白相相 (Jin Lai Bai Xiang Xiang)

Video: PK14 Behind All Ruptures

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Here is a video of PK 14's Behind All Ruptures directed by David Harris. The video may seem subdued at first but stay with it, the final shot is way weird and very PK 14. 

And the music is PK 14, of course. I like them, and a few other people in China seem to also.

Tis the season to be angry

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Well. Here at Kungfuology Towers we are not unaware that a lot of you are about to enter a period of rest and reflection. You will have your feet up and some time off.

So, if you were going to pick a Chinese band to listen to, you'd have to pick this one. I'll be imagining Michael Buble actually being roasted over an open fire. Have a punk holidays everyone.

Here's an amazing surreal animation short by Chinese art students Gao Yuan and Yue Ming (高源, 岳明). It features original music and soundtrack by Shanghai band The Curry Soap.

It is great and here it is. By the way, there were all sorts of other people involved too, so be sure to read the credits at the end for full props.

Mushrooms album out. Yes, you read that.

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pupu studio
The Mushrooms have their first full length album out, six years after forming in the dark recesses of Shanghai's 0093 rehearsal rooms.

Two tracks are available for listening on their Douban page.

They have decided on a mainland release through Tencent Music (QQ people) at first. Here it is.

The whole story is on the blog but here's a quick recap. The Mushrooms are a local band who came through the 0093/Yuyintang set up then got signed by a Taiwan/HK industry label owned by David Tao. A first and a remarkable achievement. Of course, this has seen them go from plucky rap-metal to beloved Shanghai style commercial emo-metal outfit to ... well, a band you'd expect to hear on a Taiwan/HK industry label. A couple of the old favorites survived to the album. I was at the recent pre-release show and their fans loved every minute of the new look band.

Congratulations, guys.

Duck Fight Goose album release party @ Yuyintang

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It felt like Friday the 16th had been coming a long time. Duck Fight Goose's first full length recording was me and Jake's most anticipated release of the year. 

Then it came. Here was the full line-up:

Next Year's Love and BCR did their thing, I want to make a special mention of something though. And I mention it because it's rare. When BCR play a show as an opener, especially when it's an important show for the last band, they always have their shit together and play a tight reasonable length set, doing their best not to delay or upstage the following band. 

So, I got my copy of the album and watched the show. Songs that are now familiar to me like White Highway and Glass Walls stood out and were great. Tracks that are new to me were still a bit lost in the wall of sound and loops at times. But that's DFG, their music is ambitious and layered and you need to spend time on it - the the rewards are big. The night was packed and the atmosphere was great. I got home and listened to the full album. It's great. Go to the page and hear Glass Walls. Or ask yourself why you didn't come out and get the full album. 
So, this Sunday, Pairs organised an afternoon show for bands whose members are still students in school or college. There was a time when all student age bands here played metal. Now it seems to have changed to discordant noise rock. 

Here are Rank Moist Vegetation playing their song Osteosarcoma (demo on the Douban page), then Tudou should serve you up Pt. 2 after that, an awesome Flipper cover. Show some love for the emerging talent, especially when they take risks like this. Awesome.

Duck Fight Goose release (reminder)

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dfg flyer rel
It's here.

I know, I go on about them a lot on. But this Friday, December 16th, Duck Fight Goose are releasing their album at Yuyintang. And you should go.

Look at that line up. 

And it's Friday night too.

To top it off, DFG have an official preview track from the album at the page. Just follow the link above and play Glass Walls, right at the top there. This should be one of the shows of the year on the music scene. Be there.

Don't f*ck mountain! Zhi Wang are (sort of) back.

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Zhi Wang are an electronic/noise/experimental band that includes Top Floor Circus' Lu Chen and legendary ex-Fuckndrolls vocalist Ba Fang. Ba Fang is based in Beijing these days so don't expect any shows in Shanghai soon.

The band put together a 19 track album and now, for the first time, it's on their Douban page in its entirety for free download.

Oddly, for an album that's quite out of left field it has a genuine single on it.

Scroll down to the tracks and play track two 莫干山. The lyrics take the name (Moganshan) and pun-slate it into Don't Fuck Mountain, then go on from there. It's catchy as hell and I just played it about 20 times in a row. Pun-slate. Yup, that's what I said. Chinese prankster types do it all the time so there's a shitty word for it. You're welcome. Pun the Chinese then directly translate it into English to make it extra funny. Check out the album now. It's great.
rainbow band names
Carsick Cars inclusion on this list (in the ??? section) is not very exciting, but a good way for me to link my favorite music feature anywhere on the web: The A.V. Club's Year in Band Names.

This feature lists up the worst, weirdest and most questionable band names they heard that year and it's really really funny.

There was an actual gig in 2007 that had the bands Gay Witch Abortion, Babyguts and Unicorn Basement on the same bill. Yes!

Here's the new one: The Year in Band Names 2011

And here are the previous articles (2007 is my favourite.)

And here's a quote from the new one:

You Say France & I Whistle In case the name didn't set off your twee alarm: Each person's bio lists the instruments they play along with stuff like "improvised dance moves," "great yoga exercises," "screams of both joy and frustration," and "hamburgers."‬

Big Deal in China: New ReTRoS video

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Update: Brad Ferguson points out it was uploaded to Youku a couple of years ago. So it was only newly uploaded to Douban, but is not a new video.

This band are a big deal on the scene here. The ReTRoS are a more experimental post-punk band based in Beijing. Their gigs are packed and they have everyone's respect.

Here is their new video out on Modern Sky ... "TV Show (hang the police)"

Strange Corners of Douban: Chinese Football

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chinese football
Note: Sorry I'll have to talk a bit vaguely about this at times as some of the funny pages are quite unharmonious.

Douban is the online home of Chinese bands where we can get demos, vids, news, show info, pics ... the lot. But one of the other pleasures is browsing the side communities and projects.

There are all kinds, from student singer-songwriters, to bands' side projects ... to locals getting all sarcastic with the pop culture references and humor. 

You can browse from there if you're down with Douban and know the language a bit. Browsing is the only way really, here's something safe and here's something else. Hats off to you if you spot the main joke there.

chinese football two

Battle Cattle are on the go

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This one has crept up on me to be honest, but it's time to give a band some deserved attention.

Battle Cattle are a Shanghai band who have been gigging around, not taking themselves too seriously and just enjoying their favorite styles of ska/80's rock/post punk. But now they have racked up a bunch of stage time and material and recorded a CD, with P.K. 14's Yang Haisong mixing. 

Go here to their bandcamp page and listen to the excellent preview tracks starting with Modern Mother.

Success! It's quality and they've managed to realize their vision for the sound and style. I love it.

What's more - look right - the CD is being released at Logo in just a week, on Friday 9th. The line up includes much underrated band Yan Tiao as a bonus. 

The Shanghai bands' album releases just keep coming. 

Tudou: Manbanpai go to the Strawberry Festival

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More video, this time from Shanghai indie pop outfit Manbanpai. Manbanpai is the full line up project of Zhu Lu He Feng Folk singer Hama and songwriter Fish

In this slickly put together vid, the band plan a set list on the train to the festival, arrive at the grounds then play a set. It's all nice, light and vaguely uplifting. The band's logo says: Slow life is good ... so enjoy music.

Youku: Fengyi (The Fallacy) full live set

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Here is a video of Henan post-punk band The Fallacy (疯医乐队) playing live at Ark in Xin Xiang, a town to the north of Zhengzhou. Watch through the first few minutes and it becomes a straight unedited taping of the show. 

The band also have a full album out now on Beijing label Modern Sky called The Terrible Silence.

My book: an early look

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amazon pic
Alright then. 

Err, so, I wrote a book. It's a regular novel. 

Close friends know that I write books all the time. But this was the first one to get feedback that encouraged me to get it published. Actually the publishing/marketing process is still ongoing and in early stages but it's now up at Amazon for Kindle and other eBook readers. Here:

(Mail me at the blog addie for review copies, writer people)

The cover illustration was done by Ivan Belcic at Twin Horizon.

It's a fictional work about vigilante heroes in modern day Shanghai and people who live here will see that most of it is either true or very closely based on true Shanghai stuff. Just not the costumed hero battles. There's a synopsis thing at the Amazon link. For non-Shanghai people, this will give you a look at modern Shanghai that's completely out of the mainstream. 

It's also full of action and genre stuff to please all fans of heroes and whatnot.

This is still very much DIY by the way. I just happened to find someone who believed in the book and was willing to sponsor a kind of assisted indie publishing method.

And for those that read it and know me or the scene ... no the real Zack Smith is not a vigilante hero on a team with Parkour Girl and Lightning ... or is he?  

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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