November 2012 Archives

Video: Chinese Football 飞鱼转身

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Wuhan band Chinese Football play somewhere between jangly Brit indie and older post-rock. I'm no good at classifying. Check out their page and demos here. And watch the vid.

Steve Albini on music fads

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Over at the A.V.Club they have a newish music feature called Hatesong. In it, they invite famous musicians to pick a song they hate and dissect it.

DIY / independent provocateur-in-chief Steve Albini seems like the perfect choice for such a comlumn - and he is. As usual, he goes beyond gripe and makes solid far-reaching points about music and culture in general.

In this case he starts with the Cher song Believe, pinpointing it as the start of brazen auto-tune use as a sound in itself. He then goes on to use it to illustrate the nature of crazes and fads, and where they all ultimately lead.

There's the supernova moment where a cliché like that doesn't exist, and then suddenly it does, and you just know it's going to run like a rash through music and really bum you out. I don't listen to a lot of pop music, so I'm not that conscious of what's going on in the contemporary world. But once in a while, a song out there in the mainstream pop world develops some appeal within my peer group--which is the rock-band and abstract-music people--and for some reason, they latch on to some piece-of-shit pop song that they can listen to ironically, or listen to as a guilty pleasure, or sometimes just listen to outright.
The full interview is long and detailed. Check it out. Unless you are ironically into pop fads and/or corporate/sponsor ass kissing, in which case don't waste your time ... you could be at that hot product launch right now! 

Seriously though. Check out Albini's band Shellac. Great stuff.

Chui Wan, DFG, Psychic Ills @ YYT

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chui wan bass
Wednesday night in Yuyintang and psychedelic stylings all round.

This show had buzz and it was already filling up when I arrived not that long after doors opening time. Also, despite already having the best sound in town for a rock venue, YYT had upgraded their equipment again.

Talking of sound, DFG sounded as clear as they ever have live. The show was amazing. We had all the sounds and layers of the band's eclectic composition together with the immediacy and passion of a live show. The closer, History, sent chills down my spine. Next stop Berlin for a festival appearance.

Chui Wan are a neo-psychedelia band with a different twist. Mixed with the usual tropes of the style are heavy Beijing scene influences. The band put on a good show and surprised the crowd by breaking up the slow instrumentals with vocal-led energetic songs and bright, reverb drenched guitars. Their album is out too, called White Nights. 

New York band Psychic Ills closed out the night. As opposed to the bright layering of the first two acts, they opened with hypnotic drones and riffs, another side of psychedelia. A great show all round. 

Bad Taste Show @ 390 Bar

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bad taste 390
On Friday 9th I went to 390 Bar for the 'Bad Taste Show.' The line up:

There was a student band added at the last minute, who also brought along their friends and family. I think the idea was for them to go on early, right up top but due to set-up problems and having an extra band they basically made the show more than an hour late, longer if you count the start as being from when the first of the main bands started. Nice kids though.

Himdong were originally from out of town and their page features full band pics and electronic demos. The guitarist/singer/driver force has now moved to Shanghai. On the night, he played with a drummer as a duo and gave us a set of China post-punk.

Feima got early fame as a video of them playing 696 Livehouse got passed about a lot and they became known as a Carsick Cars cover band. This time they mixed a couple of CSC covers with some original material, I think. They are a promising band and remind me of the whole Gen 6 thing in Beijing. I mean, younger local players who are influenced by other Chinese bands. Both these acts should be around for a while.

Kaobang still have the same four demos and vids on their page but they have come far since then. They play indie pop music with dance beats and guitar lines both. The vocalist, Minirine, led them through a lengthy set that had their fans dancing. They have plenty of newer songs and I can't think of any other bands like them in Shanghai, if alternative dance is your thing.

Video: Pairs "Surgeon"

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Hot off their delayed release Grandparent, Pairs have put out their double vinyl If this cockroach doesn't die, I will. Here is the video for the song "A surgeon at a hospital in Shanghai severed a nerve in my groin." It starts with Xiao Zhong in bed and ends with a show at Shanghai's Live Bar.

Get the album here at Bandcamp

Gone and back again

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As many of you noticed, the blog has been down for a week. To quote the service provider, some malicious code was injected into my files, three of them in fact. Not the blog but other bits in the same space. Well, we're back now.

What have I been up to? Well there's a pic of me on a break while cycling around what's left of the Meilong area, by the river opposite where the swimming centre is. Also, I'm almost forty. 

I did go to a show and there's a bunch of videos and releases to be posted. So watch this space. Huge backlog of Crash posts too. 

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