Andy Best: May 2009 Archives
I always have a huge list of bits and bobs before writing bits and bobs posts but forget half of it before I can write it all down. I'm starting by re-running that Fuckn'drolls picture. The reason? It was taken by Brad Ferguson and I wanted to give him the proper accreditation.
Talking of corrections/updates ... on a previous post I mentioned that Lu Sun of Yuyintang was promoting for Live Bar. Ooppss. The Live Bar owner has a similar name and when writing it in a romanized form on Facebook it became exactly the same. So where was Lu Sun (YYT) all this month?
... having a metal plate put into his wrist after a football accident. He's back now.
Shanghai's experimental act Boojii were up in Beijing last week recording for Modern Sky. Together with the new Muscle Snog CD, this will put Shanghai on the map for original bands. Or will it?
Boojii had to go to Beijing to be signed, although they are still based here. Who is going to promote these two acts and their material? We have Miniless Records who are doing ok. But really, someone should be building a scene around these guys. A scene, that is, not a market. Miniless are the right kind of people but they don't have money like a Maybe Mars. Tiantian of 0093 said the Muscle Snog CD was already available, but he didn't have it. He wasn't sure. There hasn't been a show to launch it.
Talking of Neocha.com. I'm there. Add me (Chinese language only).
Talking of Miniless. Miniless's Han Han is now doing some work for Yuyintang so expect some crossover there in the future.
Finally ..and back to Ba Fang ... Monday night is the Children's Day gig at Yuyintang during which you can see the debut of her new band with Lu Chen - Zhi Wang. The show also features Lin Di and Seppo of Cold Fairyland in a side project called Bad Himo where they'll be singing entirely about their cat and how it pees everywhere.
Following on from March's silk stockings party, The Mushrooms organised another discount ladies night type of thing - a school uniform party.
I was really sceptical but it turned out to be the usual rock/YYT crowd just having a good laugh. Nothing like a bad night at Zapata's at all. And make no mistake ... despite Sonnet being on the bill and the theme - this was a Mushrooms gig first and foremost.
So to get all the curiosity out of the way here is a link to the full gallery on Douban, the first half is the costume shots and the second half the gig action.
New bands Weedlaw and Lock opened and the punters were streaming in all the time. I met Lezi from Sonnet, who posted the reply to the Soma thread on the blog ... nice guy. Little Punk showed briefly, kicked me and Matt Yeh in the shins, stole Matt's beer, then disappeared again. Good luck on the Changsha show if you made it, LP.
By the time Sonnet came on the place was packed. After a slow start with a muddy sound, the post-pop outfit really got it together and the last three tracks was the best I've seen them perform. The crowd loved singer Zhu Baixi and he even threw a couple of Zongzi (food) into the crowd for Dragon Boat Festival. But, and no disrespect to Sonnet, I was there to rock out to The Mushrooms, my favourite Shanghai band and a long term feature of the blog. It happily went nuts and Pupu rocked out with his usual high energy performance. A night of madness was capped at the end when Pupu himself surfed the crowd and then dropped in to join the dancing and jumping. What can I say, great night, fun crowd, packed room with crowd action.
Hanging Gardens are great guys and they love music. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, they always seem plagued by either sound problems/tech problems or indifferent turn outs for the bands they are supporting.
However, at the 0093 return to your dream's start party they were the highlight, playing to a packed house. It was so surprising that guitarist Ryan drops a note in shock at the beginning of an otherwise flawless version of Lullaby. This is a band who fully deserve to do well.
In the first of two holiday shows at Yuyintang, 0093 Rock put on a special show where seven of their bands played a set of covers featuring the band that first inspired them to play.
Here was the line up:
伍角星(Five Pointed Star)致敬Linkin Park
空中花园(Hanging Gardens)致敬The Cure
The Rovers致敬Led Zeppelin
五便士致敬Guns N' Roses
伍角星(Five Pointed Star)致敬Linkin Park
空中花园(Hanging Gardens)致敬The Cure
The Rovers致敬Led Zeppelin
五便士致敬Guns N' Roses
I arrived on time and was surprised to see the place rammed already. With five minutes of me entering, scenester and indie folk artist Fanqie Chaodan, who was taking the tickets, held up three fingers to 0093 organiser Tiantian to signal the 300 mark. And it didn't stop. I broke into a grin as I entered on account of that thread and Fanqie just said "don't laugh". Poor guy. And yes, his net handle does in fact mean 'Tomato and Egg' like the famous dish.
During Radiohead, the first band to sound professional for the night, me, three local lads and one more foreign legion member tried to get a pogo going. It was fun for just us but the front half audience, seemingly comprised solely of timid looking students, didn't go for it. Also, Radiohead songs are generally shot through with emo wailing and mosh unfriendly sections. Even the heavy bits have choppy rhythms and odd time signatures.
I was there to see Hanging Gardens do The Cure. It was great to see Hanging Gardens do anything in front of a packed house. They were great but only played four tracks (the average for the night was six). However, we got Friday I'm In Love and Lullaby in there. While the other bands just played the style that they pretty much sound exactly like anyway, Hanging Gardens made a cool choice and pulled it off well. They turned what I thought was going to be a low key warm-up night for the Mushroom's gig tomorrow into a memorable night in it's own right.
As you read this post, please open up the link to Neocha and listen to a song by the Fuck'ndrolls.
The Fuck'ndrolls were a short lived but legendary three piece fronted by singer Ba Fang (pictured). Also in the band were guitarist T-bluse and drummer Tim Anderson, who plays for The Mortal Fools. The reason I bring this up is because me and the wife were chatting to Ba Fang and Lu Chen at the Subs gig. Having disappeared for a while, Ba Fang will return with a new band that will also feature Lu Chen. More info as it becomes available.
Meanwhile, as Yuyintang gets all organised we see the start of a regular New Faces Underground night on Wednesdays. This is an interesting turn of events. The regular 0093 shows were basically just that. Then the YYT schedule filled up with established bands and 0093 got squeezed out a bit. Now the schedule has been organised but the prolific 0093 have already opened their own performance space and held shows at Live Bar too.
A quick glance at the 0093 Douban group (Chinese language only) shows several O3 Space shows on the way. 0093 will return to Yuyintang with 0093 Rock Party 11 on the 12th of June. The line up features: Blunt, Bloody Mary, 大新鲜乐团 (Da Fresh), My Chilly Hurt, Conterspell and 8MG.
8MG are currently the subject of a ridiculous personal vendetta gossip thread that is racking up the comments. It's called 8mg are the most ignorant band I've met. While we're on the subject there was an even funnier naive post attempting to denounce scenester/indie folk artist Fanqie Chaodan for wanting to have ... sex ... with a girl. The horror! Unfortunately, the poster was completely unaware that everyone knows each other and that all the commenters are taking the piss.
Finally, it's a holiday on Thursday, Dragon Boat Festival. See you all at Yuyintang for the Mushrooms/Sonnet gig.
Following on from Carsick Cars on the Friday night was another Beijing band on Saturday, Casino Demon. Before reading on, be sure to go their Douban page and listen to their songs. I recommend Wa Ha Ha.
Casino Demon were here towards the end of November last year. Read about that here. It was a good show, and I was won over by the band. Now they return to Shanghai for a 'debut album release party'. Well, yes, let's get to that before we go into the show itself.
There was not a CD in sight all night long. Also, the show seemed to be badly organised. The band had an indifferent sound and there was no support act on the bill. The Snot Rockets did their usual rent-a-support emergency service. When we talked to the band after the gig, they said they had a manager and they called him to see when he was bringing the CDs over. It turned out that the manager was drunk at a house party in another part of town, and after initially promising to get down in half an hour (after the band had already finished) he finally never showed.
The show itself was solid but not sparkling. Casino Demon are good enough, and have enough presence and song quality that they will never be bad. We bobbed about to the punchy Libertines style rock and tried to spot people who might be there for the Free The Robots after party later on. That is, people who look out of place in a rock venue. I dunno, they were probably all, mercifully, at Free The Robots at that point. The band didn't come back out for an encore and Jake Newby grabbed the set list and confirmed that we were thus robbed of hearing the best track, Wa Ha Ha.
Before this show I quite liked Carsick Cars but wouldn't get very excited about their live show. I had the CD but didn't find time to really get into the long repetitive fuzzy tracks. However, they are one of the it bands at the moment in China and this show was going to be packed.
It was packed.
Like sardines. But an unexpected turn was to let me into the action later on. First on was fellow Beijing band The Gar, who are also getting a lot of hype lately. They went confidently into their set of middle-choppy-guitar and the signature vocals with occasional screams but they sound was average and the vocal sound dry. You could tell they were an original band but the material didn't come across that well on the night. Be sure to follow the link above and give them a proper listen at their page.
Carsick Cars were the opposite. Their sound was absolutely dead on. The music style is borderline shoegaze where people are more likely to watch and applaud than jump around but tonight the packed room went off at the start. This is what allowed me to get into the mix. Singer/guitarist Shouwang, one of the coolest people on the scene, was in a zone and everyone in the room was taken in. It was probably the most active crowd I've ever scene at a light indie gig with all kinds of people diving and crowd surfing. Mogu was a highlight of the set as was, of course, the anthem Zhong Nan Hai. I found myself listening to those tracks in work today and really appreciating them for the first time.
Carsick Cars are living up to their massive reputation and the next stops on the tour include Barcelona. Only one regret from the show ... when they were playing Mogu (Mushroom) where was Xiao K in the mosh? That should be your song.
小K and ... errr ... someone who's name begins with A, do a DIY comic based on some Sartre. There are some hard copies of this floating around on nice coloured paper someplace or another.
It's not promoting anything or for anything. It just is.
In Chinese only:
Miniless Records are a Zhejiang based underground/DIY label for experimental bands. Regulars to the blog will remember I went to the CD release for their band Fading Horizon not so long ago. They have an amazing stable of bands these days that ranges from polished 'finished products' like Fading Horizon, through cult bands like Self Party to newcomers like Acoelomate Goat.
Go here and listen to FH's Twice
Go here and listen to AG's The pretty shortcut to my nervous wonderland
While you're at it, check out Miniless Records' site here.
So, next month on the 27th, they are back in town with a kick-ass showcase that is a dream for experimental fans. As well as Shanghai's own Boojii, we have Lava|OX|Sea, Self Party and Fading Horizon on the same bill. There's only one drawback in that it's being promoted by STD who are 'party people'. They did their best to scupper their Hedgehog show a while back by playing dance music between rock bands and flitting around YYT exhibiting obnoxious 'party people' behaviour. Still, this is not a show to miss for fans of the genre.
Yuyintang have finally gotten round to revamping their site.
It now appears in a visual calendar format that fits onto one page/your screen. Calendar boxes will display thumbnails of the flyers for shows on those nights. It's still in progress though, so be gentle. You will note that this blog has a featured link there. Just to be clear, I have no business arrangement or deal with YYT, I just go there a lot. We are all just music lovers.
Also, over at Douban, a couple of locals rumbled the English blogosphere and posted links to China Music Radar and my blog regarding the Pepsi contest. Of course, it's a bit silly cos the poster is unaware that me, CMR and the people reported on in the posts all know each other. But you can see one of my posts translated there. There are also some quite complimentary comments, but have to be honest again, those are friends and people I met IRL.
Finally. With Sun Lu now up at Live Bar we are seeing an active Facebook group spring up and more info coming out there. Expect more quality shows too.
SPIN Earth have just posted up a video about the Get In The Van Three show at Dream Factory and YYT. It has live footage from all the bands involved and some talking too. It also has a bit of a Reeb fixation. The bands are The Dropkicks, The Gar, 24 hours, The Rogue Transmission and Boys Climbing Ropes. Check it out now.
See full report...
Recently, Shanghai based writer Ric Stockfis has claimed some amazing scalps in the field of urban exploration. He didn't merely track down a building of previous importance, he stumbled into truly Ballardian landscapes of decay and abandonment. Marvel at these photos from the rusting hulk of the music ship and read an amazingly evocative article about an abandoned driving range.
I'd been thinking about doing some of this lately, especially after Ballard himself passed away and I was re-reading some of his stuff. However, Shanghai centre is a mass of security guards and walls where even the most lavish buildings have grounds the size of postage stamps. Never the less, I strolled down Huaihai Road at night, with some kind of a hunch that I'd get into somewhere. I had almost given up on the idea when I came alongside my favourite deco style pre-war building in the whole city - the Normandie Apartments, now called the Wukang Building.
Pre-war shot of the Normandie Apts.
This was at night, remember, so there's not going to be an amazing photo set. This one was all about the experience anyway. The building is at the tail end of renovations and the halls were littered with paint cans, makeshift benches and wooden boards. I looked into the deco lobby and saw the doorman off talking to a resting worker. Behind them, the elevator was boarded up, but the original 'dial' showing the floor number with a green metal arrow could be seen. Beyond all that was the wide curving staircase. I just knew at that moment that all the doors in the place were left open.
It was about ten-thirty and no one was stirring out of their apartments. Each floor was strewn with painting and decorating equipment, but not a workman in site. At the bend of each flight of stairs were small windows leading out onto narrow gothic ledges, tempting, but not my mission tonight. And don't try that one at home, kids. I got to the final floor and had to contain my excitement when I saw that the workmen had in fact left that door up to the roof open and had stored a bunch of stuff up there.
I got to the top exit, half expecting to be busted by some guys having a smoke but all was open and deserted. The roof is completely flat and all one huge area. The stone balconies are only just up to waist height so you get a 360 degree view, apart from the small hut like building that the stairs exit from. It was pitch black up there and the roof is covered in dark material too. I felt like I was floating around up there. Beautiful night views and the buzz of being up on the roof undetected. I was worried that they might unknowingly lock me up there, but that just made it all better.
It wasn't such a big thing to be up there but it felt exactly as it should. Discovering a new space in a crowded and largely forbidden city changes your perception and opens up mental spaces you were previously unaware of. To get Ballardian about it, the experience and emotions felt in connection to the space combine to open up the psychoscape to you just for a brief moment.
And in case you think I'm making this up, I did take one quick photo for proof. People familiar with the area will recognize 'Coffee Seeker' with it's bright red neon sign down below on the corner of Wukang and Xingguo Roads.
First of all, in my last post on this I linked the Shanghaiist article and, in my emotional state, forgot about CMR's post on the same thing. Here it is.
Now. China Music Radar bring us another personal story from the fiasco. This time it's the turn of Helen Feng. Here's the full post.
And here's a taster:
Apart from the in your face branding that made us dizzy, we were also shocked by their serious lack of taste. In the back were a few skinny models in hot pants and a halter-tops also adorned with said logo stretched tight against none existent boobs selling the soda at the bar. Even the people working there had to have said logo painted on their face.I agree with what Helen goes on to say ... It's rock for f*ck's sake! Pepsi Co. is the antitheses of rock culture. First comes the music, the audience, art for the sake of expression and opening the mind, creating your own lifestyle. Second come some uncaring arses who want to profit off selling sugar water to young 'consumers'. None of this should have been a surprise.
Having never done a battle of the bands before, said soda company had forgotten that unlike other talent contests, bands don't usually come with a back-up tape in hand so had allocated no time for stage changes. In between the bands, the MC (namely me) was suppose to interview the lead singer. This was a bit ridiculous as the lead singer was usually down on the floor plugging in equipment. When I expressed this to the sponsor, the responded by saying "well just tell them to hurry up."
Still with one minute allocated for stage changes, even the speediest of musicians could not get their equipment plugged in on-time. The head of said Soda company came charging backstage screaming at the staff saying things like "tell these kids if they don't get their equipment plugged in less then three minutes they will have points deducted from their total score."
Updates: The First release party will now be at Izumi Sake Bar on the 22nd ... and there will be a Yuyintang release show at the later slot of June 26th.
New Shanghai band Monroe Stahr, fronted by Nicky Almasy known to some from his stint managing the Blues Room, are putting out their CD on Friday.
I managed to catch the band live when they closed out the night at YYT after the Happy Avenue show. Read the review here. They perform well and have a solid set of catchy traditional rock with acoustic driven hooks.
Another victim of Yuyintang's packed schedule, they will hold a low key release party in the Tsing Tao bar up by Hong Kou Stadium Station on Friday. I recommend it for those who prefer their rock as the other main show that day is Life Journey at YYT with their Bossa Nova inspired indie pop.
Monroe Stahr have a Jimdo site with three of the new tracks available for free download. Go there now and check out Summer Starts Here.
Over at The Subs Douban page they have a gallery with a ton of their flyers. It's really cool. And what's more, looking through I found the flyer for the Shuffle Bar gig. Shuffle Bar is now Anar Bar (via Pirates Bar) and the gig was put on by Brad Ferguson. It was a good night but both support acts are no longer with us - The Living Thin and Slit.
Flyer says it was 3.11 but what year was that? 2007? 06? It seems like ages ago but can't be that long.
Check it out:
A tough choice from shows tonight was eased by the fact that Hard Queen played both Friday and Saturday allowing me to see both them and Nanjing punk outfit Overdose. Overdose are straight up punk and have a new CD out Die With Me:
Overdose on Myspace (six great tracks starting with Fuck Your Fucking Band)
As I got into Yuyintang a cover band was closing out their set. The ones who wear the white shirts and black ties. They play well, but, they're a cover band ...so moving on ...
... it was a whirlwind night for me and I got a few surprises. Overdose have had a line up change since I last saw them. On bass now is Adam, who is in someway related to the D22/Maybe Mars crowd. I also saw Morgan from Boys Climbing Ropes and indie promoter Abe Deyo is back in town. On the local side of things, Lu Chen is coming down to a lot of gigs lately too.
Overdose took the stage. Singer Ruan Ruan is pure punk. To be fair, so are the rest of the band. Ruan Ruan, with her signature gothic black suit and bleached short hair, never disappoints with her ballsy performance that shows the whole range of old-school punk gestures and facial expressions. Backup vocals were sung Lemmy style into high mics and Du Wei's tattoos are just as intimidating as his drumming. The set was solid and despite the average to low turn out there were some seriously hardcore fans who at times were literally dancing by themselves. These included Lu Chen, Little Punk and Fabi from Rogue Transmission.
One bizarre anecdote. As I was going in, so were a group of highly strung and obnoxious party types. Just inside was a table with the band's CD on sale but no one was there to take the money. As I asked about them, as the other group looked too, I was told "No one here to sell them right now, sorry." As I turned away, deciding to wait until I saw an older staff member to sort it out later, one of the girls in the group appeared to openly steal one, whooping in the process. There's also been an outbreak of people coming to YYT and trying to blag in for free or get on a list etc. Wankers with no respect for the venue and band's culture and struggles.
After a night of hard rock and punk on Wednesday it was time for a night of cool at Yuyintang. Beijing's Ourself Beside Me are touring to promote their new CD and were supported tonight by Shanghai's Hard Queen. Check them out:
Hard Queen are playing with a bit more poise since their successful CD launch and have developed the songs for the live show, adding longer sections to dancable tracks. Songs Jungle Queen and Loser really stood out and you got the feeling that if there were just a few more people in the crowd it would have broken out into some jumping and action - impressive considering they are a kind of minimalist indie-pop three peice. As it happened YYT was filling up late tonight.
Ourself Beside Me claim their influences as Velvet Underground, Syd Barret and Brian Eno. They are a super cool trio who play experimental rock. I have the CD and saw them at the Maybe Mars showcase back in January but this wasn't the same. Seeing them up close in YYT was a whole new experience. The band were mesmerizing and apparently uninterested in the audience, preferring to use the time between songs to neck bottles of wine and beer chasers without saying a word into the mics. After a hypnotic and catchy show which left us all a bit star-struck, Yang Fan uttered her first words to the crowd "Thank you". I really liked the whole night and decided to get a souvenir, one of the OBM set lists, but was forced by bassist Xiehan to get her a cigarette in exchange first. Ha.
Way back in, err, April 3rd, Shanghaiist blogged about the upcoming show on TV which would invite all independent and underground bands to compete.
Well, the first 'battle' and filming took place this week and was a predictable fiasco. In fact, it was so completely balls in every way that prominent scene figures are making official statements and debates are raging in various threads around Douban.
The basic gist is this. SMG (TV company) don't have a fucking clue. Bands turned up to see that no equipment had been provided at all. People were expected to plug cables into the PA board directly, a bad one at that and bands were told not to bother sound checking. The judges were SMG regular presenters with no music knowledge who made ignorant comments all night long, angering the experienced bands. Finally it came out that SMG had guanxi-siphoned the sponsorship money away too.
There's too much stuff to link and it's all in Chinese. The main statements are from YYT's Zhang Haisheng and The Mushroom's singer Pupu. The gist is that they weren't expecting much but the whole thing was just downright offensive and they will be boycotting the show from now on. I leave you with Pupu's Douban announcement:
Wednesday night and most people have seen both these bands at the Midi Festival over the weekend. But, it's the Subs so I expected some kind of a turn out.
The Subs have been over to northern Europe for festivals a couple of times now and they sometimes bring a band back with them ... enter Bonk. By the way, do go to those two links. Both bands are amazing. If you're new to the Subs listen to 'The Man' and 'Down' immediately.
This would turn out to be a good night but the organization was trying their best to scupper it. It's a mid-week, work night, show and people have festival fatigue ... and at doors open the soundcheck was still 30 minutes away from finishing. Also, a third band, The Snot Rockets, was added to a bill where the two main bands were both playing full sets. In short, The Subs didn't go on until midnight.
It's always worth waiting for the Subs though. Kang Mao is still a true force of personality on the stage. Despite the room being half full and spacious, the majority of people had broken out into a mosh or dance by the second track. She ripped into her usual performance, wearing one of her recently adopted jester style hats. She is obviously aware of the amateur paparazzi issue, and her own image, because tonight she paused between one song, gave a quick glance at certain people and announced that if you were here to see her body then you were going to be disappointed.
The Subs played a lot of new material tonight, half the set, and the real highlight was the final track. They closed with their new track Red Hair ... well, I always thought it was Red Heart, but it's featured on the Vice TV short they did and is titled Red Hair. Someone step in and correct me as it's not recorded yet. The track was amazing, a perfect combination of raw catchy punk and slightly more subtle arrangements - exactly what the Subs are all about. It was a real treat for those who lasted out till the early hours on this mid-week night.
Update: There is a demo available of Red Hair, it's here. Cheers to 20th Century Boy.
Before we get into the The Mushrooms and their theme party antics again, lets go to the music:
Muscle Snog are Shanghai's premier experimental rock act, along with Booji, and they have put two amazing high quality tracks up at their Douban page, Think and Shit and Fuzz Rabbit.
Next up. I was non-plussed by the Silk Stockings Party put on at the end of March by The Mushrooms and Banana Monkey. I usually associate ladies nights with sad clubs, but as a certain someone said, never bet against the discount. This time it's a school uniform night. Are they pushing it this time? We'll have to wait and see. People went for it last time, even if it does amount to offering girls cash bonuses for pandering to male sexual desires.
Finally. Dan Shapiro has put up a blog at CW talking a bit about SOMA Live and their upcoming shows at the Dream Factory. I don't want to go there again but those not familiar with the story can link through Dan's excellent post.
Rock 0093 studios became famous with a series of showcase gigs at Yuyintang last year. Each show would feature five or more newer bands that rehearsed at the studio.
Here's an article that contains links to 15 previous posts and vids on the subject.
Recently, though, Yuyintang has been booked solid with established acts and big nights ... pushing the groundbreaking 0093 nights out into the wilderness (Yangpu District).
0093 are running their shows out of Live Bar and their own O3 Space this month. O3 Space was started to house informal shows and the fledgling Folk 0093 collective but is now starting to branch into regular shows too.
This month you can see four shows in O3 including Happy Avenue and Five Pointed Star. The latest 0093 showcase event "We're Emo Kids" will take place at Live Bar on the 9th. Click here to see the detailed listings with addresses. 0093 will return to Yuyintang on 12th June with 0093 Rock Party 11. Acts are not yet confirmed.
This is going to be a good Saturday (9th). With 0093 at Live Bar you now have a choice between that, Hard Queen at Canart, Overdose at YYT and Brain Failure at Dream Factory.
We have a had a huge string of packed out, quality gigs by bands who have emerged as finished products lately. We've had labels, festivals and international acts. And what I can't help thinking is: what's going on with Tu Bian (Mutant), the student nu-death-metal band with the cool singer. The girl who went so effortlessly between death-grunting, singing and some rapping.
So, I had a poke around and found exactly what I was looking for. A poor quality video of a sketchy early show by Tu Bian up in Live Bar. Plus, its on Youku so the upload drops so many frames that the song always goes out with the picture. Bonus.
Creature headlined the first night of Splitworks' Straight Oota Canada festival at Yuyintang but alas they were post-pop, indie-pop-disco something or other. Just imagine a lot of falsetto vocals, cowbells, whoop-whoops and 'we rock the house's to a disco beat ...in costumes.
So, I give you The Mushrooms, appearing for the third time on the blog but the first with the new line up changes. It's one of their older songs though 为什么你爱他 (Why?)
Cor Blimey Mate! I just popped off to their Douban page to check on the song name and saw a demo of that song has appeared there. The two tracks marked Demo are new recordings and they both fade out a little way in but are worth hearing.
And now the vid ...
May Day has two meanings for me. Firstly it's one of many traditional British festivals going way back, this time involving a Maypole and some dancing. It's also International Labour Day. You know, when the oppressed workers of America staged a number of strikes and revolts and won the right to an 8 hour day and 5 day week.
So, no work on Labour Day, great, and off to Yuyintang for the first night of Splitworks' Transmit Live show featuring bands from Canada paired with local acts. And on the first night:
The Mushrooms (China)
First up was the Mushrooms ... and yes coming on for one year since signing with Soma and no tracks available. No material to link. However, I got a good video this time and will post it soon. When they opened for Hedgehog the place was rammed with Mushrooms fans and the gig was a mad mosh. Tonight's crowd took their time getting in and was only half as full as it would later be for the opening band. They still gave us a good show though.
Creature came on and really showed what quality is. Well. To be perfectly honest, I really can't stand self-conscious indie-pop that has been constructed from design swatches. But, credit where credit is due, whether I liked the style or not, the sound was as good as it's ever been at YYT and Creature are tight, professional performers. I also concede that Whitney Houston is technically a good singer. Doesn't mean I have to like her vacuous music though.
Anyway, another winner from Split who are just as happy at YYT, in Dream Factory or on a bus to Xi'an.
In case you thought that the 'f-visa ghetto' was the creation of my own imagination, we have another addition to the area. My point in writing about, and living in, this district is that it contains major venues and facilities for the music scene and is also affordable if you want to enjoy it properly and slack.
So, Fanfare is finally up to it's potential. It's a bar/rehearsal space/music shop/hang out combo that totally rocks. It's on Fahuazhen Road between Xianghuaqiao and Dingxi, next door to Bonbon pet store. It has a cool, slacker feel to it and you can go there just to hang out on their couches or to play some drums or guitar or whatever. It's really quite good now and it's cheap. The rehearsal rooms are small and the place is more like a hang out than anything. But go there to have a look.
Finally - have you seen this site? An interactive sim city style map of Shanghai. Now you can check the Ghetto out like never before. Check out this screen shot.