Andy Best: October 2011 Archives
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Update on Douban's ongoing changes and motherfuckery when it comes to following bands. Some good news, in fact. At the bottom.
So, previously. And for those who are utterly new to this. All active Chinese bands use Douban's xiao zhan 小站 for their homebase.
It used to be that following the band page would put all their updates into your main newsfeed/timeline and then there was a filter that showed only musician pages - then called 音乐人 yin yue ren. Sweet. You could add in all the active bands on the scene and get continuous updates and links to shows, demos and videos.
Then Douban took out the filter and combined all stand alone pages to be the 小站. For a while, we had to go individually to each artist page. That meant over 200 for me and Jake. Then they introduced the 喜欢 like button and following a band's feed became a separate, hard to spot, option. This option: 关注Ann的广播. Guangbo 广播 is feed. See the first picture.
So you could create a new profile. Add only band pages and no friends. Then go to each page and follow the feed. Finally you'd have a time line of band updates again. Of course, band pages are fully 'editable' now so the band may have hidden the feed, and thus the option to follow it.
But now, Douban have finally added back a feed of sorts. Now we have the My Mini-sites 我的小站 tab which shows a chronological list of bands who have updated and their last two updates. See the photos below.
Here is an excellent video and song from Chinese band Low Wormwood. They have an album out on Maybe Mars and are playing Shanghai this Friday night at Mao Livehouse. Fans of modern folk rock rejoice.
Shanghai lo-fi-high-skill duo Death To Giants are on the go again.
I first wrote about them here describing them like this:
Death to Giants combine the punk, playful intensity of modern lo-fi duos with a dose of virtuoso technical playing and vocal harmonies.
Now they have updated their page. They made a higher quality live recording at the most recent show and have posted up the tracks. The results are great.
go there now and listen ... and remember, anyone can learn to count in Chinese.
Saturday night in YYT and it's time for the Bone China tour. Here was the line up:
I was in for a surprise. I hadn't taken time to check out Bone online and only glanced at the other bands in the line up and a brief bracketed description on X is Y's page that said Bone were an Australian math rock group.
Duck Fight Goose went on first. Which means I only caught the last two songs of the set. Sorry guys.
X is Y had a drummer change and then a summer without the new drummer. They have been playing as a duo and also experimenting with the songs and some new sounds. Tonight they were back with the full line up and usual style. Moody, punchy math rock that is a delight for musicians and genre fans. Nothing has been lost in the change, the new drummer slotted right in. Lots of tracks on their page.
Bone were awesome. They actually describe themselves as a punk band. They played loud and brutal with most of the songs having a grinding off-pace beat. They were really professional too, with great stage presence, really worth the ticket money. Their music is somewhere between punk and darker post-punk, I dunno, again - loads of tracks at their page. Great night all round, finishing off three shows in three nights for me.
Due to the recently discussed technical difficulties on the blog, these posts are coming out in a random order. And hastily.
Last Friday was the Pairs Summer Sweat album release at Yuyintang. Lets get the important link done first:
Here is the entire new album at bandcamp
Start listening as you read. Two bands there on the night:
Great night and great turnout. Pairs put up an excellent by-donation merch table with an array of goodies that included both their albums. It was a big hit and very well done. Take note, everyone else.
Ho-Tom played his urban folk (that's what I'm calling it now) with a full line up that included a box player. He rules. Then, the action moved to the floor. Pairs played in the middle of the pit and a lot of the audience went up on the stage. It was cool and worked well, although it ultimately cut out a bunch of people who couldn't see and went back out into the park. There were enough people to fill the floor using the normal set up. So in the end it felt like a private party for friends, with good feelings and extended thank yous between the final tracks.
Next - world domination!
Seriously though, never mind my write up, go to Bandcamp immediately.
Nichols, the indomitable bass player from both Rainbow Danger Club and Death To Giants, has recently done an interview for the website syffal
The interview is mainly about RDC's mind blowing album Where Maps End ... let's take a moment here.
... and start listening immediately to the track Drown The Creatures. Then stop and think, this is a 100% independent/underground/DIY Shanghai product. No labels, no industry, no help, no nothing.
Where was I. Ah yes, on top form, Nicholls also manages to plug the scene, tipping Duck Fight Goose. Nice choice.
Last year a group of us organised a DIY project, formed a label of a kind and produced some lo-fi goodness. One of those projects was a solo effort from Boys Climbing Ropes' Little Punk
Even a year on, we get all kinds of nice mails and requests. Most recently, MTV's Iggy site have reviewed it. It's complimentary and nice.
They have also featured Pairs. It seems that lo-fi music from Shanghai is having some resonance with people outside of the scene.