Results tagged “Pairs” from Jake Newby

Earn money by going to Yuyintang this weekend

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2acc00a62d529bf.jpgThere are two shows on at Yuyintang this weekend where you'll get paid 1RMB each if you attend them. Yes, instead of forking out 40 kuai to watch a show, the promoters will pay you. If you haven't heard already, this is the brainchild of DJ BO and Dabei's Xiao Wei. The idea is to get more foreigners to see Chinese bands and more Chinese people to see foreign bands in Shanghai. 

The line-ups are as follows: 
Saturday Dabei, Prank, Senlinmu, Baiyu, Loudspeaker
Sunday Pairs, The Horde, Icenine, Moon Tyrant, Pacific

So if you've ever fancied going to see some of these bands and not got around to it, this weekend seems like a pretty good opportunity to do so. Check out more details here.

Video: Pairs' student band showcase

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The other week, Pairs put on a Sunday afternoon show at Yuyintang with a bunch of student bands to try and encourage more young acts to come through in Shanghai. Here's a video with Xiao Zhong explaining a bit more. It's mostly in Chinese, but worth a click if you understand a bit of the language. To see a clip of one of the bands performing that day, click here

Here's this then: Sans Tripod, episode 2

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78 minutes of incomprehensible mumbling and me fidgeting with a glass of water. Click play at your own risk. 

View the series here.

 
1207_laser_tag.jpgOf course you do. As you've probably seen here, Pairs are releasing a new album next month and to whet appetites for the release party at Yuyintang they're holding a listening party at X Club, that new laser tag place on Zhaojiabang Lu.

The basic idea is that they'll play the CD over the soundsystem while you run around shooting people. That way you can get a sneak preview of the record while aiming a gun at your friends, not bad. The album is about half an hour long so there'll be two games of laser tag which should last about the same time. 

Places are limited, so if you want in, you need to book a place in advance. Click here for all the details.

Pairs up for MTV Iggy's artist of the week

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p513800011.jpgMTV Iggy, apparently 'your destination for the best new music exploding around the world' has a thing where you vote for their artist of the week. The winner then gets to be on the MTV Iggy home page and there's an interview with them. So what? Well, Pairs are up for nomination.

The Shanghai-based twosome, who have a new album coming soon, are up against four other acts from around the world and at the moment, Brazil's Tulipa is killing it with 90% of the vote or something. Redress that balance by clicking here and voting for Pairs, you don't have to sign up for any spam or anything, just scroll to the voting form at the bottom of the page.

Gotan Project cancel and other bits and bobs

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Flyer_1_h.jpgJust a quick note: if you were planning on forking out 400RMB for the Shanghai World Music Festival in Zhongshan Park this weekend, just bear in mind that one of the big headliners, The Gotan Project, have now cancelled. Equipment problems at customs or something. Blah. Also, and this is a big one, the Uzbekistan National Song and Dance Troupe have cancelled too. I know. That means there'll be some line-up shuffling - see if you can make sense of this press release.

On to other matters: Battle Cattle are new in Shanghai, have a Douban with a track up on it already and are playing a show with Kungfuology favourites Next Year's Love next week. It's free and at Yuyintang - can't say fairer than that. Here's the details.

Another date for your diary, at least for those who can bear gigs at LUNE, is May 28th when Boys Climbing Ropes, The Beat Bandits, Moon Tyrant and DJ BO come together for a show to help those acts raise money for tours in Mongolia and Japan. 

And another one for June 10th if you plan that far ahead: Beijing act Yantiao return to Shanghai with a lightly re-jigged line-up after impressing at Live Bar a while back. They're with Pairs, Guijian and new Shanghai duo Death to Giants, featuring him out of Moon Tyrant and him out of Rainbow Danger Club. Baddaboom.

Pairs, the podcast and other links

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podcast.jpgUdancecn.com have done a podcast with Pairs - basically 15 minutes or so of their tracks strung back to back. There's also a text interview up here (in Chinese). Scroll to the bottom of that page, click the orange text and the Pairs podcast is all yours. 

Bivouac Recording is a new field recording label that's just launched in China. Check them out right here.

Shanghai Daily have a profile of Folk Rock United founder Liu Jian, that's here

Speaking of Shanghai folk artists, miir has a free two-track EP up on bandcamp that's well worth checking out. Cop that one by clicking here.

Finally, a quick heads up for a free show at LUNE next week featuring X is Y, Next Year's Love, Moon Tyrant and Girls Like Mystery. That's on the 21st, details here
e447317.jpgYou might still be recovering from the weekend, but here's advance warning of two shows in the next few days that you'd be a fool to miss.

First up SUBS and Duck Fight Goose at Yuyintang for free. SUBS. Duck Fight Goose. Yuyintang. Free. I believe that is what's technically known as a 'no brainer'. Thursday, 9.30pm.

Second, Wanderlust, Pairs and Next Year's Love are playing a free show at LUNE on Friday, 10pm. DJs Pink and Ryo are involved there too and it seems like the best thing to do after a day at Midi Festival I reckon.
rainbow danger club album release 038.jpgMad professors, crowd-surfing teddy bears and story book readings. At a time when most bands in Shanghai seem to be recording or about to release records, Rainbow Danger Club set a high bar for album release parties last night. You need to do something special when you have bands supporting you such as Pairs and Friend or Foe, bands who regular introduce an element of theatre into their performances (last night was no different, with Xiao Zhong nearly eating the drum stall and Friend or Foe entering via a cops and robbers skit). But Rainbow Danger Club gave a triumphant performance last night to give their excellent new album a fitting release.

Despite a busy Friday night, they drew a good crowd to Live Bar and overcame technical difficulties, which they turned into an impromptu song, to put on a memorable show. After Pairs and Friend or Foe had played typically entertaining sets, the headliners opened with Professor Levi from Stegosaurus? reading a passage to start the story. Cameos from other Stegosaurus? members followed including Dr Bren, Ultraman and a bizarre freak called Bobo. The whole thing was backed with fantastic visuals from Tina Sprinkles as well.

Not that the antics distracted from the songs and performance of the band. They had the crowd enthralled from the start and by the time they played 'Drown the Creatures' toward the end of their set, Live Bar was filled with the 'bom bom bombom bom bom bombom' of the chorus. All in all, it was a fantastic night.

UPDATE: Check out some more photos from the night here.

Decisions, decisions (part two)

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Still agonising over where to go on Friday? Wait til you see what's on on Saturday.

e404378.jpge414952.jpge407864.jpgThumbnail image for Tsunami Benefit - March 19th.jpg
Click on the pictures to see the flyers a bit bigger.

Decisions, decisions (part one)

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It may only be Wednesday, but this weekend is such a big one for live music that it's a good idea to start making your plans now. First up, these are your choices for Friday:

p858918874.jpgbeedeesposter(web).jpgCD-release-flyer.jpg

Click on the images above to see them nice and big and easy to read like.

Videos from Saturday night at Live Bar

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On Saturday night at Live Bar I took a video of Rainbow Danger Club doing 'Drown the Creatures' and it came out pretty well if I do say myself. Unfortunately, the file seems to be corrupted or something because I can't load it onto any computers. It plays fine on my camera but... bah technology. Luckily a few other people were filming too.

Shanghai24/7 have a couple of videos here while the one of X is Y on the right here comes from this page where you'll find a whole load of clips from the evening. The man with the movie camera was Bren from Stegosaurus? so many thanks to him for sharing and making me slightly less annoyed about my own video failure.

Pairs, RDC, X is Y and BCR at Live Bar

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live bar feb 26 039.jpgThis was the best show I've been to in a while. Partly that's because there's not been much else going on recently, but mostly it was because this was four excellent bands playing a packed out venue and all were on top form. I've noted before that it takes a while to get to Live Bar if you live down town, but the new space is a vast improvement on the old one and this show was definitely worth the trip. Plenty of people made it too - the room was packed out from beginning to end and even the space outside the venue was fairly crowded with people.

That's not a big surprise really, given that four of the city's best bands were in attendance and the whole thing was free. Things kicked off with Pairs who were on fine form. They played a couple of new tracks and, though no five kuai notes were thrown, Xiao Zhong and F did have a bunch of flowers thrown at them part way through the set. Also, you might have read this article about how Xiao Zhong has always ripped off other bands when starting his own bands, but we found out on Saturday night that Pairs' 'I Want to Die in the Ocean' is actually a reworking of Arcade Fire's 'Wake Up'. Who knew?

Next up were Rainbow Danger Club who are warming up for their album release at the same venue on March 18. If you weren't already excited about that show, then Saturday night's performance should have put you in the right frame of mind. The band performed a rousing set, complete with reworked versions of 'Drown the Creatures' and 'Neighbours on the Rooftops', that had the crowd enraptured. By the time they rounded off with 'Enduring Love', couples were spontaneously dancing together at the front. They were outstanding and frankly a hard act to follow. And yet...

New Pairs songs

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The video on the right here features a couple of new Pairs songs. Here's Xiaozhong introducing them: 'The first song is called 'five kuai' and the second is called 'Christmas'. We're hoping that in the vein of Carsick Cars song Zhong Nan Hai, instead of throwing cigarettes people could throw five kuai notes on the stage when we play it.' Not much more I need to add to that really, click the play button and check them out yourselves. The songs will feature on Pairs' new album, hopefully on its way soon.

In other Pairs news, they've just released a 7" and are playing a bunch of shows in the coming weeks and months, so make sure you're stocked up on five kuai notes. More details straight from the horses' mouths here.

Reasons to be cheerful

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p853117947.jpgIt's fair to say that the last few weeks haven't been packed full of gigs in Shanghai. But that's always to be expected at this time of year and with Yuyintang reopened and Mao Livehouse opening up again in March, things are looking up. There's a couple of shows on this weekend at YYT, but next weekend is when it all kicks off again (and I'm not even counting Mrs Nas) with Boys Climbing Ropes, Rainbow Danger Club, X is Y and Pairs at Live Bar. Here's a quick round up of other bands/shows heading your way at various venues around town in the next few weeks and months in the order that I remembered them (more details once they're closer)*.

Rainbow Danger Club album release party
Break for Borneo album release party
Moon Tyrant album release party
Shanghai 24/7 launch party with BCR, DFG X is Y and Ho Tom
Lots of Trash a Go Go/MT Hooligans shows
More Fever Machine and friends shows including one with Old Doll and Miku from Nanjing
Hedgehog album release
Bigger Bang
Subs
Reflector
A big Japanese post-rock band returning
Then there's all those festival rumours too

Plus, don't forget about JUE (running in March and April), which includes a Maybe Mars showcase with the long-awaited return of Snapline and AV Okubo, Duck Fight Goose and Pairs.

* These are just a few of the shows going on that I've stuck here to make up for the fact that posting has been light recently and it is in no way meant to be a conclusive list. There's probably some whopping omissions, so feel free to leave more shows in the comments.

The Fever Machine and friends, Live Bar

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stuff 309.jpgI finally ended my gig drought last night with my first trip up to the new Live Bar, where I saw Chaos Mind, The Fever Machine, Stegosarus?, Pairs and a surprise appearance from Yan Tiao. Actually, I thought the surprise guest was going to be Hang on the Box - I thought the girls were there and everyone was saying they were going to play, but they didn't, which was fine actually because Yan Tiao were really good. 

I got there a little late, missing Pairs, but arriving for the start of Stegosaurus?'s set. This was the first time I'd seen them in a long time, so I was glad to catch them. They were on good form, with their usual high energy levels and a solid set of songs - including some new ones that I hadn't seen live before - plus some extra special headgear.

The Fever Machine were up next, despite being the headliners on the bill. A lot of the crowd seemed to be there to see them and people were really into their set. Their track 'Dance with Deviance' is still available for free download right here by the way. That left Chaos Mind to play next who now have Levi (ex Mortal Fools) playing with them and were excellent.

Dan then took to the stage to announce that there would be another band who, as I mentioned, we all thought was going to be Hang on the Box. Instead two guys took to the stage, one on drums and one on guitar. And they were really good. Turns out this was Yan Tiao from Beijing.

As for the new Live Bar, it's a great little space. The size and layout are really good and there's a nice mezzanine/balcony overlooking the stage from the back of where the crowd would stand, a bit like D22 but at the other end of the room if you know what I mean. It works. It's actually a much better space than their old location on Kunming Lu, the only real problem being its accessiblity for those of us who live downtown. But then, as I've mentioned before, it's very close to the Wujiaochang area of town, which is a large-sized hub and in particular has a big student population, so while it might be a bit of a trek for fans/bands downtown, it's an excellent space for that part of town. There's going to be a couple of big shows up there in the next month or so (watch this space for more details nearer the time), so I recommend you get up there for them. 

Duck Fight Goose EP release at Yuyintang

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dfgep.jpgThis was a great night for one of Shanghai's best bands. The release of Duck Fight Goose's debut EP had been hyped up, but deservedly so - this is a record that many of us in Shanghai have been looking forward to all year. Click after the jump to see how the record was packaged incidentally and if you didn't make it to YYT last night to get your hands on a copy, you can buy the EP here and on iTunes (soon).

Pairs opened proceedings with a typically laid-back set of down tempo chill out songs and were on really fine form as always, but this was really Duck Fight Goose's night. Part way through their set, DFG were hit by technical difficulties - hardly surprising given the number of wires and gizmos they have up on stage with them. But it provided a suitable interlude during their show. Up until that point they had played the songs from their Flow EP, but after the technical mishap, they showcased their new material.

They're never a band to stand still and in a lot of ways this EP feels very much like the closing of a chapter - the recording and releasing of a set of songs that they've spent the last year or so perfecting live. That's why I thought the interlude proved suitable - their new material is different in tone. It's not an enormous change, but there's a definite difference in the sound there, in particular with Han Han using his keyboard more. The band played three songs in this new mode and they were all frankly blinding. If the EP is one of the best records to come out of Shanghai this year, then we should all be very excited by the prospect of a new DFG album next year.

This was my last gig of the year and from here until early January, this blog will slow down a bit (possibly for longer given the closure of YYT), but this was a great way to round out the year.

Trash a Go-Go in Suzhou

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p725006159.jpgAfter over a week away from Shanghai I got right back into it on Saturday night with a Trash a Go-Go show. Well, sort of. It actually took place in Suzhou rather than Shanghai, but still, the line-up was all-Shanghai and a beer-fuelled bus ride to the city ensured that the crowd had plenty of familiar faces too.

Pairs, The Instigation and The Beat Bandits were the bands and Wave the venue. The bands have been written about a fair bit on this blog and they all gave well-received performances so I don't feel like I need to get into that much - click the links above if you really don't know who I'm talking about.

I was interested to see what the venue would be like in Suzhou and it turned out to be a pretty cool little place. Although Suzhou has a population that is slightly larger than Scotland's, it's still considered a small place in China, especially when Shanghai is so close by. Nevertheless, there's been some stirrings of a live music community there for a while now and this venue seems well-equipped to help push that forward.

It's part of an "arts complex" kind of place that also includes a bar and a youth hostel. The venue itself was a decent size, with a good stage and space in front of it. It seems to operate as a bar the rest of the time, but it wasn't like one of those bars with a stage added as an afterthought. At times the bar seemed like it would rival MAO Livehouse's for knowledge of drinks, but they were sweet about it and it was cheap so people got over it and all in all it wasn't a bad little venue. 

It was hard to gauge the size of the Suzhou contingent in the crowd, but there were certainly more than the 30 or so people who came on the bus. I don't know if anyone reads this blog in Suzhou, but if you do I'd be interested to know how regular gigs are there and how well-attended they are. 

Finally, credit should go to the Trash a Go-Go guys and to Xiao Zhong of Pairs for both arranging a show outside of the city and then organising transport to it for everyone as well. It was a great idea and seemed like a big success. And if you're interested, Trash a Go-Go is on tour again in a couple of weeks in Nanjing. More details on that one here.

Trash a Go-Go beer bus to Suzhou: interested?

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e346761.jpgThis blog doesn't often deal in public service announcements, but when it comes to beer and rock 'n' roll, there's not much we can do but help spread the word. Oh, and it's from Pairs so even better. Read on:

On Saturday December 4th we're going to Suzhou to play the Trash A Go Go show.
http://www.douban.com/event/12905883/
We're thinking of hiring a bus that leaves from Shanghai sometime in the afternoon, and return sometime later that night, after the show.

Right now, we are just seeing if people are interested, that way we'll know if we need to hire a big bus or a smaller bus. But tickets will most likely be under 100yuan and will include entrance to the venue. We'll also make sure there is beer and drinks on the bus.

If you're interested, please send an email as soon as possible to wearepairs@hotmail.com and leave your name, number and how many seats you want and we'll get back to you with more info later.

KISS, The Misfits, Wham! and Joy Division at YYT

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e316421.jpgThis was a great night at Yuyintang - packed out and with great performances. Ordinarily, I'm not really into cover bands, but these were all done so well and with such humour that it was impossible not to enjoy it - unless of course you were that irate Wham! fan who complained that Pairs' "tribute" was sacrilegious before storming out. For me, that just made it funnier.

The night started with X is Y (plus two) as Joy Division. They did the songs really well - although I'm not sure about the metal/ska moments that crept in during 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'. Any problems they may have had with people not recognising Joy Division's back catalogue (people stood around me kept asking who they were supposed to be) they overcame with an energetic performance that meant people got into regardless.

If their's was a pretty close study of Joy Division, Pairs' version of Wham! was something else entirely. With F and Xiao Zhong dressed in Choose Life t-shirts, the pair ripped through a couple of classic Wham! tracks but in the Pairs style, before Xiao Zhong kicked 'the other one' out of the band and went solo for 'Careless Whisper', which featured one of the best endings to a set ever as he kept everyone singing while he packed up his shit and walked off the stage.

Boys Climbing Ropes then came on and did The Misfits, with Little Punk bouncing around the stage as Danzig. They really got the crowd going and had the biggest mosh of the night, though some dickhead threw a glass at some point. Someone had crowd dived during Wham! with a bottle in hand as well. Seriously, how fucking stupid are you? Anyway, I don't want to dwell on it - it shouldn't take away from a great performance from BCR, something they reprised at LOgO last night as part of the farewell to the Xingfu Lu bar.

Finally came KISS who looked and sounded incredible. The make up, the costumes and the music were all spot on. They really had it down, with Dan staying in character throughout and all of the band members with studied mannerisms - Fabi's bright red tongue was waggling all the way through the set. They even did the synchronised bit with the guitars. It was brilliant.

So yeah, a brilliant night - well done to everyone involved. If anyone has photos or videos from the night, please send them my way, I still don't have a camera. Ta.

Pairs album available for free

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p513800011.jpgNot much more to add to that heading really - Pairs have recorded an album, done in a single take at Yuyintang to get that 'live' feeling and produced by Adam Gaensler. The album will be out courtesy of Qu Records very soon in the form of physical CDs, but for now you can download the whole thing by paying absolutely nothing (more on the process here). Click here to download the tracks.

Congratulations to everyone involved, now on with the Little Punk album...

Streets Kill Strange Animals and friends at Yuyintang

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e292213.jpgBefore this gig was advertised, I didn't really know much about Streets Kill Strange Animals. I'd heard good things about them from up north, but hadn't really followed them too closely. That'll change now, they were brilliant last night. I thought that maybe the gig was done in the way they sometimes are in Beijing whereby the headliner actually goes on in the penultimate slot because it's the peak time before everyone heads home. The crowd certainly thinned after Bigger Bang!, but anyone who missed Streets Kill Strange Animals missed an excellent set and they were worthy of top billing.

If people had run out of energy after Bigger Bang!'s set it was understandable. They haven't been in Shanghai for a few months, but you can tell how much they like playing here. Last night was no different - they were tight, played a great set and Pupi was on top form. They also played two great covers: Joan Jett's 'I Hate Myself for Loving You' and, more surprisingly, Beck's 'Loser' with Pupi pulling off the raps.

Before that Pairs had torn through a typically exhilarating set that had people around me worrying about Xiao Zhong's vocal chords. I'm pretty sure he'll be fine.

This weekend is a biggie

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3936540837_297d90ca08.jpgWe mentioned this before, but this weekend is one of the best gig-going weekends in a ong while. Time to get those cobwebs blown out of your ears. There's every possibility that I'll spend the next four or five nights at Yuyintang. Here's why:

Tonight - X is Y, Friend or Foe, The Beat Bandits and The Instigation

Tomorrow - Choir of Young Believers

Friday - Boys Climbing Ropes and The Fallacy

Saturday - Streets Kill Strange Animals, Bigger Bang! and Pairs

Sunday - Hydrophobia

Ka-boom. Alright, so I might flake on that last one - deathcore on a Sunday after all that lot might be too much for me I'm afraid - but that's not a bad few days of gigs. Added to the mix are Queen Sea Big Shark at MAO Livehouse on the Saturday for some corporate gig thing (likewise I think Bigger Bang! are involved in flogging Puma goods at MAO Livehouse on the Friday with Mavis Fan). 

Take that summer malaise...

Pairs at LOgO

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p591966320.jpgHave you heard of this band called Pairs? They're alright y'know. I know this site is in danger of becoming Pairsology at times, but here's my defence for this post: 1) they're good; 2) they're one of the few bands who have been gigging among the tumbleweed of the summer; 3) this was the first show I'd been to in ages so I'm going to write it up. So there.

So this was the Trash A Go Go night with Toshi et al putting a bunch of bands on at YYT and then over at LOgO later on. Unfortunately things over-ran at YYT so Pairs didn't go on until gone 1am. Didn't matter, there were plenty of people packed into LOgO to see them. Naturally, they tore shit up on the small stage (they're one of the few bands who seem to fit that LOgO stage). Despite a shitty amp and it being ridiculously hot and sweaty plenty of people jumped around like crazy throughout the set. Rhys even took my request for 'The Neighbours Song', which features lyrics such as 'Harold and Madge'. Ace.

As a post script, LOgO's trouble with the fuzz continues. After the usual moaning about people being sat outside, a couple of policeman came in halfway through the night and shone a torch at the DJ. They didn't really say anything, just shone the torch spotlighting him for a bit until he turned the music down. It was a bit surreal. They keep getting those visits there, let's hope it doesn't become too serious.

Pairs and Duck Fight Goose support Handsome Furs

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e272503.jpgI don't know if you went to see Handsome Furs last year when they played in town, but if you did you probably went this year as well - they make you want to see them again in that kind of way. Well anyway, if you went last year you'll remember it was ridiculously hot and sweaty in Yuyintang that night. Last night was no different. No shocks there really, YYT gets sweaty in mid-February with the right number of people in there, August wasn't going to be any other way.

Anyway, the place was packed by the time Pairs kicked things off. Not sure if you've heard of Pairs or not, you might have seen the odd oblique reference to them here and there, but they're alright. Last night they played as Trios, with Xiao Zhong's sister's boyfriend smashing the shit out of some stuff on stage while they played. They're nothing if not inclusive. Good for them, I'm all about widening participation. They were great.

Duck Fight Goose were on after that, another band you've probably not read about on this blog before, but never mind. They were ridiculously good as ever, though in a completely different style to Pairs obviously. Han Han had some effect thing going on his vocals, which is a new development and something I'm no so sure about, but they're still far and away one of the best bands around and seeing them is always a great experience.

So two great bands paved the way for Handsome Furs. Dan acknowledged as much when, in addition to saying YYT was one of his favourite places to play in the world, said that we 'should be proud of having two such great bands in Shanghai.' He's not wrong. So if that was your first time seeing those bands (unlikely if you're reading this blog admittedly), get out and see them more often. You can start tonight with Pairs at Not Me.

Video: Pairs' 'Yangpu Qu'

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Courtesy of Qu Records. You can also hear and download the final mixes of 'Yangpu Qu' and 'Oh Ghost' by clicking here. Both tracks will be on Pairs' forthcoming CD.

Listen to Pairs and Guai Li

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p513800011.jpgI didn't go to Zhangbei this year. Last year it took me an age to get to the festival to see a bunch of bands I'd seen loads before and blah, blah, blah. Whatever, Pinkberry went and quick as a flash Andy has posted on a video of them playing there that they just stuck up on their Douban. Clickeddy click.

That's not really what this post is about though. It's a short one to say click here to listen to one of the Pairs tracks that I was banging on about the other day. If it doesn't rock you to your core then, well, sigh. Beijing, you'll get yours too when Pairs play Old What Bar on Friday 13 and Raying Temple on Saturday 14. Oh, and someone's written something about them in Time Out Beijing this month too. Hot. UPDATE: More on the media whores here.

Speaking of stuff going on in the capital (and of new tracks, seamless linking), you can click here to listen to a new track from Guai Li. Their album is coming out in a couple of weeks and they're going on tour to promote it, with a date in Shanghai next month. People seem to be divided over how good Guai Li actually are, give this a click and see what you make of it.

Little Punk: The music video and other Qu news

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DSC06323.JPGHopefully you've been following developments over on Indie Everything recently anyway, but Andy has been very busy. He's set up his only music label, Qu (as in 区 or district) and has been busy recording songs for Pairs and Little Punk with the help of Adam. Naturally, everything is being approached with Andy's strong DIY ethic. The results are outstanding.

The tracks all sound fantastic and Pairs have produced a video for the brilliant song 'Yangpu Qu', which looks incredible. Seriously, you're going to love it. This will all be up on t'internet soon, I'm just making sure you're properly prepared and suitably excited about it all. If the stuff I've seen and heard so far doesn't make people sit up and take notice, I might just retire this blog. That's not supposed to be a good thing incidentally.

Anyway, today I was lucky enough to be involved in a music video shoot for Little Punk's song 'I'm Not in the Mood for Making a Song'. Y'know how I am, I can't resist a cameo. So here's  picture of me in my Little Punk t-shirt - that's her looking like a superhero on it. After filming we went back to Andy's and he did a rough cut of the whole video - it looks brilliant. There's a couple of other (better) cameos too: Super Sophia and Ho-Tom the Conqueror pop up in it as well. But yeah, it's really, really good.

I don't want to give away too much more than that, but just keep an eye on Indie Everything and for a Qu Douban page coming soon. It's all very exciting.

Steve's sweet revenge

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P1000422.JPGGuilty as charged
p547458618.jpgActually that title is a bit misleading - I missed Pairs' set. Fuckrats. I missed them on Friday as well, so was pissed off that I managed to miss them again. I don't know, work shit - you know how it is. I got there about quarter to ten or something and they'd been on already. Nightmare. Anyway, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that they were fucking good simply because they're never any other way.

Despite my tardiness, I did manage to get my hands on one of those rather fashionable Pairs t-shirts that you've probably seen on the catwalks and in all the fashion mags. I got my hands on it by snatching it out of Steve's hands, sorry Steve, but he's getting one saying 'Jake Newby is a t-shirt stealing cunt' or something so it all worked out fairly well let's be honest.

I digress. This was the second time I'd seen Birdstriking since they were last in town and them snuggling up to Maybe Mars seems to be working out well for them - there development has been marked in those two performances. Sure, they sound just like Carsick Cars, but they're starting to add their own personality in a little bit now and last night they were on good form.

Which left Taiwan's Boyz and Girl to close things out, which they did with a strong set. Their music was described by Pete from WeLiveinBeijing as 'fuzzed-out, wandering melodies that coalesce into some amazing grooves.' And who am I to argue with that?

By the way, a little footnote here: my camera is broken so until I can scrape together enough money for a new one (which will be a while probably) I'm just going to be pulling photos off the interwebs, so I take no responsibility for the quality being better than usual. If anyone would like to give me a camera for free, please go ahead - I am not above accepting charity.

I want that one: Pairs t-shirts

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DSC_0396.jpgIf you want one as well, then send Pairs an e-mail (their address is here), just don't take the one I want or there'll be trouble. More importantly though, come and watch them at Yuyintang tonight. They're playing with Beijing's Birdstriking and Taipei's Boyz and Girl and they're so ridiculously good it's not even funny. Do it.

Fanfare is moving

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logo_ai.gifBefore I get into this post properly, check this out - it's a good read.

Right, on with the actual post. Fanfare the music bar studio type place on Fahuazhen Lu has had to up sticks. Neighbours are given as the reason for the move, as in complaints from, not the Australian soap opera. Turns out the people at Fanfare have been making too much noise for the liking of those who live nearby and the space has had to shutter. Fanfare is looking for new premises and they hope to reopen elsewhere soon.

Fanfare isn't exactly a music venue in the mold of Yuyintang, but it's been hosting regular music nights for a while now and has hosted artists such as Pairs and Ho-Tom the Conqueror for shows. It's more a sort of open mic type of place really, but has provided a good space for these acts.

Of course, anyone who's followed the Shanghai live music scene for more than five minutes will know that problems with the neighbours are all too familiar. Hopefully Fanfare will be able to reopen again soon.

Music Fever are doing stuff

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fever.JPGI've written a fair bit about Zhu Lu He Feng and all the stuff that they're up to (new track from MR. here by the way), but I haven't really written much about Music Fever, another locally-based music collective. Well, this post is an attempt to redress that balance a bit.

Founded at the beginning of this year, Music Fever is headed up by Fanqie Chaodan, Sunny (from New Vector and Runaway Snail), Tong and Wang Er Xiao. They've organised a number of events in the last few months, mainly featuring local bands and folk artists and this Saturday they've got another one coming up at MAO Livehouse. That pits them against a different type of fever, namely The Fever Machine (with Pairs, Rainbow Danger Club and X is Y at YYT, details here), but there's enough difference in the genres to mean there shouldn't be too much clash. 

The Music Fever event is called Here Comes the Spring and features a six act line-up including Mogu Hong, April (from Beijing), V-Day (from Nanjing), Runaway Snail and New Vector. They're also releasing a CD at the same time (listen to some of it here) featuring tracks from the aforementioned artists along with others. There's a full tracklisting and more details here.

Anyway, here's the full details for the event and if you dig the folk stuff and can bear to miss The Fever Machine at YYT and Ben Houge's pop set at Not Me, then this is one to check out.

Something for the weekend

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new Sun Ye.jpgHello again. So yeah, things have been even slower than normal here the last week or so. As you might have read, me Mum was here (she's fine, thanks for asking) and she takes precedent over this blog I'm afraid. Still, she's safe and sound back in the UK now so I'll be back to it. Not that she's not into her music incidentally (she digs Glamourous Pharmacy and Liu Kun's new solo album), just that we went travelling last weekend instead of gigging.

Anyway. It's a good weekend to get back into the fray because there's a whole load of stuff going on. Here's a run down if, like me, you fancy heading once more unto the breach:

Thursday

Yep, things get going early this weekend with the Mini-E showcase over at Yuyintang. That's Sun Ye, Confirm-X, SIG, MHP and DJ Mia all on the one night. Can't wait.

Before that, down at Fanfare (528 Fahuazhen Lu, near Dingxi Lu) at 7.30pm there's another showcase of local-based musicians with the highlight being Ho-Tom the Conqueror. Go check it out. If you do happen to miss him playing there, then make sure you catch Ho-Tom at New Faces Underground next Wednesday. Details of that here.

Friday

I might be a bit busy with this (ahem), but Friday sees lo-fi electronica dude I am Robot and Proud at YYT and the big Britpop Comes to China thingy at MAO Livehouse (while it still stands). Old Live Bar meanwhile has Pairs (more on them here) playing.

Saturday

Music Fever (a new local-based collective) have their first night up at Yangpu Live Bar with New Vector and Black Luna on the bill amongst others, Pairs play the other Live Bar (696), while Stegosaurus? release their CD at YYT. I'm playing that CD right now and it's great. Plus the whole line-up is brilliant with Dragon Pizza in the mix and some talk of free actual pizza. Some band called Boys Climbing Ropes are playing with them as well. Which is a shame, because I quite wanted to catch Beijing band Cassette who are at MAO Livehouse with Candy Shop and X is Y that night. Luckily for me though...

Sunday

...Cassette play LOgO on Sunday. Pinkberry are on the bill too, together with Stegosaurus? again. Great stuff. Cassette's singer contacted me a while back about playing down this way and took tips from Pu Pu when booking the gigs here so they should do well. Of course, that CD release is probably where I'll be on Saturday, but I definitely recommend making the trip out on Sunday to catch them at LOgO. Click their name above to have a listen to their stuff.

New songs: Pairs

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New band, new songs.The video on the right here, kind of like Subterranean Homesick Blues on speed, is from Pairs, a Shanghai-based err pair. They've got a couple of songs up on their Douban already (right here) and a couple of videos, this obviously being one of them. The other one is here

The recording quality isn't great, but it sounds like they rock and you can download the tracks from Douban too. As if that wasn't enough for you, they even say you can get their CD for free:
'If you want a copy of our CD, get in touch with us and we'll organise some sort of personal drop off. No stress about cash, it's all free but we are down with bartering too.'
Does writing about them on a blog count as bartering? I'm nothing if not for sale.

Anyway, seems like the thing to do would be to check them out live and you can do that at the next Good Jive event on April 10th. Y'know Good Jive, the Han Han organised thing (more here). Anyway, they'll be there with Duck Fight Goose, Rainbow Danger Club, The Beat Bandits and The Fever Machine all at YYT.

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