Results tagged “china music radar” from Jake Newby

Strawberry Shanghai?

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midi calendar.jpgWhen it comes to China festival rumours - and let's face, there's going to be a lot of them in the coming months - it's going to be hard to beat this one. Still, another one doing the rounds on the rumour mill at the moment is that Modern Sky will finally bring their Strawberry Festival to Shanghai this year. After the harmonised Strawberry Suzhou and the allegedly 'stolen' Strawberry Zhenjiang, Modern Sky are apparently looking at doing a festival in Century Park in April. Pure speculation at this stage however.

This picture on the right here incidentally, is of some revellers at the 2010 Changjiang Midi Festival and forms part of Midi's 2012 calendar. Recognise anyone?

Read: 2010 in reviewness

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2010.jpgSo happy new year then, hope you had a good festive period and all that. Before we head into 2011 - the first few months of which could be a bit quiet with Yuyintang closing after this weekend and MAO Livehouse closing at the end of the month - here's a quick look back at 2010 courtesy of other people.




Plus, in case you missed it, check out this massive piece of good news on China Music Radar. Congratulations and well done to everyone involved.

UPDATE: Rock in China and Wooozy have self-promoted their own wraps ups in the comments below...

CMR gets a new look

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cropped-header副本.jpgOne of the best sites about Chinese music on the interwebs, China Music Radar, has had a refit. Very dapper it is too. This picture is just a teaser, I don't want to give away all their surprises, but I will tell you that the panda is safe. So that's good. That's it really. Check it out here.

New Hedgehog material, new Hedgehog

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p54635623-2.jpgSo Hedgehog, nearly everyone's favourite band, have split. Sort of. The bassist has left, but it seems drummer Atom and guitarist ZO are planning to carry on under the Hedgehog banner. The split had been on the cards for a while now and, though it seemed as if last year's Modern Sky tour of the States had staved off such a move, it's finally come to fruition.

Nevertheless, the remaining duo have uploaded four new songs to their Douban page, supposedly in preparation for a new album. Once they find a bassist. You can check the songs out here.

At the same time, the two of them have formed a new project called B-Side Lovers. There's no music up on the Douban page for this new band, but according to Pete over on CMR, they sound like "Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins".

Whatever is going on, it seems it's the end of an era for Hedgehog, if not for the band entirely. It's a shame, Hedgehog were a great band and one of the brightest in China. Personally, some of my best memories of gigs in the country have involved the band and it's a shame that they've had to go their separate ways. I suppose we'll just have to see where Hedgehog (and B-Side Lovers) go from here.

Bring the noise

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bjnoise.JPGA while back, we mentioned the slightly puzzling dearth of music blogs in the capital. Being based in Shanghai, we have to endure constantly being told that the music scene here isn't as good as, or as developed as the Beijing one. Fine, but given the huge amount of international attention the scene up north receives compared to us down here, it's always seemed a bit odd that there was no regular English-language blog covering the scene up there. Incidentally, when I say covering the scene, I mean in a similar way to what we do here - bits and bobs of news, new tracks and gig reviews etc - China Music Radar of course gives Beijing plenty of excellent coverage on their side of things. 

Anyway, what that overly long and rambling paragraph is prefacing is the news that there is now an English-language blog on the Beijing scene. It's called Beijing Noise and you can find it right here if you want to stick it on your RSS or reader or whatever.

It's early days yet and so far posts have been geared largely toward rounding up forthcoming events etc., but there's a couple of reviews and some videos up there too, which suggest other regular content could be on the way. One to keep an eye on anyway.

What other people are writing about

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hollerado.jpgUPDATE: According to Brad in the comments, about 300 people were at the ReTROS show. Not a bad turn out, but not good either - last time they were in town there was around twice that many. Given that there was a quality support act in the shape of Boojii as well, you've got to think that a turn out of 300 is disappointing. Of course, promoting events here has never been all that easy, but for this show it seemed particularly poor. 

I didn't make it to ReTROS and Boojii at Mao last night - I wasn't feeling too great. If anyone did, I'd be interested to know how it went so drop us a line in the comments. ReTROS always draw a big crowd, but the promotion for this show had been pretty dire. My feeling is that you can probably just about get away with it for ReTROS because they're one of those bands that people seek out the gigs for, but the fact that Shanghaiist didn't even include it in their music preview last week shows how little marketing had been done. If someone went, I'd be interested to know what the turn out was.

So yeah, I'm feeling a bit crappy, but I'm hoping to make it to tonight's Hollerado show at YYT. I don't usually spend much time on foreign bands on this blog, that's not the point, but I recommend checking this show out. I saw them at Midi back in May and, though I'd never heard of them at that point, I enjoyed their set. Their music is pretty easy to get into, but the thing that struck me about their performance was how genuinely excited they seemed to be playing China. The crowd could see it too and it made for a great atmosphere. They were one of the few Western bands to play that festival who didn't patronise the audience. The fact that they're back within the year shows how much they enjoyed themselves in China and you can read more about them and their love for the country over at Mr Shapiro's blog here.

While you're there, you might want to check out his piece on the year in Soma records and all of their era-defining achievements. That's here.

Dan writes that the label's lack of any releases has been due to a 'restructuring of priorities' and their concentration on opening Mao. And Shanghai's hot shot venue is the subject of an insightful piece over on the Radar. Go read it here. As well as an appraisal of the space, the article talks about how Mao and Soma have changed the game in Shanghai and how promoters who were bringing bands in before Mao opened, are now being cut out when the same bands come back to town. It's a very interesting read.

Meanwhile over at Layabozi, Zack has not only joined the ranks of The Mushrooms admirers, but has eloquently expounded his views on the recent photographers debate. Click here to read his thoughts.

Elsewhere on the interwebs, CNNGo and Shanghaiist have managed to arrive fashionably late to the Top Floor Circus anti-Expo party. I wrote last week about how the band had put a twist on their song Shanghai Welcomes You when they played the 0093 CD release and now, following a translation of the updated lyrics over on ChinaGeeks, both sites have posted the video and regurgitated the translation. Shanghaiist at least realises that it's a new take on what is now a fairly old Ding Ma song and drops a link to this here blog. Anyway, the kids are digging it apparently, sticking it up on their Kaixin wang pages and bbs fora etcetera. The video has been receiving a lot of hits, hopefully helping the song to become a real anthem by next May.

Get your clicks

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24hoursfield.jpgBored? Here's a few places for you to double click your mouse.

First up, The Guardian's New Music on a Wednesday blog, which, as you may have already guessed, writes about new music on a Wednesday, has picked 24 Hours' Mr Stevenson as one of the tracks to listen to this week. They've even included a link to this humble blog. Read the NMOW post featuring 24 Hours here and then add the blog to your RSS or Google Reader thing as it's always a good read. Theirs I mean, not mine.

Speaking of Maybe Mars bands, you've probably been reading over at China Music Radar about a bunch of them heading over to the US of A. Well Dan Shapiro was apparently stowed away in one of their suitcases or something and has now surfaced with a piece all about them in Time Out New York. Not too shabby. Have a read here.

Managing to be in two places at once, Dan has also just published a piece in Shanghai's CityWeekend about the Neocha boys and their newish venture NeochaEDGE. You can read that one here. Proving there's no end to my seemless linking, Neocha (now apparently a person) also pop up on CNNGo's list of 20 people to watch in Shanghai.

I'm not on said list, sniff, but friends of the blog Archie Hamilton (Splitworks maestro) and Zhang Haisheng (Yuyintang founder) most certainly are. You can see the whole list right here.

Right, reading that lot should ensure that you don't have to do any work this afternoon. You're welcome.

Kang Mao in Do You Want to Play a Game?

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subs,20091018161216924.jpgHot on the heels of China Music Radar posting up the trailer for a documentary on Beijing Punk (featuring Misandao amongst others), I thought I'd post about Beijing punk heroine and Subs lead singer Kang Mao being in a documentary of her own.

Kang Mao's blog has been down lately. Every time I've tried to get on it the last couple of weeks, I've been redirected to some photo site or something. Anyway, it's back now so I can finally post about the film. It's called Do You Want to Play With Me? and she recently posted on it and a film festival in Nanjing.

Information on the film is pretty limited to be honest, but it's being billed as a Punk / Performance / Direct Movie, is directed by Liu Yonghong and Liu Zhiyong and, frankly, anything with Kang Mao in is good enough for me.

The plan is for the film to be released online, but not until next autumn. She's not too sure why it won't be out for so long either - apparently there's still a bit of editing and stuff to do on it. Still, another year? Seems a bit over the top. Hopefully it won't really take that long and we'll be able to see it soon.

Midi Heroes results announced

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miserablefaith.jpgIf you listened to last week's podcast, you'll have heard Andy and I discussing a story on China Music Radar about how Midi had decided to launch a Chinese rock awards thingy. Well, now CMR has revealed that the results are out. And here's the really shocking thing: Miserable Faith, nominated in pretty much every category, won nearly everything.

Once you've picked your jaw up from off the floor, you can click here to see the full list of results, including one or two awards that Miserable Faith, controversially, failed to win. Of course, the awards were kind of meaningless to begin with, but it still would have been nice to see a broader section of the Chinese rock community included. Again, I think we made our feelings clear on the podcast about where Best Album deserved to go. Apparently Andy Best failed to do a Kanye when that one was announced. Disappointing.

If the awards can help garner more publicity and bring more people in to shows then great. If they can get a bit of coverage and people go out and listen to these bands more, that's a good thing. If it's just Midi passing out some trophies to their mates, it becomes even more pointless.

The judges, incidentally, were Zhang Fan (Principal and founder of Midi), Dai Fang (music critic with the Beijing Evening News), Hao Fang (writer and music critic), Li Hong Jie (Editor of InMusic), Lu Bo (founder of Howl Records), Shen Lihui (founder of Modern Sky), musician Wang Di and Wang Xiaofeng from Sanlian Shenghuo magazine.

Podcast One: Lava Ox Sea "Home Hell"

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Welcome to the first ever Kungfuology podcast featuring Jake Newby and Andy Best. This is our pilot show/demo. We are aware of some technical teething problems, but go ahead and comment on them all the same. We like comments, there's a lot of material to comment on ... and you don't have to register.

On the agenda this week:

Midi celebrate ten years with ... an awards show. Thanks, Chinamusicradar.
And where were Lava Ox Sea in the nominations!

This weekend was the 12th 0093 showcase at Yuyintang.
We liked New Vector and Fanqie Chaodan with his new band.

Gigs are back on at Harley's bar it seems.

Layabozi.com promote their first show in the world of indie rock, but go head to head with the old school punk night at Mao Shanghai.


Finally, listen to "Home Hell" by Lava Ox Sea.

Videos: Second and Pinkberry

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A couple of days after they stuck up some excellent photos of their recent performance at Mao Shanghai, Second have put up a couple of videos of their live collaborations with Pinkberry. They're both Pinkberry songs, but feature the Second girls as well - Live In Live and 小白兔 (Little White Rabbit), the latter of which is after the jump here.

A couple of new tracks for you to check out as well. First one is from the Curry Soap and is fantastic. It's called Boxer, Get Out!, is inspired by Animal Farm and, though it clocks in at just one and a half minutes, I've had it on repeat all week. Listen to it here. the Curry Soap is in the process of recording a few new songs, hopefully with a view to an EP early next year, so keep an eye on her Douban page for more new tracks and re-recordings of the existing ones.

The other new track is a live recording of Sleeping Sheep from New Vector and you can check it out here. I'm planning to catch New Vector on Sunday at the latest 0093 showcase so, assuming I make it, I'll write a bit more about them then.

And while you're off clicking around the interwebs, make sure you check out this post on CMR about the forthcoming Chinese Rock Awards and make some predictions in the comments.

Midi Shanghai cancelled already

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midisurfer.jpgSome things never change eh? Back at the beginning of September I posted about rumours of a Shanghai Midi festival:

"Plans are for it to take place in Zhabei district's Daning Lingshi Park (the one with the beach near Circus World) on November 7th, 8th and 9th. The line-up will apparently feature several local bands including Top Floor Circus, Cold Fairyland, The Mushrooms, Sonnet and Yuguo."
The protracted Midi rumours we get every year meant that I was a little skeptical as to whether it'd actually take place or not and, surprise surprise, the whole thing has fallen through.

No sooner had Midi put out an official announcement about it, then before you could say "permit problems" they were back-tracking and saying that the festival wasn't going ahead after all. Sigh. China Music Radar has the story here.

Since I left you

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karakul.jpgI said I wasn't going to do this, but I changed my mind. I'm sure you've all been keeping track of this stuff while I was away, but, seeing as I was sans internet, I've been playing catch up and can't believe I've missed some of the stuff that's gone down. Here's a round-up:

After all the hype, Mao Shanghai opened. Andy's review of the opening night is here and there's his write up of the Mushrooms gig that followed a few days later here. We've been hinting for a while that this could be the last Mushrooms show for quite a bit (making me doubly gutted to have missed it) and I wish I could say more about why this is, but rest assured all will be revealed when I'm allowed to say something. Rounding out the first slew of gigs at Mao was the Rock Shanghai anniversary party. I'm looking forward to catching a show there soon.

The Global Battle of the Bands competition returned to Shanghai. Despite a good turn out of local talent in Beijing (they had 20 bands, of which 2 were laowai acts), the Shanghai leg wasn't quite as successful. I speculated on some of the reasons for this before. Nevertheless, 7 acts took part and you can read all about it here.

Then, the real craziness kicked in. Maybe we should all be used to the ridiculous whims of the Party, but I was still pretty shocked to read about the decimation of the Modern Sky Festival on China Music Radar. That was followed by Andy posting that the ban extended too all gigs by foreign bands which apparently led to the bizarre spectacle of The (International) Noise Conspiracy standing around in Yuyintang unable to play at the gig they were meant to be headlining. What. The. Fuck?

On tour

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ontour.jpgSo someone's celebrating their 60th birthday next week and as such we get a few days holiday. The mid-Autumn festival also kicks in to make it a bumper 8 day-long break. I'm adding in some leave to make it a two week long holiday for myself. Why am I telling you this? To let you know posting will be sporadic at best in the next fortnight.

There's a whole crapload of good music stuff going on this holiday and plenty of newsworthy events too - starting with Mao's opening tonight, going via the Modern Sky Festival (maybe Festivals?) in Beijing and also including a bunch of high profile gigs in Shanghai. And I'm not going to cover any of it I'm afraid. At least, not directly. I'm heading off travelling for those two weeks on the other side of the country from Shanghai (note to thieves: I have nothing of value in my flat. Seriously, nothing. I wish I did). I'll try and post some stuff if I get the time/there's something worth posting on from t'internet, but I won't be catching any gigs in Shanghai for a little while. Just thought I'd let you know.

In the meantime, if you haven't added China Music Radar, SmartShanghai, CW's The Beat and Shanghaiist to your RSS/reader already, you might want to do so now. Not saying that me not blogging for a couple of weeks is going to leave a gaping hole in your life or anything, just that those sites are worth checking regularly anyway for music news etc.

Before I go, here's a few bits and bobs and links and whatnot: 

Subs' Kang Mao is angry

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kang mao.jpgRemember how I had a few gripes and grumbles about the InMusic Festival? Turns out things weren't all that great backstage either. China Music Radar alluded to the poor treatment of acts in their excellent review of the festival and now Subs' lead singer Kang Mao has posted an entry on her blog where she says, "I didn't eat a single mouthful of food, I was too scared to use the toilet and I didn't dare drink the water" (maybe that explains why Fu Han from Queen Sea Big Shark had to go on a beer run) - plus they've still not been paid. However, that's not what's really got her angry. Indeed, though she says conditions were far from ideal, Kang praises the sound set-up on stage (in general it was really good from the audience point of view too), says that she felt really comfortable up there and that overall she had a good time. You can see some video of the band's performance in this post, also on her blog.

So what's really wound up China's leading lady of "spunk rock"? It's the press and their coverage of the festival.

In her post, "I don't want to talk about Zhangbei", she writes of how, in the week leading up to the InMusic Festival, the media and public opinion had been whipped up into a frenzy about the event and what it meant for Zhangbei, a poor town in a remote part of the country, and its government. There was a lot of attention in the press in the run up to the festival talking about what a momentous occasion this was for a town that had only received press coverage in the past when it was struck by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in 1998. Some of this hyperbole came from the organisers, naturally trying to promote their festival, some of it came from the local government - essentially saying "look, we may be just a poor backwater town but look at the great music festival we're putting on." It's hardly surprising that the local government and the organisers wanted to attract more people to their event, but Kang's real fire is trained on the reporters who regurgitated these lines, compared the festival to a certain American one that took place 40 years ago this summer and contributed to "a media and public opinion frenzy with discussion groups on the topic growing and growing."

Midi moving to Chengdu?

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Click here for more Midi Zhenjiang photosUPDATE, July 28: Those Midi rumour machines are spluttering into action early. The latest story? Midi will hold a festival in Anhui province in 2010. Don't hold your breath.

There's been some mutterings on Douban for a while about Midi Festival heading to Chengdu for the October holiday and now China Music Radar has heard some whispers that have led them to post on it too. Midi of course upped sticks from Beijing earlier this year in favour of Zhenjiang and it seems that the success of that festival has emboldened them to look even further afield. The Zebra Festival in Chengdu, which was also held in May and featured a pretty impressive line-up, went down well over there and Midi would expect a similar response. Nothing official has been announced yet, but organiser Zhang Fan has spoken before about a desire to take Midi on the road and stated back in May that "for the 11th Midi we'll go to another important city".

On the Douban thread there's a few upset Beijingers moaning about Midi not being in the capital again. But I kind of like the idea of a Midi on tour, hitting different cities and provinces. Maybe that's because I can afford to get to most of them without too much hassle, but it's also because Midi is really the only festival in China with the sort of reputation that Glastonbury enjoys in the UK - i.e. people will go just because it's Midi. As one commenter on the thread said, "where Midi goes, I go". This sort of name recognition means exposure for bands that people might not have otherwise gone to see and hopefully benefits the local scene wherever Midi decides to put on a festival.

I'm not suggesting that Midi will revolutionise the music scenes in Chengdu or particularly in Zhenjiang, but it can't hurt. Chengdu's music scene is pretty small at present, even smaller than Shanghai's. The excellent 声音与玩具 are from there and there's a venue which I love called The Little Bar (effectively Chengdu's Yuyintang), but not an awful lot else. At least, not that I'm aware of. Feel free to point out my Shanghai-based ignorance in the comments below if you have better information on Chengdu.

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