Results tagged “death to giants” from Andy Best

Death To Giants / Japandroids live @ Yuyintang

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japandroids flyer
Saturday night and off to Yuyintang for the much anticipated Japandroids show, put on by promoters Splitworks. I got advance tickets, which always feels weird for YYT, as there was a big buzz about the show. And yup it was completely sold out by nine.

Japandroids (Canada)

This show started a bit earlier than most, before I had finished work for that day in fact, so I arrived at the very end of HIMDONG's set. Sorry guys.

Well, YYT was sold out and packed with many people who would not normally come down for local bands, people who are often pretty shitty to the non 'name acts.' Good job then, that along came Death to Giants and slayed everyone. They confidently and expertly ripped through the now familiar set, starting on a war footing with Bigongbijing. The duo did their thing, using only drums and a bass guitar but delivering a masterclass on how to fill space and control dynamics. With a full house to play to, there was also a great raw edge to the proceedings. The set ended with a new, kinda novelty song based around the Family Mart jingle. It was funny, and come on ... it's been four years since 2009 brought along a sudden, shocking influx of ex-pats that took it from 'some' to 'omnipresent' in Shanghai - someone had to do a song about convenience store beers at one point.

The blog has had an upturn of readers lately so it's worth pointing out that I don't usually review the visiting international acts. It's outside of the blog's remit. I should start by saying that Japandroids did a professional job and all their fans really liked the show. They sold the place out and it was a success.  But, I personally was a bit disappointed - my own fault. I had spent the week in a weird state that doesn't quite fit the exact definition of either cognitive dissonance or double think. Let me explain. I had checked out their stuff on the page, so I knew what the songs were like, but at the same time knowing they were a two piece drum/guitar combo with the name 'Japandroids' I was expecting to get something experimental or different. In fact their material is very standard North American folk or blues rock type stuff at heart with the lyrics taking us into near Springsteen territory at times. 

The first two lo-fi modern duos that come to mind in the Shanghai scene are Death to Giants and Pairs. As discussed, DtG use time signatures and overlapping runs to control a wide range of dynamics, mixing in sudden bursts of pounding metal and also delicate vocal harmonies. Pairs blast the air around with a wave of fuzzy noise and punk energy, the guitar chops you into pieces while Xiao Zhong shouts at you with a mix of despair and unconcealed contempt. Torturing Nurse take you into the frontiers of extreme noise, The Other jam reverb soaked loops, Twos smooth layer on layer to create an electronic post-rock landscape. I guess, in the USA scene terms I'm more Lightning Bolt and less The Black Keys? 
There's been a lot of talk lately of Death To Giants' great live performances and the extended versions of Sick and Elastic where Mike Corayer joins them in the middle for a scat vs. trumpet duel. Well, the band recently played some shows in Chongqing and Chengdu and Chengdu's Little Bar made a good video of it. Enjoy.



Girls Like Mystery / Death To Giants live @ YYT

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glm kevin
Pic: Kevin Wright of Girls Like Mystery

This gig was a week ago Friday and I am a dirty procrastinator. There you go.

Also, I only caught two full sets out of five bands. This show was the School's Out Part 2 gig with five bands on the line up:

Daydreamer (空想家)

I arrived to catch the very last song of Daydreamer's set. The band have a good local following and promising nihilistic song titles like Fuck The Rest and 玩手机 (play on my cell phone) but the songs tend to be big tracks with classic blues-rock conventions as the base. They had a load of fans/friends in the crowd, who all left the venue within one or two minutes of the last song ending. I always harp on about this, but it reminds me of the 0093 showcase days where a six band bill would start out full then lose like thirty or so people after each set - literally within seconds of the last song - until the last band had about twenty plus staff to play to. Singer Chen Li (陈粒) had a good rapport with the fans and her solo folk page also has a good Douban following. 

Death To Giants, as well documented now, are a great great band and consummate entertainers live. This set featured appearances from Threshold of Forest and Mike Corayer. Bassist Nichols and Corayer did their scat vs trumpet duel (scat as in the vocal style - get your minds out of the toilet) and it really went off. Super.

I haven't really written about Girls Like Mystery here but this show really pressed home to me how they have developed into a good band on the scene. GLM are Kevin Wright (vox, bass), Micheal Herd (guitar), Mike Arone (keyboard), Adam Poole (drums), Mike Corayer (trumpet) and Todd St Amand (cello). The style is big tunes Brit-rock. Kevin is humble and open about the band's beginning, jamming out some covers with himself, Arone and Poole but now they have a live presence and play a good set of cathartic original rock tracks. Wright's look, voice and personality is a perfect fit for the style and he credits Arone's greater involvement with songwriting for the development of the material. 

Our Saturday show and stuff

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Saturday night was the Death To Giants album release show. You can check it out here at bandcamp. The show was great and my band Astrofuck was one of the openers. Can someone on another site or mag review the show, I'm not impartial on this one.

The night before was another release from The Horde.

Show was fun, Ozzie Chris of Hujiahuwei showed me a funny meme of Sponge Bob during the performance of 'Patrick' which cracked me up while I was playing. Mental note, "Chris has ready to hand Sponge Bob pictures on his phone at gigs WTF?"

Pics: us mid-show taken by Qian Jin. Our Logo as designed by Kaine (our singer as seen in first pic)


dtg show astropic

astrofuck blue logo

Death To Giants, Death To Shows!!!

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blood pours out flyer
I'm involved in this show now so use discretion when judging this post

Death To Giants are releasing their first full album Blood Pours Out on Saturday night at Yuyintang. The line up also features Spill Your Guts, iAmalam and Astrofuck.



Now seriously. Death To Giants are a great band and tons of fun live. Scroll down their Douban page for tracks and two videos. Death To Giants playing Yuyintang, the heart of the scene and a near perfect room for underground bands, on a Saturday night has all the trappings of an epic show. But epic shows have to be made ... so get the word out and throw away all the excuses - come to this show and bring people too. If we can break 300 people in YYT, especially with DtG and Spill Your Guts playing, that's insanity and crowd surfing time. Do it. If you're more of a hipster type you could lose your shit by letting an unplanned, un-ironic left-eyebrow-raise slip by, while leaning strategically against the side wall, during the more electro-oriented opening bands - prompting the others in your group to break down into cries of, "oh, SHIT!!!" ... It's all good.

Just come to the show, that's what I'm saying. Thanks.

We Are Shanghai 2 Live @ Yuyintang

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yyt red
Pic: Yuyintang Livehouse

Has it really been a year since We Are Shanghai vol. 1 - yes, it has. We Are Shanghai is an underground compilation project. The kind where a scene puts out tracks from all the bands. 

Here's Vol 2:

Of course, there are way more bands in the scene than are on the comp, that's just maths. Also, there's more acts with ex-pat members than not. But I want to say something about that. As organizer Ivan points out in this interview the call to be on the CD was open and to everyone. The presence of local scene overlords Top Floor Circus on Vol 1 and metal scene organizers Chaos Mind on Vol 2 clearly proves that the call went out deep into the local scene, that people knew about it and that it was answered. 

This Friday was the release show:

Hello Money

First the bands, and then the "50 000 RMB CW Incident" ... oh yes.

(ruling) Video: Anyone can learn to count in Chinese

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All previous attempts to make so-called "laowai" videos or funny takes on life in Shanghai can but cry on their knees as this video beats them down, eviscerates them then relieves itself on their still warm corpses.

And the winner is ... Death To Giants



Death To Giants live album on Bandcamp

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dtgcard
Good news, we're only a day or two into the Year of the Dragon and someone has put out a release already.

It's Shanghai's Death to Giants.

The album is a four track live recording of a show from Yuyintang and it rocks.


Track listing:

1. Children Play Amongst the Graves while Cities Burn and Humans are Enslaved (live)儿童们在坟墓间嬉闹,城市在燃烧,人们带上了镣铐

2.Anyone Can Learn How To Count in Chinese (live) 谁都会学中文数数

3.Sick and Elastic (live) 疾病与伸缩

4.I Just Can't Wait to be King (disney cover)

Death To Giants live tracks up

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Thumbnail image for deathtogiants
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.

RDC's Nichols takes it to the blogosphere

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Rainbow-Danger-Club
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.

FoF, Death To Giants live @ Yuyintang

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deathtogiants
I spent all Monday night believing it was Friday and feeling anxious about work the next day. Because I was at Yuyintang listening to bands.

Why? New Zealand band Die Die Die have been touring China and seem to have got on with everyone so well that they threw an extra free show on the Monday. Bonus.

Death to Giants

Friend or Foe were strong as usual and you still have one more chance to see them before the original line up splits as bassist Fish leaves these shores. I'm talking about this gig on Saturday. Also playing Logo on Saturday are new Shanghai duo Death to Giants.

This was their second ever gig and the first time I have caught them. They were awesome. And they are pictured above setting up for the show. Death to Giants combine the punk, playful intensity of modern lo-fi duos with a dose of virtuoso technical playing and vocal harmonies. They've got it all. The real highlight of this was when they asked the audience to shout out two random numbers, from which they made a time signature, and a topic. Then they improvised an entire song called 'Monkeys and Popcorn.' 

So, Saturday then.

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