Results tagged “duck fight goose” from Jake Newby

Duck Fight Goose interview on Noisey


If you were at Duck Fight Goose's release for their brilliant new album a few weeks back, you'll have noticed a bunch of cameras in Yuyintang. Some of them were from Noisey, the music channel thing from the Vice people. This here is the resulting video. More on DFG and the album here.

The Sound of Beijing mixtape

2011120502421263_Medium.jpgMatthew Niederhauser (who you'll know from those famous shots of Chinese bands in D-22 and other excellent photography) and Zhang Shouwang (who you'll know for being the driving force of Carsick Cars) have put together a mixtape for Domus' city series. Naturally, it mainly focuses on bands from the capital, but there are a couple of non-Beijing acts on there too, including Duck Fight Goose. In fact, the DFG song is taken from their debut album Sports, released on Friday at Yuyintang, so if you haven't heard anything from the record yet, here's your chance to check out the track 'Golden Gate'. There's loads more great stuff on there too though, so check it out here

Boys in the 'jing

6cbde9b4gw1dnls697bk1j.jpgJust a heads up for those of you reading this in the cold north - two of Shanghai's finest will be in Beijing this Friday as Boys Climbing Ropes and X is Y release their split CD Summer and Winter Warfare at D-22. They'll also be at Yugong Yishan the next night. It's a great record and you'd be a fool not to head to either of these release parties. You can check out a couple of tracks and read more about the CD here.

Also on their way up north are Duck Fight Goose, another of Shanghai's best exports. Their debut LP, Sports, will get a release party in Beijing on Saturday 17 - another date for your diary. Read more about that one here.

It's been a great year for Shanghai releases, and these are two of the best, so if you're in Beijing, make sure you get to these gigs.

DFG off to SXSW

p1251457947.jpgOne of Shanghai's finest, Duck Fight Goose, are set to play the legendary SXSW music festival next year. It's fantastic news for the band, who become the latest in an increasingly long line of Chinese acts to play the renowned event in Austin, Texas.

In other DFG news, an interview with Han Han has just gone up on Co-incide here and their debut LP Sports is apparently due out soon (hopefully the end of next month, if not, December).

Duck Fight Goose in the Shanghai Daily

'WHEN the gaze of the international rock music press turns on China, it tends to focus to Beijing. But over in the peripheral, Shanghai has three bands that have received some due: Pairs, Top Floor Circus and Duck Fight Goose.'

So starts a piece on Duck Fight Goose in today's Shanghai Daily. Read the whole thing here.

SUBS and Duck Fight Goose, Yuyintang

0 034.jpgI got to Yuyintang fairly early last night because I expected it to be rammed. A free gig with SUBS headlining ought to have been, even on a Thursday night. Eventually the crowd did pick up, but I think it was largely swelled by a bus-load of people on a 'Converse tour of Shanghai', which meant that they weren't necessarily dedicated gig goers. The atmosphere suffered a little as a result, despite a dedicated crowd of fans at the front - something Kang Mao herself remarked upon during SUBS's set. It wasn't quite a denouncement in the style of Windows Tembo a few years back when she swore at everyone not in the mosh pit, but still. 

More promotion might have helped, although it was always a bit dubious as to whether this was a private event or not. Despite the corporate backing, to be fair there was little in the way of branding on either the bands or the venue and it felt very much like a normal gig in most respects. Not that any of that mattered massively to be honest. You get the feeling SUBS would give an energetic performance to a crowd of three, whether those people were into it or not. 

Reminder: SUBS for free tonight


SUBS play at Yuyintang tonight for free with Duck Fight Goose. 9.30pm, be there.
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.

Shanghai 24/7 launch, Yuyintang

shanghai 24 7 002.jpgI was actually thinking of going to see Shanren on Friday night and check out the new MAO Livehouse, but then I bumped into Ho-Tom The Conqueror at lunch time and he reminded me that he was on the bill for the Shanghai 24/7 thing so I ended up going to watch the same bands that I always watch at the same venue I always go to. Or at least, that's how it looked on paper. The night actually ended up having a surprisingly fresh feel to it.

Of course there's the new Yuyintang, but after a few gigs there now I can't claim not to be used to the refurbishments any more. It was more to do with the bands. Ho-Tom himself kicked off and was joined not only by regular conquering companions Franco and George, but also by the full Song Dynasty line-up. It's the first time I've seen him with a full band backing like that and he made the most of it, playing the longest set I've seen him do at Yuyintang. The full band brought something different to his songs and the crowd got into it too. Word is they're all recording some songs together so, though it'll be a few months yet, I'm looking forward to that one.

X is Y were up next and seem to be playing all their songs in double time these days. They certainly have a lot more energy and punchiness (for want of a better word) about them. Their set got off to a flyer and didn't really look back, with people jumping around again (which as Mr Fossy noted the other day was something that didn't really happen much before at X is Y gigs). Of course, despite the new energy to their set, the songs are still notably X is Y tracks, which is a good thing - I just feel like they've found a new balance to their sound that is working really well for them at the moment.

Decisions, decisions (part two)

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.

Duck Fight Gooseness

p883694229.jpgAs well as working on a few new songs, Duck Fight Goose have been busy creating some new visuals recently. Here are some of the results. See the band live at Zhijiang Dream Factory on Saturday 19 and at Yuyintang on Friday 25. 

Reasons to be cheerful

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
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.

Shanghai bands on The Guardian

p442773267.jpgTwo Shanghai bands have been featured on The Guardian recently, with Rainbow Danger Club and Duck Fight Goose both getting mentions on the British newspaper's website. 

First up, the MAP project featured Rainbow Danger Club's 'Neighbours on the Rooftops'. The Music Alliance Pact asks 35 blogs around the world to post up their track of the month each month, with my good friend Henry Barnes doing the honours for The Guardian. Last month's offering of the RDC track came from Wooozy. See the full list here.

After that, Duck Fight Goose were picked out by Louis Pattison as a band to watch in 2011 in The Guardian's round up of international acts to look out for this year. You can read that article, with some comments from Shanghai's own Dan Shapiro, right here.

Are you watching Beijing?

Duck Fight Goose EP release at Yuyintang

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.

Own some original SanSan artwork

33.jpgWell, sort of. These postcards are available from Link Shanghai down in Tianzifang, a shop where they also have some Popil t-shirts and a very cool book from her too. But these postcards in the photo are SanSan's handiwork and they're great. I forget how much I paid for them, but they're not very expensive and obviously worth it.

Speaking of SanSan, I hope you've not forgotten that the Duck Fight Goose EP release is tonight. It's a big big night for Shanghai rock, so get to Yuyintang and get yourself a copy of that Flow record, you won't regret it.


We've talked enough about Duck Fight Goose on this blog for regular readers to know how highly we rate them. One of their members, Han Han, has also been covered a fair bit on this site and his various side projects and activities are always something we take an interest in. This is his latest one, a solo project entitled GOOOOSE. Here's what he says about the process: 'Pure hardware music, no sounds are from computer. And they are all recorded live, no multi-track mixing.' Click here to give it a listen.

The Fever Machine and friends at Yuyintang

e312859.jpgNo promotional problems here. Despite going up against a whole bunch of other high profile events such as the JZ Festival in Century Park and the opening night of Shanghai Pride, the Shapiro publicity machine did its job and pulled in a big crowd for four of the city's best bands last night.

Rainbow Danger Club kicked things off with a great set. Jesse from the band was kind enough to send me a couple of mp3s the other day of demos from the CD they're currently working on and I've had them on repeat ever since. They're a quality band with a great sound and I can't wait to hear the CD when it comes out.

The Instigation were on next and caused the biggest ruckus of the night with their shouty punk. Singer Simon sang from in front of the speakers rather than on stage, marching up and down at the front of the crowd and occasionally getting drawn into the group of people throwing themselves around like crazy. It was a good show.

The Fever Machine took to the stage after them and produced the solid rawk display that you'd expect. Again it was a performance from a band of quality musicians on a night full of them. The band had a couple of new tracks added in to their repertoire and they're another act who are hopefully thinking of laying down a CD soon. In the meantime, you can listen to, and download, some of their tracks here.

Duck Fight Goose were last on and, despite it being 1am by the time they took to the stage, a big crowd stuck around to watch them. They weren't disappointed. The band have received a lot of hype in the local media in recent months and with good reason: they are fucking brilliant. The only worry is that they're going to run out of room on the YYT stage to put all their pedals and effects gadgets - every time they've added something new (last night it was this white, iPad-like box with a glowing red screen, not sure what that was). Their CD should be out next month and to say that I'm excited about it doesn't even come close.

All in all, a great night with four top notch bands.

Buy yourself a strange rock bag

T1WUpJXoxlXXbbLEQT_013350.jpg_310x310.jpgYou might have seen a few people around town (myself included) sporting one of these rather fashionable Adventure of Strange Rock bags the last couple of months. As you can see, they come from the tour of the same name that Boojii and Duck Fight Goose put on a while back. They look amazing, are good quality bags and will make you at least ten times more attractive to members of the opposite sex. Promise. If that sounds like your bag, click here and buy a whole load on Taobao.

Pairs and Duck Fight Goose support Handsome Furs

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.
p518927125.jpgUPDATE This guy has gone and done a proper write up of the event.

As I was partly involved in organising this event, I'm not going to do a proper review type thing. I should point out though that I wasn't all that involved really - this was mostly Andy's doing and he deserves the credit for making this all happen, even if he gave me the finger when I said as much on stage last night.

So yeah, a big thank you to all of you who came out for the show and decided on some brilliant photographs and bands over Panic at the Disco! for 350 kuai. Thanks to Yuyintang and especially Supes for letting us host the whole thing at their place, thanks to Boojii and Duck Fight Goose and Brad for being amazing as always and thanks to Ren Hang for coming here and sharing his work with everyone and for being a good house guest (you too, Fish, I love this photo). Also a big thank you to Sacco for carting all his gear over and DJing for us - I have a horrible feeling I forgot to mention him when I was on stage last night, it's not personal, I'm just not a good public speaker (that and the beers didn't help).

This is Ren Hang's first time in Shanghai, but something tells me he'll be back before long - let's hope so.

That's it really. The turn out was fantastic, the photos and bands more than worthy of so many people and I had a great time. Hopefully you did too. Thanks.

You've not forgotten about this have you?

e262052.jpgSeriously, that'd be worse than forgetting about Dre. A reminder:

Saturday 31st July, Yuyintang, 9pm. Mark that down. Carve it into the wall above your bed. Tattoo it on to your hand if you have to. This is an event you don't want to miss. Why? Because this is the line-up:

Ren Hang + Boojii + Duck Fight Goose

Ren Hang is going to display some of his incredible photography at Yuyintang and two of Shanghai's best bands, both proponents of 'strange rock' are going to provide the music. It's a real taste of China's avant garde and the whole night will only set you back 40RMB. As if that wasn't enough, DJ Sacco will be there spinning some quality rock tunes as well.

This blog has been accused of hyping certain events in the past, and of course this is something we're organising so we're biased, but seriously, this is definitely something you don't want to miss. There's no hype necessary either - from merely posting the event on Douban, we already have well over 1,000 people interested. Of course, not all of those will turn up, but compare that to your average gig listing on Douban and you'll see the numbers are pretty impressive. It should translate into a healthy crowd, so get there early.

A little background: Ren Hang is an amazing photographer. There's no point in me trying to describe what he does when I can just point you in the direction of his work. Go here and take your time going through all those albums, there's some great stuff in there. Also, remember that Pet Conspiracy naturist shoot? That was for Moon Magazine. Ren Hang is Editor in Chief there.

Boojii are one of Shanghai's leading lights when it comes to 'strange rock'. Their album Reserved is an outstanding record and they are a fantastic live act. Read more about Boojii here.

Duck Fight Goose need little introduction to regular readers of the blog. They are quite simply an immense talent. Read more about Duck Fight Goose here. presents: Eat Naked Lunch

e262052.jpgSaturday 31st July, Yuyintang, 9pm. Mark that down. Carve it into the wall above your bed. Tattoo it on to your hand if you have to. This is an event you don't want to miss. Why? Because this is the line-up:

Ren Hang + Boojii + Duck Fight Goose

Ren Hang is going to display some of his incredible photography at Yuyintang and two of Shanghai's best bands, both proponents of 'strange rock' are going to provide the music. It's a real taste of China's avant garde and the whole night will only set you back 40RMB. As if that wasn't enough, DJ Sacco will be there spinning some quality rock tunes as well.

This blog has been accused of hyping certain events in the past, and of course this is something we're organising so we're biased, but seriously, this is definitely something you don't want to miss. There's no hype necessary either - from merely posting the event on Douban, we already have well over 1,000 people interested. Of course, not all of those will turn up, but compare that to your average gig listing on Douban and you'll see the numbers are pretty impressive. It should translate into a healthy crowd, so get there early.

A little background: Ren Hang is an amazing photographer. There's no point in me trying to describe what he does when I can just point you in the direction of his work. Go here and take your time going through all those albums, there's some great stuff in there. Also, remember that Pet Conspiracy naturist shoot? That was for Moon Magazine. Ren Hang is Editor in Chief there.

Boojii are one of Shanghai's leading lights when it comes to 'strange rock'. Their album Reserved is an outstanding record and they are a fantastic live act. Read more about Boojii here.

Duck Fight Goose need little introduction to regular readers of the blog. They are quite simply an immense talent. Read more about Duck Fight Goose here.

It's a big weekend of live music

p458963873.jpgUPDATE: Check out the comments where a couple of people in the know have made up for my ill-informed support act ramblings.

So things are supposed to quieten down here in the summer. Someone forgot to tell the local promoters evidently, as there's a whole bunch of 'shit, I'm really not sure which show to go to' moments coming up this weekend. Here's how it's going down:


Not Me, FREE! It might not be live exactly, but Sacco's Indie Heart Attack is off. The. Hook. Go, go, go.


MAO Livehouse, 40RMB. Duck Fight Goose and Boojii bring their Adventure of Strange Rock tour back home with a show at MAO. The Fever Machine are in support so make sure you get there promptly (9pm). As if that wasn't enough, the bill is completed by 8 Eye Spy, the Nanjing experimental rock act whose album Yang Haisong says is the record he's most proud of (he produced it).

Zhijiang Dream Factory, 150RMB. Caribou, the Canadian guy and his band, not the Pixies song, hit town thanks to the good people at Splitworks. Not sure who's in support, but it's a big show all the same.


MAO Livehouse, 80RMB. By all accounts excellent Beijing bluegrass act The Redbucks come down our way to promote their new album.

Not Me, 25RMB. The latest Mini-E showcase sees Sun Ye take prominence with new material and remixes of his stuff by ZiSTER and MHP, the other two acts to play on the night.

Yuyintang, 40RMB. More Canadian band action as Jets Overhead land at Yuyintang. If you were at Midi in Zhenjiang last year, you probably remember them. The brilliant Pairs are in support, which makes for a nice match up at 40 kuai.

696 Livehouse, 50RMB. 696 haven't revealed the name of the local band that they've booked to play tonight. Wonder why? Maybe they're a bit controversial or something? Who knows? They're promising a (ahem) top (ahem) act though so might be worth heading up to Hongkou for a look...

That lot should keep you busy anyway.

Bits and bobs

This is another one of those posts with a bunch of random links and what not, that aren't really related to each other except for the fact that they all relate to underground music here in Shanghai. Don't expect it to flow too well, but all the points are noteworthy. Let's go.

First up, check out the picture on the right. Fuck yeah. Hopefully the release party will be free so we can have some more of this.

Speaking of new albums, Pinkberry have managed to shift over 100 units of theirs in the first month. Maybe 100 doesn't sound like a lot, but bear in mind that the release party for the band's debut EP Go! Boom! was stomped all over by Haibao so they've not done badly. The band have recovered some of their mojo of late and have reportedly gone down particularly well in Zhu Lu He Feng's recent spate of university tours. You can catch them in action supporting Subs together with Boys Climbing Ropes on Friday at MAO Livehouse.

Zhu Lu He Feng's first round of university tours is now complete and, as I mentioned before, they've pulled in decent numbers. So much so that the label has received invitations from a load more universities to come and play on their campuses. Whether this can translate into more numbers at regular gig venues in the city is questionable of course, especially for students based way out in Songjiang or up in Yangpu, but hopefully it'll help feed into the scene in general and help the development of these young bands.

MR, newly signed to the Zhu Lu He Feng collective has put up a new track recently.

As has Sister Whale (a Velvet Underground cover), part of Grand Flower Children, who unfortunately had their gig with Cocoon messed up by a complete freakout 'personal issue' for the French duo the other week.

Even more exciting than that are two newly uploaded tracks from Duck Fight Goose. It's been a while since I engaged in the blogging equivalent of foaming at the mouth over this band, but I saw them last week as part of the TransmitChina thingy and they were as outstandingly brilliant as ever. Their Adventure of Strange Rock tour with Boojii winds up in Shanghai at MAO Livehouse on July 2 - you'd be an absolute fool to miss it. Talking to Yang Haisong (ahem, name dropping) outside LOgO last Friday, he was saying how much he likes the band and is keen to get them into the studio. Please can we have a DFG album soon?

And that's about your lot for now.

Boys in Beijing

xiaopengke.jpgYou guys up in the capital have been getting a whole load of Shanghai goodness coming your way lately. About time. First The Mushrooms tore shit up at MAO, then it was announced that Duck Fight Goose and Boojii were heading your way (three times no less) and now you're getting Boys Climbing Ropes up there too. Sure, BCR have played up north before, but this time, in addition to a 2 Kolegas show with the amazingness that is Reptile Retard, they're going to be on stage at the Strawberry Festival. Not too shabby.

We've spoken and blogged a bit before about how Shanghai has this reputation for cheesy rock and how the scene here always suffers in comparison to that in Beijing. Fine. But these three bands prove that there's more to it than that. These are three of my favourite bands. There's no need to add qualifiers like "in Shanghai" or "in China", they are three top quality bands on any scale. 

Boys Climbing Ropes played last night at the Stegosaurus? CD release thing (more on that in a minute) and, though they only played a few songs, they were brilliant. I'm not sure how many times I've seen them now, but they're just so good every time. I've written plenty before about how good Duck Fight Goose and Boojii are too. So yeah, get out and see all of three.

Maybe we don't have as developed a scene as Beijing here in Shanghai, but if Duck Fight Goose, Boojii and Boys Climbing Ropes are the bands we're exporting at the moment then people need to stop writing Shanghai off. With those three flying the flag for the city, we're doing alright.

Photos: DFG are cool

p417423694.jpgUPDATE: Another new image here. It's freaky. Go look at it.

Check out these new photos of Duck Fight Goose. They'll be going on tour in May with fellow blog favourites Boojii (not surprising given the similarity of the line-ups), which is good news for anyone living outside Shanghai. Good news for us too really, as there are plans afoot to do a couple of gigs here as well. Another thing for you to file under "exciting" is the news that DFG are also planning an EP in the near future. Who can honestly say they're not looking forward to hearing that? In the meantime, whet your appetite by downloading the three tracks on the DFG page here, though if you can get those download links to work you're a better person than I.

On a side note, I finally managed to get my hands on Boojii's Reserved album and it's seriously good. Find it if you can.

Post-CNY malaise ends

4082441910_447be9b72a.jpgYou've probably noticed that posts on this blog have dropped off a bit lately. There's a couple of reasons - one is that I've been insanely busy with other stuff, the other is that it was Chinese New Year recently and therefore the live music scene shut down for a couple of weeks. For the former, I'm afraid that's just going to happen and when it does, you need to go here. For the latter, it's well and truly over now as this weekend shows.

Things start on Thursday with Break for Borneo at YYT. That's got Gooda Boys, Mis.Whale! and Stegosaurus? too. Speaking of Stegosaurus?, Andy mentions that they're close to finishing a CD, so keep an eye out for that and go check out the demos that have been popping up on their Douban recently. If you like what you hear, things kick off at 9pm on Thursday and it's free entry so get on down there.

MAO Livehouse have got Taiwanese pop-rockers 1976 both Friday and Saturday nights, but if that's not your thing, Yuyintang have Big Qiang Dao on the Friday. That's Sonnet, Pinkberry, Manbanpai (Hama's new band) and Yinle. That one starts at 9pm and is 40RMB.

Podcast SE02 Ep Three: Loudspeaker I Will Be Back


This is episode three of series two and it goes a little something like this...

There's reviews of last weekend's gigs including the Playful Warrior show at YYT and a CD release from someone or other. We have a good old chin wag about Douban (which is like crack to us) and the impressive numbers being racked up by some local indie folk acts there. Then, we take a look ahead to this weekend by previewing some of the gigs that you can catch around town. Go listen.

You know what to do with these:

Playful Warrior write up
Chaos Mind
Six Shot
BCR + DFG write up
Boys Climbing Ropes
Duck Fight Goose

Folk Douban
Andy's post
Mogu Hong
List of the top artists on Douban

The last New Vector Show
Video: New Vector's Run Just Run
Jehosaphat Blow and the Blah Blah Blahs

Boys Climbing Ropes and Duck Fight Goose at YYT

bcr.jpgSo Andy was joking on the pod that I was foaming at the mouth over this gig and it's true I was really looking forward to it - even though I've seen both these bands loads of times now, I felt it would be a great show. And it was. Boys Climbing Ropes have, with production from Brad Ferguson, released an accomplished CD and last night's gig showed them at their best. Everything sounded great, the crowd kicked off right from the start and it was just an all round brilliant show.

Naturally, they played material that was mostly from the new CD, but they also slipped in a couple of old favourites. It's the kind of music that deserves to have a room full of people jumping around to it and last night it happened - they got the response they deserve. I'm running out of ways to describe just how much I like this band.

Same goes for Duck Fight Goose. I know I say this every time I see them, but they just get better and better. The bar is already pretty high from their previous performances, but each time they play, they just seem to improve on it. Again, I'm running out of superlatives for them, but they really are that good. If you've never seen this band play before, you seriously need to get along to their next show, they are outstanding. Someone needs to get those guys in the studio now.

As a postscript, I got to LOgO for Dan'sToshi's night there in time to catch some of Jehosophat Blow and the Blah Blah Blahs. I'm not going to write too much about them as I didn't see the whole show, but give that link a click, listen to their stuff and if you like it, I'm fairly sure they'll be at Yuyintang on Friday. I'll confirm that when I can...Confirmed. Details here

More Boys Climbing Ropes watch

P1300118.JPGNot sure if I've mentioned this already or not, but Boys Climbing Ropes are releasing their new CD tonight. The CD is excellent, the band are on top form and Brad Ferguson has, as usual, done wonders. It's a top quality release and if you don't love it when you listen to it, then you need to get your hearing checked out.

I went to see Andrew Bird last night, a sell out at the Dream Factory and one of the most idiosyncratic performances you're ever likely to see, but Andy caught a gig of a slightly different nature. Read about it here.

But yeah, tonight at Yuyintang with Duck Fight Goose in support. Call it hype if you like, but I am genuinely very much looking forward to this gig. You should be too.

Good Jive at Yuyintang

bcr.jpgLast night saw the launch of Good Jive down at YYT, a night organised by Han Han to promote more experimental and interesting music. It's fair to say it lived up to that billing.

It was a decent if not massive crowd, largely populated by foreigners, who saw Rainbow Danger Club kick things off. The band are pretty new but have been formed by the guy who used to front The Living Thin way back when. They had a good sound, bringing a trumpeter on stage for part of their performance too, and played a solid set.

Boys Climbing Ropes were up next, which I was a bit surprised by - I'd assumed they'd be higher up the bill given that I'd never heard of Attractive Rootine, but anyway. Boys Climbing Ropes gave a nice taster in preparation for their album release in a couple of weeks - they were excellent. I've been listening to the last EP a lot recently in anticipation of the new one and seriously can't wait. Don't miss the release party on the 30th, it's going to be huge.

Next, the night took a turn for the bizarre with a performance from Attractive Rootine. The act consisted of a girl on a constantly feedbacking mic (it wasn't really clear if it was intentional or not) and a guy in a suit and a gimp mask flicking switches and twiddling dials on a pretty complicated looking set up. It was dancey, but no one danced. In fact, the crowd dwindled considerably - no one really knew quite what to make of it and so many just plumped for leaving.

It was a shame because they will have missed Duck Fight Goose close the night out with yet another fine performance. Actually, the crowd did seem to swell a bit again once they took the stage, but it wasn't as busy as it could have been. Regardless, DFG were on fine form.
maimai.jpgThere's a bunch of good gigs this month - Good Jive kicks off at YYT tonight with Duck Fight Goose, Boys Climbing Ropes (also part of Good Jive tonight) are releasing their new CD at the end of the month and there's the Maybe Mars showcase coming to town in a week or so too.

But there's also a great experimental night coming up: RESO 10, organised by Mai Mai. He's been hard at work of late, putting up a new track on his personal Douban (the bottom one here), two new turntable solos as the Asthma Writers Union (here) and finalising the line-up for the tenth RESO. If you've never been to a RESO night before, this could be the one to head to. In addition to Mai Mai himself, the night will feature three quarters of Duck Fight Goose (33, Han Han and Shen Shu) as well as Sun Ye, performing in various combinations. Definitely worth checking out in other words. It'll be on Sunday 24th and there's more details here.

Random other news: Because I can't think of anywhere else to put this, I'm also going to mention here that Sonnet are working on a new EP. The plan is for it to be out in March or April.

Han Han launches Good Jive

e175425.jpgAndy and I have spoken/written before about the search for a new Shanghai sound, or at least the attempts to shake off the cheesy rock label handed the city in the late '90s and early '00s. One emerging sound is emo, as Andy has written here. Definitely check out the FAF video here too, it's a corker. If you like what you see/hear, you can download the track for free off their Douban page

But the real reason we started talking about this was because of the crop of Miniless-affiliated bands in the city. Muscle Snog produced a fantastic album late last year, Boojii had a record out too (brilliant band, but I'm still to hear the CD) and the emergence of Duck Fight Goose led us to ponder whether Shanghai might become known for more experimental rock. 

Now, Han Han has launched Good Jive, an organisation whose aim is exactly that. Good Jive is a loosely defined organisation but, according to Han Han, the idea is to promote more interesting types of music in Shanghai and act as a counter-weight to what he sees as too much pop-rock in the city. 

If you're still not up to speed on who Han Han is, he's in Lava/Ox/Sea and Duck Fight Goose and recently joined Boojii. Originally based in Hefei, but now living in Shanghai, he also helped found Miniless records and has a fantastic approach to music and the community here. This was his view on the aims of Miniless when I interviewed him back in June last year:

'Hmmmmm...maybe to spread something, but only spreading, not pushing. It's a little hard to explain that "something", I'd rather say we are trying to bring young people an option. Yes, an optional option. This is also the mission. And I hope this option could help the growth of a certain "Scene", which is totally different than the others in other countries'

Check out a great interview with him here too, from a year previous to mine. 

With such views and with Han Han at the helm, it'll be interesting to see how this goes and what impact Good Jive has on the local music scene here - whether it can help foster more experimental bands in Shanghai. 

Good Jive's first event will be at Yuyintang on January 15 and will feature Duck Fight Goose, Rainbow Danger Club, Attractive Rootine and Boys Climbing Ropes.

The Shanghai bands of 2009

I was talking to Elaine at Shanghaiist the other day about the Shanghai bands who had a good year in 2009. They've been doing all kinds of lists over at the 'ist this week (including this one from Archie Hamilton on the best China music moments of the last five years) and she wanted to do one on the bands of the year. I gave her my opinion and I've summarised it below here. 

Despite the hopes of some that 2010 could be a strong year for international music acts in Shanghai, it could be a disastrous one for the local scene. The Beijing Olympics effectively caused a shutdown of local gigs and the Expo is threatening to do the same - the difference being that Expo runs for six whole months. Mao has already been called in for a chat with the powers that be after they organised a Top Floor Circus show that saw the band voice dissent against Expo. They've since had a subsequent TFC gig banned. Yuyintang is now talking about closing down for a few months in 2010. The impact that the closure of these venues would have is enormous and is something to be deeply worried about.

2009, on the other hand was a strong year for Shanghai bands. Here's five who particularly stood out for me in the past twelve months.

Rock for Roots & Shoots, Yuyintang

boojii.jpgThere were six bands last night, so things got underway early. For once, I was on time though (actually, I was embarrassingly early, but never mind). The line-up was a really good one, although oddly it didn't seem to have attracted much of a gig-going crowd. The night was up against Au Revoir Simone over at Mao, which may have had an impact, and of course we talked about it on the pod, which is always the kiss of death for a night. Regardless, a lot of the people who were there seemed to be there for Roots & Shoots rather than there for the music. That's fine, it's a good cause obviously, but it doesn't necessarily make for the best gig atmosphere.

Resist Resist kicked things off. They get better every time I see them and the addition of Tim Anderson on the drums has made a real difference. If there'd been more people there, everyone would have been dancing like crazy. Or like Little Punk.

Video: Duck Fight Goose at MAO

And here's a video from last night of Duck Fight Goose performing their brand of "death ray rock". It's shot at kind of an odd angle - sorry about that. It's because I was just holding the camera in front of my chest and not really watching the screen - I prefer to watch the bands properly rather than on the back of my camera. I like to get videos for the blog, but I also like to enjoy the gigs and, unlike the people with long lense cameras who flooded MAO last night, I don't like getting in people's way with my camera.

Still, it's not a bad quality clip so give it a click all the same.
Pet Conspiracy at MAODiscoballs, alien-like headsets, toy guns, gay kisses. After all the hype, Pet Conspiracy didn't disappoint.

They certainly know how to make an entrance. Last time I'd seen them it'd been on all fours in chains. This time Helen Feng came on stage wrapped in a huge length of red cloth with a silver mask over her head. Check out this photo to see what I mean. YunYun entered atop Huzi's shoulders. From there they launched into a powerful set that had people jumping around like mad. For those who weren't seeing Pet Conspiracy live for the first time, there were some things that were familiar, but it was nevertheless a great performance and, as this was their first time in Shanghai, this will have been most of the audience's first experience of them. They left the crowd buzzing.

Before them Boys Climbing Ropes and Duck Fight Goose had got the night going, interspersed with the Baijiu Robots and other DJs. On the podcast, I mentioned that my hunch would be that the bands would all go on first, followed by the DJs. But Andy thought otherwise and so it proved.

Duck Fight Goose opened the night while the venue was still filling up. An inflatable Haibao with an erection positioned at the front of their stage, the band produced a great performance. With a high quality soundsystem, all Han Han's loops and effects really come through and now that they've got a decent number of songs to their name, the band are really coming into their own. Given the assorted talents on display, it's hardly a surprise, but Duck Fight Goose are a fantastic act and are definitely a band to watch.

So too are Boys Climbing Ropes, but then you probably already knew that. I'm seriously looking forward to the new record and there were a couple of new songs in last night's set that I assume are taken from it. Despite Little Punk being hidden behind a bizarre keyboard set up, they are another band who really do the set up at MAO justice with their music.

All in all a successful night for the Antidote crew I'd say. More photos after the jump.

Don't forget: Hanggai at the Dream Factory tonight.

Did I mention Pet Conspiracy are playing tonight?

petmoon.jpgSavour those naturist photos of Pet Conspiracy. The album has now mysteriously disappeared. In its place though, are a series of shots from a photo shoot for Moon magazine. They're not as funny, they're just gory, but there's some nudity there if that's what you're after. Turns out that's where the one of them holding cigarettes for each other comes from as well. You can download the magazine, which features an interview with the band (in Chinese) here. Or just look at the pictures here.

So a recap then:

Pet Conspiracy tonight at MAO, 9pm, 60 kuai. One of the hottest bands from Beijing right now, this show is going to be crazy.

Boys Climbing Ropes in support. One of the finest bands in Shanghai, these guys are always brilliant live. Check out the latest podcast for one of their tracks.

Duck Fight Goose on the bill too. Take LAVA/OX/SEA's Hans, Boojii/Muscle Snog's San San, Boojii/Hard Queen's Damen and Muscle Snog's Panda and you've got yourself some of the finest musicians in the country. In one band.

Don't miss this.

I'm not affiliated with this show in any way, I just want you all to come because if we can pack out MAO, this show is going to be unforgettable. Be there.

Culture Clash, Yuyintang

Picture 1.pngIn the absence of a review on their own website, I thought I'd give you a quick word-of-mouth-rundown on Layabozi's event at Yuyintang last Friday. Before you get into that, you can check out a few photos from the night here, courtesy of Graeme Nicol - including this one of Little Punk on the right. You can also read about how I thought it was going to be an interesting face off against the ultimately poorly attended punk night at MAO by going here and, finally, you can hear the whole thing discussed in Andy and I's dulcet tones by listening to the podcast here.

So anyway, I saw one of the organisers on Sunday and they said that the night pulled in about 250 people. They mentioned that it was a mainly foreign crowd and that quite a few of the punters said that they'd never been to Yuyintang before. Hopefully they'll come back for more then.

By all accounts they were given a good taste of what the Shanghai live music scene has to offer besides dodgy cover bands in dodgier bars. From what we've heard over here at Kungfuology towers, all the bands - Duck Fight Goose, The Dovetail Joints, Weyghur (still not sure how I should be spelling that one, sorry) and Boys Climbing Ropes - put in strong performances. Crucially, there's been praise for how the event was organised and run, even though BCR didn't get on until 2:20am. Get on the comments if you went along by the way.

Congratulations to the folks over at Layabozi for pulling off a successful night. They've said their focus is still the site obviously, but the plan is for more events bearing their name in the future so keep an eye out for those. Now they just need to update the site a bit more regularly.

Culture Clash vs Three Represents

culture clash.jpgLayabozi, "a web magazine about music in Shanghai today, with a sprinkle of the extra-mural and a tart sassiness--without ever being cloying", are going into events promotion. They put on this Mushroom Jazz event last weekend and tonight they're promoting an event called Culture Clash.

They're not the first website/events link in on the local music scene obviously. Rock Shanghai (more on them in a minute) have done the same - read the review of their one year anniversary here - did one back in July and Indie Heart Attack have their weekly DJ nights at Not Me. Hmm, maybe we should start doing a Kungfuology night. Just kidding. Hopefully these nights help drive more traffic to the sites in question and, as a consequence, this helps those sites develop and post more regular content. We'll see.

I'm not sure why they've called it Culture Clash to be honest. But what I do know is that it clashes with a big gig at MAO. Misandao, the skinhead punk band, are down from Beijing for a gig with two other punk bands that they're calling The Three Represents (in a nod to a famous speech by Hu Jintao). Not only that, but they've got Mortal Fools on the bill as well. That's a pretty fearsome line-up at any time, but throw in the news that it'll be drummer Tim Anderson's last gig with The Mo'Fo's and you've got yourself a potentially explosive night.

This is the first time since MAO opened where there are two fairly big gigs going on at both Yuyintang and MAO at the same time. I'm seriously not sure which one I'm going to go to at the moment - it's the first night where it's not been a no-brainer. That makes it interesting on two fronts: one, how many people will turn out at the respective gigs? Two, who will turn out?

MAO needs around 400 I'd say to have a decent atmosphere. It can pack in more of course, but any less and thing might start to look a little sparse. The reason Shanghai needs a mid-sized venue like MAO is because Yuyintang starts to get cramped at anything over 300. So how will it go? In a city of 19 million, it seems ridiculous that we should wonder whether both venues can be supported, but it'll be interesting to see what numbers both places get.

A little bit about Boojii

boojii.jpg"It's a bit of a freak," says Boojii's SanSan of their forthcoming album Reserved. "It's extremely sweet and extremely cold and bitter at the same time." Maybe so, but together with Muscle Snog's release of Mind Shop, the record is another important milestone for Shanghai's experimental indie scene.

Boojii have been around for a number of years, gigging sporadically, but with more consistency in the last 12 months. The band's name, says SanSan, doesn't really have any meaning. "There's no link to the band or the music or sexy films stars or anything like that - I just like it because it sounds cute. If I could choose another name it'd be 少女呕吐物 [Girl Vomit]." 

SanSan was formerly in 33Island and Boojii's other members - Sun Ye, Damen and Jiang Zhendong (also formerly of 33Island) - have all been, or are currently, involved in other prominent bands in Shanghai. SanSan is currently also part of Muscle Snog and Duck Fight Goose (together with Damen) two of the city's other leading experimental indie bands. So how does Boojii compare? "The main difference is that in Boojii, everyone has to listen to me!" she jokes.

Yet given the array of talent involved in the band, there is naturally plenty of collaboration. "I usually write the songs at first," says SanSan, "and then we'll play around with them when we practice and the others will all add their new ideas and thoughts. Once Sun Ye adds his guitar parts, there's more finesse to the songs. The process of putting together Boojii songs has always been very inspirational."

Louis Yu talks to Miniless' Han Han

kaleidoscope.jpgLouis Yu is a DJ on the University of Victoria's student radio station who recently started producing a show called 夏日的实验 (Summer Experiment) - a Mandarin language show about indie rock music. In the past, Louis has interviewed head of Splitworks Archie Hamilton and former Shanghai music scenester Aric S Queen. In the latest episode of his show, Louis speaks to Miniless Records head honcho and front man for Lava|Ox|Sea and Duck Fight Goose Han Han/Hans.

Han Han is a fascinating guy (you can read my interview with him from a month ago here) and on Louis' show he talks some more about Lava|Ox|Sea and indie music. In addition to playing Concrete Avalanche from the outstanding LOS album Next Episode:Lord Smart VS Dr Jin, Louis also rounds out the show with another Miniless pick, this time Fading Horizon's Bloody Square. You can listen to the whole show and Louis' interview with Han Han, by going here and downloading mp3. Just a reminder: the show is in Mandarin.

Hey, what's going on?

pupu.jpgI caught several great shows at the weekend. But something struck me about two of the three: the size of the audience. Coverpeople's audience was small and that was to be expected, but it was a bit thin on the ground for Guai Li at YYT on Friday and for Carsick Cars and PK14 at the Dream Factory on Saturday.

It struck me as strange because YYT has been packed on a regular basis the last few weeks, regardless of who's been playing. Guai Li (quite apart from my mild crush) are one of the up and coming Beijing buzz bands and support from Duck Fight Goose (an admittedly new band) and Boojii meant a good overall line-up. Yet come half nine - the advertised and planned start time - Yuyintang was pretty empty. This meant Duck Fight Goose didn't come on until a fair bit later and, though people did start to drip in, by the time Guai Li were on it was hardly rammed.

Likewise, Dream Factory pulled in a decent sized crowd on Saturday night, but given that Carsick Cars and PK14, two of China's biggest indie bands, were on the bill it should have been packed.

There were competing shows on both nights. Second Hand Rose were at the Dream Factory on Friday, but they appeal to a different crowd and a friend (who incidentally left part way through SHR's set complaining they were 很土, ha!) told me that that was only half full. On Saturday, there was a good bunch of local bands playing at eno, while YYT had a pop punk act from Xinjiang. I don't know what the turn out was like for those two, but given the size of the crowds at some recent gigs, there should have been enough rock fans to go round.

So where was everyone? This Saturday, The Mushrooms have their their latest theme party while Ziyo are at the Dream Factory the same night. Will it be the same story? Is this the start of a summer malaise? Is it because the universities have broken up? Or something else? As The Mushrooms will no doubt scream this weekend (packed crowd or not), what's going on?


Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.