Results tagged “himdong” 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? 

Thanks everyone, show non-review

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picnic video
Warning: this is about a show that I organised and also played in. Total conflict of interest and you should be aware of this while reading my positive comments.

Thanks to everyone who came down to the Love is Colder than Death show on Saturday night. And thanks to the acts:

Himdong
Astrofuck
The Other
Tzu Sing

To be honest, I was worried that we were putting on an event at the exact quietest time of the scene calendar, in a heat wave and on the same night as several big music events - but also hoped that being different to all those other events would see us right. In the end we got a great turnout with some local fans even getting in before official doors open time so that Tzu Sing just kept playing on from the end of his check. 

Everyone did a great job. Tzu Sing set the atmosphere well and threw in some different stuff, that delighted me but that I'm under loose agreement not to talk about. It's related to one of our favourite 80s movies. The Other built on their last YYT set and added a video projection to the proceedings. I can't really comment on our set, Astrofuck, I guess. We did some new and never played live before tracks, they all seemed to go down fine and I really enjoyed myself. 

The real hit of the night came from Hua Jiao / HIMDONG. Everyone knows that Dong Heimu is a real talent on the scene, but since moving here from Xi'an he has struggled to get a stable line up and is always having to adapt his style. This time he came with a full band and ripped through some amazing post-punk tracks with stylistic hints of China scene post-punk and no wave acts in there such as The Fallacy, 8 Eye Spy and PK14. 

There's some recordings and clips on the way ... and hopefully a follow up night not too far away. 

Astrofuck show "Love is Colder than Death"

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laura palmer saturday flyer
Warning ... warning ... full disclosure: this post is talking about a show featuring a band I'm in and a show I organized. Please keep that in mind.

Ok, so our band Astrofuck made its live debut early this year and played five shows that were all a lot of fun and often on weekends at YYT with good audiences. Playing the Woozy night as part of the Jue Festival was really cool and the Nerdcore documentary and performance at 390 was a good time too. 

Then we put out some demos and this music video:

The Funeral youku / youtube / vimeo

Then came the slow summer period in Shanghai and we decided to work on new material, focusing on our more gothy side, and to try to book a show tailored to us. And so on Saturday August 17th at Yuyintang we have ...

"Love is Colder than Death"

It will cost 40 rmb on the door and feature post-punk, experimental, gothy and dark bands. That's probably an inadequate way to describe it. DJ Tzu Sing will open from 9 playing darkwave and industrial styles. Then The Other will play, then us doing a 45 minute plus set including completely new songs we have never played before. We also have HIMDONG closing out with some loop madness. It will be awesome and the perfect antidote to the thrown together, generalized, overpriced SH Summer Sonic night on over at the Stadium. I can say that cos SMG is a multi-billion corporation and we are just some friends putting on a 300 ppl show underground.

kainedou
Also, we are definitely playing "Dog Fucker's Manual." And for an insight into my upbringing, for the flyer I had to choose one image from pop culture that inspired me. If you recognize it then you found one of my significant formative experiences, when I was about 17. 

Alrighty, enough navel gazing, come on down to the show and here's our probable set list:

Five Kuai Bullet
The Funeral
Love Is Shit
Dog Fucker's Manual
Crystal Heart/Black Heart
Sponsor-friendly Self Harm
I P.M.
Patrick
I Can't Jump Into The Pool
Sugar Free Coke

And here's a video of The Other playing at YYT not that long ago:

Tudou: The Other

Live Beijing Music does Shanghai

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dingma sh cover
Pic: from the now classic open gallery of mock up Top Floor Circus Shanghai themed album covers

Live Beijing Music is an excellent blog documenting stuff in the Beijing music scene. And the blog has provided us with a first. That is, someone immersed in the Beijing scene came down to Shanghai for the weekend and totally picked up on all that is amazing here. Especially how great Yuyintang is. 

Some of the points he makes about Shanghai incidentally taught me stuff about Beijing too: some vendors and restaurants won't take bills with unlucky numbers?  For real?

Anyway, LBM put up four posts, with pics and videos galore. There's an overview, two YYT nights and record store day at Uptown.

Bad Taste Show @ 390 Bar

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bad taste 390
On Friday 9th I went to 390 Bar for the 'Bad Taste Show.' The line up:


There was a student band added at the last minute, who also brought along their friends and family. I think the idea was for them to go on early, right up top but due to set-up problems and having an extra band they basically made the show more than an hour late, longer if you count the start as being from when the first of the main bands started. Nice kids though.

Himdong were originally from out of town and their page features full band pics and electronic demos. The guitarist/singer/driver force has now moved to Shanghai. On the night, he played with a drummer as a duo and gave us a set of China post-punk.

Feima got early fame as a video of them playing 696 Livehouse got passed about a lot and they became known as a Carsick Cars cover band. This time they mixed a couple of CSC covers with some original material, I think. They are a promising band and remind me of the whole Gen 6 thing in Beijing. I mean, younger local players who are influenced by other Chinese bands. Both these acts should be around for a while.

Kaobang still have the same four demos and vids on their page but they have come far since then. They play indie pop music with dance beats and guitar lines both. The vocalist, Minirine, led them through a lengthy set that had their fans dancing. They have plenty of newer songs and I can't think of any other bands like them in Shanghai, if alternative dance is your thing.

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