Results tagged “little punk” from Indie Everything

More press for our projects

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bcr d22
Got some more blog links for our albums from Little Punk and Pairs, the kind we like at blogs by people who like music.

After checking blogs that link to the bandcamp pages, I discovered the Spanish language blog Matinee As Hell. The writer describes trawling the net for music outside the usual western hemisphere and being largely disappointed. But, like Indiana Jones, came back carrying a relic. Really, that's the words on the blog and it's talking about the Little Punk album. Nice review too.

Also, Dan Shapiro has written a proper feature on the CNN Go website for Shanghai. Check it out too

Finally. Pairs are still creating a massive wave all over the Chinese scene. Visiting Beijing band IDH say that Pairs were the best live show they saw in Beijing this year, right here. And the songs are featured on the prominent industry site Music Dish - in their latest podcast.

Indie Label: DIY style 13 - Chinese BBS mega-packs

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F paris red
So. We released two albums and featured them in two places. In the artists' Douban pages and at Bandcamp.com

The next stage of spreading this DIY style was to make it available to Chinese net users for free at a preferred Chinese FTP site. 

We used 115

We created two mega-packs. They are zip files that contain all the album tracks in MP3 format, a promotional video, a selection of photos and flyers and a lyrics sheet/message from the band. We then uploaded them to 115 which is super fast inside China. Finally we posted the link at the various Douban rock and indie groups.

The only drawback is that 115 doesn't have good tools for tracking the amount of DLs. Also, the link will expire after a month so you have to keep an eye on your account and renew it near the time from your dashboard.

Here are the two packs: Little Punk and Pairs

Little Punk album starting to move

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lp cover
Our indie album Hey guy, you are big time alright by Little Punk has hit an early but important point that is worth blogging about for other DIY enthusiasts. 

We had our first fully independent local review. 

We got this via making it available on Douban's music pages for review and sharing. Here is the page.


Here is a nice quote from the review for those who know Chinese:

这是一份值得喝彩的答案,因为它让人看到了一个对摇滚乐充满执着的创作人的更多可能,也避免了许多从朋克"软化"为民谣或独立摇滚的音乐人故作深沉的通病。在这张独立发行的专辑中,无论是声乐部分还是吉他手/制作人Andy Best的演奏都没有经过任何修饰。从在开头曲《Cuties》中不停高喊"fucking cuties"到在结束曲《I'm Not in the Mood for Making a Song》中失落地哼唱"the world's not made for fairy tales",小朋克逐渐转开她为朋克摇晃的脑袋,展现出用民谣和轻摇滚诉说出的直白和细腻,丝毫不见做作的痕迹。当然,我可以说"这张专辑融合了Soko民谣式的俏皮和Zola Jesus哥特摇滚式的粗砺",而事实上我耳中听到的是几个热爱音乐又小有才华的朋友在录音室(甚至可以是客厅里)即兴jam的场景。
It is important to note that it is independent. This means that we (also no one who directly represents us) had no direct contact with the review. They found it by themselves and blogged it with a review. 

The best part of this is just knowing that someone found the music and liked it. Talking of which, the album has made it's way to Scotland too. It's blogspot though, here

Indie Label: DIY style 12 - Second release Little Punk

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lp cover
Without further ado, we give you the digital release of our second album: Little Punk Hey guy, you are big time alright.

We used Bandcamp again for the international page. It's pretty good. The album is free. User tip: you need full quality WAV files for upload. Then the site can give format options for downloaders.

The image you see there was done by underground photographer Ren Hang during this session.


Here is the track list:

1 Cuties
2 Boy on the way to hell
3 Friend next door
4 Fine darling
5 Not be
6 744
7 I'm not in the mood for making a song

Douban updates following soon. Congrats again to everyone involved and special thanks to Adam Gaensler at Luwan Rock.

Indie Label: DIY style 10 - mixes down

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little punk zhong
Welcome back.

We all had a break in August and have been working behind the scenes this month. In the past post we had set up a label page using Douban.com and posted up our demos and videos as a taster.


Now our producer Adam is back from his stint in Myanmar and the final mixes are in. The next stages:

1) Make the tracks available online
2) Produce the physical CDs
3) Start a promotional tour.

Look out for tracks at the Qu page and the full releases at the artists' pages (link through the label page). We will make everything available for DL there.

As for the physical CDs. Pairs have opted for super DIY style. Xiao Zhong will burn off CDs on a home computer then put them in envelopes, like the normal ones, you know, letters, and hand write on them. A design for an insert sheet is already done and should pop up at the label page soon. For LP we are weighing up options and will post on it as soon as a decision is made.

The tour is just in conception at the moment. The idea is to play seven shows in seven days around Shanghai, choosing only smaller venues. Details to be thrashed out shortly then posted on.

Indie Label: DIY style 9 - Douban page

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qu logo
We have successfully launched our label page today on Douban:


We have officially reached step four!

If you are not are not a Douban member then you won't see the download arrows, but they are there. OK. First the concept and then the details of putting a page on Douban.

I guess the pre-net model of existing as a business or venture was to have an office, or an address. These days you can do it with a web site. Of course, you can run an indie label out of your bedroom and just hand out flyers and stuff at gigs - but having a web page validates your existence and is also a handy tool for promoting yourself. I'm on Douban therefor I am. 

Indie Label: DIY style 8 - video

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Read this for the story of the video shoot and some stills.

This post may well seem self-explanatory to someone with an expert knowledge of digital video, if so, please help us out in the comments, thanks.

So. We finished editing the video for Little Punk's I'm Not in the Mood for Making a Song. At the same time, our other act, Pairs, submitted their video for Yangpu Qu. The next step was to upload them to a China based streaming site for easy public consumption.

We accept that putting videos onto streaming sites like Youku results in grainy pictures and quality loss for regular users. It's painful but everyone is aware of it and knows it's not the 'real quality'. However, Yangpu Qu went up there without much change, some loss yes, but satisfactory. The Little Punk vid, on the other hand, was butchered both in picture and sound. 

Yangpu Qu was shot on a Pentax Optio S55 compact camera directly into an MP4 format and then edited on Windows Movie Maker. The format, and the amount of information in the file, was about the same as that used on Youku. I'm Not in the Mood was shot on a Canon XL2 digital movie camera and edited in Adobe Premier Pro to produce a TV quality AVI file. It then must be converted for web use - and then Youku, or any site, converts it again. The infamous double conversion. No matter how we tried it, the sound becomes peaked and the picture pixelated. 

Finally we tried Youku's suggestion of downloading their Iku desktop upload manager and sending up the entire 600MB+ AVI file. It still came out the same.

Here they are:




Indie Label: DIY style 6 - more t-shirts

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lp teeSo a quick post following on from this one on the t-shirts.

We got the samples and found them to be excellent. The t-shirts, while certainly cheap, were decent enough and the printing great too. 

This is the store: right here

We ordered one of each of their sizes: s, m, l, xl, xxl, xxxl
The xl is a medium fit on me and I'm 178 cm and slim. We also chose the Y8.50 shirts, not the Y8.00. There's a massive quality difference. The cheaper ones are complete ass and the more expensive ones are not bad at all.

Finally, our design uses grayscale with many shades so we went for the heat transfer printing method. Unlike the previous post's quote, this way charged per shirt and we ended paying Y12.50 per shirt for a small run. 

Indie Label: DIY style 5

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One of the other items we want ready for our indie label launch at the beginning of next month is T-shirts. Pairs already do this ultimate DIY style. They bought a bunch of cheap blank tees and then hand paint them. Every one is unique and they give them out for free at the shows or via e-mail.

The t-shirts they used were bought at the Qipu Lu clothes market from a randomly selected store and since they bought 50, they got the price down to around 9 RMB a shirt. They then used standard fabric paints to paint them. These were found on Taobao (Chinese language only, shopping site).

pairs tees

For Little Punk I am trying a slightly more 'official' method. 

First I played our video, an AVI file, using Power DVD and took some high quality stills. Then I put the still in Adobe Photoshop and applied a filter to it to make it look like it was drawn. I used crosshatch. Then I whited out the sky and background with the eraser tool. I also went into the image size panel and set the resolution to above 150 for BW printing. 

Super Sophia then went onto Taobao and found a shop that custom prints T-shirts to order. The shirts cost only 8 per shirt, but there is a one off printing charge of 85 RMB, regardless of number of shirts. So it's cheaper the bigger the run. I'll post the shop details once we've seen samples and confirmed it's not a complete hoax or whatever.

Thumbnail image for t-shirt scale


Indie Label: DIY style 4

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In the last post on our label, I mentioned we were shooting a video for Little Punk's song I'm Not in the Mood for Making a Song

We spent yesterday afternoon out and about in the Zhongshan Park area of town shooting the principal footage. The sun was blazing and the streets busy, but we got everything we wanted. Including professional looking tracking shots using a huangyu che. We achieved this by going to a nearby market and slipping the guy a 50 (Chinese dollars). I sat in the back with the camera.

Here are a couple of screencaps from the footage. We used the custom presets feature in the Canon XL2 to make it black and white with solid blacks and high contrast. The video itself also achieves an old movie feel by keeping the shutter speed at around 1/50 and using the cam's special 24 Fps setting.

LP Rooftop

LP fight

LP street

LP view

Indie label: DIY style 3

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horse head lion boy
Big steps are being taken in our label project.


Adam, our producer, is going away for a six week summer holiday and we assumed that our first online and physical releases would have to wait until he got back on September 1st. But other things are happening that I want to chronicle here so I can follow up easily later.

Adam produced a mix of Pairs' track Yangpu Qu right off the bat and the band gave really detailed feedback. A second mix is already done and everyone is happy with it. This suggests to me that we can launch our label page on schedule - directly after the weekend of 31st July. That's when Ren Hang will be in town to do some photos and play our event.

Next up, I go into the studio with Little Punk to put down her solo material this Wednesday. The style is lo-fi punk-folk that can't really be described in genre terms because the soul of the music comes from Little Punk's distinct voice and vision. I have sat down with local film buff Yingzi 影子 and planned a video for the track I'm not in the mood for making a song. Video ideas are on the way for Pairs too, but they are gonzo style ideas from Xiao Zhong and will come later. We'll shoot LP's using a Canon XL2.

Indie label: DIY style 2

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little punk red wall
So I just posted here about our indie record label that as yet has no name and no online home.

We had our first session recording Pairs and I said that we were yet to record Little Punk's solo material. That's not entirely true.

Little Punk sings for the Shanghai band Boys Climbing Ropes. I met her on and off across the last couple of years and one thing that interested me was her prolific writing. She has pages and pages of poetry, prose and song lyrics and her preferred solo style is lo-fi indie folk. Perfect for our label.

So, last week I finished writing eight tracks with her. We recorded all of them using the Zoom H2 and next week is simply re-recording them in better quality.

The tracks use only vocals and guitar and the Zoom has a two channel setting where the mic is split front and back, making it perfect for duos.

We got lucky again. As with Pairs, behind the chaotic outer shell and free creative spirit was a very focused and hard working artist who knew exactly what she wanted. The songs are excellent. I will try to make one of the demos available here once I sort out a player problem.

We will record with Adam at Luwan Rock again.

Indie label: DIY style 1

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pairs d22
This is a weird one to post about as there's no name or reference site yet, so bear with me.

Me and a friend wanted to do something to promote a certain style of music, lo-fi or DIY indie. So we decided to do a label. It has no name and I wasn't going to post on it for a while. However, some concrete things happened so here goes.

Our plan:

1) Form a label in theory
2) Record music from Shanghai based band Pairs and solo artist Little Punk
3) Get famous avant-garde photographer Ren Hang to shoot them
4) Make a label page on Douban and make all this stuff available
5) Make cheap CD's of the albums and distribute them for free
6) If the idea proves popular, try to 'do something with it'

So what happened? We had our first session and recorded Pairs.

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