Results tagged “live bar” from Andy Best
Regular readers may have noticed that when I link reviews and articles by other English language writers that it's the same small group of people. That'll be because there's only a small group of writers covering it in English. You may also notice that I am supportive and diplomatic in the main. Sometimes, though, another writer will just say what they think and it happens to sum up what I was thinking too. Then I can quote them and they get all the blame if someone objects. Yes!
Jake Newby was at the Subs show with me and threw out some observations in his SH Magazine blog. He starts by mentioning Sub's singer Kang mao's hilarious opening line, referring to the other Beijing act in town that night (indie pop act Milk @ Coffee):
"We're the beer band," joked Kang Mao as she took the stage at Zhijiang Dream Factory.
But it's his observations of the support acts that really hit the mark:
Before them, The Molds had disappointed with their Lou Reed-like post-rock and out of tune, echo-laden vocals. Having delayed the start of the gig due to an hour and 45 minute soundcheck, they were completely upstaged and made to look amateurish by opening act Pinkberry. "All four of us have got colds today," declared Pinkberry lead singer Xiao You, but it didn't seem to affect their performance. It's not often the crowd demand an encore from an opening act, but Pinkberry are no ordinary band.
Jake also lays down a tip that might see this blog do it's first report from Live Bar. Upcoming act Tianping Dian (Candy Shop) are headlining there on Sat 6th which gives me an alternative to Hua Lun who are post-rock. Laziness may well win out so don't despair, shoegazers.
Finally. Yuyintang have just announced a 'Winter Madness' all day show on the same day that Hedgehog play in the evening. So, on the 13th there'll be a bunch of bands playing from 1.30 in the afternoon (including Candy Shop) and then the Hedgehog show in the evening. Football in the park behind anyone? Jumpers for goalposts?
Update: Jake has interviewed Torturing Nurse's Cao Jianjun here.
So many of my posts start with
excuses disclaimers. I'm not going to get in the habit of doing listings and this blog is not about that. However, there's relevance to recent posts in some upcoming events so here goes.
So, in the interview with Lin Lin of Yuyintang, she mentioned two bands. Crazy Mushroom Brigade as a newer band that had 'arrived' and Bang Bang Tang (Lollipop) as the promising new comer. A couple of conversations later I discovered this to be quite divisive, especially the idea of them being 'rock'. Intriguing. Lucky for me - Bang Bang Tang are playing Yuyintang's Rock 0093 Party 6 on Saturday night. So not only will I be able to see what it's all about, I'll be able to video them for the blog.
0093 is a rehearsal studio and the 0093 parties are for new bands who practise there to get a chance to play live and get some experience. This is a very good idea that should be supported, but it obviously makes for mixed shows. Here's the line up, I don't have any links for these at the moment (they're new).
Six Shot, Red Brick, Black Romance, Brunch, Lollipop, 5-pointed Star, Dessert Store.
So, Lollipop are the one's to watch.
I also decided to throw in a post about the noise/experimental scene lately and I then ended up at a post-rock gig not long after that. The noise post even saw blogger Micah Sittig sign up and comment. So, by
single response popular demand, here's more on the noise scene. There are in fact two major shows coming up. Over at Live Bar this Saturday is the latest from NOIshanghai. This event is billed as Torturing Nurse vs Vario Air.
Then, the following week at Yuyintang is the Miniless Records Shanghai Calling show. This is another noise/experimental show. The line up has Muscle Snog, Grace Latecomer, Monkey Power and The Los. So, all those of you who like to go out at night to an exciting venue and do some really deep listening all night - there you go.
Shanghai Talk magazine ran an interview with tattoo artist/alternative icon Zhuo Danting this month. Well, even rags aimed at people living in serviced apartments or gated communities need to fill that pesky space not taken up with high-end advertising. Also, it probably comes off the back of this video about her from Current TV: Shanghai Tattoo.
Here's the link to Zhuo Danting's studio.
In the interview Zhuo plugs rock scene venue Live Bar and later cites metal as her favourite style:
I like listening to bands at Live Bar. Second Hand Rose are great and I like older Chinese bands. Most of them are too commerical these days though. P.K.14's lyrics are so obvious - times are changing, people are getting richer, all that shit.
Live bar is on the other side of town to me and this interview made me think. There are two proper venues with a real culture of rock people who hang there: Yuyintang and Live Bar. So I think I basically only know one half the scene and it's people . All the bands that play Live Bar also play YYT and I simply have no reason to drag myself out there when YYT is round the corner from my house. There a metro stop now but the metro infamously stops running at 10.30.
More from the interview:
I like pretty much all heavy metal. Metallica, Pantera oh, and Carcass are tebie hao.
Carcass! Hooray. Carcass is Bill from Napalm Death's second band and both come from my home area of Wirral, UK. They are from the exact same town as my best mate James - Heswall. For those of you not familiar with Carcass you must immediately rush out and find their CD "Symphonies of the Sick".
Some news that I read on Shanghaiist lately that made me think a bit. It comes from Abe Deyo in this post. There are two main points: Ark Live House is closing and a new photo book called Shanghai Soundbites is being released.
First of all Ark Live House. I didn't metion this in my last post called I Demand A Recount. This is because it hasn't been doing anything for so long that it hardly counts. Also, it is in Xin Tian Di. That's an upscale restaurant area made by Shui On with the highest prices in town. I went to Ark once and got charged 70 RMB for a can of coke (usually 3 RMB in a shop). There is one possible repurcussion though. Zhang Haisheng who runs Yuyintang gets a lot of his income from working at Ark as a DJ.
I haven't seen the photobook yet but it made me think of how useless the scene is at communicating, so much is left to chance. Abe Deyo promotes gigs and meets the bands every week and I go to his Shanghaist post for the gig dates. Yuyingtang has a facebook page and Live Bar have just got a new website. In fact there's more in English than in Chinese. But anyway, I have been to the shows here for a few years and know a bunch of people in the scene and try to keep up with it - but the annoucement on Shanghaiist of the book launch on the same day it was happening was the first I'd heard of it in any way, ever.
As for the book itself. I read the blurb on the website. It suggests that people who have made the scene lately are leaving now. Hmmn, is that a reference to the VISA issues and transient nature of the ex-pat population? There's a lot of that opinion around but I don't think the bands have VISA issues, they are Chinese. If all foreigners were repatriated last week, the only difference to the Gala show on Saturday would have been 6 or 7 less people in the audience of 200+ I'm sure the photos are nice, though.
I don't often post on websites and venues in the Shanghai music scene as they tend to change quite often. Also, they seem to defy normal category as they cross over in both style and function. However, after reading a couple of things in the rags this week I feel like going through this.
First of all, how many venues do we have in Shanghai for indie, rock and punk etc? A venue purpose designed for such gigs that commits to weekly performances and looks and feels like a live music house ... there's two. Yuyintang is one and Live Bar comes second, but it only just makes it in on account of it being open all the time as bar and is not immune to the odd crossover event. Yup, only the two, and Live bar is miles away from me which explains why I nearly only post about Yuyintang.
Next up are bars. Bars who, as part of their promotions, are commited to putting on live music. They are open general hours and have a mixed clientel who aren't specifically into the music. Gucci-wearing clubbers at rock gigs kill the experience for me, bah humbug. Top of this tree is Windows Underground. Windows is basically a venue that tries to make its money via the bar business model and seems to be between the two groups. But they have a proper stage and sound system. Down on Taikang Lu is Bar 288 (AKA The Melting Pot), their house band is Happy Strings. Forever on the lips of ex-pat hipsters and magazines is Logo Bar. Logo used to be the original Tang Hui music pub and is the same deal. This place is a muscially themed trendy pub with no visible pattern to the acts. Now and again they have a good band in but it's largely coincidence. I am partisan and prefer to see a rock/indie band surrounded by people who follow the sub-culture, it's half the point.
Last one in the significant bar circuit is Gua'er (AKA Sus2). Actually, they were the first true venue in Shanghai way back when. They originally operated out of an old factory in Yangpu but now they have resurfaced as a half-cafe half-bar in Dingxi Road. No important bands have played there for a while though.
Finally we have the occaisionals. Bands put on gigs in other places for various reasons but you can't see regular gigs at the locations. Harley's Bar used to be a great place and the gig area is quite good, now it's very on and off. Dream Factory is a proper theatre which gets used sometimes if Yuyintang wants a larger space. A band once played at The Shelter but that's a DJ place.
This week I'm going to see a Beijing indie band called Gala.