Results tagged “maybe mars” from Andy Best

1984: New album from PK14

Beijing based band PK14 have released their new album. Let's start with the links:

Stream or buy at Maybe Mars' Bandcamp page right here

Listen to the album at the Chinese language site Douban right here

1984 is their fifth official full album. Together with the side projects, production work and the general influence of frontman Yang Haisong, PK14 are perhaps the most important band in the China scene. This album represents a serious work by serious artists whose development can be tracked across a series of excellent releases. They transcend simple genre conventions and have produced a work of real depth, in a sound and style that is their own.

The album is on the Maybe Mars label, was recorded at Chicago's Electric Audio with Steve Albini and produced by long term collaborator Henrik Oja.

Video: ten minute subtitled interview with SKSA

Here is a ten minute video interview with SKSA about the band and the frontman's job at Maybe Mars.

Skip Skip Ben Ben album on Bandcamp

smh cover.jpg
Taiwanese singer/guitarist/songwriter Ban Ban is one of the true talents of Asia's underground rock and pop scenes. She started out young in an industry/mainstream act but then came over to the dark side with her shoegaze band Boyz and Girl. They were so tight when they played YYT on tour and blew our minds.

Then she decided to relocate to Beijing full time and go further down the underground route, taking her lo-fi side project Skip Skip Ben Ben and fleshing it out as a Beijing style dirty noise-indie / post punk band - but with her trademark dreamy J-pop vocals.

We saw them at YYT too and were equally blown away by the combination of underground / avant garde sensibility cut with solid playing chops. 

This has all culminated in their new album Sacrifice Mountain Hills on label Maybe Mars. You can get the CD in China and also listen/buy on bandcamp. Mine's in the mail now.

PK14 record new album at Electrical Audio

pk14 chicago
PK14 are the legendary post-punk band from Nanjing. They are based in Beijing and currently on Maybe Mars. 

The band have just given us an update at the page on their new album.

Original post (Chinese language)

The band have now completed recording their fifth studio album. The producer is still Henrik Oja, but this time they have recorded the material at Chicago's Electrical Audio studio and it was engineered by Steve Albini himself. I'm a fan of his band Shellac and a well-known example of something he did in the studio is Nirvana's In Utero. 

The post says that the album will be out early next year.

Meanwhile, in other China post-punk news, Henan's The Fallacy are touring. No Shanghai date announced yet though, maybe someone could get on that? They are great. Go to the page to listen.

Birdstriking CD out on Maybe Mars

Next generation Beijing band Birdstriking are significant among scene watchers for being a Chinese band who are mainly influenced by other Chinese bands. A true next gen band in the modern scene here. Their style is noise indie / punk.

And now they have their first album out on Maybe Mars.

Hear some tracks on their Douban page here.

And finally, the track listing.

04.Monkey Snake
09.Space Hakka
11.Untitled 512
12.No More Rock 'n' Roll
13.One Thousand Dreams

Youtube Tudou: Xiao He

Beijing's Maybe Mars label has just put out two music videos for the alt-folk artist Xiao He. One of them The Nineties 《90年代》has a cleanly shot short movie, complete with subtitles, as the vid. Well worth checking out, even if you're not so into Xiao He's thing (shame on you). 

Also, while looking about the label's Douban site, I noticed that they have taken The Molds under their wing. The Molds were brought down to Shanghai by promoter Abe Deyo back in the day and played with The Subs at the Dream factory. They are a Cramps inspired nihilistic rockabilly band ... kind of ... check them out here, scroll down for the demos.

And now, the Xiao He vid. 

Youtube Youku: Low Wormwood MV

Here is an excellent video and song from Chinese band Low Wormwood. They have an album out on Maybe Mars and are playing Shanghai this Friday night at Mao Livehouse. Fans of modern folk rock rejoice.

The Beat: DFG signs with Maybe Mars

Photo by G of X is Y via Douban

Here's a story that's been floating around. It's not officially announced anywhere by the label in question but recording has started in a place were tons of scene people hang out.

The breaking news goes to Mr Dan Shapiro at The Beat: Shanghai's Duck Fight Goose have signed for Maybe Mars.

Read the full article/insight here

It's also making its way around the net: The Push Shove

You can check out Duck Fight Goose's Douban page and hear their first EP Flow in its entirety, right there on the front page. The new recording will feature their new set, and style, but band manager Brad tells me there are plans to work in two of the old favorites. 

While were at it, let's check what I wrote about this in 2009: my cogitation. Although by my count, half the bands I mention there are inactive now, including biggest hope Self Party. 8 Eye Spy played a great show last week and their CD is great. DFG rose from the flames of Lava Ox Sea. We'll see.

Duck Fight Goose out of Good Jive on Saturday

8 eye spy
Breaking news for our Saturday showdown and marathon that you may or may not be on.

Duck Fight Goose are not playing Saturday's Good Jive 3 show at Yuyintang.

But have no fear, fans of risk-taking music. 8 Eye Spy now become the big draw of the night. 

The Nanjing based no-wave band are excellent and have an album out on Maybe Mars' sister label, Maybe Noise. It was produced by PK14's Yang Haisong.

8 Eye Spy Douban Page

Also adding to the bill are Shanghai's own X is Y whose math rock is a perfect fit for the Good Jive spirit. 

So the Saturday choice is still not an easy one. Comments are open now, where are you planning on going?

Carsick Cars split

carsick cars 2009
Much the same as The Beijing Gig Blog in this post, I got a Doumail this morning announcing the end of the Carsick Cars line up as it always has been.

I'll just repost their translation here:

Sub ject: Car sick Cars
Time: 2010-11-17 03:00

We have made an important decision: due to cre ative differences and opportunities for members' per­sonal development, bassist Li Weisi and drummer Li Qing have chosen to leave the band; Zhang Shouwang and his new band mates will continue the work of Carsick Cars. The Novem ber 16 performance may in fact be the last time Carsick Cars perform together in their original form.

Since the first rehearsals and performances in 2005, for more than five years, we three have cre ated two studio albums, experienced more than 100 live performances, and toured the nation and over seas. These have been some of the most important experience and beautiful memories of our lives.

In the future, Li Qing and Li Weisi might make some more music with Snapline and Soviet Pop; and out­side of Car sick Cars, Shouwang will also be doing more experimen tal music with White+. In addi tion, it is quite possible that we three will collaborate in a free [lib eral] music project in the future.

来自: Car sick Cars
时间: 2010-11-17 03:00

话题: Car sick cars

  我们做出了一个重要的决定:由于音乐兴趣的差异和成员各自的发展计划,贝斯手李维思和鼓手李青选择退出乐队;张守望将和新的成员一起,继续Car sick Cars的创作。11月16日的演出也会是carsick cars原始成员的最后一次演出。
  在未来,李青与李维思会将音乐重心更多的放在Snapline与Soviet Pop上;而在Carsick Cars之外,守望同时也在进行着White+等音乐实验。而在将来我们三个也很有可能再合作一个更自由的音乐项目

Video: Guai Li "Devil Rabbit"

Beijing new wave punk band Guai Li have just posted this video to their Douban page. They are now on Maybe Mars and have a new album coming out soon. This is Devil Rabbit.

Ourself Beside Me Douban updates

obm concept art
Beijing based experimental rockers Ourself Beside Me have started back into the action.

They burst into everyone's consciousness with their amazing eponymous CD on Maybe Mars whose standout track was Sunday Girl. Since then they have split opinions at their shows. You have drooling fanboys like me who are in awe of their effortless cool and harsh but dreamy songs. And you have people thoroughly repulsed by their near total dismissal of the audience, both on stage where they play facing each other and in the material where very little concession is given to the listener.

After breaking a spell of inaction with appearances at recent Maybe Mars showcases they have now started working again. Their Douban page now features three new demos, all loose-ish jams and a gallery of conceptual artwork. 

Here's the page, I recommend going in at Qita 2

Here are some previous blog articles about them.

We're back and what's on

Dan Shapiro
The holidays are over and it's the new (lunar) year. Things get going again this week.

There's a bunch of non indie-rock stuff going on. I'm not interested in writing about it but you can always find that stuff out at layabozi. So off you go.

Thursday is Forget and Forgive and Candy Shop at Yuyintang for free. We've already written about that quite a bit as, you know, we organised it.

The big gig of the weekend is the next Maybe Mars showcase at Mao Livehouse. You can read all about that in detail here courtesy of Dan Shapiro (pictured). The headliner is Carsick Cars.

Talking of Dan, he has just penned a piece for CNNGo's Shanghai page introducing Han Han of Duck Fight Goose. If you're over at Jake's Blog and/or read things he put's in mags then you might be on DFG/Han Han overload. However, that's not a bad thing. Han Han is great, his music is great and we can't get enough of him.

As an end note, you may well often read the posts like this and be wondering why I've not reported your own blog post/article on local music. The reason will certainly be that I just haven't come across it. So if you're going to shows or doing some writing about the scene. Link it in the comments and our readers can surf on over. Use the a tag in html to create the link.

Maybe Mars returns + January goodness

Hard to believe it's almost a year since Splitworks brought us the Maybe Mars showcase as part of their Jue Festival. Here's what I wrote about it back then.

This time around it's at Mao Livehouse and features a more rock oriented line up with PK14, The Gar, 24 Hours and Rustic. Click on the flyer for a legible version and you'll note it's on Friday 22nd January. Here's the Douban event page.

Regular readers of the blog will not need reminding of how awesome this is going to be. The last time was a real event with great bands but the questionable acoustics at the Dream Factory deadened the enjoyment for me. Mao on the other hand is a world class, purpose made music venue. With a potential Expo shutdown on the way, this could be the event of the year already. 

Talking of cramming stuff in before the Expo, take a look at some of the shows coming up this January:

Sat 2nd
Zhong Chi, Sonnet, Coverpeople @ Mao
GuaiLi @ Yuyintang

Fri 8th 
Triple Smash, Forget and Forgive @ Yuyintang

Sat 9th
Tookoo, Bigger bang @ Yuyintang

Mon 10th 
Great Lake Swimmers @ Yuyintang

Fri 15th
Duck Fight Goose, Boys Climbing Ropes @ Yuyintang

Fri 22nd
Maybe Mars @ mao

Sat 23rd 
Metal/Hardcore @ Yuyintang including Suzhou's awesome Mo Xie

And don't forget, there are plently more shows than that going on each week in the district's smaller venues such as Harley's, Sus2, Logo and Anar ... not to mention regular venue shows at Live Bar up in Yangpu.

33 on Neocha / bits and bobs

ba fang
I always have a huge list of bits and bobs before writing bits and bobs posts but forget half of it before I can write it all down. I'm starting by re-running that Fuckn'drolls picture. The reason? It was taken by Brad Ferguson and I wanted to give him the proper accreditation. 

Talking of corrections/updates ... on a previous post I mentioned that Lu Sun of Yuyintang was promoting for Live Bar. Ooppss. The Live Bar owner has a similar name and when writing it in a romanized form on Facebook it became exactly the same. So where was Lu Sun (YYT) all this month?

... having a metal plate put into his wrist after a football accident. He's back now.

Shanghai's experimental act Boojii were up in Beijing last week recording for Modern Sky. Together with the new Muscle Snog CD, this will put Shanghai on the map for original bands. Or will it?

Boojii had to go to Beijing to be signed, although they are still based here. Who is going to promote these two acts and their material? We have Miniless Records who are doing ok. But really, someone should be building a scene around these guys. A scene, that is, not a market. Miniless are the right kind of people but they don't have money like a Maybe Mars. Tiantian of 0093 said the Muscle Snog CD was already available, but he didn't have it. He wasn't sure. There hasn't been a show to launch it. 

Talking of I'm there. Add me (Chinese language only).

Talking of Miniless. Miniless's Han Han is now doing some work for Yuyintang so expect some crossover there in the future. 

Finally ..and back to Ba Fang ... Monday night is the Children's Day gig at Yuyintang during which you can see the debut of her new band with Lu Chen - Zhi Wang. The show also features Lin Di and Seppo of Cold Fairyland in a side project called Bad Himo where they'll be singing entirely about their cat and how it pees everywhere. 

Overdose live @ Yuyintang

A tough choice from shows tonight was eased by the fact that Hard Queen played both Friday and Saturday allowing me to see both them and Nanjing punk outfit Overdose. Overdose are straight up punk and have a new CD out Die With Me:

Overdose on Myspace (six great tracks starting with Fuck Your Fucking Band)

As I got into Yuyintang a cover band was closing out their set. The ones who wear the white shirts and black ties. They play well, but, they're a cover band moving on ...

... it was a whirlwind night for me and I got a few surprises. Overdose have had a line up change since I last saw them. On bass now is Adam, who is in someway related to the D22/Maybe Mars crowd. I also saw Morgan from Boys Climbing Ropes and indie promoter Abe Deyo is back in town. On the local side of things, Lu Chen is coming down to a lot of gigs lately too. 

Overdose took the stage. Singer Ruan Ruan is pure punk. To be fair, so are the rest of the band. Ruan Ruan, with her signature gothic black suit and bleached short hair, never disappoints with her ballsy performance that shows the whole range of old-school punk gestures and facial expressions. Backup vocals were sung Lemmy style into high mics and Du Wei's tattoos are just as intimidating as his drumming. The set was solid and despite the average to low turn out there were some seriously hardcore fans who at times were literally dancing by themselves. These included Lu Chen, Little Punk and Fabi from Rogue Transmission.

One bizarre anecdote. As I was going in, so were a group of highly strung and obnoxious party types. Just inside was a table with the band's CD on sale but no one was there to take the money. As I asked about them, as the other group looked too, I was told "No one here to sell them right now, sorry." As I turned away, deciding to wait until I saw an older staff member to sort it out later, one of the girls in the group appeared to openly steal one, whooping in the process. There's also been an outbreak of people coming to YYT and trying to blag in for free or get on a list etc. Wankers with no respect for the venue and band's culture and struggles.

Ourself Beside Me live @ Yuyintang

After a night of hard rock and punk on Wednesday it was time for a night of cool at Yuyintang. Beijing's Ourself Beside Me are touring to promote their new CD and were supported tonight by Shanghai's Hard Queen. Check them out:

Hard Queen are playing with a bit more poise since their successful CD launch and have developed the songs for the live show, adding longer sections to dancable tracks. Songs Jungle Queen and Loser really stood out and you got the feeling that if there were just a few more people in the crowd it would have broken out into some jumping and action - impressive considering they are a kind of minimalist indie-pop three peice. As it happened YYT was filling up late tonight.

Ourself Beside Me claim their influences as Velvet Underground, Syd Barret and Brian Eno. They are a super cool trio who play experimental rock. I have the CD and saw them at the Maybe Mars showcase back in January but this wasn't the same. Seeing them up close in YYT was a whole new experience.  The band were mesmerizing and apparently uninterested in the audience, preferring to use the time between songs to neck bottles of wine and beer chasers without saying a word into the mics. After a hypnotic and catchy show which left us all a bit star-struck, Yang Fan uttered her first words to the crowd "Thank you". I really liked the whole night and decided to get a souvenir, one of the OBM set lists, but was forced by bassist Xiehan to get her a cigarette in exchange first. Ha. 

January Magazines, more Jue Festival

urbanatomy maybemars
A quick word to the uninitiated. I'm here in Shanghai. Sure loads of people can speak some English and they make most of the signs and services in English too but there's no obligation to go beyond that. Hence, the only English language magazines we have are the ex-pat listings type. That's just in case anyone was wondering why I never seem to review actual music magazines. We have the net anyway, so it's no big deal.

So, SH Magazine and their intrepid reporter Jake Newby were really picking up the slack with scene coverage ... and then the publisher decided to axe the whole operation. The soon to be legendary final edition - The Funeral Edition - was also vetoed at the last minute. Shame that because I popped up in a great feature. That's another Andy Best bit done but then consigned to limbo ... hello, Layabozi.

Speaking of Layabozi, they have a review up of the Xmas Day show that I missed: Luke Leighfield. Also, before I get stuck into the features for this month, despite what looks like a drop off in coverage at City Weekend their website is much more active. Be sure to check into Dan Shapiro's blog there as he often posts up show previews that you won't see in the print edition.

After a change of editor and a documented shift away from the live scene, That's Shanghai are back with two features this month. The first one is about the Jue Festival and confirms the line-up for the Maybe Mars showcase. Maybe Mars are a Beijing based indie label and the showcase will feature Ourself Beside Me, Carsick Cars and Snapline. Nice first feature on the scene from writer Berwin Song ... but Berwin couldn't quite hold back on the patronising asides: 

why-oh-why do so many bands have to go for a Chinglish moniker? QueenSeaBigShark, I'm pointing the finger at you, too
Queen Sea Big Shark are actually called 后海大鲨鱼Houhai Dashayu and their English name sounds pretty cool to me. You can read the whole feature online here: Beijing bands attack Shanghai.

The second feature is an article introducing Shanghai indie group Kongzhong Huayuan written by regular Lisa Movius. You can find that online here. If you want a quick pick of the bunch go to the Ourself Beside Me Myspace page and listen to Sunday Girl ... then go and get a ticket for the showcase.


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