Results tagged “midi” from Jake Newby

Lazy blogging: a few links

kingsizehomermain.jpgSorry to just repost a bunch of links, but a reminder that while this blog has become pretty sparse of late, there's plenty of good regular content coming out over here.

To follow up on the Strawberry rumour two posts down, it looks like it will be happening in Shanghai in April. Not only that, but following lots of rumours, Midi will throw their own festival in the city about a week before. Read more here

Something else to look forward to in April is a new Hedgehog album. They'll release it at Yuyintang on Friday 13th.

If you missed The Instigation playing at the last ever Trash a Go-Go recently (more on their end here), then you can check out this video, though it's on Vimeo so you'll need a VPN.

Finally, here's a new Shanghai band to keep an eye on.

MAO Livehouse to host Shanghai Rock Awards

b618e507308d349.jpgA couple of years after Midi launched their awards up in Beijing, MAO Livehouse have announced that they are to hold their very own Shanghai music awards. It'd be easy to write a snide post at this point, so very easy, but to be fair to MAO, while a lot of the best performance nominations are slanted towards bands who appeared on their stage, they've at least kept themselves off the list of 'best venue' nominees and Crystal Butterfly's name is nowhere to be seen, so it's at least a step up from the Miserable Faith Midi Awards. 

Of course, there's plenty to be said about whether Shanghai needs this or whether anyone will really care, but you can check out the nominees on the right here. No word on how they'll be judged yet, but the event itself will take place on Saturday February 18 and MAO promise that 'this night will make history.'

Mr Big's Midi Shanghai appearance cancelled

p871361731.jpgI just got an e-mail from Midi organisers and Steve-o just put it in the comments a couple of posts below: Mr Big have had to cancel their appearance tomorrow at Midi Shanghai. 

Basically what happened was: Mr Big played Beijing Midi Festival last weekend and then packed their bags and headed off to Taiwan to play a show there. When they then tried to return to the Mainland for their show in Shanghai tomorrow, it emerged they didn't have multi-entry visas and so couldn't come back in. Whoops. They've not been able to work anything out last minute and thus their appearance in Shanghai is cancelled.

This is clearly a massive blow for Midi who had been selling the festival very much on the back of Mr Big's appearance - ticket prices were more expensive for the day Mr Big were scheduled to appear and the band's pictures were all over the promotional material. 

The show will go on: the rest of Midi's line-up remains intact at the moment and the event is still due to run from tomorrow until Sunday in Pudong's Century Park with most of Shanghai's major bands, a couple of Beijing acts and a few imports from abroad. There's a line-up rundown from Mr Shapiro here and this is still a great opportunity to see a rock festival in the city so get out and support your favourite local bands.

Midi Festival's 'Love Bears' campaign

海报_上海.jpgIn case you haven't noticed, festival season is nearly upon us. May 6th sees Midi Festival come to Shanghai for the first time, with a three day event in Pudong's Century Park. Although it's notable for being Midi's first appearance in Shanghai (after years of trying), it's also worth highlighting that they've teamed up Animals Asia Foundation to promote awareness of the appalling practice of 'bear farming' in China - hence the bear on their posters. 

Midi are aiming to raise awareness of the issue, which sees caged, diseased and dying bears subjected to horrific processes to extract their bile, which is subsequently used in a range of products in the country. Under the slogan 'Protect the Moon Bear, oppose live bear bile products', Midi is backing the AAF's anti bear farming initiative, which you can read more about here.

In addition to the rocking bear on their posters, Midi will be educating festival goers on the issue with the aim that public outcry against the practice will mean the government is forced to act to ban it. On a broader level, it's great to see Midi using their music festival platform to support such an important cause and hopefully it'll strike a chord with the festival audience over the next few weeks and help contribute to a more widespread awareness of animal welfare in this country.

To read the full Midi press release (Chinese) click here and to read more about the AAF's bear bile campaign, click here.
56934_446282050973_7124595973_5818456_8111871_o.jpgFestivals, festivals, festivals. It's hardly news that China is in the grip of festival fever. The latest addition is the Kama Love Music Festival, taking place in both Beijing and Shanghai in June and being headlined by Eels.

That adds to Split Works' JUE Festival, which wraps up this weekend with (despite all the troubles) two shows at MAO Livehouse, the planned return of the (more traditional festival-like) Yue Festival that they held in Zhongshan Park a few years back, the Nanjing (International) Music Festival (line up here) going head to head with Modern Sky's Strawberry in Suzhou at the end of April and Midi, which is finally coming to Shanghai, taking over Century Park from May 6. 

This latest addition seems to be more in the form of a one-night concert rather than a festival festival, but if they're pulling in an act like Eels, then they clearly mean business. The other thing which makes you think they're using the 'festival' term rather loosely is that they're holding it at MAO Livehouse. Still, Eels - that's not bad eh? The Kama festival's website consists mostly of a bunch of dummy text at the moment, so it's hard to know what the details are, but Eels have announced the date on their official website so it seems pretty legit. There's also (less excitingly) whispers of Keane coming, but we'll see how that one develops....

Stop me if you've heard this before: Midi Shanghai

3499821992_7f7614b4d4.jpgUPDATE: Festival rumour season is officially in full-swing. Strawberries? In Suzhou? In April? What could it all mean?

UPDATE 2: More fuel for the fire.

Is it too early in the year for a Midi Shanghai rumour? Apparently not. So here it is. This rumour comes courtesy of her out of Cold Fairyland who has put out a call for local bands because she says she's had a phone call from someone organising it asking for recommendations and she doesn't know any Shanghai bands. Huh. So I'm cranking up the rumour mill and declaring Midi Shanghai 2011 officially on. It'll happen in May and will be held in your apartment.

We've been here before, so many times before, I'm kind of bored by it already. Sure, a festival in Shanghai would be cool I suppose, Splitworks' Yue Festival a few years back was good fun, but I'll believe it when I see it. 

Also, aren't Midi signed up for ten years in Zhenjiang or something? So they're going to do Zhenjiang and Shanghai? I know last year saw a ridiculous number of festivals, but isn't that spreading things a bit thin? Let's face it, you see the same bands at all these festivals anyway (yeah, I still go). At least this time Midi might actually invite some Shanghai bands, which is nice - usually the one or two Shanghai bands that get to play at these things are on much earlier than they ought to be so maybe they'll sort that out. If they can hold a completely independent, open and unbiased music awards ceremony there's no reason why they wouldn't put some of our best bands on in headline slots, right?

Anyway, we'll see. Midi Shanghai 2011, it's definitely maybe happening. Possibly. 

Changjiang Midi Festival

john 060.jpgjohn 091.jpg

It was a bit muddy

Strawberry Festival, Beijing

4577885809_d1f4f6ab89.jpgUPDATE: Just had a look at CMR and saw they've got a more comprehensive write up of both festivals here. Plenty on the branding as well.


Before I get on to the main business of this year's Strawberry Festival, I just wanted to share a bit of info from the capital's other big festival, Midi. According to Shanghai-based writer Sam Gaskin, heavy rainfall in Beijing this evening caused the power to be cut at Midi, meaning no lights or sound for a while. Carsick Cars tried to play on by playing acoustically through megaphones and with torches for lighting, but it didn't seem to be working too well. Last word from Sam was that power was back on a while later, so hopefully it all got going again without any problems. Keep an eye on the Beijing music sites for more on that tomorrow.

But anyway, I didn't get to Midi - I spent Saturday to Monday at Modern Sky's Strawberry Festival as I felt it had the stronger line-up of the two. Saturday in particular had a really good line-up with Xiao He, Carsick Cars, The Bigger Bang and AV Okubo amongst those playing. Carsick Cars and AV Okubo also played at D-22 that night as part of their anniversary celebrations along with Hedgehog, which made for a great day of live music. The following two days were good too, with Boys Climbing Ropes making their debut at the festival and sets from Reptile & Retard (at YYT on Thursday), ReTROS and Hedgehog particularly sticking in my mind. I don't think I really found anything new, though Hedgehog, ReTROS and QueenSea Big Shark all showcased some new material, so I'm not going to write too much about the bands individually - they've all been covered plenty on this blog before anyway.

Overall, it was an enjoyable festival experience and worth the 17 hour bus journey up from Shanghai. The sun shone and there was a good atmosphere throughout the festival. There were a few drawbacks though: there were massive queues and no signage at the entrance causing confusion and resulting in a lot of people deciding not to bother (it was really hot weather to be queueing for several hours in). The entire site ran out of beer on each day of the festival, with hour or so waits for fresh supplies. Even when they did have drinks they weren't kept cold.

More importantly though, the sound on the main stages was poor at times. Things on the second stage weren't helped by its proximity to the metal stage. They were far too close together meaning someone like Gia playing a slower song on the second stage for example, was almost drowned out by the metal band overlapping on the stage nearby. Although you have to credit their ambition, having six stages seemed unnecessary, especially when the Douban stage was in a small patch of dirt near the toilets and stages frequently clashed with each other, making some acts inaudible. Sound always leaves a little to be desired at festivals, but having stages so close together that their sound overlaps is just poor planning.

What other people are writing about

hollerado.jpgUPDATE: According to Brad in the comments, about 300 people were at the ReTROS show. Not a bad turn out, but not good either - last time they were in town there was around twice that many. Given that there was a quality support act in the shape of Boojii as well, you've got to think that a turn out of 300 is disappointing. Of course, promoting events here has never been all that easy, but for this show it seemed particularly poor. 

I didn't make it to ReTROS and Boojii at Mao last night - I wasn't feeling too great. If anyone did, I'd be interested to know how it went so drop us a line in the comments. ReTROS always draw a big crowd, but the promotion for this show had been pretty dire. My feeling is that you can probably just about get away with it for ReTROS because they're one of those bands that people seek out the gigs for, but the fact that Shanghaiist didn't even include it in their music preview last week shows how little marketing had been done. If someone went, I'd be interested to know what the turn out was.

So yeah, I'm feeling a bit crappy, but I'm hoping to make it to tonight's Hollerado show at YYT. I don't usually spend much time on foreign bands on this blog, that's not the point, but I recommend checking this show out. I saw them at Midi back in May and, though I'd never heard of them at that point, I enjoyed their set. Their music is pretty easy to get into, but the thing that struck me about their performance was how genuinely excited they seemed to be playing China. The crowd could see it too and it made for a great atmosphere. They were one of the few Western bands to play that festival who didn't patronise the audience. The fact that they're back within the year shows how much they enjoyed themselves in China and you can read more about them and their love for the country over at Mr Shapiro's blog here.

While you're there, you might want to check out his piece on the year in Soma records and all of their era-defining achievements. That's here.

Dan writes that the label's lack of any releases has been due to a 'restructuring of priorities' and their concentration on opening Mao. And Shanghai's hot shot venue is the subject of an insightful piece over on the Radar. Go read it here. As well as an appraisal of the space, the article talks about how Mao and Soma have changed the game in Shanghai and how promoters who were bringing bands in before Mao opened, are now being cut out when the same bands come back to town. It's a very interesting read.

Meanwhile over at Layabozi, Zack has not only joined the ranks of The Mushrooms admirers, but has eloquently expounded his views on the recent photographers debate. Click here to read his thoughts.

Elsewhere on the interwebs, CNNGo and Shanghaiist have managed to arrive fashionably late to the Top Floor Circus anti-Expo party. I wrote last week about how the band had put a twist on their song Shanghai Welcomes You when they played the 0093 CD release and now, following a translation of the updated lyrics over on ChinaGeeks, both sites have posted the video and regurgitated the translation. Shanghaiist at least realises that it's a new take on what is now a fairly old Ding Ma song and drops a link to this here blog. Anyway, the kids are digging it apparently, sticking it up on their Kaixin wang pages and bbs fora etcetera. The video has been receiving a lot of hits, hopefully helping the song to become a real anthem by next May.

Midi Heroes results announced

miserablefaith.jpgIf you listened to last week's podcast, you'll have heard Andy and I discussing a story on China Music Radar about how Midi had decided to launch a Chinese rock awards thingy. Well, now CMR has revealed that the results are out. And here's the really shocking thing: Miserable Faith, nominated in pretty much every category, won nearly everything.

Once you've picked your jaw up from off the floor, you can click here to see the full list of results, including one or two awards that Miserable Faith, controversially, failed to win. Of course, the awards were kind of meaningless to begin with, but it still would have been nice to see a broader section of the Chinese rock community included. Again, I think we made our feelings clear on the podcast about where Best Album deserved to go. Apparently Andy Best failed to do a Kanye when that one was announced. Disappointing.

If the awards can help garner more publicity and bring more people in to shows then great. If they can get a bit of coverage and people go out and listen to these bands more, that's a good thing. If it's just Midi passing out some trophies to their mates, it becomes even more pointless.

The judges, incidentally, were Zhang Fan (Principal and founder of Midi), Dai Fang (music critic with the Beijing Evening News), Hao Fang (writer and music critic), Li Hong Jie (Editor of InMusic), Lu Bo (founder of Howl Records), Shen Lihui (founder of Modern Sky), musician Wang Di and Wang Xiaofeng from Sanlian Shenghuo magazine.

Podcast One: Lava Ox Sea "Home Hell"


Welcome to the first ever Kungfuology podcast featuring Jake Newby and Andy Best. This is our pilot show/demo. We are aware of some technical teething problems, but go ahead and comment on them all the same. We like comments, there's a lot of material to comment on ... and you don't have to register.

On the agenda this week:

Midi celebrate ten years with ... an awards show. Thanks, Chinamusicradar.
And where were Lava Ox Sea in the nominations!

This weekend was the 12th 0093 showcase at Yuyintang.
We liked New Vector and Fanqie Chaodan with his new band.

Gigs are back on at Harley's bar it seems. promote their first show in the world of indie rock, but go head to head with the old school punk night at Mao Shanghai.

Finally, listen to "Home Hell" by Lava Ox Sea.


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