Results tagged “modern cheese” from Andy Best

Youtube channel top views and more

It's almost a month since the last round up of the blog's Youtube channel so let's have another look. 

I appealed to people to promote their favourite videos by getting their friends to watch and sending it up the charts. This seems to have worked a bit in some cases, although Miniless Record's Self Party is still at the top. Darn it. We still haven't had a vid break out into the Youtube mainstream and pile up a ton of views yet either. Curses! Why aren't people queuing up to watch unclear, bootleg videos of amateur bands they've never heard of in a distant country they know nothing about? Beats me!

I do have a couple of other things to post about today so I'll get the short one out: Banana Monkey have split. Not only were they a good band who had stuck together and 'got good', they also did a lot of organising on the scene. Some of my favourite shows were the movie themed gigs down at the old Yuyintang. I first saw them and Happy Strings (now Momo) at Wolfman Attacks Yuyintang. Follow the link to have a listen and a nostalgic moment - here.

And now ... the current top six of my blog's mainly insignificant video channel:

1) Self Party play the Miniless Records showcase at Yuyintang: 168 views watch
2) Bang Bang Tang play Yuyintang: 158 views watch
3) Boys Climbing Ropes live at Control: 131 views watch
4) Hard Queen's August Yuyintang show: 108 views watch
5) Modern Cheese at Yuyintang: 101 views watch
6) The Rogue Transmission live at Control: 99 views watch

BCR and the Rogue Transmission blow the top six apart! Good show. Next step, one of the top six bands simply has to persuade some high traffic site like Shanghaiist to post their video and it will skyrocket into an utterly untouchable position. Or, if you want a real promo video, just ask. I have a flashy camera (Canon XL2) and a light and will do it for free/a laugh. 

Lastly, I saw that a piece mentioning Chinese rock music appeared in the Guardian's famous Comment Is Free section. So firstly:

The article in question - here
The nice guys at Danwei who broke the story - here

The piece is actually about fetish-ising things cos they're Chinese and judging them unfairly. It makes some interesting points (unintentionally). Namely, that even being 'positive' is bad if it's a stereotype. Anyway, the article is all over the place and I've no idea why it's in CiF. The main thrust is not really what I cover on the blog here either. She does mention Carsick Cars and The Subs. Apparently, the song Zhong Nanhai is not only about the brand of ciggie but referring to the Zhong Nanhai building in Beijing. Shows how much I know. I wonder if Alice also thinks it refers to the actual Zhong Nanhai, the South China Sea? Do we have a CSC lyrics expert on hand?

Youtube Channel top views

The continued dominance of Self Party on the blog Youtube Channel and the swift rise of the latest Modern Cheese video has confirmed a couple of suspicions. If I put up a post basically begging readers to check out a certain video, they will. Thanks. Also, bands that have their shit together pass on stuff and get others to check it out too.

Lets have a quick perspective check though. My blog readership is up to about 1000 individual IPs in a month. The top rated video on the channel has 140 views. Now, some videos on have thousands of views. Some videos of cats slipping on a polished surface have over one million views. On the other hand, this blog is for, about and by people who like counter culture. My readership and views are actually above the average attendance for the shows I cover. 

So, whatever It might actually mean, here's the current top six viewed videos on my Youtube channel.

The channel itself is here.

1) Self Party play the Miniless Records showcase at Yuyintang. 140 views  watch
2) Bang Bang Tang at Yuyintang. 111 views watch
3) Crazy Mushroom Brigade rock out. 76 views watch
4) Modern Cheese perform with new singer. 72 views watch
5) Hard Queen back at Yuyintang. 64 views watch
6) The Shy Tall Mighty old school punk. 58 views watch

Why not show support for your favourite video by introducing it to your friends and pushing it up the chart? I encourage that sort of behaviour. 

Youtube: Modern Cheese live @ Yuyintang (Sep 2008)


I was just checking the Youtube channel and noticed that the Modern Cheese video was getting a few views already. So, why not give it a post. It's good quality and more close in than the usual vids I do. Self Party still leads the view count on the blog's Youtube Channel though, by double the next closest challenger.

You also might note that at 2:52 you can hear Jordan from BCR shout "oh ... big solo!" That's exactly what I was going to say except that I knew there was a mic running right by my head. Excellent.

Anyway, check out the musicianship right now!


Shy Tall Mighty live @ Yuyintang


new sign at yuyintangTough choice tonight with one of my favourite Shanghai bands Hard Queen playing in a new venue across town. Finally I was tempted to Yuyintang by the words old school punk. I will see Hard Queen at Dream Factory next weekend. I must admit laziness playing a big part too. Since moving house last week, I am now literally five minute's walk from YYT.

Special mention: Upon arriving I was very impressed with the new sign. Check the photo. A professional looking light-up sign to go with the mural. You see, I hit all the important, insightful details when reporting the scene, like who has the nicest sign.

As support act Modern Cheese were setting up on stage I had a chat with Abe Deyo (promoter) and Jordan Small (of Boys Climbing Ropes) that was quite interesting. I'm hesitant to talk about it for fear of starting something off that may not be that good for the scene here, but I will anyway. We were talking about indie labels in Shanghai and how much they can financially support a band, or not. Jordan mentioned that he'd rather just self finance as it was comparatively cheap for foreigners. The Boys Climbing Ropes CD is good and they have a track playing on radio back in the USA in some capacity. The CD cost less than 8000 RMB to record. Strolling back later it occured to me that a good way to get your band noticed would be to come over and be based in Shanghai. You could play shows at will, headlining any venue you like, when you like and make a CD and marketing for ten times cheaper than back home.

Of course, if you do bring your band over to Shanghai, be sure to live here

So Modern Cheese kicked off and I immediately noticed the line-up change from last time. They have added a singer. At the last show, the guitarist was also the lead singer. With this addition, the songs now have some good back-ups and harmony vocal parts. It made a difference. Their first two tracks are their usual strong ones but like the previous show, the rest of the set lacks the same energy and focus. I often talk about how support acts play on way too long here and don't seem to get the concept of supporting. However, I mellowed and like the idea that YYT gives new bands a chance to play and that's what's important. I didn't, however, count on Modern Cheese. The set ended with the guitarist bringing on a stool and launching into an intimate monolgue with the audience - followed by what amounted to a second, solo set. Anyway, this band do have chops and ability and they are still worth checking out in the videos.

The Shy Tall Mighty took the stage next. No one seemed to have heard them before and there weren't any CDs knocking around the door or shop. I was mildly surprised to see the two frontmen apear - two middle aged British geezers. They just went straight into a high energy old school punk set, London accents and all. The crowd, who'd been very patient up to this point, instantly took to it. They never dropped the energy level and did a solid enjoyable show. They are not based in Shanghai though, and I'm not sure we'll see them again anytime soon or have cause to follow their development. Fans of good ol' Punk should definitely catch them if you have the chance. 

To finish, I want to mention that Kongzhong Huayuan (Sky Garden) are playing Sunday's 0093 Rock Party. I mistakenly reported their name as KongDE Huayuan last time. I really want to catch them again and see if they've improved any. Fans of Coldplay-esque jangly guitar bands should come too. 

Modern Cheese 

Britpop night @ Yuyintang


empty gardenUpdate: I was turning out my pockets before washing my clothes and I found the ticket for this show on which I had the band names scrawled on the back of. It's not Kong De Huayuan but Kong Zhong Huayuan. So, a better translation of their name would be Sky Garden, not Empty Garden.

Friday night at Yuyintang with no one band headlining the show and a bunch of not so well known acts all falling loosely in the 'britpop' style. Didn't sound too promising but when I got there there was a good amount of people and a good atmosphere. Skulking around the CD shop I picked up the Kerrang Karaoke DVD - yes! - and chatted to a couple of Donghua students.

The first band on was 8mg. They were a new band doing mainly covers and hadn't rehearsed much. Once on the stage it hit them that they were in a proper club with lots of 'real' people with tickets looking at them. It was a shock. After a well received cover of Radiohead's Creep, they got themselves together and finished the set.

Next up was Kongde Huayuan (Empty Garden). They got straight into a solid set of plodding jangly-guitar laden indie songs. The crowd responded well, especially to the frontman. The frontman was looking like a bit of a hero with his flowing locks, crucifix ear-ring and unbuttoned white shirt. It's a fine line though, one step the wrong way and you're a member of F4. The set came to a premature end when one guitarist broke a string. For some reason he had neither a spare set of strings or a replacement guitar. When one of the other bands lent him a guitar to use it also had technical issues and they decided to call it a night as they only had one song to go. You have to think though, was it really technical issues with the new guitar, or was it that it was one of those China issue Squire Strats with the bright pink finish and the Hello Kitty head scratch plate.

Next up, Modern Cheese. The singer/guitarist of this band is a Beijing Midi Music School graduate. They burst into a high energy distortion driven opener and the crowd really got into it. I was impressed. Whenever I know a band was from a guitar tech or music college I'm expecting flashy playing and unusual key changes at the expense of a coherent style. Hey, music critic talk. Modern Cheese did add in some funk and jazz elements at times but they kept admirable control and everyone liked the show.

The last band on were The Way. I got a surprise. They were really tight and good performers too. A couple of songs in I couldn't help wondering why this show wasn't billed as their gig rather than a britpop night. In fact by the end I realised I had, in fact, been at a The Way gig which had been horribly marketed. Then again, The Way are from Shaoxing and are not well known here - but I'm sure as many people would come to their show as would to a britpop night. Fans of jangly indie pop should definitely try to catch The Way and Empty Garden.


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