Results tagged “std” from Andy Best

White Eyes coming to YYT, rejoice!

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We've been following Taiwan Chinese Punk band The White Eyes at Kungfuology Towers for a while now. Beijing were lucky enough to get at show at Mao but no Shanghai, until now. The band are trying to play a bunch of mainland dates to promote their new album Kiss Ur Eyes. This band are superb and should not be missed. The show is promoted by STD so there's a mild chance of dance music DJs, obnoxious behavior, electrics blowing, fights and well, the tickets are reasonable at 50.

It's at YYT on Saturday, November 6th. 

Seriously though, great band, support this show, YYT ... and STD. Here's a preview: 



Miniless Records 2009 showcase coming to town

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Miniless 2009 showcase flyer
Miniless Records are a Zhejiang based underground/DIY label for experimental bands. Regulars to the blog will remember I went to the CD release for their band Fading Horizon not so long ago. They have an amazing stable of bands these days that ranges from polished 'finished products' like Fading Horizon, through cult bands like Self Party to newcomers like Acoelomate Goat.

Go here and listen to FH's Twice
Go here and listen to AG's The pretty shortcut to my nervous wonderland

While you're at it, check out Miniless Records' site here.

So, next month on the 27th, they are back in town with a kick-ass showcase that is a dream for experimental fans. As well as Shanghai's own Boojii, we have Lava|OX|Sea, Self Party and Fading Horizon on the same bill. There's only one drawback in that it's being promoted by STD who are 'party people'. They did their best to scupper their Hedgehog show a while back by playing dance music between rock bands and flitting around YYT exhibiting obnoxious 'party people' behaviour. Still, this is not a show to miss for fans of the genre.

Hedgehog live @ Yuyintang (Dec 2008)

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hedgehog flyerI made it to the third show in two days. Also, this is Hedgehog and it was a packed show. I made the decision to enjoy this one to the max so no photos, sorry. Or videos. Just to round off this preface, monopod guy was absent and photographers don't get much of a look in when you have over 300 people in YYT.

Amazing turn out as usual at STD promotions. Hedgehog's last visits were packed out mosh fests and they are a genuinely good live act. The only annoyance was that STD DJs decided to play Dance music before and in between the bands. Err ... don't, thanks. I for one come to YYT to watch rock because I am consciously avoiding that sort of music. After the bands is fine, I can go home.

Both tonight's bands have good pages with several quality tracks for listening to:

Boys Climbing Ropes
Hedgehog

BCR came on to a packed room and did not dissapoint. Great sound and for once you could clearly hear both the singers. Little Punk now has a distinct stage persona and all the songs went off great including the new material. It was great to hear a band with an original sound playing intelligent music with a soul in Jordan's lyrics. Especially after almost an hour of techno over the speakers while we were waiting. In what was to be a pattern for the night, though, they didn't play my fave track Dirty Bots. Hedgehog didn't play Wink either, you see. 

Hedgehog have evolved a lot since they last came. They have a lot of material and are very self-aware. They knew exactly which tracks were the favourites and seemed to have planned their set carefully to build and build as the night went on. Toy61 Festival sent the room into action and it remained that way for the rest of the set.  It's becoming a cliche to say this now ... but ... the drummer, Atom, is surely one of the best around. She is both imaginative and in perfect control of the dynamics. That fact that she looks like a elementary school student (she really can't be anything over 4'10") still elicits a ton of superlatives from newcomers to the band.

So many interesting people down tonight I have no idea who to mention. Frank Fen of Mortal Fools was down plugging this show like crazy. Sean Leow of Neocha was there as was fellow Web 2.0 guru George Godula. Brad Ferguson was down with Hard Queen drummer Da Men (Shanghai's own female drum powerhouse). It was Super Sophia Wang and Jake Newby's birthdays, so, yeah ..happy birthday again. Actually, it must be said that over the three shows this weekend I met a lot of people from distinctly different groups and heard quite a few not-for-the-blog stories - so you'll all have to say hi in person next time to hear them. 

Casino Demon live @ Yuyintang

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casino demon
I have to start by apologizing for the photo for this post. It is a classic in the genre of nondescript afterthought pictures that Andy puts on his blog. Believe me, I'm actually very into photography but my main priority at shows is ... shock ... watching them. We're coming back to that later. Besides, don't the pictures and bootleg style vids add to the underground atmosphere? 

So. Tonight's headliners were being talked up big time by scene people who are up in Beijing a lot (Dan). They did not disappoint so fair play. Let's start with the line up:

Casino Demon (Beijing): myspace - music video (like, a real one)
The Rogue Transmission: myspace
Fire Balloon (Beijing): myspace

This show was another S.T.D. production which meant a later start. But that also means a good opportunity for me to chat and find out what's going on. Not much to be honest, although I did witness a funny scene where by someone related to one of the bands just decided to take advantage of the free guest entry and bring about twenty people in unannounced. Certain managers were obviously a bit miffed at having the p*ss taken out of them and must have asked for a list to be made. Someone in the back must have then found that request a slight on their grandeur amusing as the list came back with names like Jesus, Barack Obama and Mao Zedong on it. It was funny. Really though, free guests, at a (poor and small) YYT show? Where's the Brad-inator when you need him?

So, on came Fire Balloon. Fire Balloon are a modern rock three piece in the mold of The Libertines. Well, you know, the style that the Libertines made popular again. They had some good songs and the singer/guitarist had a definite artist feel about him as he rambled off into some excellent guitar work and often seemed to be in another place (in the good sense). That got them through a clear but very support act sound and a broken bass string. There was another excellent turn out and the crowd seemed pleased. Behind me, Sam the sound guy was constantly face down on his lap top due to illness, but this didn't seem to cause any major problems either. 

Next up are local favourites The Rogue Transmission. Since the summer break this band have played a lot of shows and put out their first CD. They have been working hard and the result is clear to see. People know the songs and come ready to have a good time. Prior to the show I was reading over at Layabozi that A.B.T. had become the anthem track for the Rogues. They were right. By the time they played the song, second from last in the set, people were dancing and going for it and there was a definite reaction there. The only drawback was the curse of the photographer who has no respect for the audience. I have moaned about this so many times before. This time, some girl who I haven't really seen there with a camera before was taking it to the next level. For the second and third track of The Rogue's Set she got up behind them on stage, pointed her powerful pro-flash at the crowd and proceeded to blind me over and over again.

When Casino Demon took the stage I wasn't entirely convinced. It's not like when The Subs take the stage and there's an air of expectation. They don't have a strong image and are very humble, unassuming guys. However, this doesn't matter when you have excellent tight, punchy songs with great hooks and a room chock full of people who are up for it. The dancing, jumping and moshing got under full swing and the band were very good at keeping the energy up and getting into next tracks without delay. Again, this band lists The Libertines among their influences and it shows. Zhang Haisheng tells me that this is very popular in the Beijing scene at the moment. 

People who are not physically in the scene here might wonder why I have to make special mention every time a show has a lot of people and goes of well. That's because in this small scene, a show could equally be twenty people loitering in a near empty room. Good shows here are the result of hard work from everyone involved and are to be celebrated. The band were called out for an encore but had played all their material. They left us with a Joyside cover - always a popular move in China. Err ... should I say this? Despite the star factor of the real Joyside I felt that Casino Demon performed this much better than the real guys (who are always completely wasted).

"Handbags": more gossip updates (and 100 posts)

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handbags
I have some follow up here on the New Pants - Abe Deyo story I broke after reading the Shanghaiist post which has since been taken down. 

Confused? Here's the full story.

The story has done the rounds now and we have some new comment and quotes from both Jake Newby at SH Magazine and Archie Hamilton of Split Works at his China Music Radar blog.

China Music Radar is a professional blog that deals with 'the biz' end of the scene. Readers of my blog should be following it too as it fills in a massive area of the scene that I don't cover much at all. What's more, it's written by people who are full time pros in that field. 

Here is Archie's post on the story: Handbags

Archie makes basically the same disclaimers that I did in the original post. That is: it's gossip, it's based on Abe's personal principals and not on direct quotes from the bands and also that ultimately you should judge the bands themselves based on the music. He also brings in some slang from the footy terraces and inspires the titles for both this post and Jake's article. I do want to stick by the fact that I like gossip and that these kinds of stories are par for the course in the world of music. Archie nails it, though, when he implies with his post that it seems mismatched to the size of the scene here.

Jake's article at SH manages to get a quote from one of the sources, but still not one of the bands.It's from S.T.D. the promoters of the upcoming New Pants show in Shanghai. Conflict of interest warning.

Reggie from STD (the promoter behind both shows) has said that The Gurge "were all delighted with their recent tour through China. They had an amazing experience, and as professional as both bands are, I would find it hard to believe that they would let this sort of thing come between them."

Good follow up from Jake but the quote doesn't really answer Abe's point. Abe didn't make any claim to representing the bands themselves rather he was talking about his principals and views on the matter. It seems obvious why it would be pulled from Shanghaiist but stories don't get directly posted there, they are stored and then scheduled after checking by the editor. It has been pulled from above following a complaint. Hence the intrigue. Anyway, it's a bit of a story for people like me to blog about, isn't it.

Jake then goes on, in his excellent post, to pick the Xiao He feat. Lu Chen of Top Floor Circus show. Great pick. These guys are great musicians, great performers and they're funny as f*ck. A warning though, I've recently chatted with some of the people involved in the upcoming show. It will be an expanded version of their recent Haibao drama act based, this time, around  Astro Boy. Last time this meant large sections of drama/comedy with some token songs along the way. Perhaps we are going to get a third rendition of Punk Rockers Suck with Astro crushing our balls. 

If you want a great night out with a real 'local' experience you should not miss this show. Lu Chen and Xiao He are gods in the scene. Well - that's 100 music scene posts for me and plenty more to come! I leave you with the video of Lu Chen's last show.



How to snub someone right proper

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new pants cd
Update: One of the two posts that I linked below have been pulled by the editors this morning. Shanghaiist have even left a note about it 'pending further review'. This is quite funny from a site that regularly posts up all kinds of offensive trash such as inflammatory far-right nonsense and tabloid stories. I have to speculate that S.T.D. are not happy with someone recommending staying away from one of their shows. 

But remember, kids, that's what gossip stories are all about: outrageous speculations.

End Update

Well, we haven't really had any good gossip for a while and it had to come at some point. Does that count as a preface?

Beijing punk rockers New Pants are on their way to Shanghai for a big show at the Dream Factory. It will be put on by S.T.D. and will really be a big show


So, here's the basic gist of the story. Shanghai promoter Abe Deyo, also the music editor at Shanghaiist, has just posted about New Pants and their perceived snub to Aussie band Regurgitator, who were just here. 

What do you think: Regurgitator are an established and successful band in Australia who decided to help out New Pants by flying them to Oz and paying for them to do the whole tour in front of sell out audiences. So, one year later the Oz band come out to China hoping to team up with a local act and reach a local audience. New Pants say we're a bit busy, sorry, and decline to get involved.

It should be mentioned that I know nothing about it and I'm basically blogging Abe's two articles on the subject. He mentions that New Pants also bad mouthed The Queers, who Abe is bringing over and messed with another band's show he is involved in. This didn't only prompt him to break the Regurgitator story, it has messed with his cool. People here know that Abe is super-cool and professional. He is very careful not mess with other promoters or say anything negative about bands in general. A nerve appears to be hit this time though.

Here's a quote

Nov 22nd New Pants ... actually after the diss they laid on Regurgitator we don't recommend seeing these douchebags unless it's to throw rotten tomatoes at the f*ckers.

And here's the two articles: Sha-iist and City Weekend

There's a danger here of any press being good press for the show itself but Go Abe. This blog must recommend making your decision based on if you like New Pants' music or not but I love gossip too. Also, there hasn't been a promoter throw down for a while and when there was it was more like people getting mildly annoyed with each other. Where's Brad when you need him?

The Subs live @ Yuyintang (Halloween 2008)

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little punkPromoters S.T.D. had a great success last year with their Halloween rock party and decided to repeat the formula this year by bringing the Subs to Yuyintang. Fair play. From the start it was clear this was going to be a huge event. It was also clear from the Regurgitator show at Logo that they would oversell the venue if necessary. Not very responsible of them, but luckily a bunch of the people there seemed to filter away before the last band or stay out in the park. Yuyintang is packed at 250 people. A friend, George, came at twenty minutes after the official start and had ticket number 280. And it went on from there.

Really, the place was rammed at the start and on came Yellow Riot, the one off Clash tribute band formed by members of The Rogue Transmission and Mortal Fools. I have to say, as cheesy as it sounds, they kicked ass. All the numbers were dead on and the sound was great. The bursting venue loved it and people were dancing and going for it from the first chord of the first number. At that point though half the people there couldn't have got into the hall if they wanted to. Luckily most were too drunk to care at that point.

Next up, out the back for some down time. Never has having a park out the back door been so useful at Yuyintang. It was quite a sight with most people in costume. I finally had a conversation with Ben Hogue and Jutta. Great people. Ben is taking time out to work full time on his art and sound installations. You can follow his events at his new blog here. In no time at all, the sounds of Boys Climbing Ropes warming up came floating out. Again, the place was rammed with people just up for anything. The first song went off without a hitch and the audience went nuts again. Then, the BCR tech curse struck. Jordan's guitar went completely off and once back on, the overall sound needed another track to get re-balanced. However, after heroically recovering the rest went well and the crowd barely seemed to notice anyway. Special props to their costumes too. Nice.

Before we get onto the Subs - a special announcement regarding photographers. At small underground gigs there's no special place for you, that's true. Also, taking some photos is fine. What is not fine is this ... getting near centre front with a big camera and separate pro flash and staying there for every single song, blocking the view and frequently blinding me with said flash. So, yeah, that was me in the mosh constantly nailing you on purpose.

The Subs have not let up. They are super-pros and Kang Mao never drops her performance level for even a second. I was going to watch from the back but as the third song kicked in I couldn't help myself, it was in for the rest of the show. I was caught by Abe who snapped me, proof that even hipster douche bags like me can't resist the lure of the Subs show mosh. Any music fan that has a chance to see this band live should never pass that chance up. This is the China underground show to miss your best friend's wedding for. They played a selection of songs from all three of their CDs and delivered on every track. 

Special mention to BCR singer Little Punk who was the first into the pit for every Subs track and looked so rad in her costume 'corpse surfing' the crowd. Nice.

Corpse surfing pic courtesy of Christian

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