Results tagged “the Curry Soap” from Jake Newby

Friend or Foe go global and other links

p955626773.jpgFriend or Foe are the latest Shanghai band to get picked up by the MAP project, with their track 'Snortin' Clorox' selected for the April list and beamed across the world through the network of alternative music blogs. Nice. The boys were also up in Beijing this weekend and it seems it went pretty well. There's talk of an album in the works too so keep an eye out for that one. 

Ho-Tom - conqueror, poet, lover - has a new track up, well, newly-recorded. It's lo-fi and lovely. Check it.

The Curry Soap has been posting up a few beats and pieces lately. Nothing in the way of a complete track as of yet, but the latest is a 30 second teaser of 'Lucien', her first track sung in French. 

ZLHF are heading out on their universities tour again with a bunch of bands and brands in tow. If you're a student or you just like hanging out with them, here's the details.There's also a few videos from ZLHF artists here

Finally, a random (non-Shanghai) band link courtesy of this guy: Pink Elephant. Hit them up here. 'Silly Girl' is the track to play.

Is it the weekend already?

beatbandits.jpgPretty much, yeah. So other than watching England cock things up in the World Cup against a country who don't even call the game football, there's a bunch of top gigs coming your way. Here's a cursory run down.


Alright, so there's an all-girl band event going on up at 696 which is very right on and everything (Ann, Miss Panda and Machiato are the bands), but let's face it Friday comes down to a straight fight to the death between The King Khan and BBQ Show and the Queen of Fucking Everything. Who's your money on?

In the blue corner: The King Khan and BBQ Show. At YYT with The Fever Machine (interview here) and The Beat Bandits. Totally crazy and weird. Plus, they split up the other day and have only just reformed after some fucked up shit at the Sydney Opera House or something. 

In the red corner: Subs. At MAO Livehouse with Boys Climbing Ropes and Pinkberry. Subs back in town after over a year away and with a new album to boot. China's best live band plus local favourites BCR and Pinkberry in support isn't too shabby. As has been stated elsewhere, 'expect death and mayhem'. 


This one's probably an easier choice, even if the main show of the night was completely passed over by another so-called music preview out there on the interwebs. You've got the Summer Rock Party up at 696 with Max, Sear, Purple Planet and a whole bunch of others, but down at Yuyintang it's the third installation of Han Han's Good Jive night. 

Good Jive's bill looks a little like this: Ho-Tom the Conqueror (possibly with a new line-up featuring the Curry Soap), X is Y (top notch math rock), Stegosaurus? (good times rock and on stage antics), The Beat Bandits (excellent garage rock) and Sun Ye (legend).

And that's pretty much how it looks for the weekend.

Video: Little Northern Europe

So I've been on at the Curry Soap to play live for ages. She says she's not happy enough with the songs yet, I tell her they're great and she should perform, she says she's not happy enough with the songs again. The conversation goes round in circles a bit. Anyway, the other night at Live Bar, I finally fulfilled my aim of seeing Little Northern Europe performed live. Except it wasn't her.

In fairness, Sunny, the guitarist in this video, was the guitarist for the Curry Soap last time they rehearsed as well, but this time round Leeko throws down the vocals. This is my favourite Curry Soap song (check out the original here, it's a gem) so it was good to see it live, but I'm still waiting for a real Curry Soap performance. Anyway, give this video a click to see what I'm babbling about.

A few things to listen to and watch

| here's a round up of what's been put up on Douban recently.

There's a new track up from the Curry Soap, one of the acts that this blog likes to follow closely. It's called Old Hong Kong and you'll find it here.

Another track comes courtesy of Runaway Snail. Their's is called Argentinians' Melancholy and can be heard right here.

Army in the Cupboard is the name of a new track from Sun Ye, which you can have a listen to by following this link. It's pretty different from his other stuff, but as always I recommend you give it a go.

Chaos Mind have added a recording of Fxxk Me Hard taken from a practice session back in August. I'm not sure what Fxxk could mean, but it certainly rocks hard. Check it out here. They've also put up some videos of their recent YYT show, one of which is embedded on the right here. The rest are here.

Hama (her out of Second) has a new demo up as well. It's called Secret and is here. As a special New Year's treat, she's also made the track Philosopher available for download. You'll see it on her artist page as well.

Finally, Nanjing's 8 Eye Spy performed at D-22 in Beijing recently to celebrate the release of their new album, How Damn Far to Yinma Lane? There's a whole load of videos from the show and an interview with MOGO, right here

Top Floor Circus release new track

dingma.jpgUPDATE: More from Andy on the Expo crackdown here.

And another track to round off your Monday.

This time it's a new song from Top Floor Circus, called 我想为你唱一首顶楼马戏团的歌 (I Want to Sing a Top Floor Circus Song For You). Listen to, and download, it here. It's a comedy pop song referencing some of their other tracks and features vocals from the Curry Soap.

Today is also an important day for other reasons for Ding Ma and could be when we find out if their planned Christmas Day gig at MAO will be allowed to take place. If you haven't read Andy's post about the Expo yet, go and read it now.

Lu Chen's message yesterday was "don't worry, it'll be fine in a bit" but MAO have also been called in for a friendly chat with the powers that be and Yuyintang are already weighing up possible closure for part of Expo. The Olympics was bad enough, but this is an event that lasts six months remember.

Going solo

the curry soap.jpgA bunch of tracks have gone up recently from people on the Shanghai music scene who are striking out with their own projects. Here's a round-up:

Blog favourite the Curry Soap has a new demo up. It's called You Keep Everything But His Heart (Flesh Version) and is pretty brief, but it's another winner. Check it out here.

Speaking of former Muscle Snog members and their solo projects, Mai Mai has a new experimental recording on his Douban artist page. From the sounds of it, it's him playing the guitar with his teeth as he tends to do. You can give it a listen by going thissaway.

Hama, the talented young lady behind all-girl rock group Second, also does her own stuff and has a new song up on her Douban. It's a pleasant, bop-along acoustic track and you can listen to it here.

A couple of drummers doing their own thing are Lezi (from Sonnet) and A Luan (formerly Pinkberry, now with PZ64). All the kids seem to be downloading Garage Band these days and going all electronic/IDM. That's the route Lezi's solo stuff seems to be taking and you can hear the results here.

A Luan's previous solo stuff has been, unsurprisingly, in the pop punk vein, but the track he's just put up on his Douban page is something of a departure and could almost be from DJ Wordy. That one can be heard here.

Not really a solo project, but there's a video up on Tudou of Li Pang from Crystal Butterfly performing a cover of U2's With or Without You together with Super VC. I'm not going to embed it on this blog (I can't even bring myself to hit play yet), I just wanted you to know it's out there.

And finally, New Vector have a new track up here. Again, not a solo project at all, but I like them and this seems as good a place as any to post a link to their new song. Go check it out.

New music on a cold Tuesday

maimai.jpgIf you're in Shanghai right now, you'll know it's freezing brass monkeys out there, as my Grandad used to say. If you're afraid to go outside and are huddled up in front of your computer, here's a few new tracks for you to warm your cockles on.

First up, a couple of Muscle Snog solo project songs for you. The first is from Mai Mai under the name Asthma Writers Union and is called analog box work 005. Listen to it here and remember that this Sunday is RESO 9 featuring Yan Jun. More on that here.

I mentioned the other day that Vivien from Muscle Snog, also known as the Curry Soap, has been re-recording some of her old songs and you can check those out here. You'll also see a couple of new things to listen to as well - This is Not a Sad Song and a lo-fi version of the same track. A lot of the stuff there is pretty minimal at the moment, but she's planning to record some new material with a collaborator that will be more in the vein of Little Northern Europe.

She's also going to be getting a little help from Sun Ye, who nevertheless has found time to upload a demo on his own Douban. He's called it Boojii Reserved, the name of the band he's in and their album, but I'm not too sure what the relationship is I'm afraid, as Reserved hasn't been released yet. See what you think by clicking here.

Far from reserved, Gia, formerly of Hang on the Box, has come out with a new album on Maybe Mars Modern Sky, humbly entitled The Brilliant Gia. She's recently uploaded a few tracks from said record right here.

Some other new songs coming out of the capital are courtesy of Casino Demon, who have put up two new tracks on their Douban. CD, incidentally, have taken a bit of a knock in the comments on CMR recently. Regardless of your view on the band, there's an interesting debate going on there surrounding the recent Sing for China tour of the US - go check it out.

Videos: Second and Pinkberry

A couple of days after they stuck up some excellent photos of their recent performance at Mao Shanghai, Second have put up a couple of videos of their live collaborations with Pinkberry. They're both Pinkberry songs, but feature the Second girls as well - Live In Live and 小白兔 (Little White Rabbit), the latter of which is after the jump here.

A couple of new tracks for you to check out as well. First one is from the Curry Soap and is fantastic. It's called Boxer, Get Out!, is inspired by Animal Farm and, though it clocks in at just one and a half minutes, I've had it on repeat all week. Listen to it here. the Curry Soap is in the process of recording a few new songs, hopefully with a view to an EP early next year, so keep an eye on her Douban page for more new tracks and re-recordings of the existing ones.

The other new track is a live recording of Sleeping Sheep from New Vector and you can check it out here. I'm planning to catch New Vector on Sunday at the latest 0093 showcase so, assuming I make it, I'll write a bit more about them then.

And while you're off clicking around the interwebs, make sure you check out this post on CMR about the forthcoming Chinese Rock Awards and make some predictions in the comments.

"Has the era of consumer rock arrived?"

TimeOutmusic.jpgThere's a few things that have caught my eye in the press recently regarding the Shanghai music scene so I want to do a little round up here. Dan Shapiro recently put up a great overview of where to go for your English-language coverage of the scene (he also said some very nice things about this blog, thanks Dan), but the things that I'm going to write about below all come from the Chinese-language press.

One is from Time Out Shanghai about band contests, one is a piece on Top Floor Circus by a swanky upmarket lifestyle magazine and the third is an appearance from the Curry Soap and 8 Eye Spy in XMusic. Unfortunately, I can only link to the Top Floor Circus piece as the others don't appear to be online, but I'll try and give you an idea of the content anyway.

The title of this post is lifted from the headline of Time Out's main music feature for the current issue (the one with the luggage tag on the front cover). My first thought was 'no' followed by 'and what's consumer rock anyway?' If I tell you that this headline is surrounded by photos from a certain soft drink-sponsored battle of the bands, you might get an idea (see the picture above).

The angle of the article is basically a face-off between the aforementioned band contest and the Global Battle of the Bands, as both have their "finals" taking place in Shanghai soon. This is kind of misleading as there aren't any qualifying rounds for the GBOB in Shanghai, but whatever. Despite this premise and most of the article focusing on these two competitions, there's actually some fairly well-reasoned comments in the introduction.

A little bit about Muscle Snog

Musclesnog.jpgA couple of years ago Muscle Snog's Meng Noize album, recorded live at 4Live, confirmed them as one of the leading experimental rock groups in Shanghai. The group - comprised of Mai Mai, Vivien Fan, 33, Zhong Ke and Xiong Mao (Panda) - were all excellent musicians in their own right with their own side projects and other bands. This meant that when they were together, Muscle Snog gave fantastic performances, but getting them all on the same stage at the same time was difficult. Nevertheless, this year the band have been recording a full studio album thanks to the Miniless/Maybe Mars collaboration. So, they must be back together and ready to reclaim their mantle as one of Shanghai's most interesting bands right? Err, not quite. Indeed, from what Mai Mai and Vivien say, this record is far from a new beginning and instead may signal the end of Muscle Snog.

>>> You must get asked this all the time, but Muscle Snog - what's that name about?

VF: When we first started, Muscle Snog was just me and Mai Mai. He asked me if I wanted to be in a band and I said I did. He said I could choose the name and I came up with two for him to choose from: Muscle Cat and Crystal Snog. He thought about it, then said let's call ourselves Muscle Snog and I just thought 'genius'!

>>> How did you guys meet?

VF: Back in 2005 when we were both at university, he was in a band called Pillow Walker and he was looking for a keyboard player. At that time we had a mutual friend who told me about this and I decided to try it out. I was also in a band at my university at the time, but it was just a cover band. I spoke to Mai Mai and the other band members online and we got on really well so I went to see one of their rehearsals. After I'd seen them rehearse a few times, they broke up and nothing really happened, but I kept in touch with them online. Then one day in 2006, Mai Mai asked me if I wanted to form a band, like I say, and I told him I did. After a while we found a guitarist, Panda, and then we started practising. We had our first performance on March 9th 2007 at Live Bar.
>>> How do you guys write your songs?

VF: Most of the songs are written by Mai Mai. He'll record something at home first and then send it to us to listen to. Then we'll meet up and practise it and we'll play around with our own parts a bit.

MM: We write songs in lots of different ways really. Some of them take a long time and are really seriously written, some are just pure nonsense, some are just chaos. 
没有文化但是有人民币.jpgI spent Saturday afternoon with Lu Chen and Mei Er of Top Floor Circus. They're filming a music video for the hilarious alternative Expo anthem 上海欢迎你 (Shanghai Welcomes You). It's a play on the Beijing Olympic theme 北京欢迎您 and is full of great lines. You can listen to the song here (it's already had over 10,000 plays) and read the full lyrics (in Chinese) here. Here's a quick translation of a few of lines to give you an idea:

上海欢迎你 欢迎来买东西
Shanghai welcomes you, welcomes you to come buy things
Don't forget to bring millions of yuan
上海欢迎你 奥运会有什么了不起
Shanghai welcomes you, what was so great about the Olympics?
Let Expo bring us together
上海欢迎你 欢迎来买东西
Shanghai welcomes you, welcomes you to come buy things
We don't have any culture, but we've got Renminbi

Last time I witnessed a music video shoot for a local band, it was Pinkberry making an MV for their Pinkberry Song. There was a director, a crew, fancy lighting and camera set ups and quality sound equipment for playback of the song. Saturday involved Lu Chen, Mei Er and I walking around town meeting various friends of theirs and Mei Er catching their lines on a handheld camcorder. If they needed prompting by hearing the song, Lu Chen found the appropriate bit on Mei Er's iPod. It was great fun.


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