August 2010 Archives

Buy yourself a strange rock bag

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T1WUpJXoxlXXbbLEQT_013350.jpg_310x310.jpgYou might have seen a few people around town (myself included) sporting one of these rather fashionable Adventure of Strange Rock bags the last couple of months. As you can see, they come from the tour of the same name that Boojii and Duck Fight Goose put on a while back. They look amazing, are good quality bags and will make you at least ten times more attractive to members of the opposite sex. Promise. If that sounds like your bag, click here and buy a whole load on Taobao.

September 25: Open Goat

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9e7ea16a1f056adf2512a091de46dc82ad01a34787bc2b7fc955318ce136aad4f4a15fd10bddf3002eda16920.jpgUPDATE: The Goat has been delayed until October. More details once the date's been confirmed.

Hey thrillseeker, you need to get on this: Open Goat. That's not some crazy new drug that all the kids are on, it's the name of a brilliant event coming up on September 25 at 1918's new gallery space (694 Huai'an Lu, near Changle Lu). Yes, it's a while off yet, but it doesn't mean I can't get excited about it now.

Here's the deal, straight from the, err, goat's mouth:

A veritable orgy of artistic fertility, the OPEN GOAT welcomes all comers to take part in a fully democratic, spontaneous, feverish and potentially life-altering collective improvisation.


The set-up is both simple and beautiful. Hordes of musicians and non-musicians playing acoustic instruments, household items, or specially constructed noise-objects will fill the main gallery space.

The aim is to jam one hour (or potentially longer) of pure improvisation, just for the sick ear-pleasure of finding out what happens. 


Oi! 77

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p519954656.jpgDespite 关注ing them, I somehow missed that Shanghai-based punk band 77 have put up a couple of tracks on their Douban. I had it pointed out to me last night at LOgO and, sure enough, there's a couple of songs up right here. Give that link a click and listen to the tracks.

It's punk in the pure, old school form so if you dig that stuff, you'll like these. They're still a fairly new band, but hopefully this means more is on the way and that they'll be gigging some more soon. Keep an eye out for them anyway. 

Pairs at LOgO

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p591966320.jpgHave you heard of this band called Pairs? They're alright y'know. I know this site is in danger of becoming Pairsology at times, but here's my defence for this post: 1) they're good; 2) they're one of the few bands who have been gigging among the tumbleweed of the summer; 3) this was the first show I'd been to in ages so I'm going to write it up. So there.

So this was the Trash A Go Go night with Toshi et al putting a bunch of bands on at YYT and then over at LOgO later on. Unfortunately things over-ran at YYT so Pairs didn't go on until gone 1am. Didn't matter, there were plenty of people packed into LOgO to see them. Naturally, they tore shit up on the small stage (they're one of the few bands who seem to fit that LOgO stage). Despite a shitty amp and it being ridiculously hot and sweaty plenty of people jumped around like crazy throughout the set. Rhys even took my request for 'The Neighbours Song', which features lyrics such as 'Harold and Madge'. Ace.

As a post script, LOgO's trouble with the fuzz continues. After the usual moaning about people being sat outside, a couple of policeman came in halfway through the night and shone a torch at the DJ. They didn't really say anything, just shone the torch spotlighting him for a bit until he turned the music down. It was a bit surreal. They keep getting those visits there, let's hope it doesn't become too serious.

A bit of bother at YYT

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yyt.jpgSo while posting has been a bit light here the last few days (it's been my time of the month), someone else has been blogging like a mad man. Check it out.

Meanwhile, the ever-reliable SmartShanghai has posted on the recent troubles of Yuyintang, Shanghai's most important live venue. I know it's kind of annoying when blogs just link to other people's articles without adding anything to it, but it's important and Morgan's pretty much nailed it, so here's the link.

Though I'm gutted there's no show there tonight (now that I finally have time to get to a gig), the real worry is next month - let's hope it won't interfere with all the goodness coming our way in September.

Rock Radio Vol 23

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Volume 23 of Rock Radio, an online radio show about, well, rock, is out and it features Lu Chen, Xiao He, Glamourous Pharmacy and Joker among others. It's embedded right here so all you have to do is click play. Ace. Check out previous episodes here. This is the full track listing:

1. 美好药店 - 24度  (Glamourous Pharmacy)
  2. 张四十三 - 3/4 
  3. 胶壳乐队 - 大公鸡  (Joker)
  4. 黑手那卡西 - 司机的心情 
  5. 消除 - 梦想家的爱情 
  6. 小河 - 畅打腔 (Xiao He)
  7. 万能青年旅馆 - 不万能的喜剧(Unplugged) 
  8. 林一峰&My Little Airport - 公司里的爱琴海 
  9. 伤花 - 香烟 
  10. 李志 - 暧昧(现场版) 
  11. 陆晨 - 发条陆晨  (Lu Chen)

More stuff is happening

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s3276221.jpgSeriously, it's like buses or something. 

So after the flurry of activity yesterday - and yes, it was a flurry - there's some more new stuff to tell you about. Joker, or Jiao Ke if you will, have put up some songs recorded live at the 0093 three year anniversary the other week. They're live, awesome and available for download so get on it.

There's some new B-Side Lovers tracks up here.

What else? Oh yeah, some new Da Fresh tracks. Take it or leave it.

Umm, Fanfare have a new location. Remember them? They got shut down because of trouble with the neighbours. Their new totally-harmonious-honest location is on the second floor of 96 Anshun Lu (that's near Dingxi Lu). 

Ok, so actually that's about it, but don't worry, things pick up in September. Look at all this lot coming your way: Strange Streets Kill Animals + Bigger Bang! + Pairs and Boys Climbing Ropes + The Fallacy all on one weekend; Queen Sea Big Shark whoring it for corporates; Xiao He not; new Guai Li album + Duck Fight Goose; internationals: Buck 65 (saw this guy  at T in the Park back when I had hair, amazing), Cave Singers, Japanese surf rockers The Whys; Xihu Festival down in Hangzhou... and on and on...

Some stuff has happened at last

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hotombymojo.jpgUPDATE: It's all happening now. Action, action, action. Ho-Tom's gone and uploaded some amazing pictures done by friend of the blog Mojo Wang. Check them out here.

Tumbleweed, tumbleweed, tumbleweed...

new Ziyo song or Free The Birds, whatever

tumbleweed, tumbleweed, tumbleweed...

tumbleweed, tumbleweed, tumbleweed...

oh shit! Ho-Tom the Conqueror has some songs up. That's right kids, two different versions of The Love Song of Daniel Mao, which is the one often proceeded by me shouting 'play the Hu Jintao song!' like the drunken lout that I am. Whatever, I love that song, I don't care if I call it by the wrong name. Click here and love it too. Now. Seriously, go.

On holiday

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This blog is going on holiday for about a week or so. Talk amongst yourselves. 3500521698_8278838c80.jpg

Zhulu Hefeng, the local-based label headed up by Sonnet and Pinkberry drummer Lezi, are continuing their ambitious plans to sign up every band in the world. Last we heard, they'd done a deal with French rockers The Nitwits and now the band have licensed them to become their official album sellers in China. They'll be flogging the album around Shanghai and also up in Beijing as well as trying to get the band a slot at one of China's 2,896 festivals taking place this year.

On top of that, they've added local band Plastic Chocolate to their roster (that's them on the right here). I may have lost count here, but I think that brings the ZLHF stable to a grand total of 9 bands. The others being Sonnet, Pinkberry, Joker, Manbanpai, Mr., 21 Grams and Shenzhi Wuzhi.

Pinkberry already have a record out and Sonnet, Joker and Mr. are all in the studio at this very second. Well actually, they're probably doing their day jobs right now, but when they have some free time they'll be recording. Look out for releases from them in the next few months.

Also, come September, they'll be firing up the old university tour bus again and heading out to proselytise some students. Shit, those kids are busy eh?

CMR gets a new look

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cropped-header副本.jpgOne of the best sites about Chinese music on the interwebs, China Music Radar, has had a refit. Very dapper it is too. This picture is just a teaser, I don't want to give away all their surprises, but I will tell you that the panda is safe. So that's good. That's it really. Check it out here.
e272503.jpgI don't know if you went to see Handsome Furs last year when they played in town, but if you did you probably went this year as well - they make you want to see them again in that kind of way. Well anyway, if you went last year you'll remember it was ridiculously hot and sweaty in Yuyintang that night. Last night was no different. No shocks there really, YYT gets sweaty in mid-February with the right number of people in there, August wasn't going to be any other way.

Anyway, the place was packed by the time Pairs kicked things off. Not sure if you've heard of Pairs or not, you might have seen the odd oblique reference to them here and there, but they're alright. Last night they played as Trios, with Xiao Zhong's sister's boyfriend smashing the shit out of some stuff on stage while they played. They're nothing if not inclusive. Good for them, I'm all about widening participation. They were great.

Duck Fight Goose were on after that, another band you've probably not read about on this blog before, but never mind. They were ridiculously good as ever, though in a completely different style to Pairs obviously. Han Han had some effect thing going on his vocals, which is a new development and something I'm no so sure about, but they're still far and away one of the best bands around and seeing them is always a great experience.

So two great bands paved the way for Handsome Furs. Dan acknowledged as much when, in addition to saying YYT was one of his favourite places to play in the world, said that we 'should be proud of having two such great bands in Shanghai.' He's not wrong. So if that was your first time seeing those bands (unlikely if you're reading this blog admittedly), get out and see them more often. You can start tonight with Pairs at Not Me.

Nuka Cola release EP

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s4425006.jpgNuka Cola, one of those bands who like to play fast and loose with the 'rap', 'nu-metal' and 'mixture' tags, have an EP all recorded, mixed and good to go. They've only been together since March this year, so that's not bad going. The CD will get a proper, as in physical, release on Friday 13th up at 696 Livehouse. Da Fresh will be one of three support bands that night and the cover (40RMB) includes a copy of the EP.

In the meantime, you can give it a spin (well, play it on Douban) by clicking here. All five of the tracks that you see when you click that link are from the eponymous EP. Give it a whirl - what's the worst that can happen?


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ul106049-1.jpgSo you know this and this and how it said 'courtesy of Qu Records'? If you've been losing sleep, hardly eating and grabbing strangers by the throat if they say the word 'Qu', demanding they tell you what this 'Qu' is that everyone keeps talking about, you need to chill out. But also, you need to click right here and discover the sweetness. Get on it.

Video: Pairs' 'Yangpu Qu'

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Courtesy of Qu Records. You can also hear and download the final mixes of 'Yangpu Qu' and 'Oh Ghost' by clicking here. Both tracks will be on Pairs' forthcoming CD.

Courtesy of Qu Records

Listen to Pairs and Guai Li

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p513800011.jpgI didn't go to Zhangbei this year. Last year it took me an age to get to the festival to see a bunch of bands I'd seen loads before and blah, blah, blah. Whatever, Pinkberry went and quick as a flash Andy has posted on a video of them playing there that they just stuck up on their Douban. Clickeddy click.

That's not really what this post is about though. It's a short one to say click here to listen to one of the Pairs tracks that I was banging on about the other day. If it doesn't rock you to your core then, well, sigh. Beijing, you'll get yours too when Pairs play Old What Bar on Friday 13 and Raying Temple on Saturday 14. Oh, and someone's written something about them in Time Out Beijing this month too. Hot. UPDATE: More on the media whores here.

Speaking of stuff going on in the capital (and of new tracks, seamless linking), you can click here to listen to a new track from Guai Li. Their album is coming out in a couple of weeks and they're going on tour to promote it, with a date in Shanghai next month. People seem to be divided over how good Guai Li actually are, give this a click and see what you make of it.
p518927125.jpgUPDATE This guy has gone and done a proper write up of the event.

As I was partly involved in organising this event, I'm not going to do a proper review type thing. I should point out though that I wasn't all that involved really - this was mostly Andy's doing and he deserves the credit for making this all happen, even if he gave me the finger when I said as much on stage last night.

So yeah, a big thank you to all of you who came out for the show and decided on some brilliant photographs and bands over Panic at the Disco! for 350 kuai. Thanks to Yuyintang and especially Supes for letting us host the whole thing at their place, thanks to Boojii and Duck Fight Goose and Brad for being amazing as always and thanks to Ren Hang for coming here and sharing his work with everyone and for being a good house guest (you too, Fish, I love this photo). Also a big thank you to Sacco for carting all his gear over and DJing for us - I have a horrible feeling I forgot to mention him when I was on stage last night, it's not personal, I'm just not a good public speaker (that and the beers didn't help).

This is Ren Hang's first time in Shanghai, but something tells me he'll be back before long - let's hope so.

That's it really. The turn out was fantastic, the photos and bands more than worthy of so many people and I had a great time. Hopefully you did too. Thanks.