April 2011 Archives

Strawberry updates

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strawberries_moldy.jpgSince I posted about Strawberry being cancelled yesterday morning, a number of other sites have put up some more detailed information about what's happened. In summary, Modern Sky have blamed a thunderstorm effecting their power set up and said that the festival is 'postponed' not cancelled, though until when it's not clear. A far more likely explanation, and the one doing the rounds on Weibo and Douban before it gets deleted, is that the festival has been harmonised due to the mention of a certain outspoken artist who's still missing economic criminal at last weekend's Zhouzhuang folk festival, also organised by Modern Sky. Finally, the organisers of the electronic stage at Strawberry, STD, have relocated their line-up to MAO Livehouse on Saturday and LUNE on Monday and Tuesday. 

Organisers of the Nanjing Blossom Festival and Midi Shanghai must be a tad worried right about now, but they're still going ahead at the moment. Don't expect there to be any 'text your message to the big screen' initiatives going on though or anything that might even remotely encourage freedom of speech.

Here's some links for more information:

China Music Radar on the 'postponement'
SmartShanghai on STD's DJ relocation
Modern Sky's announcement on Douban

Strawberry Suzhou cancelled

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e408399.jpgIf you were planning on heading to the Strawberry Festival Suzhou this weekend, think again. There are rumours all over Douban that the festival has been cancelled and various sources have confirmed that this is the case, with the decision apparently taken late last night. The festival, whose slogan of 'You say hello, I say goodbye' now seems rather unfortunate, has yet to make an official announcement, but it seems that will follow later today once they've managed to inform everyone on the organiser side - as of this morning, news was still filtering through to the various parties involved. No reason has yet been given for the cancellation. More news as and when it comes through.
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.

Video: Shanghai Soundtrack

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Another video, but you have to admit this is worth watching. H/T Shanghai 24/7.

Something for the weekend

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Beijing band Dude release their new EP at Yuyintang. Details

Androsace, Independent Day, Sunny Day and Les Semi Croustillants at Live Bar. Details


Folk festival in Zhouzhuang (runs until Sunday). Details

Harmonica man Mark Peng at Yuyintang in the afternoon. Details

The Fever Machine, Duck Fight Goose, Stegosaurus? and Androsace at Yuyintang. Details

Runaway Snail, Poppy, Candy Shop, Plastic Chocolate and Crystal Butterfly at MAO Livehouse. Details

Puppets of Distortion, Black Luna, Prank and Fight for Her at Live Bar. Details

Su Yu at 696 Livehouse. Details


Walt Crossover at Live Bar. Details

Su Yu at Yuyintang. Details
Something to look forward to eh? Find details of where to catch them live and check out their tunes and what not here.
When I posted that video of The Fever Machine the other day, Mr Shapiro stated that there was 'plenty more where that came from'. He wasn't kidding. Here's some more news that I CTRL+C, CTRL+Ved from an e-mail:

For those of you in the Shanghai, China vicinity, this Saturday, April 23rd, we'll be playing the seventh edition of our monthly local showcase, The Fever Machine & Friends, over at Yuyintang, alongside Duck Fight Goose, Stegosaurus? and Androsace. This show will definitely be a banger, so come check it out if you're free. Show starts at 9:30pm. Tickets are 40 RMB.

In other news, we're pleased to announce to unveiling of our official website www.thefevermachine.com . . .
It's still quite basic and crude, but has all the pertinent links you'll ever need to connect with our heavy rock goodness. Whatever your social media preference, chances are we  have a link. But of course, if we're missing something vital, feel free to let us know.

Next Year's Love demos are up

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cbd445acc241921.jpgIf you hung around in Shanghai last Christmas, you might have caught Next Year's Love's debut performance at LUNE. I missed them unfortunately and the all-girl group decided to take a bit of a hiatus from live shows immediately afterwards and had a bit of a line-up shuffle. They've kept rehearsing though and seem to be gearing up for some gigs again. Two new demos have just gone up on their Douban site and they're sounding great. Check them out right here.
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.
This video has just gone up of The Fever Machine playing YYT last year. Check it.

Laziness: Other people's weekends

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Impostor.jpgI had a quiet weekend gigwise. Here's what other people made of it:

Terence Lau on QSBS

Feel free to add your own reviews in the comments....

Something for the weekend

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yyt1.jpgmao1.jpglivebar1.jpg Saturday and Sunday after the jump
This video just went up from the Friend or Foe boys, check it out. Beijing, take note.
7 128.jpgIt's taken me a couple of days to get around to writing this, but then it took Break for Borneo a little while to get around to having a physical release of their CD so I guess we're even. Sort of. If you missed the CD release and haven't downloaded the album yet, you can do it for free right here. The CD release had become part of a 24 hour festival thing at YYT that had kicked off at 3pm and the venue felt pretty festival-ly when I got there in the evening, with people all face-painted up and wearing odd headgear etc. It was the perfect vibe for Break for Borneo's summery feel-good tropical rock and the crowd really got into their performance, which also featured a cameo from Adam Gaensler

Duck Fight Goose had opened the night incidentally, but I got there late and missed their set. I was disappointed to have missed them, but even with them out of the equation, the remaining three bands made for a strong line-up. Rainbow Danger Club followed Break for Borneo and managed to get into the tropical rock theme. An expectant roar went up from the crowd during the opening notes of 'Neighbours on the Rooftop', but it wasn't quite the song they expected - instead, the band performed a reworked version of the track in a reggae-like style.

Video: SUBS at MAO Livehouse

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I didn't make it to this show, so for everyone else who missed it as well, here's SUBS ripping through a classic this weekend in Shanghai.

Something for the weekend

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Bob Dylan Tickets.jpeg    mixing.jpg    playful.jpg    bfb.jpg    subs.jpg

周庄民谣诗歌节海报.JPGNot content with organising Strawberry in Beijing and Suzhou this May, Modern Sky are putting on a folk and poetry festival in the water town of Zhouzhuang (about 90 minutes from Shanghai) on the weekend of 23-24 of April. There'll be two stages and performers will include Xiao He, Zhou Yunpeng, Hanggai, Zhang Weiwei and Zuoxiao Zuzhou.

Here's the full line-up:



13:30-14:10 安来宁
14:30-15:10 张玮玮和郭龙
15:30-16:10 许飞与JAM乐队
16:30-17:10 马条
17:30-18:30 曹方
19:00-20:00 老狼


13:30-14:10 蛤蟆
14:30-15:10 番茄炒蛋
15:30-16:10 小河
16:30-17:10 周云蓬

s4662377.jpgIf you missed the CD release for AM444's brilliant new album last weekend, you can give the whole thing a listen right here. Don't forget that SIG releases his album this Friday at The Shelter and remember that you can catch AM444 performing live at the Nanjing (International) Music Festival and Midi Shanghai in the next few weeks.

Sonnet release 14, Yuyintang

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Actually, I was out of town when this gig took place so I missed Sonnet releasing their new album, but their loyal legions of groupies were there en masse, cameras clutched at the ready. More videos and photos from the night here. More on the album here
p899567816.jpgSo after all the drama of last week, I finally got to see someone actually perform at MAO Livehouse last night. World's End Girlfriend and Black Hole Carnival closed out JUE Festival with a spectacular set of electronica mixed with post rock and gave a great show - let's face it, it's hard to argue with someone who has two drummers.

This being a Split Works organised show, it was professional and well-run, but even on a normal night, it's hard not to think that MAO Livehouse has the potential to be a fantastic venue. I think the new space is a big improvement on the old one - the lower ceiling and the mezzanine around the edge makes it feel less cavernous than the old venue did and (though there was a big crowd last night) it feels as if you could get away with smaller turn outs here not feeling empty like they did in Red Town.

The layout, lighting and sound are all really impressive, though at the risk of sounding like an old man, I thought the sound was too loud. If they put the 'force majeure' that is Subs on at that volume, they'll have all of Luwan district complaining about the noise. On the plus side, there's no smoking allowed in the main performance area (unless that was just for last night?) which means non-smokers can enjoy a gig without coming out smelling like an ashtray.

There are some drawbacks - in particular the bar operates a ridiculous drink tickets system whereby you tell the bar person what you want, they direct you to someone selling drinks tickets who asks again, exchanges your money for the same value of tickets and then you pass the tickets to the person stood right next to them to get your drink. Surely that's not necessary?

But overall, it's an excellent space and has the potential to be a great venue as long as it's managed in the right way.

AM444 CD release, The Shelter

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dscn3312.jpgIt's not often that The Shelter gets mentioned on this blog. Not because I don't go there, I'm there all the time, but because it usually falls into a different domain and is dealt with by other sites. I'm making an exception here though because AM444 have released a brilliant, made in Shanghai album and it's worthy of recognition. I've had the hooks from the Eye Wonder album echoing in my head all morning and if you missed the show last night, you need to pick up a copy of that CD or cop it on iTunes as soon as you can. 

The show kicked off last night with a premiere of the second AM444 music video (after this one). From what I could see over people's heads, it was really nicely shot and very professionally done. Keep an eye out here for it going up online.

After a set from Alan Shanyinde, AM444 then produced a live set, performing the album in its entirety. Anyone who has seen ChaCha perform before knows that she's simply a massive massive talent and it was great to see her here with a large crowd nodding along as she sang. She was supported by a backing vocalist (also excellent) and Xiao Feng on the trumpet and, of course, the other half of AM444, Jay.Soul. 

His performance was outstanding. In addition to spinning the beats that he composed for the album, he seemed to be doing about a dozen things at once, including playing live keys and guitar over the top. It could have been so easy for him to just DJ the beats, but his live instrumentation really added another dimension to the show.

Once again, you really need to get yourself a copy of this album if you haven't already. It's a great record and another really strong Shanghai release. Congratulations to everyone involved.

More photos like the one above from the video shoot here.

It's Friday, you need this

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AM444 album release at The Shelter, tonight from 10pm.

See also: this and this.

Don't miss it.