June 2011 Archives

Some news from Ben Houge

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While he might not be in Shanghai physically any more, Ben Houge continues to have China on his mind. In addition to working on his forthcoming album with songs based on his time here (which sounds pretty exciting incidentally) and performing with Yan Jun over in Boston, he's got a great project planned for this summer and could do with a bit of help. It's called Kaleidoscope Music and you may remember a two channel version being shown in Beijing a while back, but this is much bigger and even more exciting. Ben naturally explains it so much better than I ever could, so read more about it here
fever.jpgWhile Pet Conspiracy were over in Pudong playing around with welder's masks, sparkly cloaks and whips, and Voodoo Kungfu were performing what looked like Texas Chainsaw Massacre live, The Fever Machine released their debut LP at Yuyintang with a straight up rock show. There were no fireworks, no theatrics - just solid musicianship and The Fever Machine playing their no-nonsense rock 'n' roll to an appreciative crowd.

Boys Climbing Ropes had kicked the night off, playing a set of mostly new material. They slipped an old favourite in toward the end, 'Whale Song', but the rest of the songs were presumably what we'll hear on that split record with X is Y after the summer. The crowd was still a little thin on the ground when they opened, but they blasted through a strong set regardless. Credit to them too for appreciating one of the key qualities in a support act: brevity.

The Beat Bandits were up next and played a solid set as well, albeit one familiar to anyone who's seen them before. People still lap up their cover of 'Whatcha Gonna Do About It' though, and why not.

And then came The Fever Machine. As I mentioned last week, the physical CD wasn't available at the show (the band had a contingency in place immediately), but they didn't let that throw them. They played their way through the album tracks with the professionalism and skill that anyone who has seen them play over the last year or so has come to expect. There was showmanship for sure, but they're a band who don't dress their music up particularly, they just lay it out there. And the crowd loved it, particularly a group of three guys at the front who stripped off (Fire in the Hole?) as the riffs built up. 

If you haven't got on it yet, check out the mono version of Living in Oblivion right here and I think I'm right in saying that The Fever Machine have been added to the bill for Proximity Butterfly's show this Friday at YYT so you've another chance to catch them before they head off touring for the summer.

Photos are pending, my camera's a bit screwed at the minute....

Something for the weekend

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If you're looking for those weekend gig run-down posts that I started doing, you can find me doing something similar over here now instead, along with lots of other great stuff such as this article with pictures of me as a woman.
e473583.jpgThe Fever Machine release their debut LP this Saturday with a gig at Yuyintang. Well, sort of. See, the thing is, the CDs aren't ready yet. Nightmare. Don't let that stop you from going though, TFM have made contingency arrangements to ensure you get yourself a hard copy of Living in Oblivion, so you should still make it out to catch them with Boys Climbing Ropes and The Beat Bandits.

Here's the official statement:

Due to unforeseen circumstances in the pressing and packaging process, physical copies of Living In Oblivion will unfortunately not be available at the release show on June 25. The CDs we received today, which had large and glaring manufacturer errors in both the audio and the packaging, have been sent back to Shenzhen to be re-pressed, and will be shipped back to Shanghai as soon as the errors have been corrected. We are extremely bummed out by the situation and deeply apologize for this unfortunate incident.

We will be providing all concertgoers this Saturday with vouchers and instructions on how to pick up their CDs, as well as download cards. Anyone requiring postage for their CDs can leave their addresses with us at Yuyintang, and we will provide free shipping within China. We have also uploaded a (mono) version of Living In Oblivion to soundcloud (http://soundcloud.com/thefevermachine/living-in-oblivion) in the meantime.

Once again, we are indeed quite sorry for the inconvenience and will contact you all as soon as the corrected CDs have been delivered. For any other updates please check www.thefevermachine.com 

因为包装上的技术时间问题, 发烧机的新专辑 活着.遗忘 将无幸在6月25号的新片发布演出上发放。 目前CD正在深圳重新印制, 并且将在刻录改正后以最快的速度发送回上海。我们会派发临时纸给每位参与的朋友们, 并讲解如何凭此纸领取CD, 如需邮寄,请在育音堂留下您的联系方式。 我们将免费提供邮寄服务,并为此次造成的不便致歉。要知道发烧机最新消息, 请登上乐队网站www.thefevermachine.com

AM444 in The Guardian

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am444.jpgIn case you haven't seen this elsewhere yet, the latest MAP project list is out and for June, the good people at Wooozy.cn have chosen (drum roll............) AM444! Title of this post and the picture opposite probably gave that away, but still. That means AM444's excellent 'Eye Wonder' track is now being beamed to dozens of countries all over the globe. It's already getting some love on The Guardian comments as well. 
new logo 021.jpgLOgO's back. Saturday night was a classic LOgO night really: a packed out venue, people drinking beers smuggled in from nearby shops and a few sound problems (mics coming unplugged, that kind of thing). It was great. 

Part way through the night Rabshakeh of Friend or Foe showed me some photos of what the place had looked like at 7pm that night - in short, it was a building site still - so the fact that anything happened at all was pretty impressive and Mr Gaensler in particular deserves a lot of the credit for dragging a bunch of leads and gear across the road from Luwan Rock HQ. 

I got there a bit late, only catching the last song of X is Y's set, with Little Punk lending a hand on the vocals. Guessing we'll hear that one on the split EP they've got coming with Boys Climbing Ropes. Can't wait.

Luckily, I did manage to catch Dragon Pizza in full. They don't play as regularly as some of the other bands in the city, but I always watch their sets with this stupid grin on my face. They're just so good. Yuki is one of the nicest people in the world too and they're one of those bands who are always entertaining to watch, regardless of how into that kind of music you might think you are (or aren't).

After their set came the headlining moment: namely, the death of Bill. Friend or Foe played a great set as always, with plenty of theatre - again, as always - and it was a fitting send off for the bassist. He'll be missed greatly. The band are set to continue with a new member incidentally, no doubt unveiled in some equally dramatic way.

But yeah, new LOgO, not bad. Let's just hope the po po stay away this time....
die-die-die.jpgSo I'm back in Shangers and I was going to write about Friend or Foe killing Bill and helping open the new LOgO this weekend, when I realised this guy had stepped up. If you missed his posts, catch up now.

Still, another show to look forward to is Die Die Die playing Yuyintang tonight. I mentioned how I was going to be gutted to miss them but they're putting on a free show tonight, which is great news. In support are Friend or Foe and new duo Death to Giants, so lots of reasons to make it out on a Monday. If you missed them too last weekend, don't make the same mistake again tonight. 

Leaving on a jet plane

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moving.jpgPosting's been a bit light recently because gigging has been a bit light for me, but now this blog is shutting down all together for a few days. Probably about a week or so. Unfortunately, I don't have time to write up last weekend before I go, but look out for a MESH write up on China Music Radar some time soon (no pressure CMR) and though I don't have time to go into too much detail about the Da Fresh/Candy Shop show I saw at YYT, it reminded me a lot of this great post here, so maybe check that out instead if you haven't already.

In the meantime, I'm gutted to be missing the Die! Die! Die! show on Saturday - I have it on good authority that they're fucking good. And I would also have liked to catch this one at BeeDees on Friday. Still, I'll be out of the country so not a lot I can do about it - talk among yourselves.

77 are looking for a bassist

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b02ba1d0eefe779.jpgA public service announcement from Kungfuology: local punk band 77 are looking for a bassist. As you might remember from this track, 77's music is very much in the old school punk vein, and they're now looking for a bassist to complete their line-up. 

If you're interested in playing with them, you can check out their Douban here, where you'll be able to get in touch directly with the band's members. Alternatively, if you leave a comment on this post, I'll put you in touch with them.

For everyone else, the band are looking to get gigging regularly in the next couple of months and have shows lined up for September if not before.

Something for the weekend

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A long weekend for some in fact, here's what gigs are on offer to fill it with.

Tonight kicks off with Rustic at YYT. I've never been that big on Rustic to be honest, I find the 'zany' antics grate a little - it's like the musical equivalent of having a 'you don't have to be mad to work here' mug. Having been listening to their album for the past couple of weeks, I'm not sure there's much musically to back it up. Dan Shapiro seems to be saying as much in his review of the album too. Having said all that, there are plenty of people who disagree and it'll doubtless be an entertaining show if you want to check it out. Moon Tyrant and Girls Like Mystery are on the bill too. Details.

Fortunately for the boys with the big hair from Beijing, alternatives are pretty scarce tonight. MAO Livehouse has some corporate dance off thing so the only reasonable alternative is Live Bar, where you'll find Puppets of Distortion, Rank, Les Semi Croustillants and a couple of others. Details.
demo.jpgSo I just mentioned MESH, but here's a bit more detail on one of the sessions, taking place Sunday at 1.30pm, and how you can get involved:

MESH is looking for demos from music makers in Shanghai. This is your chance to have your demo listened to by key music industry figures and get their expert feedback and advice on your track. Submissions are open to producers, bands and anyone making music in the city, all you have to do is send us a link to download your work by Friday afternoon 5pm, and we'll let you know on Saturday morning if you've won some face time with some of the members in the MESH society!

Demo Listening Session will take place on Sunday, Jun 5, at 1:30pm. Please send your info/music to: info@ilove2mesh.com and put "demo" as subject.

MESH正在强力寻找藏匿于上海的强浪作品!无论你的身分是制作人,乐团成员,或是隐身城市里喜欢咩事创作的音乐爱好者,这是一个超级酷炫的机会让业界大师们鉴赏你的作品,并且提供专家级的建议。你只需要将你的呕心沥血之作上传并且于星期五(下午五点前)传送你的档案连接给info@ilove2mesh.com你就有机会于星期日早上的MESH HUB "听我斯房创作"单元进行你的音乐初体验啦!(入选的强浪们我们会在星期六早上进行通知)("听我私房创作"单元将在星期天下午1点于宗祠进行

MESH is this weekend

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flyer-mesh.jpgYou've probably heard about this by now, but the Music Exchange Social Hub is taking place this Saturday and Sunday. So what's that then? Well, according to the organiser herself

MESH is a new interactive music platform that encourages conversations between current music industry leaders and those of tomorrow, from all over China. 

Diplo's going to be in town for the official opening party on the Saturday, but there's also a bunch of talks and seminars and workshops and what not taking place over the weekend at KIN. Those talks feature plenty of names familiar to anyone who follows this blog, including Han Han, Lezi and ChaCha to name just a few. 

You can check out a nice run down and Diplo exclusive in, ahem, this month's Time Out Shanghai, plus all the details on the talks and how to get tickets etc on the MESH site right here and a SmartShanghai primer here.