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.
Jake: June 2011 Archives
While 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....
The 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:
In 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.
LOgO'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....
So 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.
Posting'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.
A 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.
So 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!
You'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.