As much as I wanted to hangout with the Santas on Saturday and make the most of a rare not so cold, blue sky day in the Jing, I also wanted even more to head into the big warm dark cave that is Tango 3rd Floor and spend the entire day watching bands, drinking beer and seeing who got to take home a Midi brick or 2 (or 3 in the case of one lucky person!) So with BD on a plane downunder, Alex & I headed to Yonghegong to party with our favourite bands!
If you’re not sure who was nominated this year, check out this cool clip from Midi introducing the awards and the nominees:
And, drumroll please, here are your winners:
Best New Band: Steely Heart
Best Album Artwork Design Award: Pet Conspiracy 宠物同谋 “Pet Conspiracy”
Best Instrumental Performance: Jì Yuán 纪元 (Air Carnival 空中狂欢节乐队- Guitar)
Best Hard Rock Band: Ordnance 巨蟹座
Best Metal Band: Yaksa 夜叉
Best Female Vocalist: Jiāng Xīn 姜昕
Best Folk Musician: Hao Yun 郝云 (presented by Alex from Beijing Gig Guide!)
Best Rock Song: Gala “The Purest Dream Chasing Heart”
Best Rock Album Year: Long Shen Dao 龙神道 “Hug”
Best Live Performance: Miserable Faith 痛仰
Best Rock Band: Long Shen Dao 龙神道
Best Male Vocalist: Zuoxiao Zuzhou 左小祖咒
Contribution to Rock: Modern Sky 摩登天空
Big congrats to all the winners, especially the busiest guy of the day, guitarist Gao Xu, who took home 3 awards (2 with Long Shen Dao, 1 with Yaksa), played at the ceremony with Long Shen Dao and then headed off to Yugong to play with Yaksa!
A few interesting notes … Steely Heart have been around for a few years and just released their second EP/album, so not sure how they can be called ‘New’? As much as I love Zuoxiao Zuzhou’s music, I’d hardly call him the best vocalist, he doesn’t really sing, he mumbles, but his musical arrangements are worth celebrating. Nice try giving the Contribution to Music award to their competitors Modern Sky – after last year awarding it to themselves! GALA for best song? Maybe I’m just not a pop fan, but I had to turn it off halfway through.
We also got some great performances during the afternoon and evening. Steely Heart opened this show, and I keep saying this but they just get better every time I see them! I’m really sorry I didn’t make it to their album launch. CMCB brought on a few guests to help out their set, and we got a crowdsurfing lesson from their lead singer as well! Liquid Oxygen Can were heavy and hard, with not only a drummer but also a percussionist playing giant (oil?) drums. LongShenDao were down to four, but kept us grooving with a backing track in place of their keyboardist and Zhang Wei’s guzheng as he was busy with Buyi. Voodoo Kungfu weren’t on the line up, but stepped in for Ordnance and wowed the crowd. From the balcony I spotted two really long lines of headbangers with arms around each other shoulders enjoying this one. Hao Yun soothed us with his folk tunes, joined on stage by various friends including an erhu player. Luoqi played before the final awards, I’ve not seen them before, but she has a nice voice and their guitarist is the easily recognisable Shi XiaoPeng from XiaYueTuan.
Now, I haven’t seen all the bands or listened to all the albums that were up for awards this year, but based on the ones I know, I would have made some different choices…
Best New Band: Long Shen Dao 龙神道
Best Album Artwork Design Award： Nanwu 南无
Best Instrumental Performance：Kòu Zhēngyǔ 寇征宇 (Suffocated/Chunqiu guitarist)
Best Hard Rock Band: Yaksa 夜叉
Best Metal Band: Voodoo Kungfu 零壹
Best Female Vocalist: Kang Mao 抗猫 (SUBS/Bye Bye, Thanks for the Fish)
~ we all know she can scream, but this year proved she has a gorgeous folk voice as well.
Best Folk Musician: Xiao He 小河
~ how was he not in the shortlist for Silly’s Ballads?
Best Rock Song: Long Shen Dao 龙神道 “The Heart Guides the Way”
~ not the song that they were nominated for, but I just love this one
Best Rock Album Year: Zhaoze 沼泽 “Cang Lang Xing”
~ I agree with Jon Campbell on this, I can’t believe this didn’t even make the shortlist!
Best Live Performance: Miserable Faith 痛仰
~ Ok, I agree with Midi on one! I’ve seen them so many times this year and they’re always great shows
Best Rock Band: Omnipotent Youth Society 万能青年旅店
Best Male Vocalist: Joshua C. Love, Proximity Butterfly 变色蝴蝶
~ yes, I know a foreigner will never win this, but he does sing in both English and Chinese, and has the most beautiful voice
Contribution to Rock: Mao Livehouse
~ a breeding ground for young bands as well as a great venue for big international acts (for example this year Shonen Knife, Exodus etc) held an excellent punk festival, consistently good sound and lighting, shows start on or close to scheduled time and they’re there for the music, not to make money off the bar!
Now, I’m sure BD will have more to say about this when he gets back to the Middle Kingdom, but what do you guys think? Who should have won in your totally biased opinions?