well well well! did you think festival season was already over? Heck no!! With all the debates and chats about MIDI, Strawberry and the cancelled dongpai, the 2013 Dreamer Festival of Indie Music almost slipped through the crack and maybe that’s not a bad thing. too much publicity might bring undue scrutiny from the powers that be. Either way, they have quietly set themselves up for a 2 day extravaganza this coming weekend at the Chaoyang Sports Center. There is a decent lineup of indie international acts that you don’t get too often, most of which will be playing around town in the next few weeks including Child ( from Mexico), Azure Ray, Swedish sensation Sophie Zelmani and a few others. Now ordinarily i wouldn’t spend too much time writing about popyy indie stuff but in the case of Dreamer Festival, the local lineup is really what grabbed my attention: Omnipotent Youth Society, Shan Ren, Low Wormwood, Wu Hongfei and Happy Avenue along with Zhou Yunpeng are all there. And those bands put together are definitely worth the admission ticket, even the hassle of getting out there. The only band i don’t see fitting this whole lineup is Ataraxia, an Italian post-renaissance band that does some intriguing things. Heck, it’s comparatively easy if you just had to deal with MIDI or Strawberry… Here is the lineup: Also not the presence of Hang on the Box and Hong Kong’s My Little Airport…. If shoegazing and dreamy pop is your thing, this [...]
I like new music and there’s been quite a bit of it lately even though i might not have gotten around to reviewing it. Still, I love when bands email to say they got a new one out the door, even if they’re not from Beijing. That’s the case for Shanghai’s Stegosaurus? whom if you might recall I wrote about over a year ago when they opened for the short lived reunion of Hang on the Box. Actually I should remember that show as the first time I ever hear the Ghost Spardac ( where are they now?) I remember them being tons of fun with their antics, costumes and the loved that they could actually play their instruments. So, anyways, the guys have a new record out called Purple Pachyderm and they’ve uploaded it up n bandcamp as a “name your own price” download. http://stegosaurus.bandcamp.com/ It’s a nice little 10 song collection, well recorded and got some hairy balls on it.. I would expect no less from a record named after Les Claypool’s own brand of wine. Check it out y’all and let them know what you think. I’ll have a review up at some point I hope.
Last saturday was one of those nights where it was really difficult to make a call on which gig to check out.. In the end, I figured I’ll catch Wu & The Side Effects soon enough and I couldn’t resist the temptation linked to Hang on the Box and Shanghai’s Stegosaurus? I saw flashes of the old Gia at the HOTB appearance last month and I couldn’t wait to see if my statement of that night “The Bitch is Back” would prove right…. Stegosaurus? on the other hand, I never even heard of prior to getting an email from the band informing me that they would open for HTOB. a quick douban trip and a listen got me interested. Show started kinda early for Mao with unannouced guests, The Ghost Spardac. I have never heard of them before but they were mildly interesting in their own little way… I couldn’t decide if they were heavy pop or soft trash but i did like a few of their songs. post-show research shows that the band has been around for a while and getting a decent following. The lead singer, Boxi, had some skills and decent energy. They’ll be back at Mao Live on November 5th along with Bigger Bang, both opening for Taipai’s The White Eyes. Stegosaurus? were up next and someone forgot to tell them that it wasn’t Halloween yet as one of the members took the stage in a luchador outfit. What can i say about them? They’re fun, [...]
cool little weekend ahead folks with just enough musical diversity and offering to keep the dazemeister happy and not over-booked. An interesting thing is a few bands playing their “first official” appearance with new lineups when they’ve been seen around town for a little while now.. think Wu & The Side Effects along with Hang On The Box. Oh yeah, in case u ain’t heard, The Buzzcocks are in town. Thursday October 21st: Paperdoll @ Yugong Yishan: I admit it, I know nothing about them and have barely heard a song or two but I’ve liked the descriptions and I’m more than curious to go check them out for shit n giggles. it’s supposed to have rock, attitude and fun. The Beijinger 9th years @ Migas: if you want a reason to get to sanlitun, there are very few better ones. The Beijinger is for the hard nosed expats by hard nosed expats and they’ve been around for a while fighting the good fight. They celebrate 9 years in style with an-you-can-drink for 99RMB at Migas which YOU KNOW will be nuts. Friday October 22nd: Buzzcocks @ Yugong Yishan: I’m writing this one knowing fully that i will not be going to this particular gig.. I hear they still put on a mean performance but I’d rather not see middle-aged 60 year olds singing songs they wrote when they were in their late teens.. it ain’t the same! The Redbucks @jiangjinjiu: I ain’t seen them bucks since the one and [...]
There were a few things happening last saturday in Beijing in terms of entertainment but your truly was particularly curious about one of them events: Hang on the Box relaunching at Hot Cat Club on the same bill as Rustic, The Dancers and 诱导社 Lure. It was also a good chance to finally check out Hot Cat Club, one of the new up n coming concert venues in town. I figured in true Beijing fashion, the gig would start a bit late but when Ruby and I finally made it there around 10, we had missed rustic! Shame as I haven’t seen the boys perform in a while. The guys at Panbianr have more details about that on their review of the gig. We did however get to see 诱导社 Lure for the first time! I can’t say i know much about them but according to Pete demola ( who is finally back in Beijing), they’ve been around for a while but don’t play much. The lead singer sported a great mohawk but the music flew right over my head… Their douban page describes their style as Funk Grunge… whatever! didn’t seem to inspired to me. Hang on the Box came out next with a new lineup that includes Gia, two girls and a guy.. all new additions to the band from what i could tell which made it even more intriguing. I definitely do not like Gia’s solo stuff, especially not the bossanova experimental thingy she did last year. [...]
This week’s shows: Ok.. No real quickslants this week in music as all the good gigs seem to be happening on friday with one or two exceptions: Back to Basic at the worker’s stadium with the old guard that is uniting for the first time ever on the same bill with Cui Jian, Tang Dynasty, Black Panther etc..) or Zippo Hot List at Yugong yishan bringing one of the better lineups so far with Free The Birds ( ZIYO), The Face, Chasing Stars and Bigger Bang. gongti is mighty appealing and it’s a once in a lifetime lineup but the seating arrangements and security might just be too mafan to risk it. Zippo should be one hell of a show with high octane bands but I can always see them again! On Saturday, we might witness a rise from the ashes of none other than Hang on the Box… yes folks, Hang on the Box is “back” meaning Gia found a bunch of new girls to jump in with her and rock the boat. I hated her solo stuff but liked her Girl Kill Girl material.. let’s see what this incarnation brings. They’ll have help from non other than RUSTIC and The Dancers on saturday night at the Hot Cat Club… Random News Well, you see it up above, HOTB is back meaning Gia and a bunch of new hired guns! I don’t know the story but I’m sure we’ll find out soon. They band’s Douban page is updated with [...]
Gia Wang 王悦 doesn’t need introductions as far as the Beijing live scene goes. She was a driving squealing voice behind Hang On The Box, China’s premier girl punk band and their offspring Girl Kill Girl. I remember seeing HOTB years ago and being captivated by their live raw energy as well as their musical innocence (whether the girls themselves were innocent of not is a whole other story) so I was looking forward to this latest offspring off of the HOTB tree even though it was Gia on her little lonesome. How would the transition from punk to pop/bossanova go and how will the fans react? I managed to miss her debut at Mao but caught her last week for her birthday gala at Yugong Yishan. It was billed as a nice double whammy of Gia with her solo effort as well as Girl Kill Girl. Ding Ke was on opening duty! I made in on time to catch 2 songs by Ding Ke and the best i can say is that it was not my cup of tea. The music was quite mellow, with shadows and keyboard sounds floating around the place. Dreamy is how i would describe the whole thing, it also applies to Ding Ke’s voice. Then it was time for the Gia Show.. May I say that she aged well? The punk girl is now a lady and no one can take that from her! She kicked off the festivities with a couple of Girl [...]