back in business my babies… CNY has just is kinda in our rear-view mirror and we can start looking ahead to some good gigs all around town. The city is slowly waking up but this weekend offerings are more than respectable so let’s see what’s cooking. Friday Feb.22 Novaheart @ Yugong Yishan The new darlings of the Beijing scene are kicking off their nationwide tour at Yugong Yishan tonight. From what i’ve seen and heard in videos, the band is coming together nicely and the addition of Atom on drums has been a good move. I’m hoping my other duties allow me to sneak out tonight and check it out with my own ears. Catch them before they head out for a little while, especially if electro disco is your kinda thing 16mn @ jianghu I can officially call them the ‘dazedarlings of 2012 i think. I like these kids and the kinda music they’ve been putting together. THey’re still a little green but growing up fast. Robin plays a mean guitar and Cindy just needs a bit more practice to kick things in hight gear. I’m curious about the new songs they’ve been working on. Intrepid Adventurers @ VA yeah, they’re pop rock but they’ve come a long way since i saw them the first time around about 6 months ago. It’s pop rock well done and the kids are genuinely having fun on stage. Don’t get me started on that drummer… she’s some kinda trouble. Saturday Feb.23 AIS [...]
a lot of things happening this beginning of the year folks… here are a few drops: Moma, as in the residential complex, has a decent theatre and they’v thrown their eight behind live music somehow putting together an incredible lineup over a few weeks. They hosted a reunited Wild Children this past saturday that had people pissing themselves with excitement and there is more goodness coming up: This weekend brings Top Floor Circus (shanghai) and Wu Tiao Ren (guangzhou). THey’ve also got a reunited underbaby, He Yong and more coming up. Check it out here http://site.douban.com/192672/ Pairs were up in Beijing last month and pulled off one hell of a show at XP.. I don’t think I got around to reviewing it but still, take my word for it,.. it was fun. Somehow, they recorded the performance and it’s up on Bandcamp so go get it. http://pairs.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-xp-beijing The Ningxia connection keeps on giving and most of my favourite bands are getting together to record the master of all Ningxia Compilations: Lao Da, Buyi, Lidong, Miao and Skarving just to name a few. The project is hosted at MusicKid.com in the hope of crowdsourcing it. As of this writing, they’ve raised almost 3000 rmb and the contributions get you cool stuff from a copy of the CD to purses, signed posters and the like. If you speak/write Chinese or have a friend that can help, go and contribute… this will be one hell of a record. http://www.musikid.com/project/245 Finally, mark your calendars [...]
I’m really amazed at the changes in the scene lately… The corporate world has really been far away from the underground rock scene in Beijing for as long as I’ve been looking at it with some exceptions. But lately, all the glass walls are being shattered with an whole lotta young bands making their mark or making appearances for some major international brands in private events. You all know Ray Ban, right? how many of you know Out of Control (OOC)? that’s what i thought. They are a band i’ve been following for quite sometime now, quite tight and with an upcoming record to be released at the end of the month. These kids have been working hard for years to develop a stage presence, a style or their own and it working. Guess who played the Ray Ban 75th year anniversary bash? Yep, OOC. How about Armani? now that’s some big gun glamour label, ain’t it? You’d thing that Faye Wong or some other celebrity! guess again! Da Bang, formely Bigger Bang, were pegged to perform at the latest Armani event… There is no denying Pupi’s fashionista side but this is quite a big ass thing folks. The other bands on the bill, New Pants and re-TROS were also not something i’d associate with Armani but hell, times-a-changing. ( or Modern Sky getting better connections) I could also mention DH doing adds for R Factory but that’s a good match and both are under the radar brands really but [...]
Too many shows over the past week and not enough time to review them individually. Nevertheless, there is much to be said about each: Longjing @ Temple (March 7) I stopped by Temple thinking it would be an off night but turns out reggae outfit, Longjin, was playing. These guys have been touring China a lot lately, probably capitalizing on the reggae wave which i’m sure is just starting. Musically, they didn’t do too bad. I was less than impressed by the performance of frontwoman, Feifei! She looked bored up there and the audience responded in kindness. Considering these guys have been around since 2007, I expected a lot better. Randy Able Stable @ Temple (March 8th ) My first of two encounters with the stable that week. What can I say that I haven’t written about them yet? They’re good, they’re tight and they’re fun to watch. I love their covers but I’m also digging the originals that Randy and Co have been working on. Expect a single and a video to be out soon for the song ” Second bar to the right”. Coincidentally, if you haven’t, check out their soundcloud. Plenty of good recordings up there from their gigs around Beijing. AIS, Me Too & Abominati @ 2 Kolegas (March 9th) Me Too is improving folks.. these kids might still have a bright future on the scene if they keep at it. I’m digging what they’re doing and how they’re getting tighter on stage. Check them out [...]
oh yeah babay.. it’s heating up in Beijing and I’m not talking about the weather that’s taken a dip again. Beijing is finally fully awake and we’re getting to that point where it’s tough picking which show(s) to go to. This Saturday is a prime example with good stuff all over the goddamn city from 798 to Tango with both Jue Festival and the Bookworm Literary Festival starting. So, to quote The Beastie Boys: Let’s Kick it… Thursday March 8th: Women’s Day at Starfish: yeah, it’s a restaurant but the amazing Jess Meider is playing two sets between 6 and 8 pm, there will be whiskey cocktails courtesy of Stephanie Rocard and your truly. A cool celebration of women’s day in style to get your evening started! Randy Abel Stable @ Temple: How about that? what celebrated Women more than good old honky tonk tune from Beijing’s reigning kings of americana? I ran into Randy yesterday who casually mentioned new tunes and a possible marathon set with many songs touching on the topic of the day: Women… what can i say? grab a bourbon and holler along about double-timing, heartbreaking significant others. Light & Love at Mao: Not to be left out, Mao Live is putting together one a power punk show with some of Beijing’s underground female-fronted bands: First Medal, Cool Fish and more. This one will be a young student affair most likely and could be a cool little distraction for the early Gulou crowd. Friday March 9th: [...]
time to see what’s been happening around the interwebs lately… let’s catchup! First up is this fantastic guide to Chinese musical styles on Timeout Beijing courtesy of Wang Ge.. http://www.timeoutbeijing.com/features/Music/14310/Chinese-musical-genres.html This little piece should be mandatory reading and good reference the next time you’re in a gulou bar arguing with hipsters… Learn the differences between Tibetan Folk and Dai traditions, your mandopop from your cantopop and more! seriously, it’s a great resource! Thanks Wang Ge. reTROS, one of my favorite bands, have updated their weibo! They’re gearing up for a busy busy 2012 with festivals in China and overseas. Expect a new album out at some point in May! They have recorded this little baby up in New York apparently. Now that is good news to my ears! re-TROS are one of my favorite mainland based bands. One of my favorite scandinavian guilty pleasures, Roxette, is set to return to Beijing after 17 years… oh yeah! They’re set to play the Mastercard center on March 12th according to China.org . The Swedish duo was one of the first foreign acts to play mainland china back in the days! While we’re at it, Avril Lavigne is also headed to Beijing in February for a show at the same Mastercard Arena… I’m not a big fan really but there is a whole generation of fans around here. The pop punksters make up a substantial percentage of music goers and they will pay for this one.
I’m not a fan of Modern Sky, let’s get that out of the way before anyone calls me biased! My experiences last year left me wanting and i swore them off for the remainder of the year. Encouraging rumors of improvement made me rethink that position and head over for the second day of their May Holiday festival on May 1. Things got off to an early bad start after getting to the Tongzhou Beiyuan subway station: There was no sign or whatsoever of the advertised shuttle. I witnessed quite a few people just aimlessly wondering around the station trying to locate it, locals and foreigners alike. We wasted a good 40mn waiting before we gave up and hopped into an illegal taxi. Getting on the premises made things almost worse: Lines were wrapping around the corner from ticket booths which just got me tense and considering an immediate escape either to MIDI or 2 Kolegas…. still, I refrained and decided to trudge along. To be fair, waiting didn’t take that long and we were in within 20mn, nothing like the 4 hours it took last year. Once we walked in, things got slightly better! Tongzhou park is a great location for a festival, stretching over a huge land of greenery. This year, they had 5 main stages spread over the park well enough so that the sound collision problems of last year didn’t happen again. Good stuff. Unfortunately, we got in late so missed AV Akubo and Me guan [...]
Gee, the time of no music seems so far away right now with an avalanche of good shows scheduled over the next few days. We’ve got a weekend with all flavors and tastes of shows planned all over the city spanning pop, rock, metal, grunge and even Mao’s annual award shows. Let’s get this party started!!! Friday February 18: Made in Madness @ Yugong Yishan The Amazing Insurance Salesmen, Rustic and nucleus get together for a bombastic show that promises to be one hell of a musical event. AIS is gearing up for the final stage of the Global Battle of the Bands competition in Kuala Lumpur. Rustic, still the reigning world champions of that same competition, will be be on hand to help out and provide the audience with some exciting sleaze infused hard rock. Nucleus has come around leaps and bounds since I first saw them over a year ago opening for Bad Mamasan. This is gonna be one hell of a party folks!! The Big Picture @ Hot Cat Club Things go to the pop side of things over at Fangjia hutong with The Big Picture launching their CD. This one has been almost 2 years in the making! From what i’ve heard on douban, Mikael and his crew have done one hell of a job with the recording and they are extremely proud of the results. Definitely worth checking if that’s your cup of tea. Saturday February 19 reTROS @ Yugong Yishan What’s up with Yugong [...]