It’s that time of the year when things are starting to slow down and the choices not as numerous as far as the live music scene goes in Beijing. Still, the next few weeks will have a few gems, or diamonds in the rough that will be well worth your and my time. So, what’s cooking for this end of the week?
Thursday December 1st:
Take Control @ Mao
Heavy night in Gulou with Holland’s NO TURNING BACK stopping in Beijing. New daze favorites, Unregenerate Blood, set to launch their EP the same night with extra help from Return the Truth and XitneverhappenedX … It a tight knit community in Beijing and i expect them to show up in half decent numbers! just beware the center of the pit as they tend to start kicking randomly. Someone still oughta teach these kids how to mosh.. As I said before, I like the Unregenerate Blood kids, they have their heart in the right place.
Friday December 2nd
Hedgehog @ Yugong Yishan
ok.. this one is bound to get crowded with one of Beijing’s favorite bands playing one of the most popular venues.. it sounds like a mad crowd rush waiting to happen but it could be really fun. I’m liking how Hedgehog is growing into this darker heavier entity when most bands tend to mellow down with age. They get some help from Fuzzymood and Spacebitch whom i never heard before. The show is tagged with the line: “Hedgehog rock live , come fucks with this on Dec 2…“… I expect a lot of people to come just for that.
Buyi @ Jiangjinjiu:
The Ningxia hardworkers are at it again over by the drum and bell towers. I love their distinctive brand of folk rock and I STILL have not managed to catch them at Jiangjinjiu which is apparently still one of the best places to watch them live. I’m having fun seeing them swap drummers and bass players every few songs and pretty much just having tons of fun. Always a good gig, kinda of like that old faithful friend.
DJang San & Thank you for the fish @ 2Kolegas
The French mad scientist of music in Beijing is back at the drive-in with his latest incarnation, the folk-tronic solo project he calls DJang San… I was joking a few weeks ago that he finally managed to find a way to play with himself and that’s still the best way to put it. It’s not for everyone but it definitely has some good moments! The drummer-less SUBS, also known as “Goodbye, Thank you for the Fish“, are also on the bill that night. I’m not sure who’s opening but it should be fun either way. Kang Mao and Wu Hao really get a chance to shed the punk skin and showcase their vocal/musical talents without noise and mosh. The project is still inspiring mixed feeling but I’m digging it so far. I’ve maintained for years that Kang Mao was one of the most underrated vocalists I’ve seen.
Saturday December 3rd:
Book Swap & Board Games @ Sequoia
The December edition of the Book swap on board games takes place at Sequoia Cafe inside the Jianguomen diplomatic compound. This month, it’s a special 2 for 1 edition as we are running out of storage space. Come on and trade some books, have a cuppa joe, play some board games and meet some friendly folks.
Boys Climbing Ropes @ Yugong
Another shanghai band comes to town.. actually 2 of them on the same bill if you count X is Y who were in Beijing earlier this year but are not really my cup of tea. Boys Climbing Rope on the other hand are heavier and more to my liking in their genre. Ruby and Alexifer’s new favorite soundtoys, aka Residence A, provide support. Is it just me or is Residence A playing 3 to 4 gigs a week right now? This could be an interesting show for all of you indie post rockers…
Song Yuzhe @ Jianghu
Dawanggang, song yuzhe… either way you call it, it’s good earthy music sung with feeling, sure to move you and warm you up in on a cold December weekend. Support is provided by one of the nicest voices i’ve heard in a while: Yang Jima… she does beautiful Buddhist inspired world music that I’m listening to as I type this and loving.
Randy Abel Stable & Not There @ Hot Cat
It’s a special birthday edition for these two bands who seem to have become kindred spirits of sorts. I think they’ve shared a bill over their last 4 appearances. A lots of friends on hand, and probably music til the cows go home are to be expected. An interesting mix I guess with the stable’s arsenal of Americana/Bluegrass/Country and Not There’s Post-Funk-Disco-Punk… (I’m still trying to figure out how to best describe Not There)
Sunday December 4th:
Trail of Tears @ Mao Live
Norway’s prodigal children of goth Metal, Trail of Tears, swing by the capital looking to inspire a new legion of hellraising, makeup wearing, middle finger raising, headbanging metalheads… What is it with all the Norwegian bands coming to China lately? I think if we really look at numbers, Norway MIGHT have sent more bands than any other country over the past 12 years. Support courtesy of Evilthorn, one of Beijing’s better metal bangers.