Quick Slants: The Punk Uprising, Boredom BrigadeS, Backyard Secrets and a Rant

This is really a boring summer musically folks. I love my Beijing bands but really, even the quickslants are becoming redundant with the same bands playing every week and in some case, 3 or 4 times a week. I understand that musicians must make a living as well but someone has to sit down and slam some sense into them about dilluting their brands. It’s just not doable any more and it’s hard to muster any sort of excitement as far as seeing some of them. I wish they could go back and see what Michael Petis did with Joyside and how they boomed after that. Anyone remember Pet Conspiracy’s monthly shows at Yugong Yishan and how much of a packed affair that was? I don’t mind so much Out of town artists are now doing a couple of dates a week in Beijing in case people can’t make it to one gig and they play different sides of town but not the local ones… loses all charm— it’s another type of Boredom Brigade.
This week is looking a bit different though with some interesting one off gigs that might make me feel a little better about the scene and I’m quickslanting things i don’t usually do.

Thursday August 9th

16 Min @ Temple
I’ve loved these guys sound since the first time i stumbled on their douban last year but i still have not gotten around to seeing them live. Maybe tonight is the night! It’s an interesting fusion of genres, quite reminiscent of Morsheeba. Something Fresh that could be worth a detour.

Jamie Hutchings @ Jianghu
Visiting Aussie artist courtesy of Your Town Touring stops by Beijing for two dates, first one being thursday. I’m listening to him right now as I write this and it’s pretty good! I’m digging the melodies and especially the voice. Could be a little breath of fresh air…. it’s bluesy, folky and got quite some depth to it. I’m not sure how different the solo stuff is from his band stuff but i do like the voice and I’m gonna have to catch some of it.

Friday August 10th

Slap @ Jianghu
word for Rhyme, one of Beijing’s most underrated bands. They have their own style, provide original music and they are actually quite good at it. Tian Xiao, who happens to own jianghu, is one of my favorite musicians around. Be warned though: The wine pours are tiny!!!

Secret Backyard @ Mako
Could be the sleeper hit of the week folks. Secret Backyard (秘密後院 mimi hou yuan) mixes poetry, deep soulful vocals and traditional Chinese instruments to deliver a unique experience!
check out their douban for a sneak peak I’m really digging this right now and gonna have to go hunting for their CDs in Gulou this week. And by the looks of it, they got a few released already.

Saturday August 11

Ban Bian Punk Charity Concert @ 2 Kolegas
This is undoubtedly the best gig on this month. Dave O’Dell is back in town and bringing the old boys back together from a night of fun, punk rock, memorabilia auctions and memories.
Gao Wei ( formerly Underbaby), Misandao, Catcher in the Rye, Flyx and more old school punks just to name a few. The proceeds will benefit Half the Sky foundation! It might be a great opportunity to get your hands on Dave’s book, Inseparable, with I reviewed not too long ago on here. Rain or Shine, you better be there folks. IT WILL BE WORTH IT.

Sunday August 12

Mao Livehouse Free Party
Mao decided to throw a little party with a bunch of bands playing for your pleasure and enjoyement, all free. Early Bus, Locomotive Gentlemen, and others on hand for musical entertainment.
Show starts at 7:30 pm

Plenty of others gigs all around town all weekend folks including Friday night at 2 kolegas just to mention one more. Jamie Hutchins also plays Hot Cat on Friday and Secret Backyard might show up at Jianghu on Sunday.

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7 Responses

  1. Djang San. says:

    Getting bored of the Beijing music scene Badr ? The Amazing Insurance Salesmen and Residence A will play this saturday at 2Kolegas. Mao Mao will recite a poem on stage.

  2. Djang San. says:

    I meant friday, not saturday, sorry.

  3. It’s hard to strike a balance between playing enough to keep your live chops together and not saturating the market. We try for 1-2 gigs a month, which is perfect for us.

    Touring is really the answer, but China is a pretty difficult place to hit the road in. It’s just not set up like the US where you can pack everybody into a van and be on your way.

    Another issue is that bands don’t work hard enough to build variety into their sets. A little improve, more new songs & maybe a choice cover would help spice things up. I get very tired of seeing bands play the same show over & over again.

  4. Djang San. says:

    By the way I play tonight at Temple, Electro and DJ Set, I know you’re not a fan of Machine made music, but come by after for a drink if you have time, would be cool.

  5. Ruby says:

    I agree, 1-2 times a month is probably enough, with different bands and at different venues …

    Thanks for the tip about Secret Backyard too – currently listening and really loving it, esp. since it includes guqin. I think I’ve found my Friday (and possibly Sunday) show!
    (I think you mean Secret Backyard, not GraceBy ??)

  6. Beijing Daze says:

    @JS: Not bored of the music, far from it. I just find it less exciting when it’s the same bands playing all the time. There’s gotta be a balance somewhere. Buyi plays all the time but their shows at 2K, Jianghu and Jiangjinjiu are all really different. Other bands are unable to do that.
    Take a band like DH & The Hellcats. no matter how often they played, they always put it at least 3 or 4 different songs in a setlist and that’s something Jonathan got right.

    • Dave Cooper says:

      I know what you mean, but how do you strike the balance? We play up 2-4 gigs a month now and get a different crowd every time and loving it. But getting a good number of folk rocking just once a month at a bigger venue seems a much harder prospect. The promo for it and arranging the shows. Perhaps that’s why we do it?

      We just love getting on stage and accept most gigs we’re offered, though we no longer do 2 a week, which was our staple this time last year!