News and Tidbits: Twinkle Star, Juratt, Steely Heart, Devils, Opeth and more

It’s been quieter than usual over here with gig reviews mostly because it’s been quite repeptitive over the past few weeks with nothing too exciting. There will be a gig review of the Dawanggang show from Saturday night but not much more… a few news and notes though:

zhao meng
I got to see Twinkle Star a few weeks ago and was really pleased by their performance. If you don’t know who Twinkle Star are, don’t worry! I didn’t either until a saw them and realized it was a new name for Alt Senior. These kids are fun with Zhao Meng and Haitao swapping turns at Bass and Vocals. I liked their energy and even some songs. Sure, it’s pop rock but it’s well executed and definitely well presented.

Yet another new venue in the area that we’re gonna have to keep track of is Blue Stream Bar, down the street from Gulou 121. Remember the amicable Slash that used to work the sound at Jianghu? well, this is his new pet project and it’s essentially been described as a smaller Jianghu with better sound system. I haven’t been there myself but it’s already picking up some steam with shows by Dong Zi, Buyi and more. Gonna have to check it out soon.

If you are interested in Chinese Music, then you should be following Jon Campbell’s blog. Even away from China, he is keeping an eye on the scene and providing candid opinions about what’s happening. See his very interesting take on the upcoming MIDI awards!

Another band making noise in Beijing is Devils at the Crossroads. These guys showed up out of nowhere a few months back and they’re sounding like Beijing’s answer to The Fever Machine. They are are launching their debut EP friday night at Temple and it could be worth checking out. I wasn’t impressed by the vocals on douban but J-Curls assures me that they sound better in Person

Don’t forget my favorite bored band, Steely Heart, releasing an album tomorrow nigh as Ruby pointed out in the quickslants.

Temple is really picking up steam on Gulou. They have managed to get Chun Qiu to play a gig there and they keep lining them up! Really good for Clement and company. Coming up there, Juratt will be releasing his album next week not to mention another album release by Devils at the Crossroads this friday. Bad Mamasan is planning a Friday the 13th extravaganza there next month! I still stand by my assesment that I expected more from them and it’s not yet there but it’s steadily improving. It’s kinda becoming Gulou’s answer to 2 Kolegas in a weird way! oh.. the white russians are MEAN and Strong

Looks like Beijing is being snubbed by Lamb of God on their next trip to China. They’re playing a date in Shanghai but no plans to come up to the capital as far as I can tell. Having played 2 shows in row here last year, I can understand that. We will however be looking forward to Opeth visiting Beijing in February.

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