My journey to Beijing wouldn’t had happened if not for my brother, who was living here at the time. He was my gateway to the city which was still stuck in its Olympic daze. I met folks of all ilk, ate equally like a king and hobo, and explore every corner of the city I could. By the time I started dipping my toes into the music scene here, he was already off on his next destination. So whenever my brother visits me here, I make sure to overwhelm him with as much music as possible (even if the 36 year old has no idea what shoegaze is) and last weekend (more likely than not our last time tearing across the city together) has no exception. And while I held back on doing my pro bono recap of the weekend’s festivities, I did manage to sneak in a few shots and some top notch music. It all kicked off with the Beam! Beam! – the juggernaut series that brings together some of the indie scene’s most sought after characters. Were the headliners (or guests of honor) were Oklahoma based outfit Broncho, whose frizzled and animated garage pop is hard not to bop to, the real highlights came in the form of Endless White (Xi’an) who closed out their set with an emotionally charged rallying call for disenchanted youths everywhere, Default (Beijing) who I haven’t had the chance to catch since their debut hit the streets and did not disappoint, and The Bootlegs (Qingdao) – who felt out, gave one of the best performances I’ve seen all year – belting out one jangly riotous nostalgia-soaked jam after another. Serious good vibes from those three. Evening two made it’s way to none other than Temple Bar and while I spent the majority of the night falling over myself outside the venue I did manage to sneak a peek at both Japanese psych noise poppers The Tengokubatake Japon and Beijing’s own Xiao Wang. As per usual, the crowd was giving and the bands delivered.
Lonely Cookies 浪味仙贝 – Aliens Take Me Away 宇宙电波 (Wuhan/Wild Records) toothloss 缺牙巴 – 爱的卡片 (Chongqing/Self-Released) 4 Channels Club 肆通道倶楽部 – 最后她说 (Beijing/Self-Released) Yokus 五石散 – Tesla 夜阳火光 (Kunming/StreetVoicexAllGoodMusic) The White Papers 白皮书乐队 – 梦 (Beijing/Self-Released) Don’t Panic My Bro 白日密语 – 人类历史上超速最严重的列车 (Chengdu/Self-Released) Naaki Soul – Ambivalent Indifferent (Beijing/Self-Released) Default 缺省 – Pain Is A Lover (Beijing/SJ Records)
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