News, Releases, Yada Yada Yada

More layers of clothing, more album releases to keep those earbuds warm.

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First off, Casino Demon – who were presumed to be dead in the water last year, are back in fighting mode (and impressed me quite a bit back in August) and they’re ready to shed light on their latest, Have You Ever Seen The Stars? – listening to it on douban it’s a light piece of entertainment and I mean that in the best way – poppy, catchy, and easy on the ears, it’s better than one might expect – though I wish the mixing bought out the vocals a bit more to capture the energy they bring to their live shows (at least the one I saw). They’ll be throwing a release party at Mao Livehouse this Friday – particularly dig Childhood and Foolish Experience.

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Post-rock lovers you can breathe – Sparrow – one’s of Beijing’s many but still solid indeed post rock groups will be unleashing their latest album Rainbow Mountain this Friday at Yugong Yishan – it’s sounding pretty damn good too, old school and heavy – and just after a six-city tour of China I’m sure those boys will be giving a show to talk about. If you can’t wait till then pop on over to their bandcamp page to listen to it and purchase it. (Glow Curve, also under 1724 Records, who should be coming up on a new album soon enough will be playing next weekend at School as well)

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Pangbianr has reported that one the master minds behind electronic duo FM3 (as well as those ever intriguing Buddha Machines which I need someone to buy me as a gift….Christmas is around the cornerrr) – Christiaan Virant – has released a solo album called Fistful of Buddha. It’s a drone-tastic piece of work full of zen-like loops and really it’s pretty solid as far as electronic music goes – it’s meditative in many respects. Almost makes me wanna try some yoga…almost. Read more about the Budda4 set to hit shelves this December and pick up Fistful of Budda here or buy it on iTunes.

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Sweet good natured Liu Yusi (also of the Randy Abel Stable) recently did a Beijing-Shanghai bicycle tour – “Tour De Green” – and during his experiences he was wise enough to record some of those shows and would you know it they’re gonna make their way to his latest entitled Bicycle Dairies. In conjunction with local NGO Green Earth Volunteers a portion of the CD sales will be going to support one of their projects around River Nu in Yunnan Province – good music, good vides, good contributions – what’s not to love. The album will be released first at the cozy 69 Café, December 14th, and at Zajia Lab on December 28th – expect a friendly atmosphere both nights.

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In other news, Tookoo emo and screamo rockers The Reason, who surprisingly impressed the hell out of me with their boyish upbeat anguish, will begin their “The Love Hangover” tour starting next Friday, the 14th, at School Bar before the two of them work their way down south to Hong Kong. In accordance with their tour each of the bands with be releasing their latest singles – “LovE&FaiTh;” and “Midnight Legend” and giving them away at the shows. That’s a solid twofer there, so if you’ve got the time check out School Bar next week.

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And if you haven’t already heard the 4th MIDI Awards will be taking place December 16th at Mastercard’s M-Space out in Wukesong where a slew of nominees will take home awards for such categories as “Album of the Year”, “Best Female Rock Vocal Performance”, “Best Live Performance”, “Best New Artist” and ten others. Here’s the official word – “The judge criteria includes, but is not limited to this year\’s performances, albums, contribution to society/public service, and degree of recognition and exposure among their rockers, among other various aspects, all of which will be equally considered. Artists who released work in China between October 1st of 2011 and October 1st 2012 will be considered. There are already 82 records which have gone through the selection panel. The 119 panel members have submitted nominations, which are being reviewed by 9 members of the grand jury to see which ones will make it to the final selection.” Whatever the case, it’s a good excuse to see some slowly paced awards ceremony as well as music splattered in-between including Brain Failure, Yaksa, Nova Heart, Perdel, Ordinance, Dong Zi, Chuan Zi, and more – if that’s your thing. Buy your tickets here – pretty damn cheap if you ask me.

That’s all for this week – check again soon – some new folk releases coming up soon and don’t forget about Da Bang’s EP Release as well as Friend or Foe’s Remix release next weekend – read about them here.

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