And like that I’m back! It’s been a wild adventure full of angry elephants, misplaced racism, potholes from hell, springbok shots, and endless kilometers travelled but it’s time to get back to business. And what does business call for? Music, lots of it. Some gear up for this treat of a weekend, check the newly updated calendar, the latest mixtape, and don’t let the summer heat drive you mad.
Friday July 18th
Gotta give my love to the Jingweir crew – they’ve stuck to their xerox flavored, stapled, red stamped down-to-earth DIY aesthetics for some time without once losing their minds in the process – tonight marks the third issue of the zine’s second incarnation and I can’t wait to get my hand on it – word is, some photographs the LBM crew took in Dalian a couple months back made the cut. To celebrate they’re throwing a show at the ever-reliable (and underrated) Old What? with some intriguing acts including alternative rockers The Twenties who write some seriously catchy songs, electronic artist Dee who always brings the unexpected, Kid Wizz, whom I know squat about and, oh, a surprise guest – the ghost of Richard Doran? Maggie Cheung? Anyone’s guess! School’s annual punk showcase series RIOT! Returns with all that free punk goodness your diet has been missing. A mix of the old and new, just like we I like em’. Veterans include the always dependable Shochu Legion and The Diders, two bands who have sky-rocketed this past year – heck, The Diders have even been invited to Japan in August – kudos. However, I’m more interested in the ‘early 80s punk stylings’ of new comers The Krane and The Bastards of Imperialism, the latter of which is headed by fellow videographer Cool Ghoul, as well as the utterly strange addition of Spy Rat 51, the side project of offbeat noise makers Soviet Pop, already a duo hard enough to comprehend. Over at Yugong Yishan the critically-acclaimed Hong Kong math-pop band Chochukmo performs – I’m heard great things about these guys who genre-hopping antics and energetic live shows are all the rage down south. Check out Dos Kolegas newly minted and by now utterly STD-ridden pool as they host a bikini party with guests Devils at the Crossroad, Rustic, Los Crasher, and Yumbi for some dirty fun. Temple brings the gypsy jazz fun courtesy of Mademoiselle de la Orchestre. Get your folk on with Liu Donghong & Sand at Jianghu Bar while jazz popstress Xu Fei swings by the Blue Stream Bar. Meanwhile, Irish folk singer-songwriter Edwina Hayes graces the stage at Mao Livehouse. Finally, the Poly Theater is hosting a two-night folk extravaganza – tonight brings Zhong Lifeng, Zhao Lei, Zhang Lide, and Chuanzi.
Saturday July 19th
Three of Maybe Mars more distinctive bands play at home base XP, including minimalist post punk outfit Snapline, who continue to divide audiences with their sparse, spacey, descents into meditative madness. Speaking of madness, no one throws on a groove like Chui Wan, whose psychedelic walls of sound are just about impossible to escape. Tonight also marks the return of Hot & Cold, the expat broham duo that cut their teeth on the D-22 music scene before most (Josh has a nifty interview with the two here). Lotta talent here for those looking to expand their musical palette. LPD, better known as Love Party, kicks off at Yugong Yishan for a night of old-school hip hop, funk, and soul from some of the city’s brightest up-and-comers. Been dying to dip my toes in the world of Chinese Hip Hop and this might just be the place to – sets from Purple Soul, whose 2013 release is still getting fair play on my laptop, Da Wei (MC David), who has been releasing some truly outlandish music videos for the past half year, and some new faces including Huang Shuo (N-Bomb) and Jiu Wei. Another bikini party! Yup, this time at School where debauchery comes equipped with plenty of skin tonight as Free Sex Shop, The Big Wave, Candy Monster, Secret Club, and then some bring the good times. Emo, indie pop, Christian rock —- the whole spectrum of rock and roll is covered tonight with these show stoppers at Mao Livehouse including Residence A, Twinkle Star, Tookoo Magic Mama, and Brozzers. Xinjiang flamenco outfit Tuerxun performs at the cozy Blue Stream Bar while new comers Disaster Chat bring that old time rock and roll sound to Temple along with a special guest. Punk anthems all night long at the Old What? with Tonnie Woolie and Icy Whiskey. Folk legends Ma Tiao and Suyang perform at the Poly Theater and finally cast your vote at Tiger Battle of the Bands held tonight at the Hot Cat Club.
Sunday July 20th
Two bands who don’t receive enough love around these parts get their kicks at XP – trip-hop outfit CAssette has been slowly shaping into one of the scene’s more enthralling bands, veering down bridges too little crossed – just give their just dropped double EP a spin. On the other end of the totem pole we have post rock group Illness Sickness, who after releasing a stellar debut last year, dropped off the grid. Well looks like they’re back – for you post rock freaks with metal sensibilities this is the band for you. Frankly, both bands take the post rock angle to new and interesting places – might just be the sleeper gig of the weekend. Hardcore Sundays rule! Swing by School to be taught life lessons with everyone’s favorite hardcore outfits Return The Truth, Shut Up! Shut Down!, Own Up!, and more. Maestro jungle MC, Top Cat, from the UK, makes the long journey to Yugong Yishan is tell Beijing’s rap scene how it’s done. Finally catch female-fronted rockers Deep Purple at Mao Livehouse.