I’m been spoiled by central heating all these years and now I’m paying the price – wrapped up like an esikmo in my hutong trying to keep my fingers warm typing this. Damn you dry wind – it’s not even December yet! Oh wait, music, yes, plenty of that going around this week if that’s your thing. Check it out and jump over the calendar for more loveliness.
A lot of international acts going around this weekend. First up, Spilt Works brings over ‘lo-fi indie rock chameleon’ Mac Demarco whose subdued trailer-park slacker rock will jangle its way over at Mao Livehouse along with up and coming indie rock outfit The Twenties. Meanwhile, over at Yugong Yishan, the Modern Sky Festival continues to unfold as ‘heart on your sleeve’, glam rocking, power pop outfit Free Energy, out of Philadelphia, bring their shameless ode to arena rock’s glory days with a spirited collection of songs packed with big riffs, big melodies, and big emotions – should be a blast. At Temple, don’t miss the opportunity to catch Beijing’s own top notch insanely addictive live electronica band The Junglemico Project who have blown my mind more than once – performing dubstep, techno, drum n bass – whatever genre of club wets your whistle – live in front of your very eyes – it’s friggin grand people – just wait till you get a load of the drummer – seriously some of the most wicked musicians in town. School cranks up the tension as Italian hardcore group Strength Approach returns to Beijing for some mayhem along with Unregenerate Blood, Return The Truth, and The Last Resort. Contemporary world musicians Echo Orchestra brings listeners are a trip through chinese rhythm and melodies over at the Blue Stream Bar (check out their recent album release here). Meanwhile, three expat bands grace the stage at XP tonight, including Daniel Taylor’s solo folk project The Harrodans, improvised folk outfit The Remedios, and Beijing’s own Grateful Dead cover band, The Beijing Dead. Finally, catch hard rockers Out of Control go head to head with bossa nova outfit Daily Prophet at the Hot Cat Club and whimsical indie pop duo The Candle Thieves out of the UK at Mako Livehouse.
Rockabilly will always get the shaft for being from a bygone era – well fact still remains, it’s some of the most seamless, knee slapping, danceable music around and Rolling Bowling deserve to showered with praise at this point. Tonight, the rockabilly trio will officially release their latest album, with the bomb title of Marriage Is Not My Favorite Thing, at Mao Livehouse with a little help from punk mainstays Gum Bleed and everyone favorite doppelgangers The Beijing Beatles. You’re gonna want your dancing shoes for this one. Jianghu Bar continues to celebrate seven years of holding down the fort with Shanren, the Yunnanesse contemporary folk rockers, who use every genre as their playground – don’t expect the foursome to take it down a notch – the joint will be bouncing tonight. Over at School – a gaggle of solid bands perform including future shockers Streets Kill Strange Animals, melodic post punks Yantiao, trash blues duo Low Bow, and psychedelic jamsters Xinmayoujiang. If blood is what you lust, then head over to Dos Kolegas where Iron Maiden cover band Iron Virgins rock it along with Devils at the Crossroad, and Guiguisuisui. Modern Sky brings Swedish indie pop sensations Club 8 to Yugong Yishan while US rappers Pacman and Peso bring their electric show to Temple, after kickstarting their way over to North Korea – see what storties they have to tell. Finally, here’s a shot in the dark – recently opened Au Goulot, over by the Drum Tower, will have crazed Belgium Matthieu Ha bring his trademark melancholic melodies, played on an accordion along with international duo Alek et les Japonaises who are described as ‘ a electropical music duo A Belgo-Japanese UFO to flake full of french fries!’ Count me intrigued.
Mao Livehouse is great at pulling these crazed schizoid lineups out of its ass and I love them for it. Dubbed a electronic night, the night does indeed bring some intriguing talent out of the woodworks who dabble with electronica to varying degrees – the masked CndY, whose house-inspired party rock deserves a club setting really, Pacalolo whose KTV-inspired electro pop will crack a smile across your face, Lazy Camels whose Radiohead-esque rock and roll has zero electronica influences, and electronica artist Chuchu, whose got quite the nice collection of rip-roaring tunes online. Me likey. Over at School, Tulegur Gangzi gives an intimate performance of Mongolian tunes. Last, legendary gothic, post punk pioneer, of Bauhaus fame, Peter Murphy goes big over at Yugong Yishan.