December opens with a bang – really this is too much craziness packed into two days – criminal I tell you. Well, happy hunting boys and girls. And remember to browse through the newly updated calendar for more gigs and happenings about town. Let’s get right into it.
Tonight at XP, highlights the official Jingweir release for dreamy bedroom electronica artist Lantern Festival, aka Jonny Brown, a mixed blood expat who decided upon himself to make one of the year’s best release – really, give it a listen – a good way to kick it through this Friday afternoon as you pretend to get work done. Check out an interview with the man over here. He’s joined by one of my favorite artists of last year, electro popstress Jia Huizhen as well as chilltronica duo Feeling of Regret. DIY party punk oufit, SUBS, have been knocking them dead for years through their powerhouse live performances, propelled by ‘queen of fucking everything’ Kang Mao’s whirlwind of rage – a sight to behold – this evening the band bids farewell to their drummer, Carl, who’s heading back to the land down under. Check out BeijingDaze’s interview with the man and his experiences with the band and head over to Temple tonight to say bon voyage. Guaranteed shitshow – Beijing Misfits open. Looking for that crunchy rock and roll, that post-Y2K new wave sound, straight up solid indie music – School has you covered. Steely Heart, arguably one of the most underrated bands in Beijing, bring their sleazy, inebriated new wave rock along with britpop enthusiasts Thousands of Public, and indie outfit Bye Bye Noise who I’m dying to check out based on this one song –sleeper gig of the weekend right there. For any of you fatties looking for a little workout with your music then this hardcore lineup of hardcore bands from Beijing, Shanghai, and Italy at Mao Livehouse will more than makeup for that cheesecake you had earlier today – super curious to check out what’s under Shanghai’s hood in the hardcore department – Arm The Faithless, Before The Daylight, and Chaos Mind – who touch upon more of the metal elements found in hardcore than our own local corers, including Saving Molly and xxitneverhappenedxx, which is a welcome surprise. Bring it I say. Bring it. Another solid outing of rock and fun at the Old What? Bar as The Big Wave join Pacalolo and Heat Mark for some jams, as well as over at Dos Kolegas where Rolling Bowling, Mama’s Mud and Roing Roing look to keep things loose. Finally, catch Liudonghong & Sand over at 69 Café, Tianjin pop punkster Hangover at Blue Stream Bar along with Dizzy Monkey, and Xinjiang flamenco outfit Tursun at Jianghu Bar. Oh, and for you guitar enthusiasts, check out guitar legend Richie Kotzen (of Poison fame) over at Yugong Yishan.
XP is killing it tonight – first up we have the Beijing premiere of the short film Iceberg – by Maya Rudolph, which follows the trails and tribulations of a up and coming rock star, played by local renegade Pei Pei (of Boys Climbing Ropes and Little Punk fame) with supporting roles from a slew of scene regulars. Along with that, there will be supporting performances from Pei Pei herself, in Little Punk mode (word is hubby Morgan Short will be breaking out the guitar), pipa-wielding electronica artist thruoutin, one man blues machine Guiguisuisui, and the epic return of trashing noise rock outfit Birdstriking. Over on Wudaoying at School, Wuhan electro punks, AV Okubo, whose undying love for all things 80s, cinema, and retro bring their tongue-in-cheek anarchistic rock and roll to School along with School mainstays Dr. Liu & The Human Centipede who have their own version of what anarchy means – expect this one to be packed with scenesters, party animals, and kids looking to kick up a storm. If you have the will and energy to make it through eight sets of trashing, moshing, and metalling then head over to Yugong Yishan where another epic hard as nails lineup commences courtesy of those Beijing Thug Brothers which includes seasoned veterans Ego Fall, A.J.K, Tomahawk, and Nuclear Fusion-G, as well as Scar Constitution, Pinocchio, and Sick Pupa. What can else can I say? All hail metal!!!! If you got the cash to fork over, then I’d recommend checking out Second Hand Rose, who after putting out one of the finest albums of the year, have embarked on creating the most extravagant show of the year – chalk full of costumes changes, giant props, and reckless glee – they will be over at Workers Gymnasium with their unique brand of rock and roll with chinese elements. It’s a Shanghai twofer over at Temple as britpop darlings Girl Like Mystery present their debut album join power pop outfit Xiaoxinyin as well as our own Rolling Bowling and 16 mins for some good ol fashion fun. Last, check bluegrass trope The Randy Abel Stable at Blue Stream Bar, rockers Red Cash, River, and The Pace of Time at the Old What? Bar and pay tribute to John Lennon with The Beijing Beatles, Era Rebels, Next Door, and Zakka at Mao Livehouse.
Check out the freshest Mongolian outfit in town, Taan Towch, who impressed the hell out of me a couple months back at Jianghu Bar -just solid sweeping music, made with the utmost care the Oirat folk music (that’s western Mongolia) with flourishes of reggae and world music is just too hard to resist. Over at Zajia Lab, the Miji collective gathers once more bringing over experimental artists John Wilton and Marina Peterson along with our own Feng Hao, Yan Jun, Aming, Soviet Pop, Yan Yulong, and more. Indie rockers Long Haul release their latest EP at Mao Livehouse, well down south at Mako Livehouse, some of the scene’s best folk artists gather including Wang Juan, Dongzi, Wun Tun, and Liu Dong Ming. Finally, catch Tursun at 69 Café, and Coraline at School. Oh and some chick named Cat Power is over at someplace called the ThinkPad Space.