Tag Archives: Beijing

Midi 2011 – Reviews / Roundups / Photos

The Midi Festival took over Beijing and Shanghai this May!

Reviews of the Beijing Midi festival:

Reviews of the Shanghai Midi festival:

Festivals 2011 in China

Does it come as a surprise to learn of 2011 being packed with music festivals all over China? Not after the 2010 glory

So for all those that are awaiting the first infos on Midi, Strawberry, Zoo and many other festivals, check out our comprehensive Festival 2011 in China list.

New artist: Phagocyte

Phagocyte was an industrial / techno metal band also referred to as the “Chinese Slipknot” during their short period of existence from late 2002 until 2004.

(read more…)

The year in review: 2010 in Chinese rock

Update: Please note that all inputs I received have been included in the history on the wiki.

The following is an excert from the History of Rock in China for the major events that happened in 2010. This account is by no means complete and suggestion for inclusion are more than welcome (please comment).

At the beginning of 2010, the metal label Dime Records is established by the owner of the 13 Club.

On January 16th, the The North Face Film and Music on Snow Festival 2010 was held including several Beijing bands (e.g. Tookoo). On January 30th, BCR‘s critically acclaimed record Except for the Darkness is being released in Shanghai. Further in January and February, Maybe Mars held two showcase concerts, each with 4 of its bands, in Shanghai.[61]

March 12th – 29th, they JUE Festival 2010 was held in both Shanghai and Beijing seeing Shanghai newcomer The Mushrooms rocking the Mao Live, and several Beijing acts visiting Shanghai. From March 11th until April 11th, Maybe Mars Records tours around some of their most popular acts during the China Invasion US Tour 2010. Furthermore on March 20th, Yaksa starts their nation-wide tour throughout 21 cities until April 28th.

In April, AV Okubo‘s debut The Greed of Man is being released by Maybe Mars Records. On April 27th, Rustic won the Global Battle of the Bands (GBOB) 2009 Finals in London.[62]

In the later part of April, signs accumulated that The Expo would be a devastating strike to the local music scene of Shanghai, as the LOgO bar was threathened with shutdown[63] and the Yuyintang had been shutdown[64], two vibrant centers of the underground in Shanghai. Also the Beijing M.A.O. Livehouse had been shut down, allegdably due to fire safety violations, on April the 16th.[65] On April 26th, it was announced that the Yuyintang would be open again with normal operation ongoing, leaving the whole scene in doubt, why the shutdown had been there at the first place.[66]

On April 22nd, the folk music community in Beijing decides to hold a “Pray for Yushu” charity concert in commemoration to the victims of the Qinghai Earthquake at the Mako Livehouse.[67]

In May both the Midi Festival and the Strawberry Festival happened in Beijing. In Chengdu, the Zebra Music Festival 2010 took place. In the aftermath of the May holidays, both the Midi Music Festival 2010 and the Strawberry Music Festival 2010 were scrutinizably analyzed and according to China Music Radar it was “art versus commerce” with Modern Sky and its Volkswagen overkill representing commerce and Midi representing art and music.[68] Shouwang of Carsick Cars stated: Bands are not VIP, only sponsors are. Treat us like human beings. I wanted to jump on the cars, but my guitar lead was too short[69] At the end of May, Subs started their Queen of XXXXing Everything China Tour 2010 that lead them around the country as a warm-up for the release of their latest record.

Further in May, a discussion started in the English blogosphere about the status of D-22 and Maybe Mars, originated from the controversial article Why No Beijing and D-22 are not worth the hype!on Rock in China, which spawned discussions on all major English blogs around the Beijing scene, highlighting the unique position of Maybe Mars, its efforts and the perception in the foreign media. In July, Pete DeMola displays a further glance upon the topic with his widely read article At That Moment I Thought, I Thought I Really Saw Music.

June to July, the Metal Battle 2010 was organized, a band competition that determined Raging Mob as the leading Chinese metal artists to perform at the Wacken Open Air 2010.

Mid July, shortly after the Qingyuan Niu Yu Zui Festival 2010, Chinamusicradar announces 2010 to be The Year of the Music Festival with an estimated of seventy (70) festivals happening in 2010.[70] A discussion started on the quality of the festivals itself, as many of them share the same bands and badly organized, e.g. the Suzhou lacking promotion[70].

On July 23rd, Subs released their 2010 record Queen of Fucking Everything with a release party in the Mao Livehouse. On July 29th and 30th, Shanghai’s promoter and record label 0093 held their third anniversary party at the Yuyintang.[71]

October 1st to 4th, in addition to the May Midi festival in Beijing, the Zhenjiang festival is held on the Shi Ye Island with foreign metal acts Soulfly, Shadows Fall, Finntroll and Loudness.

November 17th, No Beijing band Carsick Cars split due to creative differences and opportunities for members’ per­sonal development[72].

December 27th, the 2010 Shanghai Grammys were awarded by the Cityweekend Shanghai focussing on the music scene in Shanghai. December 31st, the second Midi Music Awards were celebrated in the Star Live with performances of Miserable Faith, Ziyo, Nanwu, Nan Cheng Er Ge, Misandao, Hanggai and Finger Family.

August concert reviews online (BJ, SH, QD)

Another round of gig reviews online in and around Beijing:

Another round of gig reviews online in and around Shanghai:

Another round of gig reviews online in and around Qingdao:

Update: Just added a couple of Pangbianr reviews. Seems that finally the Beijing scene lives up to its name also in terms of online reviews! Hooray!

Concert reviews last week

A quick round of reviews on what happened last week in China:

(ok, to be honest, a little more than a week, but basically the update since last post)

(photo by Beijing Daze)

Artist of the week: Wanderlust

Wanderlust are a Tianjin four-piece act, that also performs under the name Carpet of Let and is playing a mixture of Bass/Fuzz Bass and Post Punk. They seem to be around since 2008, firstly performing in Tianjin and later in Beijing, being a regular act on the Zoomin Night of D-22. Good thing about them is that despite their short existence, they have upped a whole bunch of songs on their Douban page and have also three live shots from their D-22 excursions at youku.

Take a look at their song Psycho Killer or listen to Wickedness online.

Read more about Wanderlust …

A story of love: My times in Mao

Turdus Musicus in MAO Livehouse

Closed! Shut down! Locked and dark! The MAO Livehouse is gone! That place of underground feeling that welcomed one with cheap(?) booze and rocking shows! In the years 2007 and 2008 I spent most of my rock-laden nights at this venue, in search for the kick of the night and a spirit I found mostly lost in Western music: real anger and passsion. Aggressivity and melancholy. It was here that I saw The Falling, that we started a mosh pit for Surprise, that we enjoyed a packed house for Tookoo’s A Distance for 7 Years release. It was one of the venues that opened their doors for the foreign bands that stranded in Beijing in May 2008 after the final cancellation of the Midi festival. And it was just a couple of months ago, that I sat with the folks of Painkiller and MetalCon in the shabby upper part for a beer and smoke to discuss the start of another journey in our musical life. Gone are these times and it seems that also the very location it all happened has been closed for good.

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Why No Beijing and D-22 are not worth the hype!

A declaration of independence from the chains of wrongly-understood Beijing Rock

Since the founding of D-22 in 2006, the international press has started a hype around bands frequently performing in this location at WuDaoKou; the bands, the sound, the scene around D-22 and the No Beijing movement all do not justice to such a pushed hype.

Here is to the why!

Released in October 2005, the record No Beijing had its mental roots in the No Wave scene of New York and contained the early rock bands Carsick Cars, The Gar, White-2j and Snapline. Four very close bands doing similar kind of music. Four bands that sooner than later would enter the stage of D-22 and perform on a regular basis in this little venue down the students’ district of Beijing. Other bands, such as AV Okubo, Joyside, PK 14 and Queen Sea Big Sharks would soon enter the same circle and receive a memorable monument in form of a printed photograph lining up the wall of the club. It was not much later that Maybe Mars was founded by the owners of the D-22, promoting their “house” bands and releasing their debut records, e.g. “Party is over, pornostar” by Snapline or Carsick Cars self-titled debut. Later on, some of “their” bands first went to Europe on individual tours, as e.g. Carsick Cars with their Sonic Youth connection, and later were shipped out en masse by Maybe Mars via their Showcase of the Chinese Underground 2009 to the USA. Further label work was added by e.g. Michael Pettis and his review of Carsick Cars in the Esquire magazine as well as the photographing work of D-22’s “house photographer” Matthew Niederhauser, who published his book Sound Kapital with showcases in galleries all over China.

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Black Cat Bone CD Release Party

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