Will try to keep this brief – as some of you have noticed the site is in the process of being transferred to wordpress – thanks to the wizard like tactics of Giz ze Frenchmen. We’ll have this baby ironed out in no time. Till then, indulge on some news. And try not to step outside.
Tengger Cavalry, who managed to squeeze in on my list of artists to keep an eye on this year, and already their stock is raising. First, they were just featured in UK metal magazine Terrorized – a nice little expose on the group’s nomadic stylings. They even have ads for their last album on the magazine’s webpage – not a bad endorsement at all. Better still, the pagan metal band, which incorporates traditional Mongolian instruments, has a new album slated for release on Chinese New Year entitled Black Steed – looks like it’ll be a treat – consider me pumped. Check out a sample on their douban page and preorder now on taobao. Nothing like gorging on dumplings while pagan metal is blasting on the stereo.
Pairs, the Shanghai fuck all duo out of Shanghai, played a mighty fine show this past December, even managing to convince my gal’s gal to stay away from laowais for the rest of her life. Lucky, some of the good people over at Jingweir, namely Ristead of Low Bow and Cloud Choir, were able to record the gig and get that bad boy up on bandcamp for your downloading and listening pleasures. Tags for the digital album include such common genres as “ghetto tech”, “power metal”, “awful” and “classical crossover” – gotta love it.
If you haven’t heard the JUE Festival is coming back with a vengance this year – last year, Split Works brought Death Cab For Cutie, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Chapilier Fou, Steve Mckay, among others, and it looks like they may have topped themselves this year. Electro pop darling of 2012 Grimes might be the highlight but there is oh so much more including Brit folk rock singer Frank Turner, Swedish singer-songwriter Amanda Mair, Brooklyn hipster R&B singer How To Dress Well, Australian Celtic singer Jeff Lang and our own alternative rockers Sound Fragment. That’s not even including their warm-up show which brings California garage punk avant grade Thee Oh Sees to Mao Livehouse on February 21st and the distinct possibility that Gang of Four will make an appearance (all signs point to yes). Shanghai 24/7 has a nice write-up on the bands playing – check it out. Looks like my March schedule will be pretty much booked. Stay tuned for a detailed schedule.
One of the US’s first mega festivals, South by Southwest will be taking place in March, and as per usual they’ve invited some Chinese bands to strut their stuff and show the kids back stateside that China is on the rise (or downfall according to who you ask). Representing will be of course Carsick Cars, on their fifth spell already in Austin, Texas, back on the market The Gar, and ‘how can this not play well’ white + , as well instrumental neofolk group Bai Shui from Sichuan, who were in Mako Livehouse early this summer with their latest City of Lost. It’s nice they’re inviting bands who have hit it big this last year with strong work, though a part of me wishes they would branch out to more bands, instead of the safe bet with Maybe Mars – either way best of luck to ya’ll.
After having a good 2012, with their latest Paradox of Ridiculing hitting airwaves as well as the group being nominated for a MIDI, metal group Frosty Eve is looking to capture on their fame by rereleasing their 2009 release Polar Night, in a two set special limited edition album which’ll include photos, demos, commentary tracks, and a whole lot more. It’ll come out on February 13th, but act fast as they will only be 200 copies available.
Zhang Si’an of jamtastic The Amazing Insurance Salesmen as well as his leetro-folk solo project does a little writing on the side for Music Dish China and he provided a fine interview with owner and musician Liu Miao of Dos Kolegas – which hits on the reason why I recently said that Dos Kolegas will always be my numero uno at heart for me in terms of venues in town. It’s a good, quick read, with lovely translations as well. Check it out here.
On a last note, Helen Feng’s The Rock Show is back, showcasing her ‘not bad at all taste’ in everything indie music, home and abroad – the recent posts have more leaned heavily on western music than usual but nevertheless it’s a fun little podcast that’s a good way to kill an hour or brush on your Chinese. My old roommate and I used to warm up Friday nights with these – Jaming with Jamin – that damn goofy Australian German. Link to her douban page and give them a listen.
That’s all for now – check back in a couple weeks for more on JUE, Sound of the Xity, Indie Music Store and Nova Heart. Out.