News, Releases, Yada Yada Yada

Been letting the news gather these past couple of weeks so have a lot in store. Speaking of which…


The Indie Music Store – the lovely record shop right around the corner from The Drum Tower in Gulou is celebrating two years of not being kicked out or having their rent go through the roof. And the duo behind the store, Guo Cheng and Zhou Yin, both with histories with music companies (read Josh’s writeup over at SmartBeijing here), are using their well-earned guanxi to throw a two night music extravaganza at Mao Livehouse come March 1st and 2nd with the ever impressive lineup including Buyi, Xiao He, Escape Plan, Life Journey, and more – check out the full lineup here or in my shoddy calendar. And while you’re at it – pick up an album at Indie Music – it’s one of the best bets for physically owning some friggin music – you Napster downloading scum of the earth.

After receiving some accolades last year, including rave reviews from Rolling Stone during their European tour, as well as winning Best Female Rock Vocalist at the MIDI Awards this year, disco rock quartet Nova Heart is using the opportunity to take it even further this year – starting with a nation-wide tour this March. It all kicks off this Friday with a show at Yugong Yishan alongside Jia Huizhen and Dead J. Check out the promo above – which I’m proud to say I had a hand in editing. Definitely digging the dark fairy tale vibe they seem to be taking. Expect more news from Nova Heart in the near future – they’ve got aces up their sleeves.

Our own Jean Sebastian, of The Amazing Insurance Salesmen, has released his latest collection of solo electronic folk works – One Man Live Orchestra <Volume 4> – under the moniker Djang San. It’s remarkable considering that it’s all created by the man himself using loop machines, and a whole array of instruments. Jean suggests you ‘lie down on your bed, sofa or the floor’ and ‘let yourself go’, and ‘listen to it alone’. Quite the set of rules – I’d like to add ‘roll a fatty’ before and ‘lit some incense’. It’s a pretty sweet listen especially “Ruan Jam” and “Flute Inversee” – grab it over at bandcamp and be sure to check out Jean and The Amazing Insurance Salesmen this Saturday at Temple.


A couple weeks back I had the pleasure to check out MC Bloodz Boi – a quick spitting Beijingeren with an unabashed love for all things hip hop. Well it looks like the young (nineteen years old!?) rapper has just released for download his single “Dream West” over on bandcamp – a lovely West Coast infused anthem that made it onto the charts at Hit FM for three weeks last year. Grab the instrumental cut if you feel the need to freestyle or ghost ride your electric bike down NGLX.


Sick and tired of not being able to play jack shit (like me). Well, now’s your chance. Starting in March, the cozy 69 Café down on Nangulouxiang will introduce Guitar classes starting March 1sthere’s the link. Basically once a week for a month in small classes you will be tutored by a group of killer musicians including Liu Yusi, Zhang Jiadi (of DIMO), Wang Jiana, and Li Yong (of The Last Three Minutes) – for only 699 RMB for the month. I’m guessing some Chinese will be necessary but it’s a great chance to use some of that pocket cash and learn how to woe the girls next time you\’re out on the town. Better yet, proceeds will go to help children in rural areas lacking health insurance – class act that 69 Café. First come first serve so sign up if you’ll looking to pluck some strings.


A few mp3 releases before the new year – Me Too, the post punk group who have been in hiding for some time now, have gotten around to (finally) releasing a few singles, “Dreamer” and “No Choice” – which can only (hopefully) mean they’ve got something a brewing in the next year. A bit overproduced, but I’m glad they’re finally getting their stuff out there as they were one of my first bands I covered here. Download them over at their douban page.


Cassette continues to tease their forthcoming album, as well as the perfect Valentine’s Day tune – “The Love Song”  – a sexy little number full of nice little touches and layers. Beautiful production on this one. Here’s to hoping Cassette release more goodness sooner rather than later. I have a good feeling about them this year.

And last but not least, a friend of mine, a rowdy Manchester gent who used to accompany me to shows in my early days – to heckle, encourage, and basically create uncomfortably awesome situations (i.e. taking the mic from the lead singer of Reflector in front of thousands at Strawberry) has secretly been releasing electronic music under the name Old Man Mike. I happened upon his latest ambionic release Dormants on Facebook and figured I might as well pimp out my buddy’s work (of course without his consent) – he’s selling it somewhere but I’m sure if you buy the bloke a beer he’ll gladly get a copy for you. You can listen to his music over at Soundcloud. Fucking Manchester brothers…

That’s all I got for now – stay tuned next week for some more news.


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