We’re getting mighty close to the end of concert-going season as students, families, schools, and workplaces slowly close up shop for the Chinese New Year. Yeah, it’s two weeks and change away, but subconsciously most of us have checked out already. This weekend’s the last killer weekend so get in your kicks while you can – here’s the best the next three days has to offer. And as always, check out the calendar (updated for February) for more.
Friday January 30th
So yeah, at School, it’s not sold out yetttttt. Xiao He is a master class of ‘what the hell will you do next?’. From freak folk, to opera singing, to topical soothing ballads that can only be heard through a book (!?), there’s no outlet the veteran artist hasn’t tapped into. And dude rarely performs. So this is the equivalent of seeing a unicorn in a squatter toilet letting one loose. Josh Feola wrote a fantastic writeup on one of the ‘real Beijing originals’ here. The douban description is \”！ ！@#%￥% \” so yeah, that’s pretty much how I’m going into this one. Grab your tickets here quick! Long standing ska punk outfit End of the World bring you the revelry Temple excels so much at while over at Yugong Yishan it’s a reggae dancehall party with UK all star Tippa Irie who’ll be joined by a host of players including Heavy Hong Kong, Ultimate Band Crew, MC Webber and more. The lively merry band of minstrel rockers The Harridans join The Groove Colelctive for some late night vibing over at DDC. Finally, metal fans unite at Mao Livehouse where Dream Spirit, Scar Constitution, Fengtian, Virus Base, Soma, and Yumbi take turns tearing it up.
Saturday January 31st
This show popped out of nowhere – Xinjiang artist whose blend of traditional Kazakh music, industrial, and avant-garde music has both folk and noise fans lending their ears will perform tonight at Yugong Yishan along with some of the experiential scene\’s most prolific players. Like Xiao He, IZ is one of the scene’s true genre breakers, someone who never seems comfortable with sticking with one thing. Just listen to the last album he put out – Echo – insane, right? So, teaming up with guitar virtuoso Li Jianhong and saxophonist madman Li Tieqiao – well, it’s gonna get very interesting to say the least. To celebrate selling their souls to Modern Sky, arguably the biggest indie label in China, new wave dance punk outfit The Big Wave, one of my faves on the scene, are throwing a rager at their homebase School. In addition, they’ll release a special limited copy of their new EP, No Such Disease, something I’m been waiting for ‘for-just-about-ever’. Real crowd busters these kids. They’re joined by no wave brothers-in-arms DiD, another band formed from the ashes of The Planets, as well as indie britpop act Elenore. Solid opportunity to catch the band one last time before they become jaded stars. A new series headed by XP manager and Carsick Cars and white + frontman Shouwang, White Night is dedicated to throwing together some of the scene’s more prolific performers and artists and seeing what they cook up on the same stage. This week’s unifying theme is ‘Loop’ and all of its audial pleasures, to be interpreted by Zhang Shouwang himself and Chui Wan frontman (and violinist) Yan Yulong, as well as the original Zoomin Night shit stirrers themselves Xiao Hong & Xiao Xiao Hong. I have high hopes for this collaboration. Inner Mongolian trope Ajinai for their first show of the year after a busy 2014, which saw them touring Europe as well as releasing their sophomore album Synthesis. Had a few choices things to say about that one – it\’s a heavenly fusion of the traditional Mongolians elements and modern day rock and roll elements that looms forward instead of backwards. One of the best Mongolian bands out there – genuine, contemporary, and raw. All at the vastly underrated and super adorable Jianghu Bar. Things get noisy at DDC with this match up of egos and rock and roll spirits as alt art chick rockers Girl Kill Girls join electro fusion rock outfit WHAI for some shenanigans. Shanghai based reggae hip hop outfit Hello Money swing through Temple to release their debut album. It’s a rush to the worst song! Or something over at Mako Livehouse where The Diders, TOSS, Free Sexx Shop, Bed Dog, and Famous Youth take turns getting down. Last, catch Russian avant grade psychedelic rock Kryton’s Sons at Mao Livehouse.
Sunday February 1st
Mamer of IZ joins some of the scene\’s most prolific noise makers, Zhang Dong on percusiion and Li Jianhong on guitar for an improv hoedown at XP. Meanwhile at Mao Livehouse, a slew of fresh young rockers take stage including The Truth, Mr. Honey, Broozers, Paper Memory, Bolei, and Anti-Tune. Finally, catch jazz trope the Adrian Kelly Quartet bring the groove to DDC while folk singer Jiang Jin release his latest EP at 69 Café.