A slow weekend at first glance – but let’s not forget we got three days off next week – boats and dragons and rice balls and all that goodness. You know how holidays gets everyone all rallied up. So bring your game face to these gigs and let it out.
Start the weekend with a bang, or a neck brace – that’s the hardcore treatment at School with Beijing’s hardcore crew featuring the likes of Unregenerate Blood, Return The Truth, and a few new names Own Up!, Provocation, and the ‘there’s no way this translates right’ Fengtian Manufacturing Rock. Said it before, I’ll say it again – you’re in or you’re out. Prog rockers 16 mins hit up Jianghu Bar, while hard rock with a affinity for post rock shake things up at the Hot Cat Club with Illness Sickness, The Tore Down and Weed. Over at the cozy 69 Café, talented singer-songwriter Zhang Qian Qian serenades audeicnes. Electronica has its day at XP with Australian artist Glass Bricks and Thunder Gecko (awesome name) from Chile. There’s always the Beijing Beatles doing what they do best at Temple. And finally, an impromptu concert goes down at the Blue Stream Bar with Red, Hoochie Coochie Gentlemen, and David – simply that, David.
Zac Coutrney, who if you’ve been here at least a year you’ve seen drummer it up somewhere, is bidding farewell with an all out bash at Blue Stream Bar where he’ll play with Ember Swift, Jess Meider, Moreno Donadel Trio, Alberta Cuellar Flamenco Group, The New Vibe, Zac Sax Trio, and The Soundcheck – that’s a lot of drumming folks, buy the dude a beer so he can maintain. Party like it’s your funeral at Mao Livehouse as Finland and China team up for a night of the blackest metal to hit town with visting black metal bands Coprolith, Malmstrom, Black Lake, Evil Thorn, Skeletal Augury. Hit into that fountain of youth with these young and eager bands at School, including Kiddo Attacks!, P-318, The Ghost Dancing, Lady First, and Siberia-Cocklebur. Yugong Yishan host Irish loving Blackwater and bluesmen Zhen Ren. Lastly, the Oliver Roussel Duet plays at VA Bar, Yulin at XP, and Zhang Jian Yu at Jianghu Bar.
Bong-hitting rock duo The Dune Rats, outta down under, join Gum Bleed and Yantiao for a night of fun shenanigans at Dos Kolegas (after a screening of Grease cuz that’s whats up). ‘Drunk is Beautiful’ indeed – with a tagline like that, there’s no way one of these bands is gonna fall flat on their face at some point at School – Bedstars, on a rampage of good gigs, Los Crashers steady genuine 80s rock, Dirty Little Secret with their trashy Britpop with no apologies, and The Molds, a ghost from the past, probably with just as much spite as before. Things get old school at Mao Livehouse with the likes of The Power Powder, Rolling Rolling, Hoochie Coochie Gentlemen, and more. Dream pop duo out of Sweden, Postiljoen swings by Temple to showcase their latest. Tianjin-based, New York-stopover electronic duo Wanderlust hit up XP for some fun. . And finally, Blackwater performs at Blue Stream Bar and Mr. Zhou makes it to Jianghu Bar.
School simply doesn’t take a breather – punk with middle-fingers extended full right – is the name of the game tonight at School. Whether it’s skinheads, leather boots, terrible haircuts, these boys – Hell City, Discord, Misandao, Ouch – aren’t in it for the tail. They just want to make some noise. And sweet noise they shall make. 69 Café, the cozy nangulouxiang joint, which doubles as a record shop, has been steadily hosting shows for some time now – tonight they host three expat electronic noise making groups– Arm Trick, Cloud Choir, and Damage Blanket – who make electronica music of different ilk. Buyi at Dos Kolegas – they’re hard, they’re fun, they have swagger like none other – and they know how to throw a show. I guess 18 years as band will earn you that status – but there they are still fucking taking names. Congratulate the Ningxians in never losing their head. Things get grungey at the Old What? Bar with Pork and Drunkard, Mama Funker keeps things lively at Modernista, and Veronique Truffo Trio performs at VA Bar.
Jiangjinjiu, the Drum and Bell Tower venue that’s constantly on the verve of being shut down (I really did think they were gone already) – well, whatever the case, there’re still there and are using Dos Kolegas to throw a folk marathon with a slew of uber talented folksters including Buyi (they just don’t stop – they’re even playing at the Mi RV & Camping Festival later in the evening too), Gangzi, Ajinai, Li Dong, and Zhao Laoda – all top notch musicians. If anyone was even grieving at the loss of the Ditan Folk Festival – this bad boy will make up for it. Things get heavy for the holidays with these headbangers at Mao Livehouse including Devils at the Crossroad, Fusion-G, Virus Base, Chinatown, and Ethereal Wings. Campus rock takes over School with The Diders, Penicillin, and a slew of fresh faces. Get your dose of Swedish indie pop with Theo Berndt at Temple, and offbeat electronica at XP with Slanting Buck, Breaking Space, and Head. Jazz goes big at Yugong Yishan as New Bag featuring the likes of a many talented individuals give it their all.
Did I mention I love Dos Kolegas. And I might build a shack so I don’t have to take a cab there every weekend. Cause, Dos Kolegas and summertime, well it’s bliss. And ska band The K, who impressed the hell out of me last fall along with trash metallers Suffocated (at surprisingly the same show) will be supporting the vintage market and BBQ that 2K is throwing, because why the hell not. They’re joined by emo kids Twinkle Star, who well, are emo, but good – they have lots of videos and things. ‘Beijing Salutes Jazz’ continues tongith at Yugong Yishan with Pierre Favre and Samuel Blaser. The celebration continues with these eager, head bopping bands across many genres including The Incisors, Meat Tree, 16 mins, and Music Soulz. Dark prog rockers F.I.S make a surprising visit to Blue Stream Bar along with ukulele maverick m-amp. Lastly, the Devils at the Crossroads is joined by the Beijing Bandits, and Hugh Reed at School.