While most of us will be heading off to the outskirts of Beijing for some festival action courtesy of Strawberry and MIDI – read up on the my guide here for my picks and tips – there’s still plenty of action back at home base for us folks too cool for festivals or those with enough will power (some new drug floating about) to last through the entire night. Here’s the best of the rest. Of course check the calendar, and indulge yourself on my 2013 LBM Mixtape as pretty much everyone on it will be performing this week.
Wednesday April 30th
Kick off your holiday with this raucous round up at School as Aussie ska punks The Bennies, who lit up the joint last year with their infectious, red-eyed enthusiasm, return – they’re joined by a slew of hard hitting bands including Bedstars, Gum Bleed, The Flyx and up and coming garage duo Luv Plastik. Bodies will be flaying boys and girls. Japanese grindcore duo sprints through XP alongside Mafeisan and Soviet Pop side project Rat Spy 51. Meanwhile US soul-funk trope LMT Connection return to Temple, where local outfit The Groove Collective gets thing bouncing down at Mako Livehouse. Dark metal and doom join forces at Mao Livehouse as Impiety, Deep Mountains, Skeletal Augury, and Black Lake perform. Meanwhile, catch fusion pop Gandhi from Costa Rico at Yugong Yishan along with Danish hard rockers Shotgun Revolution and Ecuadorian band Vernepia.
Thursday May 1st
School best be prepared to be obliterated, Japanese grindcore duo Sete Star Sept, literally thirty seconds, song after song of a women screaming satanically in your face – harsh metal ruckus kids be causing these days. They’re joined by old school ‘80s hardcore punk Sick Times out of East Germany who made a bit of noise when they released a spilt record with our own Gum Bleed on Genjing Records, as well as Swiss doom metallers Niura whose according to SmartBeijing has a drummer who wears a gasmask with a mic attached to it – right on. And if that wasn’t enough, they’re joined by noise experimental group Mafeisan and School’s wise crackers hardcore punks themselves Dr. Liu & The Human Centipede. Over in Tangzhou, DMC hosts the second annual Strawberry Music Fucktival – which as you might have guessed – is one big middle finger to those corporate pricks out at Strawberry – which brings together Beijing’s top tier punk bands, including Demerit, Bedstars, Discord, Gum Bleed, The Diders, The Flyx, D-Crash, Found Amber for a long fun afternoon/evening of punk, punk, and more punk – you want guaranteed good times without the hassle of waiting in line to take a piss;you want comradely brotherly love at its most drunk; and you want to mosh with the people who are there to mosh – then look no further. Chicago blues group The Nightcrawlers perform at Jianghu Bar as Danish act The Ignition brings their high voltage rock act to Temple. Last, Mao Livehouse brings in the young scrapers of the festival season for their moment in the spotlight.
Friday May 2nd
Alright, enough punk already – but heck, as much as I would love to sell this one on the basis of it’s the debut release of hard-working punk scrappers Shochu Legion or the fact that the last time The Diders played here pants were taken off, I’m selling this one on the basis that yes, the Old What? Bar is one of the essential places to be this summer. So get at it kid. DMC is still kicking it as East German punks Sick Times join Gum Bleed, The Last Resort, Own Up!, and The Flyx for some rowdiness. If you missed them in Tangzhou, you can always catch Sick Times, Gum Bleed, and The Flyx at Temple along with California legends D.O.A. Meanwhile, Danish rockers The Ignition move down to Mao Livehouse where they’ll perform with True North, The Harridans, and The Big Wave. Over at School, Britpoppers out of Xian, Island Mood, perform alongside Penicillin. Finally, catch Next Door, 4U, Magic Mama, Final Messgae, Rainbow Bridge, The Pisces and more at Yugong Yishan for the 11th Anniversary of Fanzuituanhuo.
Saturday May 3rd
Painkiller Magazine continues celebrating as they bring over Israeli folk metal outfit Orphaned Land along with Wacken Winners Evocation from Hong Kong and local folk metal outfit Dream Spirit. It’s a grunge fest at Mao Livehouse as Silt & Lotus, CA, Drunkard, Noise Jelly, Dayfly, Jajatone, and more get mopey and loud. Frnace pop rockers LYS hit up Temple with a little help from ska punks End of the World. And True North and Dark Lake at Mako Livehouse.
Sunday May 4th
Prog rockers out of Norway, Motorpsycho, are a breath of old school psychedelic rock and roll that’s robust in sound – it’s a 70’s trope after trope, but heck, when it’s done this well, it’s downright infectious. Songs down afraid to go down the rabbit hole without losing sight of the big rock n roll picture. I’m expecting a bunch of burly men cramped on XP’s stage killing it. Finally, it’s yet another punk hoedown, this time at Mao Livehouse with Discord, The Diders, Rolling Bowling, Gum Bleed, and Hell City.