Friday, April 22nd @ Yuyintang
Japanese instrumental legends The Surf Coasters are returning to Yuyintang on Friday -- and Shanghai had just recovered from the blistering monsoon of surf rock that was their last tour here a little while back. The background: For over 20 years, The Surf Coasters have been laying down some of most technically proficient rock licks known to man and beast. The band got their big break in a '90s Japanese talent TV show known as Ebisu-Onse and have since gone on to world tours, critically acclaimed albums, and they've contributed music to countless video games and movie soundtracks. These guys are the real deal and well-versed in all the unholy guitar arts. Hopefully, I won’t make the same mistake I did after the last Surf Coasters show and go out afterwards and buy a guitar, thinking I can learn those Dick Dale riffs myself. Incidentally, the guitar is still listed for sale on SmartShanghai’s Buy & Sell section. Just FYI, if you're looking for a cheap deal on my dreams.
Opening up the show are two of Shanghai’s hardest working outfits, Round Eye and The Psyders. At 100rmb it’s a little pricier than your average YYT gig but you can't really put a price on a good rock show.
Oh yeah, I guess you can, it’s 100rmb.
Surf Coasters – Misirlou
Round Eye - City Livin
Friday, April 22nd @ Harley's
Also this Friday, long-running live bar Harley’s returns to the table, with her first set of rock gigs in the form of DV's Night. Harley’s recently got a makeover to the now standard style of a Shanghai stripped-down concrete basement club that may or may not have dubstep playing later on that night. However, from what I hear, the sound system also got a makeover too. I'm curious how that will affect the live shows. Friday’s gig is a “DV'S Records” showcase which, from what I can gather, is a label founded in France by a gentlemen named Chou who opened a recording studio in Shanghai recently by the same name. However, most of DV Records releases are Europe-based, except for Shanghai alt rock band Great Bear who are playing Friday at Harley’s.
Also on the bill are the always impressive synth punks Undress for Success, fronted by our favorite musique savant and French producer / rock star, Laurent. It’s been a minute since the band has released anything new but I hear their next album is in the works for this year. The bill is rounded out by blues rock band called Exit 4 who got their start in Ningbo. Sound-wise, these guys are reminiscent of of a pub band playing in the movie Road House. Check out this cut from Exit 4’s Bandcamp page subtly entitled "Hooker Hill". That's one of two songs about prostitutes on their Bandcamp. Evidently, there's only three songs on there total, so it might be said that 66.6% of their music finds inspiration from ladies of the night. The other 33%? Welppp, with let's just say that they think the concept of "rock music" itself as a pretty fine and wonderful thing. Truly, these are gentlemen of simple and direct indulgences.
The DV's Night show at the newly branded "Harley’s Underground" kicks off at 9pm and is free entry. Dubstep may or may not follow.
Great Bear - Scars of History
Undress for Success - Animals in Cages
Exit 4 - Hooker Hill
Deer Park, Little Monster, Parachutes on Fire, Damacha, Charity, Sean Healy, and Scorpion Prisoner 69
Saturday April 23rd @ Basement6
Those crazy kiwis down at The Hippo Tank are teaming up with art collective Basement6 for a conceptual show featuring 20-plus music and art performances called, "Gravity Rides". Huh? What's it all about? Glad you asked. Basically, the show will feature music performances accompanied by art / dance pieces that are spread out throughout Basement6’s tiny rooms. A tight schedule of 20 minutes per piece will rotate from room to room, which are named after Les Savy songs (i.e. the "Meet Me in the Dollar Bin" room). Basement dwellers will be given a map with set list times to help navigate the gig.
They've got everything and the kitchen sink in on this one, including the garage duo Little Monster and Dad rock outfit Parachutes on Fire. There's going to be beats and hip hop from Damacha and Charity. Then you have recent arrival to the Shanghai rock scene, Scorpion Prisoner 69 playing along with acts like Deer Park, Sean Healy, and DJ Dopey, all with a bunch artsy shit going down all around them.
Damacha – Moonrise at the Castle
Parachutes on Fire – Transit Lounge
Now, that’s what I call conceptual.