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[The Agenda]: October '12
We're dropping the bomb early so we can get out of here and get our toes in the sand. So, here are all the happenings for this October.
By Sep 28, 2012 SmSh

The Agenda takes a sweeping look at the next month in Shanghai and selects the big events in the respective categories of dining, music, art, and more, more, more. Here’s your socio-culture calendar for the next month in Shanghai.

Here’s a bunch of things going on over the holiday if you’re staying in Shanghai, and, for the rest of us, the what, when and where for the whole of the month.

Clubbing: Pinch here, Skrillex coming

Space here to break some news: big shows coming up this autumn include Justice playing Bar Rouge in December and Example and DJ Wire at G+. But the really huge news is that G+ has also booked Skrillex for a show on November 10, which will be bonkers. The government initially refused him a visa because he had some religiously sensitive tattoo, or something. But it seems the men at the top just couldn’t get enough of his comedy wobble midrange bass nonsense and so they let him in anyway. Tickets will be something utterly silly like 600rmb on the door. We'll have cut-price pre-sales. We got you, Shanghai. No problem. Meanwhile we also have Das Racist (whoops, Das Racist just canceled all their dates for the rest of the year...), DJ Joachim Garraud, Jamie Woon, The Frey (power-ballad rock) and Paul Van Dyke all booked for November.

But for October we’re going with Sub-Culture’s party on Saturday 13, when they bring back one of their favorite DJs, Bristol’s Rob Ellis, better known as Pinch. He’s one of the UK’s pioneers of bass music, that nebulous term that seems to cover so much of the best electronic music that’s being made these days.

He started Sub-Loaded, the first dubstep night outside the British capital, and then crafted his own Bristol sound, which embraced the city’s huge musical heritage (Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead), rolling reggae and dub sounds into the mix. He released on Planet Mu and his own imprint, Tectonic, and more recently put out a joint EP with Shackleton on Honest Jons Records. For the latest sounds from the world’s center of bass music, this is the show of the month.

And also… The freaks will be out for Halloween, as every year. There’s a few large events but our pick is STD’s five-year anniversary. They’ve rented a truly mental venue. We know where it is, but we’re not allowed to say yet. The party will run all afternoon and into the night with a line-up that includes a bevy of people who have made STD parties so huge over the past five years: Surkin, Strip Steve, Dat Politics, Queen Sea Big Shark, DJ Wordy and STDJs. We also hear Drunk Monk, Tzu Sing and some Shelter regulars will be playing a second area. STD say it will be their finest day. It should certainly be the Halloween party not to miss.

And also, also… Midi Festival… It might happen towards the end of the month, also on October 27, but then again, maybe not. A few weeks ago, Midi called us and said Shanghai was getting its own festival this year, that it would be entirely electronic – just DJs, no bands – and that they’d secured a pretty central location. Midi Electro was going to have three stages, hip hop, techno and bass, in Dongfang Mingzhu Park, which is what, that strip of grass along the river right by the Oriental Pearl Tower? Sounds pretty good.

Only then they went quiet and we heard the fest was canceled because we’re all going to be too busy getting terribly excited over the political handover in Beijing. Now, however, the Midi people say it’s certainly going ahead. In short… Don’t hold your breath, but if it happens, could be solid. Tickets are 120rmb in advance and 200rmb at the gate and they have 27 DJs and a bunch of other cool stuffs.

Dining: Wine Dinners, Hairy Crabs and Other Odds and Ends...

Capo, the latest venture by Issimo executive chef Enzo Carbone, is the big opening this month. You can read more about that right here. Come October 12, Madison's re-location will be complete with the opening of its main dining room. You can read about the new space here.

But after all of that October is surprisingly quiet. So, in the midst of this lull, why not take in a few wine dinners? The week after the holiday, el Willy is hosting a dinner in conjunction with two labels from Spain: Emilio Moro and Borsao. Emilio Moro hails from Ribera del Duero. This forward-thinking region produces some of Spain's most interesting Tempranillo blends. It's also the head waters of the Douro River in Portugal, that's where port comes from. Borsao hails from the small region of Moncayo which is just north of Madrid. Both wineries will have representatives on hand to explain what exactly your drinking. To go with the wine, Willy Trullas Moreno has put together a menu of tapas dishes like scallop ceviche, Iberian pork neck with confit of piquillo peppers and cauliflower soup with a PX reduction. Learn more about that right here.

If you miss that one, there is Maya. The modern Mexican restaurant is hosting an evening with the wines of Argentina's Bodegas Salentein. They'll be pouring a torrontes, a chard, a cab and a few malbecs to go with a four-course dinner put together by their brand new chef Kenneth Brumm, formerly of Boxing Cat Brewery. More on that here.

And also... Tempura specialist Ippoh turns two years old this month, and to celebrate, Chef/Owner Toyoichiro Seki is offering a reduced price set menu. For 380rmb you get 12 assorted pieces of tempura, everything from shiso-wrapped shrimps to Australian abalone as well as squid, pumpkin, purple yam, sea eel and more. In addition to that, it comes with miso soup, a choice of tendon or tencha rice, a scoop of ice cream for dessert and a frosty glass of beer. If you've never been to Ippoh before, it's quite an experience, which you can learn more about here. The special menu offer is available throughout October and on until November 15.

And also also... Hairy crab season kicks off toward the end of the month. We'll start getting a steady stream of high-end hotel press releases about crab promotions which we'll keep you posted about. High-end hotels are, of course, all well and good, but if you want a more local, lived-in atmosphere, we recommend this place. Or why not go straight to the sorce? You can take a tour to Yangcheng Lake, home to the famed crustaceans, on the 20th and 27th of October. Could be interesting. Learn more about that right here.

And also also also... Jing'an in the Puli Hotel has a new chef named Michael Wilson. He comes to Shanghai via Melbourne where he worked at Cutler & Co. under Andrew McConnell, a big name down under. Wilson's been quietly transitioning the kitchen to his new menu over the past few months and he finally unveiled it a couple of weeks ago. We got a chance to sample some of it recently and were quite impressed. Wilson's style is marked by simple presentations that belie unconventional flavor combinations. Think tortellini over a surprisingly delicious raisin caper puree or beef shortrib with his very own homemade XO sauce. Seasonal ingredients are also a central component to his menu with starters like black figs with homemade duck prosciutto. Yum. If you're in the mood for a splurge you should go.

Live Music: Rabbit's Foot

From the ashes of this year’s Black Rabbit Festival comes next week’s Rabbit’s Foot, two days of live music at Yuyintang, plus a show at The Shelter with grime daddy Terror Danjah. It starts Oct 2, Tuesday, at Yuyintang with Caves of Steel, who are a Norwegian post rock band named after an Asimov novel. They’ve put out a couple of albums of deep, moody instrumental post rock with some electronic layers. Just heard that Caves of Steel have canceled, because their guitarist has been in a car accident. They will be replaced by Hangzhou's The Tree... Not much knowledge about them... Oh well, they’re backed up by The Gar, who haven’t played Shanghai since 2010.

Then the following day you’ve got Manchester indie rock from Third Cortez (pictured), vulgar French punk funk from The Inspector Cluzo and Belgian singer-songwriter Milow, again at Yuyintang. Aftershow is at the Shelter with Terror Danjah.

Nothing to do with Black Rabbit but also good and from those same SplitWorks people: Fence Collective on October 16. The Collective is made up of members of King Creosote, FOUND, The Pictish Trail and others. They all make folk music, from twee through experimental, and out into harsher territory. They know their stuff. Woozy just put out this mixtape as a preview to the show. Packed with bangers. Check it out if you’ve got 30 minutes to spare drifting around in glorious Scottish indie music.

And also… JZ Festival. They’ve got all their ducks in a line, despite the politically sensitive timing of the festival. As in previous years, there will be two days of outdoor shows, though this time it’s happening in the former Expo Park, around the Mercedes-Benz Arena, then there’s a week of sit-down concerts in the Shanghai Centre Theatre.

Expect lots of jazz-electronica crossovers, like Ben Huang on a jazz tip, Acid Live, Skyriders and an electronic stage with AM444 and Drunk Monk playing the vibraphone. No, maybe that’s wrong. Maybe he’s just DJing. The sit-down shows have Ron Carter Quartet, Yellowjackets, The Chris Potter Quartet, Terri Lyne Carrington and culminate with The Manhattan Transfer. Sounds pretty jazz-mongus. Razma-jazz. Jazz magz. Jazz on my face.

And also, also… Hercules & Love Affair, another early show, this one taking place Oct 12. That’s a Tuesday but well worth making it out to see this highly influential, hugely entertaining New York disco art fag rock collective. Tickets in advance are 80rmb, but that goes up to 150rmb on the door. Tickets here.

Art: New Space for the Biennale

The Shanghai Biennale returns this month, moving from its previous home in People's Park to launch the Power Station of Art on October 1. Located in the one-time Puxi Expo site, it's housed in, you guessed it, a restored power station and has 15,000sqm of exhibition space across 12 galleries. Alongside the century-old behemoth will be the repurposed shell of the Expo's Future Pavilion. Yeah, you remember that one, right? The fun we all had in that Future Pavilion. Look for the building topped off by the power plant's original 165-meter chimney.

Due to house Chinese contemporary art, the museum will start as it means to go on next month by hosting the ninth Shanghai Biennale for its six-month duration. Around 100 artists working in China and beyond will explore this year's theme of “Reactivation” across various on- and off-site projects – imagine ideas around revitalization and revival, and motivating forces for change. The main draw will be the exhibition proper, over at the new museum, and, new for this year, a bunch of international city pavilions across Shanghai. All in all, it looks promising, and while previous editions have faced criticism for their poor organization, a new venue and a fresh chief curator in the form of Qiu Zhijie bode well...

And also... Speaking of new venues, Open Space is poised to launch at the Goethe Institute at the beginning of October when it hosts inaugural show, Alternatives to Ritual. The German Consulate's Department for Culture and Education invited local independent curator Biljina Ciric to create a six-month exhibition showcasing contemporary Chinese artists whose practices address conventions surrounding galleries and art. Thus, it will feature a rotating program of “Artist's Museums” actually within the Institute's offices to challenge ideas of private, public and corporate, as well as solo projects in that new Open Space.

Ciric will also launch a book she's co-edited with the Chinese Art Center in Manchester, UK, called Institution for the Future at Glamour on October 1. For more details of that, check this interview on our sister site, CreativeHunt.

And also, also... Far, far away in Finland, Helsinki is fêting its status as 2012’s World Design Capital and to celebrate it’s bringing a bunch of talents and happenings to Shanghai in a city-wide shindig called Radical Design Week. Organizers have put together a jammed schedule, including an exhibition of one of Finland's oldest – and perhaps most colorful – fashion houses, Marimekko, setting up shop at MoCA at the end of the month. Loads of big Finnish design brands are onboard, including, naturally, Nokia, whose People Made exhibition opens at Tongji University on October 29.

And also, also, also, also, also... Always good for a mooch, Jing'an Sculpture Park is currently hosting the second ever International Sculpture Biennial. Go for a wander before November 20 to eye works by Israeli sculptor Ram Katzir, South Korean Byoungho Kim and, from India, Subodh Gupta. It's completely free and makes for a nice stroll of an autumn afternoon.
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