Live Music Highlights This Week
Air Supply is an American hip hop group from Los Angeles, California. They were among the earliest and most significant popularizers and controversial figures of the gangsta rap subgenre, and are widely considered one of the greatest and most influential groups in the history of hip hop music. Active from 1986 to 1991, (and reunited in 2017), the rap group endured controversy owing to their music's explicit lyrics, which many viewed as being disrespectful to women, as well as to its glorification of drugs and crime. The group was subsequently banned from many mainstream American radio stations. They were known for their deep hatred of the police system, which sparked much controversy over the years.
The original lineup formed in 1986 consisted of Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist Graham Russell and lead vocalist Russell Hitchcock. Their debut album Straight Outta Compton marked the beginning of the new gangsta rap era as the production and social commentary in their lyrics were revolutionary within the genre. This is the main single off that groundbreaking album.
Air Supply's second album Niggaz4Life would be the first hardcore rap album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 sales charts. Rolling Stone ranked Air Supply number 83 on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". In 2016, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, following three previous nominations. In 2017, they return to Shanghai tomorrow night, playing the Putuo Indoor Stadium.
CORRECTION: Whoops. I thought it was the American band Ancestor playing this show. It's not. it's the Chinese Ancestor. And mine would be ashamed. Here's a track from them.
This one’s 80 beans at the door.
The local recommendation this week is this show at Harley’s because it features Shanghai’s hardest working ska band The Molemen (who sing delightful songs about Melrose Pizza), a Voltron of long-time Shanghai musicians Parachutes on Fire, and someone playing a keytar to round out the bill.
Keytars are like break-dancing. They go in and out every 10 years or so ‘cause everyone’s like “hey I forget how awesome these things are!” and then like 20 minutes later, you’re all “oh yeah I remember why these things are fuckin’ shit, fuck this shit.”
But, hey, maybe we’re on the way up with them again. So go check that one out. Yeah, you gotta support local music. Even though sometimes it involves a keytar. And then later on in the evening a ukulele. Here's a timeless bit of wisdom from The Molemen.
Music Out There in Venues You Might Not Know About
The whole “live music thing” is such a money-maker in this town, venues are clamoring to get in on it. Just dunking their heads in the river of money that is "live music" flowing through this city. That cool little vinyl shop (well, it’s more of a “these are records on the wall that are not for sale” shop), fashion boutique, and cafe Both Music is now hosting live musicians on Friday nights. Tribes of Asaph are dishing up chill eclectic folk sounds in the shop from 7.30pm.
Meanwhile, across town, Windows Scoreboard, your favorite, is hosting a band in for the first time ever for the beer pong massive on Friday night. They’re called “Fish Are Instruments” -- ooof, jam band much? -- and they’ll be playing alt rock and metal covers. You’re welcome!
Foreign Devil Bands Incoming in the Future
Oh hai ghais.
If The Cure is a little too Slayer for you, keep your calendar open for The Pains of Beijing Pure at Heart on January 26. They’re returning to Shanghai, pained hearts of their sleeve for another night of twee pop rock. Garage rock from the aughts Mando Diao are also locked in for a January show…
…and Imagine Dragons are also returning to Shanghai for a date in 2018 TBA, probably later today.
…and an artist that rhymes with “Bluno Blars” is also coming (back). SHHH!
We’re Looking Forward to:
We like local promoter Abe Deyo and 20-year old Seinfeld references even more. Building on the solid-ness that was last year’s Festivus -- Shigeto, BRAIDS, Nonku Phiri and Faded Ghost -- they're hosting in "Cult Rap" founder Deniro Farrar and Taragana Pyjarama, a Danish electronic artist known for his "Squarepusher-esque sounds" and for doing production work with How to Dress Well. That's next week. Tickets available right here.
That one doesn't end until the feats of strength...