Continuing SmartShanghai’s ongoing effort to round up all the coolest, weirdest, artsiest events in towns both ongoing and irregular, here are six more reasons to get out of the AC and into the humidity (and then back into the AC as these are all indoor events, I’m not a madman). Three of them are happening on Saturday, and I heard if you make it to each one the government will give you a special sticker in your passport marking you as an official Scene Legend. Here’s the scoop:
The Runnin’ Late folks are continuing their biweekly live music showcase Mid-Week Live, where local up-and-coming talent gets a chance to show off and make your hump day a little louder. This time around, the acts will be veering to the emo and punk sides of the rock spectrum. You can check out what’s going on in your underground music scene by coming to C’s tonight starting at 8pm, totally for free, and with buy-one-get-one drinks till 10.
CinemQ, your local group of queer film buffs with too much on their minds to not throw a cultural symposium/rager, is showing a series of short films on Thursday followed by, of course, an after-party DJed by Michael Cignarale of Medusa fame. This 39th iteration in their series of raves-for-your-brain is titled “Diva,” and promises to celebrate queer confidence, empowerment, and “divaliciousness.” I’m not 100% sure what entails, but it’s probably good praxis to find out. It all goes down in the presumably divalicious basement of Elevator, free as always. Show up at 8.30pm for the film screenings, 10.30pm for the after-pa.
Fresh Start Art holds a monthly meetup run by members of the Shanghai Rotary Club, where they invite artists and other creative types to network and participate in workshops, seminars, masterclasses, and other stuff that probably looks good on your LinkedIn. This month their theme is “Finding Inspiration,” and will feature comics from the Empire Improv group showcasing the creative process that makes improv comedy so uniquely engaging. Hosted by Ivan Matsumoto, Fresh Start Art will be held at Italo from 7-9.30pm, just scan the QR code in the flyer for your free ticket.
Daoist scholar James Miller will be presenting a lecture at ArtCN in response to Botanical Transmutations, an exhibition curated by Margo Renisio and featuring the art of Liu Zhenchen and Quentin Derouet. The lecture is on “The Alchemy of Self-Cultivation and the Liberation of Time in Chinese Daoism,” and will be linking the concepts of nature and environment in Daoism to the alchemical and temporal processes inherent in the exhibiting artists’ work. In response to the art, Miller will give an overview of Chinese alchemy and explore the meaning of transformation and self-cultivation. The lecture will be from 4.30-6pm, and you can rsvp by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. ArtCN can be found in Building 3, No. 876 on Jiangsu Road.
Monthly DIY-fest Kaos is back again this Saturday. It’s shaping up to be another explosion of underground art energy, this time focused on the small task of saving the goddamn world. Eco-conscious artists will be selling upcycled and second-hand goods, with some booths raising funds for pet adoption agencies. Music will be psychedelic alt-folk, alt-rock, psy-rock, prog-psych, goth-house; basically all things hyphenated. As the evening is sponsored by Doc Martens, who have thus far merely been unofficial sponsors of every scene-adjacent event for the last 50 years, they’re giving away prizes for the collage and arts contest (all supplies provided by the venue and open to everyone), with winners announced at midnight. If that still isn’t enough for you, in addition to the sketchbooks, zines, poetry, and live tattoos, they’ll have drink deals throughout the night. To use their words, it’s a “festival-like vibe in a war bunker.” It all kicks off at 8pm at, where else, C’s. And of course, there’s no cover.
Do you regret never hitting up that Square Enix Café in town? Do you continue to harbor strong opinions about the Dreamcast’s criminally underused VMU? Did people in high school confuse your haircut for DiCaprio’s from Titanic, when it was clearly inspired by Trunks from Dragonball Z? If you answered yes to any of these completely random and hypothetical questions, come and join your people at the second Freakin Nerd Nite this Saturday at Inferno. This is only going to happen a few times a year, so they’re making it count with Mario-themed drink specials and prizes for the best cosplay costume. They’ll also have Mario Kart and Smash Bros on the Switch, Pokemon cards and Beyblades for the analog nerds, and a playlist of video game, anime, and sci-fi music that’s guaranteed to elicit gasps of recognition (and accompanying long-winded explanation to significant others) with every tune. No cover, starts at 10pm.