Okay, check this out: I recently opened a cozy imported beer and record store on Yongfu Lu called Uptown RnB that’s usually solid for a pint. Ahhh, crap I just remembered last Sunday a gaggle of 15 French punters stopped by, of which a few of these fine fellas snuck upstairs and proceeded to break the old Chinese neighbor's potted plants and assorted nick-knacks. The aunties were not stoked and Uptown RnB has to close early (@ 11pm) until end of August. Yes, BREAKING NEWS: it seems Shanghai is a tourist hotspot for the worst of the worst in spoiled American and European youth. Present company excluded of course.
You’re probably too young to remember but back in 1994, Singapore had the right idea and dealt out prison time with a swift ass caning to one young American rich cunt by the name of Michael P Fay. I say we take a page from that playbook and set up a state-run flogging station at the end of Yongkang Lu to mete out a little righteous wrath to these wayward youths. Yeah, maybe you’re right, they would just turn it into some sort of drinking game. Shanghai, this is why we can't have nice things.
Back on track. So, despite the August lull there is still plenty of action for an adventurous top bunk hostel backpacker like yourself looking for live music or chk chk boom boom clubs. Today I’m going to share songs from three rock shows and three electronic gigs. Saddle up and let’s take a little trip through Shanghai’s August 2015 music scene week #2.
BOOM, a huge Thursday night booking down at Arkham with Boys Noize returning to the PRC and bringing along two of his acts for their 10 year anniversary tour. For those who have been living under a rock for the past decade German wunderkind Alexander Ridha aka Boys Noize started his little record label / collective that went on to be one of the most popular in electronic music history. Between you and me even though it’s not considered ‘core’ to like Boys Noize anymore because the label is so popular but I’m a closet Noize boy myself. Ridha has remixed A-Trak, Marilyn Manson, The Faint, Snoop Dogg, Danny Brown and many more acts I wouldn’t mind kicking it with.
Riding in for the anniversary tour show is Djedjotronic who as you may guessed is a French DJ signed to Boys Noize Records. He has remixed the likes of Tiga, Unkle and Just A Band, amongst others. He has also remixed with Busy P, which won him acclaim from across the land. Rounding out this epic Tour De Noize (yep still doing it) is Housemeister who is of the longest members of the BNR crew. Housemeister has produced more than 30 vinyl records, 5 full length albums along with being on the road constantly. Alright let’s all just say fuck it on Thursday and dance like we’ve never danced before. Do It. Do It. Do It.
Danny Brown "Smokin & Drinkin" (Boys Noize Smokin Mix)
HOUSEMEISTER HURT PT2 120kbit
Djedjotronic - Pleasure & Pain Feat Miss Kittin
Last Saturday at Dada’s anniversary party Minimalist resident DJ Will A took on the heavy burden of the 1am to 3am slot. This was after an epic Santo Chino power-hour that had the crowd in a disco trance. Luckily, Will A held his own and the packed dive bar’s dance floor stayed solid throughout the night. Don’t look twice but the Minimalist crew his hitting Dada hard this Friday, August 14 when they are flying up DJ Roman from the Retox crew. This DJ with solid vinyl skills is originally from the UK and now located in Shenzhen. Roman used to run a record store in the UK. Is that why I’m featuring him today? Let’s just say it doesn’t hurt.
In Shenzhen for just a short time now Roman has hit the ground running throwing regular parties. His latest project a warehouse party on the tropical outskirts of Shenzhen, he stuffed a dance floor to the brim with sweaty punters going strong well past 11am the next morning. Word on the street is Roman dolls out banging techno on a regular basis so Friday we will see just how minimal he can go. Check out this set titled "Berghain Burger" from him.
RETOX Roman - Berghain Burger
Also on Friday the Push & Pull boys pay homage to their origin story by returning to Xingfu Lu’s LOgO bar. Luckily for you, both parties are only a five-minute walk from each other so let’s make it a block party! Expect some heavy UK grime, garage, and club tracks from residents Alta and Naaah. The duo have been on the forefront of pushing the limits of Shanghai’s alternative dance scene and I’m expecting with this return to LOgO there will be an extra dash of strangeness in the sets. Joining the Brit boys are two Chinese producers Zean & Faded Ghost. Cha Cha aka Faded Ghost just returned from playing Europe with her AM444 project. Faded Ghost represents a darker side of Cha Cha’s many alter egos. Zean has been quietly crafting his skills with the Rankadank with a focus on heavy bass music. All that work paid off in the form of a full length release last year titled “Forget the Frame”.
Check out a track from Faded Ghost and Zean now and hit up LOgO on Friday to see what kind of dark goodies are in their bag.
Faded Ghost – OST
Zean – Yesterday
If straight-up non-threatening solid alt rock 'n' roll is your bag then don’t miss Danish band MEW playing MAO live house Thursday August 13. These major label Danes are one of those bands right in the middle of things. Singing mostly love songs it seems, MEW go about music production in a unique and interesting way and their sound is 100% their own. However, they lack that certain edge for me that would push me over the edge of being a full time MEW fan. Maybe that has something to do with their major label overlords putting their two cents in via market research and PPTs. I always like to assume the fat cats at Universal Music sit around a room with a big “make it more palatable” button.
Besides the major label aspect, I can see why the band has remained popular enough to keep playing the past decade. Alright, heck, they have me intrigued enough to check out Thursday’s show. If you are Danish then this show is 100% mandatory attendance. Everyone else check out these two MEW songs and decide and make the call. You heard it here first: MEW at MAO! Or maybe you heard it somewhere else first.
MEW – The Zookeeper’s Boy
16Mins is a little melancholy treat with some infinite sadness on the side playing Saturday August 15 at Inferno live bar. While just a few years ago it was uncommon for Chinese bands to tour during summer but that's been changing lately with the large number of acts busting in from the seems of Beijing and beyond. 16mins is a unique sound indie rock outfit playing multiple styles. Fronted by guitarist Robin who was born in Taiwan, raised in New Zealand, then moved to Beijing to make it big in the music scene.
Singer Sindy moves back and forth from Mandarin to English in their 10 song debut album released just month. I lean towards liking the the Mandarin songs more given the personal nature. The English tracks seem more fitting for a cheap cabaret dive. 16mins are known for playing often up north and switch between a two-piece acoustic set or a full band. The new album of 16mins is titled "Erlkönig" which translates to Elf King and quite a few of the songs are fitting for a role playing adventure. No points lost there kids. This is my hot date gig of the week. Take her to Syzeria before swinging by the 16mins show at Inferno. Round out the night with 16mins trademark cover of "Hallelujah".
16mins - Hawargul
Rolling Bowling (Elvis Cover Show)
On Sunday August 16, hosted by Pudong’s Mixing Room, is a new addition to Shanghai’s ever growing cover band scene. This time around is Beijing rockabilly band Rolling Bowling who will be playing Elvis covers along with a cast of characters. August 16 is the anniversary of Elvis’s death who visited the big toilet bowl in the sky at the tender age of 42. You hear about that? Put together in part by Encore Live which is a project from Melting Pot‘s Ruby Hsiao, along with Beijing’s top rockabilly outfit there will be a new addition to Shanghai’s rock scene in the form of Chad Romero & the Cadillacs.
Expect lots of early Elvis covers, video presentations, and antics from DJ BO who can always be found where the King’s bloated corpse is rehashed for fun and profit. Check out this original Rolling Bowling song ‘Rockabilly Lover’ and see them on Sunday bring the Real Red Elvis back to life.
Rolling Bowling - Rockabilly Lover
Hey if you are taking your fancy ass Uber BMW to any of these shows can you swing by and pick me up?