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MP3 Monday: Beijing + Shanghai BFFs

Beijing and Shanghai bands getting together for a full Saturday of live music -- experimental noise, ephemera, and some of that indie rock.
By Mar 13, 2012 Nightlife

MP3 Monday is a weekly SmartShanghai column, serving up mp3s from bands living and making music in China (or coming to China, or thinking about coming to China, or whatever). Copyright holders: if you would like your song removed, please email us here, and we'll honor your request promptly.

A little late with this thing… s’cool, s’cool. A couple of interesting shows to look out for, amongst other live music events around town. Incidentally, if you want to see everything SmartShanghai has listed for live music, click on the “live music” search tab and that’s all of it. The MP3 Monday thing is usually centered around whatever MP3s I can gank of the net and is by no means a complete picture of what’s out there for upcoming Shanghai aural pleasure…

Anyways, we’re just looking ahead to Saturday night this week and at two shows which feature Beijing and Shanghai bands playing together, burying old grudges and whatnot, and upsetting the notion that these two wonderful cities don’t get along.

If you’re new to the picture, the prevailing view of our times is that people in Beijing tend to “think Shanghai bands suck” and people in Shanghai tend to think “everyone in Beijing is kind of a massive asshole”.

Not true, my friends! Not true!

Saturday, March 17: Alpine Decline, Torturing Nurse, Stalin Gardens @ Uptown Records

This is a special one because it’s Uptown Records’ first official live show, a sort of test-run for future events in the basement record store space, and if the filth doesn’t show up, perhaps the dawn of a new venue for more off-filter, conceptual, “experimental” sounds in Shanghai’s city center…

Some background: Uptown Records is run by a San Francisco faux DJ transplant named Sacco and is primarily a record store featuring quite a large and legit selection of records in all genres that have made their way into his shop from Japan originally. If you haven’t been in a while (or ever), he’s just replenished his inventory with things like this, and this, and this, and this, and this. Really quite a lot of hidden gems and not so hidden gems -- old, rare, common, new, local, international.

No record player? No worries, matey. He sells them. They’re really quite nice -- priced at 550rmb or 900rmb and fully functioning and stand-alone, even if you don’t have a sound system in your place.

So in addition to the records and the vintage shop, the space was also going to be a live venue slash bar. Alas, some neighbors had issue with that and so the shows are going to be taking place during more harmonious afternoon hours. The first show is featuring harsh noise / shock performance art brigade, Torturing Nurse, new kids, no wave noise band, Stalin Gardens, and the Beijing representative (via East LA originally), Alpine Decline.

From their bio: “The third album, aptly named 消失 / Disappearance is a relentless pursuit of the zero -- ghosts of ghosts, guitars photocopied and torn up in the thin air, drums pulsing in deep ocean currents and voices rippled by the waves of a leaking gas valve.“

Interest piqued? For sure. Me too. Here’s two songs from them:

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Another tip: in town from Beijing with Alpine Decline is Nevin Domer, the guy behind vinyl-only punk and misc. label, Genjing Records. If you’re interested in DIY-culture music coming out of China, bring some extra money to splash on that merch table. As he’s also associated with Maybe Mars, he should have a bunch of interesting stuff available. Pick up some vinyl from him as well as Uptown and play it on your fancy new record player.

Alpine Decline, Torturing Nurse, Stalin Gardens @ Uptown Records. Starts 5pm. Free show. Beers are 20rmb.

Saturday, March 17: Residence A CD Release Show w/ The Mushrooms @ Yuyintang

Meanwhile, later on that evening is the Shanghai release party for Beijing band Residence A at Yuyintang, supported by popular Shanghai band The Mushrooms. Just talking about the opening band first, they themselves are fresh off the release of an album, and are back on the Shanghai circuit after taking a pretty extended break to… hmm… sort out the business end of that operation? Anyways, they’re supporting a pretty great live act from Beijing in Residence A -- high-energy, slick but sincere, dance rock band that draws on Blur, Franz Ferdinand, and some of the more anthemic American modern rock bands of the mid ‘00s. Your humble MP3 Monday correspondent had the chance to catch them in Beijing recently and they were real good. Crazy, spazzy-fun show, but still pretty polished and powerful. Fun kids, fun times.

Residence A are in the midst of a massive, self-planed, 30-show tour behind their self-released album. You have to respect that energy and dedication. And along with The Mushrooms, that should make for a good Saturday night. Not going to throw up MP3s from either of the bands -- just go get their albums at the show. C’mon guy. Online samples of their music at the above links.

Third band on that bill is a bunch of white dudes.


Residence A CD Release Show w/ The Mushrooms and BCR. Cover: 50rmb. Starts 9pm


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  • mingworm

    And Rainbow Danger Club free show at Uptown Records on Sunday, March 18th. despite what the flyer says, it starts at 5pm.

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