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[Shanghai Weekender]: The Curated Guide to What's ON This Weekend

Lots of good live music, international DJS, Venetian Paintings and more more more happening this weekend.
2024-03-28 12:00:00

Live Music

Swiss trio Schnellertollermeier has been churning out a heady mix of krautrock, math rock, and noise for well over a decade, their brand of invigorating, intoxicating, and endlessly imaginative music. They return to China this week courtesy of SoundFact - who have been on fire as of late with their bookings - for a special showcase at Yuyintang Park. So if you’re itching for complex melodies, trancelike rhythms, high-wire interplay - an uncompromising mix of jazz, punk, and rock that’ll rock you out of your socks - look no further.

Dubbed ‘Band of the Year’ at Beijing’s School Bar - ground zero for the underground rock scene in China - The Bastard Kids (coined after the nickname for naughty children in Cantonese) are a pop rock band with a knack for unconventional melodies, killer guitar riffs, impactful drum beats, and simple yet potent bass - simply put, they’ve got serious oomph. The band is hitting the road after their debut LP Almost There put them on the map. Support from emerging Shanghai rock stars Vanishing Queen - who just recently sold their souls to Modern Sky.

Shanghai art punk stalwarts Dirty Fingers, who regularly sell out shows across China now, return to their old stomping grounds for a special showcase this Sunday at Yuyintang. It'll be their first show with their returning drummer - Brazilian freak show Ale Amazonia who was brought back onto the team earlier this year. Expect a full house. Support from perhaps my favorite live band at the moment - Jimaoda - the psych rock wonderers whose epic, striking, and gorgeous new LP has been on repeat all month.

Cathartic Portuguese black metal outfit Gaerea - one of the scene’s most raved-about acts - brings a particularly anguished take on the genre, combining it with elements of hardcore and sludge metal. Brewing their cauldron of sound from a recipe of pounding black-metal blast mixed with a touch of harrowed, reflective longing, the band - often donned in all-black occult-evoking ski masks - are brutal in the best possible way. They look to stir up emotions and mosh pits aplenty this evening at Yuyintang Park.

Sat, Mar 30, 2024

NaraBara

After years of Mongolian metal bands evoking the grasslands with riotous rock and roll breakdowns, it’s refreshing to hear a band take the music of their ancestors in another direction. NaraBara - the music collective led by prolific producer and singer Yider, finds refuge in the complex harmonies and intricate rhythms of jazz - injecting new life into the ‘mystical storytelling and atmospheric qualities of Mongolian folk’. The band is in town in support of their new and infectious EP Dab Hi - and they’ve picked quite the spot - the new elegant and lush JZ Club - located in the newly emerged Hengshan 8 next to the old embassy area.

Beijing rockers Whistling Chambers righteously go off the deep end - psychedelic music with an ethereal touch and old-school robustness, they craft music that is sprawling - swelling in a fuzz of guitars and synths - tinkering on the edge of madness. It’s dense stuff - the kind of music that calls to mind the heyday of Pink Floyd and like-minded space rock cadets as well as noise pop bands of the early 90s such as Ride. The band is swinging through town in support of their new EP MOTIF. Opening for them is one of Shanghai’s best new acts, Disordered Clay.

Clubbing

Zurich Berlin fashionista DJ Aya stops in Shanghai during her Asia tour to lay her techno breaks on All’s dance floor. Purportedly representing the latest of Berlin’s new generation of DJs, Aya’s set is a blend of fast-paced techno with rhythmic breaks that would fit well with a later part of the night of fun commonly associated with clubs like Celia.

Tomorrow

Pan Daijing

Pan Daijing grew up in Guizhou and moved to Berlin in 2016. Rooted in noise music, she expresses her original style through various forms. Her creative process heavily relies on improvisation and storytelling. Her music is poetic and surreal, often oscillating within contradictory conceptual states. The lineup also includes artists like Amber Akilla, Come to mama, Sidney, and RUIMA.

I would be remiss to not mention the Swedish invasion on Saturday at La Barra. Always a solid crowd that follows this promotion company, Sebjack himself ought to be a fun time as he is said to provide Steve Angello tutelage skills to his house set. DJ Spada in the small room next door is a G when it comes to dropping Vinyl so it's worth bopping between rooms while you are at it.

Heavy Acid House vibes with the girls from Germany Saturday. It would seem to be their bread and butter coming out of Berlin, and no better place to drop acid house than at Abyss. Expect dark lazery fun with this wild bunch of dominatrix-esque DJs. Check their profiles out, lots of leather, chains, and even KISS like makeup.

Sat, Mar 30, 2024

Scuba

Numerous accolades follow this Scuba DJ around, one of which being deemed Mix Mags choice of “best live act” draws the attention to one’s ears. Promising a minimal techno-dubstep vibe sounds confusing yet intriguing. Worth a check. Also, the local boss Tofu is in town to support.

Sat, Mar 30, 2024

Night Class

Mickey Zhang is the one and only. One of China’s top electronic-house artists, and a personal favorite of mine, is known for his hard-hitting electro sound that is reminiscent of classic Vitalic or Justice when he feels it's time to drop the hammer. Let’s hope he does. Plus, if you haven’t checked out the new Playground, it’s now on the 1st floor in a bunker-style layout. Good acoustics resonate within the confines.

Arts & Stage

The classic collection from the Uffizi Galleries in Italy, featuring the world-renowned masterpiece "Flora," debuts in mainland China. This exhibition showcases 49 masterpieces from Venetian Painting, including works by Venetian masters such as "Flora," "Venus and Cupid with Dog and Partridge," and "Portrait of Vincenzo Mosti," as well as 8 exquisite oil paintings by Titian. In addition to the "Big Three" of the Venetian Painting—Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto—there are also works by other Venetian masters such as Giorgione and Lotto.

From Mar 29 until Jun 23

Inflorescences

This exhibition showcases the latest artwork by Canadian artist Sabrina Ratté. Through four videos and four sculptures, the exhibition leads the audience into an imagined future where plants, fungi, and unknown organisms coexist with human artifacts. Utilizing 3D scanning technology and Blender animation software, the artist digitizes discarded electronic devices, presenting organic growth resembling flowers or fungi, with unpredictable mutations. These artworks aim to question the role of humans in a symbiotic future and explore the fusion of art and technology, as well as the symbiosis of technology and the environment.

Nightlife

The South Indian community in Shanghai hosts a Holi party on March 30. Join them to celebrate the triumph of good over evil and the arrival of spring with traditional rituals and vibrant festivities. The sacred bonfire will be lighted, symbolizing victory and blessings for prosperity. Arm yourself with packets of colorful powder and get ready to paint the town in every hue imaginable. Dance to the beat of traditional South Indian music. Tickets include food buffet, ghujias, colors, bonfire, dance performances and DJs. Free for kids under 10.

Celebrating Abba’s golden times, The Pearl presents one of their finest tribute shows. A night of mirror balls and sequins awaits! It's ABBA, the four Swedish blonds who were once responsible for basically Sweden’s entire GNP. Paint on your hip huggers, bell bottom jump suits and paisley, slide onto one of the disco-est dancefloors in town and dance the night away with one of the most popular bands of all time. Tickets are for general admittance only. 

Pang Mei (胖妹面庄), the Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded noodle shop hailing from Beijing, is coming to Shanghai for one-day only for the Yaya’s 2nd anniversary party on Saturday March 30th 2024. Guests can expect fiery flavors of Chongqing noodles, snacks and desserts as well as a special collaboration pasta with Yaya’s, paired with cocktails from China’s first craft gin, Peddlers Gin Company. The menu will be available for one-day only across both lunch and dinner, with reservations highly recommended – walk-ins also welcome based on a first come, first served basis. After dinner, Yaya’s will celebrate late into the night with their Alley Disco night featuring local legend DJs Victor Aime, Amber Akilla and Tatz and pop up bars from Peddlers Gin Company, PAO, Brewlosophy and Sad Gorilla Club. The Yaya’s team will also be slinging free pizzas late into the night (limited supply!).

Community

Stepping Stones Shanghai English Teaching (SET) Program offers English lessons to under-served children in Shanghai, including migrant children. English is one of the three core subjects in the Chinese curriculum and it poses the most challenges to migrant and left behind children. Migrant children left their rural hometown to be with their parents who are making a living in Shanghai. See the flyer for more details about this program. Volunteer recruitment and training session will be held on Sunday, March 31st, 2024.

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