Sign In


Rock the Dragon: Meantraitors, Round Eye Vs. Dirty Fingers, Phobia Sounds

May 24, 2017 | 15:41 Wed
Lots of good local rawk action in small clubs as we head into the Dragon Boat festival, which is a good, great thing. Too often we’re focused on the big international acts coming through town playing these big festival stages. I'm talking about your Pearl Jams, your Meatloaves, your Styx’ses, your Genesii. This week, we're focuses on the little guys. Samples and show previews after the jump. VPNs activate.


[Audio sample would go here but it's just going to be a bunch of GGGGVBVBVNNNNHHHHHH%*Y)#H%BJ F FFFFF}

Experimental music kids are always getting so intense with their shows. Like the blippy bleeps are metaphors for the alienation of modern society or the fragmenting of the self. Guy. It's just some blippy bloops. Down at Red Town Friday night is some full-on po-mo noise intensity. Check it:

"Big cities have become redundant, grotesque education, in which a person was unnecessary, alienated. Now, however, the very necessity of the cities is not as obvious as it was still, let's say, a hundred years ago. Perhaps populations will replace them with radically different goal setting. The city demands to not have any habits. You must be an absolute opportunist, not opened but flexible, so it makes you flow with the crowd. You can't gain a foothold in any particular fragment, but you are part of the new urban density. It swallows you. Sigh of belonging to many and to no one. How to overcome an urban alienation?"

Whoa. That's what these blippy bloops mean? Sounds like it's going to be a thing. From 8pm, "Urban Phobia Sound and Visual Performances" is a series of noise sets from people whose artists names sounds like bosses in the video game Doom. They're doing "Fieldrecording hysteria", "decay noises", "electronic stutter", and more. I love that shit. My jam. Red Town is going away from good sometime soon so this might be one of the last chances to catch some post structuralists get all nutty with contact mics. No cover for this one. They're post-cover.


Russian psychobilly Meantraitors pull into Yuyintang capping off a big China tour -- their second in recent years. Music is psychobilly straight outta St. Petersberg. Huh. Psychobilly, if you are not familiar, is like Eisenhower-core American hillbilly music mixed with the horror punk of The Misfits. With everything out-sized and undead. Lots of blood and hair. Meantraitors have been around since the late 80s -- psychobilly bands do tend to stick around a while though, don't they? From the sound samples, it sounds like "purism" psychobilly a la The Meteors. Sounds like you can get into that discussion on who is "true" psychobilly at this one. Thanks kind of a rare treat in Shanghai. When was the last time Demented Are Go! were in town? Never? Lace up those shitkickers are head down to the 'tang Friday for that.


Swedish dream pop pioneers make their return to Shanghai under the aegis of post-rock promoters New Noise. New Noise has enjoyed tremendous growth and success over the past decade or so in China, bringing in Mono, Mogwai, pg lost, Explosions in the Sky and more to this country's army of rabid (docile) post-rock loving youth. Swedish twee dream pop band Immanu el was one of their first successes when they were starting out, so seeing them in again is like the completion of a circle. A serpent eating its tail. It's like soft-soft-soft-LOUD-LOUD-LOUD-and-then-soft-again. They're in town behind their latest album Hibernation, their first in five years. The track "Voices" above is the single from that. Grainy home movies of children in the snow? Check. Ahhh, that's some quality dream pop right there. Kind of has a Spiritualized vibe.


This sounds bonkers. Organized by Alex of Dirty Fingers based on shows he used to see in Brazil "Face Me on the Stage" is two bands set up facing each other in the audience in front of the stage (the audience is on the stage). Both bands' drummers are sitting right in front of each other sharing a bass drum. The two bands RAWK in each others faces, one song after the other with no breaks and no song introductions. Until they're all dead. It's kind of like a death match. "The songs are the kicks and the punches and the uppercuts." Oh yeah, guy? Sounds great! Both acts are known for spirited performances. (Read: It should be interesting to see who pulls out a testicle first.)

Q. Who wins when Round Eye faces Dirty Fingers on the stage?



Finally. Someone playing actual music. Professionally trained, local jazz guitarist Zhang Xiongguan celebrates the release of his new album Struggles with backing from Li Shihai, Danny Zanker and Ryan An. Not going to front like I know too much about this one. But from the clips, I've heard online, this cat can swing. Some good DJs playing afterwards as well for an after-party -- endy and Damacha. Probably better than seeing someone's ball at Inferno. Your call.

The writing's on the wall for On Stage too. They should be closing down in a month or so. If you like the venue, this would be a good one to catch. Word on the street is that On Stage is looking at a move to Found 158. Just some gossip for you, friend!



Editorial Policy: At, all of our editorial content is conceived of by our team who live in and critique this city, for our readers who do the same. We don't accept payment for content, unless clearly labelled. Read our full editorial policy here.