Hey I’m DJing tonight from 10PM – 2AM @ Logo Bar on Xingfu Lu.
Jams like this:
Cassie – All My Love (Kingdom Edit)
Nice basement dive with plush couches, cheap-ish drinks, and good tunes. Come say what up.
Some say celery has negative calories, because it takes more energy to eat a stalk than the calories within. That’s kind of a metaphor for Shanghai’s City Weekend magazine, because unlike most literature/prose, you will actually lose brain cells by reading it.
If you’ve lived in Shanghai for more than a few years and have at least a grasp of the English language, you’ve probably written something for City Weekend. I have, and so have many friends. As a nightlife promoter, I submit my events to their website and deal with error-ridden rewrites and subsequent emails, followups, etc. But do I read City Weekend, like I read SmartShanghai or Shanghai247?
Not really. It’s *maybe* something to read in the bathroom if your phone has no battery, but you’re better off just thinking instead of getting offended by ignorance.
[I want to point out that I like the nightlife editor, Kat, and I have no personal qualms with her. I’ve seen her out at many shows and disagree with the contention that she isn’t out in the scene.]
For many years, City Weekend Shanghai was just bad, but it has now sunk into the abyss. This is the expat version of those tabloids that read “Nine-headed 600 pound baby born in Detroit!” Take for instance a recent cover story entitled “Date Our Friends!” that unironically dedicated multiple pages to pictures and profiles of people in Shanghai that City Weekend “just can’t believe are still single!” I was offended. I threw the magazine away because everyone in my house felt uncomfortable with that on the table.
Lowbrow writing aside, allegedly City Weekend Shanghai recently came to a band in Shanghai and said “hey we’d like to do a web video for City Weekend TV about your band, but you need to pay us 50,000RMB.” That’s a lot of money – something around $8,000. I can’t confirm whether this happened, but if so, that’s ridiculous for multiple reasons. First, what band can afford that? And even if they could, that video would get at most maybe 1,000 views. Totally not worth it.
It’s important to point out that in Chinese media, almost ALL coverage is paid for. There is almost no objective journalism here, sadly. Fashion writers get red envelopes of cash from designers at fashion shows, restaurants pay food writers, TV stations charge money for coverage. Sadly these are the facts of life. But if one of Shanghai’s biggest English-language magazines has really stooped this low, that’s shameful, and that’s my big beef with the rag aside from the ignorance.
Well, someone is doing something almost as egregious as publishing this magazine – Brian Offenther, aka DJ BO and a few others are throwing a party called “FUCK CANCER, FUCK CITY WEEKEND” and donating the money to a cancer research fund and a literacy charity. They even penned a manifesto, which you can read right here. This is so hilarious, audacious, and awesome that I decided to interview DJ BO about this over sandwiches at City Shop.
[DJ BO, originally from Florida, organizes rock shows in Shanghai and Mongolia and writes for several publications including Shanghai247, Pulp, Shanghai Daily, and previously worked for City Weekend Shanghai. He DJs rock/motown/50s music on a MIDI controller but does not know how to use turntables or Serato, as evidenced at his brief set at Come Correct.]
Heatwolves: If you could sum it up…what’s your biggest complaint [with City Weekend Shanghai]?
BO: We’re not doing this to step on City Weekend or really shit on them. We’ve had issues with City Weekend, a lot of people have, for a long time. We’ve tried to approach them in a cordial manner and it hasn’t worked. We feel that the only way anything will be addressed is if we get the acknowledgement or interest of their advertisers, cause we think that’s what City Weekend care about. So we had to put out a forceful message so people didn’t think it was an ironic or a cheeky thing…
I was talking to one guy who’s associated with City Weekend, and he said “I like the idea of the campaign but I don’t like that the shirt says ‘fuck.’ If you had a t-shirt that said ‘City Weekend sucks’ I would wear it.” And my response was “you would wear it, because you could also wear it in a cheeky kind of way.” There’s nothing cheeky about a message or a shirt that says “fuck” on it.
The name comes from a show that I saw right after MCA [Beastie Boys member who passed away from cancer] died. So at the beginning of the show they did a tribute to MCA, and someone said “fuck cancer.” And then later on, from the stage someone complained about something in City Weekend, and then someone said “Fuck City Weekend,” and at the end of the show we yelled out “Fuck Cancer, Fuck City Weekend Shanghai!”
Heatwolves: Whose show was this?
BO: I don’t wanna tell you who because they specifically asked me not to. But that act is gonna be repping at the event.
Heatwolves: Why didn’t you ask me to play?
BO: We’ve had to turn people away. We started with the core people who had been real vocal about City Weekend.
Heatwolves: Give me a summary of these core complaints.
BO: I try to avoid talking about them too personally, because it’s really not “DJ BO vs. City Weekend.” In general, complaints include articles so short that it seems they’re just name-dropping people, wrong information fairly consistently; information about bands, members, lots of wrong info.
[Heatwolves: Here's a personal example of this - I complained to City Weekend a few months ago because S L V were nominated for "Best DJs" when actually they're a producer duo who at that time had only performed live in Shanghai once]
Heatwolves: Why do you care though? You write for a lot of publications, why don’t you just say “man fuck em, this place is wack, so I’m just not gonna read it, not gonna give them my time.” Why do you wanna have a show and make t-shirts that say fuck this place?
DJ BO: Ok, and I think this is a fair thing to say. And this is the problem: I’m approaching this from an artist’s standpoint. Originally this was called “Fuck Cancer, Fuck City Weekend,” but out of deference for Alex Searson, [editor at City Weekend Beijing] and the good work she does at City Weekend Beijing, we changed the name. I think she’s doing great work.
The problem with City Weekend Shanghai specifically is that they claim to cover the nightlife and the underground music scene. They put out a video for City Weekend TV saying “here’s underground Shanghai music.” They have an award for rock n ‘ roll things, where they nominate completely irrelevant bands and and skip over really important ones.
Heatwolves: For example who was skipped over?
DJ BO: Without any specific reference to Fever Machine’s music, they haven’t played in Shanghai in many months – they’re nominated for best band. Death To Giants, who are one of the most consistently interesting, best bands around – not nominated. That’s just a quick and clean example.
The real bugaboo is, and we mention this in the manifesto, they claim coverage of [the music scene], and they consistently fuck it up. We’re not doing this to shit on City Weekend Shanghai. We’d prefer if they made their coverage much better, but if they’d just avoid doing coverage at all, and this is my personal opinion, it’d be much better than the current situation. Like I mentioned before, That’s Shanghai gives very little coverage to nightlife, and you can talk to the editor and he’ll say “well that’s just not what we do.” And I completely respect that.
So there you have it – classic first-world problem of music kids complaining about how a mag’s coverage of “the scene” sucks. But are these people just being cunts? There’s plenty of poor journalism, why take it out on one magazine? Furthermore, isn’t this just great advertising for City Weekend?
Or are there indeed some serious issues here. Ignorance aside, asking musicians, or anyone, to pay for media coverage is wrong, and sets a terrible precedent. Sadly, we already accept that as the norm in Chinese-language media. If this expat magazine really asked a band to pay for press, I say fuck City Weekend Shanghai too.
“Fuck Cancer, Fuck City Weekend Shanghai” is happening this Friday at Harley’s Bar in Xujiahui. It’s a stacked lineup, featuring Acid Pony Club, Marquee VII, Xiao Xin Yi Yi, Hu Jia Hu Wei, and lots more. It’s 30RMB and proceeds go to charity.
Music scene Dungeonkeeper Andy Best also wrote a bit about this event on his blog. Have a look there for another perspective.
Huge vibes at the first round of 黑胶社会 last Thursday. So much so that we’re doing it on a Saturday next month – June 8th.
We recorded the whole night last Thursday with a Zoom H4n portable recorder placed up in the ceiling. Please note that we recorded this with a mic, in a basement, so it’s not the cleanest sound; but that fits the aesthetic of the night. Here’s a sample of what went down, and what to expect on the third Thursday of every month.
no tracklist, but feel free to add your guesses in the comments!
Good morning from sunny Shanghai. First up we’ve got Quasimoto dropping a new LP titled “Yessir, Whatever” on Stones Throw on June 18th. Madlib easily my favorite hip hop producer ever, even more than Dilla. If you’re a head you’ve already heard this, but here’s the first track from the LP. Way more excited about this than I was for Daft Punk’s disappointing Random Access Memories.
Also, peep the interview I did with Madlib while he was at a MLK Day BBQ in LA and I was in the initial stages of crippling food poisoning in rainy Shanghai. I literally had to sprint like fifteen minutes in the rain to get an IP card right before this interview because the internet went down so no Skype. I spent the next three days in bed and transcribed the interview on a flight back from Dubai a month later.
Hard to mention Madlib without Madvillain, but did you sleep on the JJ DOOM album that came out last year? Criminally slept on, and easily the best work DOOM has put out in years. This is the only rap song I know about having OCD. Dude is legitimately terrified of germs, and that’s painfully obvious in this cut.
JJ DOOM – Wash Your Hands
And if you like hip hop, don’t forget to check out COME CORRECT every Wednesday at The Shelter. It’s the only place you’ll find two DJs working out on four turntables, open mic, and an Asian breakdance hurricane. The real deal.
Beats for your Sunday by two artists from cities with hills, Hong Kong and San Francisco, easily two of my favorite cities.
First up is FLOYD from Hong Kong. I know nothing about dude except that he makes really nice beats. Short tracks, like those on Dilla’s classic Donuts. He’s just released one tape out on the new SVBKVLT label and an EP on Singapore’s Darker Than Wax, both dope. Peep the A-side to the SVBKVLT tape here and clean yo house or make an omelet.
And this one by the young Seth Steelo, one of the original Come Correct members who had to move back to San Francisco suddenly before the night really took off. He’s been back in The Bay producing loads and really stepped his game up over the last year. Take this jazzy cut for example.
WATCH OUT FOR UMBRELLA THIEVES. THEY LURKIN.
Love this new track from Thundercat so much. Works magic on the floor too. Brainfeeder really one of my favorite labels.
Thundercat – Without You
Also feeling this new Busta Rhymes “Twerk It.” Read loads of complaints/hate about this one on the web, but this and disco a la “Get Lucky” will be the sound this summer. It’s also way better than most new dancehall. Sounds like Pharrell made this beat with water droplets. Also, Busta Rhymes is Jamaican so it’s not like he’s just jumping on this style like Snoop Lion. Here’s the dirty version.
Busta Rhymes – Twerk It
You’ll definitely hear this at Dada tonight for Papasuda so come down to get down.
I’M STRAPPED UP IN THE RAIN. BOUT TO GET ON A BOAT TONIGHT AND DRINK OPEN BAR CRAFT BEER.
KNOW WHAT’S BEST ABOUT DJING ON A BOAT? NO ONE CAN LEAVE. I CAN PLAY SLAYER, LIL B, OR AN INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES MANSON, AND 没办法. WHAT U GONNA DO? JUMP IN THE HUANGPU RIVER? THOSE PIGS WERE ALIVE BEFORE THEY HIT THE WATER. THEY WAS THIRSTY. NAW DON’T WORRY I’M GONNA DIG IN MY “WHIIIIIIIIIITE PEOPLE” CRATE.
LOTS OF WAYS TO SPEND UR 元 THIS WEEKEND, SO HERE’S SOME IDEAS.
1. PURPLE SOUL ALBUM RELEASE @ SHELTER ON FRIDAY – ALL CHINESE HIP HOP CREW COMING DOWN FROM BEIJING TONIGHT WITH DJ CAUTION AND CHA CHA ON DECK. EVER WONDERED WHERE ALL THE LOCAL HIP HOP IS? WELL, 说实话 THERE’S NOT MANY RAPPERS IN SHANGHAI, SO SUPPORT THESE GUYS RIDIN THE TRAIN DOWN FROM BEIJING AND PUTTING OUT THEIR ALBUM ON A REALLY LIMITED BUDGET.
Purple Soul – 忙碌的人-龙胆紫
2. TODD TERRY @ ARKHAM ON FRIDAY – ONE OF THE LEGENDS OF HOUSE MUSICS, PLAYING PURE HOUSE MUSICS.
3. REDDIT MEETUP @ ??? ON SATURDAY – IMA BE THERE. SHOUT OUT TO THE REDDIT FAM. ONE OF YA’LL CAME THRU THE VINYL NIGHT LAST NIGHT.
4. VOLUNTEER @ A HOMELESS SHELTER ON SATURDAY – PLAY PING PONG AND CHILL WITH SOME HOMELESS PEEPS. SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD WAY TO MAKE UP FOR ALL YR SINNING IN SHANGHAI U FUCKING DEGENERATES. RSVP AT firstname.lastname@example.org AND THEY’LL SEND U THE INFO.
5. POPASUDA @ DADA ON SATURDAY – COME WIND TO MUSIC WITHOUT ENGLISH LYRICS (MOSTLY). LOADS OF BASS, SOME BOOTY. PLUS YRS TRULY AND DJ SAL ON DECK.
PROBABLY SOME OTHER STUFF GOING ON, MOSTLY INVOLVING:
a) DIFFERENT STRAINS OF HOUSE MUSICS
b) BEAUTIFUL, COOL PEEPS
c) VENUES THAT WILL CLOSE IN ROUGHLY SIX MONTHS
SEE U ON THE STREETS OR ON THE WATER FAM. WHAT UP WITH THIS RAIN?
Oran “Juice” Jones – The Rain
Zomby – Tears In The Rain
ANYONE KNOW WHICH MOVIE THIS ZOMBY SONG SAMPLES? LEAVE A COMMENT FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A BROKEN UMBRELLA!
AND 大 THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT TO OUR VINYL NIGHT LAST NIGHT <3 LOOK FOR A BIT OF THE MIX ON SOUNDCLOUD SOON.
This track’s from one of my favorite Brazilian Baile MC’s Dieze Tigrona. It exudes the Popasuda motif, with a driving Brazilian percussion line that bangs hard alongside a rugged female Portuguese vocal, exclaiming with attitude the need to fucking Get Down! Pretty raw, nothing fancy – just a bad-ass piece of Brazil.
Jesse Rose – Toca Pra Mim
There’s nothing I love more than a well-sampled Indian Vocal. This track right here’s set on a nice BPM, it’s got that international vibe that I’m trying to increase in Popasuda, and it’s cut from one of my favorite (and probably the most famous) Indian classical singers Lata Mangeshkar. Hopefully you won’t be hearing too many English vocals from the Popasuda sets, unless it’s really worth it. I’m really trying to keep shit as foreign and diverse as possible.
Latah Mangeshkar – Todha Rashem Lagan Hai (Daniel Haaksman Remix)
Old School Acid Gems:
This is one of my favorite acid-trance tunes from way back in 1995. It was one of my first records, given to me by a fellow DJ back when I was in high school. While making me feel old as shit, it’s undeniably one of the dopest classic acid tunes reminiscent of that early Daft Punk sound that was just beginning to emerge back in the mid-nineties. It actually predates Homework, but certainly draws along the same line. Wicked 303 line about halfway in (1:53). I’m so happy that acid is making a mild resurgence, so I can finally have a chance to play this oldschool shit now that I’m a “seasoned DJ”. There definitely won’t be a full acid set (or a full set of anything for that matter), but when you least expect it, 303 lines will be tweaked.
Snitzer vs. Humate - Oh My Darling I Love You (Heavy Mix Cut)
If you haven’t already seen some Youtube footage of Asonto from West Africa, it’s a weird little dance on it’s way to being a flavor of the month. For all those cats out there who are all “whaaaat, that’s shit’s last year”, stop frontin it’s not like you were in the back allies of Lagos railing lines and getting low… dick! Either way, though it’s most likely a passing fad, the movement did produce a few very dope, grimy, ass-to-the-floor dance tunes, like this one.
Sarkodie and EL-Ghana – You Go Kill Me
I’m really trying to take the night in an international direction. There will be no hour of straight anything, it’ll be easy on the English vocals, we’ll be fucking with BPM with very selecta style drops and quick transitions. Rewinds, horns, a fucking amazing MC from Ghana (The Mighty Junior Revelation), and shit ton of different languages. Expect reggae, dancehall edits and bassy shit, vocal inspired Trap shit in Spanish to Jamaican or Swahili, Crazy digital Soca, a little bit of cool old-school Acid, perhaps a few underground reggaeton bangers from our favorite rapper Tego Calderon, some moobah inspired African stuff, Crazilian Shit (see what I did there), Indian vocal shit salt & peppered in, and just generally dirty vibes built for some community-center dancehall in some third-world country with rhythm.
Words by DJ Sal aka Skinny Brown