Shanghai used to be the land of washed-up musicians well into the sixth or seventh wave of their careers. See: Mr. Big, Roxette, DasEFX, The Eagles, Sasafras & His Merry Band, and a bunch of people i can’t remember cause they that irrelevant and forgettable. Acts that were forgotten once and then briefly respawned in Asia because of globalization. The re-forgotten (le reforgotten). In 2008 I wouldn’t have been surprised if Ugly Kid Joe got booked to headline a festival.
But now in 2012 we’re seeing musicians who are still big where they hail from. Skrillex last weekend, Kode9, Louie Vega, DJ Caution, and Jamie Woon this weekend, Sir. Elton Jon and J. Lo* next weekend, Justice coming in a few weeks, Objekt next month, and others**.
*relevant? i honestly don’t know because I haven’t lived in America in five years but we have a lot of Latinos so…
**Another interesting model is Far East Movement, who appear to be on an infinite Asian tour. They’re just continuously circling Asia and collecting $$’s like it’s a fucking Mario Kart track and Shanghai is the checkpoint. Whatever, get that money.
While we might not like all the specific artists coming here, it’s clear that more and more promoters and artists now see Shanghai as a viable destination for concerts*, and that’s a good thing.
*or perhaps there’s just less red tape these days..this likely plays a role too.
One thing is certain, the money is here. I heard people paid RMB2000 ($317) for Skrillex tickets last weekend after all the presale ($75) and door ($107) tickets had sold out. VIP tickets for J. Lo and Elton Jon are similarly exorbitant.
That said, there’s lots going on this weekend. Here’s what sounds good:
Friend or Foe Remix Album Release Party @ 390 Bar – My friends’ rock band got a bunch of Shanghai producers to remix their album “My Claw Is Never Limp.” Remixers include The Horses, LON, Adam Gainsler, DJ Caution & myself, and some other people that just make beats in their bedroom and never play out, which is cool. I’m gonna play an early DJ set and work in most of the tracks from the remix album, i.e. the ones that don’t suck. There’s also live sets by some other producers that may or may not suck, plus a performance by Friend or Foe and also Death to Ponies, which will likely not suck, but could suck in a cool, meltdown kinda way, like an Ariel Pink concert. Looks like a good, eclectic night.
DJ Hell @ Lola – A lot of Spanish people, and this German dude who started International DeeJay Gigalo Records, home to some seminal electroclash records. An old head; heard he’s good. Nice Gin & Tonic’s in fishbowl glasses, I’ll say that. May peep it…though not happy about a 150RMB cover when Kode9 is 60RMB..
Charity Show @ Yuyintang – What’s the best nation? Donation! Including this cause I got a nice email from the white Heatwolves, aka DJ BO. Bunch of local rock bands playing a charity show for Hurricane Sandy relief. Some of these bands do suck, but so does having your record collection or your home destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, so give these people some RMBs.
VOID @ Shelter – DOES U LIKE PROPER TECHNO, MATE??? No really, Cammy and Nat are two of the realest promoters in Shanghai, and also the first DJs I met, back when I worked for the *awesome* City Weekend, which is basically like The New Yorker if it suffered a severe closed-head injury. Producers MHP and Shanghai Ultra are releasing some tracks on vinyl ON A DETROIT LABEL and this is the party for that. Congrats to them..maybe the first Chinese music producer on a Detroit label?/? Crazy.
annnnnnd….a bunch of bullshit.
DAYTIME SHOW @ 390 Bar – Post-punk from Beijing…I think SplitWorks are involved. It’s at 2PM. Might be nice to wake up and walk there.
LOVE BANG 22 @ Dada Bar – This is our party, you should come. We play the music you wish other clubs played instead of all that tech-house shiz. I’m way stoked cause my right-hand-man (and favorite DJ) DJ Caution is FINALLY back in Shanghai. We’ve also got this dude DJ Laobang from Korea who’s got a serious reggae/dancehall collection. We’re giving away bags of treats and Love Bang T-shirts too. Free entry cheap drank as usual.
Kode9 @ The Shelter – The boss of Hyperdub records, who also holds a PhD and lectures about military uses of sound and other esoteric topics. He’s also a hell of a DJ. I’ve seen him play three times and was lucky enough to DJ after him last year and see his all-Burial lock-in set. The dude controls CDJs and records like no one I’ve ever seen. I have no idea what he is doing half the time. This will be a huge night for Sub-Culture, as they prepare to head to Japan to do their first Sub-Culture night there, which I guess is any serious promoter-living-in-Asia’s dream.
Jamie Woon @ Yuyintang – More dark music from the UK, but this is on the singer-songwriter-with-machines tip. I don’t know much about dude but he’s cosigned by Burial and Pearson Sound has done official remixes of him. Brought to you by the good people at SplitWorks. Interview by the much-missed Morgan Short over at SmartShanghai.
Louie Vega @ Unico – One half of Masters At Work (along with Kenny Dope), the classic house duo (they made “The Ha Dance”) If you’re looking for house music in an upscale Bund location, this is where you wanna be. I’ve never been there but I’ve met one of the dudes running the place and he’s super nice.
****I will be here on Sunday at the TWIN HORIZON table selling some of our Love Bang shirts****
[also happening on Saturday 11AM – 6PM] Oasis Flea Market @ Xintiandi – Everyone’s having markets these days, and that’s good. From what I hear, there’s gonna be 50 – 60 booths with local designers and other people who make stuff to consume. I’m told by Ivan from Twin Horizon that there will be a “food section” too, and I’m hyped about this. I’ve learned to never eat before one of these markets because there’s always some kebab or something dank there. It’s free, from 11AM – 6PM.
Laying on the Ground @ Some Park – Yes, laying on the ground at some park is back, after it’s popular first appearance a few weeks ago.
Riding The Bus @ The Road – Buses in Shanghai go everywhere. I like bus.
See you in the streets!
Here’s a mix by the young homie Steven Lorenz