WHAT’S GOOD IN SHANGHAI THIS WEEKEND – AUG 15 – 18 // 周末有啥好的

What’s really good in Shanghai this weekend…the weekend of 1997.

Oh snap. Had to work up the Hemmingway sweat after chillin with Dr. Jing last night just to write this. Too much lamb, too much goose. Coming a bit early this time as there’s so much on. Everything from two different Chinese hip hop acts on Friday night to Korn sharing a lineup with a Korean boy band, [pause], to Come Correct at The Shelter with the  legendary J. Rocc from The Beat Junkies on Saturday night. AND there’s a pool party on Saturday at that Xujiahui Oasis where you can catch a set by The Super Ayi Cleaning Team from 2PM – 4PM.

THURSDAY – VINYL NIGHT @ Logo

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“On the third Thursday of each month the society convenes to play their favourite records across all genres. All vinyl all night. Comfortable underground bar, cheap beer.” That’s friends from Push and Pull as well as a special guest from VOID tonight at Logo. No CDs, no laptops, no iPods, just good tunes on vinyl. Music leans more towards house, grime, dubstep, and techno.

THURSDAY – EXPERIMENTAL @ The Shelter

My friend and neighbor Laura from the Acid Pony Club makes beats all day and DJs all night – one of the hardest working cats in Shanghai. His Thursday affair on Yongfu Lu, “Let’s Get Naked And Listen To A Bunch of Drones,” brings your weekly dose of weird, trippy beats and film soundtracks. Here’s one of the latest experimental tracks he’s done, out on his SVBKVLT beat tape.

Friday – HIP HOP.

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Ok I got love for Hijack but I gotta rep two Chinese hip hop shows going down Friday. First off, you already know we got our club night Love Bang at 390 with local beatmaker/manga character Ceezy,  but you might not know about another show by Beijing rappers  阴三儿 (in3).  I don’t know much about dudes, but local friends tell me they’re some of the best MCs in China. “Real underground Beijing style.“ They’re on Friday night at Arkham with a RMB100 cover.  Peep some of their tracks over on Douban. Really nice tunes there.

Friday – ELECTRONIC

Most people know Dada Bar, but some newer heads might not know the history. Dada was started by Michael, a dude from The Bay Area, and before he started his own club he founded one of Shanghai’s original club nights pushing better music in a town full of shit tunes – Antidote. From humble 2005 beginnings in dungeon-of-vomit C’s Bar to packed nights at The Shelter, then parlaying all this into starting two of China’s most well-known underground clubs, dude deserves a lot of props. Well Friday it’s the 8th anniversary of Antidote, with a lineup of OG Antidote peeps – mostly local Shanghai dudes who’ve moved onto big tings themselves: B6, MHP, Fish, Ozone, and Drunk Monk. Sure to be good.

Saturday – ROCK AND DARK WAVE

There’s no better way to avoid attracting corporate branding than naming your band Astrofuck. That’s one idea that went into the name of this new band formed by three friends of mine: DJ Cavia, music-blogger don Andy Best, and singer Kaine. Saturday night they’ve got heaps of brand new material to play at Yuyintang, probably the best place in Shanghai to see a rock show, especially with that lush park in back. Check out their tunes over on Douban. Here’s what Andy had to say about the show, via Kungfuology:

“It will cost 40 rmb on the door and feature post-punk, experimental, gothy and dark bands. That’s probably an inadequate way to describe it. DJ Tzu Sing will open from 9 playing darkwave and industrial styles. Then The Other will play, then us doing a 45 minute plus set including completely new songs we have never played before. We also have HIMDONG closing out with some loop madness. It will be awesome and the perfect antidote to the thrown together, generalized, overpriced SH Summer Sonic night on over at the Stadium. I can say that cos SMG is a multi-billion corporation and we are just some friends putting on a 300 ppl show underground.”

Saturday – HIP HOP. J. ROCC AT THE SHELTER (yrs truly’s pick of the weekend)

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Yet another big name DJ passing through town – why should you care about this one? Cause he’ll murder your favorite DJ on the turntables and turn the party out. Coming out of LA, J. Rocc and his crew The Beat Junkies birthed an entire generation of hip hop artists during the 90s. Turntablism and party rocking with class is how they roll. This dude is an absolute legend who ran in the same circles as J. Dilla and Madlib. He’s on at 12:30AM at The Shelter and I’m expecting to dance non-stop for his two hour set. No idea what I’m gonna play after this dude from one of my favorite labels ever, Stones Throw. Plus we’ve got a scratch showcase by the god from Guilin LJ and sets by T-Plus and DJ Caution…don’t sleep on this one!!!

Peep this video of J. Rocc killing it at the Beat Junkies 20th Anniversary for a taste.

SATURDAY – CHARITY

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What if you had severe eye problems but couldn’t afford the surgery you needed, or even had access to the right medical facilities? Well this charity ORBIS literally flies around the world in a plane equipped with a full hospital onboard and performs surgery for kids like this on the spot. They’ve got a charity cocktail ball on Saturday night, with all proceeds from the RMB200 ticket going to their good cause. There’s no app for blindness yet.

SATURDAY – POOL PARTY

Yep, back at the same pool this weekend although this party comes to you via PX Productions, aka Panda Express. The homie Eoin from PX actually hooked us up with the pool so we owe them big. Catch DJ Caution and myself spinning from 2PM – 4PM. Really pumped to actually just play a set there instead of focusing on e.g. someone lost their ring or getting ice for drinks. Expect a lot of Three 6 Mafia and G-Funk. That’s at Wending Lu near Hongqiao Lu and just RMB80 to get in before noon.

Alight I could go on about Korn and Limp Bizkit both playing Shanghai this weekend, and how the shared lineup between the “inventors of dubstep” and a Korean boy band bound to attract hordes of tweens could create a potentially hazardous standoff between them and hundreds of metal fans in Shanghai Stadium, but I gotta go beat Conrank at squash. See you in the streets – come say what up if you’re out!

Oh PS, it’s not a rave! Please stop throwing this word around, it’s already lost meaning. If your sound system = some portable speakers with a USB-port that your friend helped you buy on Taobao, it’s not a rave. Also, there’s no such thing as a “private dinner for 150 people” that’s open to everyone on Facebook. Aight Audi 5,000.

CONRANK MIX FOR LOVE BANG UNIVERSE

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As promised, here’s that Conrank exclusive mix for Love Bang Universe. Dude totally exceeded my expectations on this one…Goth Trad x Waka Flocka Flame? Yes. Recorded hungover on a high-speed train from Shanghai to Beijing.

If you don’t already know, Conrank real badman. Man crushes music festivals around the globe and releases bass music on labels like Robox Neotech, Suicide Dub, Top Billin, Y4K, and his own Rankadank Records. Peep his productions in this exclusive mix.

TRACKLIST

1. Stagga – Grimboh
2. Conrank – Untitled
3. Conrank – Pitchin
4. Doshy ft. Conrank – Q
5. Dev79 – Won’t Turn Down
6. Marvell – London To Atlanta
7. Faze Miyake – Boom
8. Marger – Whats This ft. Foreign Beggars
9. Conrank – Flipping Eggs VIP
10. Firecamp – Shut Up
11. Waka Flocka Flame – Gold & Platinum
12. Goth Trad – Itinerant Priest
13. Brillz – Buck Wild
14. Conrank – Boy Tell Em

PLEASE GIVE YOUR DOG A HAIRCUT. THEY’RE HOT, THEY JUST CAN’T TELL YOU!

SUNDAY ON SOUNDCLOUD | RARE ASIAN DISCO

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ok no more dog photos, for now. moving on to ducks.

peep this poster, inspired by Hong Kong’s giant floating duck, now sadly deflated. i won’t appear at this Love Bang because I’m headed to Beijing with Sal for Popasuda on the same night! See you at Dada Beijing on Friday.

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Alright onto the music. Today we’ve got an absolutely DOPE mix of rare Asian disco. no idea what any of these tracks are. some in Mandarin, Japanese, Fujianhua, Thai, and unknown languages from the Pacific Rim. pretty sure Daft Punk just ripped off some rare Thai disco when they wrote “Get Lucky.”

and if you’re looking for something a bit more 现代, peep this mix from Kingdom, ahead of his “Vertical XL” EP release. dude mixes with Rihanna with underwater bass sludge and even throws in that guilty pleasure of a Top 40 song about eating p – “Kisses Down Low” by Kelly Rowland. this is how I want pop music to sound.

enjoy the sunday. man done turnt up the gale force wind machine ya heard.

Also, EXCLUSIVE mix from DJ Conrank coming tmmr.

 

Event Review: MIDI Festival Day Three

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Cyncism and hating aside, I had loads of fun at the 20th annual MIDI music festival. Always better to have a music festival than not. We got Century Park, rough uncles cursing and hawking cans of beer, mismatched tuna x sausage hot dogs, bands, DJs, the worst MCs ever, a mix of peeps, and a big sun. Mix that with cheap Jager plus a bottle of Soju and that’s a grand day.

Highlights were Chinese nu-metal band Twisted Machine, Conrank, and Beijing’s Nova Heart. A lot of hype surrounds Nova Heart, and I constantly get emails from their label FakeMusicMedia informing me of their tour-dates in Europe. They live up to the hype. With a simple arrangement of drummer, guitarist, and charismatic singer Helen Feng, (plus some synths and drum machines i’m guessing? couldn’t see), they played the best show of the festival. Wayyyy better than the Chinese “reggae” band before them, whose set was like a “coolest songs from every genre” CD only available through special TV offers after 3am. Like “hey let’s play a rockin ska song now! ” “How bout a blues tune? But let’s throw in some random instruments.”  This set was something a group of recovering drug addicts would rehearse for three months and play at a community center. This was like a bad version of my friend’s high school band 9mm, but played by grown fucking men, at a festival. Afterwards, I saw a pop-punk band with a ten-year old drummer at the JZ School Stage and that kid had more rock-and-roll in him than that whole “reggae” band.

I’ve been lost in electronic music and hip hop for a while, but I bet tweens in America rage way harder to brostep these days than rock. Chinese nu-metal rockers Twisted Machine brought back the spirit of nu-metal/ ragin’ late-90s music for sure, with snarled lyrics like “没人给你面子,别关他们的想法!” (No one gives you face, so don’t care what other people think). People danced, sang along, moshed, and ran around with giant flags. What’s up with the flags? At every Chinese music festival, some people just run around with big flags. Anyway, Twisted Machine sounded a lot like Limb Bizkit/other nu-metal bands, whereas Nova Heart were just in their own lane so they’re my pick.

As for the electronic stage, my good friend Conrank rocked out as hard as any of these bands but as a one man show – rapping, hypeman-ing, dancing, scratching, DJing, and getting crunk. He played much less drum and bass than usual and started off with Bone Crusher’s “Never Scarred”  then into a lot of original trap productions, some jungle, some knife-y dubstep that i didn’t mind, and more hip hop. All that while climbing and jumping on and around the stage, screaming, and never falling or missing a beat. It felt like dude could have had a heart attack at any moment. Wish the soundsystem was bigger, but only for his set.

Other thoughts on the festival. Hey it’s 2013 – don’t need some Eastern Europeans to walk around/dance on stilts dressed up “silly” or “high” at the show. Especially with the ?? DJ playing banging techno at like 3PM on a Sunday. Shit is mad corny. I’m happy to pay their RMB100/day salary to have them NOT dress up and walk around on stilts.

By the electronic stage, why did MIDI place [only???] three portable-toilets facing a road where cars hauling garbage and everything else, so that peeps wait ten minutes to pee while stepping out of the way for little and big cars passing by? Couldn’t have just turned them around 180 degrees so people could line up in the grass? Makes no sense.

Ok so the worst part of the electronic stage, aside from Donny from Donny Does China acting completely fucking retarded and crowd-surfing with a live duck (fuck that), the wackness level of the MCing was higher than any Beijing pollution index. See, there’s been a bit of a White Rapper Renaissance in The West. I’ve been living in Asia, but I still feel its effects. Now not only do a lot more white people think they can rap, they’re so confused and think an audience of hundreds at a music festival wants muttered lines like “I’m bout to be rappin all over town…” and “I don’t wanna see anyone cry.”

Dude, you’re “bout to be rappin all over town” ?? You’re on stage, at a festival, screaming at people to make some noise. What are you talking about?

See, the combination of The White Rapper Renaissance, plus sketchy designer drugs and cheap cigs, has lead some to believe that they can and should rap at a music festival. No no no. Stay off the pills, learn how to hold a microphone, and get some skills [end verse]. Actually, these kids couldn’t become good rappers even with Shaolin training so they should stick to backseats and living rooms and never rap at festivals. Shit basically ruined Steven Lorenz’s set but it’s like watching a car on fire because you can’t look away. Thank god Charlie was there to contrast some real MCing with the abundant wackness.

So including those rappers, the lowlight of the whole festival was unquestionably the culture-hub/cult “The Mansion,” with their “New World Party” shirts and “THE MANSION” stickers and flag.  Are you fucking serial? This shit is a real life B-movie yo. I could say more, but I digress. I’m almost grateful that The Mansion pushes these peeps away from central Shanghai and out into the suburbs. It’s like white-flight but for wack kids who think they’re doing something important.

So, rock trumped electronic this year for sure, and I almost wanna put Conrank in the rock category.

I hope someone more competent and sane runs the electronic stage next year.

Overall Score: 8 Nongfu Shans out of 10, because that reggae band sucked and I had to watch grimey kids from the Mansions put stickers on people. Ironic that kids who live in a mansion look like fright-train hitchhikers. Oh, and because I overheard some Western girl say “rock music? i don’t know how to dance to that.” Glad I was born in the 80s and lived through Limp Bizkit instead of some candy-ass Sufjan Stevens fake rock and roll.