This Week in Nightlife: May 26-June 1

Posted by Pete DeMola on 26. May 2010

Note: Well, I haven't done this thing in awhile because I've been busy with other stuff. I'm worn out. Maybe this will be the last dispatch. Who knows? But for now, here it is: your weekly guide to some of the better parties and shows here in the capital city. Enjoy!


Da Wanggang: The inspiration from this new project from former Wood Push Melon frontman Song Yuzhe came from bumbling throughout the country, absorbing new methods and styles from ethnic musicians along the way. A multi-instrumentalist -- he's a master at the eight-string banjo and citten, among others -- recent compositions combine traditional classics with his own ambient, and haunting, soundscapes.
2 Kolegas, 9:30pm, 30 RMB

UNIVERSITY NIGHT: It's hit-or-miss with performances by student bands Hi-School (seriously), Only Noise, Zhuobian Beile and My September, who pull off a mean Radiohead impression with their spartan song structures and the singer's melancholy falsetto croon.
D-22, 8pm, 20/10 RMB (students)

Vital Time: Beijing-based American singer-songwriter Michael Dallin (Bad Apples, the Michael Dallin Project) unveils another new Michael Dallin project. Details below.
Jianghu Bar, 9:30pm, 30 RMB

Jam DoDo: Local fusion quartet jams on standards in the Thai venue's courtyard. Try their food! They took top honors for Best Thai Restaurant in City Weekend's Reader's Choice Dining & Nightlife Awards 2010. If it's good enough for the great unwashed masses, then it's good enough for you.
Purple Haze Bistro, 8pm, free

Kamilla & Sasa: Press release promises "Bi-bop folk and blues" from this duo.
Salud, 9pm, free

SUMMERTIME HAPPY HOUR: Buy one, get one Tsingdao and Tiger beers (25 RMB) and 15 RMB mixers are on hand at the Sanlitun venue's new daily summertime happy hour.
White Rabbit, 9pm-midnight, free


A Ji Nai: Folk rock from Inner Mongolia.
13 Club, 10pm, 30 RMB

The Redbucks: Expat bluegrass outfit just took home City Weekend's Best Local Band of the Year Award 2010, which doesn't even make any sense considering, well, they're not even Chinese. They're Americans. Seriously. But it's admirable, I guess, if you value the opinion of older expats who probably only go to a handful of live music shows per year, wobbling away in the front row, cocktails in hand, and saying to one another "This is nice! We should do this more often. Why don't we do this more often, Steven?" But the band's old-timey Kentucky drinking music is pretty good and they all seem like very nice people -- and you certainly can't hold them responsible for the decision-making processes of other people, unless they mobilized thousands of weekend warriors to stuff the ballot box, which seems unlikely -- so yeah, hats off to you, the Redbucks.
D-22, 9pm, 30/20 RMB (students)

OPEN MIC: Exercise your vocal cords at the Andingmen venue's weekly open mic night, with 10 RMB Tsingdaos on hand to help lower those pesky inhibitions.
Hot Cat Club, 9pm, free

No Name Jazz Band: Multicultural jazz quartet perform compositions by famed guitarist Django Reinhardt, with styles ranging from accordion-fueled gypsy jazz to American swing.
Jianghu Bar, 9pm, 30 RMB

WASABI SOUND #5: DJs El-Mar, Eric Lee, Shen Yue and Sean are on deck to "choke you" and "kick your ass," just like wasabi does, I guess.
White Rabbit, 9pm, free


5th YEAR ANNIVERSARY: Expat blues outfit Black Cat Bone pair up with post-punk trio Re-TROS, traditional rock/reggae act Buyi, ska dudes Skarving and DJs BB and 小宝 to celebrate the longevity of Beijing's best summertime bohemian hangout spot.
2 Kolegas, 9pm, 100/60 RMB (two- and one- day pass)

DESTROY DESIRE: Extreme metal from Body of Blood, Skeletal Augury, Funeral, Perish the Skeleton and SIF.
13 Club, 9pm, 50 RMB

CHILL-OUT FRIDAY: The Sanlitun literary haven continues the roll-out of their new spiffy event schedule with this Friday night cocktail hour anchored by beats from their resident DJ. It's a great idea: nervous, neurotic types can run for cover in the Self Help section should they say something stupid to their romantic targets, while diassociated intellectuals can go with the devil-may-care approach, leaning in the corner flipping through a Dostoyevsky novel while pretending not to stare at that chick with the nice ass.
The Bookworm, 8pm, free

Guai Li: Headlining quintet (pictured above) is China's best band, having won the WLIB Best Local Band of the Year Award in 2008, 2009 and again by a nose in 2010. They emit tightly-wound sets of visceral and intricate rock and roll that tear emotive holes through the city's sonic landscape. While borrowing much from New York's mid-1970s proto-punk scene, their wrought, disorienting and cathartic sound simmers with sexy rage and is equally a manifestation of contemporary life in Beijing's urban hellhole. Hedgehog offshoots B-Side Lovers and local pretty boy poseurs me灌me will support. Guai Li, if you're reading this, you can come pick up your award at our office: it's a choice between a pack of Baisha cigarettes (the 5 RMB ones, not the expensive ones), a dying houseplant or a Zippo lighter.
D-22, 10pm, 40/30 RMB (students)

El Johnson & the Taste of Soul Band: Regulars at Beijing's oldest sports bar can now get a side of blues alongside their televised rugby matches every Friday night with this quartet who are advertised as having performed alongside blues icons Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, John Lee Hooker and Buddy Guy.
Frank's Place, 9:30pm, free

VERMOUTH MAGIC NIGHT: Local reggae out Skarving are on deck alongside half-price absinthe specials.
Hot Cat Club, 9pm, 30 RMB (includes one free beer)

Sand: Low-key outfit spearheaded by Liu Donghong has been emitting moody and atmospheric rock and roll since their formation in 1996. ۞528相聚江湖, of whom we know absolutely nothing, will also perform.
Jianghu Bar, 9:30pm, 60/50 RMB (pre-sale)

COLLEGE ROCK NIGHT: Student bands occupy the recently-reopened venue for the weekend: tonight's performers include Yes/No Break, 茶凉粉, Sound Slaughter, 坡上村, Slack and Nanwu.
MAO Live House, 8pm, 80/50 RMB (two nights/one night)

THE SOCIAL: Beijing-based writers, editors and tastemakers share their playlists in this new event series, with house mixologist Echo serving up her highly-acclaimed Absinthe cocktails.
Obiwan, 10pm, free

Zebra Run: Promising rock and roll upstarts are on deck, with support from fellow newbies 矿泉水, 迷信, 奇怪的七月 and 离色.
Old What Bar, 8:30pm, 20 RMB (includes one free drink)

Hoochie Coochie Gentlemen: Local blues outfit celebrate their first birthday at the plush new Gaobeidian venue.
The One, 9pm, price unspecified

I LOVE DIAN: A night of all-things electronic from the PARTYHUNTER crew. More info below.
School, 11pm, price unspecified

SWEDISH FISH: Scandinavian spinster Donald Summer pairs up with Beijing's Patrick Yu and special guest Yang Bing for this monthly series serving up steaming entrees of house.
White Rabbit, 9pm, free

SUBS: Quartet have been cranking out increasingly-complex and sophisticated "spunk punk" for the better part of the decade, with vocalist Kang Mao occupying one of the polar positions in this country's rock and roll hierarchy when it comes to pure fury and an impassioned stage presence. Old timer punks Brain Failure, new timer post-punks Steely Heart and radio-friendly unit shifters Exit A will support. This event, by the way, is sponsored by Zippo. So for all of you smokers out there who are sick of the shitty plastic lighters that explode in your face every time you use it to crack open a beer bottle, here's your chance to mediate the problem.
Yugong Yishan, 9pm, 80/50 RMB (pre-sale)


5th YEAR ANNIVERSARY: The party rages on with Free the Birds, DH & the Chinese Hellcats, Nucleus and Wu & the Side Effects, the fiery blues trio who are scheduled to drop their heavily-anticipated debut EP on Fri, June 18.
2 Kolegas, 9pm, 60 RMB

3D PARTY: Hip hop in three-dimensions at this new party series from the clubzone crew. We're giving away some free tickets, so check out our contest by clicking below. Some members of the WLIB team will be there and they promised not to drink That means if you see them with a drink in hand, you have the right to slap them.
Bling, 10pm, 80/50 RMB (pre-sale)

AMPED: Beijing's premier space for people to be seen publicly typing away on their laptops ("How's that novel you've been working on? Gotta , uh, big stack of papers there? Gotta a nice little story you're working on there? Gotta compelling protaganist? Yeah? Gotta an obstacle to overcome?") clears the shelves to make way for the Over Easy Dance Band. Steer clear of falling hardcovers.
The Bookworm, 8pm, free

The Molds: Unpredictable outfit are fantastic when they're on target -- they ooze a raw blend of 1950s rock and roll and rockabilly -- but when they're firing at half-speed, well, you may find yourself wondering what all of the hype is about. Last time these cats played live on the day before MIDI, they sat disaffected -- as calm as Hindu cows -- while two waidiren damn near caused a riot in the pit with their drunken hillbilly antics. Headlocks and fisticuffs ensued. And that's what I call cool. (The band, that is, not the hillbillies.) The Urbis, nasty garage rock upstarts Lazy Camels and Defy spinoff project Mojo will support. Update: Literally five minutes before publishing this, I received a phone call and learned that the Molds canceled. But we'll just leave this here as a warning about the Molds. Keep your eyes on this space to find out the next time the Molds are scheduled to cancel their next show.
D-22, 10pm, 40/30 RMB (students)

HEY! 5! THERMAL CAT PUNK SESSION: Newbies Mr. Rodent, Gray, White Thorn, Drowsy Magic Cube and Zebra run are on deck.
Hot Cat Club, 9pm, 30 RMB (includes one free beer)

Ruins: Local alt rock mainstays go unplugged for this special set, with their new bassist utilizing a cello bass, apparently. The purchase of advance tickets highly recommended by the venue due to limited capacity. More info below.
Jianghu Bar, 9:30pm, 60/50 RMB (pre-sale)

WET T-SHIRT CONTEST: If you like boobs and mojitos, then this is the party for you. If you're not in the know, a wet-T contest is really simple: females volunteer to get water splashed all over their tits in front of a large group of drunk, horny men. Fun! But hey, a 1,000 RMB prize goes to the winner, so feel free to enter for a chance to get ahead on your rent or to support that raging drug habit.
Juicy Spot, 9pm, price unspecified

Dosem: This Spanish techno turntablist is a rising star on the international DJ circuit, apparently. He lands here in Beijing as part of his ten-date tour throughout the Middle Kingdom. Science of Sounds' M. Ross, Lupen and Shen Yue are also on deck, with visuals provided by Xponja.
Lantern, 10pm, price unspecified

COLLEGE ROCK NIGHT: Night two sees appearances by some of the city's more obscure -- or inexperienced bands -- including Iron Mushroom, Soft Drink, 917, 茫乐队 and 李漠.
MAO Live House, 8pm, 80/50 RMB (two nights/one night)

TIME OUT FOLK SHOWCASE: If you haven't seen these two perform, here's your chance to kill two birds with one stone: Eccentric avant garde folk artist Xiao He and Mongolian sextet Hanggai are two of the country's most refreshing folk artists. They team up here for a quality evening of throat singing and other oddities.
Obiwan, 9:30pm, 50 RMB

ROCK FOR CHILDREN'S DAY: Second Hand Rose headlines this homage to kids on their special day; support comes from the Trouble, the Heaven and their buddies Jin Fo, Xie Si and Yao Zheng.
The One, 9pm, price unspecified

Chopstick & Till von Sein: German duo go head-to-head; the former is a sonic polymath who has remixed artists ranging from Sister Sledge to LL Cool J and the latter a diehard veteran of the Berlin techno scene. Yang Bing and Donald Summer will support.
White Rabbit, 9pm, free (70 RMB after 11pm)

SECTION SIX 6th ANNIVERSARY PARTY: It's a hip hop bonanza as the live soothsaying crew enters late adulthood with this party featuring both MC and B-Boy battles alongside live sets by the titular crew and the Beijing Hip Hop Experience. DJ lineup includes Wordy, Liuming, Jam, Wesley and DJ Dr; MC roster is rounded out by Da Wei, Jie Zi, Ji Qi, Lil Ray, in3, Sbazzo (with Bad Blood) and MCs Raph, Webber and Big Dog. More info below.
Yugong Yishan, 10pm, 50/30 RMB (pre-sale)

BEIJING'S SEXIEST POLE DANCING PARTY: It's a tough call, but you're going to have to choose between this and the aforementioned wet T-shirt contest. Here, Pussy Cat Dance Studio and the Hilton's Zeta Bar team up for this amateur pole polishing competition. Click below for entry info.
Zeta, 10pm, 99 RMB (includes one free drink)


HEAVY SHOCK: New local metal label DIME Records shows off its three bands: Ordnance, SAW and its newest addition, Ego Fall. Forced Pose opens.
13 Club, 9pm, 40 RMB

ISLAND FOLK SESSION: Various Lijiang folk artists take the stage for a breezy night of tropic-themed folk rock.
D-22, 9pm, 30/20 RMB (students)

FLAMENCO NIGHT: Sketches of Spain from local flamenco act Burket, with 2-for-1 beers all night.
Hot Cat Club, 9pm, 30 RMB

Be Persecuted: Jiangxi black metal outfit (Pest Productions) hit Beijing as part of their 20-date domestic tour with support from fellow black metal brothers Skeletal Augury.
MAO Live House, 9pm, 40 RMB

Jahcoozi: Berlin-based trio stitch together elements of dub, hip hop and reggae to form the perfect soundtrack for a lazy summer afternoon. Steve Barker, Patrick Yu and Dan (the Syndicate) will warm up the crowd alongside free BBQ.
Obiwan, 4pm, 50/40 RMB (pre-sale)

Sofia Jannok: Swedish singer-songwriter sings songs in Sami, a secondary language spoken in Scandinavia. Sample Sofia's smooth songs here.
Yugong Yishan, 9pm, 100/70 RMB (pre-sale)


ZOOMIN' NIGHT: A night of sonic experimentation and collaboration with Didier Petit, Xu Fengxia, Sylvain Kassap and explosive saxophonist Li Tieqiao.
D-22, 9pm, 40/30 RMB (students)

THE EAST IS PINK: Two-for-one cocktails until midnight with beats by resident DJ Jiong Jiong and special guests at the Sanlitun venue's weekly gay night. Five RMB tapas all night.
White Rabbit, 9pm, free

transmitChina GINGER BEEF TOUR 2010: Prolific Beijing- and Shanghai-based concert promotion agency Split Works pair up with the Fan Tan Group for this two-day showcase of emerging Canadian talent. On deck tonight: rock and roll outfit Parlovr, indie pop quartet the Racoons and a guitarist named Wil. Tomorrow, same time and place, sees dubby rock act illScarlett, "bad ass sludge boogie" outfit Flash Lightnin' (if their live show is as cool as they look, by the way, then you'd better drag you ass on over) and Ohbijou, a Toronto-based sextet who are often compared to late-1990s shoegazers Mazzy Star and current indie darling Joanna Newsom for their lush, orchestral sound. Everything you need to know -- including details about the bands, tour dates and info on Split's music, industry and tech conference next month in Shanghai -- can be found on their Official Website.
Yugong Yishan, 8pm, 50 RMB

Guai Li photo courtesy of Tang Ting.


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