Festival Roundup: Apr 28-May 4

Posted by Pete DeMola on 27. Apr 2010


Da Wenggang: The inspiration from this new project from former Wood Push Melon frontman Song Yuzhe came from traveling throughout the country, absorbing new methods and styles from ethnic musicians. 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, often haunting, soundscapes.
2 Kolegas, 9:30pm, 30 RMB

UNIVERSITY NIGHT: Morning Sir, Zhuobian Beile, My September and Guijian Chou ply their sonic wares to their student counterparts.
D-22, 8pm, 20/10 RMB (students)

Combo: Multinational jazz quartet performs a mix of originals and standards.
Purple Haze Bistro, 8pm, free

M'Beewan: Reggae, rock, dub and soul from a visiting musician.
Salud, 9pm, free

YELLOW: Electro, downbeat and trace elements of minimal tech and funk from Ben Huang and friends.
White Rabbit, 9pm, free

JUMP 2012: Me Too, Exit A, Out of Control and Qi Lin to perform at this apocalypse-themed gig.
Yugong Yishan, 9pm, 100/60/40 RMB (couples/door/pre-sale & students)


The Inspector Cluzo: French duo Laurent Lacrouts and Mathieu Jourdain emit a schizoid blend of funk, rock and roll, soul and jazz that compliments their prolific stage presence -- they performed over 180 shows in 2009 alone -- and DIY-style of producing their own records and booking and managing their own tours. They land in China for this five-date tour in support of their sophomore effort, the French Bastards, which was released earlier this month. Support comes from local ska outfit Skarving.
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

IN BASS WE TRUST #5: Drum n' bass from the Science of Sounds crew, including Meng Qi, Thome Tomato, Delacrew and Eddie Lv.
Lantern, 10pm, free

STRAWBERRY EVE: Garage rock upstarts Lazy Camels, Old Fashioned, Gray and 暴力之吻 gear up for a rock and roll-soaked weekend.
Old What Bar, 10pm, 30 RMB (includes one free drink)

UNDERGROUND DISCO PROJECT: Nightlife elders work with amateur producers in this weekly session of revolving talent. Expect a mash-up of highly-danceable genres and drink specials for the ladies.
White Rabbit, 9pm, free


REGGAE PARTY: Live reggae outfit Skarving and DJs S-Press, O.P., Sinvu and Zydon provide a Jamaican-flavored soundtrack for a laidback night at the summer-friendly live music venue.
2 Kolegas, 10pm, 40 RMB

DIMEFEST: Chinatown, Violation, Ego Fall, Nuclear Fusion G, S.A.W. and Ordnance issue straight-up thrash metal at the first installment of this annual metalfest named after club owner Liu Lixin's new metal-focused record label, Dime Records.
13 Club, 9pm, 50 RMB

PROM PARTY: Americans, here's your chance to revisit those salad days with all of the trappings -- gaudy dresses, tuxedos, corsages, photos and a limo pickup -- without any of the drawbacks, like acne breakouts, a lack of alcohol and fending off your nosy principal. Costumed couples get 2-for-1 drinks until midnight.
Bling, 9pm, free (table reservations recommended)

Wrap party for Beijing-based artists Winnie and Matt; DJ by Assembly spins, with a raffle and other activities promised all night.
CNEX Salon Cafe, 8pm, free

4th YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY: Beijing's premier live music venue and talent incubator celebrates four years of supporting local live music and the facilitation of cross-cultural sonic collaboration with marquee acts P.K. 14, Ourself Beside Me, 24 Hours and the Molds.
D-22, 10pm, 80/60 RMB (students)

The Verse: Organic hip hip collective go acoustic with their buddies for this special gig.
Jianghu Bar, 9:30pm, 40 RMB

3rd YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY: Laid back lakeside venue turns three with singer-songwriter Jess Meider and other special guests.
Obiwan, 9:30pm, 40 RMB

Bed Stars: Refreshing funk outfit SSS, X-Doctor and Brave Face support the sloppy rock and roll newbies.
Old What Bar, 9:30pm, 30 RMB (includes one free drink)

Boyz & Girl: Taiwanese shoegaze act lands in Beijing with support from Gar vocalist/guitarist Zhan Pan.
Tiny Salt Coffee Club, 9pm, price unspecified

WHITE RABBIT NIGHT: Donald Summer, Eddie Lv and Bai Cai's Max and Flo hit the decks.
White Rabbit, 9pm, 50 RMB (after midnight)

Bigger Bang! Local quartet emits hook-filled rock and roll flecked with bubbling synths. Support comes from old school rock dudes the Face and electronic Israeli duo 3421.
Yugong Yishan, 9pm, 50 RMB


Boys Climbing Ropes: Shanghai-based modern rock act play a gig with Danish electro duo Reptile & Retard and local post-rock outfit Me Too.
2 Kolegas, 10pm, 40 RMB

MAY DAY PARTY: More metal for the Midi crowd from the Falling, the Birth of the Succubae, Offset Heads, Rampant, Sacrifice, 化骨池, Body of Blood and 来福.
13 Club, 8pm, 80/50 RMB (two-night pass/single night)

AMPED: The Sanlitun nerd haven throws its hat into the live music ring with this new weekly concert series designed to offer an "eclectic range of bands offering Oriental folk fusion, acoustic ballads, swing dance and all things jazz." On deck tonight: the Ah-Q Jazz Arkestra.
The Bookworm, 8pm, free

4th YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY II: Three of the country's most engaging bands -- melodic noise trio Carsick Cars, self-described "breakwave" quartet AV Okubo and fuzz-rock trio Hedgehog -- join forces for the city's premier after-festival party.
D-22, 10pm, 80/60 RMB (students)

MIDI MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010: The summertime institution kicks off rejuvenated after a two-year breather with four days of over 100 bands spread across five stages. While remaining loyal to its metal roots, this year's installment is the most diverse since its inception in 2000, with representatives from just about every genre -- including a stage specifically dedicated this country's burgeoning folk scene -- slated to piss off the area's residents. While today's highlights include skinhead punks Misandao, local traditional rock outfit Second Hand Rose, nu metal homeboys Twisted Machine, Hong Kong hardcore crew King Ly Chee, cutie rock act Finger Family, rock and roll trio 24 Hours and UK punk grandfathers Sham 69 (well, a band featuring original guitarist Dave Parsons and three other guys), the edge goes to the Strawberry Music Festival by a nose (see below). If you do make the trip out to Haidian today, make sure to hit D-22 later (see above) to catch some of the bands you missed out on.
Haidian Park, 1pm, 240/80 RMB (four days/per day)

Defy: Local act are perennially in a dizzying process of reinvention, shifting around their line-up, sound and name for almost every gig. If the last time we caught them back in February was any indication, expect 1950s-era rock and roll with shades of rockabilly.
Hot Cat Club, 9pm, 30 RMB (includes one free glass of vermouth)

3rd YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY: Triple-layer cake with Mickey Dee, Benni and Carlo Ferrara spinning downstairs; Martin Star, Bite*Size Buddha, Pete and Markie Royale in the lounge and the Meiwenti Soundsystem crew holding down the roof.
Obiwan, 10pm, free

BEAT OFF: NO GRASS PARTY: The Street Kids, Dirty Party and S.T.D. crews say no to grass -- the stuff that grows underfoot, that is -- with a stacked indoor lineup featuring some of this country's best electro artists. On deck: A.M.U, iLoop, LIman, OSHI (France), B3 (Shanghai), Sulumi and TNEM (France). More info below.
Tango, 9pm, 50 RMB

STRAWBERRY MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010: Modern Sky Records goes head-to-head with the Midi School of Music with their three-day blast featuring 120 bands performing on an incredible six stages, a feat that's sure to leave both scene watchers and connoisseurs of this country's music scene sprinting back and forth through the park's 90,000 acres, plastic beer cups carefully balanced, to maximize exposure to the sheer amount of sonic talent converging at this far-flung locale in Beijing's eastern suburbs. (A locale, notably, that couldn't possibly be farther away than Haidian Park.) While today's lineup is stellar with performances by Bigger Bang!, Queen Sea Big Shark, rising garage rock trio Lazy Camels and a slew of other quality acts, we recommend parking your ass in front of the Love Stage at 3pm and staying there for back-to-back sets by thrash gods Suffocated, ferocious Wuhan electropunk act AV Okubo (4pm), avant garde folk weirdo Xiao He (5pm) and a set an hour later from this country's ambassadors of independent music, Carsick Cars. Also make sure to check out Miserable Faith (7:40pm, Metal Stage) for a serving of old school Chinese rock and roll.
Tongzhou Canal Park, 1pm, 180/80 RMB (three-day/per day)

MIDI AFTER PARTY: Rage on with the o2 crew, including Dio, Eddie Lv, X Lee, Jerryson and Ludo.
White Rabbit, 9pm, 50 RMB

YIXIAN CAMPING MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010: We bet you didn't know this was coming, huh? Those aching to get out of the city would do well to check out this Painkiller magazine-organized rock and roll blast 120 kilometers south of Beijing in Hebei Province. Today's highlights include Suffocated, Britpop mainstays Super VC and Xie Tianxiao. Directions here and concert info here. Also noteworthy is the mention of special "mystery guests." We're guessing Funeral of a Friend and some of the other high-profile foreign acts making the festival rounds will pop in, but it's best to just go and find out for yourselves.
Yixian County, Hebei, 1:30pm, 180/130/80 RMB (three days/two day/one day)

Ming's Pretty Heroes: Half-Chinese, half-dutch synth-heavy rock outfit headline, with support from Britpop act Audio's Pain, Singaporean modern rockers Caracal and singer-songwriter Inch Chua.
Yugong Yishan, 9pm, 50 RMB


Proximity Butterfly: The Reason (post-hardcore), Bigger Bang! (punky New Wave) and the Amazing Insurance Salesmen support the Chengdu-based psychedelic rock act.
2 Kolegas, 10pm, 40 RMB

MAY DAY PARTY II: The onslaught continues with Dengel, Nightingale, Righteous Person, Forced Pose, Final Message, Toreador, Gammalux (Germany) and Providence.
13 Club, 8pm, 50 RMB

4th YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY: Guai Li, Soviet Pop, the Offset: Spectacles and Birdstriking emit complex post-punk, experimental pop, lo-fi garage rock and muscular noise rock, respectively.
D-22, 10pm, 80/60 RMB (students)

MIDI MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010: Midi takes it today. Catch early sets by Norwegian punks K-JELL, experimental folk artist Xiao He and local post-punk quintet Steely Heart before exploring the evening's many sonic flavors, including the bizarre man-canine folk duo Chuan Zi (6pm, Ming Stage), doom metal mental patients Voodoo Kungfu (6:40pm, Tang Stage), folk-funk collective Slap (7pm, Ming Stage) the precise, military-themed metal hammered out by festival veterans AK-47 (8:30pm, Song-Pilot Stage) and domestic rock legend, former Cold Blooded Animal frontman Xie Tianxiao, mopping it all up the Tang Stage at 9pm. Then hit D-22 later for their assemblage of some of the country's best lo-fi outfits.
Haidian Park, 1pm, 240/80 RMB (four days/per day)

FLAMENCO NIGHT: Sketches of Spain from local flamenco act Burket.
Hot Cat Club, 9pm, 30 RMB (includes one free drink)

Girls Are Waiting to Meet You: Multicultural collective recalls Murder by Death and the Rosebuds with their organic, old-timey sound.
Jianghu Bar, 9:30pm, 40/30 RMB (pre-sale)

PUNK NIGHT: Discord, Trash Cat, Disobey, No Words and Jinan outfit Fire 6 (六连发) make up for the glaring absence of abrasive street punk at the three festivals by having a party of their own.
Old What Bar, 8:30pm, 30 RMB (includes one free drink)

STRAWBERRY MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010: If you do make it out to Tongzhou (we recommend hitting Midi today) be sure to catch the Shanghai-based modern rock act Boys Climbing Ropes (Love Stage, 1pm), local proto-indie outfit Catcher in the Rye (4:30pm, Strawberry Stage) beloved folk guitarist Zhou Yunpeng (5pm, Love Stage), raucous glam rock upstarts Bed Stars (6pm, University Stage) moody post-punk trio Re-TROS (6:40pm, Strawberry Stage) and thrash act Yaksa ushering in an evening of clenched fists at 7:40pm on the Metal Stage.
Tongzhou Canal Park, 1pm, 180/80 RMB (three-day/per day)

MIDI AFTER PARTY: Ben Huang, Huang Weiwei, Bobby, Liushuai and Donald Summer are on deck.
White Rabbit, 9pm, 50 RMB

YIXIAN CAMPING MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010: Finger Family, Twisted Machine, Thin Man, Tang Dynasty and about a dozen others will perform.
Yixian County, Hebei, 1:30pm, 180/130/80 RMB (three days/two day/one day)

Funeral for a Friend: UK act are a rarity in the sense of entering mainstream consciousness (and acceptance) with their slick brand of radio-friendly emo. Fans of the platinum-selling band should note that this will be their last chance to catch the nine-year-old outfit with original guitarist Darran Smith; he announced yesterday that he's leaving the band this summer. Tumbleweed supports.
Yugong Yishan, 9pm, 120/80 RMB (students)


MIDI MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010: While the old domestic guard is amply represented with appearances by festival veterans SUBS, Suffocated, metal legends Tang Dynasty, electronic-tinged post-rock mainstays Supermarket and the innovative singer-songwriter Song Yuzhe (see Wednesday listing), the Modern Sky lineup wins by a landslide. Today's foreign recording artists -- including the all-girl rock outfit Sahara Hotnights (Sweden), punk acts Turdus Musicus (Norway) and Mike TV (UK) and metal outfits Gammalux (Germany) and Djizoes (Switzerland) -- well, suck. Their numbing mediocrity is even more glaring in the face of the vibrancy that their Chinese counterparts are cranking out across the city in Tongzhou Canal Park.
Haidian Park, 1pm, 240/80 RMB (four days/per day)

REGGAE DANCE PARTY: Scene mainstays Toy Head and other special guests are on deck.
Hot Cat Club, 9pm, 30 RMB (includes one free drink)

STRAWBERRY MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010: Beginning at 3pm, the Love Stage is absolutely stacked for the remainder of the day with performances by visceral post-punk quintet Guai Li, experimental singer-songwriter Gia Wang (4pm), pop punk mainstays Reflector (5pm), fuzz rock heavyweights Hedgehog (6pm) and the aforementioned rock and roll hero Xie Tianxiao at 7pm. If you decide to wander elsewhere, pay a visit to the University Stage and catch up on what the kids are up to these days: both CAssette (3:20pm) and Final Message (6:40pm) are worth your time, emitting off-kilter indie rock and brutal post-hardcore, respectively.
Tongzhou Canal Park, 1pm, 180/80 RMB (three-day/per day)

YIXIAN CAMPING MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010: The final day of the countryside blast sees performances by our buddies Meat Tree, as well as Second Hand Rose, Dirty Seed, Silent Resentment, Bludthirsty and Danish technical metal outfit Mnemic.
Yixian County, Hebei, 1:30pm, 180/130/80 RMB (three days/two day/one day)

Asaf Avidan & the Mojos: Critically-acclaimed Israeli outfit emit a soulful blend of soft rock and blues.
Yugong Yishan, 9pm, 80/50 RMB (pre-sale)


ZOOMIN' NIGHT: Ambient Taiwanese trio Skip Skip Ben Ben joins forces with White + for a night of experimental collaboration.
D-22, 9pm, 30/20 RMB (students)

MIDI MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010: The final day of the resurrected festival sees the Song-Pilot Stage dominating the three others, with rock and roll upstarts Velvet Highway paving the way for industrial metal dudes Army of Jade Kirin at 1:50pm, mercurial blues outfit Nanwu (2:20pm), Britpop mainstays Perdel (3:50pm) and the triple-slam of Free the Birds (synthrock), Brain Failure (punk) and Yaksa (nu metal) digging in at 6:10pm. (It wouldn't hurt to skip the mediocre modern rock of Singaporean act Caracal at 5pm and catch ambient goth kids Fallinsex at the Tang Stage instead.) And if you're weary of four days of guitars and squalling feedback, take a pass on Carsick Cars' set (6:40pm, Tang Stage) and head over to the Yen outpost, where you'll find local producers Eddie Lv and Ouyang making magic from 6pm onwards.
Haidian Park, 1pm, 240/80 RMB (four days/per day)

Mnemic: Technical metal from the Danish quintet, with support from local doom metal outfit Voodoo Kungfu, the Falling and cheesy Swiss metal act Djizoes.
Yugong Yishan, 9pm, 120/80 RMB (pre-sale)

Image: Bian Yuan performs with his band Joyside at the Modern Sky Pop Festival in Oct 2007. Courtesy of Flickr user keso through Creative Commons.

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