Music Monday is a weekly SmartBeijing column, serving up fresh audio/video streams from bands living and making music in China (or coming to China, or thinking about coming to China, or whatever).
Well, despite good venues dropping like flies, there's still no shortage of live music in Beijing. Here's a mixed bag of thinking-person's hip hop, barebones folk, 206 Gulou madness, Shanghai heavy rock, local indie royalty, and a taste of NYC afterhours rave culture coming our way this week...
First in order: tomorrow night, Dada hosts legendary LA-based beat maestro Daedalus. Already gave this one a shoutout last week, but I'll give another brief mention here because it's really one of the most solid weeknight bookings we're likely to get this summer.
Daedalus, if you're not familiar, is a household name among denizens of the West Coast hip hop underground. He's contributed industry-standard thinking-man's production work to such heavyweight labels as Brainfeeder, Anticon, and Ninja Tune, and has served as a resident DJ on LA's finest alternative web radio station, Dublab.
Also, he dresses like a Victorian dandy. Not sure why that's relevant, but it's in his press release, so there you have it.
Here's Daedalus destroying Boiler Room NYC:
Holy moly. At Dada, Daedalus is supported by one of Beijing's finest, Howie Lee. Here's Howie's track on the recently released Do Hits! compilation to give you a sense of where he's going with it at the moment:
That's Tuesday, July 7 at Dada. 50rmb cover, 10pm start.
Moving on. On Thursday night, DDC hosts a farewell party for vocalist and violinist Robin Koob. As a violinist, Robin has been a figure in the underground folk scene for five years, playing in various ensembles with some of the city's most seasoned music scene transplants. In 2013 she formed the duo Remedios the Beauty with fellow Beijing folkway traveler Nathan Borofkar on guitar, showcasing her own songwriting style of stripped down, whimsical indie originals showcasing her versatility on voice and violin:
Thursday's farewell gig will be an intimate affair, at which Robin will share the stage with "friends I've played with over the years." After a short opening set, she says, "I'll do a Remedios set with Nathan and Marco, then I'll have a few guests come up and play some songs with me from over the years: Sam Silverman, Dan Taylor, Jordan Darling, and Shannon Lethbridge."
40rmb at the door, 9pm start. More info
Also on Thursday, Dada/Temple host the 6th edition of their monthly Gulou Double Decker series. Will at Live Beijing Music, who books the Temple half of the festivities, is going pretty hard with the press release writeups lately. I'll just quote:
"Your average night out this ain’t. Electronica, pop, grunge, hardcore – both upstairs and downstairs – will be filling the (smokeless!) air tonight, keeping your heads bumping and those fists flying. Upstairs, Temple gets riotous as they host up and coming hardcore punks Chaos Kills The Pain and Ice Moon, both fresh off their debuts and out for blood. Joining them will be crisp grunge revisionists Jajatone, the talk of the town – dudes use a suona!"
Downstairs, Dada will host a four separate electronic duo teams: JDK-X, the new tag team of Josh Frank (Hot & Cold) and Thin Gaze, FM3老赵 x Charm, School Girl Report, and Jia Huizhen, bringing their electro pop wonders to the club. All that plus opening dark tones from DJ J Chan. Both free, 10pm start.
For your obligatory weekly School Bar fix, the clear frontrunner is Saturday night, when Shanghai heavy rock outfit Goushen returns to Beijing to release their new EP, Bu Yi Gun.
Bu Yi Gun is Goushen's first recording since the the departure of former vocalist Lenz, somewhat of a legend within the Shanghai rock scene. She's gone on to seek greener pastures in Australia. Goushen's coming up this time with new vocalist Teresa Ren, who made her recording debut on the EP.
On Saturday, Goushen is supported by some of the School Bar scene's finest, including The Diders, Chinese Modern Guys, and Free Sex Shop. "It is going to be difficult not to get black out drunk before we play," opines Goushen's guitarist.
40rmb, 9:30pm start. Goushen will be bringing a limited quantity of CDs and t-shirts to sell at the show... buy merch to support touring bands! More info
Another biggie on Saturday night is Hedgehog's 10th anniversary at Mao Livehouse. The Beijing indie rock veterans will also officially Beijing-release their latest long-player, Neurons, at this one. You can take a spin through their discography as of last year's LP right here: [Music Monday]: Phantom Pop
And here's the new one:
Expect a house jam-packed with the young and restless, the rock'n'roll faithful. Rumor has it that the night will also feature a guest spot from hip hop underground kingpin Dawei. 120rmb at the door, 8:30pm start. More
Last up, if you're looking for a little Sunday night abandon: off-beat DJ promoter Eclectic Electric presents David Hohme on Sunday at Lantern. Hohme is a "DJ Mag acclaimed" deep house spinner, but I won't hold that against him. Hohme sets himself apart from the full-blast EDM DJ's of that scene with his thoughtful productions and a solid grasp of musicianship and even experimental sound design. So as far as DJs who play at Lantern go, he comes pretty much as close as one can get to my wheelhouse.
Here's a recent set he gave at notorious NYC after-hours rave Daybreaker, where he's currently a resident DJ:
Lantern is specially opening its doors on a Sunday to host this guy. Everyone's working overtime so he can do his thing, that must count for something. No entry fee. More
Daedalus + Howie Lee = TUE July 7 @ Dada
Robin Koob Farewell = THU July 9 @ DDC
Gulou Double Decker Vol. 6 = THU July 9 @ Dada/Temple
Goushen EP Release = SAT July 11 @ School
Hedgehog 10th Anniversary = SAT July 11 @ Mao
David Hohme = SUN July 12 @ Lantern