For those of you who have been watching, The Sound Stage has been working in a "series within a series" every other episode or so since last November, featuring bands from our trip to Wuhan. AV Okubo is the last of those bands.
A few months ago (when it was still cold), Douban put on a small show at Café XP as part of their ongoing "Beyond the Billboard" series of concerts, this one featuring two bands from Chengdu - Sound and Fury (featured here, previously) and Hiperson. We'd never had a chance to interview a band from Chengdu before, let alone two, so naturally we were all over this like... like... like a Chinese nationalist on a contested floating rock?
Continuing our ongoing series in Wuhan is The One, a classic rock 'n' roll band following the likes of Chuck Berry and early Elvis Presley. They are also employees at the legendary VOX Livehouse, the only large-scale venue in a city with more than a million students.
About a month ago Douban, as part of its ongoing "Beyond the Billboard" event series, invited two bands from Chengdu to perform at Café XP in Beijing - Sound and Fury and Hiperson. I got to interview both bands for the show before the concert. The band featured here is the former, which plays shoegaze, a style that seems to have become very prominent with Chinese indie types late last year.
I went to Wuhan earlier this winter and interviewed five bands. This is the second of the five.
I've been interested in Chinese rap for a long time, not only because rap's traditional focus on social problems and dirty lyrics seem to clash with Chinese political constraints, but linguistically the Chinese language has so many homonyms and rhymes one would think rapping would have endless variety. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a rapper guest on The Sound Stage... until now.
Ford the river of hell, cross over into the afterlife.
A high-tech research lab is probably the last place you think you'd find a rock 'n' roll genius, but Fuzzy Mood is all the proof you need. Distilling mathematical theories into musical layman's terms, this band will definitely put you into a better mood - with science!
Jacky Danny is one of the best rock bands in China, and here's the video to prove it.
If music is an international language, French musician Jean Sebastien proves that Mandarin Chinese is becoming one, also. Although he plays in several bands, the focus of this episode is his "Djang San" persona, a folk artist playing traditional Chinese instruments, singing in the Chinese language, and mixing Western experimental and jazz influences into ancient melodies. See what Chinese music is, and can become, in the eyes of a talented outsider.
It's Halloween weekeend! Celebrate with The Sound Stage's first featured electronic act. You can probably beat their costumes this year, but you can't beat their beats. Making a cameo: these guys.
Sophie Koh's family comes from China, who then moved to Malaysia, then New Zealand, until finally settling down in Australia. From this wealth of cultural influences comes Sophie Koh's unique and striking blend of indie pop. Backed by a crack team of musicians, she spread her jams during a recent national tour (her first) to nearly every city in China, and plans to return in six months.
We've all tried to find just the fitting combination of words to express that feeling you get when you see a Chinese band hitting on all the right cylinders. But sometimes, the less that's said, the better. Take this band.
No words, man. No words.
I actually auditioned to play bass for this band about a year ago after going on r/beijing looking to join a band. Turns out I'm more suited for making videos than playing the actual music, but I'm glad we got to finally have a successful cooperation! A Scot and two Americans play 所谓的 "indie metal" with a Chinese female singer.
Steely Heart (钢心乐队) has been serious contenders on the Beijing scene for nearly a decade. I recall seeing them back in 2008, and although I was unfortunately too preoccupied to properly give them the time of day, I'm happy to finally have come around and showcase their music with some actual effort.
Away for one more week. We'll catch up in time.
Many fans of Chinese rock music have heard of the band Rustic, the members of which became stars on the scene only a few years ago when they unexpectedly won the Global Battle of the Bands competition in London. They play a catchy blend of cock rock and old-school punk, and their show antics make... Read more »