The Soundstage: AV Okubo

The Sound Stage - AV Okubo AV
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.

The Sound Stage: Hiperson

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?

The Sound Stage – Sound And Fury

The Sound Stage - Sound And Fury
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.

The Sound Stage: Shuangzi

The Sound Stage - Shuangzi
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.

Saturday Night Musical Outro: Fuzzy Mood

The Sound Stage - Fuzzy Logic
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!

Saturday Night Musical Outro: Djang San

The Sound Stage - Djang San
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.

Saturday Night Musical Outro: Sophie Koh

Sophie Koh
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.

Saturday Night Musical Outro: The Diders

The Diders featured image
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.

Saturday Night Musical Outro: Incisors

Saturday Night Musical Outro - Incisors
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.

Saturday Night Musical Outro: Steely Heart

Steely Heart featured image
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.