The Beat

Wel­come back to the sounds of Bei­jing’s mu­sic scene

City Weekend - - What's In It -

Sum­mer is over folks and that is in­deed time to re­joice. The peo­ple are com­ing back and so are the mus­cians. Ev­ery­thing should get back to nor­mal by mid-Septem­ber in Old Smoggy. Let’s put on our 21-gun salute for the de­parted: I think we can safely say that the Gu­lou Mao Live­house is toasted, so is the ven­er­a­ble 69 Café in Nan­lu­ogux­i­ang. We loved them both but can’t fathom the idea of an­other “last ever show at X venue tonight.” Hell, yours truly and his band played the “last show” in one of these venues, twice.

The gen­eral Gu­lou area is still the epi­cen­ter of live mu­sic in Bei­jing with the for­mi­da­ble lineup of Tango, Tem­ple, Yu­gong Yis­han, DDC, Yue Space, School, Jianghu, and Dada just to name a few, but other ar­eas are slowly mak­ing con­sis­tent noise now, none more than Wukesong. We, of course, have the mas­sive Huaxi Live cen­ter with its an­nex, M Space, both used for big name acts. Now, we have the brand new Mao Live­house set to open in the vicin­ity. Will mu­sic lovers tol­er­ate the trek west­side on a reg­u­lar ba­sis? I’m guess­ing the pro­mot­ers are bet­ting on a yes.

San­l­i­tun has never been able to de­liver con­sis­tent live mu­sic but it might now fi­nally be rel­e­vant, with jazz. Par­lor started the trend and is now fol­lowed by Chao, The Bricks, and Good Bait, all boast­ing al­most­daily shows from fa­vorites like Made­moi­selle, Jess Mei­der, Em­ber Swift, and The Hot Club of Bei­jing. No, you’re not gonna get any punk in the area but your fancy cock­tails now have a beau­ti­ful live sound­track to ac­com­pany them. I’m hop­ing this trend con­tin­ues.

While Shang­hai is rife with fes­ti­vals like Sum­mer­sonic, Bei­jing how­ever, still can’t get any­thing nice and that’s mad­den­ing! That said, Septem­ber is not look­ing too bad from a mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment per­spec­tive, es­pe­cially if you like the heav­ier side of things. Tango, the venue we love to for­get has one hell of a lineup: Lo­cal metal heavy hit­ters Suf­fo­cated re­turned to the city for their first show in over a year on Septem­ber 9 and heart­throb Hana Turi brings her di­vine pop on Septem­ber 21.

Over at Yu­gong Yis­han, Painkiller Mag cel­e­brates their an­niver­sary by bring­ing in thrash metal le­gends Kreator, Imarhan (Tuareg desert rock) and for a show on Septem­ber 29.

Talk­ing about re­turn­ing le­gends, the queen bitch, Gia, is back with Hang on the Box for the nth time. How­ever, this go around, the girls have a new al­bum and it might ar­guably be one of their best. Good enough to make us for­get that calamity of a bossanova record from five years ago. Catch the al­bum launch party at Mod­ern Sky­Lab on Septem­ber 22.

Of course, check your fa­vorite venue’s so­cial me­dia feed for up­dated in­for­ma­tion and get out there, horns up. Just re­mem­ber that we might be in line for quite a few can­cel­la­tions dur­ing this month as we stare at some big gov­ern­ment meet­ings.


Badr Ben­jel­loun is ready to shake what his momma gave him

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