Noise Pollution: Ava Rocha, The Underground Youth, Mosaic, JMSN, and “Chaos Weekend”

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Time to open up the windows, let in the breeze, and smell the springtime air. And no better way to welcome the new season than with a little live music to match your heightened senses and sense of adventure. So jump on your bike or a take a stroll to your nearest livehouse and throw yourself head first into the abyss. You won’t regret it. 

Friday, Mar 15

Ava Rocha (BR), Negro Leo (BR), Li Jianhong, Bayan Dalai at fRUTIYSPACE 
Two leading figures in Brazil’s post-Tropicalia movement, Ava Rocha and Negro Leo crash-land at fRUITYSPACE tonight. Twisting the meaning of Brazilian pop on its head, the avant-garde masters have taken modernizing the language of Brazilian pop music and incorporating elements from world music as well as rock, psychedelic music and electric guitar, embedding elements of Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American music with high doses of experimentalism, funk, and soul. Joining them will be Beijing guitar noise legend Li Jianhing and grassland musician Bayan Dalai. You can read our recent interview with Ava Rocha here. RMB 100

Twinkle Star, Residence A, Next Door Band, Gentle Grapes at Yue Space 
Yue Space host some of indie-pop scene’s top talent including longstanding rockers Next Door, emo-rock favorites Twinkle Star, punk-pop outfit Gentle Grape, indie-pop outfit Next Door Band, and rock veterans Residence A, who seriously need to get out some new music. Expect a ravenous crowd of music-goers. RMB 130

Husband Killer, Bang Bang Mary, Ghetto Blaster, Screaming Kong at School Bar 
Things get riotous and rowdy over at School as four bands with a knack for bringing the noise crash the party, including rustic Chinese Quyi-inspired rockers punk Husband Killer join alternative rock ‘n’ roll four-piece Bang Bang Mary, contemporary blues rockers Ghetto Blaster, and electro-indie rockers Screaming Kong. RMB 66

Swarrm, Wasted Laika, TOSS at Temple
Back to basics and devilishly good tunes at everyone’s favorite blackhole of fun as post-metal instrumental outfit Swarrm join grunge veterans TOSS as well as righteous art-punk outfit Wasted Laika for a dangerously alluring evening at Temple that’ll take no prisoners. FREE

Marmot at DDC
From the Altay Mountains comes Mormot, an original Mongolian ethnic folk band founded in Xinjiang in 2004. The band has since performed all around the country as well as on national television – they swing through Beijing to welcome spring. RMB 80 

Doudou, G.G, TSong, Song Shuijiao, Xueming Yuan at Mao Livehouse
Rising Shaanxi rapping sensation Doudou, known for his tender cloud rap-style ballads (his biggest hits have names like “I Miss You” and “Cocoa”) kicks off his national tour alongside fellow rap compatriots G.G, TSong, and more. RMB 150

Brain Culbertson (US) at Blue Note 
Award-winning multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Brain Culbertson, known for his distinct brand of genre-crossing contemporary jazz, R&B, and funk, get down over at Blue Note. Mining the urban sounds of musically-rich Chicago, and inspired by the iconic R&B-jazz-pop artists of the 1970s like Earth, Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, Chicago, and David Sanborn, among others, Culbertson has amassed 30 Billboard No. 1 singles and a deep catalogue of 18 albums, most of which have topped the Billboard contemporary jazz charts. RMB 380

Sons of Thunder at Modernista 
Started by four members from Stevie Mac & The Mac Daddies, this new explosive cover band looks to indulge in everyone’s favorite songs of the 2000s. FREE 

Joy Conch at La Plantation
Joy Conch is the first Chinese blessing music group. Recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage by the state council, the five-piece group who hail from the Tibet, combine folk music and Buddhist chants, creating a sound both natural and melodious and giving listeners a sense of belief and release. RMB 200

Eric Allen Woodshed at Caravan
Eric Allen and his band Woodshed bring the sounds of Americana to Caravan combining a rocky style with authentic American Chicago, Texas, and Mississippi Delta blues. FREE

Liu Donghong at FM Live
Liu Donghong, dusty blues singer of Sand, China’s first ‘cold rock’ band, and a scene player for over 20 years gives an intimate performance at FM Live. RMB 80

Yan Baizhou, Xian at Pink Moon
Instrumental composer and performer String AKA Xian, who combines “world music, Chinese traditional melodies, and spiritual/religious themes,” joins singer-songwriter Yan Baizhou. FREE

More Feel, Wu Younan at Mogu Space
Indie synth-pop duo More Feel share, as you can imagine, their feelings over in Xizhimen alongside singer-songwriter Wu Younan. FREE

Lilith Liu Quintet at The Bricks
Jazz it up this Friday with the new phenomenal diva Lilith Liu and her quartet which features Pierre Pradat on piano, Pan Qi on sax, ET on bass, and Shao Haha on drums. FREE 
 

Saturday, Mar 16 

Hell City, Shochu Legion, Gum Bleed, Discord, Uncle Bad, Labor Glory, D-Crash, Hang Nail, Hugh Reed & The Electric Shadows at School
Today’s all about punk music, folks! And drinking! And getting a little rowdy! Local promoters Real Deal and HBK have put together the first big punk gathering of the new year with a killer lineup featuring just about everyone – from street punk veterans Hell City to Oi! stompers Uncle Bad. Starting at 4pm hit up the market for merch, records, drinks, and comradery before the music kicks off at 5.30pm into the late hours. RMB 100

The Underground Youth (UK) at Omni Space
Based in Manchester, The Underground Youth touches on everything from psychedelic music to garage rock. Led by Craig Dyer, they’re an unstoppable juggernaut that refuses to be ignored, subtly understated, melancholy, and at once uplifting and empowering, The Underground Youth are proving to be one of the most talented and versatile bands from the already ridiculously amazing UK psych scene. RMB 150

Mosaic at Yue Space
Synth, new wave, and rock get a sincere love letter from Chengdu in the form of Mosaic. The disco-laced synth-happy band is pretty much tailormade for prom night circa 1985, and they’re here to share their new album. Endearing, genuine, and catchy as all hell, between lead singer Xia Ying’s sailor cap and ’80s Mandopop aesthetics, there’s a whole-hearted groove at play here that’s hard to resist. RMB 150

 

Llama/Olo (Switzerland), Li Jianhong x Sheng Jie, Kaoru Abe No Future at fRUITYSPACE
‘Indescribable sound performance’ from drone, noise, and experimental duo from Switzerland, Llama/Olo (Didier Severin (Knut) and Loïc Grobéty (Convulsif)) descend upon School Bar for an evening of otherworldly soundscapes as they violate the rules of music and push sound to its limit alongside Li Jianhong and Sheng Jie, and Kaoru Abe No Future (Liu Lu, Zhu Wenbo, and Zhao Cong). RMB 50

Qi Zitan at Laifu Livehouse
Ethereal singer-songwriter Qi Zitan, from Hangzhou, has been making quite the name for herself since university; from starting the indie rock band Stolen Joy to appearing on The Voice of China. With music that seduces, haunts, and bewilders with its graceful and exquisiteness that’s almost otherworldly. She’s a force to be reckoned with among female singers in China. RMB 120

JMSN (US) at MOMA Post Mountain Space 
Detroit-born singer, songwriter, and producer Christian Berishaj AKA JMSN has been making music professionally since he was 17, signing with everyone from Atlantic Records to Universal Motown before emerging with a new name and a refined musical style which he’s coined as “hippie R&B.” RMB 160

Tennyson King (CA), Puddles at Temple
A high energy and mesmerizing live performer playing music that has the emotional sweetness of the blues with a rock ‘n’ roll sensibility – Canadian singer, songwriter, and producer Tennyson King is one of a kind. After a successful first tour, he returns to Beijing alongside international psychedelic pop outfit Puddles for some groovy fun at Temple. FREE 

Madeleine Peyroux (US) at Blue Note
Eight albums and 22 years since her debut Dreamland, Peyroux continues to challenge the confines of jazz, venturing into the fertile fields of contemporary music with unfading curiosity. Her new album, Anthem, finds the singer-songwriter collaborating with writers/musicians such as Patrick Warren and Brian MacLeod to cast a sober, poetic, and at times philosophical eye on the current state of the world. RMB 560

Blackwater at Modernista
For a true Irish experience catch Blackwater, whose music draws from the rich traditional Irish repertoire. From beautiful ballads to frenzied reels, Blackwater may just be the most authentic Irish punk rock band in Beijing and on the eve of St. Paddy’s Day they’re celebrating their ten-year anniversary. FREE

The Peking Floyd, Paths at DDC
Beijing’s Premier Pink Floyd tribute band bring their vast and ever-increasing collection of cuts from Pink Floyd’s most creative years, priding themselves on emulating their live performances during the 1970s when their improvisation and psychedelic jamming were at their best. Support from poet rock slingers Paths. RMB 60

Lexa Rou, Li Qinzhan, Steve Blaque at Mogu Space
Former lead singer of indie-pop band Children’s Cinema Li Qinzhan joins American artist and producer Steve Blaque, who played formerly in genre-bending rock band The Radiance, as well as fellow singer-songwriter Lexa Rou. FREE 

The Reprobates, Three Mosquitoes at Caravan 
Multi-national grunge-punk outfit The Reprobates look to have a gritty, melodic, and hellishly good time alongside funk groove monsters Three Mosquitoes. RMB 60

Chen Yiteng at La Plantation 
As a pianist, Chen Yiteng has played almost every major concert hall in Beijing alongside renowned musicians such as violinist Xuewei, pianist Huang Yameng, and more. He’ll give a special recital tonight that’ll include the works of both Dutch and Austrian classic composers. RMB 200

The Great Buffalo Blues at Jianghu Bar 
The electric four-piece band that explores funk, blues, soul, and reggae are back at Jianghu with their unique musical style that’s unlike anything else. RMB 60

Stevie Mac & The Mac Daddies at The Bricks
The ever-expanding (ten members deep at the moment) jazz-pop troupe Stevie Mac & The Mac Daddies bring their vintage approach to contemporary music to The Bricks for some good times. FREE 

Sunday, Mar 17

Amadou & Mariam (Mali) at Tango 
Considered the ambassadors of Malian music, the couple, both blind since youth have been making music together for the past 30 years. Their bright pop sounds have made them a draw in France and Mali for more than a decade; they’ve played for football anthems and opening ceremonies and have worked and performed alongside some of the world’s biggest stars like David Byrne, U2, and Damon Albarn. Now they’re bringing their sound to China for the first time ever. RMB 220

Llama / Olo (Switzerland), Xu Ran, Hivv at School Bar 
‘Indescribable sound performance’ from drone, noise, and experimental duo from Switzerland, Llama/Olo descend upon School Bar for an evening of otherworldly soundscapes as they violate the rules of music and push sound to its limit alongside sound artist Xu Ran and new experimental duo Hivv who dabble in ‘messiah noise’ which is really all I need to hear. RMB 60

Little Happiness at DDC 
Led by vocalist Voision Xi, a well-known jazz singer in Shanghai, the Little Happiness Group, are a buoyant, breezy, and lively jazz outfit filled with some the scene’s best jazz players who put contemporary stylish spins to songs first made famous by Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Nick Drake, and more. Between Xi’s sultry voice and Xiongguan’s imaginative arrangements, they create springtime tunes that mellow you out in no time. RMB 80

Blackwater at Temple
For a true Irish experience catch Blackwater, whose music draws from the rich traditional Irish repertoire. From beautiful ballads to frenzied reels, Blackwater may just be the most authentic Irish punk rock band in Beijing and on this St. Paddy’s Day they’re celebrating their ten-year anniversary. FREE

Ma Yuyang, A Li Pu, Cai Zhao, Liu Sheng Wanju, Yan Ba Er, Wangzi Rong at Yue Space
It’s time to unwind with an eclectic evening of folk music over at Yue Space as a gaggle of up and comers take the stage with their guitar and catalog of tender autobiographical songs that’ll warm your heart. RMB 150

Madeleine Peyroux (US) at Blue Note
Eight albums and 22 years since her debut Dreamland, Peyroux continues to challenge the confines of jazz, venturing into the fertile fields of contemporary music with unfading curiosity. Her new album, Anthem, finds the singer-songwriter collaborating with writers/musicians such as Patrick Warren and Brian MacLeod to cast a sober, poetic, and at times philosophical eye on the current state of the world. RMB 560

Rosewood Bullet at Omni Space
Li Bo (formerly of Jacky Danny) leads his new band Rosewood Bullet, purveyors of old school rock and roll (and the tight jeans and headbands that come with it) give a special performance at Omni Space tonight. RMB 100

Takeshi Sakamoto Quartet at Modernista 
Japanese jazz drummer Takeshi Sakamoto – who’s worked with jazz legends including Jerome Harris and Sonny Rollins, and whose performances include pop, rock, funk, rhythm, and blues – performs alongside bassist Xing Yifan, guitarist Liu Ao and saxophonist Liu Xiao Guang. FREE

Lang Tianyi, Mystery at FM Live
Female singer-songwriters Lang Tianyi and Mystery take the stage tonight at FM Live for some acoustic-led melodies. FREE

Want to cut a rug instead? Check out this weekend’s nightlife offerings here.

Images: Will Griffith, courtesy of the promoters

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