Noise Pollution: Kamasi Washington, Softer Still, Blue Desert, Plastic, Vita Bergen, OB03, Yakushiji Kanho

3 days ago

It’s Mid-Autumn Festival – one of the only still-legit holidays of the year. Seriously, you’ve got a chance to chow down on mooncakes, enjoy Beijing weather at it’s absolute finest, and indulge in all the music scene has to offer before the boys over in Zhongnanhai put the kibosh on all manners of fun. So as always, venture forth and wreak havoc while you still can and remember to check out the weekend’s other happenings here.

Thursday, Sep 12 

Kamasi Washington (US) at Blue Note 
The mystical Los Angelino saxophonist Kamasi Washington returns to Blue Note Beijing tonight for two energy-packed sets of his playful, spellbinding, and life-reaffirming compositions. Just as last time, Washington’s dad, Rickey Washington – a world-class saxophonist in his own right – will be along for the ride. 7.30pm and 10pm. RMB 400-600

Softer Still (UK) at Omni Space
Fresh off their 2018 acclaimed LP Nuances, Surrey-based indie dream-pop outfit Softer Still swing through Omni Space as part of their Asia tour – expect ethereal soundscapes submerged in sun-soaked shoegaze, progressive rock intricacy, and 90s-inflicted alt-rock. RMB 150

Blue Desert (ISR) at DDC 
DDC brings fusion world music act Blue Desert to the stage! Join Yossi Fine on guitar and bass, Ben Aylon on percussion and Sharon Mansur on synth bass and keyboards as they create a new Middle Eastern musical style that’s too hard to resist. RMB 80

Residence A, Miss Mix, Showhand, Yewai Leigei Zhinan at School
Local promoters One Year are back at it with one doozy of a show to start off the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday! Making their return to School after almost a year are big-time indie rockers Residence A, female rock ‘n’ roll outfit Miss Mix, punk trio Showhand, and reggae rockers Yewai Leigei Zhinan. RMB 100

Carlo, Penis Envy, Special Guest at Temple 
Temple celebrates Boss Cut’s very own Dan’s birthday and the help out they’ve invited back old friend and musician extraordinaire Carlo Fuentes (Death Narcissist, The Harridans, etc.) you’ll join others for a grand ol’ rocking good time. FREE

Conscious, Jukka, String, Eong at Jianghu Bar 
It’s an improv psychedelic jam frenzy over at Jianghu Bar as an array of acts and artists with a knack for fusion and improv ingenuity hit the stage including world music duo Eong, featuring Tabi drummer Hadi and guitarist Szx, as well as guitar maverick Jukka, and more. RMB 80

An at Mao Livehouse
Acclaimed indie-folk artist An brings his compassionate, pristine-voiced contemporary urban stylings to Wukesong tonight along with his band. RMB 100

Heta Uma, Bob Dupont, Luka, Will Pope at Soi Baochao 
Things get offbeat over at Baochao as Soi Baochao hosts some of the scene’s more mischievous characters including HK-raised Heta Uma and his electro surf punk project who’ll join Djang San’s one-man looping alter ego Bob Dupont, as well as multi-instrumentalist Luka, and singer-songwriter Will Pope. FREE 

Polish Guitarist Rafał Sarnecki Quintet at The Bricks 
Originally from Warsaw, Poland, Rafał Sarnecki is a jazz guitarist and composer based in New York. One of the most sought after jazz composers of his generation, Rafal has toured all over the globe and has shared the stage with many top names from the US jazz scene. FREE 

Liu Ming at Pink Moon
Folk singer Liu Ming heads to Nanluogu Xiang. FREE

Friday, Sep 13

Plastic, Xiao Wang, The White Papers at School
Newly signed to Maybe Mars, the no-nonsense melodic punk band Plastic, out of Kunming, a cherry bomb of charisma and punk rock swagger, wreck havoc upon School. A gut punch to the senses, they’re a band that revels in a brand of disobedience, compulsion, and wound-up romanticism that you simply can’t fake. It’s a full moon reckoning alongside kawaii punks Xiao Wang and post-punks The White Papers. Read our recent interview with the Plastic boys here. RMB 80

Life Awaits, Four Five, Scarlet Horizon, Pray Unholy, Atomic Prophecy at Yue Space
A renegade mix of emo, hardcore, thrash, and metal with some of the finest – including rising emocore stars Life Awaits, whose latest release is right around the corner, as well as seasoned deathcore veterans Four Five, plus theatrical death metal act Scarlet Horizon, as well as Pray Unholy and Atomic Prophecy. RMB 160

Vita Bergen (SWE) at DDC
Vita Bergen, described as “one of the most successful stories in Swedish underground music scenes,” is the brainchild of two Swedish childhood friends, William Hellström and Robert Jallinder, who create an ingenious combination of electronic and rock which warms you up as you listen to it, setting them apart for the typical Nordic act. RMB 80

Djang San, Great Buffalo Blues at Temple 
East-meets-West fusionist and veteran show stopper Djang San – a jack of all trades including “zhongruan player, philosopher, poet, composer, guitar hero, DJ, one-man orchestra, and explorer of new sounds” – brings his buck-wild tunes to Temple to celebrate the release of his three latest albums with a little help from electric bluesmen Great Buffalo Blues. FREE 

Pee Wee Ellis Funk Assembly at Blue Note 
Musician, bandleader, arranger, and composer Pee Wee Ellis is a giant in the jazz world, having spent six decades collaborating with jazz legends past and present. See the saxophonist and vocalist, an essential figure in the realm of funk and soul, tonight at Blue Note. RMB 420-500

Jiang Shan at Jianghu Bar
Mountain range evoking poetic and folk singer-songwriter Jiang Shan, who hails from Xining along the Qinghai-Tibet plateau is a modern-day Chinese poetic whose work has been represented his region for years. RMB 100

Mr. Nick, Tommy Lane, Gulu Bazz at Caravan 
Siberian singer-songwriter Mr. Nick who ‘plays those weird forgotten songs of all styles squeezed through a blues filter’ brings his gruff voice to Caravan alongside others. FREE

Diva Simona Quartet at The Bricks 
Italian award-winning singer, composer, and educator Simona De Rosa has established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the NY jazz scene and continues touring internationally. FREE

Gao Jinli, String at Pink Moon
Folk singer Gao Jinli, who received a bit of attention after a stint on The Voice of China, joins improv and multi-instrumentalist String. FREE 

Diego Ramos and The Brazilians at Modernista 
On Friday we give into the Latin vibes by dancing away to the best Brazilian funk, samba and some sertanejo with Diego Ramos and The Brazilian Band. FREE

Cui Longyang, Steve Blaque at Mogu Space
Acoustic offerings in Xizhimen, courtesy of guitar slingers and tender singers Cui Longyang and American Steve Blaque. FREE 

Svan, Li Jin, Ban Jianing at 69 Café
Fingerstyle guitar noodling and storytelling courtesy of Ban Jianing, Li Jin, and more. FREE 

Saturday, Sep 14

Xu Haiqiao, Chen Shuozi, Frog, Li Zhi, Chen Fei, A Xia, Xiao Te, Cha Ji Yang, Five Lines With No Guide at Tango
The little hostel stage Snail has slowly grown over the years, supporting the folk artists and singer-songwriters and eventually expanded across the city. Tonight they celebrate eight years with a red-hot bash at Tango where various performers, including seasoned folk singer Li Zhi, big shot indie-pop singer Xu Haiqiao, Chen Fei (formerly known as Haozi), and other Snail Hostel regulars hit the stage. 3pm. RMB 150

Ren Zhi and Social Poetry, Pizza Face, NiL at Temple
The always-reliable funk hip-hop troupe Ren Zhi and Social Poetry takes the stage alongside red hot garage punk ruffians Pizza Face whose live performances are truly something to behold, and up and coming grunge psych-rockers NiL. FREE

OB03 at Omni Space
Twin brother hip-hop duo OB03 has been building a fanbase for years with their unique spin on the hip-hop genre. Recently signed to Modern Sky’s hip-hop label MDSK they dropped their debut with them a year back and have been lighting up crowds since then. RMB 180

CMCB at Yue Space
Nu-metal rap rocking stalwarts CMCB have been in the game for just about ever and they ain’t going nowhere – the Modern Sky backed ensemble is fresh off their latest EP, incorporating more ‘trap metal’ and ‘nu-Djent’ into their sauce and are hitting the road for an epic nationwide tour. RMB 100

Day Dream, New Generation, The Lightning Club, Starrr 69 at School
School keeps the festivities alive and well with another scorcher of a lineup – on the docket are punk rock outfit Day Dream, indie rockers New Generation, psych-rockers The Lightning Club, and alt-pop outfit Starrr 69. RMB 80

Peking Floyd, Beijing Doors, Led Barons at DDC 
DDC celebrates the Mid Autumn Festival with a psychedelic old school tribute night. They’ll be bringing some of Beijing’s most iconic cover bands to stir up a storm with some classic deep cuts including Peking Floyd (Pink Floyd), the Beijing Doors (The Doors), and the Led Barrons (Led Zepplin). RMB 80

Xiao Hu at Caravan
The one and only Xiao Hu, of Inner Mongolian ensemble Ajinai fame, and one of the unsung heroes of the music scene, brings over his new solo project, which looks to bring the whispers of the grassland to the deep blue sea, to the little stage at Caravan. FREE

Liang Xiaoxue at Mao Livehouse
Veteran indie-folk singer-songwriter Liang Xiaoxue hits the road again for his ‘Idle Man Dairy’ tour – chock full of tender pop songs laced with folksy warmth and a dash of bad-boy charisma. RMB 150

Juezhe, Luka, Chi Mu at Soi Baochao 
Another psychedelic mind-altering evening over at Soi Baochao as Juezhe, the improv psych duo consisting of multi-instrumentalist String and The Peppercorns’ Xue Feng joins up with Hong Kong didgeridoo musician Luka who blends ethnic music with reggae and electronica. Rounding out the lineup is the mysterious Chi Mu. RMB 80

Liu Xingke, Langzhi at Jianghu Bar
An “old-school rocker with a poet’s soul” Liu Xingke and his merry band of art-rockers join fellow rustic smoothers Langzhi who evoke stories that hit you right in your heart. RMB 80

Kenja Time, Cherry Mor at 69 Café 
Up and coming indie rockers Kenja Time who cite Joy Division and Prinzhorn Dance School as influences hit up Changping alongside pop-rockers Cherry Mor. FREE

The Hot Club of Beijing at The Bricks
Multi-national gypsy jazz ensemble brings their 1930s swinging jazz, hot Latin rhythms, and gypsy waltzes to Sanlitun so best bring your dancing shoes. RMB 60

The Rebel 5 at Modernista 
The Rebel 5, formerly known as The Rotten 5, is a soul, r&b, and funk music ensemble covering some of the greatest songs of all times. Catch them working the dance floor tonight. FREE 

Steve Blaque, John Haba at Pink Moon
American artist and producer Steve Blaque, who played formerly in the genre-bending rock band The Radiance, joins friends tonight. FREE

Zhao Meng, Ya Ru, Cai Si Han at Mogu Space
Pianist Zhao Meg joins jazz and folk singer Ya Ru as well as singer-songwriter Cai Si Han from the Communications University of China. FREE

Sunday, Sep 15

Straight Fire Gang, AR, ChinoBroz at Mao Livehouse
Straight Fire Gang, made up of Feezy, XZT, and Ziiga – a motley crew of Shanghai and Hangzhou natives who studied abroad in the US and bonded over their mutual love of hip-hop – hit their stride last year following the release of their well-regarded LP Climbing the Wall. Rap that’s eager to keep listeners on their toes, they’re one of the few rap groups out there that feel genuinely refreshing and who speak to the new generation of young Chinese kids “born in the middle.” RMB 200

Diagon Alley, Gentle Grape, Brickleberry, Panda Eyes at School
Local promoters Rock Bros have lined up one heck of an indie-pop party to make sure to remember why your ears are still ringing next week – set to play are Britpop electro-rockers Diagon Alley, new school pop-punkers Gentle Grape, disco dance punks Brickleberry, and the ever-popular Panda Eyes. RMB 120

Sad Toys, Red Bread at DDC 
Indie folk duo Sad Toys, who brazenly throw in twang country songs and soaring indie-pop anthems into the mix hit up DDC as part of their China tour. Support from Beijing’s own indie-pop group Red Bread. RMB 80s

Titan, Wei Warrior at Temple
Things take a turn for the ominous and depraved as thrash metal kids Wei Warrior join, powercore outfit Titan for some hard-hitting tunes tonight. FREE

Mojo Hand and Friends at Jianghu Bar
Blues supergroup Mojo Hand, made up of some of the skilled rockers of the Beijing scene and founded by bassist Wei Wei, invites fellow guitar renegades like OOC’s Miao Jia, Liu Xingke’s Feng Chong, and Swarrm’s Xiao Feng for some music-making. RMB 100

Yakushiji Kanho (JP) at Tango
Renowned Japanese monk musician Yakushiji Kanho, currently on his nationwide Yuan Yuan tour, brings his elegant sound to Tango. His popular guitar pieces explore the sentiments of life through music and words, connecting people alienated by modern life. RMB 350

RoOoM Jazz Quartet at Modernista
Jazz scene improv regular Simone Schirru’s RoOoM original jazz project will make us vibrate with their European contemporary compositions. FREE

Want to cut a rug instead? Browse all the city’s Mid-Autuman beat happenings right here.

Images: Live Beijing Music, courtesy of event organizers

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