Well, 2007 is pretty much over. This Shanghaiist has never really been a big New Year’s person, maybe because we always end up the odd one out at midnight or the one that has to break up the drunken fights that erupt. But, in the spirit of the season we have decided to do that traditional (way over done) recap of the past year. 2007 was a big year for music in Shanghai and below are our picks for 2007…and of course this list is biased, memories are subjective to each person and the most memorable shows for me usually tend to be because of personal involvement at some level.
Most memorable moments:
Subs at 4Live in March – The Subs are always great fun live, and with a packed 4Live they put on yet another solid show.
Cancellation of Pretty Girls Make Graves – Damn, that really sucked and the band has since disbanded.
Rock Hard Power Spray at Yuyintang in May – This band played in front of tiny crowds, but they really f*@cking gave it everything they had. Only band we’ve seen do a 50 minute encore for a crowd of 75 people.
PK-14 at Eno in July– PK-14 was the first band I ever saw play in Shanghai way back in 2005. This was their first trip back to Shanghai since then and despite the sound system they put on a great performance in a packed clothing store.
Marky Ramone at the Beijing Pop Festival– Yes, we know this wasn’t in Shanghai, but hell someone weaseled our way onstage for the performance and gorged ourselves on the band’s rider backstage.
Yacht at Logo in October – While we had alot of fun at the Yue Festival, and the sound system was way better there, Logo was a perfect venue for Yacht who really gets the crowds going in those small confined places.
Busdriver at 4Live in October– Crowd wasn’t huge, but it was good to see so many people turnout to support such an amazing underground rapper.
Linkin Park at Hong Kou stadium– We aren’t much of a Linkin Park fan, but it was impressive to see such a huge turnout, and gave us hope for the future.
Voodoo Gongfu in December– Not your typical medal band, they incorporate traditional Mongolian throat singing and instruments into their music, plus they have some really cool costumes.
What to watch for in 2008:
Spli-t Works – 2007 was a great year for Spli-t who put on a string of successful shows by some great international bands. In 2008 look for even bigger things from this promoter.
Yuyintang – Taking their shows on the road, Yuyintang has started a Songjiang campus tour that will greatly increase the exposure of underground bands amongst an important college crowd.
Maybe Mars – An independent record label founded by the owner of D-22 in Beijing. Their first three releases were by some of Beijing’s hottest bands….Joyside, Carsick Cars and Snapline. With 4 more releases in January and an ever growing roster they are looking to challenge Modern Sky as the premier indie labels in China.
Carsick Cars – After an amazing year that saw the band open for Sonic Youth at 3 shows in Europe and the release of their debut album, CCS is looking to make 2008 much bigger with invites to some major European festivals.
Demerit – A member of Public Enemy was so impressed with the band that he has flown in from the USA to produce their new album. With a new album, and an Australia tour being planned, this punk band is looking to overtake Brain Failure and the Subs on top of the Chinese punk totem pole.
PK-14 – They left this month for Sweden where they will record a new album. In 2008 they have plans for not only a massive China tour, but also tours of Europe, the USA and possibly Japan.
The Honeys – This band from Shanghai is finally set to have their album release in January and we expect to see them putting on a China tour not long after that.
Top Floor Circus – The elusive Shanghai band didn’t perform much in 2007, and have been busy re-tooling their sound. In December they emerged for a couple of shows and we are looking forward to seeing much more (no pun intended) of them in the New Year. Let’s just hope there is still a venue around that can hold their growing legion of Shanghainese fans.
Photo of fans at the Beijing Pop Festival
Abe Deyo is Shanghaiist’s Music Editor. Email tips, recommendations, news and gossip about Shanghai’s music scene to music at shanghaiist.com