The May Day holiday (International Worker’s Day, whatever) this weekend means an explosion of music festivals around China. Two of them are close by if you fancy a road trip: The Strawberry Music Festival in Suzhou and the Nanjing International Music Festival, where you can catch big names like Carsick Cars and SUBS (if you missed them in Shanghai.) If not, stick around Shanghai and catch excellent Japanese post-rockers MONO, and plenty of other local rock happening around town. Read on for highlights, or check out our calendar for more!
ROCK & MORE ROCK @ MAO Three Chord Truth presents a night of rock featuring guitarist Charlie Hitchcock, a man who has played with the likes of The Doors and The Grateful Dead. He’s teaming up with members of local reggae outfit Lions of Puxi this week under the name Brown Rag, and probably playing the blues like few can. Also playing are Friend or Foe, always fun, and Weghur, who play ‘Xinjiang fusion rock’ that we like.
50RMB // 9pm // MAO Livehouse // 308 Chongqing Nan Lu, near Jianguo Zhong Lu (重庆南路308号 近建国中号)
MING’S PRETTY HEROES @ YYT Fans of girly indie pop should like Ming’s Pretty Heroes, playing Yuyintang on Friday. Flaming red-haired Ming heads a band that plays with drums, keyboard, synthesizers, and a string quartet! Check out their website or Myspace.
40RMB // 9pm // Yuyintang // 851 Kaixuan Lu, near Yan’an Xi Lu (凯旋路851号, 近延安西路口)
THE SONNET SONG CYCLE @ TWO CITIES GALLERY Washington, DC-based pianist/composer Burnett Thompson is returning to Shanghai to present an evening of Shakespeare sonnets set to original music. It’s the latest in The Silent Shakespeare and the Sonnets series, which has held shows at the National Gallery of Art in Washington the Goethe Institute, among others. To feature vocalist Coco Zhao, Jin Ruo Wei on Erhu, Wilson Chen on alto saxophone, EJ Parker on bass, Chris Trzcinski on drums, and of course Burnett Thompson on piano. Doors close at 7:30pm. No RSVP required.
Free // 7:30pm sharp // Two Cities Gallery // 2F, Bldg 0, 50 Moganshan Lu (莫干山路50号零号楼二楼)
MONO @ MAO Japanese post-rock giant MONO play MAO Livehouse this weekend. In ten years, they have released five albums and melted the faces off hundreds of shows. If you like post rock, you will like this band. Check them out on Myspace. And it gets better: excellent Dalian-based post-rockers Wang Wen will also play (who, in fact, list MONO as one of their influences.) Shanghai outfit 21 Grams rounds out the show. Lots of really really good post rock! Go get your brain blown by gnarly lights, ambiance, electric stuff, cymbals crashing, the like. Smart Shanghai has already sold out of tickets, you can go buy presale at MAO, or email [email protected]
200RMB, 180RMB presale // 9:30pm // MAO Livehouse // 308 Chongqing Nan Lu, near Jianguo Zhong Lu (重庆南路308号 近建国中号)
PAIRS, BEAT BUFFET @ LUNE No idea when Pairs will tire of rocking every weekend, but shit we like it, so keep it up! This time they play the Beat Buffet at Lune, where you can surely dance until you pass out with DJ set by Heatwolves an whatever other names were scribbled on the event flyer.
30RMB, includes wine? // 10pm // LUNE // 4F, 218 Xinle Lu, corner of Donghu Lu (新乐路218号, 东湖路路口)
JOZI JAZZ @ MELTING POT The Charl du Plessis Jazz Trio from South Africa is playing a show to help raise money for the Peruvian Children’s Fund.
100RMB, includes one drink // Melting Pot // Tianzifang, Lane 288 Taikang Lu, near Sinan Lu (田子坊泰康路288号，近思南路)
SILVER ASH @ YYT Silver Ash (银色灰尘 Yínsè huīchén), who awesomely hold the title of “First Glam Visual Rock Band of China” will be playing their 10-year anniversary show at Yuyintang this Sunday. These guys look AMAZING. Beijing-based visual kei glam/goth rock. These dudes all look kinda like chicks! Apparently if you dress up all crazy like them, you could win a special souvenir. Cool.
80RMB // 9pm // Yuyintang // 851 Kaixuan Lu, near Yan’an Xi Lu (凯旋路851号, 近延安西路口)
And OH EM GEE don’t forget Avril Lavigne plays Shanghai Grand Stage on Monday! Eeeeeeeeee! Get your tickets before they sell out!