December 16, 2008

2008 in Pictures: Part 9

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Date Taken: March 9th, 2008

This was taken at the Tanghui VIP club for the Infected Mushroom show. Israeli psychadelic trance always makes my night, although I really don't think they should be called psytrance. Funny story about getting here: I was told the club is located on Wulumuqui Lu. But the street sign is labeled Urumuqi Lu. The two names are equivalent; in Chinese they both describe a region in Xinjiang province. But the main effect is to confuse foreigners like me. My poor taxi driver! I don't know how many times I repeated "WU. LU. MU. QI. LU." as loudly and slowly as I could, in that I'm-trying-to-be-calm-despite-being-surrounded-by-idiots voice. (You know the one I'm talking about.) He probably thought I was insane or retarded or both. Of course I couldn't understand him when he (most likely) tried to tell me that, um hey fuckhead, WE'RE THERE. All I could see was the street sign that said "Urumuqi" so I assumed we were in the wrong place. It was even funnier (well, later on) when I got out of the cab in a huff, called Jane who didn't understand what I was confused about, and ended up asking another cabbie to take me to Wulumuqi Lu. Luckily he didn't charge me 11 RMB to go absolutely nowhere. Anyway in the end I saved myself by spotting the club and then magically understanding what the driver was trying to say.

Fun times, I tells ya!

The show itself wasn't that good. I wasn't a huge fan of the music, but my main problem was it was PACKED. I mean I could barely move. Every time someone moved past me I'd either get my feet stepped on or punched in the gut. Stuff like that tends to put a cramp in my evening. And at the end the bartender tried to charge me 30 RMB for a tiny bottle of water. Um, no thanks, I'll go around the corner and get a larger bottle of water for 1.2 RMB, thank you very much. Haha. Yeah, not my kind of place or music at all. But it was an interesting experience. (Well, to be fair, I haven't had very many non-interesting experiences here.)

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I'm skipping the Xujiahui set because it's just pictures of artwork in a small museum down there -- and not of the area itself. Maybe I'll go down there and take some pictures before I leave, but I'm not feeling incredibly motivated to do so :-)

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Date Taken: March 9th, 2008

The above pictures are from Century Park, which is right near my house. It's the largest green space in Shanghai and it still manages to feel cold and uninviting. I guess there's not much you can add to a park to offset having slate-gray skies overhead nearly every day :-)

Anyway that day was the only time I ever set foot in Century Park, although I have been to a couple others in Shanghai (Huaihai Park, Fuxing Park, and Zhongshan Park, that I can remember).

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Date Taken: March 15th, 2008

The above was taken at Bonbon at the Futurebound & Matrix show. F&M are two British drum & bass producers/DJs (gee, are we seeing a theme here?) that Jane brought in to play. She also invited me to dinner the night beforehand at Shanghai Uncle, which was pretty yummy. The guy holding the lighter is the MC for the evening, Whatshisface. (No that's not his name; I just can't remember.)

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Date Taken: March 15th, 2008

Gee that was a busy weekend! This was one of the only times I've seen a band in Shanghai (as opposed to a DJ). On the bill were several "punk" bands from Xi'an (a mythical, far-away place at that point in time!) I put "punk" in quotes because the last two I saw were decidedly more indie rock than punk, but whatever. I was just happy to see Chinese people rocking out like us Western folks do. That sounds dumb, but you know, I'd never seen a Chinese band before! So sue me ... and I was happy that the lead singer for the opening band (named, I think, The Dropkicks -- which just makes me think they're ripping off the Dropkick Murphys) is most definitely a MOT. (I can smell 'em a mile away.)

The venue was a place near Dalian Lu (which marked the first time I'd ever taken Line 4 on the metro) called the Live Bar. Like Logo, the place really reminded me of Austin. Exposed wood walls, high ceiling, loud bands with fuzzy sound, and hipsters standing around sullenly drinking cheap beer. Ahh, globalization -- ain't it grand? I remember I went with my German friend Elias and his boss's girlfriend. (Don't ask.)

The first band was the best, by far. Well, maybe because the next band was all Chinese, even the singer, so I really couldn't understand them. But I still liked them, unlike the shitty cover band who played after them. (If you click through to the Flickr set, they're the guys dressed all alike in the white dress shirts.) By the time the last band came on and began imitating The Strokes, we decided it was time to leave.

I should have gone back more to that place, I guess -- but it's pretty far away to travel if you don't know who's playing and/or don't enjoy drinking yourself stupid, and although I had a fun night, I guess it wasn't fun enough to lure me back. Ah well, soon I'll be back in the mecca of dingy bars with loud punk music! Woohoo!


Spirit FF said...

ah, so this is the week that we began to know each other? for infected mushrooms, no way! They are damn good, best DJ live of the year! for me, at least . and the dnb@bonbon? oh, i do remember the lighter parts, that was kind of fun. uhm, Now i look at those pictures, it felt like long long time ago to me. Right, don't forget, that was my b-day week too! Yo!

Ryan said...

I think I was expecting something different out of I.M. When I hear "psytrance" I think of a specific kind of music -- and I.M. wasn't it. That plus the crowd kind of killed it for me ;-)