Alternative China – 7th December 2010

Alternative China tumblr

Time Out, Guai Li, Boys Climbing Ropes, Hang Gai, Queen Sea Big Shark, Wang Wen, Noughts and Exes, Pairs, Duck Fight Goose, Liu Kun, Beijing Daze, 24 Hours, 2 Kolegas, Lazy Camels, Dama Llamas, Cipher, D-22, Maybe Mars, City Weekend, Birdstriking, Carsick Cars, F Yeah Chinese Indie, Zoomin’ Night, Archie Hamilton, Split Works, China Music Radar, Smart Shanghai, Morgan Short, Pairs, Rustic, Layabozi, Xiao Pengke, Little Punk, Qu Records, Trash A Go-Go, The Instigation, Beat Bandits, Jake Newby

I guess I better think up a way to spend my time – 20th November 2010

I forget who made this poster now….? Own up! Maybe Marnie Vaughan or a Fag Panic?

25th Sept 2021 – When I look at the line up for this show I wonder how it happened! The initial inspiration was to put on a show for Mekare-Kare from Japan. I’m not certain how they got in touch with me now but possibly through friends in Perth. Struggling to find a venue, Dirty Shirlows were willing and able to help me out but it was a big space for an unknown band from Japan to try and fill so I came up with this crazy idea for an all day show.

I still don’t know how all these bands managed to pull together to make this show, except Spider Goat Canyon and Teratova, who got added to the bill at the last minute. Both these bands were touring together and were on their way through from a show the night before, to another show that evening and asked if they could play. They were happy to start the event off and didn’t need to be paid. They just wanted to be part of what was going on.

As the show date approached the Shirlows crew were getting jittery about law enforcement interest in the space and they mentioned that they had had other things go on in their space, such as film shoots, without any issue. So I hit on the idea that this wouldn’t be a show but a film shoot instead. Of course, 20 bands would be playing and the ‘paying’ audience would be the film crew. This was more a subterfuge cover than a directive and at the end of the day little film footage was taken.

I was generally busy running around making sure things happened when they were supposed to happen. People came and went and whilst it wasn’t the most successful event attendance wise, everyone got paid something if they had asked for it. Others were just happy to play and take part. There were so many great bands that night but for me Mekare-Kare stole the show. I’d never heard them before but they blew my mind with their complex and super tight musicianship. As they were tuning up and getting ready, the sound guy was growing impatient, telling them and me that they could start. But these guys knew exactly what they wanted and what they were doing. When they started their first song, jaws hit the floor (including the sound guy), soon replaced with joyful smiles. At least, that was my impression. Mid set, this crazy bass and drums two piece started circling around a duelling banjos theme before super-tightly repeating the whole piece together at an even faster pace.

The whole shebang was worth it to me just for this 25 minutes of bliss.

And to round things off East Brunswick All Girls Choir played a stirring set of their soulful rock which was lovely and poignant.

I’m still grateful for everyone who helped out with this show and all the wonderful members of the bands who played. There were no dickheads and luckily no cops. It was also Kevin Duo Jin’s 16th (?) birthday. A newly arrived scene protagonist who became a regular at these shows as he wasn’t able to attend bar venues.

25th Sept 2021 – Well, searching around the internet to remind me more about this day and I found this, which I had completely forgotten about and don’t even have a copy myself. I think I sent this out to radio stations and drop into records stores as giveaways.

From Two Point Eight blog by Dimity Katz:

An all day/night festy put on by tenzenmen featuring a really versatile line-up of mostly Australian bands from all over the country, but also a couple from Japan (full line up here). The idea was that people shoot videos and submit them to the YouTube channel, and in turn receive $5 off (the $20) submission, with the result being a bunch of footage at the disposal of all the bands I guess. I’m not sure how much of a success that part was, but it was a fairly enjoyable day spread across two stages so there was always something going on. I was mostly there to see The Native Cats in what was their first Sydney appearance. They played all new stuff and all good stuff and I wish more people hung around to watch them so they’d come back soon and play their own show, but what do you do (come back anyway). I also caught Fag Panic of whom I was at first very sceptical (could have done without the ‘wacky’ outfits) but pretty soon warmed right up to their tropical pop jams. Though they look like a novelty band their songs were actually really good, substantial pop music. I don’t know that it’s something I’d listen to at home, but they got people in a banana suit and what I think was a snow-pea suit to dance and that is awesome. These photos go: Fag Panic, Axxonn who seemed to be having a wonderful time with his synth (I didn’t mind it either), The Holy Soul (who have supported and played with the likes of Can’s Damo Suzuki but I wasn’t all that impressed), and then the Native Cats. I kind of left wondering when Dirty Shirlows turned into a hippie-haven, though. So much incense was goin’ on.

Fag Panic

Real-life evidence that this event did occur can be found here:

Alternative China – 11th November 2010

Alternative China tumblr

Post-Concrete, Hang On The Box, Brave New Eye, The Beijinger, Pangbianr, Beijing Daze, Skip Lunch, You Mei You, Flying Mantas, Doc Talk Shock, Dalian, IDH, Smart Shanghai, Little Punk, Qu Records, Subs, Kang Mao, 2 Kolegas, Lucifer, Rustic, Top Floor Circus, Queen Sea Big Shark, Matthew Niederhauser, Modern Sky, Guai Li, Maybe Mars, ShanShui, Sulumi, Torturing Nurse, Hong Qi Le, Xiao He, Glorious Pharmacy, Josh Feola, D-22, Gum Bleed

Tone Deaf in the Public Kingdom – 10th September 2010

Beijing indie punk band P.K.14 were invited to play at the Melbourne Festival and I was to be their man on the ground. The festival covered their travel expenses and two nights in a hotel but I planned an extra show and some free time with them.

As part of the promotional push for them, singer Yang Haisong did this email interview with Tone Deaf magazine.

P.K.14 play Melbourne Festival Oct 22nd 2010

We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files, however, we don’t like regurgitating press releases or asking the easy questions. No one gets out of the Tone Deaf Interrogation lightly, so just hold still, grit your teeth, clench your buttocks and be still while we put on the rubber gloves, apply the thumbscrews, and pull out our thermometer while you open up and say ahhhhhhhhhhh… Truthful answers only or we drink your rider while you’re on stage.

Lead singer Yang Haisong from Chinese band P.K14 answers our questions.

We don’t want to know about the bands your press release says you’re influenced by. Take us back to your bedroom when you were 14. What band posters did you have on the wall?

When I was 14, most of music around us are propaganda songs and love songs from Taiwan and Hong Kong singers. I don’t like them both. No any chance to listen western rock music or get posters from stores. So I didn’t have any poster in my bedroom.

What’s been your worst gig and why are you glad there’s no footage of it on Youtube … yet?

I don’t really remember which gig are the worst. I would say the very first gig that P.K.14 played 13 years ago was so bad. We played 4 songs, I sang all the songs out of key, and my legs shacked all the time in front of hundreds of university students. But at the same time, It’s the best gig to me. I hope I can see the show on Youtube but seems nobody shot it.

Tomorrow’s payday, so we’ve only got $A20/$US18/£14/€10 to get you drunk. Where do we go and what do we buy with it?

I have no idea about it. I didn’t get drunk quite long time. Maybe you can take me to some local 2nd hand records stores? I am gonna get drunk even no alcohol there.

What releases have you put out? Are they million sellers or do you still have a few boxes of them sitting gathering dust under your bed?

We put out 4 albums so far. And none is million-seller. Most of people like all the love songs and kind of Chinese idols, Unfortunately, we didn’t play love songs, and are not idols neither.

Suppose we put a gun to your head and force you to kiss a member of another band. Who, which band and why?

Billie Holiday. I think you know why.

You’re touring Australia. We know how much visitors are afraid of our native animals, so what is your greatest fear? Getting attacked by a) a snake b) a redback spider c) a bluebottle jellyfish d) a crocodile or e) a venomous drop bear?

Snake is my nightmare, worst ever.

P.K14 play at The Forum on Fri 22nd October, as part of Melbourne Festival’s Beck’s Festival Bar. Tickets are $20. Find out more info on the Beck’s Bar website, or visit Ticketmaster for tickets.

Ya Aha – Novelty – 1st June 2010

Cat #: 042TZM

These folks approached me with an already pressed disc and wanting to be part of tenzenmen. I liked their music well enough though find the vocals a little lacking on this recording. Live they really killed it though. I often ended up working with folks that approached me for help regardless of whether I loved their music or not – sometimes not even listening fully until it was released. I figured if anyone thought enough of tenzenmen to want to work together then they were worth a shot.

Fanzui Xiangfa/Daighila – 1st June 2010

Cat #: 028TZM

The Fanzui Xiangfa / Daighila split 7″ came about after Fanzui Xiangfa’s 2009 SE Asia Tour. The two bands played together in Malaysia and Singapore discovering their common love for hardcore and devotion to the DIY scene. Fanzui Xiangfa’s side is a collection of newer songs in their typical oldschool style reminiscent of DS-13. While Daighila brings three raging screamo tracks that encompass elements from many different classic schools of hardcore. Taken together the split represents two of the most exciting bands from China and Malaysia.

Nikko – The Warm Side – 1st May 2010

Cat #: 036TZM

The Warm Side is the debut album from Brisbane band, Nikko. It is a collection of nine songs written over the past three years. The album was recorded in August 2009 at Black Box Studios in Brisbane by Melbourne- based engineer Naomune Anzai (Laura, Because of Ghosts) and Matt Taylor. It was mixed and mastered by Naomune Anzai at Reel to Real Mix Master in Melbourne. 

With its eerie yet beautiful guitar melodies, driving rhythm section and droning violin, organ and trumpet parts, The Warm Side encompasses an array of lush textures that create an engaging dynamic. This unique sound embodies what Brisbane has come to expect from Nikko, capturing the energy of the band’s well-renowned live show with the polish of Naomune Anzai’s reputed flair for treating atmospheric rock. This debut album is the culmination of years of solid gigging, self-recording and self-releasing that has seen Nikko refine their genre-blending style.