How A Shoegaze Fest Made Me Realize Grunge Revivalism Exists

It was my second time to attend the annual local shoegaze fest, and I intentionally did not research much about the bands playing. All I really knew was there were local and Japanese bands in the roster, much like last year’s gig. That was good enough to convince me from my usual solitary weekends in Minhang.

Soft

Soft started the gig with sublime, classic shoegaze riffs that I decided to put my camera away for some time. I highlight “classic“, since having listened to the genre since the mid 90s, there’s a personal attachment involved here.

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Pikarin / You’ll Melt More!

The You’ll Melt More! + Pikarin show in Shanghai last July 24 was part of  a local otaku convention, an event that wasn’t listed in my normal sources of events and gigs. This was a near-miss in my radar, and one that would be under a regret shortlist if I did fail to attend it.

Pikarin

Model turned pop idol, and now known as a ‘20,00 year-old idol from hell– Pikarin showed up with two corpse-face-painted dancers, with flag props with pentagram-like symbols. She would sing and dance in an almost typical idol fashion, but would break into metal growls, and kick random audience members, myself included.

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Ohashi Trio

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Ohashi Trio – QSW Culture Center, July 31

It was odd to be in a familiar place, seated, and holding thin glow sticks that were handed out to the audience last Sunday afternoon. I was about to see Ohashi Trio, a jazz-tinged, Japanese pop act by Ohashi Yoshinori. It was surprising to see the venue full, and I could only wonder how people knew about the music. There was this pre-conceived notion I was about to be with Japanophiles/otaku, but it looked like I was with the preppy, canvas tote-bag carrying crowd.

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JZ Club Shanghai, Lite, Mitsume, and 2016 is Halfway Done

JZ Club's Last Night at Fuxing Lu

Shanghai has a rich jazz history, which I have always wanted to explore. There’s always been that reluctant feeling in stomping on uncharted live club terrain. All it took to bring myself to JZ Club, the top jazz venue around here, was that they were closing shop after 12 years.

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – QSW Culture Center, March 19

I don’t normally do an image search of bands before I watch them, but I did this time with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, since I’ve always known the band by name, can say I’ve listened to them a few times, but I don’t know how they look like. See, since I take performance photos, this helps. The search results weren’t the motivating sort, though, since they don’t fit the face-the-audience mold. Anyhow, I was there for the music and whatever spectacle awaits me.

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