It’s been a banner year for live music in Shanghai, and while this statement may come with a dash of cynicism, it’s meant with not even a drop of sarcasm. Seriously, even with the limitations imposed by Expo 2010, the brief closure of Yuyintang and the complete demise of large promoters like Ticketmaster, Emma Entertainment and China West, Shanghai stages have seen more action in the last twelve months than ever before, and more importantly, a greater number of local bands have stepped up to the plate, producing high quality live shows and releasing a solid number albums along the way.
While City Weekend holds it’s own annual Reader’s Choice Awards every May, popular votes are generally a reflection of massive social media and marketing campaigns, so in order to offer a more accurate representation of the Year in Rock, I called upon a qualified electoral college of local scenesters, from producers, promoters, venue owners, writers, bloggers and the artists themselves to select their top bands, albums, songs, producers, promoters and shows of 2010.
Scores were tabulated (2 points for a top pick, 1 for a runner up) and the results are in, but before I go any further, let me first introduce the judges:
Jake Newby: Associate editor Time Out Shanghai, blogger at Kungfuology
Michael Ohlsson: Founder, Antidote, owner of Dada
Rhys O’Loughlin: Drummer for Pairs
Louis Yu: Editor, Wooozy
Adam Gaensler: Producer, Luwan Rock Studios
Reggie Bape: Co-founder, S.T.D.
Abe Deyo: Founder, Legal Grey Promotions (Das Racist, D.O.A., Daniel Hart)
Archie Hamilton: Founder, Split Works
Morgan Short: Editor, Smart Shanghai, bassist for Boys Climbing Ropes
Mache Dupuis: Editor, Layabozi
Bren Geringer: Bassist for Stegosaurus?
Tim Dodds: Blogger, Mr. Fossy
and the winners are . . .
Winner: Duck Fight Goose (15)
“Duck Fight Goose. Han Han, San San, Damen, Panda and Brad honed their sound, took their strange rock on the road and rounded out the year with a great EP. One of Shanghai's finest.” --Jake Newby
Runner Up: Boys Climbing Ropes (10)
Also Ran: Pairs (9), Rainbow Danger Club (5), Sonnet (2), The Mushrooms (2), The Beat Bandits (2), Pink Berry (1), Crystal Butterfly (1), The Instigation (1), Top Floor Circus (1), X is Y (1), The Dudettes, Ann (1), Fearless (1)
My Pick: Duck Fight Goose
Winner: Except for the Darkness Boys Climbing Ropes (14)
“I actually listened to this by accident the first time . . . and I suddenly thought, what is this awesome psychedelia that is warping my brain. And it was the Beast CR.” -- Archie Hamilton
Runner Up: Flow Duck Fight Goose (10)
Also Ran: New Atlantis EP Raibow Danger Club (6), 上海市经典流行摇滚金曲十三首 Top Floor Circus (6), Hey guy, you are big time alright. Little Punk (5), S/T, Stegosaurus? (3), Go! Boom!, Pink Berry (2), S/T Pairs (2), Queen of Fucking Everything Subs (1)
My Pick: Flow
Winner: “Neighbors on the Rooftops” Rainbow Danger Club (7)
“I really think this is one of the best songs I have heard anywhere this year. It is epic and magical, fraught with suspense and building momentum.” -- Zack Smith
Runner Up: “Whale Song” Boys Climbing Ropes (5),
Also Ran: “Yangpu Qu” Pairs (4), “Light is God’s Bread” Duck Fight Goose (4), “Old Blowjob” Pairs (3), “Ghost is Online” Duck Fight Goose (3), “What You Gonna Do About It?” The Beat Bandits (2), “English” Stegosaurus? (2), “High and Low” Stegosaurus? (2), “Life Knife” Boys Climbing Ropes (2), “Drown the Creatures” Rainbow Danger Club (2), “Shanghai (Doesn’t) Welcome You” Top Floor Circus (2), “Time Patrol” Kode9 & The Spaceape, featuring Cha Cha (2), “Battlestar Galactica” The Youth and the Destroyer (2), “I Don’t Wanna Touch It, but I Need It” Friend or Foe (1), “Dance With Me” Stegosaurus? (1), “Qingwen Wo De Pengyou” Stegosaurus? (1), “I Want to Die in the Ocean” Pairs (1), “Loved” XisY (1), “The Mind is a Time Machine” Alec Haavik (1)
My Pick: “Neighbors on the Rooftops”
Winner: Pairs (15)
“[Pairs] are a lot of noise, but I like their noise, and they make sense, and they have a lot to give and to explore with their music. And they worked very well producing their music and promoting themselves. They kind of invaded us during summer, and I'm happy they are there.” -- Mache Dupuis
Runner Up: The Fever Machine (9)
Also Ran: The Instigation (6), Friend or Foe (5), Rainbow Danger Club (3), Duck Fight Goose (2), Pink Berry (2), X is Y (2), Cha Cha (2), Androsace (2), Next Year’s Love (1), Dangxin Mofos (1), Empfab (1)
My Pick: Pairs
Winner: Adam Gaensler (19)
“No doubt about it. I’ll be surprised if someone doesn’t say Adam. Despite his chronic Rodney Rude addiction, he is super hard working and one of the nicest guys ever. He has some good netiquette too. That shit goes a long way.” -- Rhys O’Loughlin
Runner Up: Brad Ferguson (16)
Also Ran:B6 (2), Jerry Bruckheimer (2)
My Pick: Brad Ferguson
Winner: Queen Sea Big Shark at Mao Livehouse, 11/5/10 (5)
Runners Up: Caribou at Dream Factory (4), Independent China In Stereo Vol. I featuring PK14, Ourself Beside Me, 24 Hours and Rustic at Mao Livehouse (4), The Field at Yuyintang (4), Eat Naked Lunch, featuring Ren Hang, Duck Fight Goose and Booji at Yuyintang (4), Subs at Mao Livehouse (4)
Also Ran: Halloween Rock Tribute featuring KISS, The Misfits, Wham! and Joy Division at Yuyintang (3), Hedgehog at Modern Sky Festival (2), Nortec Collective at Dada (2), Secret Machines at Mao Livehouse (2), New Pants at Mao Livehouse (2), Peaches at Mao Livehouse (2), Cave Singers at Yuyintang (2), Anita Swanz’s Farewell at LOgO (1), The Thermals at Yuyintang (1), The Inspector Cluzo at Yuyintang (1), 小河 at 696 (1), Ho-Tom the Conqueror and Omnipotent Youth Hotel at Yuyintang (1), Reptile and Retard at Yuyintang (1), Hellfest at Mao Livehouse(1)
My Pick: Secret Machines at Mao Livehouse
Winner: Split Works (18)
“Split Works continued to bless China with incredible acts, from indie folk songwriters to rowdy rabble rousers like King Khan, to mind-blowing dance groove live acts like Caribou and The Field.” -- Michael Ohlsson
Runner Up: Trash-a-GoGo (9)
Also Ran: S.T.D. (5), The Fever Machine & Friends (5), Hell United/Playful Warrior (2), Icon Promotions (1), Yuyintang (1)
My Pick: Split Works
Winner: Flow Duck Fight Goose (12)
“[Duck Fight Goose] went the route of packaging for a hard drive. They went past just having the traditional jewel case packaging and . . . I think [it] fit the band’s style well.” -- Bren Geringer
Runner Up: S/T Pairs (8)
Also Ran: 上海市经典流行摇滚金曲十三首 Top Floor Circus (5), S/T Stegosaurus? (4), Go! Boom! Pink Berry (4), Vestiges Baltic States (3), Hey Guy, You’re Big Time Alright Little Punk (2), PAUSE Jathari featuring Cha Cha (2), 浪潮 Queen Sea Big Shark (2), New Atlantis EP Rainbow Danger Club (1)
My Pick: Flow
About The Author...
tons of activities
i find it rather funny that the 3 producers in this city who actually release stuffs internationally are not here. it's about time Shanghai stops running as a close circuit.
Anyway The Horses, Eclec Sonde and Xeum are their names and, damn, they be hard working!