Psychic Ills, Chui Wan, Duck Fight Goose

Psychic Ills

Last night Psychic Ills from New York were playing at Yuyintang, so I figured it was worth going even though it was Wednesday, cold and pissing rain. Glad I did, though.


ImageDuck Fight Goose (photo by Matthew Niederhauser)

I got there about 10, and when I walked in I heard Duck Fight Goose and immediately thought, “Oh, they’re playing DFG’s new album, cool.” Then I when I came around the corner I realized it was actually Duck Fight Goose. They were not on the bill for that night and I was absolutely gutted that they were already on their last song! I’m a little bit in love with Duck Fight Goose right now. Their album, “Sports,” is amazing and I love what they’re doing now days. In the last year or so they’ve really come into their own and developed this electronic, experimental rock sound, but more than that, they sound tight and developed. It’s hard to explain, but if you heard them a couple of years ago, you would think, “Yeah, there’s some cool stuff going on,” but it wasn’t quite there yet. It was maybe a little messy and a little too disjointed. But at some point, it just clicked with them and they became this music machine. So yeah, I was a little disappointed that I missed them, even though I’ve seen them play loads of times.

Chui Wan (photo by Zhang Zhouwang)

Chui Wan played next. They’re a band out of Beijing and it was the first time I’d heard them play. They’ve been together more than a year now and I’ve heard about them from others–in fact, I think they’re getting a lot of hype, at least in Beijing–so I was excited to see them play. I wasn’t disappointed! I’d describe them as psychedelic rock–very much this “wall of sound” idea with loud, fuzzy guitars, strong percussion, lots of reverb, minimal lyrics. I believe I have a promo copy of their new album and I believe it’s called “White Night” (maybe. Or maybe not.). Should be released later this month (maybe). I haven’t listened to it yet, but it’s def on my list now.

Psychic Ills

Psychic Ills

Last up was Psychic Ills from New York. I know they’ve been around a while and I’ve heard the name but never heard the music, but when you live in Shanghai it’s kind of like, “Oh, a foreign band? Yeah, I’ll go.” They were also psychedelic rock, a bit experimental. Very similar to Chui Wan and I’m actually a little surprised they were on the same ticket but there you go. Psychic Ills was good, definitely good, but honestly, I was a little underwhelmed. Definitely good sounds, though. I can’t find fault with their music. But…they didn’t talk. At all. Am I the only one who enjoys a little bit of chatter from the artists? Here’s my reasoning: I like to hear little stories about the songs here and there, something they find amusing about where they are, little anecdotes, you know, shit like that. Not too much talking, obviously, but if I just wanted to hear music, I’d play their album. So come on, throw a few words out here and there. Well, the guitarist did say “Thank you,” after one song. But it was rather anti-climatic as when they finished playing their last song, they just took off their instruments and left. No preface before the final song saying, “Thanks for having us; here’s our last song,” nothing after. They just stopped playing and left the stage. In the audience we were kind of like, “Wait, are they switching guitars or getting a drink or…what?! It’s over? Come back!! Play more!” They were a too-the-point band. But the music was good. I think I may just be outgrowing my prog-rock psychedelic phase. FYI, Psychic Ills and Chui Wan are still on tour in China till Nov 25th.

Also, all the bassists last night were which I have complex feelings about.

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