Yesterday was all miserable and cold and shit but also Record Store Day. So, you know, records. I like records and I have a lot of records, despite the fact that I am neither a hipster nor an old person.
This was the second time that we’ve had Record Store Day in Shanghai, because Uptown Records (basically the only vinyl shop in Shanghai) has only been around for about two years. And you know, it’s quite a good one by general music-store standards, but for Shanghai it’s fucking phenomenal. It’s located in an old underground bomb shelter (Shanghai actually has quite a few of these and they’re kind of awesome), and it’s all hip and painted red and black and has lots of small, weird rooms and tunnels and stuff and there’s always really super cool kids* (*anyone younger and cooler than me) hanging around.
Basically (if you don’t buy vinyl or aren’t into records), Record Store Day is just a day hang out at the record shop, shoot the shit with like-minded people, buy some special releases and maybe hear some music. At Uptown there were a few bands playing and some record labels from China had stalls with special releases and records, plus there was food and booze and vintage clothing (you know, for the cool kids).
The Dyne from Beijing were on the bill, along with Pairs, Himdong, Reykjavictim and Goooose (all from Shanghai). If you showed up yesterday, you got your cool RSD t-shirt along with a special 7 inch release from The Dyne.
Oh hey, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to watch a gig in a 10×10 room in a bomb shelter, here you go.
Himdong (aka SVRO, etc.) was pretty good, and I like him more every time I see him. Really compelling guitar riffs. I actually like shows like this, ones in really awkward spaces. I mean, this room is small. The performers have to back up if someone wants to walk through. I also went to a gig at Uptown once where I was one of three people there but that was really awkward because I had to leave about halfway through and the musician actually stopped to say goodbye because he was losing a third of his audience and then I had to be like, “I’m leaving because I have to meet someone, not because I don’t like you. Keep rocking!” and he seemed fine but it was weird.
Also heard Pairs play which was cool. I haven’t heard Pairs in ages, like, more than a year? It’s been a long time. So it’s nice to brush up on what’s going on in Shanghai punk. Actually, I think Pairs works best at places like this — offbeat and a bit rough — because that’s what Pairs’ music sounds to me. They’re not formal or polished because they shouldn’t be. And songs about shit things in Shanghai. So it worked really well.
I also caught Goooose, which is Han-Han’s (from Duck Fight Goose) sort of electronic side project. Interesting and good. To me, it’s cool to see electronic musicians do all sorts of weird, electronic-y stuff with electronic things, of which I have no idea how they work or what they do. Magic!
As for records, in addition to the Dyne release, I walked out with Ratatat‘s 2003 pressing of Seventeen Years, the Best of Suzi Quatro (first lady of rock!) and a Dolly Parton compilation that I didn’t have. Oh, plus a mixed tape (er, CD) of stuff from a friend, which may or may not turn out to be a real gem. So yeah, good Record Store Day.