Simon Frank and 吹万 @ Raying Temple -> Nakoma and Jordan Maseng @ What Bar, 14 August 2010

By , 2010年 8月 20日

After a circuitous drive to Tongzhou, we made it into Raying Temple halfway through Simon’s set. I was curious to see what his solo set would look like, since I’ve only ever seen him play in Hot & Cold. His set-up was a synth and a slew of pedals I couldn’t describe with any technical accuracy. To my ear, effects pedals often seem to be used rather indiscriminately as a shortcut to noise. What I’ve noticed before about Hot & Cold is how adeptly the Frank brothers utilize reverb and delay as a part of their compositions instead of an afterthought or a careless overlay.

This was even more acutely pronounced in what I saw of Simon’s set last Saturday, starting with a haunting, sparse synth line crescendoing into a full-keyboard riff and segueing into a more familiar up-tempo jam accompanied by drum machine. I’m sorry I didn’t make the beginning of the show, but luckily Simon will be playing again at D22 on August 24 before he leaves Beijing for the Fall.

Next was 吹万, who started with a guest spot from a pretty sick sax player. I was very into this band. The lead singer switched between guitar and keyboard, supplemented by more guitar, a solid bass line and pounding drums.

I caught some of Pairs’ set, but unfortunately missed the last band 小红与小小红 because we had to get to What Bar in time for Jordan’s solo set…

Jordan Maseng @ What Bar, 14 August 2010

The escape from Tongzhou was much easier navigation-wise than the entrance, so we got to see Nakoma open. I admittedly haven’t seen many metal bands in Beijing, but I thought this one was very good. One thing I’ve noticed about What Bar is that the house drumset lacks in the cymbal department, but Linda, Nakoma’s drummer, more than made up for this with skillful double-bass and hard-hitting floor tom rides, filling up What Bar’s interior better than any drummer I’ve seen play there. Everyone in Nakoma is extremely talented and the band together delivers heavy, melodic jams that provided a great counterpoint to the show I’d just left. Nakoma is currently a three-piece, but are looking for an additional guitarist, vocalist and VJ. If you’re interested, contact them via Myspace.

Jordan closed the show with a truly Dylan move, playing his first ever (partially) electric set. He performed a few La Loupe songs that he’d written as well as a duet with Sophia and a number of originals, including one debut. Jordan is an extremely talented and increasingly versatile musician. I’m excited to see how his solo set evolves and what other new directions he might explore.

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