I’ve had Rio de Janeiro-based artist NEGRO LEO on almost constant rotation ever since I was tasked with writing up his recent Genjing split 7″ with Shanghai duo Little Monster. Really mashes all my buttons… late-Flag Ginn chords poured into a blender and pulverized ever so anti-musically, accompanied by a synth player who could have been in The Screamers and an angry sax contortionist. Like my ideal version of sickeningly off-sounding punk.
But of course I’m projecting and realized I have next to zero idea about underground music in Rio. So I asked Leo a bunch of questions about it, and how it might compare with Beijing circa 2008, as it’s having it’s own Olympic moment right now. Here he is on his influences, both international and homegrown, the delicate dance between government and art in 21st-century Brazil, and his forthcoming “anarcho-gospel” album.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have recently released the music video for the track ‘Bird Is Flying’, directed by Alessio Avezzano. It’s chock-a-block full of shaky, blurry, disorientating closeups – making for an entrancing music video.
We got the chance to chat with Alessio, to get to know a little bit more about his work, and the making of the wicked music video. Enjoy!
If you’ve been checking out our site recently I’m sure you’re now well aware, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are releasing their first long player A Million Farewells in November. A Million Farewells is a concise fulllength chockfull of wooly, dreamy, delicate, whiteknuckled shoegaze imbued modern hymns.
The great LP is equally matched with stunning cover art designed by Australian artist, Elizabeth Brain. The Fine Arts student specializes in collages and illustrations, her unique style and use of colour makes for a striking LP cover. Recently we had the chance to speak with Elizabeth to get to know a little bit about her artistic process, and about some of her recent projects.
In anticipation of the release of our newest and ever expanding cavalcade of full length 12” records, in this case, A Million Farewells, by Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes, we sat down (at our respective computers) and had a little conversation with the ever affable Xiao Zhong regarding his band’s new indie centric, quasi-shoegazey album, the status of the outfit in general and filming videos of one’s cat frollicking about a maternal backyard. The results are, we’d like to think, as highly readable as the album itself is listenable, but that would probably be stretching it a little. Actually, that’d be total bullshit. A Million Farewells is a true indie rock classic, in our books, at least, and one you should be on the lookout for on November 13th, but until then, we’ll let Xiao Zhong wet your musical appetite a bit in the form of the below Q&A session. Enjoy!
In our endless quest to work with bands who are basically impossible to Google, we would like to cordially re-re-introduce you to Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes, whose debut long player, A Million Farewells, just happens to be available for pre order right this very second (China / Australia / US)! As keen readers of this here blog will hopefully recall, Genjing threw Tom & Katie’s eponymous 7” “Ni Bu Ai Wo” out into the wilds a little while back, as well. A Million Farewells is a, pardon the expression, million miles from the recordings Xiao Zhong and Sharon Cee-Q first handed us back in the day, as a duo. Don’t get the wrong impression, we’re not throwing shade on our own wares here, folks – those jams are fantastic in their own right, just a whole different ball of wax than the newbie. This visage of Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes is a fully formed unit who’ve delivered an album as stunning as it is challengingly pleasant. Somehow coaxing astonishingly strong production out of seemingly thin air, the band managed to create a long player that has a true flavor of its own, which is quite a feat in today’s musical climate. Don’t miss out, pre-order your copy today!
This October Beijing’s fast-core legends Fanzui Xiangfa and Umeå, Sweden’s indomitable 80’s punks Bad Nerve, join forces for a mini-tour of China. The tour coincides with the celebration of Fanzui Xiangfa’s ten year anniversary. This band is no stranger to vinyl collectors and devotees of China’s underground, many of whom have eagerly awaited and promptly snapped up a steady stream of 7” singles from the band over the past decade. This tour gives vinyl collectors another reason to sweat; Fanzui Xiangfa will be offering their complete, collected, and career-spanning 24-track discography on CD and vinyl LP available from our shop!
This joint tour was conceived out of a Scandinavian tour and a split 7” release for the two bands in 2014. Bad Nerve now bring their energetic brand of noisy hardcore punk to the Middle Kingdom for the first time and they’re poised to destroy stages across China with the support of friends and local acts from every dark corner of the country’s DIY underground. Don’t miss your rare chance to see these two bands performing together and “Go, No Slow!”
No good band is created in a single day – well, some are; very, very few, but anyway…each group experiences the ups and downs of development. MeToo is no different. Founded in 2007, the band has been at it for eight sordid years; countless shifts in practice spaces as well as personnel and the general, problematic whatnots of being a band on the rise in China. For a bit more perspective on all of the aforementioned development and strife that goes into being a seasoned artisanal unit, let’s take a photographic look back at the history of this incredibly resilient band, who borderline improbably, considering their lineage within the scope of the scene, just released their first piece of proper physical material, like, full stop.
No reason to be scared here, folks. This is the frighteningly rad kind of (musical) Frankenstein we’re on about, sorta like Mel Brook’s take on everyone’s favorite lime green monster, rather than Mary Shelley’s – only not funny by any stretch (though definitely fun), quite cinematic at points and highly, highly listenable. Beijing’s MeToo have most definitely pulled out the stops on this 7” single which we here at Genjing are thrilled to be releasing. You can grab this glitchy piece of melodic alt-pop on wax directly with us via our shop or from Far Out Distant Sounds in the US where there are many other Sino-centric vinyl wares you’ll probably want to have a gander at as well. If you’re in Beijing, be sure not to miss Me Too’s official release show this coming Sunday, September 20, at School Bar. Be extra sure not to sleep on this one, Beijingers. It’s gonna be a dandy.
Let’s cut to the chase here, Beijing duo, After Argument’s This Is Not Your Game is a whopper of an LP. As stated before, we don’t have favorites from our catalog, per say, but this one most certainly gets a lot of spins around the office and for good reason. It’s badass, repetitious (in a good way) faultless post-punk experimentalism. Perhaps we’re a smidge bias, but it honestly might well be one of the best guitar/drums records to make it’s way out of the PRC. Part of the allure of the album is the provocative image which adorns its cover: a photo of a (presumably) insecure child hiding behind a curtain door. It’s a photograph one can’t help but study over and over whilst the 12” does its 33RPM thing atop a turntable.
The photographer who took the shot was none other than Brazilian, Tanara Stuermer, an art history graduate who focused on the arrival of photography in Brazil in 19th century during her school days. Post university, Tanara began to roam the streets and alleyways of New York, then cities around Europe, documenting the world in her own way. From her black and white photos, you can feel a sense of inexplicable melancholy hiding beneath the surface of her subject matter. It’s a feeling that is not obvious but is always present. An overt study in subtlety, if you will.
Recently, we had a chance to speak with Tanara about all manner of stuff, including, naturally the After Argument album which drew her to our attention.
If you’ve been hanging out here in our little corner of the interwebs, you’ve most likely noticed that Genjing is gearing up to drop Beijing alt rockers MeToo’s first ever physical release in the form of 7” vinyl. It’s called Frankenstein and it most certainly lives up to it’s name. As the band have a lot going on at the moment, including an upcoming, not to miss, record release party on September 20th at School Bar – we figured it best we check in with their vocalist, Lu Zi, who was gracious enough to take on our barrage of MeToo-centric quandaries. We’ll leave it to Lu Zi to explain everything after the jump.