MAJOR LAZER RAZES BEIJING

19 09 2010

Sometimes, all the right stars align just perfectly to create the most unbelievable, ridiculous series of events to play out over a 12 hour time period. This is one of those moments.

First and foremost, friend to all Michael Horrell arrived in Beijing yesterday from Seoul to spend a hard earned four day vacation here. As a mutual friend to both Ben and I, Horrell’s trip here was more than welcome and promises to be an insane time before I fly back with him to go visit Seoul and his home turf. Here is a picture of us and Mao.

It just so happens that last night was the marquee event of The Creator’s Project, a huge collaborative between Intel and hipster magazine Vice to bring together art and technology and blehhh. There were a slew of really cool galleries (which we didnt actually attend due to a unbelievably amazing mushroom dinner…), but in the evening, Diplo and Major Lazer were  billed to play a huge set. If you’re not familiar with Major Lazer, please treat yourself to this. And so we arrive and manage to finagle tickets through my gig with Cityweekend magazine. I think we arrived a little late to crash the “red carpet” event, but it never hurts to pretend.

Needless to say, Major Lazer was amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything remotely like it. The most pure unadulterated dance inducing two hours of my life. The highlight of the show was the dagger-ing, a type of…dance that the group is notorious for. Hype/front man Skerrit Bwoy brings out a ladder, climbs to the top of said ladder, and in one seamless motion continues said dance as he hits the ground.

If you ever get the opportunity to catch them in action, sell your firstborn down the river to do so. No joke.





HIP CHINESE KIDS LAY SIEGE TO THE GREAT WALL!

30 08 2010

There are certain things in life that are just inherently awesome. The Great Wall is amazing. Music festivals are fantastic. And everyone loves friends. Combine the three, and you’ve got a recipe for disastrous fun. On Friday afternoon, accompanied by Ben, Jill, and Lucy, I set out for the three day Tanglewood Music Festival here in Beijing in “the shadow of the Great Wall”. Unlike the Tanglewood in Massachusetts, this has no associations with classical music or jazz, but instead is called so because it shares a same latitude with its more famous counterpart across the sea.

The place is breathtaking. About an hour and half outside of Beijing, the concert took place in a grassy valley surrounded by rolling green mountains and jagged rock formations. There’s that scene in the first season of Lost ( I know you watched it) where Sayid is trying to trying to find a radio signal, and walks out of the forest only to find these giant mountains in front of him. That’s what it was like.

We had a beautiful little tent area, and managed to jam four people into a three person tent fairly comfortably. And while not pictured, Lucy gets 90% of the credit for putting the tent up.

This happened to be my first concert going experience in China, and its hard to say what I was planning to expect. Most of the acts performing were Chinese bands, with a side electronica stage that played until 7 in the morning every day. There were nu-metal bands, rap metal bands, a bunch of forgettable bands, and a slew of DJ’s who were really into anime. The Pet Conspiracy were a huge highlight, and are trying to single handedly revive the RiotGrrrl movement here in Beijing.

It was all just extremely nice to get away from the cityscape. We made a few local friends, which are always good to have in the sea of expats here. I can’t stress how nice it was to have green grass and blue skies above. I was in such good spirits that Lucy almost convinced me to buy a bunny.

IT WAS SO FLUFFY! Maybe later Bunnicula, when I finally get my act together in the apartment searching department. Thanks again for the pictures Lucyyyyyyy. Until next time.

phillip