Posted in music | tour dates on November 3, 2009

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD:: Carsick Cars - You Can Listen You Can Talk (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Carsick Cars - Zhong Nan Hai (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PK-14 - Behind All Ruptures (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Xiao He - MTV (MP3)

PK-14
PK-14

You may remember about a month ago the Sing for China tour brought three Beijing indie rock bands to America for a rare visit. Now once again we're set to welcome three more groups from China, perhaps three of the most exciting underground bands in Beijing -- Carsick Cars, PK-14, and Xiao He -- to American soil. All three bands are signed to Maybe Mars, the most well-respected indie label in China.

The new tour was put together in part by NYC's Zachary Mexico, whose new book China Underground is a firsthand look at China's emerging youth and alternative culture. Zachary says, "It's challenging for Chinese underground bands to come perform in America. There are many obstacles: the high cost of trans-Pacific transportation, the byzantine visa application process, and the difficulty of securing venues in markets where people haven't heard of your music."

Those hurdles have been cleared, and The Chinese Underground Invasion tour begins with a performance on Thursday evening (11/5) at the PowerHouse Arena for the release party of Matthew Niederhauser's book of Beijing rock photos, Sound Kapital.

Carsick Cars, PK-14, and Xiao He will also perform at Glasslands on Friday (11/6) with These are Powers and Soft Circle, and then at Santos Party House with Antimagic on Saturday (11/7). Then they'll hit the road for a couple weeks before returning for shows at the Ding Dong Lounge (11/20) and Monster Island Basement (11/21).

All dates, videos, more pictures, and bio information on the three bands, below...

Xiao He
Xiao He

Carsick Cars - Mogu Mogu

Carsick Cars:

One of the most widely admired bands in Beijing's underground, Carsick Cars have played major festivals and concerts in China and abroad with the likes of Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Ex Models and These Are Powers. Employing the ferocious aural attack of one of China's most brilliant guitarists and composers, Shouwang, they tear through their beautifully crafted songs in a thrilling but almost religious orgy of violence. Carsick Cars, whose "Zhong nan hai" is considered the anthem of Chinese countercultural youth, just released their second CD this summer, which was produced by Wharton Tiers, who also produced CDs for Sonic Youth, Glenn Branca, and Dinosaur Jr.
PK-14:
Ask any of the younger bands about their influences and it is pretty obvious that P.K.14 has had the biggest impact of any local band on the growing Beijing scene. However, their artistic intensity and the care with which they write their songs do not keep them from completely rocking out, and their shows in China and abroad regularly receive critical acclaim. Often referred to as China's best underground band, P.K.14, more than any other band, set the stage for the Beijing musical explosion.
Xiao He:
In recent years Xiao He started reaching deep into the surreal folk traditions of a fast-disappearing China in much the same way Tom Waits immersed himself in the apocalyptic Christian mythologies of the American Deep South. With his combination of southern Chinese mysticism and Beijing gruff he has created a strange, stirring vision of a 19th-century China crashing violently into a 21st-century China of boiling rivers and crumbling factories. Xiao He has released many CDs over the years but continues to astonish audiences, including one recently at the Barbican in London, with his progressively eclectic sound that draws upon traditional instrumentation and vocal arrangements looped within his live performances.
PK-14 - How Majestic Is The Night

Xiao He

Carsick Cars
Carsick Cars

China Underground Invasion Tour 2009
Thu 11.5 Brooklyn, NY powerHouse Arena
Fri 11.6 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands Gallery w/These Are Powers, Soft Circle
Sat 11.7 New York, NY Santos Party House w/Antimagic, BJ Rubin
Sun 11.8 New York, NY Columbia University (XIAO HE ONLY)
Tue 11.10 Chapel Hill, NC UNC Chapel Hill
Wed 11.11 Richmond, VA The Triple
Thu 11.12 Philadelphia, PA Starlight Ballroom
Fri 11.13 Washington, DC Velvet Lounge (PK14 & XIAO HE ONLY)
Fri 11.13 Amherst, MA Hampshire College Carsick Cars w/Twin Stumps, Pop 1280
Sat 11.14 Purchase, NY SUNY Purchase Carsick Cars w/Twin Stumps, Pop 1280
Sat 11.14 Washington, DC Govinda Gallery (XIAO HE ONLY)
Sun 11.15 Pittsburgh, PA Garfield Artworks w/Surfer Blood
Wed 11.18 Boston, MA TBA
Thu 11.19 Waterville, ME Colby College
Fri 11.20 New York, NY Ding Dong Lounge w/The Octagon
Sat 11.21 Brooklyn, NY Monster Island Basement w/Hot and Cold, TBA

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Comments (30)

well hey, it sure beats arcade fire

Posted by Anonymous | November 3, 2009 3:28 PM

amen to that 3:28

Posted by Anonymous | November 3, 2009 3:47 PM

Interesting note: all these videos are hosted by Vimeo and Youku because YouTube is inaccessible in China.

Posted by z. mexico | November 3, 2009 4:12 PM

PK14 are really good.

Posted by Anonymous | November 3, 2009 4:58 PM

China Underground is a great read. Little did I know....

Posted by Anonymous | November 3, 2009 5:19 PM

Z Mexico for Presidente!!!

Posted by Anonymous | November 3, 2009 6:09 PM

I bought a carsick cars cd while i was in beijing last year. its pretty good for the style of music they play. I recommend people checking them out. I'll be there for sure. It's hard for most people to remember when playing punk and being an outsider was a huge social risk here in the US, but that is they way China is today. It's exciting to see local/underground bands in China thriving.

Posted by Jeremy | November 3, 2009 9:24 PM

I like your post. The pictures, videos and mp3s are all really great.

I also just read this article which is pretty good and has some insight from the bands and Niederhauser. It's worth a read for sure.

http://newyork.timeout.com/articles/music/80146/carsick-cars-and-pk14-at-powerhouse-arena-glasslands-and-santos-party-house-concert-previews

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 3:34 AM

Carsick Cars = great band name

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 8:37 AM

Anyone know the band order or set times for Powerhouse tonight?

Posted by Anonymous | November 5, 2009 6:16 PM

Tomorrow's show at Glasslands starts at 9pm.

The order, from last to first:

These are Powers
Soft Circle
Carsick Cars
PK 14
Xiao He

$7, free Colt 45 from 9 to 10

Posted by z mexico | November 5, 2009 11:24 PM

What are the set times for Saturday at Santos?

Posted by Anonymous | November 7, 2009 12:10 PM

Santos show tonight starts at 7pm sharp and has to end by 10 for the Basement Jaxx party later. Get there early!

Posted by Anonymous | November 7, 2009 3:27 PM

dont think xiao he is gonna be at the santos show tonight. i'm waiting on the secret project robot show at the end of the month with all of them!

Posted by Anonymous | November 7, 2009 6:12 PM

xiao he did indeed perform tonight, and it was amazing!

Posted by Anonymous | November 8, 2009 3:08 AM

What kind of crowd showed up? Lots of people? Teenyboppers, old fogies, or Pitchfork nerds?

Posted by 20th century boy | November 10, 2009 1:41 AM

are they going to be in boston? someone please let me know!

Posted by Anonymous | November 16, 2009 1:49 AM

Hey China is lot closer to the west coast. When the hell are these bands coming to San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle? Hello!

Posted by contenthouse | November 16, 2009 8:15 PM

I love you carsick cars *takes bra off*

Posted by Jenny suki | November 18, 2009 1:19 PM

these bands impress the easily impressed, naive westerners not familiar with their own musical history, same place such Chinese bands have been tapping heavily. Even then the tunes lack in the unforgettable hooks and melodies category.

Posted by philge | November 23, 2009 2:28 PM

@philge

Yeah bands like such aren't exactly "original" but I don't view them as such. I just like their songs for what they are. All bands are inspired from another band so I don't see a problem with them sounding like some of the other previous bands that they might have been inspired by.

Posted by beagle dog training | February 6, 2010 2:14 PM

Thats a great man purse in that one photo LOL

Posted by Potty Training | February 25, 2010 4:20 PM

Set your own life more simple get the loans and all you require.

Posted by Santiago25LEE | March 11, 2010 12:43 AM

I'll be there for sure. It's hard for most people to remember when playing punk and being an outsider was a huge social risk here in the US, but that is they way China is today. It's exciting to see local/underground bands in China thriving.

Posted by edinburgh dentist | March 17, 2010 4:26 AM

This music is different, but has a very nice vibe to it.

Posted by Used Cars | August 15, 2010 10:46 AM

Yeah bands like such aren't exactly "original" but I don't view them as such. I just like their songs for what they are. All bands are inspired from another band so I don't see a problem with them sounding like some of the other previous bands that they might have been inspired by. Thank you for sharing :)

Posted by Aşık Etme Duası | August 20, 2010 8:24 AM

I didn't think Chinese indie music could sound this good. Although they are not the source of the genre and the cultural difference is huge, they managed to adapt very well to this style.

Posted by Automobile Insurance | November 4, 2010 1:40 PM

I would love to see these guys live.

Posted by Potty Training | February 18, 2011 11:05 PM

these guys actually sound very good. I need to check them out on youtube

Posted by venapro | June 11, 2011 12:25 AM

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