Shanghai Music

October 6, 2014 at 10:34am
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Songs to Break Your Heart

Songs to Break Your Heart


God, I love to wallow. Mostly in misery and the realization that the world is void of affection and nothing is fair and no one will ever love me. Or whatever. And sometimes, when I’m wallowing, I like to make it worse (but kinda better) by listening to songs that reinforce my terrible, terrible world view and the fact that I am cold and dead inside.

There are so many categories of sad songs.…

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October 1, 2014 at 5:24am
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Reservations (Bad Name, Good Band)

Reservations (Bad Name, Good Band)


I went out last Friday to see Elaine Greer, a singer/songwriter formally of Austin who now lives in Nashville. She was hyped up to me by a friend but doesn’t get around to these parts too often nowadays, so I was looking forward to seeing her since she was back on her old stomping grounds.

The show was upstairs at Lamberts, which was a nice setup — very small and intimate. A stage in the back…

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September 22, 2014 at 6:16am
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Led Zeppelin, Part 2

Now, I’m not going to come right out and say that I moved to Austin because Robert Plant lives in Austin. But I’m not not saying that, you know what I mean? It’s a coincidence that we both live in the same city and I totally don’t roam various venues looking for him, because that would be weird.

But I do have a soft spot in my black heart just for Led Zeppelin, but as I missed the boat on that…

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September 10, 2014 at 4:05am
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Old Crow Medicine Show, Slightly Delayed

I’m regularly amazed how fast time goes. For something that is steadfastly regular on an atomic level, it’s strange how sometimes entire weeks will fly by, like most of this summer, but how in other periods, like today, time will drag on into perpetuity and you would give anything just to make it tomorrow, or next week, or this time next year, even. And I know it’s not the time, of course, just…

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July 30, 2014 at 9:15am
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Americana for the Win

Americana for the Win

I’ve been pretty stingy with my pennies ever since coming Austin, partly because I’m cheap frugal, and partly because I’m ever-so-gainfully unemployed. There’s tons of good stuff all around, but so far I’ve had to be pretty picky about what to see. But last week Old Crow Medicine Show was in town. It was time to spend some money.

But before I get to Old Crow Medicine Show, which I’ll get to…

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July 23, 2014 at 6:31am
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Brass for People Who Don’t Like Brass

Brass for People Who Don’t Like Brass

Have you recently heard a brass band? You know, a band with…nothing but brass. Trumpets, trombones, sousaphones, French horns, mellophones, tubas, and — if we’re being a little generous with the definition of “brass” — saxophones of all sorts? Unless you’re a high-schooler in a marching band or live in New Orleans, it’s probably been a while.


I’ve been going to an outdoor…

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June 14, 2014 at 9:13am
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Hello, Austin

Austin nightime

It’s hard to decide where to go after Shanghai. It’s hard to decide to go anywhere, ever, actually, but eventually you can no longer live out of a suitcase or on couches (or with your folks — thanks Mom & Dad!) so here I am in Austin, because the weather is warm, the air is clean, they’ve got a river you can swim in and live music every day of the week. Plus, I’ve always really liked the show Au…

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May 1, 2014 at 8:17am
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Goodbye, Shanghai. It’s Been Real.

Goodbye, Shanghai. It’s been real.


Today I’m leaving Shanghai. FOREVER!

I’ve been saying it’s my last year in Shanghai every year since I got here — 5 years ago — but when it came to ACTUALLY doing it; to quitting jobs and getting rid of stuff and saying goodbye to people, this whole thing came about really quickly, but I think that’s the best way to do it. This time around, things with visas and jobs and people and places just…

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April 20, 2014 at 9:11pm
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The Mongolian Invasion (Less Blood, More Music)

The Mongolian Invasion (Less Blood, More Music)


Folk music has not just had a boom in the West in the past decade. It’s happened in China as well.

Case in point: widely popular Mongolian folk band Hanggai, who played in Shanghai on Friday. They’re like the Mumford & Sons of China (but less douchy). Hanggai has actually played in Shanghai several times over the last few years, but I always just seemed to miss them. But no more! I can…

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April 16, 2014 at 9:05pm
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Inoffensive Indie Rock

White LiesWhite Lies

It’s always a mystery why some bands do so well and some bands never amount to anything, at least commercially speaking. Obviously things like talent, showmanship, music quality, hard work and promotion all play a part, but controlling for certain variables, it’s still surprising to me how some bands become huge when I really can’t find anything about them remarkable one way or the…

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