• Music

    Rose McDowall – Our Twisted Love EP

    It’s amazing to think that this EP is the latest (and hopefully not last) artifact released by former Strawberry Switchblade front-woman Rose McDowell.  She had been active singing with groups like Current 93 and her own project, Sorrow, for many years, and this EP continues on that dark and eerie road.  I get the feeling of hearing a very dark series of folk songs sung in the creepiest of Presbyterian churches.  Brilliant.

  • Music

    Xmal Deutschland – Early Singles (1981 – 1982)

    Xmal Deutschland was one of the treasures of the German gothic rock scene.  From their Bandcamp page: “Punk’s independence from the stiff grip of tradition allowed the band to find solace in anti-establishment art and music, far from the conventions of the past.With their peacocked hair and thick kohl-lined eyes, Xmal Deutschland’s music retained both a restlessness and delicacy, transcending any confines of the “Neue Deutsche Welle” movement (much like their colleagues and friends DAF and Einstürzende Neubauten) with the release of the “Incubus Succubus”single in 1982. It instantly became a post-punk classic. The guitar’s buzz ransacks through the melody…

  • Music - Podcast - Soundcloud

    The Drone Pilots #054 – Ghazal

    Our friend, the erstwhile lad known throughout Beijing and parts of Western Europe as The Drone Pilots, presents a fine podcast as we begin the wrapup process for 2024.  As he so eloquently describes: “Ghazals are a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a repeating refrain word or phrase, originating in 7th century Persia; though starting as poems, ghazals were adapted in Indian classical music to become a unique genre of semi-classical song, with lyrical couplets with musical accompaniment and rhythm. Trainspotters will relish the multiple samples of Peter Gabriel as a tribute to his Real World efforts to…

  • Music

    Mimik Banka 表情銀行 – 狗​日​子​ (Dog Days)

    One of the benefits of being in Beijing at a high-grade academy is that I run into some rather brilliant young minds who are turning me on to great local music, case in point being Mimik Banka, who listeners would compare their music favorably to acts like dream pop and pop-psych bands like Dream Academy during their less somber moments and Khruangbin in places, and something radically their own in other spots.  Perhaps my new favorite Chinese indie band at the moment.