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Nightlife shifting away from electronic opulence
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Looking at the other acts coming, it's more of the same. Deep Dish. Again. Armin van Buuren. Again. Ok, we'll still probably go for that one (we're still huge fans, and will be probably be first in line to get the next State of Trance CD out in a few weeks) but we've already had much to say about M2's lack of charm when it comes to hosting big acts. Having previously defended these globe trotting DJs before, we guess trance music's decline in popularity is manifest in the dearth of new talent coming to these shores.

Speaking of the New Factories, however, we stumbled (ok, were led) to the rather peculiar Zhejiang Dream Factory on Saturday night. Pretty much a room in a box inspiring recollections of high school drama rehearsals, this was one of the few places in town we think has grasped the concept of post-industrial.

We don't know too much about it, but it was suitably full for a concert featuring expat punk bands anyone with a full-time job is unlikely to have heard of. We've always dismissed the local live music scene as painfully childish, but word on the street of late has suggested it may be coming of age.

We only stayed for our mate Morgan's act, Boys Climbing Ropes or something like that, and these guys were not half bad. Full of zest and energy, the most important thing is that it didn't look like any of these guys (and gal) was taking themselves too seriously and it sounded like they were having fun.

We know we risk being labeled squares for saying so, but even though we prefer a more euphoric sound in our music, we enjoyed the band for having a recognizable sound running a thread through the short set.

So live music does carry some cache here in Shanghai who would've thunk it? Maybe there is something to get excited about after all.

(Shanghai Daily September 18, 2008)

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