Archive | Events

Photos & Stories from Hoodslam

One of the most memorable experiences I had on my recent trip to the Bay Area was Hoodslam, a monthly underground professional wrestling event in Oakland. It’s hosted at the Oakland Metro Opera House and features a dozen or so wrestlers performing theater on stage. It is incredibly self-aware and entertaining. Here’s the flyer from the event that I went to on March 6th, with video and photos further below:

Hoodslam

Highlights from Hoodslam

  • The local hero is a wrestler named Drugs Bunny, a Prohibition-era gangster wearing a bunny mask who does fistfuls of cocaine on stage. The crowd chants “Drugs, drugs, drugs” to show support for Drugs Bunny.
  • A wrestling match between The Predator and a wrestler playing Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Arnold character comes out first amidst ambient music, red lights, and helicopter sound effects, as he creeps into the ring with a giant gun. As he gazes into the crowd, the Predator emerges silently behind him and sits poised atop the edge of the ring as the crowd goes nuts.
  • A bowtie-wearing referee chain smoking joints in the ring
  • Link of Hyrule (Legend of Zelda) versus Obese Gamer, a 300-lb shirtless slob. Obese gamer is invulnerable to Link because he pulls out a golden Zelda cartridge with a Game Genie plugged into it. Link overcomes this obstacle by throwing the stoned referee at Obese Gamer, which stuns him.
  • Scorpion Junior wrestling against Mexican Batman. Scorpion Junior is a pregnant adult male wearing a Scorpion mask (Junior is a 1994 film wherein Arnold Schwarzenegger gets pregnant). During the fight, as fans chant “Miscarriage” Scorpion Junior gives birth on stage and throws a tiny Scorpion at Mexican Batman with a rope attached while yelling Get over here!.  Scorpion Junior becomes the first wrestler in Hoodslam history to be disqualified for breaking the only rule of Hoodslam: “Don’t bring your f’ing kids”. This is a slogan that appears on some of their apparel.
  • Ken from Street Fighter wrestling against Juice Lee, or Bruce Lee on steroids. Other events have featured Ken & Ryu from Street Fighter as a tag team duo.
  • The band featured at the event, called Arnold Corps, features a lead singer that looks and sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The band is described on the flyer as “Pioneers of Austrian Action Adventure Rock ‘n Roll”.
  • Hoodslam is promoting an upcoming show called EnterTania

The entire production is ridiculous and a real joy. It’s filled with references to 1990’s American pop culture. If you are in the Bay Area or you visit there, I recommend you check this out. Here’s a link to their official website: BirdsWillFall.com

Hoodslam Video

Below is a video I found on Youtube describing Hoodslam and featuring its founder, a Persian American wrestler named Dark Sheik.

Photos

And finally some of my photos from the March event, which are part of the San Francisco 2015 set:

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Visit the official Hoodslam website
Published on March 18, 2015

Performance Videos with PLGRM

A few years ago I befriended an American visual artist named Greg, from Boston. We did some shows together, but last year we begun stepping it up when he returned to China with his friend Seth. Together, they are PLGRM.

Below are a few brief videos from shows we’ve done recently, starting from late 2014 with the most recent video being from this event at NASA one month ago.

I’m a huge fan of their work and to do shows with them adds an entirely new dimension to live performances. They joined Jovian and I in Disco Death recently, which we’re very excited about. Our next event is Friday the 13th, next month.

Bassball @ Here We Go

Thuggin’ @ NASA

All In One Festival

Published on February 27, 2015

Visuals @ NASA in Chengdu

Disco Death @ NASA

Disco Death @ NASA

Last weekend we did a Disco Death show at NASA (a club) with an urban hip hop theme. We did the show with PLGRM, two amazing live artists from Boston who projected custom mapped visuals onto a large vertical beam behind the DJ booth. This show, along with last year at the same venue with Conrank, was the best show I’ve seen at this venue. Along with the recent Red Bull Music Academy event, of course.

Published on February 11, 2015
Video

Song of the Day #167: Thieves in the Night

Black Star – Thieves in the Night

On the surface, the meaning of this song seems obvious, but read the lyrics and you will find otherwise: “Hidin’ like thieves in the night from life, Illusions of oasis makin’ you look twice.”

Thuggin @ NASABlack Star is a musical project of Talib Kweli and and Mos Def, centered around a social movement within the African-American community in New York City. Inspired by Marcus Garvey, Black Star is a member of Native Tongues, along with A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Common, and others. Unlike a lot of hip hop, the lyrics to their music are important and worth reading.

I played this on Saturday at NASA, the entire playlist for that show is available here: Thuggin’ Playlist. It was an amazing event, that I did along with Jovian and PLGRM, who provided incredible live visuals.

Recently I’ve had more interest in hosting thematic events. Like approaching mixtape projects, I find that creating boundaries forces me to do more preparation and carefully curate an experience for the night, rather than allow it to go anywhere. We have hours of footage and I will post the final edited version here in the upcoming weeks.

This most recent event was themed similarly to a mixtape that I recorded years ago called Marked 4 Death, which is available here.

Check out Black Star on Spotify

Published on February 10, 2015

Daisuke Tanabe & Yosi Horikawa in Chengdu

Redbull Music Academy ChengduLast night there was an amazing Red Bull Music Academy event at NASA in Chengdu featuring Japanese music producers Daisuke Tanabe & Yosi Horikawa. Chengdu has never hosted an event of this type before: part instructional, part performance and partly social gathering.

I had never heard of either of these producers before, but their music and performance blew me away, combining natural sounds recorded in the wild with airy, ethereal rhythms and melodies. In one scene Yosi creates percussion by recording his fist slapping the peak of a mountain, and quickly turns it into a lush and beautiful composition.

The atmosphere was unlike any event that I’ve been to at Poly Center before (which is a notoriously chaotic and unorganized place). Virtually all of the mainstays of the Chengdu music scene were there, including musicians in bands who aren’t really in the club scene.

This is the sort of event that happens in Shanghai much more often, since Red Bull Music Academy is established and has artists baed there. I hope that this is the first of more intimate events of this nature in Chengdu, with or without RBMA’s involvement. They are important for the containing education of Chengdu’s music scene, which is still in its infancy.

Two Photos from the RBMA Event

Redbull Music Academy

Red Bull Music Academy 2

Layered Memories Trailer on Youtube

I also found a recently recorded live set performed by Daisuke Tanabe at the Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo just a few months ago. This is also worth checking out as well.

Daisuke Tanabe Live Set from Tokyo RBMA

Lastly, here are links for both of these artists on Soundcloud to follow updates from them:

Yosi Horikawa on Soundcloud
Daisuke Tanabe on Soundcloud

This event was done in cooperation with Gaz and Cha Cha of the Shelter, two perennial advocates of China’s fledging underground music scene. Much respect to Shanghai, RBMA, and NASA for making this happen in Chengdu. Especially the Austrian International Red Bull organization, including Adrian Lai, which was responsible for this event. NASA is now the first (and currently only) venue in Chengdu to buy real Red Bull.

Published on February 6, 2015

2014-15 New Years Eve in Chengdu

I came back to Chengdu just in time to play at the Dongjing Music Festival, which was one of the more photogenic NYE events I have played at.

NYE Crowd 2 NYE Crowd 3NYE CrowdNYE Bikes NYE VJs NYE Conrank 3NYE Crowd 6

Published on January 1, 2015

All In One Festival

Last weekend we hosted a few out of town DJs: Siesta and Luce from Shanghai and Oshi from Beijing, for a warehouse event in Chengdu. It’s fun to get outside of the normal venues that I play at in Chengdu and experience something a little different. This location is in Chengdu’s East Music Park (东区音乐公园) which is a remodeled manufacturing district of the city.

All in One Festival Chengdu

All in One Festival Chengdu

All in One Festival Chengdu

All in One Festival Chengdu

Published on November 12, 2014

City Zen @ Little Bar, Chengdu

City Zen

The new band of my good friend and frequently collaborator, Kafe Hu.

Published on September 16, 2014