Max Tundra at LOgO in Shanghai

Posted on October 24, 2011

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So. Last Saturday a musically-in-the-know pal persuaded me to go to LOgO to see an “electronica” chappie named Max Tundra. “You’ll love it,” said he. “I just know you’ll love it.”

I got there early, and there was quite the young, snappy-lookin’ crowd milling outside the club and speaking with poshie London accents. Nice. At the door, I parted with 50rmb under the shadow of this poster:

Max Tundra, from LOgO. Don't sue me.

So of course we all love a coconut-shell bra, what? I was kinda bummed I’d arrived too late for the other bands, but it was also quite cool to see the man setting up. Now, it wasn’t easy to actually, uh, spot him, because Max is a brother of the Wow-You’re-Short League. I warmed to him instantly.

I also love watching musicians set up – that blend of serious concentration, confident familiarity with their gear, and frission of excitement for the upcoming performance makes the whole thing come alive for me.

So, the music. Wow. For the much-improved-but-still-ignorant Pop Pony, it was quite the ride. Pardon the sad pun. I can’t say I “love” it, unlike what my dear budd-o predicted, but I can say it was deliciously cool-ass. One word – Kids’ Songs on Speed. (Sorry, one phrase.) Yes it’s quite a heady electronica beat, that one I can hear for sure, but what blew me what Max’s enthusiastic, frequent and loud vocalisations. He sings – warbles, really, at times – pop songs (including Beyonce’s Single Ladies) and what sounded like children’s ditties and retro jingles over his pulsating, excitingly layered, dancey electronica tracks.  He busted out a series of cute/ weird-ass instruments, the former being an adorable little melodica (I had to look this up), the tube of which he flogged on his drums like a limp dick. The latter was a – this can’t be right, but I’m sure it is – battery he picked up off the floor which he used to make scratchy noises on the mic.

Dude’s quite the excellent entertainer as well, leaping about the stage, flapping his arms, bantering in mock-seriousness with his thrilled audience, and even – uh, taking his shirt off and putting it on in time to the music. Something like that. It was all quite vague, you see.

What’s not vague, though, is how shit my phone camera is. Seriously, Sony Ericsson. What the fuck is up? You really put the ‘S’ in the Ericss- ok, enough. Enjoy.

I love you, Sony EricSSon!

Yes, Max Tundra is a baldie but a cute one.

Maxeth waxeth lyrical.

Max Tundra sayeth: Whyeth art thy camera so shitteth?

Oh, Sony. You never met a white balance you didn't hate.

I forgot he actually put a bag over his head at one point.

Here’s the Pitchfork review that all the Shanghai Nite Lyfe webbies were flogging (Pitchfork called Max Tundra “absolutely amazing!”) to promote the event. (Actually, Pitchfork called him “absolutely enthralling”, not “amazing”. Oh, the pedantry overfloweth.) And here’s another interview from when he finished his 3rd album.

And here’s a real good read of an interview that someone from TimeOut Shanghai actually bothered to do, instead of quoting Pitchfork.

Finally:

To the cute chick who was macking on him big time and completely ignoring me, I totally understand. I hope you indeed got to Max all of  his Tundras, because that would be AWESOME.