Sights and sounds from the Beijing underground

pk 14Chinese post-punk band P.K. 14 plays at the Velvet Lounge Friday night. (Photos By Matthew Niederhauser/from "Sound Kapital" Courtesy Powerhouse Books)

In today's Style section I've got an article that focuses on Matthew Niederhauser, a local photographer who now lives in Beijing and has spent the past two years documenting the Chinese capital's burgeoning underground rock scene for a book "Sound Kapital: Beijing's Music Underground." Two of those bands -- post-punk quartet P.K. 14 and eclectic, experimental sound collage artist Xiao He -- will perform at the Velvet Lounge tonight and an exhibition featuring photographs from the book runs at Georgetown's Govinda Gallery through Nov. 28.

It was an interesting story to write but discovering some of the great music was the real highlight. A compilation CD that comes with the book introduced me a dozen or so bands that I'm kind of embarrassed I never knew existed. ("I wouldn't have spent the past two years doing this if I thought the music sucked," Niederhauser told me.) My new favorite is Carsick Cars, a trio that's a perfect combination of the Clean and Sonic Youth. (Unfortunately the band is skipping D.C. on its brief U.S. tour.) P.K. 14, elder statesmen of the young Beijing scene who favor a sharp, post-punk sound, is another excellent find. Listen to some songs from Beijing's finest and see more pictures from Niederhauser's book.

P.K. 14 - "Some Surprises Come Too Soon"

Carsick Cars - "You Can Listen, You Can Talk"

(More songs and photos, after the jump.)

Xiao He - "MTV"

Ourself Beside Me- "Sunday Girl"

Hedgehog - "Waiting for the Last Bus"

P.K. 14
pk 14

Xiao He
bruce springsteen

bruce springsteen

Carsick Cars
carsick cars

carsick cars

Offset: Spectacles
offset spectacles

Zhao Xiao Xi
zhao xiao xi

Little Punk
little punk

By David Malitz |  November 13, 2009; 9:31 AM ET New (?) Smell
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