This Sunday marks the glorious return of the 5 Dollar Shake with a show at Yuyintang featuring Korea's The RockTigers, and Shanghai's own Banana Monkey, Boys Climbing Ropes, and Battle Cattle. If you don't know anything about the $5hake, have no fear. We managed to get in touch with two of the members, DJ B.O and Misuzu from Banana Monkey, to give us the low down on the $5hake.
SH 24/7: Tell us a little about the 5 Dollar Shake.
B.O: $5hake is a rock 'n' roll party that is a chance to shake things up for a night. There will be great music that people hip to the local music community can support and that also will be inviting to crowd less acquainted. It's based around Banana Monkey, one of Shanghai's best bands for many years. There will be music, there will be fashion, there will be fun. The current team includes Misuzu (Banana Monkey, ex-Trash A Go-Go), Bono (Banana Monkey, WhereWhatWho Fashion), Andrew (ex-ROM, shutterbuggin'), Tizzy (new hip Shanghainese girl looking to put together shows) and myself ("The White HeatWolves").
SH 24/7: This is the "glorious return" of the $5hake, where/why did it go away?
B.O: $5hake went on hiatus when Banana Monkey went on hiatus. Misuzu formed the Beat Bandits and Trash A Go-Go, lead singer Bono formed WhereWhatWho, bassist Lin Feng DJs for STD, etc. Banana Monkey reformed, Trash A Go-Go got taken to the curb, and now $5hake is back.
SH 24/7: What is your philosophy?
B.O: The motto is "Shake Your Self." The parties are a chance to reinvent yourself for a night. Come out, look good even if you don't got the cash for fashion, feel good even if it's been a shitty week, and have a good time. The fashion/culture element is going to be limited for this first show, though expect more and more as time goes on. We do have some real sleek looking bags designed by Bono we'll be giving away to the first 200 people who pay the full 80 RMB at the door, so look for that.
The aesthetic is based around 60s garage and British rock 'n' roll and related cinema: the decadent, fun stuff. If you don't know what that means, don't worry about it.
SH 24/7: Where'd the name come from?
Khalid "Shake" Mohammed.
SH 24/7: How is the $5hake different than Trash A Go-Go?
B.O: Trash A Go-Go was a lot dirtier. We loved to invite bands we knew were of quality, but might not appeal to the masses. It was more antagonistic. $5hake will be more welcoming. Don't expect such an affront to the senses for $5hake. If you stopped going to Trash A Go-Go because a crazy-looking Japanese guy in a latex bodysuit spit bile on your blouse, come back now, please.
SH 24/7: Can you tell us about some of the shows you've put on in the past?
Misuzu: We did four Five Dollar Shake parties in total. Three in the second half of 2006 and one at the end of 2008. The idea came about after Banana Monkey formed, initially as a garage revival group. We could hardly find any other bands like us. Myself and singer Bono couldn't find bands playing anything like the Strokes and Mc5, and nobody was dressing well on stage. We love to watch vintage B&W western movies, so we put all these elements together. We invited the new blood of Shanghai, like the 70's old school punk band "Mortal Fools" (now broken up) and Sonnet (they played garage style music for a while), and we played a vintage B movie on the big screen throughout the whole party. We would title the party according to the title of the movie.
If we titled it 'The Werewolf attacks Five Sollar Shake' then we would play The Werewolf, and if it was called 'Frankenstein meets Five Dollar Shake', then we would play Frankenstein. I believe it was very new in this town at that time, but local people were really interested in it, as we got 300+ people for the first one. We had bands with fresh outfits, clean & hot guitar tones, friendly attitudes, and weird silent films in the background. Everybody enjoyed those kinds of things, instead of just watching normal Rock 'n Roll bands crying, shouting, cursing the government on-stage like usual Chinese bands did.
SH 24/7: If you could bring anyone to Shanghai, who would it be?
B.O: The Rolling Stones, circa 1966.
SH 24/7: What gigs does the $5hake have coming up?
B.O: The one this Sunday, more coming soon. I promise.
I'd like to add that this lineup is ridiculous. Banana Monkey, Boys Climbing Ropes, and Battle Cattle are just about the best 3-some line up you could ask for in Shanghai, no shame in the game. The RockTigers will also kill it, I promise.
I'd also also like to add that you should e-mail Zhaotizzy <email@example.com> if you want cheaper tickets.
Finally, the first band will start at 8:30 pm. Banana Monkey is opening, and they will be starting on-time, no fooling.
WORDS: DJ B.O / MISUZU