Ever since 2004 the Me? WE! movement has been working tirelessly to promote a range of regional acts who would normally fall below the radar, releasing several compilation albums and presenting dozens of live showcases.
Its first compilation featured established artists such as Anthony Wong Yiu-ming, Paul Wong, Jun Kung, Eugene Pao and MC Yan, and was followed by the hip hop album So Hot It Hertz that focused on established Asian MCs.
Next up is a crossover project featuring bands from Hong Kong, Taiwan, the mainland and Japan that's expected to be released in the middle of the year. But to get a taste of what Me? WE! is all about before then, the movement is putting on a show tomorrow night as part of the City Festival at the Fringe Club with a lineup of established and up-and-coming local talent.
Long-term rockers Papa Jack will be backed up by Wuliaoqi, Dull Figure and Maf2ia. The show starts at 10.30pm and tickets cost HK$90 at the door.
Pump up the volume
The Underground series of live music shows is getting the year off to an explosive start by bringing in several ear-splitting bands from overseas. First up is a show on February 3 by Taiwanese political punk band the Deported, whose name is inspired by the various immigration hassles the mainly expat band have experienced on the island. The band have a formidable reputation in Taiwan's punk scene and will be backed up at the show at Edge in Central by Hong Kong's own punk rockers Hardpack.
It's no secret that Japan has a healthy hardcore scene, and the Underground will be bringing out two respected acts from the Land of the Rising Sun to play on February 16.
Melodic metalcore act Community Trust and old-school hardcore band Even Today will appear at Les Visages, backed up by local headbangers Die in Velvet on a tour that will also take them to Kuala Lumpur. Earplugs are advised.
All that jazz
Grappa's Cellar in Central has established itself as the city's top jazz hotspot, a reputation that will be further cemented by its second annual jazz festival next month.
Running on the nights of February 9 and 10, the Grappa's Winter Jazz Festival will present the best in local jazz performers, including Jason Cheng (left), Skip Moy, Tommy Ho and Allen Youngblood.
One hot international name to look out for is Malaysian guitar virtuoso Paul Ponnudorai, who will be appearing on February 10. The festival will conclude that night with a jam session open to anyone who thinks they've got what it takes.
Tickets range from HK$268 for a single-night to HK$388 for both nights. Students can pick up single-night tickets for HK$88.
Jazz fans might be interested to know that local blues harmonica player Henry Chung is performing with guitarist Tommy Chung at Innovation in Causeway Bay tomorrow night.
Chung has shared the stage with bluesman B.B. King and is promising a night of deep and soulful blues and jazz.
Call 3188 2466 for inquiries.