Made in Shanghai, The Dovetail Joints.

I received the news about the Music Festival organized by the Melting Pot and the next thing I knew I was having the coolest music IM chat with Becca Smith. I’m still wondering how we didn’t meet before. Usually, I don’t find girls to share the rock-hippie thing I believe I carry in my DNA. Becca is the singer , writer, guitar and yes, UKELELE, player of The Dovetail Joints. Aha! ukelele, how cool is that? I’m so looking forward to see her headbanging one of her ska tunes with the ukelele.

The Dovetail Joints have been together since almost one year, and since then they have been playing around the Shanghai stages, their initial weekly spot was the Melting Pot at Hengshan rd. The band The Cardinals, formed by the same musicians and playing since more than two years already, meet Becca and they all had a “love at first heard” thing, since then they have been playing and creating music non stop.

As many bands of our lovely foggy city, their formation is a very well functional cultural milkshake. Becca, the ukelele player (yes, I haven’t get over this yet, I’m enjoying it) singer, writer, composer comes from Hawaii. Adam Gaensler, the very cool guitar player from Australia. Sandro Cagnin, the groovy bass player from Italy. And Knut Hansen on drums from Norway, finishing the milkshake with a Viking topping.

One of the many things I liked of Becca was how she explained her relationship with creation, it seems it’s not only something to enjoy but to survive her moonlit self. Many times happens that music lovers are better describers of the emotions behind music than musicians, OK not everybody is into dialoguing about their creative process, but I enjoy it, and I do appreciate a good talk about this. On Becca’s words: “ I wrote this song last night called Renee; I have no idea who Renee is, she was haunting me and I couldn’t get her out of my head until I finished recording the song … my head is too full of my wackiness. …. The guys in the band really inspired me and gave me a place to be free with my songs. I am sure this is something to do with the crazy amount of songs I am writing these days. I have a band that supports my wacky ideas.”

Until now The Dovetail Joints haven’t produce any album, they are wishing for a good record producer to help them with this. They have more than 30 songs and counting, all originals. Here I have to stop to yell to the 4 winds: lets remember rock bands are about playing their own music, and may be once in a while a cover of their own personal favorites, but rock is about releasing your own private craziness. Please!

Becca asked me how I would call their style of music. She said they had some punk-ska thing, “call it indie, that’s easy way out” she said too, and I agree with that one. She defines herself as a “rocker hippie chick living for music”. The Dovetail Joints have a natural flow in their melodies. And I’m not talking only about the ukelele sound! There’s an organic artless motto in their sound, Becca’s voice surfs bare feet the red-earth lighting sound waves coming from the guys. So if we have to classified music in subsections after Rock – I’m not a fan of classification, I’m more into Buddhism and we are all the same thing – but for the sake of understanding one’s sound better, then I say definitely not punk, but very near the ska neighborhood, and definitely right by the stoner – desert rock corner.

So at the end about the coming Music Festival we’ll have on Huaihai rd. by Pu ‘An rd. we didn’t talk much, just that there are seven bands playing each days, including The Honeys, mostly all of them are from Shanghai, except an Irish and a German band. The Dovetail Joints are scheduled for Monday at 7.30pm. The music begins both days at 3 pm and ends after 10pm. Layabozi is going to be there both days, may be dressed in pink and for sure eating some spicy duck neck and beer while listening to all the music. For now, I’m wishing I get a photographic camera working before that while I’m listening Drop in the Bucket. Here for you duck dudes… the Shanghainese desert-stoners The Dovetail Joints…

Listen: Beautiful Circumstance …. [audio:thedovetailjoints_ beautifulcircumstance.mp3]

Listen: Drown …………………….. [audio:thedovetailjoints_drown.mp3]

Listen: The Wrong Lips …………….. [audio:thedovetailjoints_thewronglips.mp3]

Listen: Drop in the Bucket ……….. [audio:thedovetailjoints_dropinthebucket.mp3]

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About the author:
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Mache is a hippie witch that was born under Beltane's full moon. She enjoys talking to ghosts and interdimensional beings, and cooking for her friends and beasts. She has Chilean wine in her veins instead of blood,and at the moment she belongs to China.

  1. Lisa

    Actually, The Honeys are from Shanghai, and are one of the oldest (11 years!) and best known groups here.

    They were initially formed in Hangzhou, but half their members were from Shanghai and the band has been based in Shanghai since like 2002. Check them out at

  2. mache

    Thank you for the information, Lisa. I fixed the mistake and checked The Honeys website.


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