With riveting, epic melodies that soar and patter along majestically, Rainbow Danger Club manages to effortlessly skirt the line between beauty and ugliness, light and dark, innocence and depravity...they never cease to amaze audiences with their grandiose musicality and adeptness at crafting songs that don't seem to leave your head." - The Guardian (UK)

Goodbye Shanghai / Listen to a New Song

On Saturday, we will throw a big party to close a significant chapter in our lives. We will say “Goodbye Shanghai!” The event will include 17 bands, visual artists and food…basically its a carnival ending with the last Shanghai performance (?) of Rainbow Danger Club.

For all the up-to-date details, go here:

We’ve also planted a nice goodbye message to China right here:

Here’s a relevant excerpt:

The album Souvenirs is exactly what its name implies and much more. It is a parting gift to ourselves and our generation of Shanghailanders. Though we are leaving, all our studio albums are dense with secret messages, inside jokes, suggestive whispered words, personal histories, dreams, and other “Easter eggs” for you guys to uncover and interpret for as long as you want. Listen to remember or listen to discover, dou keyi!

If you haven’t downloaded Souvenirs already, get it now!

But that’s not all. We have one last surprise: a one-off, just-for-fun single called “Ironic T-shirt.” It’s a parting shot of our band of gentlemen who’ve spent the majority of our Shanghai existence chained to our instruments, falling asleep at mixing consoles, and sweating the night away in dingy haunts.

You can download “Ironic T-shirt” for free or name-your-price here:

Thank you Shanghai and the rest of the world for all the memories. This may be the end or it may be a new beginning. But one thing is for sure, it will ever be the same again and that is a heartbreaking and beautiful thing!


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Souvenirs is available for download. Pay What You Want.

Ni Hao Treehuggers,
We are proud to announce that after two years of part-time writing, recording, producing, coffee-and-beer drinking, as well as a bit of general laziness, we are finally ready to release our second full-length album, Souvenirs. Get it here: rainbowdangerclub.bandcamp.com

The new album features nearly a dozen shanghai and austin, tx collaborators and includes songs that you might have heard live in the last year or on our recent Into the Cellar EP. The songs on this album, we think, are a step forward in songwriting and production value and we hope you love it.

Since the moment we put the album up (about 48 hours ago), we have gotten almost 200 downloads! thank you very much. Please do us one more favor:

Tell your friends…
Tell your local rock journalist or zine…
Tell your local independent radio station…
Tell your grandma…


Your donation would be appreciated, but even more appreciated is a writeup on your blog, a tweet, a facebook status update, a weibo message, or any other kind of massive referral to all your music-loving friends saying “DOWNLOAD THIS ALBUM NOW!” Living in Shanghai and doing music part-time makes it difficult to get the word out about the new album, so we really need your help. Thanks so much for everything.


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New EP is released / 新EP专辑!!! 今天发布了

Ni Howdy,

We have released our third studio album, Into the Cellar EP. It is now available for free on our bandcamp page. It is free or name-your-price with all donations this month going towards our Movember efforts. Extra Special thanks to Todd St. Amand, George Wyndam, Vince Pierce, Adam Gaensler and Chou Sichang for donating your talents towards getting this album produced.

We aren’t the only Shanghailanders with new music. This week The Fever Machine and Friend or Foe have both released new albums so check them out if you are interested in other Shanghai indie bands.

Be sure to catch RDC at Yuyintang this Friday: http://www.douban.com/event/17760269/

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New EP Delay and reminders / 不好意思!

Hello Treehuggers,

If you came to the site today to download the new EP, sorry :(. It has not yet been mastered. We’ve changed the date to November 19th. But don’t forget, our Movember page is still going strong! We’ll also be playing a charity show in Shanghai on Friday, November 24th. It’ll be our first show in 2 months and probably last one for another 2 months! We’ll be playing a lot of new material (material not even on the EP!) and will have two special guests. So, Don’t miss it!

love, nichols


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Coming Soon: EP and Moustaches! / 小胡子


This month is an exciting one, as we’ll be releasing a brand-new EP on November 13th on our bandcamp page!

In addition, all of the band members are participating in Movember, which means we are all growing moustaches to raise money for charity, as well as become “walking billboards” for men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer.

We’ve decided to combine our excitement for the EP release with the spirit of Movember, and so we’ll be donating any sales from the new EP to Movember.  The EP can be downloaded for free, but if you’d like to get that warm feeling of generosity in additiion to the music, 100% of your amount will be donated to the Movember charity at the end of the month.

So in just a short while, you can look forward to listening to our new EP while you look at silly photos of us with wispy two-week moustaches!


And just a short while after that, those of you in Shanghai can come see us live at Yuyintang for BEAN’s 3rd annual ROCKSGIVING, Friday, November 23rd.  We’ll be joined by special guests Threshold of Forest and Goliath George, both of whom will be featured on the new EP.  Entrance is 50rmb, and all the money goes to charity.  The night will also feature DJ B.O. and 3 other Shanghai bands: Girls Like Mystery, The Horde, and Scary Magic.  Hope to see you there!

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Day 19-20: Sioux Falls

The only thing in the 430 km between Minneapolis, Minnesota to Sioux Falls, South Dakota is a few small towns and 400 billion ears of corn. Though gorgeous and quaint, I could imagine growing up in flat, farm country would make you want to explore the mountains, oceans and cities of the world. Makes sense because this is Jesse’s stomping grounds and Sioux Falls is his hometown show. We set out early for the drive stopping only to eat at a cowboy-themed pizza/fried chicken buffet somewhere in Minnesota. We met our Sioux Falls host Jan at her home. Jan is Jesse’s mom and the most avid reader of this blog. Hi Jan! Jan went all out. She hooked us up with a suite in her apartment building, stocked the fridge with beer and a veggie plate and even ordered us the Sioux Falls famous Keg Chicken for dinner!

That night we stopped by Last Stop Record Shop to drop off our CDs and buy some used disc golf discs before heading to the venue to unload the equipment. We arrived at Boonies Bar and BBQ to find it was a bit of a biker bar. But walking inside, we found a really great stage, sound system and friendly soundguy. Our show that night was technically the best show we’ve ever played, plus the energy was extremely high in the room! It was a redeeming after such a bad experience the night before. Folks from as far as Vermillion and Des Moines (thanks Steve!) drove out to Sioux Falls for the show. Plus Jesse was able to reconnect with a lot of his old high school and college buddies who made it to the show. We sold lots of merch and handed out tons of download cards. It was a success, no doubt. Around 2am, the four of us retired to our suite and cheered the end of a great tour with my new favorite Bourbon.

The next day, we met with one of Jesse’s friend to play a round of disc golf then headed to Jesse’s twin sister’s house for a cookout. Jesse’s twin, Jenny, has a really nice house in the middle of nowhere with a pool, hot-tub, 3 kids, and 2 black labs. By the end of the day, the kids were in love with Uncle Ford and the dogs were in love with Uncle Nichols. One of the best memories of the trip was the four members of RDC sitting in the hot tub drinking and watching Office Space. Can’t think of a better way to end the tour. Thank you everyone in South Dakota for your hospitality and company. We hope to see you again soon.

love, Nichols

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Day 18: Minneapolis

Every tour must have a “worst show.” For us, that show was probably the Minneapolis gig. Sound quality at this venue was not very good. We got tons of feedback from the guitar amp microphone (never once happened before on the tour) and the sound guy never seemed to get it figured out or even come to the stage to adjust it. Also, the show was poorly attended. I think that had mostly to do with the huge thunderstorm hitting southern Minnesota. A large mass of people there to see the opening band left during our second song, “Neighbors on the Rooftop.” I learned later that this was the time when severe thunderstorm/tornado warnings were popping up on the bar TV and on smartphones. That made me feel a little better. I knew “Neighbors” wasn’t THAT bad of a song. At the end of the set, we had 6 people (4 of which were our friends).

At the same time, WE dropped the ball too. Still riding the energy from the night before in Madison, we were shocked by the poor sound quality and the audience members leaving in the middle (remember, we had no idea there was a thunderstorm warning). Rule number 1 in touring is to play with the same energy for 2 people that you would play for 2,000 people. We didn’t do that. So we share in the fault.

But it wasn’t all bad. We got stormed in at the bar and had to stay there for about an hour. At this bar, the band drinks for free and the bartenders were really nice. I also got a chance to have a chat with the soundguy. Thanks to our old friend named FREE ALCOHOL it was pleasant and fun. After the storm passed and our gear was packed, we were a little too drunk to drive to the hotel so we hit the Acadia Cafe and saw some great bluegrass music. We also met some of the Twin Cities’ finest hipsters and weirdos. And Minneapolis is a pretty cool city. For one, the city is dotted with Somalian and Ethiopian restaurants. We had dinner at the Red Sea and it was simple, delicious and utensil-less. I haven’t given up on Minneapolis. In slightly different circumstances it could have been better.

love, nichols

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Day 17: Madison

Madison was a breath of fresh air. Direct from Chicago, we met with our hosts Marv and Vicky at their rural home about 30 minutes outside of the city. Marv and Vicky are parents of our friend Kari who used to live in Shanghai and both used to work in Wisconsin Public Radio. Marv is a sound engineer and has a massive home studio in the basement. Vicky made her award-winning cookies while we spent the afternoon listening to Marv’s records, reading his industry magazines and picking his brain about New York compression. We all went for a “light” dinner across the street from the state Capitol. Ford and I shared the Bone Marrow and pomme frites with malt-vinegar aoili.

The gig was at The Frequency was one of the best of the tour. The opening band was local rockers/nice-guys-and-girl Cliffs of Insanity who write funny songs about everyday life like “Swedish Fish” and “No Fun.” Completely unpretentious and energetic, they provide the perfect start to the night. Up next was RDC. As far as performance energy, it was the best of the tour so far. The credit goes to Jeremy the soundguy for his near-perfect monitor mix and the small but enthusiastic audience. But we kept our set short as we were also opening for another touring band The Kansas Bible Company from Nashville, Tennessee. KBC are an 11-piece band with 3 guitars, 1 bass, two drummers, 2 saxes, 2 trumpets, and a bass trombone! They were kinda like Tower of Power with more raw punk energy and way more fun. The bandleader/guitarist (I think his name is Joe. So sorry if that is incorrent) was so inspired by the Rainbow Danger set he and the band played 7 songs each representing the colors of the rainbow with the stage lighting changing from red, to orange to yellow…etc. The encore was done in white light. NICE! He also bought an RDC CD and so did about half the audience. Even some Mennonite kids came out to the show and bought CDs. A lot of locals said it was one of the best shows in Madison that summer. I did my best to implant the idea of The Kansas Bible Company touring China into the minds of each of its 11 members. If a good show is measured by the quality of interaction between all the playing bands and the sense of camaraderie, this was the best of the tour, followed closely by Philly.

And after the gig, we went to the Shamrock and had burgers. No Rainbow Danger tour would be complete without a few trips to the gay bar.

Love, Nichols

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Days 15-16: Chicago

After a long road trip through the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky and the plains of Indiana, we made it to Chicago a few days before our show. Our host Jenn met us at a bar and swept us away to a yummy Korean-Mexican Restaurant called Taco Chino’s where we snacked on Kimchee Tacos and Bulgogi Burritos. The next day, Corayer, Ford and I went to Hot Doug’s for both traditional Chicago hot dogs and some not-so traditional dogs (like my Duck Sausage topped with Truffle Aioli and Foie Gras). We also dropped off some CDs at Reckless Records before having a drink in the Bucktown neighborhood. That evening we met journalist Samantha for a Rainbow Danger Club interview for the Chicagoist . We followed that up with grilling burgers and brats in Jenn’s backyard and cracking jokes with her friends till 2am.

Our show at the Whistler was just OK. We had a good crowd but most people were there to do some Wednesday night drinking, not to see live music. We didn’t sell too much merch. We did however have a small contingent of folks who used to live in Shanghai come out to the gig. It was a pleasure to play with super-nice Chicago group LABORS. Depressed Midwestern Folk Pop with a gritty edge. Band of Horses meets Hank Williams III. The Whistler isn’t a dedicated music venue but a cocktail bar with a tall ceiling and a raised stage. Despite a soundcheck a few hours before the show, we all had a hard time hearing vocals and trumpet. Two audience members complained of a wash of mids like you would hear at a warehouse party. Despite the less-than-stellar sound quality of the venue, the cocktails were phenomenal and the staff was helpful and well-organized. Thanks Billy for your help!

Love, Nichols

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Days 11-14: Columbia, Charlotte, and roadtrippin


Friday night in Columbia, SC. This was the city where I went to college and the only other city than Shanghai where I have been involved with the music scene. We had a fantastic write-up in the Free Times and played a live stripped-down set followed by a drive-time interview on WUSC-FM’s The Columbia Beet. The DJ Micheal and I talked a bit about the Columbia music scene of long ago as well as about the differences between touring China and the US. Fun times.

We checked in with our hosts Kara and Mike and had some beers and fried chicken before going to New Brookland Tavern. The night’s gig was great. We were really happy to play alongside bluegrass-inspired pop duo Post-Timey String Band and psych-alt-country supergroup Marshall Brown. Rock band All-New Badges whom I didn’t catch too much of also played. They seemed to get a lot of people dancing, so good on them! It was a our biggest crowd to date and the energy and sound in the room was superb. Unfortunately the bass amp that I borrowed went out during two parts of the set, but other than that, I was really happy with the performance. After the show I was able to catch up with a bunch of old friends and introduced them to the band. We capped the night off with sandwiches at Beezers while blasting dirty south hip hop from the minivan speakers at 3am. Cheesy, I know.

The final gig in the south was at The Evening Muse in the North Davidson neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. I grew up 25 miles from there so this was my “hometown show.” I left the Charlotte area over 10 years ago and in that time it seems to have grown in its offering of music, venues and restaurants. The sound at the Muse was technically-speaking the best sound quality of the whole tour so far. Joe did a really great job mixing and everything was crystal clear from the audience’s perspective. We had pianist Micheal Arone (a resident of Shanghai and native of Charlotte) join us on two songs, Drown the Creatures and To Where the Maps End (he performed the latter on our album).

The opening band was Garlic City which are actually a trio of young RDC fans who contacted us directly about opening for us. They were really nice guys with good vocal harmonies ala Fleet Foxes and catchy indie pop hooks ala Death Cab. I hope they keep it up. Following them we played our normal 40 minute set and took a break to drink a beer and sell some merch. After about 20 minutes, we played a supplemental 20 minute late-night set that included a bunch of really new songs and ideas, really old songs, and a rendition of blues standard “Hoochie Coochie Man” with my dad guesting on vocals. It was a good way to end the dirty south leg of the tour.


The morning after the Charlotte gig, my dad and stepmom cooked up a breakfast of grits, sausage, livermush, eggs, biscuits and gravy and then we were out the door headed for Chicago*. We stopped in Louisville, had dinner at a Whole Foods and took a dip in the hotel pool. I write you now from a laptop on Interstate 65 in Indiana. We got 200 miles to Chicago, a half a pack of cigarettes and a full tank of gas. We’ll be playing The Whistler on wednesday night to kick off the midwestern leg of the USA tour. Hope to see you there.

*at posting, we have arrived in Chicago.

love, Nichols

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