I have been living with Su Zixu since June. We met in January through Dan Taylor whilst I was living with Angie, his girlfriend. For the first few months I knew Su as that Chinese guy that looks like John Lennon and randomly stops in to jam on his guitar. Su knew me as that white guy who is always down to go out, and makes good tacos. That was the foundation of our friendship, and through a chain of events we became roommates. Since that happened, many people have come up to me and asked, “So, what’s it like living with Su? Like, it must be crazy, right?”. While most of you only see Su in his brooding artist or party fiend modes, the majority of our conversations generally go as follows:
Trey: Yo, so the LoReLi girls want me to write about you
Su: Oh really... 'bout what
Trey: Living with you, I guess.
Su: Sure man... but only one condition, in the article you have to say "Su is like most Chinese...he spits"
Arianna: One of my friends is a fruitarian; he only eats fruit that has fallen from the tree naturally.
Trey: What about veggies?
Arianna: No, then you kill the plant.
Trey: What about seeds or nuts?
Arianna: No way, that even worse to them, seeds are the basis of life.
Trey: ...Can a vegan swallow cum?
Arianna: That’s a very deep question.
Trey: Let’s ask Su... Su! Can vegans swallow cum?
Su: Wha..!? What are you guys talking about?
Trey: Vegans don’t eat animal products... Can they swallow cum?
Su: Wow man, now that’s the question of the century... One hundred years ago, it was "When will this war be over?" Today, "Can vegans swallow cum?"
Su: Trey! We’re out of tissues again, and you haven’t gotten any. You’ve been sitting around at home all day. Oh, it’s your weekend so you don’t have to do anything but drink beer. Poor guy. You complain about having to go to work all week, while I buy groceries and clean the house. What am I your housewife? I AM A MUSICIAN!
Trey: ...But I do all the cooking.
Trey: What technology makes you fear most for society?
*Su abruptly pops out of his room shirtless dripping in sweat at height of summer.*
Su: Man! Is the A/C on?
Su: Turn it off man!
Trey: But you look hot...
Su: I’m working out!
Su: It’s a Chinese thing!
Trey: Oh, 懂了
Su: Trey, man, is it considered gay if you notice a guy noticing you?
Trey: You mean is it gay you enjoy getting noticed by a dude?
Trey: Not at all, I love it, that's why gay clubs are so fun, no girl ever walks up to you at a bar and says "What an amazing body you have, what a great ass." A guy needs to hear that every once in a while.
Su: ...But, what if he whips out his dick?
Trey: I would be even more flattered. Then, politely excuse myself from the situation.
Su: Yeah man... but what if he has a knife? Like, he’s got two hands; he could whip a cock out with one and a knife with another.
Trey: Then, I guess I'd probably just get on my knees.
Su: Are you making tah-cos?
Trey: No, I’m sat on the couch.
Su: I kinda want tah-cos.
Su: Are you serious?
Su: Get it out of here, it's bad luck!
Trey: It’s just ghost money.
Su: No man!
Trey: But, I see Chinese people with it all the time. I thought it was a nice thing… for your ancestors?
Su: Not in the house, it’s for dead people! Man, get rid of it!
Trey: But, but it's Halloween, this is my people's tradition. I am going as a Chinese ghost, I am a dead person.
Su: Fine. But tomorrow, it’s gone.
Su: Trey-Trey, try some of these nuts they're really good for you.
Trey: Hey, not bad. What are they?
Su: 白果 - they grow on that tree with heart like leaves... 银杏树, look it up.
Trey: ...Ah ginkgo.
Su: Ginkgo, hahaha, that’s a funny word.
Trey: It comes from the Japanese name.
Su: Whoa, man! Don’t eat so many, they're, like, poisonous!
Trey: Puh! Puh! Whplthbxzzz… What the fuck, you said they're healthy.
Su: Yeah, only if you eat like, less than ten.
Su: How do I look?
Trey: Not those pants.
Su: But, I like these pants.
Trey: Then, not with that jacket.
*Five minutes later*
Su: …Do these shoes still work?
Su: You wanna fuck off?
Su: ...Let's fuck off
Beijing has always had a great emerging music scene, starting from punk in the early nineties, transforming into whatever post-punk means, however in recent years Gulou has not only given us a place to thrash out our post-industrialist angst, but also become a hub for a new generation of music makers from around the globe. Su Zixu & The Paramecia are a Beijing band taking their music in an entirely different direction - they are not your standard four-piece.
Started by front man Su Zixu, they are an eclectic bunch of musicians hailing from separate corners of the global and diverging worlds of music; one guitarist followed by a stand-up bass, trombone, violin, keyboard, and drummer, all of which you have already seen in various bands performing around Beijing, or frequenting jam nights. Whilst The Paramecia have gone through a few switch ups in the past year, the project has begun to solidify into one of the bands at the forefront of the scene.
Often mistaken as a folk band, due to the popular solo works of their lead singer, The Paramecia projects a stage presence and sound too large to be labeled as such. Drawing from their diverse backgrounds, they are able to combine the complexities of an orchestra with the excitement of a big band. The Paramecia has the ability to create cinematic sounds, lifting their audiences up only to gently bring them down again, leaving listeners with a sense of musical-accomplishment.
Go experience them for yourselves and be the judge. SuZixu & The Paramecia play their first free gig this Friday night at Temple. Don't miss this opportunity.
- Trey Kwasny