Magazines: That's Shanghai Nov 2008

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The ex-pat rags have been a bit disappointing lately when it comes to local music. City Weekend had their big feature that was finally dominated by Avril. Only That's have a regular, substantial page on the scene.

Before we go there, though, Ezra Glinter starts things off by reviewing the new EP from Joker. This may sound familiar. You can revisit my September trip to the Joker EP release show here. You can also check out Joker's Neocha page here. Ezra points out that these are more of an indie band doing blues than a 'blues band'. I agree. Wang Tian Tian from 0093 told me that the CD marked Joker's status as the top act from their stable of new bands. I'm following Tianping Dian myself, although Crazy Mushroom Brigade are the kings of Shanghai rap-rock. 

So, onto the main feature from Lisa Movius. This month it's more news from Momo (formerly Happy Strings). I have a massive bunch of material on them so please use the search feature to read up on previous posts. Here's the new info: Momo have their CD coming out in December on Soma Records and they are now producing a net-based animated show of themselves. The article also reveals that they changed the name to Momo and softened their style at the behest of their manager at Soma. I first saw this band at the old Yuyintang at a party put on by Banana Monkey - and they rocked. Curses, bad managerial advice. Anyway, what Lisa is getting at here is that Momo could be on the verge of breaking through to a new level of exposure. So here's your guide to all things Momo:

The final article is a brief chat with Lin Di of Cold Fairyland talking about women in rock. Well, we know how I feel about the band - not rock. But my disinterest in the band aside, the points, and Lisa's focus on women this month, are very important. Women in the underground scene have a great chance to counter the childish submissive stereotypes all over mainstream music and culture. We have to recognise that it's not an even playing field and give the usual levels of support found in tightly knit arts scenes. 

So let's finish with an example of the enlightenment levels in the mainstream 'creative' industry. Check this post out - back to the caves. Notice the utter lack of irony from the writer too.

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Is Lisa Movius going to write about her (ex-?)boyfriend's record label every month? I liked her column more when she moaned about how much better things were back when Crystal Butterfly were a good band, Tanghui was undiscovered, and she was the only foreigner at the shows.

I realize it could seem that way, but actually: I've been lobbying to write about Momo/Happy Strings for two years, and it took the forthcoming record for editors to agree that they were interesting enough to cover. Crazy Mushrooms I interviewed months before they had even met the Soma crew, and Pupu then said he doubted they would be able to make an album anytime soon giving the recording landscape. Little Nature the editors pitched to me amongst other options slated to participate in 288's China Now music festival, and it was only the day of the interview that I heard about their record deal.

So in fact it's just one article about Soma, on the compilation; the rest are great young bands that the company wisely has snapped up. And, let's face it, Soma is the only indie rock label in town. I'm very glad they're supporting young bands now; for a long time they've been very resistant to it, dismissive of new talent. If you think *I*'m snobby, you should meet my ex-boyfriend.

I don't know how That's' editorial shake-up will bake down, but I hope my column can continue to be a mix of recent news and history. I believe documenting, and promoting awareness, of ShRock's roots remains very valuable. Everything we have now - and it's great - exists because of what went before. For example, Yuyintang is a direct result of Zhang Haisheng's experience as a musician in Vicky's Area in 1999-2000, and then as Ark's sound guy from 2001-2006. My old friends, we "old farts" in our thirties, are doing a lot, and they are starting to create the infrastructure that ShRock so desperately needs. As is Brad - and I applaud them all.

Dear all, thanks for the nice wrapup of the situation. - Azchael

Hi Max

I saw you found me on Facebook too. Nice to meet you.


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This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on November 1, 2008 8:41 PM.

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