That's Shanghai consigns Movius to the memory hole?

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old thats cover
It's around this time that I get a hold of the latest monthly ex-pat rags and check for any music news. I previously wrote about how That's had a well developed music section that included Lisa Movius' long running Rockpile column and then several supporting features and new writers. I then got a little concerned when a refit and redesign seemed to back on this and dropped the Rockpile column in favour of individual features. I got a bigger surprise this week.

So, this month it was all gone. No Rockpile column and nothing by Lisa in there at all, and nothing to replace the missing column inches. Not only that - I went to the also refitted online version of the mag and found that searches for 'Rockpile', 'Rock Pile" and 'Movius' return no results at all. To be fair, the old That's site is archived via a link at the bottom of their new page, but does this mean the regular column is really gone for good?

How much of an effect the English language mags actually have on the scene is another point for debate but we can also add to this the now public news that SH Magazine will close it's doors in two issues time. That leaves only City Weekend who make any kind of regular nod to the indie/underground scene and that's down to Abe Deyo and Dan Shapiro's personal efforts.

Talking of City Weekend, did anyone catch this blog post?

It caught my attention by opening with the following broadside that could only be talking about 3 or 4 people, two of which are his colleagues at CW, and another which is me:

OK you're a pseudojourno writing about Shanghai's underground (in quotes dripping with cynicism) scene

Then it kind of meanders through several 'types' simultaneously attacking and defending them before ending with a plug for a show at The Shelter. I had to read it six times to try and understand exactly what the through-line/point was. I still don't know. Anyone care to hazard a guess in the comments? Does anyone have inside knowledge as to what the post is referring to?

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I think the writer is just *very* confused.

and we're the ones going to the wall? what gives?

Oh yes, CW blogs are paid too! Quality stuff.

Looks like your blog is becoming more indispensable as other sources disappear. I sure appreciate the time you put into keeping everyone up to date, and especially the short clips of live shows.

That blog post was weird. I think the guy was looking in a mirror when he came up with this. "Meander" is the right word. It's like he was reading Gertrude Stein, dropped acid and wrote a column...

Thanks Steve. Douban is now the best Chinese language resource too, but there's still not a consistent blog/magazine for the Shanghai scene. Douban is just like a Facebook for arts people. Rock SH is having a go but has the usual problem of over loaded and disorganised web design.

Memory hole? I hope not! That's has experienced a mass exodus of editors, in particular alas the amazingly capable Rebecca Catching, and the new people have new visions. The bad news is, yes, the Rock Pile column is no more; the good news is that instead we'll be doing longer music features instead, albeit perhaps not as consistantly. Even under the previous administration with the column we sometimes skipped months.

I'll send the new editors this link, and perhaps it would be helpful for them to hear more of your suggestions and thoughts.

I'm not a big fan of the CW style in recent years. The columns mostly are too bloggy and personal, not informative reportage or even argued opinion essays. The one you link to is unfortunately not that atypical. I think he's defending hipsters; but have you noticed that the only people who bother to rag on hipsters are hipper-than-thou other hipsters? I've always thought hipsters were just frat boys with less personal hygiene and more pretentions, and never understood why I should care either way.

Hi Lisa, thanks for the update.

I don't usually associate the term hipster with people in the music scene. It's more of an American slang thing also (I'm British). However, the AV Club coined the term "Hipster Douchebag" which I thought was quite funny and decided to use it to describe myself for fun in the odd post. I actually love it when music fans get really partisan and basically have this attitude: everything I like = amazing, everything I don't like = worthless. A bit like NME magazine back home.

That CW blog: I don't mind the blog style tone in writing, but you have to have some content or point. And the case of that blog, a beginning, middle and end would probably help.

Looking forward to the next features.

Lisa hasn't been consigned to the memory hole (or any other hole for that matter). I'm happy to say that she's still writing for us, although not as frequently as she points out. And, Jesus, couldn't you have chosen a more recent cover than one from last century? How about our funky new cover with Yoko Ono!
JFK Miller
that's Shanghai

Hi. Thanks for coming on.

Before your re design at That's the music and reviews section had become really good. It went over a couple of pages with solid regular columns from Lisa, Ben, Ezra (Cd review) and then Carl too. Along side these was the musicology feature too. Suddenly, it became a bit of a must read for the likes of me (whatever demographic I represent). It seemed to have a real selection of content there instead of token offerings to pad out pages of ads.

Now it seems to have gone backward, especially in content. As for the layout, I'm not sure if I'm just having a Facebook moment (confused at first but got used to it then realised that it was much better) or if it is, in fact, really really bad.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on December 3, 2008 5:35 PM.

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