When I'm writing up magazine articles and linking their online versions, there's one name always absent.
is a major webportal for the ex-pat
crowd and since Morgan Short is the editor (and also in one of the regular bands on the scene) he posts up a lot of stuff about music. I was previously loathe to mention that site because of it's infamous forum, a magnet for bigoted trash. Well, the forum is closed these days so there you go.
Morgan's band, by the way, is the excellent Boys Climbing Ropes. Go immediately to their Myspace page
before reading on. They are an indie/folk/punk combo with great songs and one of the few bands doing something outside of the usual genres.
So, for whatever reason, Morgan has prefaced his write up of the in progress Jue Festival with an essay on why he thinks the scene here is good.
It's inspired by people back home asking him why he's in China. He asked them what it was like in the music/arts back home and found that it sucked. Here's a quote:
living in China was easier to justify than previous years, because this year I
made a point to ask all my friends in bands, friends working in recording and
producing, friends in media, and friends doing DJ parties, about how their life
was going in terms of the public and critical reception of their work, and if
they still enjoyed what they were doing -- if it was still "worth it"
in the 2-double-0-9.
From the varied group of people I talked to the common thread was dejection --
dejection with having anything to do with the "music industry."
Really good bands I knew from way-back-when has stopped touring, DJs were
sitting around not doing anything or presiding over the death of their styles,
people working in recording were forced into commercial work, and just a
general feeling of drained malaise was shared by all.
And here's another:
the defense of living in Shanghai:
Because there is no real possibility of people making real money on music,
because there are only a few places to do it in, and because there just isn't
really a dominating audience for one genre of "underground music"
over another, everybody is sharing audiences, everybody is sharing venues, and
the people who are involved in making the 'soundz from the underground', such
as they are, find middle grounds to collaborate with one another.
I agree wholeheartedly about music back home. The lower reaches of the scene do suck for all the reasons he quotes. I've not been going to many techno shows myself mind you. There's still a few people i'd like to ban from shows. Yeah, watch more diverse stuff but have some standards.
When STD put on a show with Hedgehog then played dance club music between bands it just reminded me of the opening to Irreversible where the guy got his head stoved in with a fire extinguisher. Also, after a merciful break, the big-flash photographers with no respect were back again for DOA. Pointing their huge powerful blinding machines back into the crowd during moshes ... continuously ... through every song. Unfortunately for me, I was stuck directly behind P***z, a serial offender of the worst kind that thinks shows exist as a kind of personal studio.
Err, so yeah, read Morgans stuff.