January Magazines, more Jue Festival

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urbanatomy maybemars
A quick word to the uninitiated. I'm here in Shanghai. Sure loads of people can speak some English and they make most of the signs and services in English too but there's no obligation to go beyond that. Hence, the only English language magazines we have are the ex-pat listings type. That's just in case anyone was wondering why I never seem to review actual music magazines. We have the net anyway, so it's no big deal.

So, SH Magazine and their intrepid reporter Jake Newby were really picking up the slack with scene coverage ... and then the publisher decided to axe the whole operation. The soon to be legendary final edition - The Funeral Edition - was also vetoed at the last minute. Shame that because I popped up in a great feature. That's another Andy Best bit done but then consigned to limbo ... hello, Layabozi.

Speaking of Layabozi, they have a review up of the Xmas Day show that I missed: Luke Leighfield. Also, before I get stuck into the features for this month, despite what looks like a drop off in coverage at City Weekend their website is much more active. Be sure to check into Dan Shapiro's blog there as he often posts up show previews that you won't see in the print edition.

After a change of editor and a documented shift away from the live scene, That's Shanghai are back with two features this month. The first one is about the Jue Festival and confirms the line-up for the Maybe Mars showcase. Maybe Mars are a Beijing based indie label and the showcase will feature Ourself Beside Me, Carsick Cars and Snapline. Nice first feature on the scene from writer Berwin Song ... but Berwin couldn't quite hold back on the patronising asides: 

why-oh-why do so many bands have to go for a Chinglish moniker? QueenSeaBigShark, I'm pointing the finger at you, too
Queen Sea Big Shark are actually called 后海大鲨鱼Houhai Dashayu and their English name sounds pretty cool to me. You can read the whole feature online here: Beijing bands attack Shanghai.

The second feature is an article introducing Shanghai indie group Kongzhong Huayuan written by regular Lisa Movius. You can find that online here. If you want a quick pick of the bunch go to the Ourself Beside Me Myspace page and listen to Sunday Girl ... then go and get a ticket for the showcase.

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A comment on the article by Berwin (for urbanatomy doesnt let met comment without signing in):

How come I so often and always have to read the word "most", such as

"in some of the most acclaimed albums in Chinese rock’s short history"
"Maybe Mars has become the most compelling label in China"
"this all-girl trio is one of the most hyped bands in the Beijing scene at present."

It always sounds as if it is a stated fact that Maybe Mars is the top no.1 label (despite Tag Team Records, Modern Sky and yes, Scream Records), that Ourselves Beside Me is the new black (what about Voodoo Kungfu or any of the other 250 bands in Beijing?) and that the records around the D-22 bands are the glory Holy Grail of Rock in Beijing. Well, sure, they are cool, but where is the basis for this statement? Such a post sounds so similar to those "oh gosh, China has rock music!" first timer articles by "on-the-fly" reporters coming to China for a two-weeks vacation and who are being brought to a show by their high school friend studying at QingHua DaXue or BeiDa.

Yes, Beijing's 'rock' scene is circling mostly around the D-22, but that's propably cause the highest concentration of English-speaking people is living nearby and talking about these bands (WuDaoKou, English language schools / Chinese language schools). Taking a closer look at the bands, I guess bands such as "Muma" or "XTX" had a far higher impact a few years ago as "Car-sick Cars" or "Snapline" have nowadays. I hope both bands succeed in their dreams, but please, before a narrow-pointed article is written, take some time and dive into the issue.

Andy, I agree with you. Maybe Berwin should have checked a little deeper in the whole issue.

Rock on!!!

Hey Max

I'm just glad that one of the magazines is doing decent sized features on the scene again. But yeah, it's that kind of standard music journalism with all the superlatives.

Still, if it turns people on to the show, it's all good.

Thanks for your visiting this www.glamour-watches.com online store.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on January 3, 2009 12:18 AM.

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