Zhang Qian Qian, indie folk storms Douban
Not that long ago Zhang Qian Qian (pictured) came down to Shanghai to play Yuyintang. It was midweek and I missed it.
Zhang is one of the best indie-folk artists around and incorporates many elements into her work. I'm always impressed with her fluttering vocal style and well judged sense of tempo that keeps slower songs full of subtle energy. She is is also well known for being more extroverted than her contemporaries.
Go now to her page and listen to the tracks there (live).
While we are on the subject of indie-folk.
I was having a look around Douban's band pages. They are called 音乐人 musicians at the site. These are relatively new at Douban and the Chinese underground has moved there gradually over the past year and a bit. Douban is a social networking style site with 2.0 functions that is geared towards music, books and movies. It has a couple of million subscribers but is still nowhere near the user numbers of mainstream sites. Well, it's not mainstream, is it.
So anyway. Now the figures break down like this. A new or part-time band with a couple of demos up will get 3-500 subscribers and their songs about 5-800 listens. This after being active for a few months. A listen is counted by individual members and once only per member.
Popular bands like the Maybe Mars bands or New Pants or whoever now get around 5-8000 subscribers and 8-10 000 listens per track. This is a recent thing too. So it's definitely growing. Basically, a good band on the underground could now use their Douban base to fill up any gig they play and create an honest revenue from shows.
However, when I looked at the list of top performing musician pages I got a shock. Right up there with the 10 000 + club were Shanghai indie folk acts Coverpeople and Mogu Hong. Look at Coverpeople's page. The average amount of listens is over 20 000 and the best almost 40 000. They triple the numbers of the best Shanghai rock/indie band, The Mushrooms. Although the shows are not comparable, perhaps almost inverse. Who knows what it all means at this point, but there it is.
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