CNN Go writes off Chinese bands as mediocre

| | Comments (10) | TrackBacks (0)
new sign at yuyintang
Update: since writing this, the article name has been changed from mediocre bands to live bands. Check comments for details.

At the start of this I was quite happy to see a special article on Dingxi Road pop up on CNN Go's city page for Shanghai. Followers of the blog know all about the area for two reasons:

1) It runs down the middle of Shanghai's downtown music district. 

2) I'm always blabbing on about it.

See the sidebar for the F-via Ghetto page or check out these E-cities maps from my last post on it.

However, knowing it's the site of most gigs in town via places like Mao, Yuyintang Logo,  Anar and Sus2, I was a bit startled to see 'mediocre bands' in the title.

There is a special section on Yuyintang from which the idea of Chinese bands not being very good comes from. Now if you had been to Yuyintang "a few times a month" for the past year, you probably would have seen some newer bands who were not up to scratch, sure. But you also would have seen some amazing shows by great bands. Readers of the blog will know, and have been to, legendary shows there by The Mushrooms, Cold Fairyland, Carsick Cars, Bigger Bang, TooKoo, Boys Climbing Ropes, 24 Hours, Ourselves Beside Me, Hedgehog, Chaos Mind, Six Shot, Loudspeaker, Sonnet, The Miniless Collective, Hard Queen ... I'm just throwing names out here. There are many more.

Now, sure, we all have our own opinions and tastes, but why focus on that YYT section and then write 'mediocre bands' in the article title - essentially writing off all Chinese bands as the cream of them pass through the F-visa Ghetto. 

Well, the editor often writes the titles and makes that decision in mainstream journalism. So perhaps the editor is just clueless about the music scene here? But seriously CNN WTF! 

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: CNN Go writes off Chinese bands as mediocre.

TrackBack URL for this entry:


i don't see any mention of the word 'mediocre'. is big brother at work? or maybe someone heard you.

sorry for the repost, i just saw they changed the article title but NOT the header of the page!

I liked the piece but thought the author picked an inappropriate quote for the YYT section. Why would I go there if the bands weren't good? I go to YYT for good music - otherwise what's the point?


I liked the piece too, I've lived around there, by choice, since 2003.

Yeah, they changed the title since I posted this. Mediocre to live.

Hover over the tab in the browser to see the original.

That's a good change though.

It’s a pity that they changed the word “mediocre”.

In this city when people have to say something they always have to pay attention to what they say, because everybody knows everybody. And they don’t want to upset people or spoil their relationships.
So when its time to tell the truth, people don’t dare to do it.


All the good bands that played at YuYinTang were from Beijing. Of all the bands I’ve heard in Shanghai, not one of them is good outside this musically speaking horrible city. And that goes also for expats forming laughable mimics of what a band should be, and considered cool cause there is nothing better around.
Many of the foreigners in shanghai are blind and deaf anyway. They have poor music knowledge. They just know tong ren lu.

I think you are in the wrong circle, Mr. Best. If you ask new people, or still, some of the foreigners who have been around in Shanghai for a while, they all think the same, they are all uninterested in the so called shanghai “music scene”. Open your ears please.

I have listened to the music that you posted on Layabozi with a Chinese singer some time ago. And honestly I think it’s horrible. From there I don’t trust your music taste. And this was a long time ago.

My respect to Yu Yin Tang. They do a hard job and are very committed to their cause. But let’s not pay lip service just cause there are few bands around.

Hello Mark, thanks for coming on and commenting.

Not wanting to upset someone you know is just a feature of a sane society, I think.

What did you think of last year's CD by Lava Ox Sea Next Episode? I think it's of international quality and an example that disproves your view.

You make a good point about when you heard my music. It's quite normal, if you see someone's project and don't like it then you don't respect their opinion so much in the same area.

I'm the same.

I will strongly disagree with the fellow that is Mark as I'm sure most who frequent the music scene in Shanghai will.

Yes, of course Beijing has a large number of great bands compared to Shanghai. We all know this. The music scene here just isn't as big. But there are plenty of Shanghai bands that are great, not good, great.

As far as foreigners, and Chinese, forming bands not according to what you think a band should be, well that's just a foolish comment. Music is just another form of artistic expression. If you don't like the art, stay home and listen to Jack Johnson by a fire or something.

@Mark: No good bands in Shanghai? I strongly disagree! Ever seen Cold Fairyland? They are one of the best bands Shanghai has ever produced!!! (even though ppl like Andy might disagree with that) ;)

Or The Mushrooms? Hard Queen? Outstanding sounds!

Here are the people I'm talking about, Mr.Best.

@Bren. I want to remind you that there is good art and bad art.

Mark, you're back - and you've totally ignored my reply comment to you.

I want to remind you that there is throwing around baseless statements ... and there is backing up what you say.

I asked you about Lava Ox Sea's CD and max asked you about Cold Fairyland.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on March 1, 2010 9:20 PM.

Photo: seen at the PETA gig was the previous entry in this blog.

Photos: Maybe Mars @ Mao is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.