Big (ger) weekend issues - make your choice

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fuck you twitter
Preface: I have nothing against Mao as a place for seeing a band, I also have no affiliation with Yuyintang. The split of the gigs in a coincidence, in fact, YYT hosted the previous Puma show.

So, I recently blogged the upcoming weekend of Sept. 10 + 11th - a massive weekend of great bands at Yuyintang:

It has come to pass that Mao Livehouse have also put on attractive shows (in a way) on the same nights. That may sound normal as they are both venues, but the stars don't often align in this small scene so that 'good' shows clash. Anyway, here's the thing - both Mao shows are fully branded promotional events.

On the 10th we have a Dickies promotion that features appearances from Queen Sea Big Shark and Lu Xing Tuan. On the 11th we have a Puma Archive Uncovered show featuring Mavis and her 100% band (plus others that are not actually declared on the Douban event).

On the one hand you have gigs that are marketing events designed to sell you stuff, in a roundabout way. Like a big living version of a 'cool' ad on TV. They are a thoroughly offensive invasion of a cultural space that we create together to, supposedly, avoid stuff like clothing ads and to express ourselves honestly. And you're even paying for it. It makes me sick. The Puma one even has a thing to make everyone turn up wearing Puma shoes and Tees, the whole audience. I have, in fact, just been sick.

On the other hand you have bands playing at a smaller community oriented venue. You buy the ticket and the money goes to the artists in return for their music and the shared experience. Yes, that's right. Want to help the bands make money, just give it to them directly. And did I mention that those bands and those shows are fucking amazing.

This is like one of those quizzes that reveals something about you personality:

Which shows will you go to this weekend:

Fri: a) BCR b) Dickies event
Sat: a) Streets Kill b) Puma event
Sun a) death metal show b) some swanky wine bar

If you answered all a's: You are a music fan who likes to see the local scene thrive, you have strong sense of independent music as an extension of the human endowment of freewill. You are a wonderful human being.

If your answers include any b's: You are a cunt.

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I wholly endorse liberal use of the word cunt in printed media. Keep up the good work!

Oh and what if you split your time equally between a and b? Does that simply make you a twat?

I want to know what you really think Andy...

Hi everyone

Steve the answer to your question is there if you read the quiz carefully. Any b's.

Hi Archie, yeah, I'm so diplomatic in this post. By the way, people reading the comments, there's also some China Music Radar coverage of these events here and here.

Ah yes, 'carefully' has never been my middle name. Especially when skimming posts in the office when i should be working. Anyways, looking forward to a stonking weekend at YYT.

Erm, so we rant about lack of support for underground music in Shanghai and then rant about commercial support for same??!!

I doubt we would see venue closures when there are commercial interests involved, likewise I don’t see why the exposure that sod off big marketing machines can provide is so rubbish. There is no such thing as bad advertising and these events by their very nature will hit a new crowd and get people interested. No way the man will pump money in to underground music (or as may be the case contribute a fiver) unless market research suggests there is a substantial return to be gained.

So what if someone decides to take some money to play? Perhaps some of the bands in China actually want to make it big and make a living from their art? I say bollocks to “selling out”; it is a term that has been applied to huge successful bands in the “west” and doesn’t apply in China right now.

I think it is a great thing, the converse rubbish likewise, a bunch of kids who wouldn’t have even considered going to a gig see a bouncy fun ad and think “cool, let’s go see more”. Bring it on.

But of course I am a cunt :)

Hi John, thanks for the comment.

Sorry to say it's way off in so many respects.

Like the first sentence where you equate the ad ventures in the scene with "support." The money given to the bands is minimal and so's the exposure. What we've seen over the past three or four years is that it doesn't do anything for the bands base and it doesn't give them enough money to make a difference to their lives or careers. It simply provides the brands with some shop wallpaper or cool ads. It's more along the lines of the scene being cynically used than supported.

Also, the term "selling out". No one is questioning the right to make money or be successful. In fact the post merely asks fans to help make the bands money the direct and honest way. That's why the term selling out is not in the post.

In fact, the only people who use the term these days seem to be ad people trying to defend their odious actions with barely logical diversions.

The issue is that when you shill for a brand you lack integrity and honesty, your art is compromised and unattractive. And since the brands here don't actually support you, why compromise yourself when you're not getting that much money anyway.

To support the scene proper would be to do something like the B-ball courts thing. For example, if converse part-funded an 0093 style rehearsal studio where kids could practice with equipment provided at cheap rates. Then it would be called the Converse space or whatever and everyone knows they paid for it and would respect them. For example.

But "the man" is never interested in actually supporting, as you point out.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on September 8, 2010 3:32 AM.

Chaos Mind and friends @ Yuyintang was the previous entry in this blog.

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