Top Floor Circus 0093 Revisited
Shanghai's most beloved band are Top Floor Circus 顶楼的马戏团 (dinglou de maxi tuan), shortened to Dingma.
They are a punk band who started out influenced by G.G.Allin but were most notable for singing in Shanghainese and frontman Lu Chen's ability to connect with local fans on a cultural level. These days they fill Mao Livehouse when they put on a special show and were also banned for the duration of the Expo after a song making fun of it went viral on Youku.
In 2006 they released the album 0093 Revisited (蒂米重访零陵路93号 Dimi chongfan linglingjiusan hao lit. Timmy returns to 0093).
The album is both punk rock in the traditional sense and imbued with the band's own local identity as Shanghainese-Chinese. This is done without the single pluck of an Erhu or any kind of conforming to orientalist stereotypes. The insert is done in Shanghainese with Mandarin and English translations and lengthy explanations of the jokes and cultural references.
Fan Gallery of Shanghai themed album covers (for their 2010 release) a hilarious insight into local Shanghainese culture and humour.
The opening track Heaven Here We Come 天堂，我们来了 (tiantang women laile) is a manifesto that stands for the whole album. The Punk riffs start and Lu Chen's voice kicks in with a glorious Shanghainese drawl. They spell it all out, nothing is working, the equipment is going to shit but never mind they're going to push on til the end anyway. The hilarious DIY video for the track has since been removed from Youku.
The Douban page has a 115 link for free download of their entire discography but that FTP service has just last week been shut down by the man. Watch this space for more. Meanwhile, check out 0093 Revisited here on Xiami.
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