Results tagged “chai le” from Andy Best

In history: Chai le

People may or may not know, I've been here since August 2001 ... which means, yes, I'm coming up for ten years. 

I started writing the blog here because I couldn't find anything else in the same style, in English or Chinese. 

... for Shanghai.

But actually, there was one, although it was stopped in 2005 when writer Adam left China. But I noticed lately the the blog is still online. I couldn't find the archives but I remember it having about 250 posts. It covers the Beijing scene. 

So here it is: Chai Le

Chaile means to knock down or demolish. Chai is the character you see painted on buildings marked for destruction. Bonus point - notice that the Blogroll links Micah Sittig

Barfly goes to Yuyintang

new sign at yuyintang
I'm sick and it's raining again. However I did manage to pop to a cafe this morning and come across a copy of Enjoy Classifieds which I was then surprised to find a scene reference inside. I've decided to squeeze that and a couple of other tidbits into a post.

First of all, let me assure you that Enjoy Classifieds is a regular type classifieds paper and is not adult in nature. It's just a bad choice of name. Inside there is a column called Barfly written by one Trevor Postma. Hi, Trevor. This week he admits never having been to a true local gig despite being a music fan and nobly decides to get on down to Yuyintang.

After the first real show comes the immediate scene fixing analysis. Credit to Trevor though as he comes out of that potential pitfall saying much the same as everyone else in the scene. In short, that the bands and fans are there but we're lacking a couple more decent venues. Barfly found YYT itself to be suitably grungy and rock style but a little on the small side. Alas, no mention of which show he was at or which bands were playing.

In other news, I got contacted by a certain Beijing scene guy who runs the site Rock In China. This is a wiki site that hopes to cover and document the whole China scene, so you can find a bunch of Shanghai info there too. Talking to Max, he reminded me of the other blog Chaile. There's a lot of posts there too, but it has been defunct since August 2006. Advance apologies to Max, and by implication Archie, but I have to mention that if you surf into Rock In China, it's done in one of those white text on black background with red trimming themes that burns my eyes out of my head like snow-blindness. It may just be me.

Coming up this weekend. Metal Night! 

Crazy Mushroom Brigade enters ex-pat thought


pupuAs I have mentioned before, my favourite Shanghai band to watch lately is the Crazy Mushroom Brigade. I was won over by a series of amazing shows despite me not usually getting excited about that style of music (rap-nu metal/insert pretentious, near meaningless word here). As I skipped around, as giddy as a seven year-old with a new smurf, I found that not everyone seemed to share my beliefs. That's enough journo style writing.

Other locals, Shanghainese band members and venue staff shared my excitement and were happy to blab on about the band and how they were getting good but it was a different story in the ex-pat-iverse. Over a few weeks I bumped into a number of ex-pat scenesters, band members and writers for English language columns. They all politely listened to me speaking, then either hoped to change the subject or countered with the dismissive "really? I don't think so" rejection. There was only one notable exception. Tim Anderson of Mortal Fools confirmed that the band are always practicing non-stop down at the studio and are really tightning up.  

I was reading That's Shanghai today because I love pain reading a magazine on the weekend. I was surprised to see the Mushrooms finally break into ex-pat thought - but in the most unlikely of places, the Rockpile column of Lisa Movius. 

Before I get into this, the column itself is available online here.

Lisa has been around Shanghai for a while and her column is the longest surviving English language column on the scene. The column itself tends to focus on the people and places of the previous 'generation' and draws a fair amount of criticism for being out of touch with the present or even snobby. However, in endorsing the upcoming Mushrooms show at Yuyintang, the column has now re-invented itself as the finger on the pulse. Well, that's what I say. It's a dubious honour. 

What other truly regular columns are there? The Chai Le blog and wiki has been defunct for 2 years now. The last time I read the City Weekend print column it was reviewing great cafes and bars for 'pre-summer' and waxing lyrical about drinks on the Labella balcony turning into a great glass of wine. To be fair, the columnist, Aric Queen, has been suffering burnout lately and has just buggered off for a couple of months on holiday. His old project, Gig Shanghai, was the last really good English blog and podcast on the scene but that's been defunct for a while too. The Chinese sites are not in much better shape either. It seems that Pu Pu's comment quoted in the article about the need to work together more is on the mark.   


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