Results tagged “rock in china” from Andy Best

R.I.C. Blog: Big long Pairs interview

Thumbnail image for pairs in xian
Continuing with the recent spate of long interviews that are also interesting, Rock In China's blog brings you Xiao Zhong from Pairs.

Pairs are a lofi duo and they are ace. Let's do some links first:

Their Douban page has both albums, DL enabled and all for free.

And, before I talk about it, here is the full interview. It's in English and it's worth a read.

I found the chat towards the end about over-exposure, backlashes and publicity very interesting. Most telling was that RIC is essentially Beijing scene grounded and that the quote they provided mentions Carsick Cars too. This was a big thing a couple of years back, a backlash against Maybe Mars for getting plaudits. In fact, RIC ran a post/discussion that was basically a campaign to that effect.

Start here and follow the links to a series of anti-Maybe Mars manifestos by RIC staff! Blimey.

As Xiao Zhong covers, those plaudits are simply a matter of sending out a few human language sounding mails to people who honestly want to know about the bands. Then if the bands are active and interesting enough, it will go on from there.

Sleazy PR mails, sabotaging your rivals, cliques and skimming from bands by using different bookers won't get you plaudits. And if your best move is to start your own awards and give yourself all the prizes then things are not going to change anytime soon. It's just different ways of thinking. The same splits are in scenes the world over. Shanghai too, by the way.

6000 photos in Rock in China Flickr group

yang hai song
Photo by Flickr user Martin Star

Over at the blog of the Rock in China Wiki comes this news:

The Rock in China Wiki has all kinds of info and is generally inclusive, although I'd say their area of expertise is Beijing and heavy music.Their Flickr group now has over 6000 pics.

And don't forget - it's a Wiki and the photo group is open too, so if you do see something is missing: upload it. Give the guys a hand.

Rock In China Wiki dishes the metal

Thumbnail image for metal horns yuyintang
I've written before about China, and Shanghai's, metal scene but Max of the Rock in China Wiki is the true defender in the blogosphere.

The Rock In China Wiki Blog has been busy posting recently and it comes as no surprise to find the majority of the new posts covering metal.

Here are three videos and an updated list of Wiki goodness. Keep up the good work.

Video: 641 (Tianjin)

The video links contain Chinese characters so if your system doesn't support them just go to the blog and have a look.

Zhenjiang Midi announce all-metal headliners

Midi have announced the headliners for the Zhenjiang festival.

News courtesy of Max at the Rock In China Wiki blog here:

These are the bands:

Midi are already famous for being hard-rock/metal oriented, in part because it came out of a rock school that produces technical guitarists and musicians' musicians. This happens all over the world. With this announcement though they have kind of painted the festival with the metal brush. In some ways this is good as there's so many wishy-washy festivals this year and this gives them a clear identity. On the other hand, despite all the tall tales, not that many people go and these bands surely put off non metal people. I guess I'm wondering if there are enough hardcore metal fans to support a festival of this kind in China. Midi have already done one festival this year, with a similar flavor and didn't do so well out of it.

Are you a metal person? Do you know that Soulfly is Max Cavalera's band that he formed after leaving legendary Brazilian outfit Sepultura? Does listening to Inner Space take you back to the classic days? No? Then you're not really a metal person. If you are then this is good news for sure.

Ooohh, controversy ... and more, the Shanghai sound

Thumbnail image for guiali d22
Update: Beijing Gig Guide added a post to the debate here and the comments at the Beijing Noise original post are racking up.

Two things.

Firstly, a couple of weeks back Max at Rock In China Wiki send me the outlines for three articles he was going to publish on the site. One was suggesting that Maybe Mars bands and D22 shows were soaking up all the Beijing scene's representation. Another was reminding us of all the other bands still there. A third was intoducing the good work done in other cities like Shanghai (where I came in).

The RIC Wiki is undergoing a server change so Max published the first two at the Beijing Noise blog here:

Rock In China Declares Independence, Puts the Smack Down on D-22

Then a few of us commented but the comments were stuck in moderation for a while so Matthew Neiderhauser published his reply via China Music Radar, who like the debate:

The Shanghai article is not out yet but I have an interesting story. A while back I did an article here and a podcast in which me and Jake had been throwing around the idea that Shanghai would soon move away from being known as a commercial pop-rock haven due to the work of Miniless and their upcoming CDs. 

Shanghai: Soon to be famous for experimental sounds?

Well, a local friend of mine went up to Midi and while she was there her group met some new friends who were a mix of local and international students. They got to talking the scene on one of the evenings. The Beijingers said that the scene there was a bit odd as the fans don't get easily excited or impressed and they've seen the main bands many times. 

Here's the thing, they admitted being very interested in the Shanghai scene now and mentioned Boojii as an example of a more interesting band. Another student admitted defecting to Strawberry for half a day specifically to see Boys Climbing Ropes and thought it unfair that they were on right up front as they are a great band. The Miniless bands were all talked about and also the idea that Shanghai music fans are more enthusiastic and willing to rock out and have a good time.

This is very encouraging. Although now we need Beijing promoters like Hotpot and Modern Sky to stop doing ridiculous things like putting on bands midweek and for three times the going price. We're not that enthusiastic.

Talk time: political punk?

Clean everything
In a recent post, Elaine Chow at Shanghaiist linked an AFP story that called out Chinese rock as being toothless because it wasn't political.

I felt the article was shallow and had a number of conceits and dodgy premises. It held China to standards not present in The West and falsely imagined a past where China had an independent scene that was political motivated.

My post is buried now but there have been some thoughtful comments which I would like to re-present here. Thanks to those who contributed.

The discussion comes after the jump ... enjoy.

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! 


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