Culture Clash vs Three Represents

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culture clash.jpgLayabozi, "a web magazine about music in Shanghai today, with a sprinkle of the extra-mural and a tart sassiness--without ever being cloying", are going into events promotion. They put on this Mushroom Jazz event last weekend and tonight they're promoting an event called Culture Clash.

They're not the first website/events link in on the local music scene obviously. Rock Shanghai (more on them in a minute) have done the same - read the review of their one year anniversary here - did one back in July and Indie Heart Attack have their weekly DJ nights at Not Me. Hmm, maybe we should start doing a Kungfuology night. Just kidding. Hopefully these nights help drive more traffic to the sites in question and, as a consequence, this helps those sites develop and post more regular content. We'll see.

I'm not sure why they've called it Culture Clash to be honest. But what I do know is that it clashes with a big gig at MAO. Misandao, the skinhead punk band, are down from Beijing for a gig with two other punk bands that they're calling The Three Represents (in a nod to a famous speech by Hu Jintao). Not only that, but they've got Mortal Fools on the bill as well. That's a pretty fearsome line-up at any time, but throw in the news that it'll be drummer Tim Anderson's last gig with The Mo'Fo's and you've got yourself a potentially explosive night.

This is the first time since MAO opened where there are two fairly big gigs going on at both Yuyintang and MAO at the same time. I'm seriously not sure which one I'm going to go to at the moment - it's the first night where it's not been a no-brainer. That makes it interesting on two fronts: one, how many people will turn out at the respective gigs? Two, who will turn out?

MAO needs around 400 I'd say to have a decent atmosphere. It can pack in more of course, but any less and thing might start to look a little sparse. The reason Shanghai needs a mid-sized venue like MAO is because Yuyintang starts to get cramped at anything over 300. So how will it go? In a city of 19 million, it seems ridiculous that we should wonder whether both venues can be supported, but it'll be interesting to see what numbers both places get.

The other issue is who will turn up. Layabozi is an English-language site, but the flyer has gone out on Douban and is being promoted to the local Chinese crowd in much the same way as any other event at Yuyintang. Yet, as we saw with some of the reaction to the Global Battle of the Bands contest, some Shanghai natives seem to draw a line between the laowai bands and the Chinese bands.

The Culture Clash night (now that HardQueen have pulled out) has Duck Fight Goose, The Dovetail Joints, Uyghur/Weghur and Boys Climbing Ropes. DFG are a Miniless super group comprised of all-Chinese members. The Dovetail Joints are winners of last year's GBOB and Uyghur winners of this year's, which may bring connotations of the comments mentioned above. Boys Climbing Ropes have Little Punk as one of their singers and the rest of the band are laowai.

In my post about the GBOB and the associated comments, I quoted Sun Lu from YYT as I felt he expressed my opinion on this better than I could. Here's what he said:

"Shanghai is an international city - foreigners, people from outside of Shanghai, Shanghainese, their lives are here and they're all a part of Shanghai."
Exactly. Take Boys Climbing Ropes - they are a Shanghai band. They've contributed to and been a part of the scene for several years. They're also a fantastic band who consistently put on a great live show, something which the city needs more of. They are without doubt one of the Shanghai's finest acts. Little Punk should be up there as a scene figure in the same way that a Fu Han of QueenSea Big Shark is held up in Beijing. Shanghai band, laowai band, whatever - Boys Climbing Ropes are a quality act and they deserve to have a broad appeal amongst all sections of the local music scene.

But will the turn out for the gigs reflect this?

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