A variety of friends of this website teamed up to leave us with this reminder of the Shanghai Expo and its most wholesome of messages “Better City, Better Life”. Rapper Tang King, videographer Bas Roeterink and Massive Music’s Diederik van Middelkoop put this video together to commemorate the beauty of the Shanghai streets. Watch, enjoy
Music video featuring Tang King, featuring Shanghai’s beautiful streets post-Expo
OK, so the last 6 months have gone pretty quickly. One minute, Shanghai was opening the Expo, the next it was gone in a puff of concrete dust and renewed construction. Seriously. The blue skies that have beamed benevolently down on us for much of the last 6 months have pretty much gone immediately, leaving a pall of dust particles thick on the air.
We covered briefly the question of whether Expo was good for China’s nascent music industry or not HERE. We have to be honest though – we didn’t make it to the Expo site one single time (actually, we made it to the Puxi side once during the day for a site visit for an event that never happened, and once to see a band that we knew that were playing the concert hall there, but we never made it East-side to see the pavilions and the huge concrete behemoth.
We have of course spoken to LOTS of people about their experiences. Some people have loved it, some people have made a LOT of money out of it (the amount spent on the event boggles the mind – much of it wasted in our opinion), but for the majority, it has passed by without much real impact. Honestly, aside from new infrastructure, we have hardly noticed its existence. A couple of people we know and admire have reviewed the Expo effect extensively and we would like to point you towards the Telegraph’s Malcolm Moore being interviewed by Adam Minter at Shanghai Scrap HERE (a limp pillow bag of salad) and Andy Best at Kungfuology regretting the regression of the indiginous Shanghai music industry as a result. You can read his Orwellian point of view HERE.
The Expo itself was culturally shallow and showy and came at the cost of further crackdowns on the actual arts scene.
That’s not to say there aren’t positive reviews out there. We just haven’t read them yet. If you have, please point us in that direction.
[awesome image of Haibot courtesy of Shanghaiist's Halloween party]
And for our last trick before leaving on a 10 day break, we give you an in depth interview with Guy Ngata. Guy is the General Manager of the new AEG joint venture, the massive, crazy, UFO looking entertainment centre that is currently servicing Shanghai’s World Expo.
This is something that we’ve been mulling for the last month or so, brought to a head with slightly disappointing turnouts for both the TransmitCHINA tour that our partner company Split Works put together in the first week of June and also nearly all the shows that we’ve attended over the last couple of months.
The backstory: we are just 6 weeks into Shanghai’s World Exposition 2010, and while according to most, the turnouts to the National Pavilions and the Expo site proper have been massive (although we have heard a couple of contrarian reports saying the numbers are WAY down on pre-event predictions), the volume of acts coming through China’s major live houses, theaters and clubs as a result of said Expo are somewhat traumatizing what was/ is still a shallow and immature market for foreign entertainment. Take this coming weekend for example: alongside the STD 3rd Birthday extravaganza and Wonky Kong’s Drop the Lime, there is the French “Fete de la Musique”. A kaleidoscopic weekend featuring over 20 shows, all for FREE.
UPDATE: Yuyintang is apparently back open for business. Let’s hope these are the last problems for Shanghai venues this year. Somehow we think not…
Shanghai Expo is almost upon us. Our “excitement” about this 6 month jamboree (with the most awesome lineup imaginable) has been tempered somewhat by the oh-so-predictable noose-tightening that in now in full flow in Shanghai.
First, we had the ruffling of LOgO feathers last weekend. This weekend just past, we’ve seen the even more autocratic raid on YuYinTang, a little venue that is both the heart of Shanghai’s music scene, and the focus of much of the Shanghai based international artist activities over the next 6 months.
I don’t know about you people, but we here at Radar HQ do love a bit of the Boston Globe’s Big Picture. Step THIS WAY for a wonderful inside look at Shanghai’s Expo construction project. Some of those pavilions are c-r-a-z-y.
At risk of cliches or bad humor, what was the Dutch architect smoking?