Music + Art e-zine Shanghai 24/7, an English language website that has been covering Shanghai’s burgeoning arts scene for the last 2 years has decided to take on the raft of expat rags at their own game, morphing from online only to print as of this month of March. S24/7 has been doing a great job going a little deeper into the artists and musicians that make this city tick, and we wish them the best of luck in this new venture, named Pulp.
Midi Awards 2012 – the announcement is here, the nominees forthcoming, the party planned. Scheduled for this December 16th at M Space – the small theatre under the MasterCard Arena (aka Wukesong Arena), this year’s ceremony will feature performances from the likes of Chuanzi, Dongzi, Ordnance, Nova Heart, Brain Failure, Yaksa and Zhang Youdai. The awards categories are as follows:
1. 最佳年度摇滚专辑 (Album of the Year)
2. 最佳年度摇滚歌曲 (Song of the Year)
3. 最佳年度摇滚乐队 (Best Rock Performance By Group With Vocals)
4. 最佳年度摇滚男歌手 (Best Male Rock Vocal Performance)
5. 最佳年度摇滚女歌手 (Best Female Rock Vocal Performance)
6. 最佳年度硬摇滚乐队 (Best Hard Rock Performance)
7. 最佳年度金属乐队 (Best Metal Performance)
8. 最佳年度摇滚乐器演奏 (Best Rock Instrumental Performance)
9. 最佳年度摇滚现场 (Best Live Performance)
10. 最佳年度摇滚新人奖 (Best New Artist)
11. 最佳年度专辑设计奖 (Best Album Art)
12. 最佳年度民谣音乐奖 (Best Folk Music)
13. 中国摇滚贡献奖 (Award For Special Contribution To Chinese Rock)
14. 年度常委会奖 (Special Award By The Grand Jury)
The awards show is open to the public; presale tickets are 80 RMB and it costs 100 RMB to get in at the door. Student tickets are 50 RMB.
This just in, mainland e-commerce juggernaut 360buy have thrown their hat into the ring for paid, cloud-based music services. music.360buy.com debuted today with everyone from Hedgehog and Queen Sea Big Shark (we see you, Modern Sky) to Tizzy Bac, Maximillian Hecker and Tanya Chua. Prices range from Right now, you can also pick up free downloads from the likes of Eason Chan, Stefanie Sun and Sodagreen. Individual songs start at ¥1.99 and most albums go from ¥9.90 to ¥19.90 though we did spot an audiobook of Jane Austen’s Emma that was selling for a whopping ¥258.90 (or ¥1.99 per track).
The catch is of course, you can only play the songs on 360buy’s proprietary app, called LeMusic. However, with the catalogues of domestic heavy hitters such as Gold Typhoon, Taihe Rye Music and Huayi Brothers already signed on to the service, we may just have a new player entering the game.
Every year June 21st is “Fête de la Musique,” founded in France in 1982 and now celebrated in cities worldwide. This year sees the day of music come to Beijing for the first time, with performances by local and expat musicians all around the city. Punk heroes SUBS headline the event at MAO Livehouse, with 30 other bands playing in 15 venues across the Gulou neighborhood of the city. Every single performance is free and we tip our hats to the organisers for putting together the event AND keeping everything literally within walking distance.
Following yesterday’s International Day Against Homophobia, we bring to you two inspiring stories about Chinese and Hong Kong musicians and their campaigns in support of gay rights in China.
In a stadium concert at Hong Kong Coliseum in late April, pop star Anthony Wong (黄耀明) saved the night’s biggest revelation for last: he came out as gay in front of thousands of fans, saying “…I’m gay. I’m a homosexual. G-A-Y.” Though the region is known for many flamboyant pop culture figures of both sexes, Wong is only the second major Hong Kong performer to come out publicly and first to do so in such dramatic fashion. However, no word on whether Wong’s newly out status was addressed by him or others at the MMAX Music Festival in Beijing a week later (anyone who was there want to chime in?)
A week later in Shanghai, local band and pot-stirrers Top Floor Circus unveiled their own support for gay rights in an equally large-scale fashion at the conclusion of their headlining set on the first night of the Strawberry Festival in Shanghai. For their encore, the group performed a song by the late Hong Kong pop star Leslie Cheung, the first performer of his status to come out publicly, and who committed suicide nine years ago. Afterwards, the band gestured to the members of Nvai, a Shanghai lesbian group, who passed them a giant rainbow banner emblazoned with the phrase “同志爱音乐节” or “gays love music festivals.” Onstage, lead singer Lu Chen announced to the cheering audience “There is diversity in love. I hope you all love your real selves.”
Here at the Radar, we are always heartened to see and report of such displays of inclusion and togetherness in the industry we love so much. Not everything has to be tales of intellectual property malfeasance or brand campaigns gone horribly, horribly wrong. To everyone out there in China music land, no matter who (or what) you love, we support you!
Love is a mixtape, so they say. But for Vans x Midi Festival 2012, your mixtape is more of a risk than a love letter. Working with China’s favorite semi-legal streaming service Xiami as well as Sina Weibo and Renren, Vans敢放 is a new breed of social mixtape, where users are making it for themselves, their friends, and that cute girl from 2nd period chemistry class.
A simple (and completely Chinese) interface that lets users login with either their Xiami, Sina Weibo or Renren accounts. Once you’re in, you pick songs according to 5 questions posed by Vans:
1) The song you could play over and over again for the rest of your life
2) Your secret guilty pleasure song
3) The song you practise a lot but wouldn’t dare sing in KTV
4) A song that you want to recommend to someone you know (they give you the option to @ anyone on Weibo), that they wouldn’t think of listening to given the choice
5) A fantastic song that someone hasn’t listened to yet (you can also @ the person)
The Tiger went into a cocoon and a dragon emerged, glistening, with great expectations for music in China. These are our thoughts about the lay of the land for the rest of 2012. Think of this done in a rocking chair, looking contemplatively at the horizon while freezing half to death in the grip of Beijing’s winter
Every year for the last 5 years we’ve reflected in the (relatively) mellow time that is the Western and Chinese New Year extended break and thought about how far we have come and how big the upcoming year is going to be. Every year, the number of shows, festivals, live houses and especially promoters seems to increase exponentially and this one looks no different, with one big, nay massive great caveat.
Opinion is almost equally divided on the lay of the entertainment industry in 2012. Some say that a second Cultural Revolution is underway, others say that this year of the Dragon will be the most open and interesting year for entertainment and music particularly. Our own view is somewhere between the two. There has been a recent series of unfortunate closures of live houses in 2nd and 3rd tier cities, licensing artists is getting harder and there is of course a handover of political power: Hu Jintao giving way to Xi Jinping at the 18th Congress. That’s going to go down in September and official confirmation will be sometime after, so it will be very interesting to see how the October festivals fare.
It is likely that Beijing will become a very hard place to do anything. We hope not, but if the Olympics and the 60th anniversary of the Communist party were any kind of benchmarks, Dragon year will be rather less fiery than we hope……
Jon Campbell left China about a year ago. Those of us who were lucky to know him/ work with him looked with sadness as a foreigner with a real love and understanding of China’s music scene departed the maelstrom.
Jon gave hugely, helping Chinese bands break out (taking bands like Subs on European tours) and helping international bands in China through his promotions company YGTwo.
And he hasn’t stopped giving. Today, Red Rock was released on pre-order (you can buy it at Amazon). Jon did send us a copy, but we haven’t had time to wipe our noses over the last 3 months, more or less read a book. After September 18, we will be tucking in, as should you. Thanks Jon……..
Ballads, long saxophone solos and people proposing. Sounds like an advert for a wedding photographer, right? Wrong, this is the promo video for Midi’s latest offering in Rizhao, Shandong province. Checkit…
Iconic UK based music magazine Q is setting up shop in China. They’ve been working on the various business aspects since April of this year and are currently recruiting writers and looking at a September launch.
Print magazines are certainly in a growth phase in China (unlike the rest of the world) and we welcome anything that brings music news to the masses. However, music consumers generally exist in the 10 – 30 age range, and in this demographic particularly, people are moving away from long form writing: see the last 12 months in terms of Sina Weibo’s growth. Secondly, Q’s advertising (the key revenue driver) has historically been gig listings, artist/ label promotion and some few youth consumer brands. There has certainly been an upswing in competition here in the last 12 months – enough to keep a Q Magazine running? We hope so…