Tag Archives: Yugong Yishan

Noisey Global Launch: Beijing review

Yang Haisong Still Has It: Noisey Launches in Beijing.

words: Ami Li

A recent Thursday night in Beijing marked the official launch in China of Noisey, a “Global New Music Discovery Platform.” A collaboration between VICE, Dell and Intel, the same team that brought the Creators Project to Beijing last fall, Noisey features mostly video footage of live shows and interviews with prominent, independently-minded bands and artists from around the world. Only launched formally in March of this year, Noisey has expanded rapidly into many markets and languages including Hindi and Portuguese as well as the expected French, German, Spanish and Chinese. Currently, the Noisey site features concert footage and interviews with four Chinese bands: Birdstriking, 24 Hours, Streets Kill Strange Animals, and Hedgehog.

For the Noisey’s coming out party in China, the organizers invited P.K. 14, Hedgehog and The Offset: Spectacles to perform at Beijing’s Yugong Yishan. Your faithful Radar correspondents were there on Thursday night to check it all out.

Like many PR events, this one started quite promptly on time (thus distinguishing it from many gigs). The Offset: Spectacles were on first, and we arrived belatedly, approximately two-thirds of the way through their set. All things considered, the droning, lo-fi sound that the band is known for suited the unique acoustic profile of Yugong Yishan. The subdued crowd appeared mesmerized by the sonic architecture coming from the stage. Always compelling in concert, The Offset: Spectacles continued their streak of hypnotizing performances, managing to achieve musical innovation with their steadfastly analog values.

PK 14 rock Yugong Yishan in Beijing for the Noisey.com launch

PK 14 rock Yugong Yishan in Beijing for the Noisey.com launch

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Yugong Yishan closed down

It seems like the noose around the neck of Beijing nightlife is closing ever tighter. According to Timeout, Yugong Yishan has been closed due to “fire regulations”. This isn’t the first time that Yugong has been in trouble – a few weeks back, Rustic’s show at the self same venue was closed down.

Whatever is happening in the ‘Jing? We can only hope that some of these recent decisions are temporary and reversed soon.

Vice x Intel x Dell = Noisey

In a follow up (or is it an addition – we don’t really know) to the Creators Project and Motherboard, Vice and their two main partners Intel and Dell have come up with Noisey, a music discovery platform. Featuring 2 bands from Beijing already (Birdstriking and 24 Hours), Noisey is about to launch officially with a party this weekend in, you guessed it, Beijing.

Noisey = Vice x Intel x Dell, Beijing launch

On a global basis, we are seeing more of these publisher, brand, editorial connections – immediately the Dazed and Swatch: Satellite Voices springs to mind. They definitely look good and serve a purpose. The only concern we would have is that significant and loyal fan bases take time to amass, and brand horizons don’t always tend to be that long. However, Vice in particular have done a good job in creating these long partnerships, which become stronger as time goes on. Get your ticket for the show by emailing beijing@noisey.com. You get PK14, Hedgehog and Offset: Spectacles for free – what could be better than that?

What’s going on? Suzhou Strawberry canceled…

UPDATE: There has been an official update on Douban. Apparently,

because of the recent thunderstorms, the basic facilities (at the Wujiang site) have been badly damaged, and can’t be fixed in a short time. so the festival has to be postponed, the new dates to be announced

It seems like the Gods of Chinese Music are conspiring against us on the eve of another landmark May Holiday where music festivals are slated to take over the country

First, Midi Festival in Beijing is forced to leave its spiritual Haidian Park home

Second, a spate of closures and cancellations in Beijing.

Third, and most seriously, it seems like the inaugural Strawberry Festival in Wujiang near Suzhou has been cancelled. Details are sketchy at present. We have picked up the following though:

  • mlive has stopped selling presale tickets
  • all volunteers have been informed that training is cancelled
  • the site setup has been stopped
  • Zuoxiao Zuzhou was taken to the local police station straight from the airport yesterday. He is out now, but he mentioned on Weibo that the festival organizers should not use the microblog broadcast on big screens: too risky
  • some bands such as Sound Fragment have confirmed the cancellation

This is all really bad for our industry. Part of an increasing cyclical trend away from freed0m of expressi0n?

UPDATE 2: courtesy of @mightyboom (this is the most believable for us)

Suzhou Strawberry Fest has been cancelled due to an unexpected uproar at Zhouzhuang Folk fest last weekend.

Last weekend’s Zhouzhuang Folk Festival, someone sent a message containing “Aye Way Way (sic.)” to the public tweet channel, which has been shown on the big screen. Aye Way Way, the famous Chinese dis-a-dent artist, was ‘kidnapped’ by police at Beijing Airport early this April. The message was deleted immediately, however, it did not stop people from tweeting more. Shortly ahead of Zuo Xiao Zu Zhou, a famous underground folk musician, came up on stage, young folks started yelling “Aye Way Way”. The whole ‘accident’ wasn’t planned at all, but it was one of the greatest reactions within China regarding the authority detaining Aye Way Way.

Until now, Aye Way Way has been missing for almost a month.

“Modern Sky”, known as the most influential Chinese indie label, was the host of both Zhouzhuang & Strawberry Fests.

What do we all want for the Music Industry in 2011?

Inspired by our friends over at Hypebot (things I hope for in the new music industry in 2011), we decided to put our own list together, Things We Hope For the Chinese Music Industry in the Year of the Rabbit. Rather than do it all ourselves (and take all the subsequent glory/ wrath), we enlisted the help of several of our fellow industry colleagues, trying to blend a good mix of indie and big, Chinese and Laowai.

Radar Rabbit

This is what we came back with. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

SHAN WEI, COO of the iconic Midi Festival

呵呵,我的两个2011期待是——

1)希望听到更多国内乐队创作的好专辑(是专辑,不是单曲或者EP。。。这两年好唱片实在是太少了)。

2)CCTV-1开始播出中国摇滚乐/音乐节的节目和新闻。

1. Hopes more Chinese bands will record good full-length albums (not singles, not EPs). There have been too few good albums in recent years.

2. CCTV-1 begins to broadcast programming and news related to Chinese rock music and music festivals.

GOUZI, GM of Beijing’s most popular live house, Yugong Yishan

希望2011年看到更多不同音乐风格的高质量演出在中国。 也希望有更多的中国音乐人走出国门,有机会展示自己并与国际音乐人交流。

1. Hopes that in 2011 there is more variety in genres of high-quality live shows in China

2. Hopes that more Chinese bands have a chance to tour outside of China to exhibit themselves and interact with international musicians.

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Beijing the new Montreal?

Here we go again…

This time, a Canadian publication blowing smoke up Beijing.  Again, at risk of overdoing what is happening in China’s musical underground, the article centers around the Maybe Mars China Invasion that we have covered HERE and HERE.

The article once again politicizes the music and the artists, but generally covers the current indie scene quite well.  You can read the full article HERE and make sure you read the hilarious and spammy comments…

Year of the Tiger

We hope you all had a wonderful Chinese New Year.  It is now year of the Tiger, and you can expect the following from the year (according to City Weekend)

The Tiger in 2010:

Tigers are the courageous iconoclasts of the Chinese zodiac. Brave and competitive, you Tigers dive into challenges at work, in life, and in love with unabashed zeal. But in the Year of the Tiger, you big cats tend to get kinda insecure and emotional. And all those tender little feelings will manifest themselves in the worst way imaginable.

If you get an inkling that something’s not going to your liking at work, your first instinct will be to get impatient. Who cares if your actions will offend subordinates and bosses? Pounce first, ask questions later! In love, on the other hand, insecurity takes its hold on you like a niggling ache. At best, you’ll find yourself relying on your partner for affirmation. At worst, you’ll focus all your nervous energy on your other half, demanding that he or she change to your liking. Needless to say, that’s a lot of pressure.

So in 2010, Tiger, when you’re unhappy and you know it, and you really want to change the world, there’s one word for you: Don’t. The Year of the Tiger is truly unsuitable for making any big changes. You must view any bad decisions made as good experiences had. Control your temper and seek inner peace.

So what should we in the music industry expect from this year of the Tiger here in China?  Casting an eye into the immediate future, we don’t think we’ve ever seen a busier month for the small to mid-size part of the market.  Venues such as the Maos, Yugong Yishan, Yuyintang, the Shelter, new Beijing clubs Lantern and White Rabbit (2) are all full to bursting this coming month, and at the bigger end of the market, Korea’s Super Junior and the Backstreet Boys are moving in for some stadium action.

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GBOB China

China Music Radar was on hand as The Global Battle of the Bands (GBOTB) Beijing Regional Final finished up on a recent Sunday evening at Yugong Yishan in Beijing. This was the culmination of four preliminary heats. Six bands – Rustic, Maggie Who, Out of Control, Metoo, Paier 派儿乐队 and Boy Number 6 competed for the top prize, with punk band Rustic, led by frontman “Lucifer,” emerging as the winner – Judges included local music industry luminaries Meng Jinhui from Modern Sky Records, Jon Campbell of promotion company YGTWO and Mark Klingspon, President of Gibson China among others.

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The politicization (or lack of it) in Chinese Rock today…

UPDATE: Andy Best has written a long and erudite post over at his excellent blog, talking about what politics really is and why this article (and many others) fail to appreciate the realities of life, pure and simple. You can read Andy’s full rant n’ roll HERE.  What Andy points out is that our world (or at least the vast majority of it) is pretty messed up – he refers to absolute poverty levels, and to the ongoing war in Congo, which is all very well and good, but when referencing music, takes the whole “politics” argument too absolutely.  We think Alice Liu’s article can be summed up as the following (and shouldn’t be limited to China, but is, because that is her area of expertise): musicians are influencers (particularly those who are young and extremely talented), and wouldn’t it be nice if they used their influence better (in the vast majority of cases), which we think is a perfectly fair point.  In China, this is particularly obvious, because this current crop of musicians can be compared very easily to their immediate predecessors.

A very interesting article in the Asia Times about the realities of rock music in China’s new middle classes. The thrust of the article is that emerging stars of the “underground” rock scene in China are now comfortably ensconsed as responsible citizens with jobs and a detachment from a political system that doesn’t really affect them on a day to day basis. For us, this could be an indicator of why we feel there is a relative lull in the Chinese alt-music industry, an apathy even, that is reflected from the bands to the fans.  Chinese kids aren’t engaging with the very real issues facing them, but because they are not being immediately suppressed and because they can play shows and release albums with relative impunity, they feel no need to talk about societies ills.  Saddest for us is the apparent disrespect that individuals like Shouwang have for their forebears and their struggles:

“We’re not into the politics and don’t care that much about the older generation: for them it was like religion. I don’t really listen to their music, including Cui Jian. As new bands come, the old ones demise.”

On the other hand, this apathy is not restricted to just Chinese youth.  Generation Y everywhere is famously a-political.  Our planet has undergone an unparalleled period of peace and prosperity, and young people the world over are more obsessed with money and fashion than with governments and society. Anyway, read for yourself HERE and let us know what you think.