Five years ago, on April 9, 2009, we lost one of the great English voices of Chinese rock: Ian Sherman, who succumbed to the cancer he had been fighting—and about which he had been writing—for just over a year.
I think it’s fitting that my five-year anniversary post comes in a few days after the actual anniversary. Not because Ian was ever missing deadlines, but because his writing wasn’t concerned with anything so pedestrian as surface details. It was the experience of the thing in question. It’s not the date: It’s what happened.
Continue reading “Ian Sherman: Five Years Ago”
An unusual though, unfortunately, not completely out of the realm of the related subject for this space. Sino-Japanese relations are again in the news, most recently due to a Prime Ministerial visit to a shrine. It’s an incident that plays out repeatedly: The Chinese see the trip as Japanese celebration of war criminals and crimes; the Japanese make the trip to honour those they believe died defending the nation.
At no point between, say, 1931 and today have Sino-Japanese relations achieved a status that might be described as anything better than strained. And the invocation of Harry Potter villainy on both sides only brings things to a new level. It’s a small step from fantasy books and films to yaogun. Though one might not imagine yaogun, or the Midi Music Festival—the country’s longest-running festival—to exist in a context in which this matters, the truth is that there are very few contexts, if any, in which it doesn’t matter. Thusly is a look back called for.
It was, in October of 2003, a risky proposition to invite a Japanese rock band to participate in the fourth Midi Music Festival.
It went from risky to off the DefCon charts after the orgy.
Continue reading “Sino-Japanese Relations. And yaogun. And Sex.”
So Bob Geldoff, he of Band/Live Aid, Boomtown Rats, etc fame, recently told MOJO that “the rock and roll age is dead. Elvis won. Little Richard won.” (a big xiexie to Far Out Distant Sounds for the tip)
The good news? China. Of course.
Continue reading “Rock and Roll is Dead! Viva Yaogun!”
A long-overdue post to flog an event that brings dissident/artist/dissident-artist/etc Ai Weiwei together with yaogun happening at the Art Gallery of Ontario on THURSDAY SEPT 5.
Continue reading “Yaogun + Art”
News has broken that a a permit for a Shanghai Metallica show this August has been issued. A permit, one is quick to add, that answers the question we know you’re wondering: Metallica rolls in a ninety-four-person posse.
Timely, then, to look back, as so often this space does, on the last time Metallic rumbles were sent through the Middle Kingdom.
Continue reading “Metallica in China: This Time, It’s Real”