On Xmas, 1998, as they generally did on most nights, Beijing punks flocked to the Scream Club. But this time, it was different. It was Christmas. And: There would be an album.
The Washington Post‘s “Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide” goes into yaogun, and China, territory, somewhat unexpectedly. Under the guise of that most unhelpful of musical genre names “world music,” the article drops Cui Jian as a good gift for the musically-inclined international news-watcher in your life. But there’s a but here: The author points folks toward the album of young rockers’ covers of Cui Jian tunes, and this author would suggest – insist, really – that folks go right to the source and forgo the cover album.
We’d also be quick to add that bundling any Cui Jian music with a copy of Red Rock is really the best way to get the whole yaogun holiday thing happening.
While this particular blogger would recommend skipping anything remotely related to the Maotai liquor also suggested on this list, we will heartily second the Lao Gan Ma chili sauce recommendation.
The China Rock Midi Awards are set to be handed out this weekend, stepping up the proceedings by having the event at M-Space, the club attached to Beijing’s MasterCard Center, the arena formerly known as Wukesong and kitted out post-Olympics by international massive sports and entertainment presenters AEG. Big ups to Rock in China for their breakdown of the details, and history of the event and its producer. In Red Rock and here on this blog, I’ve moaned about the Awards in the past, but I’m optimistic, as I mentioned in my first post in this two-part series.
Alas, let’s turn to the nominees, which, you’ll note, line up almost exactly nothing like my picks. Almost. So I’m re-picking the folks I’d like to see win…
As year-end lists are compiled, yaogun gets its own list, thanks to China’s newest and rockiest awards to be handed out. From the people that brought us the Midi School of Music and then festivals across the country, the folks at Midi Productions have, three times, issued awards for the best yaogun in the country. The shortlist for the Fourth Annual China Rock Midi Awards (中国摇滚迷笛奖) has just been announced, yet again inspiring, erm, feelings across a wide spectrum…
Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the WNYC studios, for a chat with Leonard Lopate on his eponymous noontime NPR talkshow. In between authors of books on 17th-Century priest-scientists and the Kennedy family, we talked rock.
As of this writing, there was not yet the chance to stream my segment, but hopefully by clicking here often you will be able to check out what all we talked about.
New York has one more chance to hear from me: At NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute TONIGHT, Dec 11 at 6.30pm when I’ll be screening the excellent yaogunmentary, Rock Heart Beijing.