Did we all jinx it by getting our hopes up? By “we all” I mean the million reports on the invitation Chinese rock’s alpha and omega, Cui Jian, received to perform on China Central Television’s massivest Spring Festival Gala, and the zillions of zeros and ones involved in the multi-lingual speculations as to whether he’d play “Nothing to My Name” if he accepted.
Alas. Call it the Year of the Hoarse. The New Year will not kick off with a yaogunny bang. At least not on CCTV.
Continue reading “Year of the Yaogun: UPDATE”
Spring Festival, aka Chinese New Year is upon us. The first day of the Year of the Horse is January 31, which means that on the eve of January 30, a ridiculous number of people will be in front of their television sets, en famille, to watch the always-extravagant and never understated New Year’s Gala (春节联欢晚会). Broadcast on China Central Television, the massive event is something akin to the Superbowl Halftime Show meets Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve by way of Jerry Lewis Telethon and American Idol finale—only bigger. Sketches, musical performances, comedy routines, celebrity appearances and more ring in the new year as only Chinese variety-show television can. Recall, when you imagine the scale and scope of such a performance, what Beijing did for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in 2008, and you start to have an idea of what it all looks like.
Though there is nothing that could be less yaogun than the Gala, there are hints that this year’s gala just might get a little dose of rock and roll.
Continue reading “Year of the Yaogun…”
In light of the Year of the Snake’s arrival, I put together a playlist, of sorts, for CBC Music. Anything to direct folks away from the madness of China Central Television’s Spring Festival Gala variety-show-on-steroids-laced-with-Angel-Dust-and-acid madness, and what better way than with yaogun.
(though, on the Canadian Content front, we rejoice, if reservedly, as Celine Dion and Mark “Da Shan” Roswell will both appear. For those outside of China, Roswell is the most famous Canuck in China, having mastered a traditional comedic style and appearing in commercials, billboards, TV shows and more across China for the better part of the last two decades).
As always, there were a million tunes that didn’t make the cut, because, well, you gotta cut it off somewhere…
Check out my Snake Year rock playlist at CBC Music’s blog.