NYC and Yaogun Yappin…

Next week, Dec 7-11, I’ll be in the Big Apple for talks across the NYC-area. So tell all your New Yorker friends…!

Here’s the skinny:

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2012, 7pm
In conversation with former Time Out Beijing music editor, Jennifer Conrad
Ran Tea House
269 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11211
Facebookers should join up here

MONDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2012 2.30pm
Dean’s Symposium: Asian Media and Popular Culture: Chinese State Television and Rock ‘n’ Roll
A panel discussion on the development of state media and popular culture in China, alongside Ying Zhu, author of Two Billion Eyes
College of Staten Island
1C – Green Dolphin Lounge
2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island
More info here

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2012 at 6.30pm
Colloquium for Unpopular Culture at NYU
Campbell introduces and discusses the amazing yaogun documentary Rock Heart Beijing (2008), which follows the adventures of Beijing-based garage-punk band SUBS as they tour China and Europe.
Room 471, 20 Cooper Square (East 5th and Bowery)
New York University, New York, NY 10003

Cui Jian Branches Out, Again…

He’s been a star onstage for thirty-odd years now, so it’s only reasonable that Cui Jian, the inventor of yaogun, would opt to join the action on other sides of the stage. And the action in question is not his film forrays: in 2009, he was one of three directors that contributed segments to Chengdu, I Love You (which, by the by, debuted at the Venice Film Festival); his 3D concert film came out earlier this year; and his full-length directorial debut, Blue Bone, which tells the story of a young musician, is set for a 2013 release. No, Cui is looking to branch out into another place altogether…

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Microblogging: 1, The Man: 0; Yaogun: ?

Big ups to China Music Radar for this juicy tidbit, in which we are told of how Weibo, China’s Twitter, helped Chengdu, Sichuan rock band Mr. Chelonian emerge victorious over AMC Group, the company behind a Tiger Beer Battle of the Bands competition that had refused to pay the fee the band was promised.

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Bring Culture to the Party

Photo, Reuters via

The Big Party just wrapped up in Beijing has meant many things to many people. “Sparta” (si ba da or 斯巴达), as the Sino-weboverse has dubbed the 18th Party Congress (shi ba da 十八大) in order to refer to the otherwise unreferrable-to, has taken over. Sure, there’s a transition of power, but what seems to be clearest in all the transitioning is that daily life for your average capital-city residents has been made difficult – to say nothing of what it’s done to the city’s pigeon-flyers and ping-pong-ball distributors and to taxi passengers driven by less-than-fragrant drivers. Beyond the Middle Kingdom, the world waited in anticipation to hear who would step up as the country’s CEO and who would be on the Board of Directors. The world’s media seemed transfixed, breathing with bate, as the world watched, carefully, who helped whom sit where, who strode up to the stage in front of whom, and, you know, other matters of international concern.

Among all the transitional talk comes reflections on China’s relationship with various nations; how the new boss(es) will do on that front. But here’s what nobody seems to be talking about: Culture.

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