Yes, it’s another Cui Jian post, but it’s a Cui Jian post with news of developments in the man’s international career. For the first time ever, the music of the man who created, invented and stands atop yaogun, will be available on the international digital platforms that should have, realistically, had his music all along…
With the successful Chinese version of Pop Idol and the massive popularity of singing competitions going back to the earliest days of China’s pop music industry, it was really only a matter of time before The Voice, that massive superstar-laden singing competition, hit China. The Voice China (中国好声音)’s first season ran from July to October of 2012; season two kicks off this summer. With the American version’s debut earlier this week, why not look back at China’s version’s first season, right? The show’s first winner, named on the eve of the nation’s Oct 1 birthday, was Liang Bo.
There is yaogun here, I swear.
Late last year, it came to my attention that Beijing-based garage-punk act Subs had a song of theirs covered by Norwegian rockers Black Snakes. The band has just released a video for the tune, “Down,” which comprises a collection of footage from shows across China, and worth pointing folks toward.
So when Asia Society asked me who I thought would be China’s Psy, I figured I’d spent the last of my efforts referring to Gangnam and the Style thereof. But then, via Beijing Cream and a bunch of other spots, came news that Gangnam popped up again in China, and not in an unintelligible fashion by some international superstArtist. In Wuhan, workers owed wages danced the horsey-dance in front of the building they say they have yet to be paid for constructing.
When I found, on my various internetty feeds, sources and whatnots, references to an interview conducted by VICE magazine of Chinese rocker number one, Cui Jian, my attention, like many other China-watchers and -blatherers, was piqued. After all, who isn’t constantly on the lookout for Western media mentions of Chinese rock and roll?
From a Shanghaiist link, the video made its way to newsgathering blog Beijing Cream, China Digital Times and to this post at the Washington Post‘s WorldViews blog. The Post‘s post includes my statement – which I’ve also trumpeted in the pages of Red Rock as well as over WNYC’s radio waves and at as many other platforms as is humanly possible – that Cui deserves to be considered for inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
(“We shall consider,” quoth the Rock Hall website’s induction process page, “factors such as an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, but musical excellence shall be the essential qualification of induction.” It’s not that, say, Heart, or any of the other 2013 inductees don’t deserve admission, it’s just that, well: Raise your hand if you’ve taught a billion people to rock? Anyone…?)
But I digress.
In addition to being piqued by the video interview making rounds, my attention also experienced deja vu, if one might be able to attribute the experience of deja vu to one’s attention. That was because I’d seen this video before, back in 2008, when VICE first posted it.