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.”
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”
March 23 is Earth Hour, the World Wildlife Fund’s global participatory event to promote awareness of climate change. And so, a jouney into yaogun’s green connections…
Continue reading “Earth Hour, the Earth, and Yaogun”
In light of a recent piece in ChinaFile on the wackiest bunch of Shanghaiers in the land – and, for anyone in Beijing this weekend, in advance of the band’s performance there – I thought it appropriate to revisit the phenom that is Top Floor Circus.
The band’s frontman and founder, Lu Chen, who started out singing pop songs following his love of karaoke, dismissed Nirvana as the worst band ever when he first heard it, but came around soon thereafter, deciding that his goal was to make a band louder than Nirvana. Lu is finally ok with his pop roots: as he told ChinaFile, “we don’t mind being a pop band.” And he is bringing that pop to more folks than ever…
Continue reading “Shanghai Pranksters”
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…
Continue reading “My Midi Awards Nominees”