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.”
The deja-vu encountered by looking through the Modern Sky Festival’s early-October 2013 lineup inspired the penultimate post by the now-done-with-Tumblr Slink Rat. It’s a deja-vu this blog has also had, and one that all fans of yaogun and observers of China’s growing festival scene should, too. In short, Slink Rat questioned why, with as genuine a curiosity as one might intuit from a blog post, it is the case that the same bands play the festival every year. To that we might add the concern that this is happening across the festival landscape in a way, Slink Rat points out, that wouldn’t fly elsewhere.
Continue reading “Music Fest Deja Vu”
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”
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…
Continue reading “Cui Jian Branches Out, Again…”