'alternative china' links to articles in english about the new music scenes springing up all over china. composed by australasian diy music specialist shaun/tenzenmen (http://www.tenzenmen.com)

 

AV Okubo: Building a dance-punk dynasty
The lifestyles of the rich and famous are explored in AV Okubo’s eagerly anticipated sophomore album, Dynasty. Catch the band live, at the album release party on April 19 at Yugong Yishan.
“The album’s Chinese name Yi Pin Guo Ji translates as ‘first class international.’ It deals with the expectations of the upper class,”explains AV Okubo’s frontman and keyboardist, Lu Di.
“We wanted the English name to be a rough translation, like English titles of Hong Kong movies. Our producer Andy suggested Dynasty after the American TV show about oil tycoons. We loved it. We all used to watch it when it aired on CCTV in the early 90s and it’s also the name of China’s most expensive wine.”

AV Okubo: Building a dance-punk dynasty

The lifestyles of the rich and famous are explored in AV Okubo’s eagerly anticipated sophomore album, Dynasty. Catch the band live, at the album release party on April 19 at Yugong Yishan.

“The album’s Chinese name Yi Pin Guo Ji translates as ‘first class international.’ It deals with the expectations of the upper class,”explains AV Okubo’s frontman and keyboardist, Lu Di.

“We wanted the English name to be a rough translation, like English titles of Hong Kong movies. Our producer Andy suggested Dynasty after the American TV show about oil tycoons. We loved it. We all used to watch it when it aired on CCTV in the early 90s and it’s also the name of China’s most expensive wine.”

You should already have The Sound Stage bookmarked - but just in case…..

Interview: Han Han, Duck Fight Goose
Duck Fight Goose, Shanghai’s most established rock band, is drifting. A major phase ended when their longtime drummer Da Men and her husband Brad Ferguson, the band’s former manager/live sound technician, moved to Austin, TX at the end of 2012. Since then, the core trio of guitarist Panda, bassist San San, and vocalist/guitar/synth fiddler Han Han has pivoted, moving more toward electronic sounds and integrating the by comparison jazzier rhythms of new drummer Jean Baptiste. The reconstituted Duck Fight Goose has played out a bit — they came to Beijing three times last year — but their first major trial starts this Friday at Yugong Yishan with the kickoff of the transcontinental China Drifting Festival. I talked to band leader Han Han about the lineup change, bringing Chinese rock abroad, “hard sci-fi,” and how Shanghai is like a disintegrating tape loop:

Interview: Han Han, Duck Fight Goose

Duck Fight Goose, Shanghai’s most established rock band, is drifting. A major phase ended when their longtime drummer Da Men and her husband Brad Ferguson, the band’s former manager/live sound technician, moved to Austin, TX at the end of 2012. Since then, the core trio of guitarist Panda, bassist San San, and vocalist/guitar/synth fiddler Han Han has pivoted, moving more toward electronic sounds and integrating the by comparison jazzier rhythms of new drummer Jean Baptiste. The reconstituted Duck Fight Goose has played out a bit — they came to Beijing three times last year — but their first major trial starts this Friday at Yugong Yishan with the kickoff of the transcontinental China Drifting Festival. I talked to band leader Han Han about the lineup change, bringing Chinese rock abroad, “hard sci-fi,” and how Shanghai is like a disintegrating tape loop:

36 hours in America with Beijing’s Carsick Cars and WHITE+
If you ever visit China, be prepared to dive deep into the proper wormhole that is their music scene. It happened to me, and it happens to almost everyone. In fact, why not do it right now? Start with the tenzenmen bandcamp.  It’s all uphill from there.  Hell, since returning from my trip to kick off The World Underground, I have sent many people down that path, and met many more who are all equally excited.

36 hours in America with Beijing’s Carsick Cars and WHITE+

If you ever visit China, be prepared to dive deep into the proper wormhole that is their music scene. It happened to me, and it happens to almost everyone. In fact, why not do it right now? Start with the tenzenmen bandcamp.  It’s all uphill from there.  Hell, since returning from my trip to kick off The World Underground, I have sent many people down that path, and met many more who are all equally excited.

INTERVIEW: ALPINE DECLINE ON ALPINE DECLINE
With the Beijing pollution index hovering around 500 PSI a week and a half or so ago – seriously people, the sun was literally blocked out for something like FIVE WHOLE DAYS – we figured Jonathan and Pauline of Alpine Decline were probably busy sitting around their flat, staring daggers at one another with bleary, bloodshot cartoon eyes, so we thought it best we give ‘em something to do before an impromptu Russian Roulette session ensued. That something, as it turned out, was the task of interviewing each other, ‘cuz, you know you wanna know everything there is to know about what makes these happily married musos tick, at least, we do…and we’re a pretty damn good representation of, er, you…I guess? Also, the fact that we goaded these kids into doing this saved us a whole hell of a lot of transcription legwork! Ahem, right. Many thanks to J&P for actually taking the time to sit down and hash this bad boy out – yadda, yadda, yadda. So now, ladies and gentle-people, children of all (emotional) ages, without further ado…

INTERVIEW: ALPINE DECLINE ON ALPINE DECLINE

With the Beijing pollution index hovering around 500 PSI a week and a half or so ago – seriously people, the sun was literally blocked out for something like FIVE WHOLE DAYS – we figured Jonathan and Pauline of Alpine Decline were probably busy sitting around their flat, staring daggers at one another with bleary, bloodshot cartoon eyes, so we thought it best we give ‘em something to do before an impromptu Russian Roulette session ensued. That something, as it turned out, was the task of interviewing each other, ‘cuz, you know you wanna know everything there is to know about what makes these happily married musos tick, at least, we do…and we’re a pretty damn good representation of, er, you…I guess? Also, the fact that we goaded these kids into doing this saved us a whole hell of a lot of transcription legwork! Ahem, right. Many thanks to J&P for actually taking the time to sit down and hash this bad boy out – yadda, yadda, yadda. So now, ladies and gentle-people, children of all (emotional) ages, without further ado…

L002: 3/7 The Tic Tac/Posh Inverse/Selfkill @ Revolver
"REVOLVER MUTHAFUCKA" reads the banner on the back wall. Doors opened at 21:40, but we got there early. Show actually started around 22:20, am I getting old and impatient? The venue is 3 stories, with an occupancy capacity of 117. This place is tiny and cig city but I can dig it. Shoutouts to the couple that showed up from NTU Rock Club, I’m sorry I forgot your name dude QQ. I’ll make it up by catching your show later this month!

L002: 3/7 The Tic Tac/Posh Inverse/Selfkill @ Revolver

"REVOLVER MUTHAFUCKA" reads the banner on the back wall. Doors opened at 21:40, but we got there early. Show actually started around 22:20, am I getting old and impatient? The venue is 3 stories, with an occupancy capacity of 117. This place is tiny and cig city but I can dig it. Shoutouts to the couple that showed up from NTU Rock Club, I’m sorry I forgot your name dude QQ. I’ll make it up by catching your show later this month!

Beijing’s Carsick Cars on the cusp of China’s indie-rock explosion
Though now at the heart of Beijing’s flourishing indie scene, when Carsick Cars formed back in 2005, there really wasn’t any scene to speak of.
There was music, of course: mostly big, broad pop. Rock existed; the genre had been pioneered in the ’80s by a fellow named Cui Jian, whose song “Nothing to my Name” became the protest anthem of students at Tiananmen Square in ’89. But Jian was a lone figure whose influence was respected but not necessarily replicated. In terms of local bands playing loud music for reasonabley sized audiences, there was next to nothing.

Beijing’s Carsick Cars on the cusp of China’s indie-rock explosion

Though now at the heart of Beijing’s flourishing indie scene, when Carsick Cars formed back in 2005, there really wasn’t any scene to speak of.

There was music, of course: mostly big, broad pop. Rock existed; the genre had been pioneered in the ’80s by a fellow named Cui Jian, whose song “Nothing to my Name” became the protest anthem of students at Tiananmen Square in ’89. But Jian was a lone figure whose influence was respected but not necessarily replicated. In terms of local bands playing loud music for reasonabley sized audiences, there was next to nothing.

ALPINE DECLINE’S AUSTRALIAN TOUR DIARY
Dear Diary,
I really wish I could have gone along on the Alpine Decline Australia tour like my colleague here at Genjing World HQ Beijing PRC, Nevin, who tagged along under the auspice of “tour managing” or “networking” or some such thing. Must have been nice to fly on down to the southern hemisphere and work on your tan at backyard BBQs and shit while I hold down the fort here in -13 degree Beijing! Yeah, I’m a little bitter/jealous – if you weren’t a freakin’ book, you would be too! Anyway, to rub it all in just a little bit more, it turns out that Jonathan from Alpine Decline keeps a Diary too and now Nevin has asked me to post entries from it on the Genjing website, surrounding the band’s afore mentioned Australia jaunt. The balls on that guy, right?! They’ve even included a playlist of all the great bands they met down under. Some people have all the luck!

ALPINE DECLINE’S AUSTRALIAN TOUR DIARY

Dear Diary,

I really wish I could have gone along on the Alpine Decline Australia tour like my colleague here at Genjing World HQ Beijing PRC, Nevin, who tagged along under the auspice of “tour managing” or “networking” or some such thing. Must have been nice to fly on down to the southern hemisphere and work on your tan at backyard BBQs and shit while I hold down the fort here in -13 degree Beijing! Yeah, I’m a little bitter/jealous – if you weren’t a freakin’ book, you would be too! Anyway, to rub it all in just a little bit more, it turns out that Jonathan from Alpine Decline keeps a Diary too and now Nevin has asked me to post entries from it on the Genjing website, surrounding the band’s afore mentioned Australia jaunt. The balls on that guy, right?! They’ve even included a playlist of all the great bands they met down under. Some people have all the luck!

[Culture Bureau]: Zhang Shouwang
Zhang Shouwang, the soft-spoken leader of Beijing indie scene linchpins Carsick Cars and White+, doesn’t need much of an introduction for anyone who’s been half-seriously following the Chinese music scene at any point over the last seven years. His sunglassed visage — an homage to one of his heroes, Andy Warhol — has been in the pages of The Wall Street Journal and New York Times, not to mention virtually every Chinese publication covering the rise of this country’s emerging generation of cosmopolitan, middle-class youth and its new (sub)cultural elite. If you do want an introduction, though, this is probably your best bet. In fine Culture Bureau fashion, we start from the beginning. The following is cobbled together from two separate interviews, one done at a Gulou cafe in late 2011, the other last Sunday in Carsick Cars’s practice room, where they were gearing up for Friday’s album release show. 

[Culture Bureau]: Zhang Shouwang

Zhang Shouwang, the soft-spoken leader of Beijing indie scene linchpins Carsick Cars and White+, doesn’t need much of an introduction for anyone who’s been half-seriously following the Chinese music scene at any point over the last seven years. His sunglassed visage — an homage to one of his heroes, Andy Warhol — has been in the pages of The Wall Street Journal and New York Times, not to mention virtually every Chinese publication covering the rise of this country’s emerging generation of cosmopolitan, middle-class youth and its new (sub)cultural elite. If you do want an introduction, though, this is probably your best bet. In fine Culture Bureau fashion, we start from the beginning. The following is cobbled together from two separate interviews, one done at a Gulou cafe in late 2011, the other last Sunday in Carsick Cars’s practice room, where they were gearing up for Friday’s album release show

VINYL & DIY IN BEIJING - INTERVIEW WITH GENJING RECORDS’ NEVIN DOMER
Nevin Domer is the founder of Genjing Records, an independent record label and incubator of international collaborations at the forefront of the Beijing’s emerging vinyl and DIY music scenes. Nevin talks to CREATIVE ASIA about Genjing Records’ recent collaborations and which Beijing DIY and punk artist to watch.

VINYL & DIY IN BEIJING - INTERVIEW WITH GENJING RECORDS’ NEVIN DOMER

Nevin Domer is the founder of Genjing Records, an independent record label and incubator of international collaborations at the forefront of the Beijing’s emerging vinyl and DIY music scenes. Nevin talks to CREATIVE ASIA about Genjing Records’ recent collaborations and which Beijing DIY and punk artist to watch.

PK14′s Yang Haisong on Chinese Dystopia and Their Dangerous Album
In a country that gives new vividness to the word Orwellian, releasing an album called 1984 is a pretty ballsy move. But if anyone could get away with it, PK14 could. For years, the band—who are widely viewed as the godfathers of China’s underground scene—have been pushing the envelope with songs that explored (albeit in somewhat abstract terms) what it means to live in a place defined by a system of silence and repression. In that vein, 1984, PK14’s fifth studio record and first release in five years, goes further than ever before. It’s a stark, powerful rock album that combines frontman Yang Haisong’s rending vocals with pummeling percussion and lean, dissonant riffs. Though, like their previous work, 1984 features Yang’s characteristically oblique lyrics, the record’s title and tagline —“a dangerous album”—leave no doubt as to its authors’ intentions.

PK14′s Yang Haisong on Chinese Dystopia and Their Dangerous Album

In a country that gives new vividness to the word Orwellian, releasing an album called 1984 is a pretty ballsy move. But if anyone could get away with it, PK14 could. For years, the band—who are widely viewed as the godfathers of China’s underground scene—have been pushing the envelope with songs that explored (albeit in somewhat abstract terms) what it means to live in a place defined by a system of silence and repression. In that vein, 1984, PK14’s fifth studio record and first release in five years, goes further than ever before. It’s a stark, powerful rock album that combines frontman Yang Haisong’s rending vocals with pummeling percussion and lean, dissonant riffs. Though, like their previous work, 1984 features Yang’s characteristically oblique lyrics, the record’s title and tagline —“a dangerous album”—leave no doubt as to its authors’ intentions.

Chinese Indie Music Mixtape (#30): 马肉 2014 – Curated by Josh Feola of Pangbianr
马肉 (Horse Meat) 2014: a mix of Chinese music by Josh Feola of Pangbianr (旁边儿) for REDEFINE. World premieres, practice demos, deep cuts, and stone cold classics from the Chinese rock underground circa 2014.

Chinese Indie Music Mixtape (#30): 马肉 2014 – Curated by Josh Feola of Pangbianr

马肉 (Horse Meat) 2014: a mix of Chinese music by Josh Feola of Pangbianr (旁边儿) for REDEFINE. World premieres, practice demos, deep cuts, and stone cold classics from the Chinese rock underground circa 2014.

OTS: The Dyne, white +, Chui Wan (21.12.2013)
Gotta give VICE credit, son of bitches sure know how to throw a show – between one of their staff ‘secretly’ giving out jello shots, to the neon-infused giant posters, heck, I swear they even had a hype man amongst the crowd up front, rallying audiences to get their asses moving (something I’ve definitely have attempted to do though minus the charm) – the magazine was undeniably looking to make a statement at Yugong Yishan. And with a stellar lineup that included some the scene’s most exciting acts including The Dyne, white +, Chui Wan, as well as The Big Wave and Canadian electro monsters Holy Fuck! they earned it.
(Videos in link)

OTS: The Dyne, white +, Chui Wan (21.12.2013)

Gotta give VICE credit, son of bitches sure know how to throw a show – between one of their staff ‘secretly’ giving out jello shots, to the neon-infused giant posters, heck, I swear they even had a hype man amongst the crowd up front, rallying audiences to get their asses moving (something I’ve definitely have attempted to do though minus the charm) – the magazine was undeniably looking to make a statement at Yugong Yishan. And with a stellar lineup that included some the scene’s most exciting acts including The Dynewhite +Chui Wan, as well as The Big Wave and Canadian electro monsters Holy Fuck! they earned it.

(Videos in link)

MP3 Monday: 14 for ‘14
MP3 Monday is a weekly SmartBeijing column, serving up MP3s from bands living and making music in China (or coming to China, or thinking about coming to China, or whatever). 

MP3 Monday: 14 for ‘14

MP3 Monday is a weekly SmartBeijing column, serving up MP3s from bands living and making music in China (or coming to China, or thinking about coming to China, or whatever). 

On the Beat, No Holds Barred: 10 Questions with SUBS Drummer Carl Edmunds
I’m kinda bummed I didn’t get around to doing this before and now, it’s more of an exit interview as Carl is set to play his goodbye show with SUBS Friday night at Mao Livehouse.. but here it is folks, 10 questions with Carl Edmunds about his experience in argually one of the more interesting underground bands in China over the last decade. Love them or hate them, SUBS are different. In these 10 questions, we get a look at some behind the scene.. Let’s go!

On the Beat, No Holds Barred: 10 Questions with SUBS Drummer Carl Edmunds

I’m kinda bummed I didn’t get around to doing this before and now, it’s more of an exit interview as Carl is set to play his goodbye show with SUBS Friday night at Mao Livehouse.. but here it is folks, 10 questions with Carl Edmunds about his experience in argually one of the more interesting underground bands in China over the last decade. Love them or hate them, SUBS are different. In these 10 questions, we get a look at some behind the scene.. Let’s go!