Monday, August 18, 2008

More on music in China

Andy Beta has a thoughtful and well-researched article on the Beijing rock scene in the new issue of Paste magazine. He interviewed me by email for it, and he has now posted my comments in full on his blog. As those who have talked to me on the subject know, I was impressed by the scrappy energy of this small scene but also think the musicians have a long way to go to define themselves:

The absence of new ideas in Chinese rock is partly due to a lack of confidence among the musicians: they haven’t fully figured out what it means to play rock music in their culture, what Chinese rock should sound like. All their musical heroes are Westerners, and they’re still making their way through that influence. It’s like England in the early ’60s: everybody’s still playing Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley covers, still learning a foreign musical language.

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