Thursday, July 20, 2006

Chinese Rockers Play Taiwan for the First Time Ever

And Cui Jian gets axed from the lineup

Could Formosa TV have screwed up a concert any more royally? Cui Jian (崔建), the king daddy founding godfather ultimate dudeman of Chinese rock 'n roll, had applied three straight years to play the Hohaiyan Music Festival in Taiwan, and this year for the first time by some fluke or brain spasm or act of God finally got approval from Beijing authorities and was ready to come. This was to be a historic first, a landmark in cross-strait music, the first ever Chinese rock bands to play Taiwan.

So what happens? FTV axes Cui from the lineup because instead they want Black Panther and Tang Dynasty, two legendary China bands to be sure, but they are not Cui Jian. If the essence of Chinese rock 'n roll can be distilled to a single man, that man is Cui.

Two Japanese bands, Dragon Ash and 雅 (sorry, no English name at present), were also cut from the bill at the last minute, and some people were pretty pissed off by this.

At least this is what I heard from a longtime Beijing rock scene insider with solid connections to all of Taiwan's music festivals and Japan...

...who told me all this drinking beer outside the Beijing Club D-22, after the 8th band birthday concert for girl punk rockers Hang On The Box, who played for all of 25 minutes. (Great stuff tho.)

Cui Jian, said my can-of-Yanjing-beer-drinking source, wanted to come, but not to FTV's candy-assed pop parade. He wanted to come to the other Hohaiyan put on by Taiwan Colors Music (TCM), a real-deal indie label that founded Hohaiyan 6 years ago and only lost the fest this year through the supposedly "fair" practice of open bidding, which in this case was actually just money politicking. Ronnie Brownlow reported this much in the Taipei Times, but in the end had trouble ironing out the tangle on how the concert was split in two. The bottom line is that TCM got screwed out of the concert it created because the yokel bureaucrats at Taipei County Government controlled all the money and thought they knew better, so in the end TCM decided to do its own concert on the same beach but a week later. Then a typhoon came on FTV's weekend, so they delayed, which of course bumped TCM right off into oblivion. Record label head and visionary behind the whole thing, Zhang 43, announced that the TCM Hohaiyan is now delayed to next year.

"Of course a TV station can run a music festival better than a record company" is how I interpolate the idiot thoughts of the Taipei County Culture Bureau, who through Zhang 43 have stumbled on to a way to make a more popular and international version of the Changhua Flower Festival - "Heck, as long as there area sausage vendors, the people will come!"

(Now whether this has anything to do with the DPP losing Taipei County in last year's election to the KMT I'm not sure, though that was predicted by many. Still, FTV is not far removed from being a DPP propaganda arm....)

The Good News: Tang Dynasty (唐朝) and Black Panther (黑豹) play tonight (Friday), which will be historic. These are the first real rock scene bands from China ever to get permission to play Taiwan, something no one thought could happen after the last Taiwan concert by a Chinese group. That of course was by Pangu in Feb. 2004 - they went into exile immediately after the concert.

So everybody go, and tell me about it. Dagnabit. Wish I were there.

Tang Dynasty - Chinese Led Zepplin

Black Panther - when rock was for dudes!

More headlines:
崔健宝岛行告吹 民版海洋音乐祭遭台风搅局停办
(Cui Jian's Jewel Island Trip Cancelled: Hohaiyan Music Festival People's Edition Called Off)
【海洋音乐祭】官版恐因台风遭延期 民版伤脑筋
(Hohaiyan Music Festival: Official Version Delayed By Typhoon; People's Version Scratches It's Head)
海洋音乐祭大和解 角头义助唐朝黑豹工作人员赴台
(Hohaiyan Music Festival Compromise: TCM Helps Crews for Tang Dynasty and Black Panther Get Visas)


Blogger Micah said...

Didn't both of these bands disband years ago?

8:45 PM  
Blogger dachuxing said...

the bad news, I think, is that "HEI BAO" is no longer the one back in the heydays of their debut album some good-old ten years ago. I think their music is only worth hearing of the first two album. contributed by a 24 yrs X-Fan of sino-rock.

4:04 PM  

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