Our friends at Beijing Today will be swinging by every now and then to introduce art and culture around the city. This week, please meet independent filmmaker Lei Yong, whose debut The Young Play Games, The Old Play Tai Chi tells the life of China's "parasite singles," young people who have enjoyed education and opportunity but remain unemployed and hapless.
The first time Tasken competed on the TV show The Voice of China, the Chinese version of America’s Got Talent, he didn’t get through to the second round.
But the second time, he sang the song “A Lovely Rose” in Chinese. The judges were so impressed, they asked him to sing it in his native language – Kazakh.
Outro time! We're featuring an independent artist from Limerick, Ireland tonight, John Carroll, who has been singing and songwriting for the last decade. It was a tour that brought him to China in 2007, where he married and settled. He's been living in Hangzhou ever since.
It was more than a year ago (has it been so long?) that we posted about a Kickstarter called "Awesome Asian Bad Guys," in which two Los Angeles-based filmmakers sought to make an action-comedy Web series featuring a bunch of Asian bad guys you might have forgotten.
Ylvis's hit "The Fox" (What Does the Fox Say?) was the surprise viral song of the late summer. We can't believe it's taken all of nearly two months, but here, finally, is a parody of that video set in China, featuring that other wonderfully mysterious creature of the woods, by which we mean -- of course -- the giant panda.
The sketch comedy that I outlined last week ends with a return to proper gender norms: a husband taking responsibility for his wife and children. But before this can take place, Abdukerim’s character is confronted with the wide range of his sins and their social effects.
We don't have a lot of information about this video just yet, but it was sent to us recently by YouTube user Scott AH, whose e-signature suggests he's with Comedy Club China. It's a good one, if only for this scene at the 19-second mark:
Today on C4: The history of peeing against the Forbidden City wall... and, look, while we're talking about this, let's mention that there's a scene in this episode that you simply aren't going to see in any other state media outlet. I'm not talking about "robot testicles in my face," which, while we're thinking about it, seems pretty unlikely to be repeated on CCTV, either.
It's Friday, friends, and there's tons and tons of shit on this weekend. Tons and tons. Too much. Too, too much. And on top of all these good lookin' shows, it's Halloween as well. Damn. And it looks like it's going to be Halloween for the next three weeks or so as well. Seems like no one can figure out what day to celebrate it on. (Pssst! It's October 31, fuckers! That's when Halloween is! Not the Saturday before! It doesn't matter that you have to work the next day! It's on the 31st!)
Over the next few weeks I will be discussing the comedy of Abdukarim Abliz, the most famous of contemporary Uyghur comedians. Abdukarim is a tall distinguished-looking man from Kashgar famous for his carefully groomed mustache. Like other suave comedians (Stephen Colbert springs to mind) Abdukarim not only embodies a masculine ideal, he parodies it. Yet for all his quick-witted use of language, metaphor, and jawline, Abdukarim has something serious to say about Uyghur society. By making them laugh, he is trying to mirror how his Uyghur audience acts, talks, and thinks about common sense issues in society.
The first indication that the Qurban festival has arrived in Northwest China is the pooling of sheep outside every block of Uyghur tenements in the cities of Xinjiang. Quivering clumps of fat-tailed sheep are tied to branches as men begin sharpening knives for ritual slaughter. After the throat is cut, a small opening is made in a leg and air is blown from mouth to shank. The sheep is then hung from the nearest available beam or branch and skinned. Under ideal circumstances, every part will be used.
The wonderfully idiotic adults behind Rebecca Black's "Friday" have done it again, kidnapping what appears to be a sweet teenage girl and forcing her in front of the camera to perform the world's worst song. Ark Music Factory, led by producer Patrice Wilson (he's the dude in the panda costume; what panda costume, you ask? hang on), has topped itself with "Chinese Food," simply a glop of bewilderment and suburban American camp.
Welp. It's Friday night and… not too much on for live music this weekend. Bits and shits here and there, but looks like a pretty quiet one for the most part.
Incidentally, if you're not already hip to it, the Live Beijing Music blog does these comprehensive weekend preview articles that are really useful if you're looking for more of a complete picture of what's out there and not just some random guy throwing random videos at you Friday night…
In the summer of 2012, 46,000 (some estimate up to 60,000) Uyghurs gathered regularly for three hours of interethnic agonistic struggle. They came from hundreds of miles away, old bearded men, rotund mothers, young men and women clad in sky blue. They came to engage in identity politics, but even more important, they came because for 90 minutes in that southern Ürümchi stadium, they were free to be proud of their complex subjectivities.