How Does An Old British Folk Tune Find Its Way To China? Perhaps Through Simon And Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel
Recently I received an email and link from a Chinese friend who wanted to share her love of what she called “traditional Chinese whistling music.” This is indeed melodic whistling music. But if you’re old and foreign enough, you may recall “Are You Going to Scarborough Fair?,” popularized in the late ’60s by the US folk duo Simon and... Read more »

The Sound Stage: China’s Radiohead If Radiohead Played The Blues?

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We're fans of music here, so when Jonathan Alpart's latest episode of The Sound Stage on CRI found a band that describes itself as "Radiohead if they played the blues," we had to check it out. What do you think? 16 Minutes is the outfit. They ain't Radiohead, but the moral here is: aim high. Maybe you'll find yourself compared to Coldplay.

Cui Jian To Play Hunan Satellite New Year’s Eve Gala, Representatives Deny Duet With PSY

Cui Jian
While CCTV insists on appealing to the largest demographic and sucking, we’d like to remind everyone that Hunan Satellite TV has decided to take a chance on mainland rock’s alpha and omega, Cui Jian, to perform on its New Year’s “Mango” Gala on February 4 (7:30 pm). Rumors have been flying in the press that Cui would “likely not be playing his famous... Read more »

“Censorship You Motherfucker Bitch,” Because Seriously, Fuck Censorship

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China Digital Times brings us this rap video by Gao Yuan, featuring cosplay, martial arts, and English subtitles… and the line “Go censor your own motherfucker ass.” Via CDT: Artist Gao Yuan has produced a video based on the song “Nunchaku” by Taiwanese singer Zhou Jielun (Jay Chou), rewriting the lyrics to curse government censorship.

Sir Elton John In Beijing, Reviewed (Newsflash: He’s Old)

Elton John concert in Beijing featured image
Still a legend, but Sir Elton John was looking slightly less fabulous than usual Sunday night despite his electric blue glittery jacket and matching glasses. This was my first major concert in China, so I was prepared for the unexpected. After all these years, I wondered if he'd still have it. I wondered how Chinese crowds would respond to such a legend, and I really wondered if he was going to play his Lion King stuff. I'll be honest, I completely, unashamedly love the Lion King soundtrack.

A “Gangsta Rap” About China’s Dynasties

I’m not going to say this is good, but you know, modern rap has lowered our expectations. Anyway, here’s someone’s high school advanced placement project, subject: Chinese history. Explicit lyrics, of course, if you didn’t get that from the “gangsta rap” part of the title. Right, and it’s also racially charged — but you probably... Read more »

Your National Day Musical Interlude: Paul Robeson Sings The Chinese National Anthem

Paul Robeson Chinese national anthem
In 1949, civil rights activist, professional football player, and stage actor Paul Robeson -- a man of many talents, one would say -- toured Europe amid controversy over his political leanings (in one word: left). During this trip, Robeson, a friend of China whose father was a runaway slave, gave a rather famous rendition of "March of the Volunteers," a song that begins, "Arise! All those who don't want to be slaves!"