Rock in China: Black Panther

Black Panther today, with Zhang Qi in middle

Black Panther today, with Zhang Qi in middle. Guess who’s the youngest?

On July 17, veteran Chinese rockers Black Panther released their 6th album 《我们是谁》 Who We Are – a comeback 9 years in the waiting.

Into their 26th year as a band, Black Panther are regarded as one of the pioneers of rock, alongside Tang Dynasty. Despite the legendary success of their eponymous debut album back in 1991, the band has consistently been plagued by member changes and lacklustre subsequent albums.

This time round, they are joined by a new vocalist 张淇 Zhang Qi, a member of the post-80s generation. The band hope the younger blood will infuse them with much needed energy, and ideally, a brand new start to many more years in the music business. Zhang is multi-talented, not only is he lauded to resemble Japan superstar Kimura Takuya, he also handles the bass guitar with swag, and writes songs for the band.

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Speak of the devil: Super VC new album to be released

25913-thesupervc-i8sw That awkward time when an indie band looks better than most boybands

Soon after publishing the post on band Super VC, I received an email today informing me that Super VC just announced on their Douban page an upcoming album 8 months in the making. No details announced as yet, just some bones to keep the fans wagging!

The announcement also linked followers to frontman Sun Lingsheng’s Weibo, where he tweeted a poll asking people to vote for the songs in the album that seem the most awesome based purely on song title. In case you’re curious, we’re putting the poll here on Cfensi, with the 12 song track-list. Continue reading

Rocker Xie Tian Xiao gives you Chinese Zither Reggae Vol 1

This post is a bit late too, sorry!

On Dec 24th  Xie Tian Xiao  (incidentally also from Shandong for those keeping tally) gave his fans a memorable Christmas Eve, coinciding with the release of his new EP  Chinese Zither Reggae Vol 1, with four new songs.  XTX, who started off grunge,  influenced by Bob Marley later became fascinated with reggae, and incorporated it into his latter albums.  In this new EP  he blended in  zither instruments like the Gu Qin to create a style of  “Chinese reggae”.  A full album of “Chinese Zither Reggae” is in the works to be released later.

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Singer-Songwriter Release News

Acoustic Peng Tan!

While some of my favorite idols/actors/etc  have been releasing,  there’s an interesting mix of other news about singersongwriters aka really artists I like or respect but have a hard time making a full post on because it’s harder to find their songs/vids for recently releases on youtube.

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Kimi’s MV for Window of Dreams

I wasn’t whether I should wait for Kimi’s other two MVs to post  but I decided to anyway because thematically, this MV is different from the others. This one reflects Kimi’s deal with promoting Windows 7 in the China market, which might give some knee-jerk reaction, but commercialism is rather embedded in Asian pop culture, even for rock bands (see Mayday’s Fang Si). It also got Kimi appearances on Hunan TV, promotion he needs because Chengtian reportedly spent a ton on perfecting the album.

Mini Pic-spam below of Kimi from his release because he has such pretty Chinese Opera-like features that always makes me stare.

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December Jammed With Releases From The Male Side of Cpop

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Kimi in the MV for Window of Dreams on his upcoming album

Releases from mainland female Chinese artists were spread out throughout this year, but a considerable portion of the male side seem to have waited until the last minute to release, causing an massive pileup of both albums from the soloists to the boybands, ranging from pop to grunge. Despite the spectrum in musical styles, this still can’t be good for the artists, nor the companies  involved which I listed alongside the artists, and as you can see, there’s a lot.

Late November

Yu Haoming – eeMedia
KeNT – ? (EP)

December Releases:

Jacky Xue Zhiqian – Universal/SMG
Anson Hu Yanbin- Gold Typhoon
Kimi Qiao Renliang – Chengtian (Orange Sky Entertainment)
Chen Kun – ?
Peng Tan (four new songs/acoustic album)- Tai Rye Music
Xie Tian Xiao – Thirteen Month Records
Li Jian – ?
Sha Baoliang –

Top Combine – eeMedia

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Chinese Indie Releases and News

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One of my favorite Taiwanese indie bands 1976 released  their new album “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” today. I haven’t listened to it yet, but considering I’m usually the late one on the block with indie news I thought I would seize the moment, in keeping with their theme of, in this fast-paced world of today, emphasizing the moments as we travel through time  rather than trying to reach a particular destination .  You can listen to the 10 tracks from the album here. Buy it at yesasia here.

1976 – 流浪者之路 MV (Their main plug )

More release and concert news below on Milk@Coffee, SuperVC etc.

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Return of the Golden Age Singers?

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After Chen Lin’s death, there was a general sense of loss amongst the mainland community over the “Golden Age” singers, the singers from the 90s. However Na Ying,   after a 7-year break suddenly released her new single, called Love’s Journey which she first revealed at the 2009  Mid-Autumn show and will be one of the big  draws of her upcoming New Years concert. Na Ying, also Faye Wong’s best friend, is one of China’s most famous artists and perhaps the symbol of the “Golden Age” singers. Her return was a very welcome, comforting thing for many.

This is not from the same era, but Age of Water and Wood have been  going strong early 2000s despite some member changes, and used their success to help other singer-songwriters like Wang Zheng emerge. And this new song and beautiful MV are so befitting for this time, post-Chen Lin’s suicide.

Age of Water and Wood  –  The Meaning of Life MV

There seems to be a lot of music releases converged in the next few months whether they be the younger soloists, newer indie artists, or the boybands. But with how warmly Han Hong’s return was welcomed along with the excitement over Na Ying’s comeback it’s nice to know that the Golden Age singers are welcomed whenever they feel like returning.

Crowd Lu Releases Album

Crowd Lu released his album Seven Days yesterday. There’s a lot of things frustrating me with C-entertainment, particularly Cpop lately, which ranges from the way the market is being taken advantaged of, to the  way Chinese people abroad seem to look down on their own culture, dissing it for not being trendy enough, and then saying it’s copying others if it does dare to diversify. Why does such a big country with so many languages, so many minorities, so many different centers of entertainment from Changsha to Shanghai, not to mention very different entertainment influences from Hong Kong and Taiwan need to pigeonhole itself in style?

But there are constants that never fail to make me smile, and Crowd is one of them. So today, in a cathartic measure, I’m posting everything that does make me smile in C-entertainment.

Crow Lu – Oh Yeah!!! MV

Maybe Mars Acts to Hit the US in November

Five acts under the Maybe Mars label, Carsick Cars, P.K. 14, Xiao He, White and Snapline are coming to the US this November, mostly to the east coast. The full list of dates and locations are all listed here, along with descriptions of each band, and albums to legally download.

Maybe Mars is the youngest of the two leading Chinese independent music labels.  It was started by musicians who had found a home at D-22, the rock club that is credited with giving crucial exposure and support to Beijing’s exploding music scene.  In its two years of existence, it has already signed 24 folk, rock, experimental and noise musicians and bands, including most of the artists at the forefront of China’s music underground.

Seriously? Are any other labels bringing their bands to the US? That’s crazy…this one’s not for aids charity like Modern Sky, but it’s very cool all the same.

Thanks to onedayinmay.net for posting this originally. I swear, whenever it’s Chinese indie news I always end up stealing from some other site…Chinese indie gets more love than Chinese pop.