The year in review: 2010 in Chinese rock

Update: Please note that all inputs I received have been included in the history on the wiki.

The following is an excert from the History of Rock in China for the major events that happened in 2010. This account is by no means complete and suggestion for inclusion are more than welcome (please comment).

At the beginning of 2010, the metal label Dime Records is established by the owner of the 13 Club.

On January 16th, the The North Face Film and Music on Snow Festival 2010 was held including several Beijing bands (e.g. Tookoo). On January 30th, BCR‘s critically acclaimed record Except for the Darkness is being released in Shanghai. Further in January and February, Maybe Mars held two showcase concerts, each with 4 of its bands, in Shanghai.[61]

March 12th – 29th, they JUE Festival 2010 was held in both Shanghai and Beijing seeing Shanghai newcomer The Mushrooms rocking the Mao Live, and several Beijing acts visiting Shanghai. From March 11th until April 11th, Maybe Mars Records tours around some of their most popular acts during the China Invasion US Tour 2010. Furthermore on March 20th, Yaksa starts their nation-wide tour throughout 21 cities until April 28th.

In April, AV Okubo‘s debut The Greed of Man is being released by Maybe Mars Records. On April 27th, Rustic won the Global Battle of the Bands (GBOB) 2009 Finals in London.[62]

In the later part of April, signs accumulated that The Expo would be a devastating strike to the local music scene of Shanghai, as the LOgO bar was threathened with shutdown[63] and the Yuyintang had been shutdown[64], two vibrant centers of the underground in Shanghai. Also the Beijing M.A.O. Livehouse had been shut down, allegdably due to fire safety violations, on April the 16th.[65] On April 26th, it was announced that the Yuyintang would be open again with normal operation ongoing, leaving the whole scene in doubt, why the shutdown had been there at the first place.[66]

On April 22nd, the folk music community in Beijing decides to hold a “Pray for Yushu” charity concert in commemoration to the victims of the Qinghai Earthquake at the Mako Livehouse.[67]

In May both the Midi Festival and the Strawberry Festival happened in Beijing. In Chengdu, the Zebra Music Festival 2010 took place. In the aftermath of the May holidays, both the Midi Music Festival 2010 and the Strawberry Music Festival 2010 were scrutinizably analyzed and according to China Music Radar it was “art versus commerce” with Modern Sky and its Volkswagen overkill representing commerce and Midi representing art and music.[68] Shouwang of Carsick Cars stated: Bands are not VIP, only sponsors are. Treat us like human beings. I wanted to jump on the cars, but my guitar lead was too short[69] At the end of May, Subs started their Queen of XXXXing Everything China Tour 2010 that lead them around the country as a warm-up for the release of their latest record.

Further in May, a discussion started in the English blogosphere about the status of D-22 and Maybe Mars, originated from the controversial article Why No Beijing and D-22 are not worth the hype!on Rock in China, which spawned discussions on all major English blogs around the Beijing scene, highlighting the unique position of Maybe Mars, its efforts and the perception in the foreign media. In July, Pete DeMola displays a further glance upon the topic with his widely read article At That Moment I Thought, I Thought I Really Saw Music.

June to July, the Metal Battle 2010 was organized, a band competition that determined Raging Mob as the leading Chinese metal artists to perform at the Wacken Open Air 2010.

Mid July, shortly after the Qingyuan Niu Yu Zui Festival 2010, Chinamusicradar announces 2010 to be The Year of the Music Festival with an estimated of seventy (70) festivals happening in 2010.[70] A discussion started on the quality of the festivals itself, as many of them share the same bands and badly organized, e.g. the Suzhou lacking promotion[70].

On July 23rd, Subs released their 2010 record Queen of Fucking Everything with a release party in the Mao Livehouse. On July 29th and 30th, Shanghai’s promoter and record label 0093 held their third anniversary party at the Yuyintang.[71]

October 1st to 4th, in addition to the May Midi festival in Beijing, the Zhenjiang festival is held on the Shi Ye Island with foreign metal acts Soulfly, Shadows Fall, Finntroll and Loudness.

November 17th, No Beijing band Carsick Cars split due to creative differences and opportunities for members’ per­sonal development[72].

December 27th, the 2010 Shanghai Grammys were awarded by the Cityweekend Shanghai focussing on the music scene in Shanghai. December 31st, the second Midi Music Awards were celebrated in the Star Live with performances of Miserable Faith, Ziyo, Nanwu, Nan Cheng Er Ge, Misandao, Hanggai and Finger Family.

3 responses to “The year in review: 2010 in Chinese rock

  1. Good work Max. Nice summary.
    I think the various Chinese band tours internationally deserve some note – Maybe Mars at SxSW, Modern Sky bands touring the US and at CMJ, Hanggai and Pet Conspiracy doing European tours.
    Can’t think of anything else off the top of my head. Keep up the good work


  2. Pingback: Summary of 2010 | China Music Radar

  3. @Archie: Thanks for the feedback. I guess the Maybe Mars SXSW is covered with the China Invasion Tour link in March/April. When did Modern Sky tour the US, I was only aware of the Sing for China tour in 2009 (Sep). Unfortunately I also have no details on the European tours, can you give me a couple of links?

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