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The LaoWai song

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Last Saturday we went down to Anar to watch the Lions of Puxi. This is a reggae band recently formed in Shanghai, with some familiar faces of the expat music scene, including some of the guys we usually see at JZ. 

I am not much of a music critic, but I can say this band sounds good and it makes you dance. They are all great musicians, with a powerful frontman called Gauthier that rocks the place. We met them outside the bar during the break and they are a friendly bunch. 

We especially enjoyed and sang along the Laowai song, which is in the process of becoming the anthem of an expat generation in Shanghai. Now there is also a videoclip, based on the original Sting. Judge by yourselves. (H/t Xiao Lu for sending me the link.)

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China Underground: the Review

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

china-undergroundI first read about  “China Underground” last Friday, during my daily browse of the China blogs. I had never heard the name of Zachary Mexico before, but the review on  China Beat made me feel curious, so after work I stopped by the Garden bookshop and got my copy. Only 24 hours later I had been to a speech by the author, queued at the Shanghai literary festival to get his autograph, and finished reading his complete works. I guess this qualifies me as his fastest fan.

Over the weekend I spoke with a few friends about the book and I could  feel some resistance. Some China hands clearly disapproved of the cover’s pop approach to a grave subject like the Middle Kingdom - a friend of mine from New York even warned me against what looked like “an East Village poser”.  All this probably explains why the few  who had actually read the book were so excited about it:  they weren’t expecting it to be readable in the first place.

Not having any kind of prejudice against pop illustrated covers, I found the price tag fair and the promise of a fresh perspective on China exciting enough to give it a try.  Here’s the results. Click to continue »