Behind The Great (fire)Wall
Hello Everyone. I’m in China, land of The Great (Fire)Wall. I haven’t been able to update my twitter or facebook accounts, so I put together this blog post of the tweets that would have been, if China would only let the twitter bird out of its cage.
Here’s a summary of the last month in installments of 140 characters or less:
April 12, 2010
catching the overnight train from Hong Kong. Gonna miss those cappuccinos at Café Corridor.
scenes from the train window: a lone telephone pole askew in a lake. rows of plastic bottles demarking a net. scarlet brick factory kiln.
scenes from the train: a fussing wife wiping sleep-sand from her husband’s eyes with a blue-striped washcloth. the hock and spit over a washroom sink.
April 13, 2010
ah, Squat Toilet – how could I forget your keyhole charms in the oasis of Hong Kong luxury? moving train adds extra element of thrill & skill.
To the pushy lady at Shanghai station: I know you’re old & tiny, but I swear to god, if you shove your luggage cart into the back of my knees one more time, I’ll eat you.
April 14, 2010
Had to buy copies of this wonderfully homoerotic poster celebrating “10,000 years of Sino-Asian Friendship & Brotherhood” at the Shanghai Propaganda Museum today.
And how could I pass up an original vinyl of the classic “Our Great Motherland is Abloom with Flowers”?
April 15, 2010
Loved the fishmonger who was serenading his fish with a flute at the market this morning. Is it crazy to say they seemed to thrash less? How do fish hear?
Was slightly alarmed at woman cleaning her earwax with tip of large, sharp knife. More alarmed by notion that she cuts enormous tofu blocks beside her with same blade.
April 16, 2010
Got to stand behind the DJ booth & watch all the knob fiddling at LoGo. Felt my cool factor exploding by association. Is this how rock stars feel everyday?
April 17, 2010
Tonight at Yuyintang: Stegosaurus? EP release with Boys Climbing Ropes, Rainbow Danger Club, and Dragon Pizza.
Boys Climbing Ropes – not sure I’d listen to a CD of this, but frontwoman Little Punk is a tiny ball of intensity. Worth catching them live just to see her crazy eyes.
Rainbow Danger Club: all expats, but solid, mostly instrumental experimental rock. Rhythmic structures hint at members’ jazz-backgrounds. Dug the bowed bass & drumstick guitar rattling.
Dragon Pizza: These boys made it through all of 2 songs before going shirtless. Japanese bass-player goes cross-eyed during intense shreds. Pretty lighthearted bunch for a metal band.
April 18, 2010
Stopped 4x for photos w/ Chinese tourists while walking on The Bund today. Got used to this in India & Indonesia, but surprised to have the experience in cosmopolitan Shanghai.
April 19, 2010
field research for songwriting: tried bone marrow at a hot pot restaurant – at once surprisingly creamy & stringy. Check out quasi-related lyrics
April 20, 2010
Dammit, Rilke! Now I’m really, truly, actually going to have to learn German.
April 21, 2010
Found: decent bagels in Shanghai! Gotta say though, this is one thing North America just does better. Also dirty martinis.
April 22, 2010
Spent the afternoon with awesome Ada, a certified Chinese tea ceremony master (5 year program!), who taught me how to serve green tea in her studio. Days like this are why we travel.
April 23, 2010
April 24, 2010
Tried frogs’ legs twice this week. More like shellfish than chicken in texture. Devilishly tricky to grab with chopsticks. Reminded of Triplets of Bellville.
Yuyintang open as bar, but still closed for music. Pinkberry concert cancelled. Police confiscated computer & sound equipment. Check out article by Shanghai blogger, Jake Newby
April 25, 2010
Shanghai & Mumbai have approx. the same population, but Shanghai has ~7000 people/km2 & Mumbai has over 22,000. The feeling is v. diffirent.
April 26, 2010
Got to hitch a ride with press to soft opening of Obama nightclub. Gawdy, gold, & ginormous. Apparently nothing to do with Obama save publicity stunt. Cheers to the go-go dancer on stilts.
April 27, 2010
April 28, 2010
Playing a show at OZNZ tonight. Check out urbanatomy.com listing by the lovely Leslie Jones – 1st harp joke in print I’ve laughed at in a long time.
April 29, 2010
My Shanghai hosts set the bar ridiculously high. How am I ever going to leave them? Good thing I accidentally missed the train to Beijing & had to stay on an extra night.
Heading over to The Revitalization of Shanghai Rock show. It’s Emo Pop Punk night like whoa, but happy to celebrate the fact that Yuyintang is open for live music again.
May 1, 2010
Welcome to Beijing, where breathing the air is like smoking 70 cigarettes a day. Hang on Siberia, imma commin soon.
Taxi was too big for the roads, so arrived in forbidden city with self, harp, & bags in rickshaw – velvet & fringe on top. Like the surrey in Oklahoma!
May 2, 2010
Midi Modern Music Festival Day 2 highlights: The Swamp, Xiao He, Voodoo Kungfu, Asaf Avidan & the Mojos.
Made it to the right bus stop, then followed likely-looking T-shirts to festival entrance at Haidian Park.
Voodoo Kungfu: um, Mongolians + bodypaint + deathmetal? Yes, please! Love a band that includes “backing-growls” & horsehead cello in their line-up.
Asaf Avidan says he’s from Israel, but he must have just touched down from Mercury. That voice cannot have come from this planet.
May 3, 2010
Epic feat of foreign public transport mastery achieved in finding my way to Strawberry Festival at Tongzhou Canal Park. 3 Metro changes, 1 bus, & nearly 3 hours ONE WAY.
Modern Sky Strawberry Festival Day 3 highlights: Fruit VC (highly danceable + onstage foam shower?) Wang Yue & Hang on the Box (All-girl band, sounds a little like The Ting Tings)
Gotta hand it to the Chinese rockers – even the bands with mediocre music put on one hell of a live performance. So much energy!
May 4, 2010
Overheard: heated fight between drunk couple. Chopsticks were thrown, but no injuries except eardrums.
May 5, 2010
Still haven’t gotten used to seeing open slit-back trousers on the wee ones here. Torn between adorable factor of baby butts & gross-out spectacular of free expulsion.
May 6, 2010
Found myself playing harp in hostel bar w/ 2 handsome Russian ballet dancers, sweet Irish couple, Thomas from Beijing, & my gregarious Canadian bunkmates last night.
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