Monday, March 24, 2008

The Music Taste of Shanghai

By and large, residents of Mainland China don't have what many people would call "good music taste." In a land where Michael Learns to Rock and other bland, sappy, non-edgy music is overwhelming the western pop music of choice, music in public places is often, well at the very least annoying.

However, over the past year and change in Shanghai, I've noticed something odd. Good music in public spaces. I mean really good music - and not the most mainstream of stuff either. Maybe a non-single track from a well-known band or some older 80s or early 90s stuff. and often in weird locations.

Everytime I hear stuff like this - I usually send a text message to some friends who are equally puzzled. I've written down some of the songs and locations I've heard in just the past month:

My gym:
Pet Shop Boys - What Have I Done to Deserve This?
Modest Mouse - Dashboard
Eric B and Rakim - Follow the Leader
Bell Biv Devoe - Poison

789 Hot Pot Restaurant:
Us3 - Cantaloop
Heavy D and the Boyz - Now that We've Found Love
New Order - Touched by the Hand of God

Infiniti Shopping Mall:
Kanye West - Flashing Lights

Bowling Alley:
Men Without Hats - Pop Goes the World
Toto - Rosanna

Riding in a cab:
Duran Duran: The Reflex
Duran Duran: View to a Kill
Duran Duran: Wild Boys
(I believe he was playing some sort of best of or mix CD)

Okay, so it's not all good music (Rosanna) but who is playing all of that good music out there?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

冲- Dare - A Nike China Documentary

Unfortunately I haven't found the english subtitled version, but this is a really cool content piece that Nike did telling the story of Chinese High Jumper Zhu Jianhua.

The movie stars modern athletes Liu Xiang, Li Na and Ma Liyun as well.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Monday, March 03, 2008

Yao, the Rockets, and the rest of the season.

While getting ready for work, I like to check my RSS feeds over a steaming bowl of Honey Nut Oatmeal and listen to the Chinese National Anthem being played at extremely high volume from the school directly below my apartment.

Yesterday, those RSS headlines delivered a shock. From the China Sports Blog "Yao Out for Season." I thought that couldn't be right - were they repeating headlines from last year? Scrambling quickly I jumped to ESPN, Chinahoop, and Yahoo . . . dammit. It was true. It was devastating - not only was my favorite team missing one 7'6" centerpiece in the middle of a 12 game winning streak, but a man I was slightly acquainted with was well, on his way to becoming this generation's Bill Walton. Or at least Zydrunas Ilgauskas. In a word, it sucked.

What makes it worse is the upcoming western conference playoffs figure to be epic. While I'd never put the Rockets as a favorite I figured they might get lucky get on a hot streak knock out some teams. And put their own stamp on what figures to be the best Western Conference playoffs since the 1988 version the Lakers beat the Spurs, Mavs, and Jazz.

But as the day wore on I felt okay with it. These 25 games will prove to be an opportunity to watch one Carl Landry.

A 6'8" pogo stick with a desire to cram every shot through the hoop and the leaping ability delivered from on-high to go get every rebound, thoughts of Carl Landry keep me warm at night and comfort me at Yao's loss. And then of course, there's this guy:

Taken from "photoshop the pain thread" by user "poprocks"

And that's pretty exciting stuff right there.