2000 Punk Bands<font color="#ffff00">2000 punk bands
Short History of Chinese Punk (second part)
The urban climate of the new millennium is polluted by too many bands and competitions, but before we go under, we look for other areas. The ideal place for poor punks who are stressed out by the metropolis, who settle in the cafés of Dali and Lijiang and play and influence hundreds of other young Chinese who had never before come into contact with these forms of rebellion and musical expression.
In a punk Beijing, a new rappetal scene is undermining itself, which is influenced by the new take-up of the American grain stream, creating distinctions and changing the direction of the so-called punk clubs, which at least appreciate the fact that these new bands are sweeter, don't throw beer bottles at the audience and sound much more commercial and "controllable".
When the Beijing punks, money and dreams of the success of Yunnanism returned to Beijing in 2000-2001, the inevitable trend change changed the scene again. Anger, ridges and boots had been slowly replaced by emo-beards and seven-string guitars, probable cultural heritage of the Yunnan Post-Freakkettonage, the first punk violence left aside and stages, ideologies and evenings shared with otherwise incompatible metal rapes.
If we have analyzed Chinese punk from the inside so far, it is necessary to describe how movement has worked out an outer space and how it has been accepted by the scene from which it was so inspired. The most important Chinese punk group in terms of the beginning of the movement and success inside and outside China's borders is Brain Failure, a Beijing based group formed in the second wave of 1997 and adhering to a strict street punk recipe that shakes hands more melodically with Oi! British punk.
Through a series of coincidences, talents, luck and probably also through the fact that Texan David O'Dell played bass in the group between 1999 and 2001, Brain Failure is the only Chinese group to have achieved international success and shared the stages with the most famous western bands to which the group referred, namely Dropkick Murphys, The Unseen, Stiff Little Fingers among the first.
In 2003 the group managed to go to America to play at the Asia Night of the important South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. During the same California touring to support Dropkicik Murphy's and meet Ken Casey, the future of Brain Failure is forever shaped and the meeting prepares the ground for the 2004 America Dreamer album.
A title that is all a program in support of the hypothesis of a heavily influenced Chinese punk and committed to the US models to which it referred. With the production and support of Ken Casey, Brain Failure officially became the world's first Chinese punk group, and in 2005 achieved incredible results for a punk band: American tours with Dropkicik Murphys, The Unseen, Stiff Little Fingers, The Briefs, participation in the famous Warped Tours, and appearances in a composition on Epitaph Records, virtually the largest of punk's independent labels worldwide.
And so Chinese punk opens the way to stars and stripes, is accepted by the international punk community and urges thousands of other young Chinese to pick up the tools and make noise: perhaps the real Cultural Revolution. Revolution or not, Chinese punk now appears on the radars of the entire musical world and its name no longer sounds like a pointless joke.
As a main consideration, it is right to point out that this result is accepted by the American music scene, where punk is no longer afraid for anyone, but is reduced to a commercial phenomenon for children with pimples. What is missing is this self-destructive vein based on sharp blades, which instead recognizes in the Brain Failure a new proposal with the same values that have long been lost in the punk of stars and stripes.
Certainly, the fact that Chinese punk comes from Mao Zedong and a communist nation makes it commercially more attractive to the eyes of the money-eating machine of the American punk mayr. Four Chinese punk players, as they could make a Boston based group, are curious enough to deserve all this attention.
To finish an introduction to the daring history of Chinese punk is to take something like a few hundred baseplates from the dozens of skirt and metall subgenres of the last thirty years, break them individually, put the fragments into a mixer and have them cut for a few minutes.
The result could be distilled into dozens of different band names that represented the first Chinese examples of dummy or total imitations of the most famous Western bands, without forgetting the "Chinese characters". Colourful brooches and ridges remain, but other genres solidify: Chinese boys start wearing white skirtabilly tanktop pieces and show big tattoos on their arms, punk girls show screaming minidresses and hollow fishnets (and even the first tattoos), the most melancholic sunbathe in the new emo-rock currents and disguise themselves as alternative intellectuals trapped in a rimbaud nightmare.
The epicentre of the scene is still Beijing, but also the vibrant Shanghai, which is more susceptible to discos and sour trances, not to mention the progressive Wuhan, the Tianjin student, the Qingdao brewery and the smoky Dali and many others. There are dozens, if not hundreds of venues: from the famous Wudakou to the famous Beijing W22, from the 13 Club, from the Yugong Yishan to the Bad Monkey Bar in Dali (run by foreigners and famous for giving foreign groups the opportunity to perform in China).
Punk, though not on the crest of the wave and hidden from the less attentive eyes, is a scene that is now glowing. The Chinese time overhaul track has produced other interesting bands that we must mention: Joyside, Hedgehog and Carsick Cars, the three strengths of Beijing punk after Yunnan, bands that have also been able to face European tours and carry the yellow punk magic beyond the borders of the People's Republic, the Hang on the Box,
one of the first all-female punk groups inspired by the American Riot Grrrl currents loved by Kathleen Hanna and her bikini Kill, authors of a deafening three-tone punk and a lysergic child's voice who just stuck her fingers in the mixer. Angry Jerks from Nanjing, born 2000 as a harcore rock act and today the first and only Chinese psychological rock group, with a bassist in Chipao and robberies by pin-ups of the 50s, hairstyles grazing at Elvis Presley, and 8 tattooed ball on his shoulders.
Without continuing to mention others among the dozens of interesting bands that cross the punk scene in the People's Republic, it is interesting to consider how, thanks to the increasing number of foreigners coming to China and the increased opportunities that Chinese boys have to study abroad in Western countries, the return of musical ideas and proposals in exactly ten years since the punk return in Beijing has made great progress.
Influences remain alien, but punks and Chinese alternatives have sand to sell and something that teaches even the Western models that inspired them: passion. A great, famous passion that has now consolidated its red star yellow version of punk and is no longer found in these western models.
Not yet written, but at this pace it wouldn't be surprising to be confronted with a real musical revolution in the next five or ten years. POOKIE: Punk a carbatteri pinesi?