Rock’s Troubled Renaissance – Jonathan Ansfield

From Newsweek Online:

RockThe rock bible’s debut points out the struggles faces finding a wide market in Communist-ruled China. In many ways, the rock scene in China has never been healthier. Beijing has loosened up considerably toward big rock concerts. A dozen or so rock stars have become successful even by Western standards. Big rock concerts are now an established part of Chinese life. But most of the young could-be indie rock stars of tomorrow still face an uphill climb. Even though Beijing has backed off, there is still a lingering political prejudice against the messages and sounds of many rock bands. Culture czars still censor lyrics and song lists and keep TV and radio play to a bare minimum. And the industry”the state broadcast media and the largely private producers and record companies that support the music”has shown a marked propensity to promote catchy pop music rather than the often discordant sounds of genuine rock bands. After all, they say, that’s what the majority of listeners wants.

The result is that many young rockers intent on keeping their artistic freedom have to keep to the so-called underground rock scene”a day-to-day existence playing in clubs and low-budget rockfests and posting their songs for free download over the Internet. [Full text]

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