With several Beijing bands on the Maybe Mars label about to begin a U.S. tour, the Chinese punk scene is getting a lot of press. Time Out New York tells New Yorkers what to expect when PK14 and Carsick Cars play in Brooklyn tomorrow:
While this is not the first time Chinese bands have played New York, heightened awareness of Beijing’s scene means this is the first time bands from the Middle Kingdom are arriving with expectations, which makes this trip a potentially landmark event for a scene courting international respect. “Chinese musicians are certainly much more confident about the quality of their own scene than they have ever been,” says Maybe Mars founder Michael Pettis, a former New Yorker who also teaches economics at Beijing University. “For most of our musicians, New York is the center of the world.”
Already, the three-year-old label and its flagship live venue, D-22, have attracted ink in numerous international publications. While much of the initial attention stemmed from Western interest in China’s counterculture, the caliber of musicianship and the experimental nature of these Beijing bands prompted some writers to admiringly liken the scene to that of downtown New York during the late ’70s and early ’80s. “China has no rock legacy that dictated the past and shaped the present,” Leijonhufvud says. “The kids are making their own sounds, and some really have an innovational knack for writing and performing without stigmas.”
Read more about Carsick Cars and PK14 via CDT.
Here’s Carsick Cars performing in Hong Kong: