When: Sat., July 28 2012
RAINBOW DANGER CLUB FROM SHANGHAI We’re led by some to believe the Chinese will soon be our overlords, and there are 282 billion reasons (that’s the 2011 trade deficit, in case you were wondering) to stoke that xenophobic fire. Unless you’re Rosetta Stone-ing your way through Mandarin or Cantonese, the 21st century will leave you behind — or so goes the (Western) doomsayer’s logic. All that may or may not come to pass, but for now, as China kicks America’s import/export-ratio ass and Westernizes at warp speed, the cultural deficit is still found on the Chinese side. (Not saying that’s a good or bad thing, but how much Canto- and Mando-pop do you have on your iPod?) You can look to these visitors from Shanghai, who play, according to the UK’s Guardian, “riveting, epic melodies that soar and patter along majestically...[and] skirt the line between beauty and ugliness, light and dark, innocence and depravity” as an example. It’s impossible to measure objectively, but the most Chinese element of their proggy dreampop songs are the accompanying Mandarin characters. It’s not bad at all, if a little stiff, but one does wish the cultural exchange rate was more even here. Some day the U.S.’s cultural hegemony will end, as hegemonies must. But even in today’s age of data-byte Internationalism, Western pop music in all its iterations is still the sin qua non of youth culture around much of the developed world.