Foreign Devil
Getting Sick in a Foreign Language

There is something familiar to me in that idea of an abandoned past; in a place like Beijing, you too can become anybody, literally. Because of the disconnect between here and Back Home, you can create for yourself the identity you've always wanted.

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The Revolution Will Not Be in a Stadium

If the Chinese revolution has a soundtrack, it won't be the Rolling Stones' songs; especially given that their ticket prices are more than most Chinese can afford.

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Foreigners in Foreign Lands, Part II: Exotic Occidentals

The second in a series of two examinations of foreign musicians, in which the Devil returns, literally, to China, to suss out those abusing the 'foreign' tag.

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Foreigners in Foreign Lands, Part I: Exotic Orientals

In the first in a series of examinations of foreign musicians we meet the Subs, a Chinese band who, no matter how good (or bad) their music, are first and foremost Chinese -- whether they like it or not.

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Yar Matey! Sailing the Pirate-infested Seas of Beijing’s CD Shops, or: Piracy: A Defence

The Beijing music-buying experience is daunting and disorienting, rife with clogged cardboard boxes, cut-outs, and pirated imports. In a highly censored market, the explicitly illegal discs may also be the most necessary.

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20 Feb 2006 // 9:00 PM

History in the Making?

How unsuspecting Tuesday nights of experimentalism in a tiny bar may be indicative of our living in extraordinary times.

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19 Jan 2006 // 9:00 PM

Post (Modern) Punk

Gimme gimme mock treatment! A Shanghai folk band go suddenly and self-consciously punk in front of an in-on-the-joke Beijing audience.

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11 Dec 2005 // 9:00 PM

When Good Isn’t Enough

When a national music scene is mediocre at best, what exactly constitutes 'good'? Campbell trounces his fortified preconceptions about Beijing rock bands to find out.

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Cultural Imperialism or Friendly Guidance?

The Foreign Devil swears he's trying to help, but when does 'help' become an imperialist action?

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The Kindness of Strange Punks

In a foreign land twice-removed, Campbell discovers that punks, even mohawked ones, aren't all devils.

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Paying the Piper. Or Not.

Urban cool Beijingers are happy to spend their money on alcohol, karaoke, and high-end food. But when it comes to paying a cover to attend a live show, something happens: their sense of self-importance precludes their willingness to pay to be entertained by others.

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28 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

A dozen Francais artists -- including electro-jazz troupe St Germain and tango-meets-dub-and-beats act Gotan Project, among others -- played a massive stage in a downtown Beijing park to an audience of several thousand merry revellers.

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25 May 2005 // 12:00 AM

In which the Foreign Devil becomes eye candy, window-dressing and court jester all while not playing a John Denver song.

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6 Apr 2005 // 12:00 AM

In which the Foreign Devil picks up where he left off, taking readers back to China's favourite rock festival.

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23 Feb 2005 // 12:00 AM

In which the Foreign Devil shares four Beijing-area rock experiences to prepare readers for what is Out There, and, further, what is to come.

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//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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