November 15, 2014

This week’s theme: China wakes up.

Shanren – Description:

About four years ago, when I was rooting around for Chinese music videos, I was sent a charming animation from a band called Shanren. The song “30 Years” was about the trials and tribulations of moving from the country to the big city to look for work. This is a motif that resonates with all working folks, and I won’t even go into the hundreds of great songs dealing with this from the West’s Industrial Revolution right through to today. “30 Years” describes what is going on in China currently, as its rapid industrialization is causing a vast shift in population from rural to urban centers. I was therefor already interested when I was contacted by the band’s publicist, informing me that they would be playing on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, at Pianos.

The band comes from Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, with members from the Wa and Buyi minorities. The name Shanren means “mountain men.” During a chat with James Pang, the band’s Chinese manager, he mentioned that the people of these minorities live up in the mountains, are kind of wild living, like to brew their own liquor, and dance.


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