nds and has expanded into the United States and Britain by signing Western bands. It also
上海419promotes one of the country’s most popular outdoor musical events, the Strawberry M
usic Festival, which was launched in Beijing by the com上海419
pany in 2009 and has since expanded into dozens of Chinese cities.
“The first reason to form a band was to attract more girls,” sa上海419女神会所
ys the singer-songwriter Gao Xiaosong, who formed his own band
in 1990 while he was studying radar engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “But t
he most important thing was that when I learned to play上海419
guitar I wanted to explore more beautiful sounds of the instru
ments, so I was eager to find people who shared my interests and who wanted to play music together with me.”
上海419女神会所Gao is credited with creating a music genre during the 1990s called “campus folk music”, which won a large fan base in China then with poetic lyrics about youth, romance and friendship, accompanied by guitar.
One of the major contributors to indie music’ development in the country is the emerging live house venues and small bars, which offer the indie rock bands stages to perform.上海419女神会所
A live bar called School is among the most popular places for indie music bands and music fans.
School, tucked in a narrow hutong in downtown Beijing, was co-founded by Liu Fei, a former band 上海419女神会所agent and music festival organizer, about nine years ago.
“We wanted to have a place to enjoy music and drink together so we decided to launch School,” says Liu, 36, a Beijing native. “The place connects like-minded people.”
As Liu sat in the two-floor venue he was accompanied by a black dog that he adopted last year. He spotted the stray sitting outside the liv
e bar and decided to take it in. It was the Year of the Dog, so Liu considers her as an omen of good things and named her School, after the club.
“Like us, she really enjoys crowds and loves to listen to music,” Liu says.
Among the young bands that started to give performances at School and ga
ined a fan base is Penicillin, an indie rock group whose members were all born after 1990.
“They started with performing in front of fewer than 10 people and now they have a stable fan base with about 100,000 followers on their
Sina Weibo account,” says Liu, adding that the lead vocalist and guitarist, nicked-named Xiaole, has the natu
ral charisma of a rock star with his solid technique, songwriting talent and onstage composure.
Music fans are more diverse in their tastes than they were 10 years ago, he says, enjoying a wide range of styles, young bands and musical influences.
“I’m keen on putting together a group of good-looking young singer-songwriters, guitarists, bassists and drummers to for
m a rock band,” Liu says. “They could compete with the pop idols not only with their looks but also by winning a large follo
wing with their great songs and technique. I’ve been dreaming of this for 10 years, and now with the many ways yo
u can help new talent stand out, such as reality shows, that dream can finally be realized.”