Ketchup: Hot Shower / I Know

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Semaine du 22 juillet 2008 / Week of July 22th, 2008

Cette chronique hebdomadaire sur la musique indépendante chinoise est diffusée à Radio Centre-Ville (102.3FM), les mardis entre 22h30 et 23h30. L’émission complète est disponible sur ce fichier MP3, à partir du lendemain de l’émission.

This weekly segment on independent Chinese music is broadcasted every Tuesday between 10:30PM and 11:30PM on Radio Centre-Ville (102.3FM). The full-length show is available at this MP3 file, starting from the day following the show.


1. Hot Shower
2. I Know

Two songs for this week’s show. The band (a one-member band) is Ketchup (website), and consists of a guy named Ken Tsoi. Information was kinda scarce on Ketchup (or on Hong Kong indie acts), and I first heard about him on a collab between him, The Pancakes and Chet Lam.

Ketchup’s music is mellow, pleasant, also sung in English. The first song to be presented is Hot Shower, because, wtf, a song on hot showers? It’s from Ketchup’s 2005 album, In Love Again (see picture). The other song was from that collab, called Freeplay.

Wonfu 旺福 – Lady’s Night

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旺福 / 青春舞曲

Semaine du 15 juillet 2008 / Week of July 15th, 2008

Cette chronique hebdomadaire sur la musique indépendante chinoise est diffusée à Radio Centre-Ville (102.3FM), les mardis entre 22h30 et 23h30. L’émission complète est disponible sur ce fichier MP3, à partir du lendemain de l’émission.

This weekly segment on independent Chinese music is broadcasted every Tuesday between 10:30PM and 11:30PM on Radio Centre-Ville (102.3FM). The full-length show is available at this MP3 file, starting from the day following the show.


Wonfu – Lady’s Night

This week, we’re having Wonfu, a band from Taiwan that does in the pseudo-60s, upbeat country-ish (at times) music. They’re fun, and it definitely shows in their music. The song that I will be presenting this week is called “Lady’s Night” (sic).

Regarde les Chinois : Fiona L.

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Fiona L

Regarde les Chinois complète sa tournée de Beijing avec cette sixième et dernière entrevue. Née à Hong Kong, grandie en Californie méridionale, et définitivement une New-Yorkaise dans son coeur, Fiona réside aujourd’hui à Beijing, où elle travaille et maintient Quirky Beijing dans ses temps libres. C’était mon dernier soir à Beijing, après deux semaines passées dans la ville, et Fiona a bien voulu répondre à mes questions, malgré le rhume récent qui l’a tût pour les deux derniers jours. Nous avons parlé de ses jours comme enseignante d’anglais langue seconde entre 2006-07, de ce qu’elle pense de la vie d’expatrié en Chine, et de Beijing et de son côté inusité.

Regarde les Chinois completes its tour of Beijing with this sixth and last interview. Born in Hong Kong, grown up in Southern California, and definitely a New Yorker at heart, Fiona now lives in Beijing, where she works and runs Quirky Beijing on her free time. It was my last night in Beijing, after two weeks spent in the city, and Fiona answered my questions despite nursing a recent cold that totally silenced her for the past two days. We talked about her days as an English second-language teacher in 2006-07, what she thinks about expat life in China, and Beijing and its quirkier side.

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Carsick Cars: Zhongnanhai 中南海

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Carsick Cars (eponymous)

Semaine du 7 juillet 2008 / Week of July 7th, 2008

Zhongnanhai 中南海, by Carsick Cars.

On tonight’s show (from 22:30), I am presenting a song from Beijing band Carsick Cars. Whoever I hung out with, locals or expats, the name of this band would always come up in conversations. They are apparently appreciated the most by foreigners, for whatever reason. Are dubbed the Sonic Youth of China (having toured with them in the past).

Zhongnanhai (中南海) is perhaps their most well-known song. Fans throw cigarettes on stage whenever this song is performed live in a show. It primarily refers to a Chinese brand of cigarettes called the same thing, as sung in the song (“Who the hell smoked my Zhongnanhai”), and if you bend it, may refer to the place where Chinese leaders live (sort of their equivalent of the White House). Literally, Zhongnanhai means “Middle South Sea”, which is in fact a lake in Central Beijing, just 200m south-west of the Forbidden City.

Regarde les Chinois : Lee A. Clow

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Lee Clow, photo by Azchael on Flickr
Photo by Max-Leonhard von Schaper.

Je vous présente cette fois un Regarde les Chinois un peu spécial. L’entrevue devait à l’origine servir pour un article sur la scène musicale locale dans la capitale chinoise, mais n’ayant pas pu écrire ledit article, je vous la présente comme entrevue sur ce blogue. Lee Clow est un Washingtonien d’origine (comme l’état) et résident de Beijing depuis les huits dernières années. Nous étions en train de chiller sur la terrasse sur le toit du NLGX, et avons alors parlé de son band ska, de ses bonnes rencontres avec des personnages de la musique pékinoise, et de ce qu’il entrevoit pour le futur de la scène.

This time, I present you with a rather special Regarde les Chinois. The interview was meant to serve as an article on the local musical scene in the Chinese capital, but since it was never written, I am presenting it as an interview on this blog. Lee Clow is a Washingtonian of origin (as in the state) and a resident of Beijing for the past eight years. We were chilling on the NLGX rooftop patio and spoke about his ska band, his interesting encounters with Beijing music characters, and what he sees in the scene’s future.

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Chinatown, la nuit

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A Lam Kee / Hui Tack Wing

My cup of tea

Poon Kai Restaurant


After the tribute to Leonard Cohen at Place des Arts last week, I biked down in the opposite direction to home, and snapped some pictures of Chinatown after midnight.

Après l’hommage à Leonard Cohen à la Place des Arts la semaine dernière, j’ai pédalé dans la direction opposée de chez moi, et ai pris quelques photos du Quartier Chinois après minuit.

Regarde les Chinois : Patricia Li 李艺哲

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Patricia Li 李艺哲

Regarde les Chinois présente maintenant sa quatrième entrevue à Beijing. Native de Qingdao, Patricia Li vit maintenant à Beijing depuis la dernière année. Elle a vécu à Montréal, alors qu’elle était étudiante en administration à l’Université McGill, et écrit maintenant une chronique d’humeur hebdomadaire décrivant des scènes de vie à Beijing. Malheureusement, ses articles ne sont disponibles que sur la version papier du Luby, mais voici un échantillon (Google Translate) récent de ses écrits, parlant de fumer dans les restaurants en Chine.

Regarde les Chinois is now presenting its fourth interview in Beijing. A native of Qingdao, Patricia Li is now living in Beijing since the last year. She lived in Montreal, as a management student at McGill University, and now writes a weekly column depicting daily life scenes in Beijing for the Luby, a Montreal-based newspaper published in Chinese. Unfortunately, her articles are only available in Luby’s paper version, but here is a recent sample (Google Translate) of her work, telling her story of smoking in restaurants in China.

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My Little Airport: 浪漫九龍塘 + when the party is over, i miss my dear pornstar

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my little airport / lyfe music - 為你含情

Alors, mon segment musical a été diffusé à Radio Centre-Ville ce soir. Ça sera disponible à chaque semaine sur ce fichier MP3, à partir du lendemain de l’émission (mardi, de 22h30 à 23h30). Je suis vers la 40e minute cette semaine.

So, my musical segment was broadcasted tonight. Il will be available every week over at this MP3 file, starting from the day following the show (Tuesdays, 10:30 to 11:30PM). I’m at the 40th minute this week.

Semaine du 1er juillet 2008 / Week of July 1st, 2008

1. 浪漫九龍塘, by My Little Airport
2. when the party is over, i miss my dear pornstar, by My Little Airport

First song translates as “Romance in Kowloon Tong”, and the second is a reference to the name of Beijing post-punk band Snapline‘s latest album, “Party is over, pornostar”. P of My Little Airport subtly does conversation to Li Qing, the girl bassist of Snapline. Although both songs are sung partly or completely in English, My Little Airport are the first so-called independent band that I’ve ever noticed, when I saw and bought their album in Hong Kong, on a trip three years ago. They are a personal favourites that I could not not play in an introductory segment.

One can definitely characterize MLA as hailing from twee pop on synthesizers. They are part of every pan-Chinese compilation we’ve ever bought, so we do assume that they’re pretty big (in certain circles) over there!

These songs are available free of charge on MLA’s website. They are both featured in MLA’s latest album/collab with Hong Kong independent music icon Chet Lam 林一峰.

Beijing Subway / Le métro de Beijing / 北京地铁

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北京地铁 Beijing Subway

北京地铁 Beijing Subway

北京地铁 Beijing Subway


Beijing Subway

From Beijing, back in April, I wrote an article for Spacing Montreal on the Beijing Subway during rush hour, at the Xizhimen interchange. Here are some of the many pictures that I took on the subway, perhaps the only moment of daily rest (the distance between stations is so long in Beijing) that I had during my stay in the Chinese capital.

The first photo shows the ceiling over the platform area of a station on Line 2, part of the original system inaugurated in 1969. The second and third pictures were taken on one of the new trains occasionally running on Line 1. Photo four are the new turnstiles that were finally put for use in early June 2008. The last photo was taken outside of the Tian’anmen East (天安门东) station on Line 1.


De Beijing, en avril, j’ai écrit un article pour Spacing Montreal sur le métro de Beijing à l’heure de pointe, à l’échangeur de Xizhimen. Voici quelques photos que j’ai prises sur le métro, sans doute le seul moment quotidien de repos (c’est tellement long entre les stations à Beijing) durant mon séjour dans la capitale chinoise.

La première photo montre le plafond au-dessus des quais d’une station sur la ligne 2, faisant partie du parcours original inauguré en 1969. La deuxième et troisième photo ont été prises sur l’un des nouveaux trains qui roulent sur la ligne 1. Photo numéro quatre sont les nouveaux tourniquets qui ont finalement été activés, début juin 2008. La dernière photo fût prise juste à l’extérieur de la station Tian’anmen Est (天安门东) sur la ligne 1.

Regarde les Chinois : Raymond Walintukan & Edmond Hung

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Raymond Walintukan & Edmond Hung

Tout à fait dans l’esprit Regarde les Chinois-eque, ce fut par hasard que j’ai rencontré les prochains invités à cette chronique (qui se traîne encore les pattes à Beijing, alors que je suis rentré à Montréal depuis plus d’un mois). Je rentre dans ce magasin quelconque de la Nanluoguxiang, la nouvelle allée « in » parmi les hutongs, au centre historique de Beijing, après avoir aperçu à la fenêtre des t-shirts design-és à mon goût. Voilà tu pas que le gars dans le magasin m’accueille avec « Ni Hao » bien accentué (en anglais). En plus d’être un Chinois d’outre-mer, le type est né et a vécu les premières dix années de sa vie à Montréal! Avec des copains (aussi Chinois d’outre-mer) rencontrés à Beijing, Raymond Walintukan a fondé NLGX, un genre de café se basant sur un groupe de protection des hutongs et qui vend des patentes design. Raymond et Edmond Hung, son comparse californien, se sont échangés la parole, pendant qu’on déménageait le sofa sur lequel j’étais assis…

Going perfectly along the Regarde les Chinois-esque spirit, it was by pure chance that I met the next guests to this column (which is still lagging behind in Beijing, while I am back in Montreal since more than a month). I enter this random store on Nanluoguxiang, the new “in” tourist street at the historical centre of Beijing, after seeing nice designed tees that I liked. And there you have the guy in the store greets me with a thickly accented “Ni Hao”. On top of being an Overseas Chinese, he was born and lived in Montreal for the first ten years of his life! With friends that he met there (also Overseas Chinese), Raymond Walintukan founded NLGX, some sort of cafe based over a hutong protection group that sells designed stuff. Raymond and Edmond Hung, his Californian pal, both spoke to me while they were moving out the couch that I was sitting on…

(Raymond passe à l’émission Ailleurs c’est ici à la Première Chaîne de Radio-Canada, mercredi le 2 juillet 2008.)

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