From Music-China Wiki
|Name (English)||Happy Avenue|
|Name (Chn.)||幸福大街 / Xing Fu Da Jie|
|Genre||rock / indie / folk|
| Vocals - Wu Hong Fei (吴虹飞)
Guitar - Geng Fan (耿放)
Guitar - Li Wei Yan (李维岩)
Bass - Zhou Qi (周琦)
Drums - Tian Kun (田坤)
| * Bass: Shèng (胜) 1999- June 2000 (replaced by Jiǎng Róng)
|one of the leading indie/rock band of the Underground Generation!|
Happy Avenue (幸福大街 in Chinese; pinyin: Xìng Fú Dà Jiē or Xìngfú Dàjiē; sometimes translated as Lucky Road) is a Chinese rock band based in Beijing, China, founded in September 1999. Members include Wú Hóngfēi (吴虹飞, vocals), Gěng Fàng (耿放, electric guitar), Lǐ Wéiyán (李维岩, electric guitar), Zhōu Qí (周琦, electric bass guitar), and Tián Kūn (田坤, drum set). Wu originally also played acoustic guitar in the group before deciding early on to focus strictly on vocals. The original bass player, Shèng (胜), was replaced by Jiǎng Róng (蒋荣) in June 2000, and Jiang was eventually replaced by Zhou. All lyrics were written by Wu Hong Fei and the style can be described as Folk Rock or in some instances even as Death Folk Rock.
Wu Hongfei (surname Wu, b. 1978), Happy Avenue's vocalist and leader, is a graduate of Beijing's prestigious Qinghua University, with bachelor's degrees in environmental engineering and the editing of scientific books, and an M.A. degree in modern Chinese literature (although she primarily studied western literature). Also the group's only female member, she has the distinction of being China's best known female rock singer. Originally from the southern Chinese province of Guizhou and a member of the Dong ethnic minority, Wu is also a magazine journalist and a published novelist. Her lyrics range from lighthearted, absurdist vignettes (like "The Orange Who Wished to Be an Apple") to darker and more melancholy meditations on subjects such as death, alienation, and longing. "Daughter" deals with the issues surrounding unwed motherhood. Some other songs feature literary subject matter; "The Fish Who Loved Xiaolong" tells the story of a mermaid who gives up her tail in order that she might be able to leave the sea and marry a human.
The group's music is eclectic, and generally unclassifiable by genre, though occasionally somewhat reminiscent of such avant-garde groups as Talking Heads. Songs range from quirky, upbeat, and sardonic ("Daughter") to somber and brooding ("May"), the latter style leading some reviewers to describe the group's music as gothic. About the group, Wu says, "We never, ever let 'common taste' influence our music. We do what we like."
The first time the band drew attention to their music was during their first performance on May 1st 2000 at the Midi Modern Music Festival.
After another performance in the 17 Liquor Bar in Beijing, the bassist leaves the band in June 2000.
In July Li Wei Yan joins the band playing the guitar and Wu Hong Fei decides to concentrate on the vocals.
Jiang Rong joined as a bassist in August and the band consisted of 5 members now.
In May 2001, they performed during the Midi Music Festival 2001. After their performance in the Midi Festival 2001, Zhou Qi joined as another bassist in July 2001. In September the magazine "Listen to the Art" featured the song "April" of Happy Avenue.
In December 2001 Happy Avenue signed a contract with Beijing Universal Music company and intended to record a CD within Spring 2002, but due to the TOEFL studies of Wu Hong Fei and her thesis preparation, the recording needed to be postponed.
In May, the So Rock! Magazine issue 12 included one song of Happy Avenue into their magazine CD.
In September 2002 finally the recording for Happy Avenue's record ended.
Sometime in 2004, Happy Avenue's contract with Beijing Universal Music company ended and they signed with So Rock! Records, so that their first CD could be released in April 2004.
Happy Avenue released its first CD, A Fish in Xiao Long's Room, in 2004. During the recording of this album, Wu was writing her master's thesis, and, in order to complete the recording, postponed her graduation for a year. Their subsequent disc was released in 2005. Their track "Daughter" was included on the Beijing Band 2001: New Rock Bands from the People's Republic of China compilation CD, produced by American producer Matthew Corbin Clark. Due to Clark's efforts, Happy Avenue's music achieved recognition in the United States with the inclusion of their song "Daughter" in China in the Red (2003), a PBS Frontline television documentary about contemporary China.
Wu has written candidly about her experiences with Happy Avenue in her semi-autobiographical novel The Double Life of Afei.
2007, March 23rd, they performed at the Star Live. April 13th they performed at the Nameless Highland. At that time the members of Happy Avenue had been Wu Hong Fei (Vo), Tang Yi (G), 燕子 (Cho) and Tian Kun (Dr). In September one of their songs is included in the magazine compilation of X-Music Magazine no. 349. September 29th, they performed at the Mao Live. December 24th, they performed at the 2 Kolegas.
In March 2008, Wu Hong Fei releases her first solo album and on March 29th, she helds a press conference for the release of her record in the Star Live. At that time, Happy Avenue consists of Wu Hong Fei (Vo), Tang Yi (G), 李強 (B), 燕子 (Chi), Tian Kun (Dr) and 劉磊 (Key). April 25th, they performed at the 13 Club. April 28th, they performed at the Yugong Yishan as support for Swedish band 21st Century Noise. May 9th, they performed live at the Yu Yin Tang in Shanghai. May 10th, they performed at Nanjing's 古堡 Bar. May 11th, they performed in Suzhou'S 後街 Bar. May 26th they performed in Beijing's Star Live during a SiChuan earthquake benefit concert. June 6th, they performed in Kunming's 老窩 Bar. June 7th, they performed in Lijiang's 39度8珈琲 Bar. June 14th, they performed in Chengdu's 家JAH BAR. June 22nd, they performed at Xi'an in the 未央湖 park during the 08未央湖露天文化音楽節 music festival.
April 10th 2009, they performed in Shanghai's Yu Yin Tang. According to Andy Best, the venue was full of their local fans. They have been on the go for a while and had two CD's and a book by the singer （Wu Hongfei) available on the night. They played a long two half set, bringing the faster songs in the second half. The local fans followed Wu Hong Fei upstairs to the band room after the show to get their books and CDs signed.
Participated Festivals and Tours
Midi Music Festival 2009 - 2009, May
Midi Music Festival 2008 - 2008, October
Beijing beer and rock festival 2006 - October 2006
Midi Music Festival 2004, October 2004
Midi Music Festival 2001 - 2001, May
Beijing Midi Festival 2004 (VA) - 2005, March
Badhead 2 Girl's Day (VA) - 2003
Beijing Band 2001 (VA) - 2003
Midi 2002 Live (VA) - 2002, July
Appearances in Podcasts
Rock in China Radio Show 5 - 2006, September
Appearances in Magazines
So Rock! Magazine (no. 12) - 2002, May
- SoRock! Magazine no. 28 - 2004, March
- SoRock! Magazine no. 29 - 2004, April
- X-Music Magazine no. 243 - 2003, April
- X-Music Magazine no. 263 - 2004, February
- X-Music Magazine no. 299 - 2005, August
- Musical Realm no. 003 - 2004, December
- Da Kou Music no. 008 - 2005, November
- Happy Avenue & SLIT @ 288 Bar - 2005/11/04 - by Brad Ferguson
- Myspace.com Page
- Wu Hongfei & Happy Avenue Douban Page
- Wu Hongfei blog (older)
- Wu Hongfei blog (newer)
- Happy Avenue page from Beijing Band 2001 site
- "Happy Avenue Leads To......" by Wendy Liu, from City Weekend, December 5, 2004
- "Multi-faceted Artist Shares Story", from China Daily, December 19, 2002
- Lucky Road profile from China Daily (down)
- Band profile from Beijing Portal (down, archive)
- "Queens of Beijing: The city’s female movers and shakers", from That's Beijing, March 9, 2005
- Review of Wu Hongfei's The Double Life of Afei
- Happy Avenue photos from Shanghai Streets Photoblog
- Happy Avenue history (in Chinese and English)
- Interview with Wu Hongfei from China Beat radio program (click yellow smiley face to listen)
- Article and audio from PBS Frontline page
- Audio samples (in Chinese; click on "headphones" icon for each track to download)
- Audio samples (in Chinese; click two links to the right of the Windows Media Player icon)
- ↑ link
- ↑ Andy Best (Kungfuology.com) (2009-04-11). "Happy Avenue & Monroe Stahr live @ Yuyintang". Retrieved on 2009-04-29.