Lonely China Day
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Intro on Tag Team Records
When it comes to exported music from China most think:
- traditional World Music
- Horrifying girl/boy pop groups sucking loli pops and wearing a blinding blend of neon
- Karaoke bars... lots of Karaoke bars.
Yes: Lonely China Day is from Beijing, China.
No: They don’t play traditional Chinese music. They don’t suck loli pops. They never go to Karaoke bars…ever.
Rather, this quartet, led by singer and primary songwriter Deng Pei, is an indie rock band. We’re not lying. These guys are "Chinese Indie Rock". As hard as it is to believe, there is a small yet burgeoning indie rock scene in China and LCD is in the top tier. Judging by the Chinese reception to their debut EP for Tag Team Records, and their sold out live shows, LCD are creating quite a fuss in their native land.
Deng Pei picked up on western music like John Frusciante and Mum thanks to "savvy Taiwanese CD merchants. We’re in a country full of pop-culture pirates!" After an American friend brought him a left-handed guitar from the States ("They don’t manufacture left handed guitars here in China", says Deng Pei) he started playing under the name Lonely China Day in earnest.
What you will hear on their eponymous EP is a heady blend of lap top bells and whistles, a staggering collision of minimalist guitar beauty with thunderous rock hooks, and a soothing voice cooing Mandarin poetry - all mixed with traditional Chinese musical influences. In other words: it’s unlike anything coming out of China today. "I want to be different from the rest of the crowd here in China", says Deng Pei. "I want to achieve much with very little. Very minimal songwriting with the addition of many, many surrounding elements." The result is an EP often compared to the Album Leaf, Mogwai, and Sigur Ros. Ironic considering Deng Pei, a man with limited access to the growing behemoth that is indie-rock, hadn’t heard any of these bands until a few months ago. "I don’t know very much about the American indie rock scene", he says. "But there is an indie rock scene in China. I think there is some original music happening right now in China, but not very much."
Formed on May 23rd 1996. Born and raised in Beijing, Deng Pei, a graduate of the Heinzmann Piano Production School, started writing music at age 15.
Lonely China Day built their following the old-fashioned way – they earned it. The band started touring their native China extensively in 1998, playing various music festivals and solo concerts, quickly gathering friends and fans all over the country.
Soon, press and radio stations picked up on the Lonely China Day phenomenon and have kept them busy with interviews ever since. In May, 2000, another Lonely China Day song was featured on a compilation put out by So Rock! CD Magazine and the band had their first TV appearance at the “This is China” (Feichang Zhongguo) show on Phoenix Satellite in December that year.
Lonely China Day’s first music video ‘Rizi’ (Day) was nationally broadcast in November, 2001 through ‘Xia Changpian’ (Summer Records) and just one month later, the band signed their first recording contract with Taiwanese label ‘Zhijie Liuxing’ (Always Modern) for their debut album “Memory” (Lu).
The year 2002 was a very busy one for Lonely China day and marks a turning-point in their career. In March, 2002 the band released their full-length album ‘Lu’, distributed throughout South-East Asia (Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, ...) by Taiwanese label Always Modern and in Mainland China through Chinese label So Rock! , published by Chengdu Recordings Publishing (Chengdu Yinxiang Chuban).
In March, 2003, Lonely China Day licensed ‘Fengjing’ (Scenery) to Beijing TV (BTV) for a special SARS program “Music for You” (We Ni Er Ge) As their debut album was still mainly influenced by the widely spread popular Hong Kong/Taiwan music, Lonely China Day took their time to develop their own unique sound and put together a wide repertoire of around 60 songs in preparation for their second album, entitled ‘Sorrow’ (Aishang). The “Guitar Festival” DVD compilation (Oct., 2004) features live footage of “Thou”, “Red Blossom of Plum and Me”, “One”, and “The Future”. Lonely China Day’s accomplished music and efforts have gained them sold out shows to wide audiences throughout China, radio interviews on all major Beijing radio stations, special invites from Cui Jian (god-father of Chinese rock) to play at various festivals and concerts organized throughout the country.
Lonely China Day didn’t go unnoticed by the ever-growing ex-pat community for long. The band was signed by international independent record label Tag Team Records in June, 2005, and their Self-titled EP was released in China in July, 2005, as well as in the U.S. in March, 2006. The EP was one of the Top 20 Sellers at Amoeba, Hollywood during summer 2006.
‘Sorrow’, the band’s latest full length album was released in China in November, 2006 and released in the U.S./Canada July 24, 2007. In the meantime, Deng Pei and Tag Team Records are busy introducing North Americans and Europeans to the awesome sound of Lonely China Day.
The band’s first toured the U.S. Tour in March, 2007, including dates with 120 Days, Shout Out Out Out Out, The Detachmentkit, ... Lonely China Day were formally accepted to showcase at the 2007 South By South West (SXSW) Music Conference, (where they were also invited to open for Yoko Ono and Antony And The Johnsons – the show was cancelled). Lonely China Day have since garnered praise from across the globe, leading to interviews/articles/reviews in Billboard, a feature on BBC World (televised), NPR, The New York Times, L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, Global Rhythm, and coverage in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Maximum Ink, the Sentimentalist, The Onion, Time Out NY, and many others.
Following their U.S. March ’07 Tour, Lonely China Day were invited to tour Israel, and Converse asked the band to design and do their take on the on the iconic Chuck Taylor sneaker for PRODUCT (RED) – and help fight AIDS in Africa.
2007 Lonely China Day Chinese tour project, the band has a toured 10 cities and 14 shows during Sep to Nov. more audiences have deep impress of the band. After the tour many audiences write a lot to the band.
2008 March the band are invited to Qing Dao Max 08 music festival. 2008 September Lonely China Day toured the American Midwest, starting off at the MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio (tour dates). Tian Xi, band manager, has kept a tour diary of their 2008 USA tour .
2009 Lonely China Day are invited to perform at Canadian Music Week 2009.
On April 16th, 2010, they performed with a special 专场 performance at the 2 Kolegas. According to Alex Searson: Their sound was, simply, amazing. I do love a song that seems to grow organically, and Lonely China Day knows just how to build a song. The electronic elements to the songs aren’t made the focus — in fact, there is nothing that sticks out — but they blend together with the usual guitar-bass-drums outfit to create a rich sound that you can feel running through you like a current. I definitely felt the influence of Chinese folk music even though the electronic undercurrent grounded it very much in the modern day. On June 19th, they held a release party at the Mao Livehouse. According to Cityweekend Beijing, Focused on the music as they clearly are, the group dressed as if they were in a recording studio, and sometimes it felt as if we were. They only acknowledged the audience until the end of the show; before then, they played almost continuously, with no break between songs. During the set’s numerous electronic passages, Deng would dance as if a fan at his own show, jabbing his hands in the air in time to the melody like an animated iPod commuter, so immersed in his own musical constellation was he.
Appearances in Press/Books
- Mentioned as one of "Beijing's hottest bands" in the Insider's Guide to Beijing 2008.
God Save the Chairman (VA) - 2007, November
Appearences in magazines
So Rock! Magazine (no. 4) - 2000, May
Appearances in Podcasts
Pissing On The Bamboo Curtain - 2007, November
- Band page at Tag Team Records, their record label
- Article on Asia Pacific Arts (UCLA Asia Institute) by Larry Kao
- Last.fm Page
- Interview with Deng Pei
Articles & Interviews
- Tian Xi (2008), Lonely China Day 2008 USA Tour Diary, published on 8 November 2008
- Music Video: One
- Danwei Music Episode on Lonely China Day and Tag Team Records
- Lonely China Day - Summon My Spirit At Lotus Pond
- ↑ Alex Searson (Beijing Gig Guide) (2010-04-17). "Gig Review: Lonely China Day @ Dos Kolegas, 2010.04.16". Retrieved on 2010-04-21.
- ↑ Cityweekend Beijing (2010-06-22). "Lonely China Day Album Release Party at Mao Livehouse". Retrieved on 2010-07-31.