Sensing that our caffeine levels were low, we recently made trip to the convenience store at the end of the block. There we saw Christina Aguilera on the cover of a magazine on the bottom of the rack, which upon closer inspection was the new Chinese Rolling Stone. You might recall that we wrote about this back in late March, after the inaugural issue came out with Cui Jian on the cover. They ran into problems with the publications authorites back then, and it looked like that even coming out with a second issue was going to be a problem.
Well, now they are back — sort of. This article (in Chinese) tells us that the first incarnation of Rolling Stone shared a publication number with Audiovisual World, a Chinese publication. However, as we know this partnership got them into some hot water, but now they’re back, this time as Pop Times or 音乐时空 (yinyue shikong). The article above has a quote from someone interviewed at the new magazine, who stated that they could keep the iconic Rolling Stone logo on there — as long as it was small. Take a look at the new one (pictured above) and compare with the old one to get a sense of what they mean.
Inside we find that their sponsor is Guizhou Artists’ Association, that they are also perhaps known as Music Zone Magazine (which is a more direct translation of 音乐时空) and that they have an address in Guiyang and also one in Beijing. The Rolling Stone logo has been licensed to ONEMEDIAGROUP, or OMG, their advertising company, whose Beijing address is the same as that of the magazine itself. Do you know what the hell that means? We don’t. But it seems that Audiovisual World is no longer in the picture at all and that the editorial staff are in Beijing.
So what’s inside the covers?
A “New Faces” section has some photos and introductions to The Wheels and Di Ku Ai, and Q&A’s with Taiwanese rocker Wu Bai, Rob Zombie, and Cao Fang.
One of the main features is a “Private Moments in Chinese Rock” piece, which has lots of double spread photos, many with Cui Jian and Dou Wei, and also with Chen Jin, He Yong, Ding Wu, Li Yapeng, Wang Xuebing, Zuoxiao Zuzou, Aisika’er, Qiu Ye, Wang Lei, and band such as Tongue and Miserable Faith.
Continuing on, there’s translated pieces about Christina Aguilera, Thom Yorke’s solo album, rock/fashion photography, a long article about James Brown and then, finally … a nod to Shanghai, in the form of an article about Top Floor Circus, which is interesting in that it covers how they met, how they changed musically, a little bit of what their regular lives are like, etc. That hasn’t made us like their music (or at least their latest album, which is their first foray into punk/hardcore), but it’s an interesting article, if only because it’s the only article we’ve ever read about them. The band is noted for having lots of Shanghainese dialect and slang in their lyrics, which always intrigued us, and the article offer a bit of explanation about this aspect of their music.
Then there’s long articles about Joe Walsh and then Buddy Guy. After that, an article about people involved in the music scene in Chengdu, a short piece about painter Fang Lijun, Kurt Vonnegut and his Chinese readership, and then some reviews: Beijing Jiu Men Jazz festival, and the Beijing Pop Festival, which was held over three days in early September and featured Supergrass and Sebastian Bach.
There’s also a picture of the former Skid Row frontman wearing the Qing dynasty emperor’s robes, and if you want to see more of that (and why wouldn’t you?) you can go here, where there are about ten pictures of S.B. all kitsched out.
It also comes with a free CD that has about 10 tracks and some extras on it, including exclusive releases from Wang Di and Houhai Big Shark as well as some tunes from Joyside, Su Yang, The Packeys and Catcher in the Rye.
That’s pretty much it. You can buy yourself a copy at local news and magazine stand or convenience store for 20 RMB.