Mao Livehouse is reminiscent of an indie venue. The walls are covered in graffiti and tour posters (New Pants, looking good in their communist party uniforms, are in town on December 18). There's a sign saying "No drugs" (with "Heroin please" scrawled underneath) and a young man in outsized yellow glasses and a duffle coat selling what look like 7" singles but turn out to be CD albums with stickers and a poster in a package that looks infinitely more covetable than the standard jewel box.
It could be anywhere, but this is the Dongcheng district of Beijing, a city of 17 million people but only three (and that's being generous) venues for live rock music. There's only one party in town, and that was to mark the Communists' 60th year in power. It's Saturday night, and any hope I had of proving the Chinese capital is more rock 'n' roll than MOJO's Mark Paytress's beloved Tokyo are slowly evaporating, but not without a few highlights along the way.Read More »from Chinese Rocks?