Beijing Rockers Second Hand Rose to Play NYC, DC, Philly, Boston
Today, Beijing band Second Hand Rose announces their Useless Rock tour of the East Coast with stops in New York, Boston, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. The tour will kick off following their performance at the Modern Sky Festival being held on October 4-5 in Rumsey field in NYC's Central Park.
Useless Rock Tour 2014
- Tuesday, October 7 at Cafe 939, Boston, MA
- Wednesday, October 8 Useless Rock Press Conference, 310 E. 44th Street, New York, NY
- Thursday, October 9 "Useless Rock and Chinese Communist Party Sponsorship" lecture at the China Institute, New York, NY
- Friday, October 10 at Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington, DC
- Sunday, October 12 Fashion launch hosted by Hip Hop USA, venue TBA, New York, NY
- Wednesday, October 15 at Hard Rock Cafe, Philadelphia, PA
- Sunday, October 19 at Webster Hall, New York, NY
To fund their travels, the band set up a crowdfunding campaign through PledgeMusic (http://pledgemusic.com/projects/secondhandrose). Fans can pre-purchase tickets to any of the club shows or pick up items from the band's clothing line, Red & Green. The patterns are designed by Liang Long and based the classic floral prints of northeastern China, instantly recognizable throughout the country for the red-and-green color combinations that are considered overly garish in traditional Chinese painting. Additional clothing created in collaboration with Hip Hop USA and featuring Second Hand Rose's signature motifs will be unveiled at an event on October 12.
Back in 2000, singer Liang Long and suona (a wind instrument) player Wu Zekun burst onto Beijing's underground music scene with a performance style that's part cabaret, part Chinese theater, and part rock 'n' roll dance party. The band eventually filled out to a six-piece and set itself apart from its peers with live shows that have something in common with the tongue-in-cheek provocation of bands like the New York Dolls and the Japanese style of Visual Kei: Liang is known to perform in partial drag, at times a nod to the Shanghai glamour girls of the 1930s or taking on the aspect of a People's Liberation Army general in lipstick, while guitarist Yao Lan regularly strips down to his underwear before taking the stage.
The shows also feature elements of Peking Opera, folk tunes, and especially a stage tradition from China's northeast called Two Taking Turns, a playful, sexually charged form of verbal sparring between a male jester and female beauty, though in the case of Second Hand Rose, Liang Long takes on both male and female roles.
The name Second Hand Rose comes from the notion that rock in China is a secondhand and imported endeavor-as such, the band's song "Leading a Dabbling Life" devolves into a Chinese sing-along version of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal." After more than a decade of winning over new fans around the country, earlier this year, Second Hand Rose played for a crowd of over 30,000 at the Strawberry Music Festival in Beijing, and last year they headlined a concert in Beijing's state-owned Workers' Gymnasium, one of the most prestigious venues in the country.
Second Hand Rose links: