Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bejing Rocks!!!

AS she would anywhere in the world, Karen O of the arty New York rock band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs strode onto a festival stage here last month in costume, looking like a wild, futuristic harlequin in her cape of silver wings and blue-and-green striped tights. Shouting to 10,000 mud-soaked fans who shouted her lyrics right back at her, she thanked them in gasps of Mandarin: “Xie xie ni!”

A couple of days earlier the Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli was at a gleaming new club across town. And last Sunday, Linkin Park, a group of rap-rock titans with worldwide sales of 45 million, played in Shanghai to a sold-out stadium crowd of 25,000.

They are among the latest in a growing tide of Western acts hoping to crack the vast new entertainment market of China. Once largely closed to foreign music, the country has gradually loosened restrictions and — at a time when record sales in the West continue to plunge, and new sources of revenue have become essential — emerged as a crucial territory on pop’s global map.

“China is on the tip of everybody’s tongue,” said Peter Grosslight, worldwide head of music for the William Morris Agency. “There’s 1.3 billion people there. It’s becoming a much wealthier place. How can we ignore that?” (MORE)


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