China Travel Photo of the Day: Shanghai punk rock granny kicks it old school

Travel | by David Perry
Posted: August 26th, 2010 | Updated: July 25th, 2012 | Comments
In case you're wondering, the fourth band is Angst. Living in China, you get so used to seeing the English language pop up in all kinds of strange fashion contexts that, after a while, it just blends into the background. Still, we'll never quite get over seeing this bag slung over the shoulders of xiaojies, ayis and waipos as they do their business about the city (click through below for a graphic example of just why we find this particular cultural juxtaposition so marvelously piquant)... Yep, it's a bag featuring four US punk bands that were barnstorming little clubs throughout the States with the likes of Black Flag in the early 80s just a few years after the Cultural Revolution died with Mao (1976 was a big year for punk and for China). Check the old concert flyer to the left for an idea of how these bands saw themselves and their place in society, then imagine our sample granny slam dancing to the Minutemen back in the day (though yeah, there is arguably a sorta Red Guard vibe to the whole thing in there somewhere... hey, it was crazy times all over...). Anyway, it's just one of those countless little things that can make one's head spin just a bit every time one ventures out into China's mash-up cities, where street fashion cops looks and lines (often wonderfully mangled and misspelled) from decades' worth of Western pop culture and spits it all back in totally new contexts. By the way, if you're looking for punk rock in China, it's doing just fine... take for instance the Trash A-Go-Go show going down this Saturday night at Shanghai's rock club extraordinaire, Yuyintang, headlined by Beijing surf punk outfit the Flying Mantas (aka You Mei You). We'd love to see a few grannies there kicking out the jams with the kids....
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