2013 Jan 25 Sound of the Xity: East Meets West on Sexy Posters
Last spring, I spent an evening pretending to pee in the urinals of every livehouse in Beijing. A friend of mine had asked me to be in a video he was shooting. “We’re trying to do viral videos that show the different body language Western and Asian men use while urinating,” he explained. In Tango, I looked up while my Chinese counterpart looked down. At Yugong Yishan, I shook and he swayed. At Mao, he looked over too far... Thankfully, that version of the video, the one I was in, was never released.
This is how bent the founders of Sound of the Xity music festival/conference are on finding creative ways to promote communication between Chinese and Western musicians. Last spring, they launched the first year of the festival with images of naked men, one Caucasian, one Chinese, touching tongues. And this year they released their promos early, using scantily clad female burlesque dancers – again, one Caucasian and one Chinese. They aren't touching tongues, but fondling each others' rear ends. These images are the brainchild of Hu Lan, a designer from SX Music, the company behind the festival. In my opinion, his designs come across as more playful than crude.
The festival itself has proven to be an effective platform to give local musicians exposure. Last year's concerts got the attention of overseas promoters and gave local big acts like Hanggai and Pet Conspiracy chances to tour abroad. This year, Sound of the Xity is more focused on bringing Western musicians to the stage. Anyone is welcome to apply to have their own band play during the festival.
Oh, and here’s the version of the video they actually released last spring.
Sound of the Xity 2013 is set to start in early April.