Appetite for Promotion

Posted by Pete DeMola on 27. Aug 2009

Transforming from a wart-filled amateur night platform rife with false starts, abrupt squalls of feedback and broken guitar strings (as well as the occasional diamond in the rough) to an ambitious battle royale, next month's University Night series at D-22 (beginning on Wed, Sept 9) marks the first of three nightly competitions where a dozen-or-so young rock bands will compete to win two coveted slots to support seasoned indie veterans P.K. 14, Carsick Cars and the Gar at a show in mid-September.

That gig, slated for Sat, Sept 19 at Yugong Yishan, is guaranteed to present the winners to larger audiences (potentially five times bigger than their usual stomping grounds), fatter opportunities and exposure to the starry-eyed Western journos who follow the three headliners around -- inevitably improving their shots at scene stardom in the long run.

The panel of judges, which includes members from the aforementioned bands, is certain to be more qualified and knowledgeable than those emceeing PepsiCo's controversial yearlong "Voice of a New Generation" contest.

That ongoing event, the American food giant's attempt to bring the "underground" to living rooms nationwide, appears to be characterized by long in the tooth guest judges issuing platitudes as scantily-clad corporate showgirls twirl glow sticks and shake their derrieres under the epileptic glow of strobe lights reflecting from massive stacks of product placement.


According to Maybe Mars, one of the facilitators of this event and home to the three headliners, competitors will be judged on creativity, originality and performance.

For the sponsor, Plastered T-Shirts, an expat-run T-shirt company who design ironic apparel inspired by local flavor, the series marks the launch of their website "Plastered Backstage," where they will be working with local bands and artists in the creation of T-shirts (profits will be split 50/50 with the band), dissemination of event listings, images and all other rock scene-related info.

"We are a very small grassroots event aimed at a smaller student scene in Beijing that is starting to flourish," said Plastered founder Dominic Johnson-Hill in an email message on the differences between the Plastered Rock Weekend and the PepsiCo event, with the latter being a nationwide event that isn't limited to only student bands.

"We felt that it was about it time to give [D-22's University Night] a boost."

The crowning event at Yugong Yishan will be the final time this year to see the three headliners in Beijing before they head to the States for a tour, and admittance will be free for the 700 people who sign up online starting on Tues, Sept 1. (The winners will be chosen at random, and can expect prize giveaways and limited free beer at the event.)

The remaining 300 tickets will go for 80 RMB a pop at the door after 10pm.

Visit Plastered on WLIB for a chance to win one of ten free tickets (beginning on Tues, Sept 1).


Wed, Sept 9
Cold Case, Pork, Old Fashion, Rustic and My September
D-22, 8pm, 20/10 RMB (students)

Wed, Sept 16
Birdstriking, Mr. Graceless, Flyx, Nanwu, Fruit Salad and Blue Rice Field
D-22, 8pm, 20/10 RMB (students)

Fri, Sept 18

Daisy Fay, Yes/No Break, Final Message, Mythomania and Blue Rice Field (again)
D-22, 8pm, 30/20 RMB (students)

Sat, Sept 19

P.K. 14, Carsick Cars, the Gar (plus the two winners)
Yugong Yishan, 10pm, 80 RMB/free (see above)

Sun, Sept 20
Acoustic troubadours the Lone wind down the Plastered Rock Weekend with a melancholy blend of original compositions and covers. Cassette, Mr. Open, SSS and Robot Rabbit will support.
D-22, 9pm, 30/20 RMB (students)

Image: Kent Løset

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