Rachel and Kendra‘s recent music posts got me to thinking about the music I’ve been listening to these days. I have to admit that my iPod’s playlist looks WAY dated: some Metric, Rufus Wainwright, REM, and the rest is filled with japanesepod lessons (and that’s another story).

So my question to all you other laowai here in China is this:

How are you keeping up to date with good new music that doesn’t quite make into the sound-proof bubble that we refer to as China?

And before anyone chimes in with that “cultural adaptation” mumbo jumbo, let me tell ya that I’m not looking for Chinese tunes. Not in the mood. I want something for now, dammit.

Just like every now and then after becoming sick to death of Chinese food, you just need a piece of fucking cheesecake. Or a plate of nachos. Damn, do I ever miss nachos…

Anyway, I’m open to suggestion. What new and interesting music is out there these days?

Where’s my musical cheesecake?

P.S. Here’s my Last.fm station, and I’m open to listening to yours if ya got one.


  1. You need to come to Japan. Japan is absolutely obsessed with cheesecake. It’s everywhere! And carbonara. They love carbonara here but have never heard of pesto – that’s crazy! Pesto is the best pasta by far!

  2. @Rick: I hear ya. A little nettoy I’ve recently gotten into using is a Mozilla browser cum media player called Song Bird. It’s still in development, but is quite cool for hunting down new music.

    As for what I’m listening to – I’m in the same boat and have the same few albums on repeat for more than a year (or maybe two). However, they rock – so here ya are:

    • M. Ward – Post War
    • Bedouin Soundclash – Root Fire and Sounding a Mosaic
    • and Elbow – Leaders of the Freeworld and Asleep in the Back

    As for staying current… haven’t figured that out other than buggin’ folks from home. A week and a half out from heading to Canada – I’ll let you know what I hear when I’m home.

    @Alec: I’m suddenly very hungry.

  3. I used to have a music-mad friend in the UK who would keep me up to date, but he’s buggered off to travel the world and left me in the dark. GIT!

    So how am I keeping up to date ? LUCK. Whilst watching Shrek 3, I heard an awesome tune and discovered Damien Rice had a new album out: “9”. VERY happy me.

    Massive Attack, Placebo & We Are Scientists still do it for me.

    Alec! Pasta, pesto & cheesecake in the same post… that’s just evil 🙁

  4. My favorite way to get new, cool music (or old cool music, as the case may be) is this:

    1. Go on your favorite P2P music/file sharing application
    2. Search for a song that represents and embodies the kind of stuff you want to listen to. Preferably somthing quirky that not *everyone* has.
    3. When the search list comes up, right-click (Limewire – some P2P programs have a button for it) on one of the songs and choose “browse host”.
    4. If that person has enabled host browsing, you’ll get a list of all the songs that that person has on their computer. You’ll be able to tell right away if this person’s musical taste is anything like yours.
    5. Start downloading anything that you’ve never heard of that looks cool.

    Most of it will be shit, but a few nuggets will be great. Then you can search for other songs by that band. I’ve found most of my favorite music like that. Then find someone who’s got THAT song, and browse them. You can leapfrog around like that forever, finding ever wierder and ever cooler music.

  5. I use a torrent search site – like Isohunt or Mininova – and search the term “Billboard”. Amongst the search items produced will be one or more lists of the Billboard Top 50/100 Hits from the US and UK from a variety of different years. That’s usually sufficient to keep me up to date with the more mainstream radio play and maintain a steady influx of new music.

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