Various – Sixteen Days in China [DVD]


Band: Various

Title: Sixteen Days in China

Genre: Documentary

Release: 07/08/08

Distributor: MVD

I’ve been to China. I loved it there. One thing I noticed was that they listen to our music, but it’s what was popular 5 years ago. I always wondered why there weren’t chinese artist on their radio or on MTV China (which was really weird). Then I went to a karaoke bar and figured it out. In my opinion, none of them can sing. I know, that sounds bad, but none of them sing like western culture vocalists, and thats the culture that’s popular over there. So when James gave me this DVD to review, I was a little afraid to put it in, but after viewing it, some of my fears were diminished.

Let me start by saying Martin Atkins is overly pretentious. I’m sure he doesn’t care though, he’s successful and does pretty much whatever he wants anyways. If you don’t know who he is, let me save you the wikipedia search.: Martin Atkins played drums for Ministry, Nine Inch Nails (head like a hole era), and some other 90’s industrial bands before forming his own band, Pigface. Don’t worry, if you watch this you’ll see Pigface all over. Never mind the fact that this is supposed to be about Chinese underground music, you’ll get a ton of Martin Atkins promoting himself and being a bit egotistical.

Ok, now that that’s out of the way let me tell you about China’s underground music scene. More specifically Beijing. Even more specifically D22, which is apparently the only rock club in Beijing. China’s underground scene is mainly comprised of a late 70’s punk sound. Think Ramones era New York scene without the antics and anarchy. Now take away the decent music. Out of all the bands featured in this, I sort of enjoyed maybe two.

Now I know you’re wondering how the video aspect of this documentary is. Let me describe like this: Martin Atkins was in a bunch of 90’s industrial bands, and it looks like he hired the guy that made all their bad music videos. The quality is bad and all the video looks really grainy. There’s some “artsy” angles and cuts that just aren’t very visually appealing. I honestly feel like an art school dropout made this with his parent’s video camera.

The dvd isn’t all bad though, if you can get past the flaws, it’s actually pretty interesting. If it was any longer than 68 minutes it would have dragged on however, but it gives you just enough of a look at the content to tell a decent story. So if you really dig documentaries or really want to know about China’s music scene, give it a spin in the ol’ dvd player, but be warned, it wouldn’t be my first choice [or maybe even my second].

**Written by: Justin Proper**
Grade: 4/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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