Since their introduction to American audiences at last fall's Modern Sky Festival in Central Park, Beijing rockers Second Hand Rose (二手玫瑰) have won over scores of fans with their witty, provocative mix of rock and Chinese tradition.
Named for the rose singer Liang Long tucks behind his ear and the notion that rock music came to China second-hand from the West, Second Hand Rose was born more than a decade ago when Liang grew frustrated with the overseas-looking Beijing music scene and began developing his signature mix of Chinese tradition and rock.
The band pairs hard-rock riffs and funk breakdowns with the braying Chinese horn suona, elements of Peking opera, and a ribald northern Chinese performance style called two taking turns, a flirtations, bawdy dialogue between a female beauty and a male joker.
Second Hand Rose’s arresting stage style, incorporating the clashing red-and-green floral patterns popular in China’s northeast but considered overly garish in classical Chinese painting, calls to mind the stylings of American glam rock and Japanese visual kei. The band’s penchant for performing in makeup and partial drag is, Liang says, meant to represent the confusion that Chinese young people feel as their country undergoes dramatic changes.
Crossing Boundaries Tour Dates
7/10 Palo Alto // Albert & Janet Schultz Cultural Arts Hall
7/12 Toronto // Harbourfront Centre's Party on the Block
7/15 Boston // The Red Room at Cafe 939
7/18 New York // Santos Party House
Drop Around Music Video
Your Sister Music Video