Second Hand Rose
Liang Long, singer and band leader of Second Hand Rose, experimented with blending local instruments from Harbin, a city in far northeast China near Siberia. He has woven these performance styles into his music. Armed with a new sound, he travelled to Beijing, where suona (a wind instrument) player Wu Zekun helped him develop a unique blend of rock and Chinese traditions. The pair joined an underground music scene just beginning to develop around small clubs and artist communities, and eventually filled out the lineup to its current six-piece. The name Second Hand Rose derives from the notion that rock in China is a secondhand and imported endeavor—as such the band's song "Leading a Dabbling Life" devolves into a Chinese sing-along version of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal. The musicians themselves cite godfather of Chinese rock Cui Jian, Pink Floyd, and Hong Kong and Taiwanese pop acts like Beyond and Luo Dayou as influences. This October, the band will appear at the Modern Sky Festival in Central Park, followed by a tour of the American northeast, with stops in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.