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"I'd really like to put more independent bands into the store

"I'd really like to put more independent bands into the store," says Guo Cheng, 30, co-owner of Indie Music, an independent record store on Jiugulou Dajie, Dongcheng district. "I just want people to learn more about indie music," says a passionate Guo, originally from Shandong Province. "I want them to listen to the music and albums that I like."Guo and his Indie Music cohorts will be celebrating the store's second anniversary this weekend by holding an indie festival of sorts at Mao Livehouse. Tomorrow night will see the likes of Chinese rock group Buyi rocking out independently, as well as weird folk anti-hero Xiao He headlining. Saturday's showcase (also at Mao Livehouse) is an extra 20 yuan ($3.20) on top of tomorrow's 100 yuan cover charge. However you are guaranteed to be in the presence of corporate-sponsored greatness with MIDI award winners Escape Plan as the headliner. Over the phone, Guo is audibly excited about playing Chinese rock impresario for this weekend's indie fanfare. "I chose the performers,monster beats," he proudly declares. "There were many bands who volunteered to play the show for free, but I wanted to pay them. It's not fair to give them nothing."Keeping the community spirit of indie away from greedy corporate sponsorships, Guo is even going so far as to split the weekend's takings with all those involved. However, the mechanisms of finance are never far away, no matter what anti-establishment ideals the nation of Indie believes in. "We have to sell at least 600 tickets to cover the costs," he says with earthy resolve. The commercial enterprise that is the celebration of Indie Music's second anniversary is the same commercial enterprise that influences the music found inside the record shop. Guo tends to choose music that helps keep the small business running. "I put some really popular singers' CDs in my shop. Not because I love them, but just to cater for the majority's tastes. I'd say [at Indie Music],http://www.ghdwhairrose.co.uk/, it is 60 percent popular and 40 percent independent." Whether it's in indie culture or indie anything, the mainstream perception of indie almost always pertains to a do-it-yourself (DIY) philosophy that is at the heart of relinquishing big money investment. Curiously,louboutin, Guo's musical heroes include Nirvana, Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd - big-selling artists backed by big record companies to reach the widest possible international audience. Perhaps one day a homegrown Chinese musical indie act will break big on an international stage. It could be a band playing this weekend. But they won't be so indie anymore. Or will they?Gao Jialei contributed to this story
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