The Yaogun Diaries, part 3

Part of a series dealing with rock music in China, mostly Beijing because that's what I know. 摇滚 (yáogǔn) is the Chinese word for rock music, the two characters literally meaning "shake" and "roll".


This band was the subject of frequent notices in the English-language publications around Beijing from the time I started reading them, and the descriptions were enticing enough for me to buy their second CD Noise Hit World (Badhead/Modern Sky, 2007) without hearing any of it first.
It’s a really engaging pop-punk sound with some elements of both British and Japanese rock to it. Like many Beijing bands, Hedgehog is a trio, in this case guitar/bass/drums, and also like many Beijing bands, at least one member is female, in this case drummer 阿童木 (Atom, as in Astroboy, because she is small in size but very powerful just like the robot boy in the cartoon). Their modus operandi is to establish a catchy rock groove and add somewhat sing-song vocals over it, sometimes punctuated by enthusiastic shouts. Guitarist 子健 (ZO) does most of the singing, though Atom helps out with backing, occasional lead, and shouting. The lyrics are mostly in English, unabashedly sung with Chinese accents. The bassist also goes by a nickname, 博宣 (Box).

Here’s the opening track for you to get the idea.

Toy & 61 Festival

It wasn’t long before I got a chance to see them live (covered here originally). They were part of a four-band bill at Yugong Yishan for the two-band album release party of Carsick Cars and Snapline on November 10, 2007.
That was a great night of music, and Hedgehog were outstanding – noisy and rowdy without being out of control.
I ended up seeing them live the following weekend at 2 Kolegas as part of a different four-band bill. This time they were the final band after RandomK(e), Subs, and Re-TROS.
Most of the decent pictures I got appear in my original post over here.
2 Kolegas is a very different environment from Yugong Yishan, closer to classic “dive” status and proud of it. The smaller, more intimate show was looser and ended with a real Rock and Roll Moment, as I described in my original post.

The band has remained active since then, though I haven’t seen them again. Their third CD, Blue Daydreaming (白日梦蓝 – báirìmèng lán), came out in 2009 on Modern Sky, and, like Noise Hit World, is much more subtle and melodic than their live persona would indicate, thought it’s full of vitality and charm. This time the lyrics are split about halfway between English and Chinese, but I don’t think that’s an indication of them giving up on international recognition.
As much as I like Noise Hit World, I think this one is better. Here’s one of many great selections.


I said it’s more subtle, but that doesn’t mean it’s wimpy. It’s more muscular sounding in many places, though there are passages of acoustic guitar with dreamy vocals.

There’s also a 2006 CD called Happy Idle Kid which I’ve never seen in stores or at a gig.

Here’s a fun video which is from the album:

Haven’t been able to find a download anywhere either, though I’ve searched all over. For some reason when you try searching with this band’s name (or the Chinese equivalent 刺猬 cìwèi which they don’t use very conspicuously), you find a bunch of video-game related stuff.

Rock in China: http://wiki.rockinchina.com/index.php?title=Hedgehog
MySpace (Chinese, but with audio): http://www.myspace.cn/hedgehog
AMP interview (in English): http://amp.channelv.com/seenandheard/2007/07/24/1185244713938.html

Note: All images and audio files presented here are in the interest of increasing awareness of Chinese rock in the English-speaking world. If you are the owner of the copyright in any of them and object to this free promotion, let me know and I'll remove the offending media.


  1. Try downloading "Happy Idle Kid" from kungfuology.com with the title "Other people's youtube" (can't paste links into this comment box for some reason).

    Though in my opinion it's not nearly as good as Blue Daydreaming or even Noise Hit World.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Took a bit of poking around, but I found the post you mentioned. Unfortunately, the Happy Idle Kid file seems to be no longer available.

  4. can anyone point me to a download link? :-)

    interested to hear this.

  5. If you do eMule, lots of things are available at VeryCD: http://www.verycd.com/ If you'd like more specifics, let me know.