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Folk music festival and love comedy are hits

THE Yangtze River Folk Music Festival gets underway on Sunday and an insightful stage comedy about unlikely love runs through Tuesday, by popular demand. Yao Minji buys tickets. Venues for alternative events in summer tend to be less than luxurious, and air-conditioning is often not one of the amenities.

But summer is also a time for lots of events and big crowds, especially as young people are out of school.

There's a pause in many venues as it gets too hot with large crowds in small rooms. Organizers tend to post fewer promotional posters to limit the number.

But alternative events in summer are usually among the best of the year, and Shanghai Daily selected two that make it worthwhile to beat the heat and attend.

Many famous music festivals are held in summer, but the Yangtze River Delta Folk Music Festival on Sunday aims to become one of the best known. This is its second year.

Aiming to promote folk music, the organizers have chosen Shanghai's Live Bar, a small live house with a long history. It's famous for offering performance space for school bands and starting-out singers.

More than 10 folk musicians from the Yangtze River Delta will present "folk music from real life."

They come from Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.

Performances will run from early afternoon to late night, and guests can attend afternoon or evening sessions, or both.

Fans are welcome to take the stage to perform their own music after the programs. They can join in discussions with the bands and musicians.

Love comedy

A stage comedy, "Who Can Win My Love?" is a realistic piece of theater set in modern Shanghai. All 800 tickets for the first shows sold out fast, a record for a small-budget stage drama without big stars. The performers are two young Shanghainese comedians, Mao Wei and Hu Qingyun.

Originally scheduled to run from June 21 to 26, the play will now run through next Tuesday.

It's a play about everyday love encounters and conflicts in big cities, told through the stories of an ex-bar girl and a successful white-collar guy.

Both have to get married, as Chinese young people must, and plans have been made. They encounter each other through a car accident, which breaks up their engagements to other people. Their two distinct worlds collide.

Although the story - poor girl meets successful boy - is a cliche, "Who Can Win My Love?" has touched audiences with its ring of truth.

The chance encounter is a dramatic coincidence, but all the other stories involving the two protagonists are drawn from everyday urban life. It's easy to identify with the characters' dreams, fears and common problems.

Yangtze River Delta Folk Music Festival

Date: June 28, 1pm, 9pm

Admission: 40 yuan (afternoon), 30 yuan (evening), 60 yuan (both)

Venue: Live Bar, 721 Kunming Rd

"Who Can Win My Love?"

Date: through June 30, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Theater Academy, 630 Huashan Rd

Admission: 100-200 yuan

Tel: 5150-9000 Music

New Releases from High Note Records

Artist: AdeleTitle: 19 (Expanded Edition)Genre: Pop

The British vocalist's 2008 debut album sold more than one million copies around the world. The expanded version includes a nine-minute enhanced section featuring behind-the-scene footages. Singer/songwriter Adele is referred to by many as the next diva, citing her influences as diverse as Etta James, Jill Scott, Dustry Springfield and Jeff Buckley. With her mix-up of R&B and soul served up with a healthy dash of feisty London attitude, Adele spins beautiful dark stories of loves won and lost and sometimes just daydreamed about.

Artist: Little JoyTitle: Little JoyGenre: Folk

Little Joy is the new project from everyone's favorite Stroke, Fab Moretti, LA musician Binki Shapiro, and Rodrigo Amarante, who plays on Devendra Banhart's "Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon" album as well as having his own band Los Hermanos. The album features a tastefully executed cocktail of calypso-garage-folk.

Artist: V.ATitle: Shanghai Lounge Vol. 5Genre: Lounge down-tempo

In this album, elegant jazz is interspersed with distinct Oriental drumbeats. Fashionable electronic sounds evoke a retro lounge feeling. Folk tunes meet a chilled-out atmosphere. The house beats take a sudden turn and develop rapidly while the alluring accordion melodies are refreshing.

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Live Music

Live at Dream Factory

Chris Garneau, a 26-year-old Boston native, has brought his music to China for a tour. After two shows in Beijing and Hangzhou, he has come to Shanghai and will present his music at Zhijiang Dream Factory. Having started learning the piano at six, Garneau realized his love for musicals during high school and worked in Broadway for a while. Almost all his compositions are accompanied by piano, matching his unique voice nicely.

Date: June 28, 9pm

Venue: Zhijiang Dream Factory, 28 Yuyao Rd

Xiangxi Phoenix Live

Rare today, Yang Hai is a real gypsy singer who spends all his days singing wherever he goes on the road. The 31-year-old singer from Xiangxi, who performs under the name Xiangxi Phoenix, considers freedom the most important factor in life and enjoys taking his music on the road.

Date: July 3, 8:30pm

Venue: 021 Music Factory, 1436 Jungong Rd

Tel: 1391-8015-880

Tickets: 30 yuan

Monroe Stahr Live

Members of Shanghai band Monroe Stahr are from four different countries ? Hungary, America, Spain and Italy. Although they only got together about six months ago, they have just finished their first album and will present it at Shanghai's famous music warehouse Yuyintang.

Date: June 26, 9pm

Venue: Yuyintang, 1731 Yan'an Rd W.

Tickets: 30 yuan


German Film Screening

The German Consulate General in Shanghai organizes a "Smiling Europe" film festival, aiming to screen a European film every Friday evening until August 7. Scheduled for today is a 2004 Dutch film "Shouf Shouf Habibi" by Albert ter Heerdt and next week it will be a 2007 Germany film by Monika Anna Wojtyllo.

Date: Fridays through August 7, 7pm

Venue: Cross Tower, 102A, 318 Fuzhou Rd

Tel: 6391-2068 ext 602


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