Music has a big role in China's extravagant packaging of the Beijing Olympics. On today's show, China-based music writer Ken Smith talks about the opening ceremony, and about the complex dance between the music industry, the Olympic organizers, and the Chinese government. And composer Zhiyi Wang joins us from Beijing to talk about the music he wrote for the opening ceremony. Later on the show: The East Village Opera Company could best be described as a cross between Freddy Mercury and George Frederic Handel. The rock band/opera troupe has a new album, "Olde School," which we sample today.
Listen to Soundcheck's 2007 interview with soul singer Isaac Hayes
, who died Sunday at age 65.