Yesterday I attended the first day of the 2011 Hohaiyan Music Festival (海洋音樂祭) at Fulong Beach. The festival, organised by the New Taipei City (formerly Taipei County) Government, has been running since 2000. The festival has two stages with the main stage on Fulong Beach. There are also food stalls and toilets set up on the beach and a huge staff to keep things running smoothly.
When I arrived on the beach I saw members of the No Nukes group (諾怒客) handing out posters and talking to people. It is a reminder that just a few kilometres away from this beautiful beach the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is under construction. Continue reading →
Taiwanese hip-hop group Kou Chou Ching (拷秋勤) have just released a new music video titled “Around the World” (世界放風聲). 2010 has seen Kou Chou Ching touring to the USA, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The video features footage from the group’s world tour, but the lyrics leave no doubt that their music is 100% Made in Taiwan.
Here is my translation of some of the lyrics:
從東京到台北 再來到紐約 我們的腳步從來不停歇
From Tokyo to Taipei and all the way to New York,
Our feet have never stopped for stopped for a rest
巡迴 的武器是音樂 Made in Taiwan 的純正口味
On tour our weapon is music with a “Made in Taiwan” pure flavor
高喊台灣 我從來不害臊 這個國家是我的驕傲
Shouting out “Taiwan”, I’ve never been ashamed
This country is my pride
我要你聽到 明瞭 知道 台灣的榮耀 在這 Right now
I want you to clearly hear and know the glory of Taiwan
Right here, right now!
Thousands of people* marched through Taipei in a protest against the expansion of the petrochemical industry. They shouted “Oppose Kuokuang, save Taiwan!” (反國光，救台灣) as they marched. This was in reference to the Kuokuang Petrochemical Plant which is slated to be built off the coast of Changhua County.
Large contigents travelled to Taipei from Changhua and Yunlin counties to join the protest. Many of them were mobilised by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The photo above shows Liu Chien Kuo (劉建國), a DPP legislator from Yunlin County, Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇), a DPP legislator, and Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬), Yunlin County Commissioner, leading a section of the march. Continue reading →
Exclaim! TV from Canada visited Taiwan in April this year to report on Taiwan’s burgeoning indie music scene. They attended Spring Scream (春天吶喊) and also checked out live venues in Taipei. A five-part series of videos documenting Taiwan’s music scene is now available for viewing online. Part One is embedded above and links to all five videos can be found at the end of this post.
I contacted Exclaim! TV’s Sam Sutherland by e-mail and asked him about his impressions of his time in Taiwan. He was surprised that at Spring Scream not many people were drinking. Sam said, “At any music festival in North America, the beer tent is as crowded as the main stage. But it seemed like James and I were the only people bothering to buy beers in a crowd of thousands.” Continue reading →
Taiwan’s summer music festivals were supposed to kick off this weekend with the Wan Bay Music Festival (灣島音樂祭) at Jiupeng (九棚) in Pingtung. However, as a result of an injunction from Pingtung County authorities the event has been cancelled. Apparently police were concerned the event would be used for selling illegal drugs. I have some more details on my Posterous blog. If you have made plans to head to Pingtung this weekend there will still be some musicians playing “unplugged” on the beach.
Hohaiyan (海洋音樂祭) is one of Taiwan’s longest running music festivals. This year it’s on again at Fulong Beach in Taipei County from 9-11 July. Entry is free. It kicks off on Friday 9 July with a great line up including Sodagreen (蘇打綠), 88 Balaz (88顆芭樂籽), Totem (圖騰樂團) and Tizzy Bac. They are all past winners of the Hohaiyan competition that have gone on to bigger things. On Saturday 10 July bands will compete for Hohaiyan’s big prize. Then last year’s winners Matzka and DeHot will close the night with their rocking reggae tunes. On Sunday 11 July don’t miss Kimbo Hu (胡德夫).
Freak Out Beast (吵年獸), a music festival featuring a huge line up of Taiwan indie bands, took place on Saturday and Sunday in the space around the Red Theatre in Ximending. I attended both days last year but this year I was only able to attend for one day on Sunday.
The event took place on multiple stages around the Red Theatre. At the entrance there were turntables and mixing decks set up for DJs to perform. I had seen this crew performing in Ximending a couple of months earlier. In the evening Kou Chou Ching (拷秋勤) performed their Taiwan-style hip hop. Continue reading →
On Saturday the Amis community of Sanying (三鶯部落) in Sanxia held its end of year celebration. The event attracted a crowd of about 500 people which was more than last year’s event. The community had also undergone a lot rebuilding after its demolition in February 2008.
The afternoon began with dancing by members of Sanying and also the nearby riverside community of Saowac. As the evening approached the dancing ended and there was a generously catered meal enjoyed by everyone in attendance. Continue reading →
On Saturday afternoon I headed to Ximending (西門町) to meet a friend and see what was happening. The place was abuzz with activity. One of the first things I spotted was this concert going on in the plaza beside the Red Theatre (紅樓). The plaza also has a lively market where young designers and artists tout their wares.
Standing outside the MRT Station two young college students approached me. Their teacher had asked them to speak to some foreigners to practice their English. I patiently and politely obliged their request (while silently cursing their English teacher). Continue reading →