Sat, Jul 10, 2004 - Page 16 News List

Michelle Shocked set to rock Formoz

By Max Woodworth  /  STAFF REPORTER

Michelle Shocked is coming to Taiwan for the Formoz Festival.


At first the Formoz Festival looked like it was going to be the slightly poor Japanese cousin of next week's Ho-Hai-Yan Rock Festival with the lineup's heavy tilt toward Japanese bands that you wouldn't know unless you were somehow really into Japanese rock. But that was before the organizers -- Taiwan Rock Alliance (TRA) -- finalized their roster and made a surprise confirmation that American folk-rock legend Michelle Shocked will be playing the festival's first night on Friday, July 30.

"Michelle Shocked actually approached us to be part of the Say Yes to Taiwan concerts, but it didn't work out. But we managed to secure the budget and work out the schedules for Formoz," said Freddy Lin (林旭佐), head of TRA.

There have also been additional last-minute confirmations that have filled up the roster considerably, with more local and foreign bands and even DJ Aki, the Japanese drum `n' bass master who will join local electronica artists like DJ Noodle, Lim Kiung (林強), Nylas and 78bpm on Formoz's first-ever electronica stage. American post-rock band Album Leaf, confirmed this week, will also be on the electronica stage.

TRA further announced this week that Mr Funky, one of Korea's most popular pop rock acts, will be playing the festival as well. In total, 20 foreign bands are scheduled to play the festival, most of them from Japan, Korea and Hong Kong.

The addition of Michelle Shocked, though, brings some unprecedented star power to the annual festival that has been held in progressively larger forms for 10 years.

Michelle Shocked surprised even herself when she first appeared on the rock scene in the mid-1980s with her blend of gritty east Texas folk tunes and radical politics nurtured in squatter settlements in the US and western Europe.

She's been a credible voice of left-wing political rock for almost two decades now and thanks to her having bargained to keep the rights to her releases on Mercury Records, a lot of her music is being re-released. Her albums have jumped erratically in style with each release, so it's hard to predict what she'll play in Taiwan, but she'll probably use the occasion for a little poltical commentary, which should be interesting.

Lin said three-day passes for the festival will cost about NT$1,000, which is less than most one-off shows for major international bands that pass through Taipei. The entire lineup of the festival, including the dozens of local bands that will play, can be seen at the festival's Web site:

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