The maestros of tongue-in-cheek jangle pop, Won Fu (旺福) returns to record store shelves this month with its long awaited follow-up to last year's excellent Same Name, Same Sex (同名同姓) and fans of the four-piece certainly wont be disappointed with the combo's latest selection of tight happy-go-lucky sounds. \nWon Fu's comedic lyrical outlook and its ability to switch and swap musical techniques, speeds and styles, once again comes into play and makes the band's self-titled second album a harmoniously riotous listen from start to finish. \nWhatever direction Won Fu decides to take its listeners, the simple hooks and riffs are so addictive that the melodies will be buzzing around in your head long after the album has finished. \nKicking in with the current MTV music-video hit, the warm, bouncy and brass-section infused funky pop tune, Mini Skirt (迷你裙), the album take listeners through 11 great tunes. And there's not a dud amongst them. \nHighlights include the faux punk/ska number Fat Girls (胖妞的怒吼), the power pop sing-a-long Around the World (環遊世界) and the Belle-and-Sebastian-like Peach (水蜜桃輓歌). \n \naiwan's, Asia's and -- if you believe the hype -- the world's favorite Mando-pop star, Jay Chou (周杰倫) looks set to conquer album charts once again with his fifth album, Common Jasmine Orange (七里香). \nChou's latest album has already taken Asia by storm. Released two weeks ago, record stores and online shopping sites throughout the region have reportedly received orders totaling 1 million copies. It has reached the number one slot in the UFO Radio pop charts at home and is looking set to topple F4's Jerry Yan (言承旭) as number one in Hong Kong's RTHK popular music charts in the coming week. \nIn what has become the archetypal Chou style, Taiwan's favorite son blends pop, rap, blues and a smorgasbord of esthetic elements of world music to create his dream-like never-never land of common jasmine oranges. \nThe crux of Common Jasmine Orange is, like much of Chou's recent material, rap-based. Not that there's anything wrong with this, as Chou ably, yet at times inaudibly, raps his way through tunes like the pulsating acoustic guitar accompanied opener My Construction Site (我的地盤), the slow and hypnotic The Injury of Cease-fire (止戰之殤) and the soulful Grandmother (外婆). \nSome of the album's better moments are when Chou decides to burst into song rather than mumble (whoops!) rap. The slow orchestrated love ballads Excuse (藉口) and Stranded (擱淺) and the rock inspired Desperate Fight (困獸之鬥) prove that Chou is, along with being a poster boy for a generation, a genuinely talented singer. \nh dear! Duck, get your ear plugs out and get ready to cringe as yet another soap star sets out to prove he's more than just a pretty face by singing a selection of other people's songs with the help of members of another band, which in this case happens to be power-pop trio, F.I.R (飛兒樂團). \nAs the star of GTV's hit soap The Outsiders (鬥魚), which told of the trials of tribulations of a group of deviant youths in their late teens coming to terms with adulthood and, predictably enough, responsibilities, Dylan scored big with excitable adolescent female fans. As a singer, Dylan no doubt hopes to score brownie points with both sexes. \nNot only does Don't Look like Myself come laced with emblematic mushy Mando-love songs and acoustic ballads, but it also comes padded out with a couple of out-of-place heavier moments. While not weighty enough to inspire frantic air-guitaring by Taiwan's clean-cut greasers, Faith (信賴) certainly makes Dylan standout from the crowd. \nOn the whole, however, Dylan's debut is a truly unremarkable affair, that proves that just because a rising star has a face for TV, it doesn't necessarily mean he has talent or originality for the recording studio. \nhe Champlers' Urizun Okinawa Music Restaurant is the latest in a long line of enjoyably offbeat folk albums to be released by TCM. It might be a far cry from the predominantly guitar driven, throaty Taiwanese folk that has made TCM one of Taiwan's leading independent labels, but the material is, as we've come to expect from the label both unique enough to be considered non-mainstream, yet still accessible to all regardless of one's musical preferences. \nA folk band from Okinawa, the Champlers comprises three members of the Miyagi family (Yasumitsu, Masami and their 12-year-old son, Taiki) and an assortment of equally musically minded friends. Heavily involved in the Japanese peace movement, the Champlers have performed at peace rallies throughout Japan and released its first album, Ichyaribacyode, to much acclaim in 2001. When they're not playing music, the Miyagi's are proprietors of a traditional Okinawan music restaurant called Urizun. \nA mix of upbeat, serene and generally agreeable tunes Urizun Okinawa Music Restaurant is a real gem of an album. The \nmaterial on the combo's Taiwan debut is a blend of traditional Okinawan folk tunes that have been given a makeover with a collection of contemporary styles and sounds. \nThe traditional sounds of the sanshin (a three stringed Japanese guitar) taiko drumming, a wooden percussion instrument called a samba and the fue, or Okinanwan flute, blend and glide faultlessly with those of the guitar, saxophone and synthesizer and the vocals are moving, yet earthy and sound genuine rather than pompous.
WON FU (旺福)
Chen Wang-shi (陳罔市) doesn’t know where to go if she is forced to move. The 78-year-old Chen is an active “sea woman” (海女) in Taiwan’s easternmost fishing village of Makang (馬崗) in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮). When the waves are calm, she ventures out to forage for algae, oysters and other edible marine morsels. She lives alone in the village, as her children have moved to the cities for work, returning for weekends and festivals. “I cannot get used to living in Taipei, and I feel very uncomfortable if I don’t go out to the ocean to forage. I
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten
A widely criticized peer-reviewed study that measured the attractiveness of women with endometriosis has been retracted from the medical journal Fertility and Sterility. The study, “Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control study,” was first published in 2013 and has been defended by the authors and the journal in the intervening years despite heavy criticism from doctors, other researchers and people with endometriosis for its ethical concerns and dubious justifications, with one advocate calling the study “heartbreaking” and “disgusting.” The study’s conclusion was: “Women with rectovaginal endometriosis were judged to be more attractive than those in the two control groups.
Back in the 1950s, the lifeguards of Bondi Beach, Sydney, were not only charged with rescuing surfers and scanning for sharks. In their role as “beach inspectors” they were also responsible for ensuring that swimsuits conformed to New South Wales state regulations. At least 7.6cm of fabric was required over the thigh, no navels were to be exposed and shoulder straps had to be “sturdy.” One of the best-known beach inspectors was Aubrey Laidlaw, who had already laid down the law when the first bikini debuted on the beach in 1946. By the turn of the 1960s, the “Bikini Wars” were