Fri, Jun 10, 2005 - Page 15 News List

Slackers unite!

By Max Woodworth  /  STAFF REPORTER

MC Hotdog and Chang Chen-yue will tear it up together tonight at The Wall.

PHOTO: TAIPEI TIMES

To wind up his national tour that took him to a string of tiny dives, one of them a joint in Kenting where male and female strip shows are a nightly feature, rocker Chang Chen-yue (張震嶽) and his band Free 9 are closing things out with a bang at The Wall tonight.

Joining A-yue (阿嶽), as Chang is more commonly known, will be MC Hotdog, Taiwan's best-known rapper. Together, the two form a power lineup as the twin icons of local slacker indie culture, with an appeal far broader than their images might suggest.

Though the two play different genres, their respective roles as antidotes to the sappy strains of Mando-pop make them heroes to legions of kids who can identify easily with lines such as the one by Hotdog that goes: "Coco Lee, fuck/Jolin Tsai suck!"

A-yue is too nice a guy, though, to rip into other pop stars, but his attitude is more down-to-earth and self-effacing than that of most stars produced by the celebrity machine. It's not uncommon, for example, to spot him riding around town on his mountain bike, his favorite mode of transport.

His songs are sometimes filled with expletives, but just as often they're acoustic love ballads that get heavy KTV rotation. Most of all, he comes across as a pop star who's not packaged or kept on a tight leash by his label and agency.

Hotdog doesn't veer into ballads, but neither are his songs all attacks on self-important celebrities. They're usually just hilarious, filled with ironic observations of society from the perspective of one of its losers.

His latest anthem off his new album is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to homely Taiwanese girls titled I Love Taiwanese Chicks (我愛台妹). The new album is Hotdog's first since completing his military service, which truncated his budding stardom three years ago. His fans haven't forgotten him in the interim, so the show is an eagerly anticipated homecoming. And with A-yue, it should be a hard-hitting double feature.

What: Chang Chen-yue and Free 9 with MC Hotdog

When: Tonight, 9pm

Where: The Wall, B1, 200 Roosevelt Rd, Sec 4, Taipei (台北市羅斯福路四段200B1)

Tickets: NT$500 at the door

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