Fri, Apr 06, 2007 - Page 15 News List

So little time ...

By Ron Brownlow  /  STAFF REPORTER

Octopus Project is one of the top picks at this year's Spring Scream.

PHOTO COURTESY OF OCTOPUS PROJECT

So many bands, so many stages, so little time.

That's about the shape of it. If you're wondering who to check out at this year's Spring Scream, here's a few bands we like who are scheduled to play today and tomorrow at the Kentington (小墾丁) venue in Manchou Township (滿州鄉). We complied this by-no-means-exhaustive list with the aid of demos sent to Spring Scream organizers, Myspace pages, bios plagiarized from the festival's Web site, and even more help from John Kuhel in Tainan, Rocketgrrl backup drummer Nathan Davis and especially former enPOTS columnist and The Deported vocalist Andy O'Brien.

To a God Unknown (Taipei, Taiwan)
Instrumental, reflective post-rock that evokes comparisons to Mogwai or early Pink Floyd. Their songs are long and you should listen to them with your eyes closed.

Atash (Texas, US) One of Austin's premier World Music ensembles, they play a fusion of traditional Iranian music and jazz. Nothing else like this is going on in Taiwan. Completely unique, completely different.

Octopus Project (Texas, US) Austin-based experimental space rock you can dance to. They blend laptops with indie guitar and have many imitators in Taipei, where there music is distributed through White Wabbit records.

Little Fat Pig (Hong Kong, China) This six-piece plays a twisted combination of cute Cantonese pop and 1970s punk. LFP keeps things simple, cheerful and rude.

Mimie Chan (Tokyo, Japan) Loved for their hard-driving ska, feared for a dancing, diaper-clad sumo wrestler and what he throws into the crowd. They dress up in all sorts of weird costumes and combine highly danceable ska with a rock-steady beat and punk's energy and attitude.

The Clippers (夾子) (Taipei, Taiwan) One of the pioneers of Taiwan's early underground rock movement, this band has been going for a decade on a combination of cheezy local flavor, dancing girls and heavy social satire.

Trash Box (Tokyo, Japan) Super-stylish Japanese psychobilly four-piece. 'Nuff said.

Hot Dog Buddy Buddy (Tokyo, Japan) Japanese rockabilly trio with the hair to prove it.

Rocketgrrl (Taipei, Taiwan) They pissed us off when they didn't tell us they'd cancelled their tour last month. But they promise to show up for Spring Scream. Psychedelic noise that sounds like punk rock in a space ship.

Red I and The Riddim Outlawz (Taidung, Taiwan) Music for island people. Red-I, Rintaro Masui and company lay down a rock steady beat of reggae, ska and jazz with local characteristics.

Heavy Smoker (老煙槍) (Taipei, Taiwan) One of the best representatives of the Taiwanese happy punk collective on ZMN Records. Their Green Day-influenced sound is backed up with a heavy dose of "whoa whoa whoa's," "hey hey hey's," "la la la's," and "let's go's."

Charlie Taylor and The Axis of Evil (Ontario, Canada) This Canadian folk singer writes dirty, irreverent songs. If you understand English, he's a lot of fun.

Double Negative (Tokyo, Japan) Crazy, hard-hitting Japanese ska punk.

Children Sucker (表兒) (Taipei, Taiwan) Unique, locally flavored punk influenced by anarchist rockers LTK (濁水溪公社) and sappy nakashi music with neo punk riffs.

Kanaras (Tokyo, Japan) Kentaro Saito from New York spazz-core band Dynamite Club and Takabe of Mimie-chan. One reviewer said Saito's music was "a schizophrenic hodge-podge of different styles moshed together" that sounded like "unfinished musical ideas channeled through someone with ADD." And that was supposed to be an insult.

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