A petite 22-year-old girl sits, hands twisting in her lap. She bites down on her lower lip, revealing the glint of braces. Looking up shyly, a strand of hair falling from her tidy ponytail, she says "my songs are about teenage girls, love stories … breakups."
Ten minutes later, Gao Xiao-gao (高小糕) of punk/garage band White Eyes (白目) appears on stage. She's changed into brightly colored tights and has painted an inch-wide strip of glitter from cheekbone to cheekbone. Grabbing the mic, she utters a guttural yell and begins shouting lyrics and leaping across the stage, shaking her head. She sounds like a plaintive cat wailing, with echoes of PJ Harvey's wrenching moans. If her songs are about love stories, they are tumultuous ones indeed.
White Eyes, which translates roughly as "retarded," a name lead guitarist Telecat (鐵樂貓) said they chose "because we are," is one of the treasures to discover at this weekend's Olympic Music Festival, which is being organized by MaxParty.
There are bigger names playing this three-day event at Huashan Culture Park (華山文化園區), namely Tizzy Bac, Wonfu (旺福) and MC Hotdog; as well as electronica heavyweights Lisa Lashes, a hard house and trance DJ who was the first and only female DJ ranked among the Top 10 in the world by DJ Magazine (in 2000), The Thrillseekers, an English trance DJ the magazine ranked No. 52 last year, and local DJs Blueman, SL (劉軒) and Vertigo.
Other notable acts include Jimmy Chen, J-Six with live vocals by Angie (李嘉), Code, Sunstar aka Noodles, F. Daniel and Satan!!!
Scheduled for early in the evening (4pm to 10:30pm tonight) are indie bands like White Eyes, Go Chic!, The Shine and Shine and Shine and Shine (閃閃閃閃), Space Cake (太空蛋糕), BB Bomb (BB彈), and Hotpink (熱粉紅). Several of these bands are all-female, and all of them are girl-fronted.
As with many recent youth-oriented festivals, there will be a "creative market" with original fashions and art from more than 30 local designers. Proceeds from the market will be donated to the Chinese Taipei Olympic Games Committee.
The Maxparty 2008 Olympic Music Festival (2008奧運奪金嘉年華) is at Huashan Culture Park (華山文化園區), 1, Bade Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市八德路一段1號) tonight from 4pm to 4am, tomorrow from 2pm to 4am and Sunday 2pm to 6:30pm. Tickets are NT$600 per day or $1,500 for the weekend, available at the door. Visit olympic2008.maxparty.com.tw