Fri, Jan 23, 2009 - Page 14 News List

Unleash the Beast

By Ron Brownlow  /  STAFF REPORTER

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Last year the cops showed up at Freak Out Beast (吵年獸) in Shida park (師大公園) and told organizer Jerry Fang (方宜正) to turn the music down.

So this year Fang and company are moving the festival to the Red House Theater (西門紅樓) in Ximending where they can crank the volume up.

Freak Out Beast is an annual indie-music concert and design fair held by a loosely organized group of musicians and artists to give people a chance to party or just mingle during the Lunar New Year holiday, which traditionally is the most boring time of the year for anyone who wants to hear live music or hang out with people who aren’t relatives. Admission is free, the vibe is laid-back and with dozens of bands and DJs scheduled to perform it offers a great opportunity to catch up on the current state of Taipei’s underground music scene.

The name Freak Out Beast references the traditional practice of hanging red lanterns and setting off firecrackers to scare away the Year Monster, or Nian, (年獸), who according to myth emerges from the ocean on Lunar New Year’s Eve and enters villages to eat humans and their livestock.

This year’s lineup includes three-dozen live acts ranging from garage bands Rabbit Is Rich (兔子很有錢) and White Eyes (白目) to rappers Kou Chou Ching (拷秋勤) and Shorty to moody punks 88 Balaz (八 十 八顆芭樂籽) and pretty-boy rockers New Yorker (紐約客). There will be a DMC turntablist competition on Feb. 1 at 2pm, as well as dozens of stalls run by artists throughout the festival selling everything from handmade plush toys and T-shirts with original designs to embroidered bags and plastic knickknacks. Many of these young designers operated booths at the recent 2008 Urban Simple Life (簡單生活節) festival, which was inspired in part by events like Freak Out Beast and Campo Life Art Carnival (CAMPO生活藝術狂歡節).

FESTIVAL NOTES:

WHAT: Freak Out Beast (吵年獸)

WHERE: Red House Theater (西門紅樓), 10 Chengdu Rd, Taipei City (台北市成都路10號)

WHEN: Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, from 2pm to 10pm

TICKETS: Admission is free

ON THE NET: freakoutbeast.blogspot.com


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