Cafes and pubs in Taipei have been plastered with old-West style posters emblazoned “Wanted: Jesse ‘Jah-seen’ Green.” The posters cite crimes committed: being rad, praising Jah, having soul, awesomeness, wicked jams, being a lover not a fighter. At the bottom they say: “Good friends don’t let friends move to China.”
When Jesse Morden-Green moved to Taipei five years ago, it’s doubtful that he expected his eventual departure to cause such a furor among his friends and members of his two successful bands, High Tide and Johnny Fatstacks.
“I didn’t know anyone,” he said. “After I had been here a month I went to my first jam night at Citizen Cain … it was the beginning of this whole crazy band explosion.” Prior to jam night, he had only been in “sloppy high school bands.”
It also “offered something else to do other than clubbing” and “created a scene… the Cain was the grunge village of Taipei.”
“It was a good place to get your confidence up. Foreigners here are really receptive, there’s no snobbery at all,” he said. “The people that listen to the music make it really easy for the people that play the music.”
He said that High Tide, which won ICRT’s Battle of the Bands last year “is a lot more serious about playing shows” than his other band, Johnny Fatstacks. Serious enough to continue playing without him, whereas Fatstacks will be having its last show tonight at Bliss in Morden-Green’s final performance with both bands.
Nonetheless, he feels ready for a change and is moving to Shanghai: “It’s kind of a Good Will Hunting thing, ‘going to see about a girl,’ following my heart,” he said. “[It] seems there is no scene there, it’s all DJs. I’d like to start something. A place like Shanghai, it’s a massive city in a massive country, there’s a lot you can do with that …”
WHAT: Final performances by Jesse Morden-Green with High Tide and Johnny Fatstacks, last show for Johnny Fatstacks
WHERE: Bliss, 148, Xinyi Rd Sec 4, Taipei City
WHEN: Tonight, from 10pm to 1am
TICKETS: Entrance to the bar is free, NT$200 to see the music upstairs
That said, he is a real Taiwan enthusiast: “The country is beautiful,” he said. “It’s a diamond in the rough, this tiny little speck on the planet that no one would expect to be such a great place to live.”