The last time Kou Chou Ching (拷秋勤) played at The Wall (這牆), the hip-hop group received NT$200 for its efforts, the net earnings for the gig. Ever since, its members have avoided performing at live music venues, “unless it is something big and important, something new we like to show,” MC Fan Chiang (范姜) said.
What draws the young rappers back to The Wall this Sunday is their desire to present Unsung Heroes (無名英雄), a new compilation album the outfit made with Taichung-based DJ and producer MoShang, socially conscious rapper Chang Jui-chuan (張睿銓) and DJ Point.
Kou Chou Ching, the members of which rap in Hakka and Hoklo [commonly known as Taiwanese] about their observations on society, will touch on Taiwanese cinema and con artists at the concert. The set list includes Gray Coastline (灰色海岸線), a song about ocean pollution, and features samplings of traditional love songs from the Tao (達悟族) tribe on Orchid Island (蘭嶼) and Pau-dull’s (陳建年) The Crying Road Home (哭泣的回家之路).
Tao musician Alilis will also perform.
“We first met Alilis when he asked if we could make a recording of his songs so his sister has something to listen to on the train,” Fan Chiang said.
Sunday’s gig includes stints from DJ Point, who has worked with such indie acts as nu-metal combo Monkey Insane (潑猴) and Adia (阿弟仔) and whose music is compared to that of DJ Krush, Chang, who raps about Taiwanese history, and South African musician MoShang, who’s chill out lounge set will mix electronica with Tibetan chant.
Though Kou Chou Ching doesn’t plan to release a new album before 2011, the group performs a steady schedule of gigs, often at cultural and social events held by activists. The group embarks on a mini-tour of Tokyo’s rock venues, its third, in September.
WHAT: Unsung Heroes release party
WHEN: Sunday at 8pm
WHERE: The Wall (這牆), B1, 200,
Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City
ADMISSION: NT$300 at door, NT$600 in advance; includes a copy of the album.
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information
ON THE NET: blog.roodo.com/kou
Meanwhile, band members have been trying to secure sponsorship so they can attend the Just Plain Folks Music Awards in the US. The group’s first full-length album Kou!! It’s Coming Out!!! (拷!!出來了!!) received four nominations at what is billed as the world’s largest independent music awards program.
According to the Just Plain Folks’ Web site (www.jpfolks.com), 42,000 albums and 560,000 songs were submitted to the competition this year. The award ceremony will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, on Aug. 29.
What most puzzles the young rappers about the awards is not their nomination, but who submitted their album for competition in the first place.
“At first we thought the mail [from the organizer] was an e-mail hoax. One day I clicked on one of them and realized they had been trying to contact us for quite a while,” Fan Chiang said.