With an impressive array of keyboards, synthesizers and other electronic gear set up on stage, The Chemical Brothers (Tom Rolands and Ed Simons) walked out to thunderous applause on Tuesday night at Taipei Show Hall 2 (台北展演二館). The concert, the first of five shows for Very Aspect’s (有象文化) highly ambitious TWinkle Rock Festival, and held in association with Room 18’s 10th anniversary, was a doozy.
The Chemical Brothers started their hour-and-a-half set with a few old tunes like Another World, Do It Again and Get Yourself High. While the music was enjoyable, especially the kneecap-rattling bassquakes, people don’t just go to a Chemical Brothers show to see DJs — they want visuals. The Brothers delivered right off the bat as a cylindrical tower of lights slowly descended from the ceiling and encircled the producers and their equipment. The electric green lights then danced up and down, side to side and round and round to the cheers of the nearly 6,000 attendees.
The Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome lights were pulled up to unveil a monstrous LED screen as well as lasers shooting in every direction from the stage. Then an evil clown with rotten teeth started floating around the screen mouthing the Freddy Krueger sample (“You are all my children now”) from Acid Children. After last summer’s feel-good anthem Swoon, 2002’s Star Guitar and their first major hit, Hey Boy Hey Girl, the Chemical Brothers were in their groove.
Photo: Steven Vigar
Then they played their most hip-hop song, Galvanize featuring Q-Tip, remixed in a very housy fashion. They blended that into their vivacious closer, Block Rockin’ Beats.
The only complaints about the show were that it was hard to see what The Chemical Brothers were doing on stage because of all the lasers, strobes and LED lights, the concert was too short, and there was no encore. But this is festival season and acts need to get on and off stages quickly, and at most festivals encores are frowned upon. The sound quality was top notch, the music was exactly what you’d expect from a Chemical Brothers’ show, and the overall visual spectacle was astonishing. The Vinyl Word gives it two thumbs up.
While known for hard house and dubstep, on Saturday last week the Bounce Girlz pulled out all the stops at the Havana pool party in Taipei, playing a set that was very heavy on UK funky. This combination of electro, tribal drums and wispy vocals was made for the poolside, and brought a smile to many people’s faces. Tonight, the Bounce Girlz will be bringing more of their freshest tunes to Underworld’s 15th anniversary celebrations.
Photo: Steven Vigar
We Are Young: From NuRave to UK Funky featuring the Bounce Girlz tonight from 10pm to 4am at Underworld (地下社會) B1, 45 Shida Rd, Taipei City (台北市師大路45號B1), tel: (02) 2369-0103. On the Net: www.upsaid.com/underworld. Admission is NT$100.
Sept. 21 to Sept. 27 If word got out that you were planning a wedding during the Martial Law era, the “Committee for the improvement of Folk Customs” (改善民俗實踐會) might knock on your door. Each borough in Taipei had at least one “agent” who kept a pulse on community happenings. They would visit the family planning the wedding with a letter from the mayor, touting the benefits of being frugal and not wasting money on lavish ceremonies, even encouraging the families to donate money for scholarships. The authorities also discouraged them from hiring musicians and dancers, who were often loud and
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a way urban households can obtain healthy produce, while helping to build a more sustainable farming sector in Taiwan. King Hsin-i’s (金欣儀) transformation from advertising copywriter to social entrepreneur began in 2008, when she visited a rice farmer who practiced pesticide-free agriculture. “He explained that we have to leave space for other species. At the same time, I realized that while big companies have budgets to spread their messages, farmers have few chances to tell the public about their beautiful concepts,” she recalls. Inspired, she quit her job and traveled throughout rural Taiwan for a year. King went
Every day before she starts her shift at a government hospital in Singapore, Farah removes her hijab — the Islamic veil she has worn since a teenager. Although minority Muslim women can freely wear the hijab in most settings in Singapore, some professions bar the headscarf — and a recent case has triggered fresh debate on diversity and discrimination in the workplace. Now Farah has joined a growing number of Muslims — who account for about 15 percent of Singapore’s 4 million resident population — calling for the ban to end, with an online petition gathering more than 50,000 signatures. “They told me
Let’s get one thing straight: I have never liked the name Ironman. Maybe it sounded good in 1970s Hawaii when endorphin-fueled athletes with military backgrounds argued who were fitter, swimmers or runners. Or perhaps cyclists, someone else had chimed in. There was only one way to settle it: They would combine the 2.4 mile (3.9km) Waikiki Roughwater Swim with 112 miles (180km) of the Around-Oahu Bike Race and the 26.2 mile (42.2km) Honolulu Marathon into a single one-day event. Whoever won would be known as the Iron Man. That I don’t like the name doesn’t stop me from participating, however. Nor from attempting