Fri, Mar 30, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Spring Scream band picks

By David Frazier and Alita Rickards  /  Contributing reporters

Funky Brothers’ Ray Tsui.

Photo: Steven Vigar and Garret Clarke

Funky Brothers (放客兄弟)

April 6 at 10:50pm, Purple Mushroom Stage

A 10-piece funk band, are you kidding me? Channeling Parliament-Funkadelic, Kool and the Gang and other strains of 1970s funk, disco and soul, this is a party on wheels with soul diva Airy in the driver’s seat. Taipei bars know how dependable the group is when it comes to packing the house, and its reputation continues to grow.

— David Frazier

Dog G (大支)

April 6 at 11:40pm, Rock Monkey Stage

Tainan’s Dog G started as a sideman for MC Hotdog (熱狗), but has long since come into his own as Taiwan’s number one rapper. He’s now plugging Ren (人), his first solo album in eight years. For lyrical delivery (and X-large clothing), think Notorious B.I.G., but instead of rhyming about hos and money, his bombast is about being Taiwanese.

— David Frazier

Otaku 3 (三宅一聲)

April 6 at 11:40pm, Green Snake Stage

Not only is this Taiwan’s best dub reggae band, adapting old Taiwanese nakashi (那卡西) tunes to a dub beat, its members also run the Spring Scream campsite year round, grow their own food and try to live without spending any money. Taiwan’s true (and probably only) rastas!

— David Frazier

The Clippers (夾子電動大樂隊)

April 6 at 9:10pm, Green Snake Stage

With his band The Clippers, frontman Hsiao-ying (小應) emerged with LTK, also known as Loh Tsui Kweh Commune (濁水溪公社), as a leading force in Taiwan’s underground scene of the 1990s. He’s since done TV variety shows, film acting and standup comedy, but he’s never abandoned his music, which is full of synthesizers, political parody and taike (台客) posturing.

— David Frazier

Inhuman (非人物種)

April 7 at 5:50pm, Yellow Crab Stage

Playing straight-ahead punk rock and dressing like the Blues Brothers, this is a four-piece that you can mosh or skank to — just take your pick. They are also one of the tightest punk bands in Taipei’s scene, which is a credit considering how drunk they get.

— David Frazier

Mary Bites Kerry (瑪莉咬凱利)

April 7 at 11:40pm, Blue Butterfly Stage

Definitely the most underrated ska band in Taiwan, and for my money they are also one of the best. With a punk core and full horn section, the music cuts the perfect edge between happily hiccupping ska grooves and tight punk energy. Get ready to dance.

— David Frazier

Aphasia (阿飛西雅)

April 7 at 7:30pm, Blue Butterfly Stage

After about a decade of pioneering instrumental post-rock as The Nipples, this band decided it was time for a new start, so it changed its name to Aphasia. In doing so, the group’s members left behind early Sonic Youth influences and developed a much more mature, powerful and noisily meditative sound — enough to turn a few heads at last year’s SXSW.

— David Frazier


April 7 at 8:20pm, Purple Mushroom Stage

Taichung-based group Aurora’s lineup comprises Scottish singer-songwriter Alan McIvor, Spring Scream founder Wade Davis, drummer Peter Holmes of .22 and Sean Luo on electric banjo. The band’s sound ranges from emo to pop and rock to hip-hop with McIvor’s vocals hitting highs and lows that are only matched by his visage, which morphs from teen idol to angst-ridden. McIvor’s moody, emotional and sincere presence is balanced by the talented group of veteran musicians backing him up.

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