Today the Taipei Times Features Section launches a new weekly column, Live Wire, which covers live music happenings in Taiwan and profiles bands and musicians in the country’s various music scenes, from indie rock and jazz to Mando-pop and metal, and everything in between.
With the spring season in full swing, local bands and performers are holding shows left, right and center, and international acts are starting to trickle in. Live Wire begins with a look at gig highlights for the coming weekend.
Blonde Redhead, which received an enthusiastic reception when it first came to Taipei in 2010, is back for a show tomorrow at Legacy Taipei. The New York-based trio, which formed in 1994, first made its name with noise rock albums that borrowed from Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. On its newest album, Penny Sparkle (2010), Blonde Redhead tamed its sound a bit, delving into atmospheric and synth-driven dream-pop. But don’t be surprised if the band, comprised of Kyoto-native Kazu Makino and Italian twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace, still dips into its older, classic material, which elicited plenty of adoring shrieks the last time the group was here.
■ 8pm tomorrow at Legacy Taipei, Huashan 1914 Creative Park (華山1914), Center Five Hall (中五館), 1, Bade Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市八德路一段1號). Admission is NT$1,800 (NT$1,600 in advance)
Those who like the classic indie rock sound of Death Cab for Cutie or the textured, layered jams of modern-day Wilco ought to appreciate Green!Eyes, which is holding a release party tonight for its new CD at Legacy Taipei. Expect the band, whose members include singer-songwriter and producer Yuchain Wang (王昱辰) and Tizzy Bac bassist Levon Hsu (許哲毓), to perform cuts from the new album, entitled Glossolalia (Vol. 1), a compilation of singles recorded over the past seven years. Wang is a talented guitarist and vocalist who writes and sings all of the band’s material in English. Though his lyrics can come across as oblique for the sake of obliqueness, both the songcraft and the songs are satisfying and solid. Opening for Green!Eyes is The Tic Tac, which has a similar sound but with lush orchestration and an extra dash of rock melodrama.
■ 8pm today at Legacy Taipei, Huashan 1914 Creative Park (華山1914), Center Five Hall (中五館), 1, Bade Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市八德路一段1號). Admission is NT$500
Japanese musician Kashiwa Daisuke, who plays at The Wall (這牆) in Taipei tomorrow, offers quiet contemplation in piano and electronica compositions that will hold particular appeal to post-rock and prog rock fans. Daisuke’s jazz and classical techniques on the piano infuse his music with a stately manner (he performs an unconventionally dreamy, beautiful rendition of My Favorite Things on his album 88). But his abstract work is equally interesting. On Program Music I (2007), an album of two pieces that run nearly a half hour each, Daisuke draws listeners in with flowing piano melodies but then shocks and disrupts with glitchy samples and sudden thematic shifts. The effect is both disorienting and alluring.
■ 8pm tomorrow at The Wall (這牆), B1, 200, Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1). Admission is NT$1,000 (NT$800 in advance)
In the 1980s and 1990s, Roxy was a favorite hangout for underground music fans in Taipei. Today the bar exists as a commercial chain of clubs and pubs, but these days veteran DJs and musicians from that era are more likely to be found at Underworld (地下社會). Tonight, the Shida (師大) basement club is holding a party celebrating Roxy’s 30th anniversary, appropriately titled Wasted ... Again! The party begins with shows from two regular Underworld performers, She Bang-a (死蚊子), a noise rock group led by American expat Stan Blewett, and blues-rockers Celluloid (賽璐璐). But people won’t be heading to any of the Roxy bars afterwards to relive old memories. The party continues throughout the night with tunes spun by former Roxy DJs who are now house regulars at Underworld: A-C (阿C), Randy Lin (林志堅) and @llen. Expect a night of 1980s new wave and 1990s alternative rock nostalgia. Those who survive tonight might want to return tomorrow for live sets by Cicada, a chamber music quartet with post-rock attitude, and Insecteens (昆蟲白), aka Huang Jiang-shiun (黃建勳), the guitarist for post-rock pioneers Sugar Plum Ferry (甜梅號).