Live Wire: Music scene gives multiple showgasms

By Alita Rickards  /  Contributing reporter

Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - Page 11

This weekend has a slew of great bands playing multiple shows at venues across the island but it still feels like a denouement after the chaos of Halloween and the gorgeous show last week at Neo Studio with Trail of Dead, Thurston Moore and Dinosaur Jr.

What a space! The whole Warner Village area, being so plastic and cheesy, it’s hard to believe that the Neo 19 building is a world-class venue with a huge dance floor, amazing lights and sound, massive stage, rooftop smoking/chill out area and efficiently run bar at the back. The skylights across the ceiling make the idea of a daytime show very appealing.

However, when a ticket costs NT$2,800, it seems a bit stingy to only offer a tiny shot of sparking wine as the “complimentary” beverage — and in a mini plastic glass to boot!

The show itself was amazing and had netizens raving all week. Dinosaur Jr. really lived up to it’s reputation and even had grizzled old skaters kicking up their heels; like they say, old punks never die, they just stand at the back.

It feels like Taiwan has finally made it onto the international Asian tour schedule with upcoming shows this winter/spring including post-rock band Sigur Ros at Taiwan University Stadium on Nov. 21, My Bloody Valentine on Feb. 13 at the NTU Sports Center, and Grimes at the Wall on March 22.

In the local scene, Underworld is still hanging on through fines and violations, with 90s-influenced indie rockers Luxury Apartments playing tonight. The band will be trying out some new material, and will be joined by instrumental emo band BHD.

Luxury Apartments and BHD play tonight at 9pm at Underworld (地下社會), B1, 45 Shida Rd, Taipei City (台北市師大路45號B1). Admission is NT$300 including one drink.

■ Tomorrow Roxymoron plays at a newer venue, Shelter, which is described by GigGuide founder Steve Leggat as “kind of like my parent’s basement where I’d have parties and bands playing. Equipment is sparse, [and] there are no furnishings or fancy lighting.”

Roxymoron, currently busy in the studio recording new tracks has been “quite busy developing our sound,” said drummer John Stephenson, who also plays with OCD Girl. The group will also film the show at Shelter.

The band will also play at the Bring Live Music Back to Taichung next Friday with acts including the Ever So Friendlies and various DJs, “all in the name of trying to combat the disgraceful actions of the Taichung City Government over the past year or so, closing down all the live houses,” Stephenson said. Roxymoron will also join Manic Sheep and Forests at The Wall Nov. 22.

Roxymoron plays tomorrow at 8pm at Shelter, B1, 11, Ln 60, Taishun St, Taipei City (台北市泰順街60巷11號B1). Admission is NT$300 and includes one drink.

■ Veteran absurdist underground rockers LTK Commune (濁水溪公社) play tonight at Pier 2 in Kaohsiung and tomorrow at the Taiwan Architecture, Design and Art Center in Taichung. The band, now in its 22nd year is infamous for it’s taike (台客) ethos, on-stage antics, political/social satirist lyrics and hybrid sound combining elements of karaoke pop, punk, and UK new wave.

LTK Commune play tonight at 7:30pm at Pier 2 Art District (高雄駁二藝術特區), 1 Dayong Rd, Yancheng Dist, Greater Kaohsiung (高雄市鹽埕區大勇路1號); 8pm tomorrow at Taiwan Architecture, Design and Art Center (設計與建築展演中心, TADA), B11 Auditorium, 362, Fuhsing Rd Sec 3, Taichung City (台中市復興路三段362號). Admission for both shows is NT$600 at the door. Advance tickets are NT$500 through The Wall (Kaohsiung) and TADA (Taichung) or online at Indievox at

■ Indie electronica band the Heartones (心電樂) kicks off a mini-tour tonight in Tainan, followed by two shows tomorrow in Kaohsiung — one in the afternoon at the Dream Mall and the other in the evening with Rivertree at The Mercury. Watch for the group’s upcoming EP release.

Heartones play tonight at 10:30pm at Eslite Bookstore, Tainan (台南誠品書店), B2, 181, Changrung Rd Sec 1, Tainan City (台南市長榮路一段181號B2). Admission is free; 3pm tomorrow at the Dream Mall, 789 Jhonghua 5th Rd, Cianjhen Dist, Greater Kaohsiung (高雄市前鎮區中華五路789號). Admission is free; 9pm tomorrow at The Mercury, 46 Liwun Rd, Kaohsiung City (高雄市立文路46號). Admission is NT$200

■ Erhu-wielding alternative veteran musicians The Chairman (董事長樂團) will be commemorating the 43rd birthday of the group’s former vocalist Guanyu (冠宇) who passed away in 2000 after battling leukemia. Joining them at The Wall on Saturday are long time friends and musicians, Taiwan’s veteran hip-hopsters Kou Chou Ching (拷秋勤), along with Broken Flowers (碎紙花) and Yan Weiling X Xanadu (閻韋伶X世外桃源). Sunday is international metal night with Japanese group Headphone President and Montreal outfit The Agonist. Local group Eye of Violence is also on the bill. On Wednesday, the venue hosts British indie-pop group Kyte and Manic Sheep.

The Chairman play tomorrow at 8pm 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$500 at the door, NT$400 presale at The Wall.