Indie electronica/rock duo Astro Bunny (原子邦妮) is that rare thing: a band with a storyteller’s point of view.
The outfit will perform one set for its debut concert at Riverside Cafe (河岸留言) on Wednesday evening. The group is comprised of vocalist/lyricist Lena Cha (查家雯 a.k.a. 查查) — the former front-girl for the indie band Cherry Boom (櫻桃幫) — and bassist/producer Jay Cheng (程杰).
“We named the group ‘bunny’ because I love bunnies and I forced him to like them too,” Cha laughed in an interview with the Taipei Times three weeks ago. “I picked the word “astro” because I’m an anime and computer game geek.”
Photo courtesy of Astro Bunny
The group released its first EP What If There’s No Tomorrow (如果沒有以後) a month ago and will support the release with this concert.
“The astro bunny will lead you to a parallel universe where the ancient and the modern clash in a musical atmosphere,” Cha said, explaining that their electronica is crafted through the juxtaposition of literary ancient Chinese prose and contemporary electronica melodies. The resulting music is a combined composition.
“Because of the neutral nature of the synthesizer used to create electronica sounds, this seemingly lifeless music doesn’t feed you with predetermined themes,” Cha explained. “Rather, it allows you to interpret and imagine meanings according to your mood at the time.”
Photo courtesy of Astro Bunny
The five-track EP is conceived as a concept album and a storybook. The Intro depicts the beginning when nothing exists. Then an explosion takes place, followed by the track The Milky Way (銀河). With the title track What If There’s No Tomorrow, the two imagine the apocalypse of 2012, but resolve to hold on to their love. Flower Blossoms and Moon Round (花好月圓) was originally written by Cheng for indie icon Sandee Chan (陳珊妮) but is transformed into an electronica gem with literary lyrics. The closing track That Day (那天) is an electronica ballad about encountering a former lover and reminiscing about what might have been.
“Electronica is a form that demands a mixture of visual and musical presentation,” Cha said. “We want to bring video artists, VJs and lighting designers together to enhance the experience of our concerts in the future.”
On the cover and inside illustration of the EP there are photographs by Cha taken with an iPhone app that transforms them into designs. She plans to push this concept further to release a photo album with iPhone shots and also a storybook album.
“The possibilities of electronica are endless,” she said. The group plans to release its first full-length album at the end of this year.
This month the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) announced a new policy ostensibly aimed at influencing the upcoming presidential election. A top-notch Voice of America (VOA) report observed “China launched a series of influence campaigns against Taiwan last week, unveiling a plan to promote integrated development across the Taiwan Strait.” The plan, a “demonstration zone,” offers incentives for Taiwanese to live, work and invest in Fujian Province, across the Strait from Taiwan, along with supplies of water, electricity and gas. Using cooperative zones to poach technology and influence Taiwanese is an old plan that has appeared in various
SEPT. 25 to OCT. 1 Joyce McMillan was greatly moved by the pleas of the Taiwanese pastor and doctor who preached at her church in the summer of 1954. Hsieh Wei (謝緯) had just completed his medical residency in Buffalo, New York and stopped by Berkeley to raise funds and recruit staff for the tuberculosis treatment center the Presbyterian Church planned to open in his hometown of Puli, Nantou County. McMillan, who was a nursing aide, had the dream of being an overseas missionary since she was 7 years old. She also had a close friend die of tuberculosis. She expressed
Si Mateneng of the Tao indigenous community felt like he had reunited with a lost friend. While visiting Seattle’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, he encountered a boat that had been in the US since the 1970s, first hanging in a restaurant then languishing in a warehouse before being purchased by a collector and donated to the museum. Si Mateneng could tell from the crosses on the vessel, known as a tatala, that it was built on his homeland of Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼) after the introduction of Christianity in 1959. He could hardly contain his excitement. Si Mateneng
If the world is to avert climate catastrophe without causing immense suffering, humanity must put the global economy into reverse gear, and begin serious and truly democratic discussions about resources and priorities, says Lu Chien-yi (盧倩儀), a research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of European and American Studies (IEAS). Lu is a proponent of degrowth, a movement that seeks to knock GDP as the standard metric off its pedestal, save the planet’s ecosystems and create a more just society. She and other degrowth thinkers contend that the eco-economic decoupling promised by supporters of green growth will not happen fast enough to