Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 06 2006

Dream Community show

The taxi ride from Bitan to the Dream Community in Xizhi cost Sandman and me NT$400, even after a 10% discount offered by the Daqian Taxi Service for called cabs during the day. We worried that the cabbie didn’t know the way but he took us right there, and we arrived just in time to see the Kenyatta Trio perform on the big Budweiser Truck, which had transformed into a medium-sized stage. I grabbed some ribs and mashed potatoes from the stand they’d set up, and such was my enthusiasm in eating them that I ended up looking like I’d just bit the head off a good-sized rabbit. Prince Roy and Spicy Girl had showed up to see us. I got the feeling that the Blues Bash was a kind of compensation for PR, as SG was taking him to hear Tong An-ge later that evening.

Dogs up for adoption were on display, and from the smell I think there was a horse somewhere, although I never saw it. People hopped up and down on strange springed devices that made them look like mechanical satyrs bouncing through the woods. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for a proper sound check. After a quick warm-up off to the side, we went on stage, hooked up the mics as best we could, and started off.

It was a rough ride. The whole band felt a bit radical, full of confidence from the day before and freshly downed JB and coke, but the audio setup threw static and buzzing back at us instead of music, cutting in and out, levels jumping up and down wildly across the board. I departed from my usual approach to solos, and met at best mixed success in my efforts. Conor’s amp went from loud to soft with no warning, and we all felt like we were playing through thick socks. The end result was lower lows and higher highs, a performance with a lot of enthusiasm but hobbled by uncertainty over technical problems.

It was only a half-hour set, far too short to get into the swing of things. The audience seemed to appreciate our efforts, though. We gave up the stage to the chatty MCs, stowed our stuff and mingled, wandering here and there as we listened to the other acts.

At the end of the performances DC invited everyone up onto the stage for a big jam. It seemed like there were more people on stage than off it. I teetered on the edge, trying not to be knocked off by Thumper’s enthusiastic washboard riffs. The sound was so big I couldn’t even hear myself when I played a solo during the first one. They said it was good; I have no idea. I really wanted to play on the second piece, a slower blues vibe, but my hesitancy got the better of me and I didn’t know where to cut in among the plethora of name-brand musicians on stage at that point. Afterwards, it left me feeling deeply and utterly unsatisfied, as if I’d had something important to say and then left it unsaid.

The bash was winding down, so we piled into cabs and headed over to Capone’s for some pizza, wine and more jamming. I played the bass for a while with some of the musicians from the show for a while, which resulted in a lot of interest in the bass. Three guys came over afterwards wanting to know how it worked. I turned to the trumpet when the Japanese musician Aki started playing more modern offerings. Sandman, ever the showman, was cavorting around the stage in his new suit, blasting the microphone with his little sax. He was a (drunk) man on a mission, and I retreated to a side booth to add flourishes and the occasional solo from there.

Aki’s group packed it in around 1am, and Mr. Green played some music with Conor while I chatted with Jaye at the bar. Jaye admitted that she reads this account as if it were a deeply kept secret.

Only a handful of people were left at that point, and I was running out of steam, so I gathered up Sandman and we caught a cab with brake pads that complained loudly all the way back to Bitan, where he teetered off to the Sandcastle and I lugged my instruments back home.

posted by Poagao at 4:22 am  

7 Comments

  1. It was a fun evening. I didn’t have to go to the Mandopop concert thank god. It was a ladies’ night out. I went to have beers with Mark and Paul. I put up some photos of your set on my Flickr site.

    Comment by Prince Roy — November 7, 2006 @ 3:14 pm

  2. Thanks, I’m glad you guys came, even though the sound was less-than-optimal. Nice pictures, too.

    Comment by TC — November 7, 2006 @ 3:19 pm

  3. I’m coming to Taipei in a couple of weeks, may I ask where can one find a copy of your book ‘Counting Mantou’?

    Jeanne

    Comment by Anonymous — November 12, 2006 @ 5:40 pm

  4. You can probably still find copies of the Chinese-language version in bookstores like Eslite and Kingstone. Just ask for ???????.

    Comment by TC — November 12, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

  5. Sorry I forgot to say I need an english version..I can’t read Chinese. I suppose the english version will be there as well.

    Jeanne

    Comment by Anonymous — November 14, 2006 @ 2:35 am

  6. No, I actually haven’t been able to find a publisher for the English-language version.

    Comment by TC — November 14, 2006 @ 2:36 am

  7. Oh well, btw just to let everybody out there know…on Dec. 8,9,10 at NTU,Taiwan will be hosting The World Kendo Championship(which is why I’m coming to Taipei). It only happens every 3 years. If you want to see some awesome Kendo please come out. http://www.kendo.com.tw

    Cheers,

    Jeanne

    Comment by Anonymous — November 15, 2006 @ 3:29 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.