Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 12 2004

It seems like it’s been raining forever. Somehow a…

It seems like it’s been raining forever. Somehow a tropical storm formed right over the island over the past few days, sneaking right past all the weather people. The river’s swollen up to typhoon levels, and more reports of people being buried in mudslides are coming in. I heard that Taoyuan finally got their water supply back, despite Annette Lu’s going down there during the water shortage and getting her hair cut, washed and dyed.

I caught a taxi into town last night. I didn’t want to bother with walking to and from the MRT in the downpour, and also, I must admit, I didn’t want to dilute the feeling of being in 1937. You see, I’d put on baggy gray suit and worn fedora, packed up my trumpet in its battered 20-year-old case, and set out for a gig with a jug band in Taipei’s eastern district. Taking the MRT just would have seemed too incongruous. For my ride I would have preferred a Phaeton, but the battered old Yuelong cab, equipped with a suitably laconic cabbie, was good enough. The rain fit right in as well.

The other members of the band were in the conspicuously un-green Green Room at Corbett’s place. Turns out Corbett had graciously served them dinner, which is something I’m sorry I missed. Count Sandman was wearing a nice longcoat with velvet collar and cuffs, while Dave wore his customary suspenders. Will had two tuxes, one white and one black, one for each set, and Tim wore solid black with a crossword tie. We went over some last minute rearrangements while Dana got ready to open for us.

I was expecting a small crowd due to the inclement weather, but the place filled up pretty quickly. Dana’s really talented and has a great voice. Sandy played along for part of it on his new penny whistle.

After Dana finished and has a break, we marched…well, it more like a shuffle…we shuffled in playing a repeating dirge, and the show started. The place was packed, and since we were all crowded on stage, I had a hard time seeing Dave’s cues. The first couple of songs were pretty rough, at least for me. I was used to playing with everyone about the same level, but now everyone had mikes, which made everything sound different. Also, we were all standing, which took some getting used to.

I took a picture of the crowd right as we took a break after the first set. Shirzi was in attendance, and supplied me with some Chu-hai. After the free drinks the band got, combined with the Japanese Soju, I was feeling a lot looser when we started up the second set. Unfortunately, a few people that I knew had left during the break, but others came crowding in. Corbett was setting out more chairs, and people were sitting on the floor down in front. “There’s going to be some dancing going on, I can feel it,” Will had said during the break, and he wasn’t wrong. I got used to playing up into the mike, especially when I was using a mute. Dana was playing along with us on this set, which made the stage even more crowded. I was sandwiched between Sandy and Connor, and I kept accidentally hitting Dana’s head.

Nonetheless, I got a lot more into the music during the second set, as I knew more or less what was going on. Many of the arrangements and plans we’d made went right out the window, but what we did instead worked just as well. The dancing got a little out of hand at some points, but I didn’t particularly mind myself.

The show concluded with the Work Song, which starts with Dave’s introduction of the band members followed by a wicked solo by Connor. I was surprised at the amount of applause I got; I’d thought my performance was a little off, especially earlier on. Or maybe they just liked my hat. We did one enchore, one of Dana’s pieces, and then it was over. It was also 2:30 a.m., a much later ending than usual from what I understand. By the time we got packed up and ready to leave, it was after 3. I caught a ride home with Sandy and Jojo, but I was still too high to sleep right away, and got to bed just after noticing the slightly lighter dreariness that was dawn this morning.

posted by Poagao at 11:13 am  

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