Natural Q (自然捲) – C’est La Vie / 魚罐頭 / 30 years old hereafter

Posted on

自然捲 - C'est La Vie

Semaine du 26 août 2008 / Week of August 26th, 2008

Cette chronique hebdomadaire sur la musique indépendante chinoise est diffusée à Radio Centre-Ville (102.3FM), les mardis entre 22h30 et 23h30. L’émission complète est disponible sur ce fichier MP3, à partir du lendemain de l’émission.

This weekly segment on independent Chinese music is broadcasted every Tuesday between 10:30PM and 11:30PM on Radio Centre-Ville (102.3FM). The full-length show is available at this MP3 file, starting from the day following the show.

***

1. C’est La Vie
2. 魚罐頭 (canned fish)
3. 30 years old hereafter (live_acoustic)

My friend Jen recently left Montreal and gave me her copy of Natural Q‘s first album “C’est La Vie” that she used to own. It was a big indie hit in Taiwan and Chinese-speaking territories, and is, as it should, out of print. It was the first release by A Good Day Records, now a prominent independent label in Taiwan.

I failed to mention it when I recorded the segment last week, but Natural Q actually released a new album last month.

Natural Q as it was known in 2004 (or 2003, when it started) no longer existed after 2006, when female vocalist Waa and Chico split, with Chico keeping custody of the band’s name, and periodically releasing stuff afterwards. The third song (optional, depending on whether Goo Por Yvonne can fit it all) comes from such album, just called “Recycles”, and from Natural Q’s “solo” period.

I don’t know why they split, anyhow. So enlighten me, if you do know all the gossip.

(Song 魚罐頭, or “canned fish”, is the first song in Natural Q’s still-together second album, C’est La Vie 2.)

J’adore le vombrissement d’un scooter quand je me réveille le matin

Posted on

Taichung, Taiwan
Scooters à Taichung / Scooter in Taichung

This morning, on my way to work, I heard the vroom of a scooter. In Montreal, this may only happen in the four, five months when motorized bike riding isn’t a danger due to climatic hazards.

I like the sound because it reminds me of Asia, and especially Taiwan, where the scooter is king. Not so much of China, where its use in the city is either prohibited or costs so much in license that you’d be better to get a car. And it’s for a good reason too – any Chinese city would disappeared under an even thicker cloud of grayish pollution.

***

Ce matin, en me rendant au travail, j’ai entendu le vombrissement d’un scooter. À Montréal, ça peut seulement se produire dans les quatre ou cinq mois durant lesquels la conduite d’un bicycle motorisé n’est pas un danger lié à un climat hazardeux.

J’aime ce son parce que ça me rappelle l’Asie, et plus particulièrement Taiwan, où le scooter est roi. Pas trop la Chine, où son utilisation en ville est soit interdite ou que le coût élévé d’obtention d’un permis voudrait dire qu’il vaudrait mieux se procurer une voiture. Et il y a une bonne raison derrière ça : n’importe quelle ville chinoise disparaîtrait sous un nuage gris de polution encore plus épais.

Nylas – Stop Shining / Love For Free

Posted on

Nylas / There you are ...my dear Uncle K

Semaine du 29 juillet 2008 / Week of July 29th, 2008

Cette chronique hebdomadaire sur la musique indépendante chinoise est diffusée à Radio Centre-Ville (102.3FM), les mardis entre 22h30 et 23h30. L’émission complète est disponible sur ce fichier MP3, à partir du lendemain de l’émission.

This weekly segment on independent Chinese music is broadcasted every Tuesday between 10:30PM and 11:30PM on Radio Centre-Ville (102.3FM). The full-length show is available at this MP3 file, starting from the day following the show.

***

1. Love For Free
2. Stop Shining

Two songs that I instantly liked. I am not too quite sure why – perhaps because it’s cute, and it might sound like something that I like here in the West. It’s really simple indie pop music. Stop Shining is some really really cute love song: “Stop shining, I wanna go out and get some fun / Stop shining, I wanna bite you and get some fun”. I paid attention to the lyrics for the first time when I was on my the city bus taking me to the Hong Kong International Airport, that was in turn going to take me home, and thought, gee, couldn’t life be just that simple??

“Love for free”, it’s in Chinese, and I don’t get all the lyrics. I lent the CD containing this song out to one of my friends (maybe it’s _you_?), and can’t quite remember who it was. It’s a compilation called “Grassland Music” (草地音樂同學會), apparently a one or two-time music festival in a small town in Ilan county, on the more rural East coast of Taiwan. And again, if not the lyrics, the title indicates that it’s about innocent innocent love. Twee suckers will enjoy, if not the rhymes, at least the melody.

Cartes postales d’Asie, par Marie-Julie Gagnon

Posted on

Cartes postales d'Asie, par Marie-Julie Gagnon

J’ai finalement fini de lire Cartes postales d’Asie, par la journaliste (communicatrice?) Marie-Julie Gagnon. C’est un récit d’un point de vue très familier, écrit comme des e-mails à ses proches lors de ses voyages. Ça se rapproche peut-être plus du format du blogue, quand on y pense.

Bien que le titre porterait à croire à une distribution égale entre les pays visités par l’auteure, une bonne partie du récit se passe en fait à Taiwan, où Marie-Julie a enseigné l’anglais dans une école catholique à Keelung, une ville à une trentaine de kilomètres de Taipei. Avant de savoir qu’elle avait écrit un livre, j’ai su que je n’étais pas le premier résident québécois à être allé au festival de Spring Scream à Kenting (sur Taxibrousse).

Ses péripéties à Taiwan m’ont rappelé de bien bons souvenirs : même si je n’ai fait que passé à Taiwan (juste sept jours), les marchés de nuit (à propos desquels je vais bientôt bloguer), du bubble tea, des 7-Eleven (ils en font une vraie épidémie là-bas) et des surprenants paysages (Taipei est bâti très plate, et est entourée de montagnes).

C’est disponible chez Renaud-Bray, et je vous le conseille fortement!

Wonfu 旺福 – Lady’s Night

Posted on

旺福 / 青春舞曲

Semaine du 15 juillet 2008 / Week of July 15th, 2008

Cette chronique hebdomadaire sur la musique indépendante chinoise est diffusée à Radio Centre-Ville (102.3FM), les mardis entre 22h30 et 23h30. L’émission complète est disponible sur ce fichier MP3, à partir du lendemain de l’émission.

This weekly segment on independent Chinese music is broadcasted every Tuesday between 10:30PM and 11:30PM on Radio Centre-Ville (102.3FM). The full-length show is available at this MP3 file, starting from the day following the show.

***

Wonfu – Lady’s Night

This week, we’re having Wonfu, a band from Taiwan that does in the pseudo-60s, upbeat country-ish (at times) music. They’re fun, and it definitely shows in their music. The song that I will be presenting this week is called “Lady’s Night” (sic).

Cheer Chen – Let’s go together to Paris

Posted on

Cheer Chen at Spring Wave 2008

陳綺貞 – 一起去巴黎 (4.4 Mb – Cheer Chen’s “Let’s go together to Paris” – Live in Kenting (墾丁) – 2008-04-05)

Voici une chanson que Cheer Chen (陳綺貞) ne chante qu’en concert, et donc non disponible sur aucun disque officiel. Elle s’appelle « Allons ensemble à Paris » (一起去巴黎). Chen chante souvent à propos de Paris, perpetuant l’image romantique de la capitale française. La photo que j’ai prise montre l’interprète-compositrice folk-rock-pop taiwanaise, accordéon à la main (au lieu de sa guitare habituelle) au Spring Wave, un festival de musique extérieur à Kenting.

***

This is a song that Cheer Chen (陳綺貞) only sings in concert, and so not available on any official album. It’s called “Let’s go together to Paris”. Chen often sings about Paris, perpetuating the French capital’s romantic image. The photo that I took shows the folk-rock-pop Taiwanese singer-songwriter, accordion in hand (instead of a guitar) at Spring Wave, an outdoor music festival in Kenting.

How-to guide for Kenting during Spring Scream (part three)

Posted on

IMGP0255
Kenting Road and Peace Lane

This entry is follow-up of this previous article, and covers Saturday and Sunday of Spring Scream 2008 weekend (April 5-6, 2008).

Saturday was the night that I decided to skip Spring Scream, and attend Spring Wave, a (more) commercial version of the outdoor music festival. In terms of notoriety, the bands featured at Spring Wave were usually more pop, and also more popular, and all played on the same single huge stage. On the night before, Sodagreen, Tanya Chua and Cyndi Wang performed at the Maobitou park, just across the bay from Kenting (Da Wan), but some 12km to go around the bay, and the nuclear power plant, seen here below:

Hengchun Nuclear power plant
Hengchun Nuclear power plant

Can you believe that! In a charming location such as Kenting (otherwise a national park), they built a nuclear plant just looming the beautiful beach of Nan Wan… I will come back to all these Nan Wan, Da Wan, and other place names… They are all considered to be in “Kenting” (the name of the whole national park), but are separate constructed areas, Da Wan being what can be considered as the main Kenting agglomeration. Bear in mind that this town is tiny (probably less than a thousand), but fills up like mad during holidays.

Continue reading “How-to guide for Kenting during Spring Scream (part three)”

How-to guide for Kenting during Spring Scream (part two)

Posted on

Spring Scream 2008, Kenting
Spring Scream 2008 Double Rat at Eluanbi

This is a follow-up to the previous article on Kenting during Spring Scream, where I described how I managed to reach the small town.

This entry covers Friday of Spring Scream 2008 weekend (April 4, 2008). 

On Thursday night in Kenting, I spent my time in town, relaxing like I would in any resort town. Kenting is a small small town, where there is little action outside of long weekends and holidays season. The largest town nearby is Hengchun, where many people descend to Kenting. According to my host, you will find cheaper deals and better quality for food in Hengchun. I just saw how it looked like on the way in and out of Kenting, and it looked like an ancient 19th century Chinese town, like I’ve seen in Muar, Malaysia, and then Kaiping, Guangdong, in China.

Continue reading “How-to guide for Kenting during Spring Scream (part two)”

How-to guide for Kenting during Spring Scream (part one)

Posted on

This entry covers Thursday of Spring Scream 2008 weekend (April 3, 2008).

I visited Kenting during the Spring Scream 2008 (Double Rat), an outdoor music and arts festival held at the southernmost point of the island of Taiwan. I wanted to write a how-to for people who couldn’t read Chinese fluently, because it has been a real adventure to find the right information to get to Kenting.

>> See Flickr set

I entered Taiwan through Taipei, on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong. Spring Scream was on the Ching Ming (tomb-dusting) long weekend, and there was a fare war between companies that served HKG-TPE, namely HK-based Cathay (and affiliate Dragonair), and Taiwan-based EVA and China Airlines. So, I paid something like 1500HKD, after taxes and fees.

Continue reading “How-to guide for Kenting during Spring Scream (part one)”