| and they actually play their own instruments and write|
their own songs. wong faye wrote the music and some of the lyrics on her last album. and i think it is by far her most interesting release to date. zhang zhen yue is quite popular here as well and he writes and plays his own instruments too.
there are a bunch of other underground indie bands that often play little clubs here. bands like sugar plum fairy, sticky rice, ladybug, ltr, to name a few.
since i don't live near the clubs so i really don't get out to see them much. (i must be getting old). i did manage to see ladybug and sugar plum fairy open for seam when
they came through town. the fact that someone like seam would play here at all seems strange but it was good to see a show again. funny how the people that would annoy me at a show in seattle (tall selfish men standing in front so no one else can see, people standing on my toes, insipid conversations during the opening bands and even during seam...) found there way at this show to annoy me here too.
|as for buying music in taipei, cds in general are cheaper than in the states. and if you like j-pop there are lots of cheapo comps. most shops will carry your bigger western acts and some alternative groups. stereolab, nick cave, anita lane, laibach,...for awhile it was easier for me to find can than brian eno.|
|but if you want more obscure stuff. say
muslimgauze or nurse with wound then it becomes a little
harder to find. there are two tower records but they are
expensive and for the most part don't carry lesser known
acts unless they have good distribution.|
thankfully there is an alternative to tower. and it is called avantgarden. avantgarden is a little cubicle located inside the 2.31 cafe and they have a great selection from contemporary classical, to jazz, to pop, to electronica,to japanese. the owner mr. hsieh is really nice. if he likes you he will give you a discount on some stuff. or he will special order stuff for you if he can get it. he also occasionally reccomends stuff he thinks i would like. ironically the first thing i ever bought there was a local seattle band called land on the extreme label.
|for anyone coming to taipei i reccomend checking out avantgarden. no. 27 lane 86 hsinyi road section 2 taipei taiwan. not far from the chiang kai shek memorial. they are only open 3pm-2am though.(these are new hours and i don't think they have been implemented yet as today when i was there at 5:30 they were still closed. they were open after 7 when i went back though.) and they are closed sunday.(sadly as of mid january 2000 avantgarden closed down. a taiwanese friend of mine invited to me to the final party for the regular avantgarden customers but i ended up not going. afterwards i heard mr. hsieh had asked about me. and i sort of wish i would of gone as he gave a free cd to each person. so i'm curious as to what he would of picked out for me. since closing down avantgarden mr. hsieh is now the buyer for the music department of the eslite chain of bookstores. this is the largest chain of bookstores in taiwan. at least the largest that stocks a generous amount of english language books. there is even an eslite music shop behind the taida university branch of the esltie bookstore. the selection is quite nice here. plus they have quite a few cds priced to sell. nearly all the hifi lounge series is priced at around 6 dollars u.s. so a decent replacement for avantgarden if a bit more expensive in general.)(recently avant garden re-opened under new ownership).|