"Music, Sounds Delicious!' Revitalizes Pride in Taiwanese Indie
A night of good music and fun, "Music, Sounds Delicious" was a testament to the vitality of the culture of this small island nation
Miss Ko with MusicDish*China's Jiun-Wen Teoh & Ying Li
On September 21st, a cool Friday evening, people from all backgrounds gathered together at the Lower East Side's The Living Room to listen to four independent Taiwanese artists showcasing "Music, Sounds Delicious!". Perhaps "Taiwanese" is not the best way to describe these musicians since all of them grew up in the US. Nevertheless, the artists, along with everybody in the room, shared a common goal in celebrating Taiwanese culture.
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The first to hit the stage was New York's own indie rock band, PaperDoll, fronted by the charismatic Teresa Lee. PaperDoll went on to perform over 30 minutes of unadulterated, pure indie pop. With extremely infectious melodies, PaperDoll's songs easily had everybody in the venue tapping along. The band also performed one song from their sophomore album, "Sashimi Deluxe", scheduled to hit the shelves in October. PaperDoll will tour China for the fourth time this November, bringing their music to major cities like Shanghai and Suzhou.
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Next, fusion band Torpid May took over. Torpid May consists of three very different musicians who came together in 2009, a Taiwanese singer/guitarist, American bassist, and a drummer from Hong Kong. The band's post-rock and ambient sound is vastly different from PaperDoll's and brought a totally different vibe to the venue. Torpid May draws inspiration from several Taiwanese bands and plan on touring Asia soon.
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After the two bands performed, the instruments were removed the stage and a DJ appeared behind the turntable in preparation for the two rappers scheduled to take the stage. Gordon, one of the prominent artists in the Taiwanese underground hip hop scene, was first to give the crowd a taste of real Taiwanese hip-hop. With a mellow voice and an incredible stage presence, he proceeds to turn the venue into a club by spitting out complex Mandarin lyrical rhymes. His songs, some of which sampled traditional oriental songs, have a very distinct grind and sound and continue to gain recognition in the underground scene.
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Finally, with the entire venue cheering her on, Miss Ko approaches the stage. Miss Ko has recently garnered much deserved fame in Taiwan with songs of her first album, "Knock Out", reaching the top of local billboard charts. As a very versatile rapper, her songs are done in both Mandarin and English and range from hip-hop to house. Raised in Queens, Miss Ko is one of the few leading female hip-hop artists in Taiwan. Growing up listening to East Coast hip hop, she began writing songs in response to ones that demonstrate disrespect to women. In 2010, she saw potential in the still developing Taiwanese scene that tolerates all styles and moved there to pursue her careers.
The four artists definitely generated a lot of pride in not just the crowd present in the Living Room, but also Taiwanese people across the world. They represent recognition of Taiwanese arts in a global stage. A night of good music and fun, "Music, Sounds Delicious" was a testament to the vitality of the culture of this small island nation.
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