Video from the beach town of Fulong and the beautiful East-north cost of Taiwan, including San Diego Lighthouse. Song is by Kou Chou Ching.

三貂角臺灣

Yanshui 2012 Beehive

raw footage

Waiting for Nibiru, comedy imitates doomsday

So we survived the Mayan apocalypse and the end of 2012. Feeling lucky? Check out Jesse Riggs’ satirical take on the Nibiru cataclysm and the pure comedy of doomsday theories. As yet another doomsday deadline was creeping toward us we had precious little time to pause and reflect on our own short lives much less the relatively brief history of human existence. For hundreds of thousands of years and as many Christmases past, homo sapiens have bandied about DNA in a frantic attempt to stick around for a little while longer on this pale blue rock, and for what? To be cut short by a rogue planet that’s been kicking it behind the sun this whole time? Not a very good ending. And yet there’s something romantic about our impending planetary annihilation. For one thing, there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it. Planet Xmas has been keeping tabs on Earth, much like the fat man and his list, and will soon be on its merry way with a sackful of death to throw down our chimneys. The only person that could have saved us is good ol’ St. Nikola Tesla, and he’s dead. So now we just have to eat it. Why is that romantic? Because endings remind us of beginnings. Approximately 4.6 billion years ago the earth was formed in much the same fiery cataclysm that it is destined to end. In the period known as the Hadean, so named for its Hades-like conditions, the newly formed earth was forced to compete with other planetary bodies for its orbit, and in Darwinian triumph cleared away all its competitors the same way all young brutes do: by ramming into them. I imagine a young Nibiru, the hypothetical Sumerian death planet, fleeing the path of a hungry earth, taking refuge behind Mother Sol and plotting revenge 4.6 billion years later to avenge his dead brothers. So yes, it’s romantic and as thrillingly absurd as any doomsday prophecy. For instance, the earliest end-time prognostication according to a bit trivia found in the infallible “Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts”, was found on an Assyrian tablet believed to be from 2800 B.C., which attributes the apocalypse to “bribery and corruption.” I know, right? Bribery sucks. Especially when it doesn’t work. In a fit of giving, I once offered a homeless man thirty-seven cents to leave me alone, but he really needed thirty-eight cents to buy a pack of cigarettes. That was the worst day of my life. If given the choice between the end of everything ever and ever having to count change on a sidewalk again, I choose the former. So what if upon impact with another planet our atmosphere ignites and incinerates literally every surface dwelling organism we’ve come to know and love, turning the Earth’s crust into a big, gooey morsel of molten magma? If you could see the cosmic headstone for Earth it would read: 4.6 billion B.C.– 2012 A.D. Think of all the cool stuff that happened between then and now: dinosaurs, sharks, robots, men riding dinosaurs, robots riding sharks, Firefly, gangnam style. I think we all lived the hell out of that dash. Then again, I never liked Firefly that much. Jesse Riggs is a rogue librarian located somewhere in Huntington, WV, although experts conclude that this is unreliable data.

Scene: Indie Acoustic Folk Yeah! - Taipei Artist Village - 在台北國際藝術村

Folk Yeah, It’s Simmo Simpson!

by Helen Sharp

The Taipei Artist Village is always a good time. Last Thursday night Simmo Simpson put on a wonderful show featuring himself with three local artists. The dark wood, dim lighting and flickering candles created an inviting and cozy ambiance for the typical cool, damp winter night in Taipei. I cozied up at a table in the back and watched the acts unfold over the three and a half hour show. First up was Ellery, a blonde, campishly-cute boy with his guitar. A passionate lyricist, his silky voice was the strong point of his performance. He did ramble, which was quite endearing. Aside from what seemed to be a little bit of inexperience, he was a lover of his music and his passion was bright. Mark Darvill, a well-known musician around these parts, followed Ellery in what is said to be his last show in Taipei (for now). When Mark gets on stage it is easy to see that he is a seasoned, calculating musician. He and his shiny black guitar go together like a man and his mighty stead. Once a duo with partner Caleb, you can see that some of his songs were meant for two, but over time he has really learned to pull it off alone with confidence. As a musician he rubs you the wrong way at times only to double over and rub you the right way in his indie, country-esque tones. One can’t help but be hypnotized tapping their foot and bopping their head throughout his shows and falling deep into the music. His impressive tap tap taping on the guitar creating percussion while pulling off tuning at the same time highlights his obvious talent. Sitting down, he made me just want to get up and dance. Mark just makes you feel good; every time I see him on stage I fall a little bit in love Listen to Wayfarer State (Trey Yip) now.

Next up was Trey Yip. He brought the crowd. While he was playing the cozy room was packed with attentive listeners. It is easy to see why people are drawn to him. He is a strong, clear lyricist with an unusually comfortable, feel-good style. At risk of sounding a bit cliché, I must say he just has that Bob Dylan dirty western vibe with his own unique twist; a great guitar player paired with command over the harmonica is usually a winning combination. I mean who doesn’t love a freshly showered dirty man in a polo? His voice and slam poetry styled narratives proved strong. I felt enveloped in an essence of something fucking awesome, arousing in me a healthy combination of satisfaction and wonder. The Wayfarer State: Trey Yip bringin’ the party. Last up was Simmo Simpson. A strong, angel voiced singer with unbridled energy on his path to artistic self-discovery; with more live performances and work on harnessing that energy he will surely outshine his contemporaries. During the show I felt times of admiration when I caught myself thinking, “Damn, you’re hitting those high notes boy!” One theme rung true in his performance; he is a beautiful singer. Although it was a solo show I couldn’t help but think that his music would be well accentuated by back up musicians, he would make a great lead singer. Altogether it was a great show and a delightful night out. Thank you to Paul for putting on such a quality event! Helen is a a wandering woman from Texas. She has lived all over the world and is currently residing in Taipei.

Protest and vigil in New Delhi Dec. 30, 2012, following death of rape victim

by Kamala Kelker and John Upton

A report from one of the recent protests rocking New Delhi, India. Two weeks after a 23-year old woman was beaten and gang raped on a chartered bus in New Delhi, she died at a hospital in Singapore. Police shut down the city’s center, the India Gate, in anticipation of continuing mass protests. So instead, demonstrators came together at a heavily patrolled area nearby.

Major Lazer Mad Decent in Taipei - 非常酷的電子音樂在台北「Major Lazer」

by Ian Thomas

So stoked, had a great surf session the other morning and caught the fast train to see Major Lazer and Diplo at Taipei’s Luxy, ahhhh! It was BIG! The Taipei crowd was hype, going berzerk to every track that they dropped. Their performance was top quality all around, encompassing dancehall dancers and an MC, stage-diving, Diplo crowd surfing inside a huge transparent balloon, waving flags a la Brazilian carnival and throwing out the horns as party favors. It’s still a down to earth affair, compete with Diplo (who’s produced tracks for artists as diverse as Usher, Snoop Lion, Wale, Santigold, No Doubt, Riff Raff, Beyonce and MIA) cruising by, giving daps and signing autographs after the set. All DJs and producers who play live take note. Jillionaire, Diplo and Walshy Fire rocking Luxy in Taipei

I listen to something produced or remixed by Diplo at least once a day and I was impressed how he and Major Lazer rocked so many fresh sounds I hadn’t heard yet. I really appreciate any artist that continually tries to introduce new art to their audience, expanding everyone’s experience into new realms, in this case new musical, bass and sonic horizons that I’m still feelin.’ The energy was crazy and mostly up tempo (except for the perfectly weaved vocal and roots interludes) for the entire 2+ hour set, ranging from eletro, house, dancehall, hardstyle, dubstep, drum and bass, mashups, moombahton, rock and god knows whatever Get Free, Express Yourself genre-blasting Major Lazer sounds they could come up with. Basically it’s crack and I’m an addict. I recommend you go get some. On another yet related note, yesterday was 12-12-2012. It’s going to be like a thousand years until 3-3-3003! Other repeating dates will occur soon-ish though, like 01-01-2101 and 12-12-2112 (Thanks Heather and Aksana!). Wow, whatever it is, time is crazy when ya think about it. What was going on in 1012 anyway, and what will people say was going on now? I’m taking these days to ponder the amazingness of it all. So go do something (heck, or someone) you love today. Do it now. Enjoy your time.