Wednesday, March 21

Both Sides Now

Finally got off my ass and made it back down to Riverside for the first time in a while to check out one of my favorite indie acts here, Coach. Unfortunately, first I had to sit through the support act. (pic related)

The first act of the double-header, and as such the first hour of two, was a band I'd heard of only in passing, The White Eyes. As it turns out, there's a reason "in passing" is the most I've heard of them. They represent almost everything that is epic fail in Taiwanese popular and youth culture. The music is technically tolerable, but they desperately, desperately want to be punk, except for the fact they have none of the talent, emotion, experience, or linguistic capability necessary to do so. The guitarists do nothing more than thrash out the same piece of shit "melody" that they've robotically memorized for EVERY. SINGLE. SONG., while the "vocalist" - in the loosest sense of the term - screams incoherent English lyrics into the microphone. Even better, she seems to have decided that punk = British, so she does all this with an amazingly affected pseudo-English accent and peppering her songs with Britishisms like "bloody," despite clearly not understanding them. This leads to her sounding like the bastard love child of Sid Vicious and Mushmouth, but without the eloquence. Even worse, they have no stage presence. None. Zero. It was the loudest hour of boredom ever.

tl;dr: The White Eyes are fucking lifeless, soulless, poor excuses for robotic punks.

But then Coach came on, and renewed my faith in Taiwan and Taiwanese music.
These boys know how to put on a fucking show. Talking shit to each other and the audience between songs, getting the audience singing along - no mean feat here either, each of the instruments working together instead of sounding like a bunch of showoffy fucks, and a lead vocalist who stalks and bounces around the stage like he owns that shit. The sheer energy they put out in that hour had everyone in the crowd enjoying themselves. Good thing, too, since last time I saw them they put on a decidedly average show, and sounded like they were going soft. Turns out that was a slump, at worst.

You'd think in a culture so oppressive of creativity, independence, and individualism, Taiwanese youth would freak the fuck out like their Japanese counterparts do. But no, most just buckle under the pressure and become robots capable of little more than soulless memorization and repetition. Thank God there are some who manage to come out of the process with some sense of themselves. That minority give me faith that perhaps there's a chance Taiwan's going to end up alright after all.

For your listening pleasure (and as a reward for getting through all that crap): Coach - Ballet Girl (mp3)


Frostfox said...

Wow, if that band had a dick, you would totally suck it.

Geof said...

And swallow.