Friday, May 05, 2006
There are no bars on the windows!
Leave it to TC to spot the detail that ties the whole gig together. There were no bars. There were policemen just down the way, and they were protecting us, and the masters of reality, and their teen age children, from the commoners.
Question: Who were those people that cleaned up the tables, chairs, tents, empty bottles, and mosquito corpses? They were like fairies that flitted about, hauling heavy equipment, extinguishing the mega-barbecue, returning calm and order to the leafy suburban cul-de-sac. They looked like a bunch of middle-aged Chinese women, but that must have been a disguise.
How about the microphone that broadcast our catty asides? Every once in a while, when we realized what we were saying, and that the microphone was probably picking it up, we’d slyly look out at the assembled to see if they were reacting. But if they heard us, they never let on.
The music was spirited, and we were full of spirits. An open bar is a great way to celebrate the coming of evening. I remember Connor saying, “Play another fast one,” a couple of times during the second set. And we did, until we switched gears and gave them a little gospel with Ain’t Gonna Study the War No More, and then a little later, Taiwan Song, which seemed relevant, almost, to a leaving Taiwan party.
Technically, it was a pretty simple set up. We used one condenser microphone, and ran that into a combined amp/PA unit that they had handy. It was quite a tool. All of the mixing controls were one the back, and it included a CD player and tape recorder. A good toy to have, or at least play with.
We had a lot of room in which to work, and we were able to array ourselves around the microphone without much difficulty. TC mentioned that we didn’t mic his bass because it sounded loud enough in sound check, but I couldn’t hear it much myself. Conor played into his amp as normal and layered his sound on top.
Speaking of Conor, he busted out Red River, the song where he does a nice solo intro. We’ve given him a good-humored hard time about the length of the solo in the past, and he kept it pretty short this time. Too bad. It’s a ripping tune. I think he just wanted to get the big band sound underneath his harp again.
Jump forward to the end of the night, after the jam in the house (what was his name?), the brass section and violinist headed off in a taxi, and the rest of us were ferried out to the main road in a car.
Not quite ready to head down the mountain, we grabbed further liquids and retired to a nearby street for our post-gig debriefing. I remember getting pretty comfy on Slim’s beer-logo groundcover.
Eventually, we got a taxi, after I vainly tried to flag down numerous private vehicles. Taxis are not easy to come by on Yangmingshan at 3 A.M. on a Sunday morning.
We jammed into the first taxi that came along, agreed to pay a NT$100 surcharge, and started down the mountain. We switched to a more comfortable ride near the old Shi-lin night market, and sped into Taipei by way of the Chien-kuo Expressway. Conor and Dave got out at Hsin-hai and Roosevelt and caught their third taxi of the night. Will, I let out at a Yoshinoya in Hsintian somewhere, and I took the taxi all the way to my hilltop. Now I know that my house is just a one hour, NT$700 taxi ride away from Yangmingshan.
Posted by thumper at 2:24 AM