Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Life and Times of Big Ell

Peacefest 2007 photograph stolen from The Real Taiwan.

Wow, three months without a post. It wasn't because of a lack of activity but a lack of desire. I have been quite busy for the past few months in my new job as a purveyor of smoked salmon. In order for people to enjoy my succulent salmon I worked/attended most of the major music and food festivals in Taiwan. Most were in and around Taichung but I did manage to make it to Taipei and Longtan. One might think that these festivals would be old hat for a guy with almost 10 years on the island but they were mainly new experiences for me. Big Ell rarely gets out of the house on even the nicest weekends. So here is my list of top 5 festivals I worked/attended this summer.

5. Taichung AMCHAM American Day 4th of July Celebration or something like that.
The weakest of the festivals. It was a beautiful day but the crowds failed to materialize. Lots of bands played and people got drunk but it was rather dull on the whole. Plus no fire works, what kind of 4th of July celebration doesn't have fireworks. I had actually attended quite a few of these before and the previous events were much better.

4. Taichung City Government International Arts Festival
This event was actually pretty fun but the weather didn't really cooperate. Even with the bad weather many people turned out to the amphitheater to enjoy international food and music. We were stuck in a side area so missed most of the top artists. The best artists were the Hawaiian drummers and dancers. They also loved the salmon but kept asking me if I was in Taiwan with the 'church.' Shit I came to Taiwan to get away from the church. It takes a conscious effort just to resist the temptation of clotheslining theses inconsiderate con men who perpetually pester pedestrians at busy intersections. Brother Big Ell my ass.

3. Canada D’eh Baishawan Beach Party
Canada Day was the most family friendly of all of the festivals. It was a beautiful day at Baishawan and many revelers turned out. Lots of activities for kids on the grounds and the beach. The food was medicore and provided by the Tavern so that was to be expected. The music was decent with 'celebrity,' ICRT DJs in attendance. The guy with the Jay Z shirt was favorite. To their credit they did play some Canadian bands between band sets. I did catch one Taiwanese band Coach, original Karaoke for the masses. They are terrible and manage to lift whole leads and bridges from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam and Rage Against the Machine. I am thinking they may be big soon.

2. Sogo/Compass International Food Fest
This was the second best event I attended. There was a pretty good turnout and a nice mix of Taiwanese and Foreigners. I also managed to see tons of people I though had left, good times. The Sogo/Compass easily had the best lineup of bands at any of the events. No weak bands all day. I was told that it was very loud but I was located behind the stage and didn't notice. The after party was at Grooveyard but I never made it. I went to Party Animal and watched a phenomenal Taiwanese cover band and got very drunk. More on that cover band later.

1. Hoping for Hoping or Peacefest
Peacefest was great fun in Long Tan. We were blessed with great weather and Kunlun Gardens is a really beautiful place. For better or worse I was able to see a ton of bands. Friday night was the best and Saturday afternoon was painful at times. People were super friendly and I was surprised I didn't see any fisticuffs. One thing I need to mention that I was surprised at the number of North Americans who are in Taiwan to protest Bush, Harper, globalization, imperialism etc. Nothing like sticking it to the man by spreading western thought/language/culture in Taiwan. Do they even no there positions as the new missionaries of globalization? They did even manage to raise some money for charity. Another note is that the drumming never seems to stop. It really gets going around 4 or 5 am and I almost went postal but realized it was the Peacefest and that wouldn't be kosher.
* Here is a photo album from Real Taiwan

Tags: Taichung


Johnny said...

Hey Big Ell. What's up with the salmon? I met someone at Paulstock in Taichung that was selling salmon too. Maybe it was you.. or a partner. Throw me an email or something. therealtaiwan[at}

Big Ell said...

Yes Johnny that was me. It was nice meeting you and I hope you don't mind the link.

Sean Reilly said...

Speaking of which, I can't believe didn't Paulstock make it into the top five? It was the closest festival to Casa Big Ell, they gave you priority parking and a fan, the beer was cold and located right next to the Salmon Station.

Although I left several hours before the drumming began...

Precious James Powell 包吉米 said...

Too Bad I only made it too the Peacefest... worse that I won;t be there this year... hoping to be at hoping again and see you at some of the other fests when I return to the island :)