Saturday, March 18, 2006

Good Mojo

OK, so I have this friend named Guoxi, who is a kickass guitar player and who has a cool band named Mojo. At the beginning of February, when Guoxi got back from his month-long trip to New York, he began to record his part of the CD the band had been working on, and it's finally all done. Last weekend he inivted me to go with him to film a couple MTVs to promote the CD. I left home at 9:00 a.m. that day and didn't get back home until 12:30 a.m.! I had no idea what a long, involved process it was to film these things.

We started out by meeting up with two directors (and I only remember the name of one, Ah Mu), Ah Mu's girlfriend Elisa, and Mo the bass player, then all of us driving way up into the hills to the south of Taipei, a beautiful area called Bitan. We ended up at the home of a very cool guy named Alan, who has his own band, Chicken Rice. I'm telling you, listening to rockabilly in Chinese is an experience you need to have! I seriously need to buy their CD. And for those of you who are Wu Bai fans, Alan is the boyfriend of adorable little Mavis Fann, the girl who sings the duet "Sea Island" with Wu Bai on the "Two-Faced Man" CD.

Alan's home was spiffy, more like a huge converted garage/warehouse than a real house. The walls were decorated with drawings and were painted in different colors, and the studio walls were plastered with pages from music magazines, depicting the greatest guitarists of the world. Jimi Hendrix had his own little section, too. The floors were covered with Asian carpets, and a huge Bugs Bunny hung from the ceiling.

I spent some time wandering around outside, because the weather was so perfect, and the flowers were in bloom everywhere. Butterflies fluttered, grasshoppers jumped, and small lizards (I think) rustled in the undergrowth. I took a lot of photos during the day, and you can check them out at

I was happy I'd brought a book with me, because for much of the time there wasn't anything to see and nothing to do. Filming a music video is a tedious task, especially this kind, which was a lot of animated sequences. This means taking frame by frame shots with the guys moving only slightly in between each one. This takes a long, long, long time. I eventually fell asleep on the couch in the living room!

As evening set it and darkness fell, the air turned quite cold, so Alan fired up the barrel outside and lit his tiki torches. This barrel has seen better days. The walls are so thin I could actually see the redness from the embers through the metal! There were some extra logs propped up against the outside, and they actually ended up bursting into flame, whereupon another guy, whose name I never got, tossed them into the fire. He was nice, and we chatted quite a bit. He's an artist, draws comic books, originally from the Philipines but moved to Taiwan when he was eight. He spoke English as well as Chinese, so our conversation flipped between the two languages.

Alan cooked up some tasty fried rice and some spinach for us, and after we ate, we took off. Guoxi had already headed back to Taipei, to our next destination, so I rode back into town with Mo, the bassist, and got to know him better. He'd spent a month in the US on a trip, and together we bemoaned the facts that there are no Taco Bells in Taiwan and that we both miss Cheetos a lot.

We pulled up at our stop - Mayday's (五月天) studio. Mayday is a hot band here in Taiwan, and there was a crowd of young girls hanging around outside, a good indication that at least one of the band members was on site. Sure enough, it was the lead singer, Ah Xin. He was watching a Hong Kong movie (some cop film with Ekin Cheng and Aaron Kwok) while at the same time playing with the computer. There was a very fluffy Persian cat, which promptly attempted to bite and scratch when I offered to pet her. Extremely pissy cat, not the least bit friendly, with an arrogant attitude that fit the arrogant look on her face.

Mayday's studio was interesting, with Beatles memorabilia everywhere. They are obviously much loved and admired by the band. There was also a large poster of Wu Bai in the office, of which I heartily approved. Since I wasn't able to stay in the room where they were filming because I would have ended up on camera, I just read for awhile, talked a little with Elisa, who was also banished, and finally just stuck on my headphones and listened to music.

At the very end of the evening, Mayday's sound engineer, Conrad, showed up with his charming wife Marineha. She and I got to talking, and she asked me if I was interested in teaching an eight-year-old girl. Conrad and Marineha were preparing to return to Switzerland, and this child was in need of a new teacher. So, I said I'd try, and I went to meet with her mom, Jenny, on Wednesday. I ended up getting the job, so I'll be teaching Amy twice a week, for about an hour and a half each time. She's a cute kid, well-behaved, and seems bright. I'm hoping I can handle this, since I simply don't have any experience dealing with children!

Finally everything was done, and Guoxi drove me home, where I promptly fell into bed with only a few token minutes of playing with DZ. What a long day....

Last Sunday evening Nat, Charlene, Caroline, and I went to Riverside Pub for Mojo's performance. The place was jammed so full it was ridiculous (what safety regs? what maximum capacity?), and I couldn't really see the band perform. The new CD was on sale, along with Mojo T-shirts, which we of course bought. The guys from Mayday showed up (all except for Ah Xin, who went home with the wifey after the Wang Lee Hom concert, which was also that evening), and the banter between them and Guoxi was hysterical. I had to duck out at 11:00 p.m. in order to catch the last MRT back, so I didn't get to see the final songs. Just as I was getting ready to turn out the light, the phone rang. It was Charlene, excitedly telling me to open up the CD and check the end of the lyrics book, where the guys thanked everyone. Awww, too sweet, Guoxi thanked me! I'm glad I could help him with his English so he'd get his job as an airline pilot. Still can't figure out why he'd rather fly planes than be a big rock star, though....

And finally, for those of you who have been concerned, I'm doing OK. It took a lot of tears, a lot of thinking, a lot of talking and discussing, but the bottom line is that Hiyoshi and I are still best buds, he's still my little bro, I'm not pissed off at him (or anyone else) anymore, and life is fine. And the answer to the often-unasked question is no, I am not in love with Hiyoshi (and trust me, I examined my heart closely and seriously). I love him, he's a great friend, but I just couldn't fall in love with him. I admit to a certain amount of lust (I mean, sheesh, look at the guy, he's gorgeous), but not to the point where I'd really be willing to enter into a physical relationship with him. It's simply an entertaining thought, and one that will never be acted upon, despite his good looks (OK, there's a tiny bit of regret here, but only a tiny bit, honest). He has his problems, sometimes he doesn't think about things too clearly, he often doesn't listen carefully, and he truly needs someone always watching out for him. I'm very willing to do this as a friend, but I could never tolerate it in a boyfriend. If I ever decide to get another guy in my life, it will be someone who is stronger than I, someone I can't push around too much, someone who can support me when I need it. So far I don't feel the need for someone like that, so I'm staying single and happy. I get enough companionship from Hiyoshi, and maybe after he's gone back to Japan I'll want to find a guy, but.....I've been single for five years now, and I'm kinda used to it! And besides, Wu Bai is still married, so I guess I just have to keep waiting for him. Kidding, I'm kidding. I don't think I'd really like him. Most men are better as fantasy.....

Speaking of my best love, tomorrow I'm going to see Wu Bai & China Blue at a press conference, yeah! It's not a huge deal, doubt we'll get a chance to talk to any of them, but just getting to see Wu Bai makes my little heart happy. I've heard they're working on a new CD, which is fabulous news, and I hope there will be a few small shows in Taipei in the coming months. (3/20 - I went, took some photos, posted them here:

Man, see what happens when I haven't written in awhile? Just comes bubbling out, can't stop it.


Romita said...

I'm glad to know that all is right with the world.

scenic said...

hope you're feeling better.. & hey, sounds like you're meeting lots of interesting people there!

ps: it's so cool that guoxi thanked you in the album sleeve :)

velvet said...

You got to see Ah Xin?! And he's married?!?

haha I'm not a big fan (though I do know a few who are. They're really very big, and not just over there.) They've got some nice songs.