SXSW 2019 will see the return of the popular Taiwan Beats night, with the overall goal of showcasing the vibrant independent music scene in Taiwan. Six sets of artists are scheduled to represent Taiwan this year, including: Elephant Gym, My Skin Against Your Skin, CHIU PI, EggPlantEgg, The Fur., and I Mean Us.
The organizer of this year’s showcase will also attempt the fusing of live music with interactive technologies. For those interested in seeing the aforementioned Taiwanese bands and artists perform, the showcase is slated for March 13th, and will be happening at the venue Elysium.
With its increasing popularity and influence, SXSW in Austin, TX has become an important staging ground for international artists and musicians hoping to tap into an international market. The Ministry of Culture in Taiwan has been sponsoring bands to play at SXSW for the past few years, and have obviously been bringing only the best musical talent to an event of this caliber. Evident in how previous iterations of the Taiwanese music showcase events have garnered high praise from both attendees and critics alike, drawing the praise of music blogs such as EQ Music.
Of the six bands set to represent Taiwan this year, perhaps Elephant Gym would be the most familiar to the audience. Being their second time to play SXSW after a successful North American tour in 2014, their continued pursuit of pop infused math rock has kept them widely popular back home.
Another scene veteran --- My Skin Against Your Skin is also slated to play SXSW this year. With their extensive Asian touring experience, unique blend of Mandarin lyrical aesthetics and female fronted dance rock, they should be a sight to behold on stage.
CHIU PI, the self-proclaimed poet and minimal artist/producer, is being brought in to showcase the experimental forefront of Taiwanese independent music. Being a prolific producer, he has already racked up more than twenty releases since 2013, and has collaborated with artists such as Aristophanes.
For those looking forward to a more local and traditional blend of Taiwanese rock, EggPlantEgg will also be playing their award winning material at Taiwan night. Having won the Golden Melody Awards for best new artist and Taiwanese album, some have seen them as continuing the legacy of the New Taiwanese Music Movement of the early 90’s.
The final two bands set to play are The Fur. and I Mean Us, both adhering more to the western notions of indie rock and especially dream pop; they have both seen a speedy rise to local popularity in 2018, while frequently appearing in local festivals and receiving praise for their solo performances.
Aside from using the chance to showcase Taiwanese independent music talent, the Small and Medium Enterprise Admiration, a branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs will also be hosting a Taiwanese Pavilion within the Austin Convention Center. Attendees can expect a taste of the newest and most innovative products on offer by Taiwanese tech companies and startups.
*The six bands mentioned will be showcased on March 13th at Elysium.
*For those interested in the Taiwanese Pavilion, the pavilion will be open starting from March 10th.