BY THE SEA: MAY JAM 2006
--By Steven Crook Translated by Annie
The 2006 May Jam, Tainan's annual free-admission
beachside music festival, will be held on Saturday,
May 6 and Sunday, May 7. Organized as always by Axel
Schunn--a German who has lived in the Tainan area since
the early 1990s--the event will again be held at Choumaoyuan,
a wooded coastal area near the old harbor of Anping.
Axel promises just as much fun and just as many bands
as last year (when 56 performed in the Jam and various
pre-Jam warm-up shows around South Taiwan). He also
promises better toilet facilities, a drama performance,
and a children's singing performance by students from
the Ananda Marga Sakar School in Tainan County.
Naturally, Axel's own band, Charlie Swiggs, will be
playing. The current line-up has Axel on guitar and
vocals, longstanding bass player A-Bau, and newcomer
Ming-ken on drums. Years ago, when he was a junior high
school student, Ming-ken saw Charlie Swiggs performing.
He bought their CD, and eventually morphed from fan
to band member.
Bands interested in performing should
visit the May Jam website (http://www2.eecs.stut.edu.tw/~charlie/)
and register by mail. According to Axel, every band
that registers in time has "a very good chance"
of being given a 40-minute slot to show off their tunes.
The website also has a map for drivers.
If you don't have a vehicle, take City Bus No. 2 from
the train station. This will take you right to Choumaoyuan
for just NT$18, though you might have to wait half-an-hour
for the bus. If the weather is bad, the Jam will be
postponed to May 13 and 14.
In addition to the music, there'll be
snack and beverage vendors, and Kaohsiung-based Dead
Love Records will have a stall selling their CDs. A
good way to support the event, Axel says, is to buy
food, drinks, T-shirts, and other items from the organizers'
"Our creativity is our most important asset in
life," says Axel. "This creativity should
be nurtured and nourished. That inspires me to promote
original music here in Tainan."
Photos provided courtesy of Michael E. (goodsoundz.com).