Saturday, July 1 is Canada Day, and Monday July 17 will mark sixteen years since I left Canada. Unlike most who live overseas, I haven’t been back once. When I first arrived in South Korea, I assumed it would be a one year experience, that I would go back with some pictures and maybe a few dollars saved. I didn’t expect it to turn into a whole new life.
Over that time, I really haven’t really been homesick. I’ve gotten used to living without most things – TV, CBC radio, hockey, etc. But if there is one thing I regret the loss of, it’s popular music in Canada (*). Canada is, and always has been primarily a rock music culture (i.e. groups actually play instruments), not a pop culture where everything is made out of regurgitated samples. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I lived in Japan which is also mostly a rock scene, or South Korea which has a great punk rock and alternative scene with many good bands over the years (despite most people’s impression that everything is kpop).
But Taiwan is definitely a pop country. Most everything is safe, even “rock bands” like May Day. Other than Chthonic which aren’t to my taste (the singer is an elected member of the DPP government and human rights activist) and Mary Bites Kerry which are a group I would listen to, there isn’t much played music. The live jazz clubs would be great if they weren’t filth pits of cigarette smoke.
I was very happy to hear the Canadian band Headstones recently released a new album. I needed to hear something good, anything good.
(* That, and turnips. You just can’t get ’em here.)