Thursday, April 27, 2006

Taxi Music

Yesterday, while further depleting my local 7-Eleven's beer supply, I realized that the type of music they were playing on the radio is slowly disappearing -- good old-fashioned Taiwan taxi music. You know the songs, those low-budget sentimental pop ballads with swirling pentatonic string parts, with achy-voice singers who seem to be sounding out their plaintive noises while hip-deep in a lonely rice paddy.

I remember that 15 years ago you just about couldn't get into a taxi without hearing that stuff. Now, in a taxi you'll probably hear talk radio or "Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was a Freak Like Me."

Many will say good riddance to Taiwan Taxi Music. But I miss the stuff. For all its obvious flaws, I always thought Taxi Music communicated a bit of credible pathos. And you know what? The women and men who sang those songs, unlike the Mandopop youth of today, could actually carry a tune.


225712012 said...

been a while since i've been in a taiwanese cab. cant say i miss it much either. back in the days before i got a scooter, the drivers would always put on ICRT for me, which was worse than any crappy taiwanese bubblegum pop.

georgia said...

I remember just the music you're talking about. And those little doiley things over the headrests. And the tissue boxes in the shape of puppies and kittens on the back ledge. And sometimes the smell of betel nut and Wisbih. I loved taking taxis in Taiwan. Thanks for the reminder.