Now the My Light Shines for You! 7″ is being pressed and it is time to look into what will bring next year for Cloudberry. We want to do another release in our Cloudberry Cake Kitchen series as soon as possible and even though I’ve been talking and discussing with several bands I would love to have your input, maybe you have some great ideas that I could explore!

This week I continued gathering indiepop from all over the place so let’s do a roundup of all those songs and bands!

Firstly I must say I’m very happy that Boring Productions from China will be releasing the Sound and Fury album in the near future. In my previous post I championed the Chengdu band and little did I know they had already been in touch with the Shenzhen label. So that’s good news and we better keep our eyes peeled for the release date which seems to be next month!

Madrid’s Puzzles y Dragones has been a favourite band of mine for a long time. They’ve also been silent for a long time. But suddenly the label Discos de Kirlian has a new song streaming by this lovely band formed by Miguel López, Mark Williams, Begoña Casado, Sergio Alarcón, Alberto Robla and our friend Dani de la Mancha. The lovely “Fuerzas Absurdas” is the new digital single the label and the band are using to promote the album “Vuelven Puzzles y Dragones” that is set to be released this November. So far this is the only song available to listen from the album but in any case, I can’t wait for this record to be released!

Stockholm one-girl band Boys has a new song as well and it is called “Rabbits”. I’ve been following Nora Karlsson’s band for years now and for some reason or another I don’t own any physical copies of her music. Aside from digital EPs I believe the only real record is a cassette titled “Love on Tour” released last year. And you know my not so good relationship with tapes. Well, it seems this will be the first time I actually get my hands on something by Boys because the label PNKSLM is releasing a split 7″ with “Rabbits” and Magic Potion’s “Rest Yr Skull” on October 20th. Sadly I don’t like Magic Potion’s song so in the end the 7″ ends up being a bit pricey for me as $16.00 dollars including shipping for one song is steep these days… but maybe some of you do appreciate Magic Potion? Anyhow, the Boys track is superb as her previous efforts so hopefully soon there is a 7″ or anything just by herself. if PNKSLM can’t offer that, hey, this humble label is happy to offer that.

Then of course the news of The Spook School‘s new video for “Still Alive” might be old news for many of you faithful followers of the Edinburgh four-piece band. What is interesting is that this new video is a promo piece for their new album “Could it be Different?” that is coming out on January 26 on Alcopop Records in the UK and Slumberland in the US. It was a big question to know which European label was going to become home of The Spook School after the demise of Fortuna Pop, and now that has been answered. I don’t know much about Alcopop, don’t know the people behind it. My only experience with them is that they released the last Helen Love CD, and I was very grateful about it even though the pressing had some issues. Anyways, enjoy the new track and let’s wait for their new album!

A Spanish band I discovered recently is Autoescuela. The band is formed by just two guys, David and Santí, and they hail from Asturias, in the north of Spain. They have just put out a tape titled “Recopa” which is a collection of 25 short bedroom pop songs. On top of it, the tape comes with a 32 page fanzine. This whole package has been released by the Barcelona label Snap! Clap! Club and there are only 100 copies so run and get it if you are into fun upbeat lo-fi songs!

And lastly I want to recommend a superb track by Seazoo titled “Shoreline”. The vocals are fantastic here! I have recommended them long time ago, maybe more than a year ago when they uploaded their song “Telephone Jones” which I really liked. But this new one I think I’m enjoying even more! Why is there no album yet by this Welsh band?! It seems I missed their Jumbo EP CD and Im very sad about that… and was there a 7″ for “Teeth / Skulls”? I missed that too. I shouldn’t miss their next one! At this pace I’m going to be broke!


Pillbox: Pill organizer or pillbox or pill box, a special container for storing scheduled doses of one’s medications.
Pillbox, a flat, cylindrical shaped figure, such as:
Gaussian pillbox, used in calculations for vector fields
Pillbox cavity, a cylindrical microwave cavity
Pillbox hat, a small woman’s hat with a flat crown and straight, upright sides, and no brim

Our indiepop “world tour” continues in October and after featuring a Belgian band it is time to go back to Asia. In this occasion why not go all the way to Taiwan and discover the little known band Dolly’s Pillbox that was around in the mid noughties? It will also be the first time I feature a Taiwanese band on the blog and that is for sure a cool thing!

I don’t know much about Taiwan to be honest. Never been there, though I would love to in the future. I did go once to eat Taiwanese food in Flushing, NY. I remember having at the Gu-Shine Restaurant some unknown dishes to me like jellyfish in scallion sauce or baby fish with hot peppers and aside there been a Taiwanese girl in my school class for a year who I didn’t interact much sadly (the poor girl didn’t know a thing of Spanish or English so she had such a hard time and didn’t come back to school the next year), those were the moments I’ve been closer to Taiwan.

But around 2005 or 2006, when everyone of us were learning the ropes of social networks on Myspace, I found out about Taipei’s Dolly’s Pillbox there. I am pretty sure I exchanged messages with their vocalist, Cathy Tang, but can’t recall what about. I recall having either her or the band on my Myspace “top ten” (remember that?) for some time. I liked the songs and their uber-twee look and style. It is true, those were my twee-est years, when I was so much into cutesy bands like The Maybellines or All Girl Summer Fun Band.

In 2006 the band was to release their one and only record, a CD EP titled “How are You Today?” on the label Silent Agreement (catalog SAIP014). Back then it was quite impossible to find their record. You had to buy it directly from the band and Paypal wasn’t available all over the world. I never got around to get it. Only today while writing these lines I found a copy on Discogs and ordered it. Hopefully it arrives safe and sound. I didn’t even know the label Silent Agreement then but now I see they put out a My Little Airport single in 2015 too.

The EP has seven songs: “Sugar Boy”, “In Our Stillness”, “Blah Blah Blah”, “Road Movie”, “Rainy Day Playground”, “Summer Blows the Breeze Warm” and “Bedtime Plus”. All of them are sweet tunes. The band was formed by Cathy Tang on harmonica and vocals, Jubow Kao on bass, Bambi Jiang on guitar and Meimei Ju on drums and percussion. Cathy also wrote all the lyrics. The record was mixed and recorded by Luxia Wu and mastered by Rick Hu.

I found a small review of the EP on the website Pacifiction Records who used to sell the record int he US it seems: “Sometimes fun and bouncy, sometimes sad and rainy, but always cute, Dolly’s Pillbox rented a studio to take rockstar pictures… but ended up forming a band and recording this delightful EP of fun songs. Despite hand claps and upbeat bass lines, their songs are bittersweet moments as seen in “Blah, Blah, Blah,” which tells a story about a girl who is getting over someone who “is not so precious anymore.” If you’ve had a bad day, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind having Dolly’s Pillbox handy to make things a little better.”

The band also seems to have appeared on at least one compilation. They contributed the song “Light Blue Car” to the CD compilation “All the Girls I’ve Ever Loved (Now Love Other Boys)” that was released by the Pop Song Romance fanzine in 2009. I kind of remember this compilation in my blurry memory, I believe the person responsible of the zine and this compilation was a Californian called Claude Cardenas who used to post on the indiepop-list. Now that I see the tracklist I kind of feel ashamed of missing it, it is a pretty strong album with Cloudberry related bands like Very Truly Yours, Komon, Bonnie & Clyde or The Jealous Sea among others!

Looking if they appeared on any other compilations I find that they contributed the song “Bedtime Plus” to the double CD compilation “Lobo III” released by White Wabit Records in 2003 (catalog TW026). They also had “Sugar Boy” on the CD compilation “Grass Festival 2006” released by White Wabit in 2003 (catalog TW033).

I keep looking for more information about them, especially would like to know what did they do after Dolly’s Pillbox was no more. I find the blog Jenny is in a Bad Mood and there it is, a Youtube video where the band covers Japanese band Advantage Lucy’s “杏花的季節“.

I keep searching and find a quote taken from the website they used to have, this corroborates the story from Pacifiction Records: “In Starbucks, while eating breakfast, Cathy and Jubow were joking around about renting a practice band room where they could take pictures of cool, fake rockers together for fun. but unaccountably, the rumor of forming the band was let out and Jubow and Cathy earnestly started looking for band members….” So with this we know that in the beginning there were only two members. I also notice that Cathy is (or was then) a graphic artist and she did all the art for the band. Thanks to that I check on Google Images some graphics she did for each of the band members, kind of like a small little bio. For Cathy it says she is a Sagittarius, a model daughter, a little animal’s savior, everlasting busy & sleepy, a child at heart and single. For Jubow, she is a Taurus, a CD Shop bride, that she has cute dimples and rosy cheeks, that she measures 1.64 m, and that she is single no more. For Bambi, he is a Virgo, a history major, a Fender Telecaster lover, mommy’s boy, and single. Lastly, Meimei is a Pisces (like me!), a CD Shop darling, a petite pocket girl, sweet, smart and fun fun!, and single.

Why not check their old Myspace, maybe there is some info there. I giddily see the fantastic Chicago band Fireflies in their top 8. Then I notice a song that wasn’t listed in their CD, “Bambi Rocks”. I could find a live performance of this song and it sounds GREAT! Check it out on Youtube. I would love to listen the studio version sometime.

Another blog that featured them was the fantastic Japan Live blog. I’ve discovered a few bands thanks to it, and here Ken M tells the story when he saw Dolly’s Pillbox at the Formoz Festival when he visited Taipei in 2006. Another place that has some information is Last.fm, there it mentions that Bambi joined the band in the summer of 2004 and Meimei in the autumn of 2005.

But then I reach a wall. I don’t know what happened to the band members. Perhaps Cathy continued her career as a graphic designer and Bambi now teaches history at university. Who knows really. Would be nice to know they continued making music. For me they were the first band I ever listened from Taiwan making proper indiepop, with the right influences and all. I wonder if anyone else remembers them? Maybe you saw them play at a gig? Maybe you saw them at a festival? Did they have any more songs? Would be nice to know what are they up to now, maybe do an interview too.


Dolly’s Pillbox – Sugar Boy

One Response to “:: Dolly’s Pillbox”

Alcopop is run by guy called Jack who I met once and seems like a good, enthusiastic guy. His tastes tend to lean towards the ‘punk’ end of the indiepop spectrum, hence him signing Helen Love and the Spookies. The School did have a track on one of their anti-Record Store Day compilations though.

October 5th, 2017