Monthly Archives: March 2008

Uh-Uh-Oh, Not Quite Music…

Baik Hyun-jhin, the guy behind Uh Uh Boo Project (aka, Uh Uh Boo Project Sound, aka Uh Uh Boo Project Band), will be exhibiting some of his paintings at the Arario Gallery in Seoul in April (3-30). It is called “Vagrants N’ Substance” and it looks like a pretty decent show.

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To be honest, I’m not exactly sure where Arario is. I know it is in Jongno-gu, Sogyeok-dong, which is close to the Art Sonje Center and the Kukje Gallery (in their gallery neighborhood just east of Gyeongbok Palace). Will try to explain better once I know better.

If You See Just One Show This Weekend… (March 28-30)

Tonight (Friday) is Club Day, so as usual Hongdae should be absolutely nutty. But if claustrophobic overcrowding is your thing, there are plenty of options. Just 20,000 won gets you into everything.

For people who like quieter options, Sunday night is the Pastel show at Ssamzie Space. Unfortunately, it is sold out… Not sure if there will be a few tickets available at the door, though.

But the most interesting show of the weekend, at least for me, looks to be the World Music of Orgeltanz (plus the belly dancing of  Eshe). Not a lot of World Music going on in Korea today, so it is a nice change of pace. Their show is not in Hongdae, but in Daehangno, at the club Jazz Story (near Marrionier Park), Sunday at 7pm. And the show is free — you just need to buy a drink. How cool is that?

Hippy Drippy

So the Marmot excitedly links to a Joongang Daily story about some Flower Power Peace Festival that is supposed to be held May 4 and 5 at Olympic Park. The concert organizers claim the show will feature Neil Young, Rod Stewart, Alan Parsons Project, Don McLean, Donovan, Linda Ronstadt, Judy Collins, Crystal Gale and more. “Maybe Elton John,” the article tells us. Huzzah.

But then the cynic in me kicked in, so I started doing some Googling, went to a few web pages. And here is the funny thing — none of the big artists listed have the Flower Power show on their itinerary. Not Neil Young or Don McLean or Donovan. No word on Dylan’s website. Elton John is supposed to be performing in Austria on May 3, so he seems unlikely.

On the other hand, Alan Parsons’ website mentions Korea, but for May 3. Judy Collins says May 4. Dr. Hook says May 3 and 4. Crystal Gale says May 4. Janice Ian says May 4, too.

Now, those outstanding artists have blank spots on their concert calendars for the May 5-6 time, so it is possible they could come. But for the moment, I am filing this under “overambitious organizer.” Not saying it is impossible, but I am skeptical.

I should also point out that I see no established concert organizers associated with this event. Not Yellow9 or whomever. The Joongang story says that it is being organized by Gangwon Broadcasting, who is not really known for being a big event organizers… although, considering they bought MK Pictures last year for $16 million, maybe they have a lot of money to burn.

It could be that the organizers have a couple of artists signed up and are trying to lock down the others, and are exaggerating to drive early ticket sales (it has been known to happen here).

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Hrm… Having written this, I looked at some comments at the Marmot’s Hole and Dave’s ESL Cafe and I see that plenty of people have come to the same conclusion I have. So, once again, I am slow. Anyhow, kind of interesting, but I’ll be pretty skeptical until I see anyone perform. Korean fly-by-night concert promoters have a bad reputation for trying to skip out on their bills or renegotiating terms at the last minute (a reputation good people like Yellow9 have been trying hard to change), so we’ll see…

Maps maps maps

If you go to the “Maps” part of the Korea Gig Guide, you’ll see that I have swapped the old map for a slightly different one. I am still not happy with the new map, though. Indeed, I am not happy with any of the maps of Hongdae I have run across.

Anyhow, below I have uploaded a couple of different Hongdae maps. Please let me know if you have any preference. Or if you would like to see something different, let me know what that might be.

One of these days, I’ll get around to adding maps of other parts of Seoul and Korea… but not today.

Hongdae 1

Hongdae 2

(PS: Animal Dads were great Saturday night. Really, try to check them out when they play next… probably in about three weeks)

Her Name Is Yozoh…

YOZOH, the self-titled debut by Yozoh, a young singer on the Pastel Music label, was released in late November last year, but I just got around to listening to it recently. It is quite a nice album, and I thought I might add a few comments.

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Yozoh’s sound is quite reminiscent of Charlotte Gainsbourg, with perhaps some Lee Sang-eun thrown in. Most of the songs are light and very listenable. Mostly just Yozoh singing on top of a guitar and some very light percussion.

First song, MY NAME IS YOZOH, is the catchiest on the album and can get into your head quite quickly. SHOOTING STAR is not bad either. SUM BAKKOKJIL is also quite good.

The biggest problem with the album, though, is that some of the songs are so light that they threaten to turn to mush, with no hook and no structure, just sort of meandering all over the place. Very nice, but not much more. NAJJAM (Nap) is perhaps the worst offender of the bunch.

Speaking of bunches, BANANA PARTY is the most unfortunate song on the album. Not the worst song (in fact it is rather catchy), and the latest in a long line of food-related songs that are so popular in Korea (see Pipi Band’s STRAWBERRY). But the double entendres in the banana chorus are rather disturbing…

Anyhow, I am curious to see what Yozoh is like live. If you are too, there are two more chances to see her live in March. She is supposed to be supporting the Sogyomo Acacia Band at Ssamzie Space tomorrow (Sunday), at a 5pm concert. And at the end of the month, on March 30, Yozoh leads an all-Pastel show at Ssamzie at 6:30.

Free Music, Priceless Fun

Okay, for those of you who have been interested in seeing a concert some time, but were reluctant to spend your precious time and money on some dubious event, have I got a good deal for you. Saturday night (March 22) at 10:30 at Freebird, there is going to be a solid show — Juck Juck Haeseo Grunge, Animal Dads, Mechanical Seals and Blakey Bear. And the show is COMPLETELY FREE. Zero money. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

You can thank Blair and Ian of ANIMAL DADS for the show. Better yet, go to the concert and thank them in person. After all, what have you got to lose?

March 22 Show

If You See Just One Show This Weekend…

Celine Dion!

… or not. Actually, the most interesting act this weekend is probably Pastel Music’s up-and-comer Yozoh. 6pm at Club Catch (near Nolita Park). Sorry, but I am not sure how much it costs.

Sorry, but I am Hong Kong at the moment, so not really up on things in Hongdae at the moment. Hope to update the Concert Calendar soon…

Kafka-esque

Thought I would give a little concert review, after recommending the Kafka concert a couple of days ago. And, to be honest, the show was not quite what I said it would be. Apparently it was not Kafka’s album release party for its second album. Not sure where I got that from. Weird mistake to make.

Kafka did play a short set, as part of Badabie’s usual busy night of shows. Well, it was a lot different than what I expected. Last time, I compared their music to Portishead. And their first album was very quiet and moody.

On Saturday night, however, they were very loud. Much more Evanescence than Portishead. They played just four songs, and none of them was mellow at all. Lots of guitar and distortion and very, very goth.

The singer said she was not feeling so good, and the first three songs of the set were pretty subdued, but you could see her beginning to loosen up and get into it toward the end. But it did not last very long. All in all, it was an okay show, but nothing overwhelming.

I’ll try to choose something more fun next weekend. Looks like there is a lot coming next weekend, too.

Big Time Senility

Okay, apologies if you already have heard this, but I found it an amusing story.
And having just seen the Bjork concert, it seemed vaguely relevant.

So, last year at some point, Matthew Barney was in town. Barney being, of course, Bjork’s husband. A well known artist in his own right, of course. I believe he had some work being displayed at the Lee Eum Gallery in Itaewon.

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After a fun day of artsy activities (whatever they were), Barney feels like going out and having a good time. So his guides for his trip take him to Hongdae, where they intend on going dancing at M2 (the biggest dance club in Hongdae). Only they were not allowed in. Too old. And no one recognized him as Bjork’s hubby.

No idea if it is true or just some random bit of Hongdae gossip, but it amused me terribly.