I checked out the VIDULGI OOYOO show/album release party on Saturday, which was quite good. I bought a copy of their CD and have listened to it a couple of times, so I thought I might share my thoughts.
The spelling of the band threw me off (not to mention my misspelling of their name… I wrote “Vildulgi”), so I was slow to realize the meaning of the band’s name. Bidulgi is, of course, Korean for pigeon (or dove). Ooyoo (or uyu) is milk. Together, bidulgi uyu means pigeon shit (at least I think it does… cannot think of any meaning to the literal “pigeon milk”). Rather cute name. Not sure why they write it “Vidulgi Ooyoo,” but whatever.
VIDULGI is a shoegazer band, featuring Ham Jee-hye (from Juck Juck Haeseo Grunge) on guitar and vocal. Lee Jong-seok is also on guitar and vocal, with Sung Ki-hun on bass and Lee Yong-jun on drums.
Their songs have a painterly quality, long prog-rock tunes with plenty of distortion. Like the more ambling type of SONIC YOUTH songs from around their Diamond Sea period, maybe with a little SIGUR ROS in them. (UPDATE: I just thought of a better comparison — they sound rather like EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, the band that does the music for Friday Night Lights). When it works, it is a captivating sound. But when it doesn’t work, the band’s light, mumbling sound can seem aimless and a little whiny.
One of the album’s best tracks is the instrumental MURMUR’S ROOM, which is mellow and quite beautiful, with its long progressions and gentle echoes. SEEING ME THROUGH YOUR EYES is pretty good, too, especially when the tempo picks up toward the end of the song, giving the song a sudden punch. The more uptempo songs ELEPHANT and AERO are also solid..
I MIGHT BE YOU, however, is an example of the band’s weaker songs, a formless blob of the song that just sits there, never going anywhere.
There’s also a “remix” of ELEPHANT at the end of the album… I guess their were going for an EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL sound. But in general, I don’t like most “techno” mixes in Korea. I just don’t think their engineers know what they are doing, and the final product always sounds really cacophonic and underwhelming.
In short, a decent debut from a band with some potential. Not as much fun as Ham’s other band, but definitely worth listening to.
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Hey, there’s a new SUN KIL MOON album out! Did not know that. Mark Kozalek’s band really has the best pseudo-Korean name I have seen. I listened to a couple of the songs on the Internet and they sound pretty good.
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It’s official — no Neil Young at the Flower Power Peace Concert. Promoter claims that Madonna is still considering. Not only would I be shocked if Madonna played here, but at a hippy concert? Really? (Hat tip to B.S.).