Monthly Archives: May 2008

Weekend Concerts

A heck of a lot of shows going on this weekend, especially on Saturday night. I have already talked about the shoegazer show going on at Bowie, but here a couple more that should be worth going to.

Certainly the biggest bang for your buck is Saturday night at Badabie, where there will be 11 acts playing for 5,000 won. It is the going-away show for Ironic Hue, as they will be heading to Toronto to play in the North By NorthEast (NXNE) festival in June.  The show starts at 5pm and goes until midnight.

Another interesting show on Saturday is the late-night gig at Soundholic. Oriental Lucy, Belle Mafia and a couple of other groups that I don’t know… But it is just 10,000 won and it includes a drink (two drinks for women). Show starts at 11pm.

Oriental Lucy also plays Friday night at Club Bbang.

Never Right Looks Just Right

Interesting looking show coming up on Saturday (May 24) at club Bowie featuring three shoegazing bands — Lobotomy, Bulssazo and Bulgilhan Joeum. The show is the eighth Never Right show… although I must admit I have no idea what the Never Right thing is all about.

never-right-small2.jpg

If you have not heard of Bowie, it is in the space space Aura used to be, halfway between Shinchon and Hongdae, near the Sanullim theater and the bridge of the railway tracks (or what used to be the railway tracks).

As for the bands, Bulssazo is one of the most Sigur Ros-like groups I know in Korea, although I can not imagine Sigur Ros naming their songs “The Light Shoegaze” or “Too Big to Fuck.” At first, Bulssazo seems like a rather surprising choice for a Pastel Music band (Pastel is usually more commercial and melodious), but like Pastel’s other artists, Bulssazo has a light and almost delicate quality, despite their very cool wall of noise. Great interview with Bulssazo at KOA Zine, btw.

Bulgilhan Jeoum (otherwise known as Master Musik) is associated with the Balloon and Needle noise label (collective? not sure about the best descriptor) and is the most aggressive and cacophonic of the three bands. At least that is what I have seen of them online and in the past. Lots of feedband and smashing things.
I do not know much about the band Lobotomy — except that they have a Myspace page and a song called “Hong Sang Soo.” Having a shoegazing band with a song about Korea’s famous shoegazing director earns big points from me (especially a song that reminds me so much of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”).

Btw, if you are interested in Korea’s experimental electronic scene, you can download the songs from four Balloon and Needle CDs here (the bottom four disks on the list are available for download… I like BNN 1 the most).

Freebird, Pentaport, and Random Notes

  • A fun little night last night, as I caught Mineri and Animal Dads at Club Bbang, then followed them over to Freebird where they played another show (this time with We Need Surgery). Not a bad couple of shows at all.
  • Mineri has gotten considerably tighter and more polished over the past couple of years, and they are better than ever. A couple of people noted that they are the “band’s band” of Hongdae. They do not have a huge following in the general public, but a lot of other Hongdae bands really like them.
  • Animal Dads were quite good, too. They have a new drummer, and if he sticks around it will be good seeing them develop.
  • Kyle Gass (of Tenacious D) is supposed to come to Pentaport this year. But apparently he will not be playing; he is blogging for GM, of all things.
  • On Gass’s blog, he indicates that Weezer is supposed to be playing at Pentaport, which would be very cool. No word on Weezer’s website, but that is something to watch for. Fingers crossed.
  • I checked out the latest issue of ROKON Magazine. Without a doubt it is now the best-designed English language magazine in Korea. Very spiffy looking design. Too bad the content is as useless as ever…
  • Speaking of Rokon… Rokon Magazine’s website appears to have expired. On May 10, according to Whois.net. If you are looking to swipe Rokon’s URL, this could be your lucky day. ;-)
  • Today’s Shows

    Okay, I know one of the Gig Guide’s biggest problems has been that today’s shows do not appear in the calendar. At 12:01 am each day, my database deletes the day’s concerts. I have not figured out how to change the Gigpress plugin to fix that problem, but I do have a workaround of sorts.

    I have added a new category — Today’s Shows (and History). If you go to that category, you will see shows happening today … along with all the shows that I have ever entered into the system.

    It is not a perfect solution. But until I figure out how to rewrite my plugin, this is a way for everyone to check out today’s gigs.

    Shady Promoters Still Going Strong…

    This is a couple of weeks late (well, three weeks), but I just discovered Janis Ian’s announcement that she was canceling her part in the Flower Power Peace Concert. And it is depressing:

    The South Korean dates have been cancelled, for reasons too numerous to go into here, but among them are failure to pay in a timely manner, failure to communicate for weeks at a time, failure to provide visas and/or work papers or information about same in a timely manner, false advertising (saying I will be appearing in places I have not agreed to appear in), and other breaches of contract too numerous to mention here.
    My apologies to anyone who was planning to come to the shows because of my own participation in them. We have been trying to resolve this, in good faith, for months now. With the show dates less than 3 weeks away, we finally gave up on it this morning.
    The Japan dates are still on, make no mistake! I’ve worked with those folks for decades, and have no problems with them!!

    Well, that was distressing. Very sad to see Korea continues to be such a shady place for concerts. Especially since people like Yellow9 have been trying to hard to improve things.

    While there are, sadly, way too many stories like this in Korea’s concert annals, here is one of my favorite, the story of James Randi (aka “The Amazing Randi”), when a concert promoter tried ripping him off back in 1995.

    JIFF Music

    Okay, I am not hearing much of anything about local Jeonju bands playing in Jeonju this weekend. But there will apparently be several Seoul bands playing there. Just in case any readers are attending the Jeonju International Film Festival and would like to catch a show, here is what’s playing:

    • Windy City plays Friday night at 7pm on the main stage
    • Saturday at 4pm is a street performane by the Oh Brothers
    • Saturday at 6pm on the main stage is some B-Boy dancing
    • Sunday at 4pm is a “Brazilian” street parade, featuring Escola Alegria
    • Sunday at 7pm on the main stage is Lucite Tokki and Han Hee Jeong
    • Monday at 1pm is Plastic People and Orgeltanz

    In addition, I was told that Mineri is playing JIFF on Saturday night, but I cannot see anything about it on the JIFF website. Worth looking out for, though.