Monthly Archives: August 2008

Two Shows to Catch This Weekend

Some interesting shows coming up in the next few days. On Saturday evening, Kim Young-jin is going to be playing live at Freebird, starting at 10pm. Kim was the bassist for the legendary Shin Joong-hyun Band, years ago. Kim will be accompanied by two members of the Shinchon Blues Band, another great band from the past, which recently reformed for a reunion tour.

Sato Yukie was supposed to play with Kim, but unfortunately, they had a scheduling problem. Sato will, however, be playing with the Bulgasari noise collective on Monday evening. Their show will feature Xiao He, an avant garde Chinese musician, who is in town for the Fringe Festival. Best of all, this show is free, so no excuses for missing it. Starts at 7:30 at Yogiga Gallery.

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(okay, the Yogiga show is on Monday, not the weekend. But close enough…)

Not Too Late for Fringe

Okay, this post is late, very sorry. But it is not too late to check out this year’s Seoul Fringe Festival, taking place right now in Hongdae.

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This is the 11th Seoul Fringe Festival, a two-week celebration of independent, underground and sometimes just plain weird art, music, theater and other cultural goodness. Do not expect to see many of Hongdae’s biggest bands at Fringe. The whole point of the show is to give unestablished artists a chance to show off. They might be raw and unready (and they might not be any good), but I think it is good to shaking things up from time to time… especially in a place as hierarchical as Korea.

The festival takes place pretty much all over the area around Hongik University, with the bulk of events happening along the “meat street” area (the twisting road/park that runs just behind the LG Palace, KFC, and Soundholic).

You can download a map of Hongdae showing all the Fringe Festival locations from the front page of the English website (sorry, but it is a javascript link, so I cannot link directly to it). (And, btw, it is quite a good map. Maybe I should replace the one on my site with the Fringe Festival’s map).

Gig Guide Gets a Forum

Okay, I have no idea if there is any demand for this… But as you can see above in the top menu bar, I have added a forum to this site. It is pretty basic, just three categories (with a subcategory for creating a band encyclopedia). But I thought that people might like to talk about the bands they like here in Korea or wherever, review CDs, perhaps share info about coming concerts or whatever. Totally up to you guys.
Now, I am not the most techno-literate guy in the world, so if there is anything wrong with the forum, please let me know. I could easily have screwed up some permissions or coding or anything.

Like I said, I don’t know if people need a forum about Korean underground music. I am just launching this forum to give people the option.

(And, of course, if you do use the forum, please keep flaming and trolling to a minimum.)

Big Top, Big Fun

Very happy news of a more mainstream sort — Cirque du Soleil is coming back to Seoul. This time, they will be presenting ALEGRIA, beginning Oct. 15 (no word on when the run will end yet). Tickets range from 50,000 won to 200,000 won.

Last year, Cirque du Soleil presente QUIDAM, which was a lot of fun. My friend and I sat right in the front row, and they even dragged me on stage for one of those audience participation sketches. If you have never been to a Cirque show before, I totally recommend it.  Very much worth the money.

Monster Trucks Meet… the Ballet?

Okay, this is one of the strangest things I have run across in ages — Monster Ballet. That is, ballet using heavy machinery and construction equipment. From 9 to 9:30, Aug. 9-12, you can watch this bizarre dance of industrial grace down at the Riverside Park in Yeouido. With choreography by Kim Yong-geol of the Paris Opera Ballet, it certainly sounds like one an event with more than a little potential for fun.

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Monster Ballet is occurring as part of the latest Hi Seoul Festival. Which now is held four times a year. Once for each of Korea’s four seasons. Really.

Okay, I am no fan of the Hi Seoul marketing ploy. But seriously, big machines dancing? I’ll check that out.