Monthly Archives: January 2009

Seollal Exists, and so Does Itta

Things are a little quieter this weekend, as many of the bands retreat to their various hometowns for Seollal, the lunar new year holiday. But it is not as quiet as you might expect.  Despite the big vacation, there is still a fair amount going on this weekend.

The most interesting show has got to be the return of Itta, one of the quirkiest performers in Korea. She has been out of the country for the last six months or so, so it is very nice to have her back, if only for the one show. Check out her Myspace page, it is totally worth it.

itta-concert

Itta performs at the gallery/concert space Yogiga on Friday, Jan. 23, beginning at 7:30.

There is also the Goth Party, Saturday night from 8pm to 4pm at Club Mint (close to DGBD). I do not know much about it, except that they are encouraging people to dress up and they have this pretty fun poster:

goth-party

Stupid Question of the Day

So, does anyone out there know how to add Hangul functionality to my WordPress, without converting the whole thing over to Korean? Right now, my WordPress cannot read/display Korean at all.

I guess I need some sort of plugin, but I am not sure what it best. I know of the Korean IME plugin, but that is a Java plugin and I am not sure how advisable it is. Is there anything better out there? Something more basic?

Are These The Gals Your Mother Warned You About?

Here’s the schedule for the Wild Women Performance Arts Festival.  The event offers a wide range of performance styles from a great mix of local and foreign female artists.  Will definitely be a solid night.  Check it out if you’re looking for something interesting to do in Hongdae on Saturday.

20:00        Allison Millar: songs

20:15        Kate Bissel: poetry

20:25        Jennifer Waescher: songs

20:35        Laura Hayes: poetry

20:45        Rebecca Cant: songs

21:00        Esperanza Maggay: poetry

21:10        ? ?? Shin Hye-Ryeon: tap dance

21:20        Orgeltanz: band

21:50        Vagina Monologue/ Event Info

22:00        Janggu ??performance: traditional Korean music

22:10        Trampauline: band

22:55        Eshe and company: belly dance

23:10        Vagina Monologue / Event Info

23:25        The Literallies: band

00:10        Carla Carballo: dance

00:25        Bridget Martin and The Puppycats: band

01:10        EVENT INFO and Raffle Draw

01:25        Juck Juck Grunge: band

Wild Women in Hongdae

Looks like the holiday lull is over, as there are plenty of concerts going on this weekend. And with a little luck, the worst of the cold snap should be over by the weekend, so the weather should be nice for walking around and hitting a few clubs.

One of the more interesting events this weekend is the Wild Women Performance Arts Festival, going on at Club Ta on Saturday evening (Jan. 17). Starting at 8pm, there will be a whole bunch of women artists singing and performing all night long, including Trampauline, The Literallies, Eshe and Juck Juck Haeseo Grunge. Entrance costs 15,000 won, and proceeds to go supporting women’s rights in Korea.

Also going on this Saturday, there is an album release party for Tobacco Juice at 7:30pm at Club Bbang and an album release party for Sotto Gamba at Freebird at 11pm.

‘Tis Better to Reign in Skunk Hell Than Serve in K-Pop Heaven

Not a lot listed on the Gig Guide this weekend. Sorry about that, but the club managers in Hongdae seem to be recovering from the holidays rather slowly. Hopefully we will be able to build up the calendar soon though.

In the meantime, there is definitely one big show you need to be aware of this weekend — the last Skunk Hell concert. Saturday evening at Skunk Hell should be Rux, Vassline, Crying Nut, Suck Stuff, and GoGo Star … for free! Show is supposed to go from 6pm to 10pm.

Skunk Hell is, of course, just about the most important venue in Korea. For years the location was the home of Drug Club, the first major punk club on the peninsula. Crying Nut got their start there, as did a lot of other good bands. My personal favorite, Saebomae Pin Dalgikkot, had their first Seoul shows there.

When I first went there back in 1998, you could still see the faint outlines of the cafe the club originally was. But week by week, the aggressive entropy of the local punk scene caused the minimalist, grubby space to grow ever more minimalist and grubby. Walls got torn down, the bar ripped out. It was like watching the time-lapse film of a rabbit decomposing.

After several years, Drug moved out and become DGBD, while the burgeoning punk group Skunk Hell moved in. I only went to a couple of shows after the handover, in part because I am no punk fan. But I always appreciated knowing that such a club existed.

Today, there are many more venues where you can catch live shows, punk and whatever genre. And I am sure some other venue will rise up to fill the void left by Skunk. But I still appreciate the important role that Drug/Skunk played in developing the local scene.

I have no idea what, if anything, will actually fill the physical space of Skunk Hell. I hope it will not be yet another coffee shop.