Monthly Archives: February 2009

10 … Back In A Big Way

By Shawn Despres

After spending the latter part of 2008 playing throughout China, eccentric local experimental musician Itta and her duo 10 (with Japanese noise artist Marqido) returned to Seoul at the beginning of this year. Itta did a pair of solo performances in January and 10 have done two Hongdae gigs this month. They are showcasing material from their latest disc, Nomad, at Monghwan on Saturday February 28 at 8 p.m. Cover for the concert is 15,000 won. Those looking for even more chances to catch 10 will be happy to know that they are also scheduled to appear on March 13 at Live Club Ssam [Mark – and March 12 at Mudaeryuk, then heading back to China].

To mark the duo’s return to the Hongdae live scene, American-born graffiti artist (and all around stellar dude) j muzacz recently painted pictures of both members on the underside wall of the small bridge that’s right by Salon Badabie. Pretty cool stuff, indeed.

(photo courtesy of j muzacz)

[Mark again – Mongwhan is in Shinchon. Here is a map]


Trash & Jeff’s Punk Rock Wedding

By Jon Dunbar

Over the past year there have been a ton of marriages in the Hongdae punk scene. However, rather than just quietly register at the government office like all the others have done, Jeff and Trash (bassist of BB Lucky Town) have decided to put on a show at Spot and invite some of their close friends to play.

Not a bad idea, considering their close friends are Rux, Suck Stuff, Johnny Royal, Rock Tigers, Vicious Glare, the Geeks, and the Tear Jerks. The list keeps changing, and it seems like Galaxy Express, Kingston Rudieska, Sweet Guerillas, and Today X Spot are no longer playing (or are they the special guests and I just blew the surprise?). Also, of course, BB Lucky Town will be there, and I believe Trash will still be in her wedding dress. Some of Jeff’s former bandmates from the US are also visiting for some kind of reunion show.

“We are both Christians and hate mechanical weddings in wedding factories so we are having our wedding in Sungrak Church in Seongsu,” Trash announced. “After the reception, we’ll be heading straight to Club Spot. We are organizing a punk show with a great lineup as an after-wedding party. Entrance will be free for anyone who attended the wedding. The only catch, you need to wear whatever clothes you wore to the wedding. The show will also be open to the public, but there will be a cover charge for them.

“We will have tons of other events for the show, and the show will continue until dawn. I hope you who are reading this will come to Spot on February 28. It’ll be the biggest gift for us if you enjoy the show we prepared.”

You heard the woman. What better excuse do you need to come out and get trashed (groan) and stay out til dawn? Come out and celebrate the wedding of Trash and Jeff at the unlikeliest of unlikely shrines to monogamy, Club Spot.


Blow Out The Candles And Rock!

By Shawn Despres

Missed last weekend’s 5th anniversary concerts at FF? Went and aren’t all partied out yet? On Friday night (Febraury 20) Club Spot will celebrate their 3rd anniversary. Birthday anthems will be provided by long running pop-punkers Sugar Donut (who have performed at Pentaport and Fuji Rock in the past) and one of the best young bands in Hongdae right now, electro-rockers GoGo Star. Devo-inspired new wavers Telepathy should also turn in a fun set. Lunatic, and ska acts No. 1 Korean and Copy Machine round out the festivities. Things get under way at 6:30 p.m. and cover is 10,000 won. “Happy birthday dear Club Spot. Happy birthday to youuuuuuuuu …”

Heart Rock

Good news for concert goers — with Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday this year, there will be a wealth of shows to choose from this weekend.

A lot of variety, too, with shows ranging from the poppy (Ibadi and Sogyumo Acadia Band) to loud (the punk acts at Stompers in Itaewon) to the weird (Itta and friends at Kuchu Camp). We even have a Japanese act, as LM.C from Japan will be playing at Sangsang Madang on Sunday.

But the most notable show of the weekend probably goes to Club Funky Funky (FF), which is featuring a three-day blast to celebrate the club’s five-year anniversary. 20,000 won gets you in to all three shows (Oops. Turns out it is 20,000 won a night). Anyhow, each night features a pretty wide range of Korean bands — Crying Nut, Huckleberry Finn, Plastic Day and much more.

* * *

I should add that I am also happy to see the concert listing expand out of Hongdae a little (in no small part thanks for new contributor Jon Dunbar, so big thanks to him). This weekend the Gig Guide also has shows in Itaewon, Daegu and Daejeon.

I would love to have more more gigs listed from around the peninsula, so feel free to let us know about them whenever you can. Maybe one day I will even add some maps from other cities.

One Year Done — And Many More to Come (I Hope)

Oops, I nearly forgot about the 1-year anniversary of the Gig Guide. Hard to believe, but I (and Shawn) have been keeping this calendar going for 365 days already.

When I started the Gig Guide last February, I had no idea what to expect. Heck, I did not even know if I could get the calendar plugin to work. But thanks to a little help from my friends, the Guide got started.

Since then, hits have been trending steadily upward, so thank you very much. January was the best month yet, and although no one would mistake this site for the Drudge Report (in terms of popularity), I am pretty happy with how things have been growing. Korean live music probably will never going to be a huge, mainstream force, but I am very pleased that so many of you are coming here as often as you are.

The Gig Guide has always been about filling a need and trying to be useful for people who like this sort of thing and want to learn more about it. Feel free to drop me an email anytime, asking for me to add something or change something or whatever. This really is your website as much as it is mine, and participation can only make the Gig Guide better.

I would like to send another big thanks to Shawn, too, who in his short time in Korea has already learned more about the live music scene them most people. Shawn helps me add events to the calendar, and he is a major reason why the calendar is as full as it (usually) is.

With a little luck, the coming year (and years after that) will continue to grow and be successful.


– Mark

Smack Softly Now, Cuz’ the Hour Is Getting Late

Crap, I meant to write up a post about Whang Bo-ryung and her band Smack Soft, which have released a new album and seem to be touring again. But I am out of the country and do not have much time. Many apologies.

Okay, here’s the gist of it. Whang Bo-ryung is a gifted singer-songwriter. She was generating some real interest in her music back six or seven years ago, when she suddenly left Korea to go to art school. Now she is back, making music again.

She is playing a show tonight (Tuesday night) at the Sangsang Madang, and then on Sunday at Freebird. You should check out her music.