As you may have heard, I moved a few weeks ago to Barcelona. Fortunately, thanks to Shawn and Jon and several other great people, the Korea Gig Guide lives on. In fact, I think the event listings and blog posts in September were the strongest since the KGG made its debut in January 2008. So thanks much to everyone to contributed (and to all who read us).
Adjusting to a new country has been a lot of fun as well as challenging. But at last, I have started to venture out into the live music scene here. So I thought having a random post about music abroad might be an interesting change of pace.
The first thing you notice in a place like Barcelona is the overwhelming number of great concerts going on. It is so hard getting big names to come to Korea, but everyone seems to come here. There is a great website dedicated to music here called Barcelona Rocks, which covers big names and small, next week’s shows and shows far off.
I caught two concerts so far, Steve Earle playing a small acoustic show last weekend, then Leonard Cohen playing to 11,000 people at the Palau Sant Jordi (on his 75th birthday, no less). I also ran across a couple of local bands playing in the park behind the Santa Maria de la Mar around midnight one evening, which was quite a lot of fun (did not get their names, sadly).
Right now, we are in the middle of the biggest festival of the year, Les Festes de la Merce, which features street festivals, films, food, and lots of music. The musical portion of Merce is called BAM and features over 100 bands from around the world playing outside, in public squares around the city, all for free. Music ranges from international pop stars (Go! Team, The Hives, Dirty Projectors) to local rock (like the Basque rockers Berri Txarrak), to Afro Beat (Tony Allen) and more. Even the Chinese rock great Cui Jian is playing. It is pretty overwhelming and oodles of fun.
So.. so far, so good. Big recommendation for the live music scene in this city. Now, if I can only get the Catalans to start putting gochujang on their food…