Monthly Archives: October 2009

Halloween, Mineri Reboot, and More

By Mark

Some really good shows coming up for the Halloween weekend — goth party at Sapiens 7, a really strong line-up at Soundholic. But if I may be so bold as to suggest a few that stick out in my mind…

The biggie on Halloween evening will be the Ssamzie Space show, featuring Byul and Baik Hyun-jhin. I have not been to see Byul since the band expanded to have so many more members and instruments, and am very curious to see what they are like these days. Hyun-jin is Hyun-jin, one of the hotter artists in Korea and the former lead of Uh Uh Boo Project, as always he does his own raspy, expressive thing. Together, a very solid combination. The show starts at 7:30 and costs 25,000 won.


* * *

Mineri has long been one of my favorite bands in Hongdae,with a sound that just seems to get tighter and better time after time. Well the man behind the band, Jung-kyu, recently made some moves to the band, removing his drummer and bassist. For the moment, filling in on bass is Blair Lee (of the Animal Dads) and on drums is Ripley (formerly of Jet Echo). Very solid.

Mineri will be playing as part of a big line-up of bands Friday night at Club Ta. About 12 bands will be there, including Ynot? and Kafka. Show costs 10,000 won and starts at 7:30. I am told that Mineri will likely be starting late.

Mineri will also be playing at Rock in Shinchon on Nov. 6 and at Freebird on Nov. 7. Rock is one of the best and most-storied bars in Shinchon, not as well known as bars like Woodstock or Norihaneun Saram, but even older and more important (and it has a great, great vinyl collection). They do not have live music often, but when they do, they have a great set-up for it.

I cannot find the information about those two shows yet (start times, price), but will try to get them as soon as I can.

Halloween Weekend and Crying Nut

(Editor’s note: I almost missed this post by Dain about the weekend concerts. He has some totally different advice from mine, but variety is a good thing. Enjoy)

By Dain Leathem

It’s a huge weekend in Korea for those who want to go see some live music, and both Friday and Saturday have great options. Last year, Halloween was on Clubday, leading to an insanely crowded Hongdae, so be thankful this year gives you 2 nights instead of one.

Possibly the pick of the gigs is Blue Spirit Friday night. Where else can you get Crying Nut, No Brain, Windy City & others in a small club for 15,000 won? Doors open at 9pm.

Speaking of Crying Nut, it’s a great time to be a fan of theirs as they seem to poppin up around town in small places a lot. They’ve been in good form at a lot of the big outdoor festivals, have a great new album out, and also will play Sunday night at DGDB.

If you do go to Clubday Friday, you will get to see 2 bands I have wanted to play alongside each other for a while, Telepathy and Gogostar, who both play at FF – be interesting to see them go at it.

Saturday is also a hard one to choose, with a Kimchi-billy night on, Hip Hop & gambling @ Walker Hill, even a little K-Pop hits Blue Spirit, so there is not excuse not to enjoy one of Hongdae’s biggest weekends of the year.

Dueling Festivals

By Jon

Earlier this year, Korea’s two main rock festivals “happened” to fall on the same weekend. To prove that the Korean punk scene is no better organised, there are two punk festivals planned for this weekend. Small in that they’re in regular Hongdae clubs, but each lineup contains a large, expensive number of Japanese bands.

First, at Club Spot, the Korea/Japan Oi/Punk Festival is going down. This is either the fourth or fifth incarnation held in Korea, but the first outside of Skunk Hell. The best of Korea’s punk scene is joined by three familiar Japanese skinhead bands (Booted Cocks, Tabloid Play, and Raise a Flag) along with newcomers 100 Hooligans (who probably had to charter a plane to bring all their members). The show is broken up into two halves, with all the Japanese bands playing the first half. It remains to be seen if it is wise booking the festival in Spot, or having Crying Nut play.

Same night, over at Rolling Hall, the Korea/Japan Unionway Punk Rock Festival is going on. Featuring more skate-punk and screamo stuff on the Korean side, and a bunch of Japanese bands I’ve never heard of, it probably would’ve been smarter to book this in Spot and have the Oi Fest in Rolling Hall. Oh well, I guess 2009 is the year of poorly scheduled festivals.

Seoul Electric Band and Cocore bring their tour…to Seoul.

By Dain Leathem

After a whirlwind tour of Busan and Daegu last weekend, the indie rock double bill of Cocore and SEB return home to Seoul for a gig at Club Freebird this Friday at 8 p.m. Both acts have recently released new albums, with Cocore’s “Relax” currently on high rotation at my place. You can feel the heat on this sun drenched album, and it’s a great mix of their classic sound and some new touches. Here’s the new music video for Cocore’s “Move Yo Ass.”

Seoul Electric Band released their long awaited second album “Life is Strange” a few months back. Like Cocore, they also added a number of different elements to their sound. They have been very busy since it came out, and have plans to record with vocalist Kim Bada (from Sinawe) and also to record tracks from their recent album in English.

They will also play with Kim Bada this Saturday at the Korean Live Music Festival at Nanji Campground, near World Cup Stadium. Here’s the new video for SEB’s “The Cats Hometown.”

Both Cocore and SEB are great live performers, so head along and support two of Korea’s best bands. Friday’s gig is 25,000 won at the door and the festival on Saturday costs 10,000 and starts from 1 p.m.


Sssighborgggg Bound For Ccchinaaaa

By Shawn Despres

Seoul-based expat act Sssighborgggg are embarking on a five-concert China tour this month. The duo of Americans Sean Maylone and Ripley (who recently replaced departed drummer Nathan Doucet) will showcase their expansive, instrumental electro-grooves in Beijing, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Changsha, and Wuhan from October 15 – 24.


They’ve prepped some new merch including a special tour CD, T-shirts, and stickers to sell at the shows. All will be available for local fans to purchase as well on Saturday night (October 10) when they open 10’s fourth anniversary gig at Club Monghwan. For more information on this concert, please visit KGG’s “Coming Events” section.

In other Sssighborgggg related news, the band are hoping to add a bassist when they return from China. Full details on what exactly they are seeking are here.

Mapping Mapo

By Mark

At long, long last, I have finally updated the map feature on the blog. The Hongdae map I originally made has long been out of date, with many new clubs opening, some closing and others moving.

The new map is pretty good, and is the same one you can see on the streets of Hongdae. It is bilingual and it has just about everything in Hongdae on it, so I think it is a big improvement.

(A couple of caveats, though. I did not get the map from Mapo government, I found it on someone’s website, and they apparently wrote in a couple of random landmarks. In addition, a couple of locations are missing or out of date. I am hoping to have a fixed version of this map soon).

As always, if anyone knows of any decent maps for other places in Korea that might need them (Busan, Daegu, Apgujeong), please send them to me. I would love to have as many maps as possible here for people to use.