Monthly Archives: December 2009

KGG Staff 2009 Live Faves

By Shawn Despres

We here at Korea Gig Guide wanted to share our favourite live performances of 2009. Check out the lists below to see what concerts KGG staff enjoyed the most over the last twelve months and please feel free to add your own choices in the comments section.


Mark Russell:
For me, 2009 was a good but not amazing year in music. There were quite a few interesting shows, but not many that blew me away. Personal stuff and work kept me from getting to as many shows as I would have liked, and I missed a couple of the biggest shows of the year. With those caveats, my favorite shows of the year were:

– Funkafric & Boostdah at Gochangjeongol on July 4 (along with Sato Yukie and someone else, who I have now forgotten). Great show, with a real loose, retro vibe, dancing, old music and a great crowd.
– Hwang Bo-ryung at Freebird, for her new album release in May. Absolutely packed house.
– Nosaj Thing show at DGBD on June 27. In particular, the Bulssazo set that opened the gig. Bulssazo is a really interesting band, but they did not have many live shows last year. Hopefully they will play more in 2010.
– Mudaeryuk. The small, odd bar Mudaeryuk started hosting live shows in 2009, usually on Thursday evenings. The shows there are usually small and intimate, with a wide range of acts, both domestic and foreign. But the best part for me is the mood of the place. A lot of interesting artists and other people hang out there, with a decent mix of Koreans and foreigners. And they have Alley Kat Pale Ale on tap.

As for non-Korea shows:
– Leonard Cohen in Barcelona. He may have gotten schmaltzy in his old age, but he’s still one of the best songwriters ever. And seeing him in front of 11,000 rapt Catalans was an interesting experience.
– Tony Allen in Barcelona. This Allen was the drummer for Fela Kuti and a whole bunch of Afrobeat greats. Amazing show, outside beside the Barcelona Cathedral, all all for free.

Shawn Despres:
1. The Roots @ Melon-AX on January 21
2. M83 @ Red Marquee (Fuji Rock Festival, Japan) on July 24
3. Apollo 18 @ Geek Live House on May 1
4. Mass of the Fermenting Dregs @ Red Marquee (Fuji Rock Festival, Japan) on July 26
5. The Plastic Day/ Stretching Journey @ 500 on April 3
6. Ennio Morricone @ Olympic Park Gymnasium on May 27
7. Lullabye Arkestra @ Casbah Lounge (Hamilton, Canada) on January 2
8. Cocore @ DGBG on September 12
9. 49 Morphines @ Sangsang Madang on July 11
10. Sagitta @ Jeju Stepping Stone Festival on July 4

Dain Leathem:
1. Crying Nut @ Melon-AX on September 5
2. Nine Inch Nails @ ETP Festival on August 15
3. Serengeti @ FF on September 25
4. Basement Jaxx @ Jisan Valley Rock Festival on July 25
5. Common Ground @ Jisan Valley Rock Festival on July 24
6. Mineri @ Club Freebird on June 26
7. Apollo 18 @ Sangsang Madang on July 3
8. Psy @ Let’s Rock Festival on September 26
9. YB/ No Brain @ Time to Rock Festival on May 30
10. The Moonshiners @ Grand Mint Festival on October 24

Run for the Roses — G’N’R in Korea

By Mark

Guns N’ Roses had their big concert in Korea last week. I thought I would post the comments sent to me about the show by a friend. They are short, but pretty fun, imho. Enjoy:

… went to see Guns N’ Roses (or, “Axl Rose and some other guys he found”) this past Sunday.  Actually a decent show, and with the second song being the opening from Appetite for Destruction (“Do you know where the F___ you are?  You’re in the F___ING JUNGLE, baby”) all were happy, if for no other reason than total ridiculousness.  You will appreciate that after the lights went down, they played Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” on the sound system for about 2 or 3 minutes before starting, I guess to properly set the mood.

Other idiocies included a solo for every band member, Tommy Stinson (ex-Replacements) playing “My Generation,” one guitarist playing the James Bond theme, another playing the Pink Panther theme, the KEYBOARDIST getting a solo and playing the chords to “Ziggy Stardust,” which was basically as good as me pounding on the piano (read: “not that impressive”) and Waxl even playing Elton John on the piano before getting into “November Rain.”  My goodness – throw in “Live and Let Die” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Doo-oo-oo-oo-or” and it was like more covers than originals.  Anyway, was fun to go and do something, especially given our poor concert setup usually.

On the Washup Tour’s™ second leg, I’ll be seeing Earth Wind and Fire Thursday…

If anyone else there went to the show and feels like commenting, please send in your reviews. Would love to post more opinions.

Or leave your comments in the KGG forum, if you prefer. The forum is on life support these days, but it is still there.

The Plastic Day, The Plastic Day, And Then More Of The Plastic Day

By Shawn Despres

Although they will participate in the “Bad Christmas Party” at Live Club Ssam (Ssamzie Space) next weekend, December 18’s “Almost Unplugged” gig is The Plastic Day’s proper year-end bash.

Set to take place at Hongdae’s Club Ta, the Seoul trio will begin the late-night concert with a rare, hour-long acoustic set. DJ Jiung Yun and Seong Rock from Bomb&Tree will join the band for a track. Vocalist Sun Ho promises that at least one cover will be worked in as well, but isn’t revealing what it will be.

After a brief break, The Plastic Day will return to the stage for a regular 90-minute electric show that will see them tearing through nearly all of the wonderfully noisy rock anthems present on this spring’s “30 Seconds Between The Dreamer and The Realist” full-length and 2007’s “Lady” EP.

The band gets to rest after that, but the festivities will be far from finished. DJ Jiung Yun will set up shop and spin his own electronic dance remixes of his favourite tracks from The Plastic Day.

Doors for The Plastic Day’s “Almost Unplugged” will open at 11 pm and the performance will begin around midnight. The cover charge is 15,000 won.


The Plastic Day had a lot to celebrate in 2009. “30 Seconds Between The Dreamer and The Realist” received high praise from mainstream and independent Korean and English media outlets. They group were invited to appear at the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival and at Love Camp. They also opened for Tokyo’s Melt-Banana during their South Korea tour.

“30 Seconds Between The Dreamer and The Realist” was recently included amongst Indieful ROK’s Anna Lindgren’s top discs of the year on her London Korean Links “LKL Critics’ Choice 2009” list.

In other band news, bassist Ho Seong and drummer Yun Beom provide backing instrumentation on two songs on Bomb&Tree’s “Sooner Or Later” CD single that was issued earlier this month.