Monthly Archives: February 2010

Strike Anywhere Punking Up Your Long Weekend!

By Shawn Despres

The concert promotion team Open Your Eyes, which includes Ki Seok Seo from The Geeks/Things We Say and Cliff Alexander from Shellback (along with Bomb, a former roadie for The Geeks), are bringing Strike Anywhere to Seoul on Monday, March 1.

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Formed in 1999, the American quintet have released four fantastic discs on top-notch labels Jade Tree, Fat Wreck Chords, and Bridge 9 Records and have toured around the world with their brand of melodic hardcore.

Currently gigging in Asia in support of last October’s “Iron Front,” Strike Anywhere are scheduled to play four shows in Japan (three of which included South Korea’s own 99 Anger), before making their Seoul debut at Live Club Ssam (Ssamzie Space). The politically charged “Iron Front” was written mainly in the Czech Republic and recorded in the States. Reviews for the 13 track effort have been strong, with Punknews.org calling it “the punk album to beat for 2009.”

Here’s the music video for “I’m Your Opposite Number,” one of the many infectious rallying anthems on “Iron Front.”

Open Your Eyes have recruited a wealth of local punk and hardcore talent to open for Strike Anywhere in Seoul strengthening what already promises to be a high energy, powerful affair. 99 Anger will again be joining the band along with Things We Say, Rux, domestic heavyweights The Geeks, and others. The Geeks celebrated their 10th anniversary last year and are currently working on a new EP that will surface in September on American imprint Think Fast! Records and Seoul’s own Townhall Records.

Tickets for Monday night’s concert at Hongdae’s Live Club Ssam (Ssamzie Space) are 25,000 won and doors will open at 5 p.m. The show will finish at 10 p.m. so you’ll definitely have plenty of time to rest before work, school, or whatever else you’ve got to do on Tuesday morning.

Hardcore fans will be happy to know that Open Your Eyes will also be presenting a gig featuring Bane, Cruel Hand, and The Geeks in May. We’ll share more details about the show once they are formally announced.

Here are the set times for Monday’s Strike Anywhere gig:
5:00 – 5:20 Shellback
5:25 – 5:50 … Whatever That Means
5:55 – 6:25 Burn My Bridges
6:30 – 7:00 Rux
7:05 – 7:35 Things We Say
7:40 – 8:10 99 Anger
8:15 – 8:45 The Geeks
8:45 – 10:00 Strike Anywhere

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Where The Wild Women Are

By Shawn Despres

The third installment of the popular Wild Women’s Performing Arts Festival takes place in Sinchon at Monghwan on Saturday, February 27. The event, which will include a wide array of musical, dance, and spoken word performances, aims to raise awareness about gender issues in Korea and around the world.

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The previous two Wild Women’s Performing Arts Festivals were fantastic nights from start to end and Saturday’s fundraising show promises to be the same. Local Korean indie music highlights in the lineup include 3rd Line Butterfly, Oriental Lucy, a trio of acts from the Electric Muse imprint (Vidulgi Ooyoo, Orgeltanz, Dringe Augh), and one Electric Muse affiliate (Bigbabydriver, the solo project for sp from Electric Muse’s Atombook). I’m very curious to see if Dringe Augh plays up the fact that he is the only male-fronted act on the entire bill.

Tickets for the 3rd Wild Women’s Performing Arts Festival are 15,000 won at the door and the admission charge includes one free drink. All proceeds will be donated to the Korea Women’s Association United (KWAU) so try to work a stop at Monghwan into your Saturday itinerary and lend your support to this great cause.

Here’s the complete list of artists and set times for the 3rd Wild Women’s Performing Arts Festival.

3rd Floor:
Heather Hong: 8:00pm-8:15pm
Jennifer Waescher: 8:15-8:35
Chloe Lee: 8:35-8:50
Zee Kang (from The Pines): 8:50-9:10
Charlene Jones: 9:10-9:25
Lauren Bedard: 9:25-9:40
Bigbabydriver: 9:40-10:00
Carys Jones: 10:00-10:15
Dringe Augh: 10:15-10:35
My Angry Vagina: 10:35-10:50
Heather Vibliss: 11:00-11:20

B1:
Paula Wilson: 8:00-8:05
Brickslipper: 8:15-8:45
Paula Wilson: 8:45-8:50
Orgeltanz: 9:00-9:30
Carlita Ector: 9:30-9:35
Oriental Lucy: 9:45-10:15
May Tribal Fusion: 10:15-10:45
3rd Line Butterfly: 10:55-11:25
Navah: 11:25-11:40
Vidulgi Ooyoo: 12:00-12:30
DJs Mo’chi and Analog: 12:45-2:15

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Apollo 18: Rookies Of The Year

By Shawn Despres

We last wrote about Apollo 18 just prior to the September 2009 bash for their first full-length CD, “[0] Album” (or “The Blue Album”). At the time, things were going really well for the Ilsan trio and their awesome hybrid of post-rock and post-hardcore. They’ve gotten even better since.

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Just to recap, between February and September of last year the group issued an EP, “Red,” and the abovementioned long-player. They received an EBS and KOCCA sponsored Rookie Music Award and appeared at both the Jisan Valley Rock Festival and the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival. They traveled to Tokyo for a pair of gigs as well.

In November EBS and KOCCA again recognized Apollo 18′s efforts, selecting them as the best new Korean band of 2009 in the Hello Rookie final.

“It was good to be chosen,” says guitarist Choi Hyun Seok. “We were surprised. We still don’t understand why we were picked to be the winner.”

After the victory, the group began working on “Violet” – the final chapter of their three disc colour-themed series. While writing new material in December, they received funding from KOCCA to re-record the entire “Red” EP. Adding a few numbers originally intended for “Violet” to the mix, the nine track “Red+” was issued a few weeks ago in mid-January.

They returned to the studio shortly after to lay down “Violet.” The EP, which is also known as “0.5,” came out at the end of January and the band are playing a CD release party for it this Saturday night (February 20) at Club Spot. Another great offering from the group, the instrumental affair sees them further expanding their sonic boundaries with the well-crafted math-rock cut “Song A.”

“We are always getting better,” Choi offers. “‘Violet’ is the middle of our progress.”


Apollo18 – Violet Album Teaser

GMC RECORDS (New 13Steps Is Out Now) | MySpace Music Videos

Earlier this month it was announced that Apollo 18 have been nominated for two Korean Music Awards for “Rookie of the Year” and “Best Rock (Album).” While they appreciate people taking notice of them, prizes aren’t something the band is seeking.

“We were a little surprised, but not that much because we won Hello Rookie,” explains Choi. “In all honesty, we don’t give a shit about winning things. We are thankful for the interest, but we are a rock band. That’s the only thing that is important to us.”

Despite it not being a high priority, if they do win what will they do with their Korean Music Award?

“We’ll drink beer out of it with our friends,” laughs Choi. “After, I would give it to my mother. She has our Hello Rookie trophy too.”

“Red+,” “Blue,” and “Violet” should be released in Japan sometime this year. The band and their label, Estella Records, are hoping to arrange licensing agreements for North America and Europe as well and plan on making all three albums available through iTunes this spring. After putting out four CDs in the span of twelve months, Apollo 18 are ready for a break from the studio.

“This year we want to focus on just playing shows,” Choi says. “There has been a little more attention in us since we won Hello Rookie and we’re getting on more well-organized and higher profile concerts. We want to continue to get better.”

Apollo 18’s “Violet” EP release party takes place on Saturday, February 20 at Club Spot in Hongdae. The gig starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are 15,000 won with one free drink. Donawhale and National Pigeon Unity will open the show (Lo are listed on the poster, but are no longer available to perform). Word has it that local belly dancer Eshe, who starred in Apollo 18′s music video for “Orbis” from “[0] Album” (“The Blue Album”) will join Apollo 18 onstage for a pair of songs.

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DMST: Going To Great Lengths For ROK

By Shawn Despres

Originally slated to play in Taiwan after finishing up their Japan gigs, Toronto’s Do Make Say Think moved their Taipei concert back two days so that they could squeeze a Seoul live date on February 21 into their Asian tour.

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Formed in the mid-‘90s, Do Make Say Think have issued six acclaimed full-length recordings. The nine-member act’s brand of post-rock incorporates elements of psych, folk, jazz, and occasionally a wee bit of noise creating a wonderfully dynamic and often awe-inspiring sound. Their most recent album, 2009’s “Other Truths,” boasts only four tracks: “Do,” “Make,” “Say” and … yep, you guessed it, “Think.” Each of the “Other Truths” cuts can be heard on the group’s MySpace site.

All nine members will be accompanying the band to South Korea, which means local fans will get the full-on Do Make Say Think experience complete with violins, horns, and two drum sets. This should be quite the night indeed.

Here’s the music video for “In Mind” from 2007′s “You, You’re a History in Rust.”

Do Make Say Think will appear on Sunday, February 21 at V-Hall in Hongdae. Tickets are 40,000 won in advance and 50,000 won at the door. Things will get started shortly after 7 p.m. with opening sets from On Sparrow Hills and the quite good Vidulgi Ooyoo. For more info, visit SuperColorSuper’s site.

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An Embarrassment of Riches – February’s Concerts

By Mark

Wow, how the Korean concert scene woken up from Seollal. Have you checked out the calender lately? There is so much going on for the next couple of weeks, it is really overwhelming. A lot of the best bands are playing, not just in Seoul, but around the peninsula. There are international acts, mainstream acts, weird stuff, mini-festivals, and more.

Shawn has already pointed out probably the most notable show this weekend, Do Make Say Think. A couple more little notes, though. First, this weekend is Club FF’s 6th anniversary, so the club will be full of bands from Friday to Sunday. Second, the weird electro team of EE will be playing at Club Eden on Sunday.

(Huge thanks to Shawn, btw, for going so wild with the listings. I mean, all the contributors do a great job adding what they can and I am appreciative of all their help, but Shawn really outdid himself).

If You Go to Just One Show This Weekend … Make It Count — Haiti Benefit Concerts

By Mark

With Seollal coming up this weekend, the concert scene around much of Korea is quieter than usual. That said, there will be one big event on the 12th that is really worth your support — a benefit for Haiti.

Actually it is not just one show, but three, going on at Jane’s Groove, FF and DGBD. All for just 10,000 won. Jane’s Groove starts at 9pm, then FF at 10 and DGBD at 11. That is a whole lot of music for a very reasonable price. Plus you get to help out some people who really need it.

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If you go to more than one show, though, you do have a couple of other good options. Oriental Lucy, over at Ssamzie Space on the 12th, should also be a great show. Especially since it is the release party for Oriental Lucy’s new EP. It starts at 8pm, so even if you go to that show, you should have time to catch a few acts at the Haiti benefits.

On Saturday, the FF show features the first concert by Mineri in several months. They are always worth checking out.

Regardless of the shows your choose, Happy New Year.