Monthly Archives: April 2011

51+ Schedule

By Shawn Despres

The second New Town Culture Party 51+ is happening today! The show starts at noon and will run until almost 1 am. Tickets are only 15,000 won and nearly 70 acts will play on four stages inside and outside of Dooriban.

To get to Doorbian, go out Hongik University Subway Station entrance No. 8 and walk towards Shinchon and the Rinnai building. Walk about 100 meters and you should see Dooriban and hear music coming from the two outdoor stages. If you pass the new exits for the airport subway line, you’ve walked too far!

Mark summed up the main the reasons for last year’s debut 51+ party here.  The schedule for today’s fest is below.  It’s a bit wet out right now, but the show is going on regardless.

Outdoor Stage (rock):
12:40 Seopseop Haeseo Grunge / 13:00 Ssong’s Big Band / 13:30 Choi Tae Hyun (+ Kim Young Hoon) / 14:00 Choock Choock Band / 14:30 Yamagata Tweakster / 15:00 Break / 15:20 Trampauline / 15:50 Oh! Brothers / 16:30 Ninano Nanda / 17:10 The Freaks / 17:40 Telepathy / 18:20 Verbal Jint with Pschyobin / 18:50 break / 19:10 Sultan of the Disco / 19:40 Goonamguayeoridingstella / 20:20 / 21:00 Ankle Attack / 21:30 Galaxy Express / 22:00 3rd Line Butterfly / 22:40 (((10)))

3rd Floor (electronic, postrock)
13:20 Monami / 14:00 404 / 14:40 Swimmingdoll / 15:20 Kkum-e Camera-reul Kajyeo Olgeol / 15:50 Lhasa / 16:30 Sleepstalker / 17:10 break / 17:40 L’ange / 18:10 Astro Noise / 18:50 Guten Birds / 19:20 Daydream / 20:00 Jambinai / 20:40 break / 21:10 No Respect for Beauty / 21:40 Ironic Hue / 22:10 Atombook / 22:50 Lobotomy / 23:30 Tafka Buddah / 24:10 The Hitchhiker

Basement Stage (punk/hardcore)
14:00 Meonggoo Band/ 14:30 Renata Suicide / 15:00 Wolverine / 15:30 Find the Spot/ 16:00 Terror Might / 16:30 No Control / 17:00 Answer / 17:30 El Patron / 18:00 Juck Juck Haeseo Grunge / 18:30 Remnants Of The Fallen/ 19:00 Bamseom Pirates / 19:30 Seogyo Group Sound / 20:00 Pavlov / 20:30 No Excuse / 21:00 99 Anger / 21:30 Chad Burger / 22:00 break / 22:30 Sunday Losers / 23:00 Genius / 23:30 Nahu / 24:00 Sete Star Sept

Street You Want to Walk Stage (folk, lounge)
13:40 Hoegidong Danpyeonseon / 14:10 Ha Heon Jin / 14:40 Byeoleumjaripyo / 15:10 Lazy Afternoon / 15:40 Jo Han Seok / 16:10 break / 16:40 Jung Mina / 17:10 Yoon Young Bae / 17:40 Lazyblood / 18:10 O So Young / 18:40 break / 19:10 Sai / 19:40 Irang / 20:10 Itta / 20:40 Don M / 21:10 Nanaguitar / 21:40 Don M + Nanaguitar improvisation

Rocktigers Growling Overseas

By Dain

Popular rockabilly band the Rocktigers are set for an extremely busy year, in Korea, Japan, and further abroad. They are releasing a new album — an English-language version of last year’s “Rock ‘N’ Roll License” — and then going on a major tour across much of the world.

The fun begins this Saturday, April 30, at 7pm at Hongdae’s V-Hall (Mark: sadly, one of the worst websites in Hongdae, but there is a map on the Rocktiger’s website). Presales are 20,000 won, or 25,000 won at the door (English ticketing here). Along with the Rocktigers, there will be Japan’s Conny, Kingston Rudieska, and B.J. Yoon’s Low Down 30.

The next night, they are off to Busan for a show at Vinyl Underground, again with Conny and this time with Sunday Losers.

Following the domestic launch, their next destination will be Japan for six shows in six nights, hitting Yamaguchi, Hiroshima, Kochi, Okayama, Kitakyushu, and Fukuoka from May 3 to 6.

Following Japan (and a couple of shows in Korea in May), they will head over to the USA for shows in San Francisco (May 28), Los Angeles (May 29), Las Vegas (May 31), and more. The US trip came about when they were in Japan last year during the Rockabilly Coaster Tour 2010. Iconic Japanese garage act Guitar Wolf came to see their show, were duly impressed and suggested a joint US tour. How does one say no to that?

Rocktigers are also looking to perform a few shows in Shanghai in September, and perhaps some more shows in Japan and Hong Kong later in the year.

In the off chance you are not too familiar with the Rocktigers, here is the article from the LA Times that was part of the catalyst for their overseas expansion. Heck, even CNN likes them.

Double Trouble Is Coming Coming

By Mark

One of the problems facing the live scene in Korea is that it can be rather self-segregated — expats tend to cluster to certain kinds of shows, and Koreans stick to other kinds of shows. I think this is rarely a deliberate thing, but more like the result of some odd group dynamics. Regardless, it does happen a lot and it can be a little depressing.

Well, now a few bands are making a deliberate attempt at mixing the two scenes, with the start of a new program they are calling “Double Trouble.” It is a simple idea, but rather cool nonetheless. Two shows in one night, with a mix of Korean and non-Korean bands. At the earlier show (which tends to attract more Koreans), the Korean band headlines. At the later show (which usually gets more expats), the expat band headlines.

The first Double Trouble show will be this Saturday at the Hongdae club Strange Fruit (on the north end of Hongdae, just down the street from the Coffee Prince cafe). The first show is at 7pm, featuring No Respect for Beauty, followed by Angry Bear and The Freaks. Then a second show kicks off at 10:30pm, starting with Yours, followed by The Freaks, and then Angry Bear. And in between, members from the bellydance troupe Navah will perform at 10pm.

The show costs just 15,000 won before 10pm, or 10,000 won after 10pm.

More Festivals Taking Shape

By Dain

As we wait for Pentaport to finally make an announcement of any kind regarding this year’s festival and for Jisan Valley to announce more acts, there are a whole heap of other festivals gearing up to entertain you this summer. Beautiful Mint Life (April 30-May 1) and World DJ Fest (May 6-8) have had their lineups finalized for a while, and now so has Greenplugged.

The 2nd annual Greenplugged festival has added a bunch more performers for their May 14-15 concert at Noeul Park, in western Seoul. New acts include Lasse Lindh (Sweden), YB, Windy City, Supreme Team, Transfixion, Cuba, Smacksoft, and K-Will, bringing the total number of acts for the two-day festival up to an impressive 110!

A new festival I came across is called RocKorea, to be held in Midan City, near Incheon Airport on June 4-5. Co-organized by the USO and calling itself “A tribute to Indie Rock,” RocKorea is mostly a tribute band festival, but with a few original groups like Rocktigers and long-in-Korea expat group Sotto Gamba. The festival starts at noon on June 4 and runs a straight 18 hours, until 6am on the 5th. Early tickets cost 40,000 won, and in addition to the music, organizers promise flea markets, international food, and more.

(Note from Mark: According to Midan City’s website, there is not much there yet. Except big, new roads. Hopefully they will have enough infrastructure for a 2-day festival by June).

Another new festival is the Rainbow Festival, which takes place on the weekend of July 2-3 on Namiseom Island, way out in Gangwon Province close to Chuncheon. This festival has already announced YB, 10cm, Jang Jae-In, Soulscape, The Koxx, Idiotape, and many other bands, and more should be announced before too long. Tickets are 99,000 won for both days.

UPDATE (by Mark): Jisan Valley has just released a second round of bands for this year’s festival. Check out the calendar to see who’s been added.

The Devil You Don’t Know — Korean Classics This Friday

By Mark

The Korean rock scene of the 1960s and ’70s was just incredible, bursting with creativity and great music. Which is why I am so excited about the 360 Stadium show this Friday at Club Mansion in Hongdae — it features one of the great performers from that era in Kim Myung-gil, one of the great retro bands of today in Funkafric & BoostDah, and one of Korea’s best deejays (and unofficial archivist of that era) in DJ Soulscape.

Kim Myung-gil was the lead singer of the Devils, one of the biggest rock bands in Korea in the 1970s. The Devils, like so many bands back then, started playing for the US 8th Army, before moving on to the Myeongdong club scene and mainstream success. After the big crackdown of 1975 that saw most performers blackballed or transitioning into trot, the Devils were one of the last rock bands to hold out.

DJ Soulscape’s love of classic rock and soul music from Korea’s past is well documented, thanks in part to his brilliant tribute to the era, More Sound of Seoul (which I talked about a bit here). I thought I had managed to hunt down a lot of Korean music from the ’60s and ’70s, but I doubt I have 1 percent the collection of Soulscape. He really is doing some special work documenting and reintroducing so much great music.

Funkafric & BoostDah are one of my favorite groups in Korea. They really have that Seventies vibe down, and they put on a great rocking show.

In addition to those great acts, the 360 Stadium show will feature performances by the Mimi Sisters (the sunglasses-clad duo who used to back Chang Kiha & Faces) and Seoul Electric Band, and later on a bunch of hiphop performers from 360 Sounds.

Tickets cost 35,000 won at the door, and the doors open at 8pm at Mansion in Hongdae. It really is a rare opportunity and it should be an amazing show.

A Korean and Japanese Pop Planet

By Shawn Despres

Korean indies Linus’ Blanket and One Trick Ponies are teaming up with several Japanese underground acts for a pair of Hongdae gigs this weekend at Club Ta and Kuchu-Camp.  Tokyo’s Three Berry Icecream and Yuyake Lamp will perform at both “Pop Planet” concerts, while Osaka’s Hozaki Mayumi, Kounotori, and Ninon will alll play at one of the shows.  The tour poster and the club’s websites don’t specify where each will play, though.  Oh well, just go and be surprised!

Tickets for the Club Ta and Kuchu-Camp performances are 25,000 won at the door.  Things will get started at 7 pm on Saturday night (April 16) at Club Ta and at 6:30 pm on Sunday (April 17) at Kuchu-Camp.

Ken McCallum has previewed the event on his Japan Live blog here.  Ken’s written live reports on a lot of very good Japanese acts, so spend some time reading through the blog’s other entries as well.  He recently caught Seoul’s Apollo 18 during the Tokyo stopover they made on their way home from their USA tour.  You can check out Ken’s thoughts about Apollo 18’s April 3 concert at Shimokitazawa Basement Bar here.

Boa — Avant Garde and Experimental?

By Mark

Okay, this does not have much to do with live music, but I just ran across this brilliant website and just had to share. I’m talking about Model B, an unauthorized and unofficial tribute to Boa.

Apparently a collection of Korean avant garde, electronica artists have gotten together for Model B, contributing wildly re-imagined covers of songs by Boa, the famous Korean pop singer. Most of the names here are not very famous, but they are all quite good (and several of them play around Korea from time to time). And I see Byul’s and Yamagata Tweakster’s names attached to the website, so perhaps we will be seeing more covers before too long.

(Update: The Byul and Yamagata Tweakster songs have now been added).

Je Seok’s cover of I’LL EAT YOU UP is especially good, imho. But they are all worth a listen.

Model B. / A Tribute to BoA by ABoAB

Jisan Valley Rock Fest 1st Lineup

By Mark

Just a short post to let everyone know that the Jisan Valley Rock Fest has announced its first lineup of bands and is now accepting orders for tickets. For the next couple of weeks, earlybird tickets are available for the discounted price of 176,000 won for the whole three-day event (but there is a limited supply at this price). After April 14, more tickets will be available for slightly more. There is are English-language ticketing sites here and here.

Not many acts have been announced yet — Amadou & Mariam, Feeder, The Chemical Brothers, The Music, Suede, 10cm, Apollo 18, and Crash. But I’m sure more will be announced soon.

Still no word from the other big summer music festival, Pentaport, although the website says something is coming soon.