Monthly Archives: December 2011

All Juck Juck Grunzie Want For Christmas … Is A New Drummer

In November, Juck Juck Grunzie and drummer Bookja decided to part ways.  Since then, Vidulgi Ooyoo’s Lee Yong-jun has been helping out on drums at gigs.  And while he’s been doing a very good job, the Juck Juck ladies are currently searching for a permanent replacement.

To help them find someone, earlier this week the band posted a Korean and English message on their Facebook page to let folks know about the opening.  Here’s the English text for any drummers out there who’d like to play with the act:

“Seoul band Juck Juck Grunzie is looking for a new drummer. Please help spread the word. Everyone is welcome to apply. We want to find someone who is a good fit for Juck Juck Grunzie. If you’re interested in being a part of Juck Juck Grunzie, please email yeahyeah123@hanmail.net and we’ll email you some MP3 files and YouTube clips of the band. Thank you!”

Here’s a live video of Juck Juck Grunzie putting their own spin on “Too Drunk to Fuck” by the Dead Kennedys.

Juck Juck Grunzie will be spreading some Christmas cheer tonight (December 23) with SmackSoft, Apollo 18, 99 Anger, and Jambinai at the newly opened Evan’s Lounge in Hongdae (there’s a Korean map on the venue’s website).  The show starts at 8 pm and tickets are 20,000 won.  Word has it that Juck Juck Grunzie will be revisiting their schoolgirl days with special attire at the show.

Guess we’ll find out soon enough if the outfits earn them a spot on Santa’s naughty or nice list!

To learn more about Juck Juck Grunzie, check out an article about the band that ran in The Jeju Weekly newspaper last month here.

“Discover” The Sounds On Itta’s New Album Tonight At Yogiga

By Shawn Despres

Today (December 11) Korean experimental pop artist Itta will be holding a release concert for her new “Discover” album at Yogiga Gallery in Hongdae.

Itta and her husband Marqido (who is also her bandmate in (((10))), a Korean/Japanese noise pop duo) have their own small studio in the rural area of Ehime, Shikoku.  “Discover” was recorded there this past summer.  The album is comprised completely of covers from a diverse range of performers including Blonde Redhead, Portishead, Erykah Badu, and Perfume.

“The original tracks were all made by female acts or bands with female vocalists,” says Itta.  “Since I started playing music as Itta, different people have told me that my songs remind them of other artists or recommended that I listen to certain musicians.  I used some of these ideas and suggestions for ‘Discover.’”

Itta began working on “Discover” after realizing it has been 10 years since she adopted her moniker.  The album is her way of thanking fans for supporting her over the last decade.  Itta will send a free copy of “Discover” digitally to anyone who emails ittaexist@gmail.com and asks for it.

“I decided to give this album to people who really want my music,” says Itta.  “I wanted to be able to talk with people who are interested in my music directly so I wanted to get their email addresses so that I could send them a short message with my new material.

“If people enjoy the music, they can send me a donation by PayPal if they’d like.  I’m making presents now for the people who have already sent me donations.”

“Discover” was completely self-recorded, produced, and mixed by Itta.  There are 11 cuts on the effort, but Itta says she did many other covers while making the album.  Will any of these other songs surface during Sunday night’s “Discover” release gig?

“That’s a secret.  All I can say is that there will be many special things at the show.  If you want to know what they are, please come.”

Itta and Marqido are expecting their first child in the spring.  They are focusing more on recording new solo material and (((10))) stuff than doing performances until the baby is born.  Itta says that they haven’t given much thought to how their touring schedule and music will change once they become parents.

“The baby is due in May, so right now we are calling it ‘May,’” shares Itta.  “We’ll choose another name after the baby is born.  When our baby comes, maybe audiences will notice something different in our music, but we aren’t thinking about change so much.  The most important thing for us is to just be happy.”

Itta’s “Discover” release concert takes place at Yogiga Gallery.  The show starts at 7 pm and tickets are 10,000 won at the door.  This is a no smoking show.  For more information, visit the gig’s Facebook event page here.

Deerhoof Make Their Korean Debut

By Shawn Despres

Highly acclaimed experimental art rockers Deerhoof will be playing a pair of Seoul shows on Friday (December 9) and Saturday (December 10).

Touring East Asia in support of this year’s “Deerhoof vs. Evil,” their weekend concerts will be Deerhoof’s first time playing in South Korea. Formed in 1994, the band keep quite busy regularly gigging around the globe, which explains the delay in getting over here. Ultimately, it was the Korean music scene’s growing reputation that made them want to finally visit.

“We tour so much already and we aren’t usually looking for new places to add,” shares drummer Greg Saunier. “But we have been hearing great things about Korean shows from too many people, so we knew it was time. We had to come.”

Often only able to spend one night in the new cities they play, Saunier, vocalist/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki, and guitarists John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez are looking forward to having a few days to explore Seoul and mingle with the locals.

“Two shows in one city is really something special,” says Saunier. “I hope we can talk to people and make some new friends.”

Although “Deerhoof vs. Evil” was originally issued in January, the Korean version of the album just came out in mid-November. The domestic release features Korean liner notes from Han Sang-chol, the guitarist for the excellent instrumental rock band Bulssazo, and a bonus disc with live cuts and remixes from the likes of Japanese indie darling Shugo Tokumaru and Korea’s own Junjayang.

“Deerhoof vs. Evil” was self-recorded in the summer and fall of 2010 in the group’s practice space and Rodriguez’s basement. Reviews for the album have been positive with Paste Magazine saying, “Deerhoof never ceases to amaze. The band strikes a near-perfect balance between oddball accessibility and brazenly challenging their listeners to accept new and jarring sounds.”

“When we make a new record we just wipe the slate clean and we don’t assume anything should stay the same, “explains Saunier. “We just try inventing a new kind of music from scratch. Actually even if we tried to repeat ourselves I don’t think we would know how.”

Expect a mix of “Deerhoof vs. Evil” tunes and seasoned gems at Deerhoof’s Hongdae gigs.  Sangsang Madang’s classy digs and the rec room-feel of the tiny Bbang will make for very different concert experiences for fans.  But even if Deerhoof were schedule to play both Seoul shows in the same venue, Saunier promises that each night would be unique.

“There will be old songs and new songs,” says Saunier. “But when we start playing it doesn’t really matter too much. All the songs flow together. The live sound is rawer than the records. It’s almost like we’re a Deerhoof cover band when we perform.

“Any kind of venue we play, we make it our home for one night. But even if we played twice in a row on the same stage the show would be very different. There are always funny things that happen in the moment and never come again.”

Deerhoof perform on December 9 at Sangsang Madang. Tickets are 38,000 won in advance and 43,000 won at the door. The show starts at 7:30 pm and Oorutaichi and Junjayang will open. Deerhoof also perform on December 9 at Bbang. Tickets are 30,000 won in advance and 35,000 won at the door. The show starts at 6:30 pm and 3rd Line Butterfly, Bulssazo, Bamseom Pirates, and Look and Listen will open.

For those wanting a sneak preview of the Deerhoof live experience, you can download the band’s free 11-track live album “99% Uspet Feeling” here.

More Music at Koreanindie.com

By Mark

I guess the title of this post pretty much gets to the point. If you want to learn more about Korean indie music, you should check out the very imaginatively titled website Korean Indie, recently started by myself, Anna Lindgren of IndiefulROK fame and Chris Park of the review site Wakesidevision. Together, we are hoping to create one big site, full of news, reviews, and other information about Korea’s music scene.

The plan is eventually to have a pretty good database about a good chunk of the Korean scene, all in one place. So if you are thinking about going to a show, you can easily find out about the bands playing. If you like what you hear one night, you can learn about a band’s releases (and maybe buy someone from Hyang or Purple or some online site). And we’ll have plenty of news, too.

I guess the motivation, at least for me, is how frustrating it is that there is not more information available about this music. If you want to know about K-pop, there are endless sites about that sort of music. If you want to know about Korean movies, you have Darcy Paquet’s excellent Koreanfilm.org and other sites. Even TV dramas have some decent resources. But for indie and non-pop music? There is not a lot out there.

None of which should slow down the Korea Gig Guide. In the three years since I started this site, I’ve been pleased to see it grow steadily, thanks to the interest from all of you. I will not be so active here in the future, but Shawn, Jon, and Dain have been doing most of the work here for some time anyways. So thanks to everyone who has frequented the Korea Gig Guide over last few years, and thanks to Shawn, Jon, and Dain. And I hope to see you at Koreanindie.com soon.

Rubber Soul 2011: Rocking Out For A Good Cause

By Shawn Despres

Saturday (December 3) will see the fourth installment of Rubber Soul happening in Hongdae. Organized by Little Travellers and Medipeace (with a tiny bit of help from Korea Gig Guide), the charity event features two dozen acts performing at six clubs. All profits from the night will be donated to Hillcrest AIDS Center, a non-profit organization located in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.

Scheduled each year around World AIDS Day (which falls on December 1), Rubber Soul aims to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in South Korea and to support HIV/AIDS related activities in Africa. The three previous Rubber Souls have raised more than $10,000 each.

Along with supporting a great cause, the night also allows revelers to take in gigs from plenty of talented local performers for the low price of only 10,000 won. Appearing Rubber Soul 2011 are The Rock Tigers, Apollo 18, WagWak, Juck Juck Grunzie, Telepathy, Wadada Sound System, 49 Morphines, National Pigeon Unity, No. 1 Korean, Demian the Band, Tiger Summer, Black Bag, 13 Steps, Brick Slipper, Angry Bear, Achtung, Sotto Gamba, Yagamata Tweakster, Jennifer Waescher, Justin Patrick, Just Friends, Pavlov, Googolplex, Romantiqua (with bellydancer Eshe making a special guest appearance), and Harry Big Button.

Two of the higher profile bands on the bill are Apollo 18 and The RockTigers. The past nine months have seen Apollo 18 showcasing their acclaimed post-hardcore/post-rock hybrid to appreciative audiences at SXSW in the US, Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival, and Taiwan’s Beastie Rock Festival. Last week Apollo 18 issued their new “Black” EP with music website Wakesidevision saying, “Black is one of the best releases of 2011 and quite possibly the best of the year.”

“We are really excited to play at Rubber Soul,” says Apollo 18 bassist Kim Dae-inn. “It’s awesome to see so many bands coming together for a good cause. We are honored to be a part of the event.”

Here’s a Live Planet video of Apollo 18 playing “Corpse Flower” from “Black.”

아폴로18(Apollo 18) – Corpse Flower from OFFBEAT on Vimeo.

Like Apollo 18, The RockTigers also embarked on their first American tour earlier this year. The “kimchi rockabilly” quintet just wrapped up a 10-day Japan tour too.

“We came back home on Monday,” shares front woman Velvet Geena. “Our Japanese concerts all went great! Everything was better than the last time we toured there. All the shows were packed and some even sold out in advance.”

Having previously performed at Rubber Soul in 2008 and 2009, The RockTigers are thrilled about participating in the event again. They are actually gigging in Daejeon on Saturday night as well, and will rush back to Seoul to close out Rubber Soul.

“Our last two times playing Rubber Soul were a lot of fun,” shares front woman Velvet Geena. “The audience was big and all the people were very passionate. They seemed to be enjoying Rubber Soul so much.”

Here’s The RockTigers’ “Cry Baby” music video from 2010’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Licence.”

Also worth checking out at Rubber Soul are the new, awesomely named rock band Harry Big Button. Featuring former members of Crash and Art of Parties, Harry Big Button formed earlier this year. The quartet recently issued a three-song single called “Hard ’N’ Loud.” Check out a review for it here.

Harry Big Button’s vocalist and guitarist Lee Sung-soo read about Rubber Soul a few weeks back. He wanted Harry Big Button to be a part of the event, but didn’t know how to contact the organizers. But, as luck would have it, Rubber Soul reached out to the band to help fill out the bill at DGBD.

“I’m so glad we can be a part of it,” says Lee. “If our music can help others in some small way, that’s great.”

Here’s a fan video for “Fxxx You Very Much” from Harry Big Button’s “Hard ’N’ Loud.”

Tickets for Rubber Soul are only 10,000 won and allow entrance to all six of the venues. The admission fee also includes a handcrafted beaded Little Traveller doll. The starting time for each club varies. Here’s the full schedule for Rubber Soul 2011:

Hodge Podge (above GoGo’s 2)
17:15 – Wadada Sound System
22:30 – Justin Patrick
23:00 – Tiger Summer
23:30 – Just Friends
12:00 – Jennifer Waescher

FF
22:15 – Black Bag
23:00 – Pavlov
23:45 – Apollo 18
00:30 – No. 1 Korean

Club Ta
22:00 – Romantiqua
22:45 – Googolplex
23:30 – Juck Juck Grunzie
00:15 – Brick Slipper

Freebird
22:00 – Achtung
22:40 – Wagwak
23:20 – Yagamata Tweakster
00:00 – Demian the Band

DGBD
23:15 – 13 Steps
00:00 – 49 Morphines
00:45 – Harry Big Button
01:30 – The RockTigers

Gogos 2
22:15 – National Pigeon Unity
23:00 – Telepathy
23:45 – Angry Bear
00:30 – Sotto Gamba

For more information about Rubber Soul, visit their official site or the Facebook event page.