Monthly Archives: June 2014

Beatniks, Juck Juck Grunzie, and T-Shirts Sunset Collaborate with Bellydancers at Shake Shop 16

Saturday night (June 28) will see Beatniks, Juck Juck Grunzie, and T-Shirts Sunset all collaborating with bellydancers Eshe and Navah for the Korea Gig Guide co-presented Shake Shop show at Club Freebird.

Beatniks

May saw electro-accented rock act Beatniks celebrate their first anniversary.  The last dozen months were quite busy for these eager up-and-comers.  They started playing gigs quickly after forming and released a five-track demo when they were barely three months old.

“It’s been a crazy year,” shares vocalist Yoo Han-kyul. “We played a lot gigs and weren’t really ready at first.  We started playing shows three weeks after we all met each other, so we were trying to figure out our sound as we were playing gigs.  So basically our first year was somewhat a mix of a lot of shows and rehearsals.”

With all members of the group liking different styles of music, the guys are still experimenting with things as they strive to carve out their own unique sound.  And with each passing month they are gaining a better understanding of what they want to be.

“We first thought that as a band everyone needed to sacrifice something to make music,” Yoo says. “We’re still not sure about how we want to sound exactly, but we’ve learned that sacrificing isn’t the way.  It’s more of a friendly fight where we try to make something all of us can truly enjoy.”

Saturday night will be Beatniks first time doing any kind of collaboration and they are excited about the challenge.

“We love bellydancing,” says Yoo.  “We think our music will work well with bellydancing because we have some parts where we jam.  And our music has a lot of energy as well.”

Juck Juck Grunzie Photo

Juck Juck Grunzie played at Shake Shop in spring 2013 and Eshe has been trying to get them back for another collaboration ever since.  The noisy, psychedelic rock quartet are happy to be working with Eshe and Navah again too.

“Our first time playing at Shake Shop was fantastic,” says bassist Booooong.  “The dancers used colorful veils while we played and it looked like multi-colored waves.  Every time we made eye contact with Eshe, we felt like we were standing with a goddess.”

According to Booooong, Juck Juck Grunzie are intentionally only scheduling a few gigs this summer.  They are instead hoping to use their time to try and write new songs for the follow-up to their last excellent Psycho full-length debut.

As for this weekend’s concert at Freebird, Booooong is confident that Juck Juck Grunzie and the bellydancers will once again create something very cool and memorable together.

“We’re all looking forward to seeing what the ladies come up for this collaboration.  It’s always interesting to work together with artists who are different from us.  Eshe and Navah are always positive and have lots of great energy.”

T-shirts sunset

Rounding out the bill for Shake Shop Vol. 16 is T-Shirts Sunset.  The new two-piece act (whose membership sometimes grows for live performances) features Kim Jae-kwon of Cocore and .59 fame.

“We’ve know each other for more than 10 years but we’ve only been playing as T-Shirts Sunset for two months,” says Kim.

The two members share a love of improvisation and plan to incorporate a fair amount of it into their songs and performances.

“We want our music to be a balance of things that we want to do, and things that were unexpected and interesting.”

Shake Shop Vol. 16 takes place on Saturday, June 28 at Club Freebird. The show starts at 8:30 pm and the cover charge is 15,000 won with one free drink. Eshe and Navah will perform alongside Beatniks, Juck Juck Grunzie, and T-Shirts Sunset.  For more information, check out the show’s Facebook event page here.

Shake Shop Poster

Guitar Wolf’s Seoul Gigs Will Be “Hot And Spicy Like Kimchi!”

This weekend, Japanese garage punk legends Guitar Wolf will be making their third appearance in Korea in as many years.  The wild and noisy trio are set to wow local crowds with their self-described “jet rock ‘n’ roll” during a pair of Seoul shows at Prism in Hongdae on Friday (June 27) and at WAV Bistro & Lounge on Saturday (June 28).

Guitar Wolf Pic

Last summer Guitar Wolf were in Korea to perform at the short-lived Jisan World Rock Festival.  And in 2012 they teamed up with Seoul rockabilly band The Rock Tigers for a three-city Korean tour.  According to guitarist and vocalist Seiji (the Guitar Wolf himself), gigging around the country with The Rock Tigers was a really fun experience.

“Back in 2012 we were very happy to be able to play in Busan,” Seiji says. “We went to another city (Jeonju) the next day and only four or five people showed up at the gig, but it’s still part of our exciting memories of the tour. After our Seoul show, we went drinking and one of the members of Crying Nut passed out. And we were really surprised because The Rock Tigers paid the whole bill at the end of the night.  There were around 30 people there and we thought everyone would go Dutch, but The Rock Tigers paid for all of us.  Korean people are very hard workers!”

Of course, The Rock Tigers have since evolved into Streetguns.  Considering The Rock Tigers toured both the US (2011) and Korea (2012) with Guitar Wolf, it comes as no surprise that Streetguns will also be playing at each of Guitar Wolf’s Seoul shows this weekend.  Seiji is interested to hear his friends’ new music.

“I loved The Rock Tigers,” says Seiji.  “Tiger’s playing was great and Velvet Geena’s actions were brilliant.  I haven’t listened to Streetguns yet, but I’m really looking forward to seeing their live show.”

Beast Vibrator Cover

Guitar Wolf are currently gigging in support of their excellent eleventh full-length, Beast Vibrator.  Released last year, the album is packed with raucous, ragged rock ‘n’ roll cuts.  Beast Vibrator even has a small Korean connection.  The track “Robot Maria” was partly inspired by Sanullim’s iconic “Naughty Boy” song.

“Nowadays, smartphones and the internet are everywhere and people depend on technology too much,” says Seiji.  “One day, I just thought ‘Be a beast!  Don’t forget the wild instincts of beasts!  Shake like a beast!’  I like the way Beast Vibrator sounds.  It sounds chaotic.”

Renowned for their hard and loud live performances, expect to witness plenty of exciting, beast-like behavior when Guitar Wolf tear up the stages at Prism and WAV Bistro & Lounge this weekend.  When asked what they have planned for their Seoul gigs Seiji replies that things will be “hot and spicy like kimchi!”

Seiji Guitar Wolf

A rock star through and through, when questioned about how he intends to keep busy after Guitar Wolf’s Seoul shows, Seiji offers this short response, “A scandal with a famous Korean actress.”

Well, it’s always important to have goals.  And now we all have a reason to watch the local tabloids!

Guitar Wolf play on Friday night at Prism in Hongdae. The show starts at 9:30 pm and tickets are 20,000 won. The Spanish Barrow’in Guitar, Streetguns, Dead ButtonsAssassination Squad, and the Seoul Shindig DJs are also on the bill.  For more information, check out the Facebook event page here.

Prism Poster

Guitar Wolf also play on Saturday at WAV Bistro & Lounge as part of the Ink Bomb Tattoo Convention.  Tickets for Saturday are 30,000 won and Crying Nut, Galaxy Express, The Spanish Barrow’in Guitar, Rux, Streetguns, … Whatever That Means, and Bad Trip will also play. For more information, check out the Facebook event page here.

Ink Bomb Poster

Support the New Generation of Ska

So, there’s a free show at Thunderhorse Tavern this weekend. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to be cheap. The show is being held to support Team New Generation of Ska, a consortium of Korean skaholics (no, I did not make that word up) who have an ambitious plan. And I’m not talking about the Cass and Red Rock for 3000 won and 2000 won rum and cokes that will be offered from 10:30 to 11:30.

team_new_generation_of_ska_fundraiser_posterThis show is in support for a big ska festival planned for August 30, featuring Korea’s ska, ska-punk, and reggae bands, as well as two bands from Japan and one from America. They’ll be playing on Munwha Geori, the pedestrian-only street running between Sinchon Station and Yonsei University. And all this for free.

Eight years ago, Ryu Jinsuk of Skasucks launched the New Generation of Ska concert series, always with the idea to grow it into something bigger and more global. This year, as well as bringing together most of the Korean ska and ska-punk scene, they’re inviting Japanese two-tone-influenced bands Rollings and the Autocratics, as well as California’s Bruce Lee Band fronted by Mike Park, the Korean-American guy behind Asian Man Records. This milestone DIY festival is completely crowdfunded, with no signs yet of corporate sponsorship.

This Saturday, you can sample two of the bands that are part of Team New Generation of Ska.

Rudy Guns play ska-punk in a similar style to Skasucks: fun and full of energy.

The Pegurians are a new skinhead reggae band featuring Janghyup of the Korean oi band Resolute on vocals, and Korea’s #1 rudeboy Jude Nah on keyboard. Although they are a near-perfect recreation of an early reggae band from the ’60s, they bring a unique new sound to Korea.

As well, Rudy Guns and Pegurians are joined by Dead Buttons, recently back from a tour of the UK which we reported on earlier this year, and it’s clear they have no intention of slowing down. They will also be joined by The Woozy, another rock n roll/rockabilly/blues act that’s a little earlier in their career but still doing great.

So, please come out this Saturday and show your support. For more information or to donate, please visit the Team New Generation of Ska Tumblbug page, or visit their Facebook page to find out how to make a bank transfer. Also, you can read an interview with Ryu Jinsuk about the festival over at DoIndie.

The show starts this Saturday at 9pm. RSVP on Facebook.

National Pigeon Unity Make Their Return Tonight at Prism

National Pigeon Unity will play at Prism Hall in Hongdae tonight (Friday, June 6).  Being billed as a “comeback” show, the gig is the Seoul rock duo’s first concert since finishing their Korean military service.

NPU ARMY HANDS

Formed in 2006, National Pigeon Unity released a handful of EPs and two full-length albums (2010’s Empathy and 2011’s Root) before beginning their mandatory army stint in 2012.  The pair regrouped briefly in spring 2013 for a gig at Club FF, but tonight’s concert will be only their second show in the past two years.

“It’s been a long time since our last concert,” says guitarist Kim Dong-hun.  “So we’re excited and a little nervous about our show at Prism.  Most of all, we’re really happy to meet all of our fans who have been waiting for us to start playing again.”

National Pigeon Unity

Kim was discharged from the army at the end of February and drummer Park Young-mok finished in late March.  While they were in the army, they were unable to practice together because they were based in different areas.  But as soon as Park was released they quickly started working with each other again.

“I played guitar alone every weekend while I was in the army,” says Kim.  “But it was hard for us to work on new songs because we were stationed far apart from each other.  We met up four days after Young-mok got out of the army and began to make new songs.”

National Pigeon Unity will be debuting four tracks tonight at Prism.  The cuts are called “Beautiful Mind,” “Supercharge,” “Stargazer,” and “Sevenless.”

“Our new songs talk about how we felt while we were in the army,” says Kim.  “I think the most interesting song is ‘Sevenless.’  It’s about a really unlucky guy who doesn’t have any lucky number sevens in his life.”

Look for the band to be playing lots over the coming months as they re-establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the Korean indie scene.  And they are hoping to make their first foray overseas in the fall for gigs in other parts of Asia.

“We want to keep doing more and more concerts throughout the summer,” says Kim.  “We need to let everyone know that we’re back from the army and are raring to go.”

Obviously excited to be playing together again, why have Kim and Park waited over two months to play their comeback show?

“We needed lots of time to practice and get ready,” says Kim.  “We want to play and perform much better than we did before.  People are going to see the best National Pigeon Unity that there’s ever been!”

National Pigeon Unity perform at Prism on Friday, June 6.  Doors open at 6 pm and 24 Hours, Dead Buttons, Four Brothers, Telefly, and Rocket Diary will all play opening sets.  Tickets are 20,000 won at the door.

Here are the set times for tonight’s concert:

6:20 – 6:50 24 Hours
7 – 7:30 Dead Buttons
7:40 – 8:10 Four Brothers
8:20 – 8:50 Telefly
9 – 9:30 Rocket Diary
9:40 National Pigeon Unity

National Pigeon Unity Poster