The instrumental rock group Romantiqua, the punk act … Whatever That Means, and the experimental electro-pop duo Tengger will all perform at Freebird tonight (October 11) as part of Shake Shop Vol. 9. The monthly bellydance/indie music hybrid show is co-presented by Korea Gig Guide and Dream Dance studio and will see Dream Dance owner Eshe and the lovely ladies from her Navah troupe collaborating with each of the bands.
Having been gigging consistently since spring in support of their solid “When and Where” EP, last month Romantiqua made their first foray overseas to play at Taiwan’s Beastie Rock Festival.
“Taiwan was great,” says drummer Anton Brinza. “Beastie Rock was small, but it was really cool. The location and the layout of the festival grounds were awesome. It was meshed real nicely onto the grounds of a historical cultural park in northern Taipei. Our performance at the fest was strong. We’ve been playing well recently. The audience seemed to like what we were doing, and we got a lot of great compliments afterwards. I think we definitely learned a lot from the experience.”
The quartet are currently in the midst of recording their debut full-length. The material for the album is all finished, but because of their recording studio’s busy schedule the finished disc may not surface until early next year. But if “When and Where” is any indication of what to expect, Romantiqua’s new long player will be well worth the wait.
“The new album is going to take the energy up a few notches,” says Brinza. “The EP was pretty tame in our minds – but tame in a good way. Those three songs deal with personal freedom, escaping boundaries, and opening yourself to the world. So, they’re more contemplative and positive. This album will introduce a more aggressive element. The songs will look at the boundaries we all deal with, the problems that prompt us to seek that freedom. And, with these recordings, we are trying to capture more of the energy we put out on stage.”
Romantiqua have played a handful of Shake Shop events so far, and Brinza shares why he and his bandmates happily keep teaming up with Eshe and Navah.
“We think of Shake Shop as more of an ongoing, continuous collaboration, which is, I think, basically what Eshe intended to create when she started Shake Shop. Not just with Romantiqua, of course, but amongst the whole indie community here. And that’s part of the reason we like doing it, for that sense of camaraderie, not just among musicians, but artists of different backgrounds and sensibilities. Romantiqua wants to be a part of something bigger, not just bound up in our own little world. Eshe has created something really special in that sense, and we’re grateful to be a piece in that puzzle.”
Shake Shop Vol. 9 will be … Whatever That Means first time to work with bellydancers, and guitarist and vocalist Jeff Moses says all members of the band – male and female – are looking forward to it.
“There’s going to be a bunch of gorgeous bellydancers in sexy outfits dancing around right in front of us while we’re playing, right? Even Trash is excited about that!”
Moses admits he’s not very familiar with bellydance, but after a friend spoke highly of their experience at a previous Shake Shop event, he thought that having …Whatever That Means collaborate with bellydancers could make for a really cool show.
“When Eshe contacted me about the show, my first thought was, ‘Could this really work?’” says Moses. “I called up Sunn Row from The Strikers because I knew they’d played at Shake Shop before. He said it was like nothing he’d ever done before and a lot of fun. That was all I needed to hear. As for how well it will work, I’m excited to see and find out. I know Eshe and everyone else are putting in a lot of hard work to prepare so I’m sure it’ll be great.”
Currently operating as a trio after the departure of guitarist Oh-Baeng a few months back, the group are working on their next full-length now. The follow-up to 2011’s “Sounds from the Explosion” will likely have 10 – 12 songs on it, and … Whatever That Means are hoping to have the album finished by January or February. The band debuted three new songs a couple of weeks ago, and Moses says that they’ll be playing them at Shake Shop as well.
“I think anyone who liked ‘Sounds from the Explosion’ will be happy with our next album,” says Moses. “It’ll have some of the heaviest songs we’ve ever written, some really melodic pop punk, and a lot of stuff in between. It will definitely still has that …Whatever That Means sound that we put out on ‘Sounds from the Explosion.’”
The group will issue their first recording as a three-piece on October 26 at their annual “Still Alive” Halloween gig at Club Spot. Titled “Hong Gu Goes to Prison,” it’s a three-song EP with covers of cuts by Operation Ivy, The Descendents, and The Adolescents.
Formerly known as (((10))) (and before that simply as 10), Tengger is a new band from Itta and Marqido. Based in Jeju, the duo issued their first effort as Tengger “Electric Earth Creation” this past summer.
“We made the music for ‘Electric Earth Creation’ from last year to this spring,” says Itta. “We wrote and recorded the album at the same time. When we were 10 and then (((10))) we lived a nomadic lifestyle, and didn’t stay more than three months in one country. But when I was pregnant, we decided to move to Jeju Island. We thought the beautiful nature there made for a good childbirth environment, and our music has been influenced by our life there. Daily life with a baby can be difficult, but we find enlightenment in every moment. And we think this enlightenment permeates through our music. ”
Like the other acts on the bill, Tengger is excited about working with Eshe and Navah at Shake Shop tonight.
“I think Tengger’s music is good for collaborating with other artists,” says Itta. “This is our first time to collaborate with bellydancers. Eshe is a good friend and we like her dancing, so we think this will be a good performance. Bellydancers express their impressions from the music with their bodies. Our music is almost completely improvised, so I think we can get good feedback from their movements.”
Shake Shop Vol. 9 takes place on Friday, October 11 at Club Freebird. The show starts at 11:00 pm and the cover charge is 10,000 won with one free drink. Eshe and Navah will perform alongside Romantiqua, … Whatever That Means, and Tengger. For more information, check out the show’s Facebook event page here.