Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Friday, 25 September 2009
Walking out I heard some nice synthpop beaming from the poles outside Shinsegae. I stood by one trying to work out the Anglo voice - Lily Allen maybe? Turned out to be overhyped starlet La Roux, Reflections are Protection. A rather brave choice; maybe Universal decided to take a gamble after all and try push her in SK along with Japan (I was privy to a conversation with Universal execs after a day of posing as Eminem to promote his Relapse CD in the COEX. I never blogged about that, did I? Well I have now).
I'm listening to her album now; it's okay. She definitely won't break Korea.
Being unemployed and caught up in a civil petition as I await my return home, I'm finding all the days mould into one, livened up by Friday/Saturday excursions to foreigner-heavy Seohyeon down in Bundang. The tune of the moment is most definitely Poker Face by Lady Gaga. A song I originally dismissed for its euro-diva chorus has now snuck up on me and nothing gives a headier thrill in the club when it pans in with a subterranean wave, turns into rude blue guttertronic stutters and nasties up into the skanky army trail of the first verse
I wanna hold 'em like they do in Texas, please
Fold 'em let 'em hit me raise it baby stay with me
Luck and intuition, play the cards with spades to start
And after he's been hooked I'll play the one that's on his heart
The club goes wild. I've heard it forever, these passing days as one.
I should go home and work.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Monday, 14 September 2009
Sunday, 13 September 2009
Saturday, 12 September 2009
It's actually going to be a tower with an exhibition about Robot Taekwon V on the ground level, an observatory in the chest area with another astronomical one based up in the head.
Friday, 11 September 2009
Is it the odd choice of Franco accordion soundtrack? The Harvey Dent/Gollum battle between the two psyches as they debate between fish or bulgogi? Maybe just the 3-dimensional plastic make-up job on the actor, much like the Burger King monarch or Maximum Headroom, who has a memorable moment barking 'burgher! burgher! ...burgher' 3 times in a row, dying Shakespeare.
Whatever's going on, somehow an advert actually worked on me for once for the very next day I ordered one of these frankenfoods and found it to be very scrumptious.
Here's a funny story. I don't have an aerial connection on my TV, so I only know about two Korean dramas - the one which is basically Mulan all over again, and Tamna, which I blogged about last month in derision. Cue a few weeks of mockery of the show with friends relating to yellow fever and the general bad acting & writing on display, plus the freaky looking nature of the white guy they cast as the nobleman washed up on the shores of Jeju island. And what happens when I pay a midweek visit to the Korean Folk Village? Why, I stumble on the set of the making of a brand new episode of Tamna (freaky looking white guy nowhere to be seen). What are the odds. Here's a snapshot.
*Please note Simian Mobile Disco are DJing again in Seoul on Saturday the 12th, this time at Club Answer, or new club Mansion/Manshion?
Monday, 31 August 2009
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Walking in the grounds I met a former MC turned monk, who invited me to eat noodles & dumplings with others in the monastery. Aged 23, he was a freestyler in Seoul just 5 months before taking up his studies in the temple. Really nice guy. Thank you MC Mandu x
Saturday, 29 August 2009
In Bundang's Last Angel: A guy with an eye for the guys hoisted me up to the elevated dance stage overlooking the bustling main floor space. Here we go again I thought.
'Where are you from?'
etc etc im a teacher etc
'Is your mother Korean?'
Wasn't expecting that one. No.
'...Is your father Korean?'
Today I popped down to the corner shop, stumbled across a pansori performance at the local temple. Shame I'm leaving this place soon.
Thursday, 27 August 2009
Lately on Twitch there have been some fantastic reviews of Korean cinema by the always excellent X. Read his takes on 김씨 표류기 (Castaway on the Moon) above and 반두비 (Bandhobi). Also a trailer was posted recently for September's 내 사랑 내 곁에 (Closer to Heaven).
Found a cracking blog here on graffiti in Korea - Wall Art Korea, and out of Taiwan it's Tagging Taichung.
This post was brought to you by Uncle Tomato, proudly leading the British Invasion since 2008 x
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
As inspired by Pitchfork
#1 More Than A Woman Aaliyah
and the rest in no particular order
Go With The Flow Queens of the Stone Age
They Removed All Trace or Branches Bare - Hood
Fatalist Palmistry Why?
I Luv U Dizzee Rascal
Egowar Gang Gang Dance
Save Me Save Me Xiu Xiu
Hey Ya! + Prototype - Outkast
Lost Cause Beck (plus Cellphone's Dead and the 2 singles from Guero)
Feel the Love or Hearts on Fire, oh and Future deserves a mention - Cut Copy
Adlai Stevenson Sufjan Stevens
1 Thing Amerie
Get Me Off or Plug It In or Romeo - Basement Jaxx
Get Along With You or Good Stuff - Kelis
The Seed The Roots
Do You Know Squarepusher Squarepusher
Harder Better Faster Stronger or Digital Love (or even Face To Face) - Daft Punk
Gravity's Rainbow or Golden Skans - Klaxons
Bucky Done Gun M.I.A.
Middleclass Stomp or A Tale of Apes - Subtle. Anything on the 13&God album too
In The Morning or Double Shadow or More Than Real - Junior Boys
Anything on the Hissing Fauna album by Of Montreal
The Future is a Mesh Stallion Neon Blonde
Yoshimi Pt 1 Flaming Lips
Long Distance Call Phoenix
Beach Party Air France
Grass or Did You See the Words- Animal Collective
We Are Your Friends Simian v Justice
Give It To Me Timbaland
Best pure indie songs (PONANA) -
Banquet or The Prayer Bloc Party
Apply Some Pressure Maximo Park
Brianstorm Arctic MonkeysLast Nite The Strokes
Evil - Interpol
C'mon C'mon Von Bondies
Sunday, 23 August 2009
And that same hour as I walked back home some high schooler with his friends shouted at my back 'Night is dangerous!!' Melodramatic but a nice change from what usually gets bellowed at me.
Today 3 of the local techno marts are all holding sales on the same day, up and down the same street, meaning many scantyclad women on the mic standing beside clowns on stilts and dancing inflatables.
Friday, 21 August 2009
...Whatever That Means are a promising alt rock group just starting out in Korea, half American half Korean.
They play a free gig tonight the 21st in shItaewon.
More live music...
Melt Banana play two gigs this weekend in Hongdae, 25k each. Support comes from Lazy Magnet, who's touring Korea this month, supported on Thursday 27th by Yano Shiku, Urasawa Satsuki, Sen Yukie, Fujieda Musimaru (japanese butoh dancer), and Itta (from 10). Day after catch him with Sato Yukie & Kopchanjeongol (a Korean 70’s psychedelic cover band), Korean folkers Anakin Project, plus Jap psych-garage with Kawaguchi Masami’s New Rock Syndicate.
29th you'd maybe wanna catch retro garage group OH! Brothers at Ssamzie Space in Seoul.
This sounds good - on September 19th a bunch of bands play with the added twist of being set up at the same time along the perimeter of the venue with the audience right in the middle. Each band does one song at a time, no breaks, back to back to back etc., until the show is done. Info here on SUPΞR C۞L۞R SUPΞR. Oh and Round Robin, cos it's a Round Robin event. Bands include 10 and Japan's Henna Dress. The Samiyam tour also looks good (US nintendo fuckery).
October 24th brings the Grand Mint festival, headlined by Maximillian Hecker.
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
A fantastic review of this year's 마더 Mother went up yesterday on Twitch. Mother has been picked to represent Korea at this year's Oscars.
Coincidentally, Bong Joon-Ho's previous films The Host and Memories of a Murder were picked by Q Tarantino this week as two of the best films to be made since 1992. One other Korean flick gets a mention there, Joint Security Area, which I'd never heard of.
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
I borrowed the first album by Korean indie trio Humming Urban Stereo 허밍 어반 스테레오, the 2cd Very Very Nice! and Short Cake. Their style? Well, one song is named The Lady From Ipanema so that's a big indicator. When I first listened, one song's loungey refrain sounded remarkably like 'Scully doesn't doesn't love you...' Not wanting to believe, I just assumed it was her accent's take on sayin 'Cos he'. But no, the song's actually called Scully Doesn't Know, and it was released in 2005, 3 long years after The X Files actually finished making new episodes. Outdated perhaps, but the song's a cult hit in SK, even leading to a 'sequel' song on HUS' sophomore release entitled Mulder Does Know.
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Have you seen this infomercial? Always makes me laugh. A pretty young girl sits on a Seoul train, reading a book. Opposite her is a pervy 40something peering over the top of his newspaper at her with the most OTT overacting, sweaty brow with a few nervy strands across it, having a good old lech at the young maiden, waggly eyebrows and parched lips. Next to the girl sits another brute male, a businessman reading over her shoulder, who then begins rubbing his leg against hers. More OTT melodrama as the young girl cringes in pain, scream within her temples.
I always see this advert on the subway TV, yet yesterday I just couldn't stop laughing at its ridiculousness. Love it!
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Friday, 31 July 2009
Of men and irony: my boss ushers me into an empty dark room without a word. This is yesterday afternoon. 'Here we go' I think. Right on cue he twists me round and mimics anal intercourse, fumbling for my crotch. Does it again in the office, armed with the aircon remote. 'I don't like boys' he mumbles after as precaution. Tries again in public as he waits for the bus, seeing me leaving work. Nutter.
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Recently I posted about Korean solo artist Haihm and her curious remix work on the new release by K-starlets Brown Eyed Girls. Thanks to the excellent treekingdom, I found Vol. 1, her debut from 2008. I was expecting some harsh avant garde in the vein of her chopped up BEG rmx, but instead the album's half hazy lounge like the lone single above, and half subtle 2step sadness. These beaty tracks like April's Snow are definitely worth a listen - have a download here. Maybe Haihm's finding a more experimental direction for her next release judging by her '09 output - turns out she produced the wonderfully quirky picopop track I mentioned in my original post about the Brown Eyed Girls new CD, the must listen Strange Days. You'll heart it.
You'll also enjoy this fantastic blog on art & film events in Korea, Art'n'about in Korea. I've been looking for a blog like this for a long time, fantastic. Discovering Korea is also worth a look.
The 24th Asian International Stamp Exhibition is on now at the COEX mall, ends August 4th.
Korean Indie Animation fest in Myong-Dong until August 8th (thanks to Gerly). I can't find any details in English alas.
There's also the 9th Seoul International NewMedia Festival, but again, no details in English.
And finally, why bananas and dumplings? Cos that was school lunch today, when I bumped into my hokey jokey new boss Mr Lee, who saw me come out the elevator and, without a word, tried reaching down into my underwear, to then bearhug me from behind like salsa when I pulled away, touching my poor chap and exhaling a saucy 'Oohf', sizzling burns from my trousered crotch.
I watched him go outside like nothing happened, my mind shedding yet another chunk of its sanity in his wake.
More recent listening. and your mother won't leave you alone...
Capsule - You Are The Reason. Great track by synth dance duo Capsule. I got their CDs Flashback and More More More in Tokyo, really decent stuff with shades of The Knife, Tiga, Crystal Castles, even Kylie.
Lo Fi Fnk - Want U
Air France - June Evenings
Cassius - Almost Cut My Hair
Morning Mesume - Love Machine
After School - Dream Girl. K-pop cover of the J-pop classic above. Girls Aloud meets a bump of French house.
Jewelry S- I Like You More
News on a sequel to Korea's highest grossing movie, 괴물 The Host, courtesy of SciFi Japan. The original's good fun if you take away the awful American actors involved and the at times uneasy collision of comedy and tragedy amidst the schlocky monster mayhem. Cloverfield ripped off the creature's design as well.
Monday, 27 July 2009
Found through Naver. This exhibit can be seen at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Gwacheon. Thanks to my student Jake who helped me work that out, haha.
I finally visited the Dissonant Visions showcase at the Seoul Museum of Art in City Hall. There I saw Ji Yong Ho's sculptures made out of tire rubber, Bull 1 being especially grand.
Also happy I saw the Image of Youth photo showcase at the Ilmin Musuem of Art in Jongno. Really try to see these photos of Korea's adolescents at work and play. 2000 entry.
More art on Naver here
Friday, 24 July 2009
Following my last post on the Brown Eyed Girls' newbie Sound G, Indieful Rok reports on an interesting bonus remix CD by various Korean electro alumni of past hits. There's a nice drum n bass remix by Fraktal which comes at you like a rhythm made out of brown paper, very 90s, while DJ Cloud and Saint Binary serve up some cool house cuts. Really interesting is the 'rebuild' by Haihm of Second, a harsh track that cutsup the original through digital hardcore. And I just googled the name - Haihm's a girl! She's hot! Hot girls don't make such industrial nastiness. Wow
Born in Seoul, Korea, haihm played the piano from an early age and graduated from Seoul Arts Highschool. Shortly thereafter, she studied at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria in the Klavier-Konzertfach program. Thank you last.fm. Here are some of these rmxes anyway
Added to the blogroll
you stay there, you're fine
And with the zombies down South, this is what's happening up North. Well, Beijing actually
'Pyongyang Paradise’ in Beijing Casts North Korea in Soft Focus
The Pyongyang Art Studio
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
It’s the middle of the night.
That’s my favorite part,
Keeps me under the gun...
Holy Ghost - I Will Come Back
The Juan Maclean - One Day
Wonder Girls - Headache