So, Christmas is coming up again and just like in previous years I failed to get any sort of advent calendar style countdown going. Not that I’m really the Christmas-y type. It’s just that I’ve had this idea that I think would appeal both to those that are and those that don’t care at all saved in drafts since 2010 yet somehow I always fail to execute on it. Which perhaps is even less of a surprise this year as my activity the last month has been pretty much non-existent.
There’s no doubt I was a better blogger when I was unhappier either with my (former) boyfriend or job. Now I have the luxury “problem” of enjoying my job a little bit too much and actually wanting to spend time with my husband when possible. I tried to have vacation a couple of days last week so I could catch Jambinai live in Copenhagen. I booked the train thinking I’d get something like 10h total for sleep and blogging, but ended up working pretty much the whole way there and home since there’s just so much fun to have right now. Not cool. Good thing is the holidays are almost here, and though I did sort of promise to work a bit (with not so fun things) during the actual holidays I will try very hard to actually have vacation (and blog!) the days in between.
As far as Korean music goes, I haven’t really been listening as much as I should’ve lately. This is one reason why the 2014 December edition of the Music Alliance Pact didn’t have a Korean entry, even though it should’ve marked the 6 year anniversary of Korean participation.
Instead of music, to the extent that my listening has had something of a Korean theme, I’ve mostly been listening to podcasts. Typically I never do, but then a friend started the sort of kpop gossipy/Korea-life podcast Anonymous Said and now I’m waiting eagerly to hear the next episode every weekend.
Another podcast that I did use to listen to and that made something of a surprise return a few days ago is Dave Candler‘s Korean Homesick Blues. The latest episode features Big Baby Driver and Say Sue Me among others.
Not quite a podcast, but rather an audio documentary that I found interesting is Shin Joong Hyun, The Heart and Soul Of Modern Korean Music from tbs eFM. It is produced by the same guy that started Indie Afternoon on the same radio channel and has guitarist Kim Sehwang doing the narration. Although I have some issues with listening to Kim Sehwang talking (as opposed to playing the guitar), the documentary itself was largely enjoyable and of course came with excellent music. I was already familiar with most of Shin Joong Hyun‘s history, but the interview snippets were still interesting and I found it particularly nice to hear Sato Yukie and Mark Russell offer their views.
But I have actually done a limited amount of dedicated listening also to Korean music. I was lucky enough to get a chance to hear Atmo‘s 2014 demo and I’m very much approving of it. Being a demo there is for sure more to be done on the production side, but the songs are strong and I particularly enjoy the jellyboy feeling on “U” and “Mind”. I’d been curious about Atmo since Kim Daeinn first told me about his new band and was really hoping that the band’s first gig in October would result in some YouTube videos, but with 2 more gigs coming up on December 26th and 28th respectively I will instead hope that one of Hongdae’s very good fan camera operators attend then.
I’m thinking I should write a full post on Jambinai in Copenhagen but want to post some news right away. During the show Lee Ilwoo shared that a new album from Jambinai should be released in March. Personally I’m very, very excited about that and have no doubt that it will be one of the best releases of 2015. Meanwhile I’d encourage you to pick up the vinyl edition of Jambinai’s first album Différance as all songs have gone through complete re-mixing and mastering. The new version of “Connection” will be possible to hear also in the music video that should be released before the end of this month. I was privileged enough to get a preview before the show and though CGI was yet to be added I’m certain that it will be a very beautiful video.
Also Kirin had some vinyl coming out this month. His second full-length 사랑과 행복 was released on CD on December 2nd and comes accompanied by a 7″ color vinyl printed in Japan, limited to 450 copies. I’ve been fond of his 90’s k-pop retro sound since I first heard him (and saw the videos) and continue to enjoy his hip-hop revival so will buy this for sure. “너의 곁에” and “JAM” that were released as digital singles earlier in the year can both be found on the album alongside a bunch of new tracks, one of which features DJ Soulscape.
Perhaps even more exciting is the new full-length album from UhUhBoo Project. Although the band has been active in recent years, playing internationally perhaps even more than in Korea, it’s been a decade since the release of single Tuna World and a full 14 years since the album prior. The album counts as UhUhBoo Project’s 4th and is called 탐정명 나그네의 기록, or The Record of a Detective Named VAGABOND, with a release date set to December 18th. The booklet provides texts in both Korean and English. From the sound of the trailer this will be mighty interesting:
With next to nothing blogged since my previous randomness post I have even more things to write than before, but I really do think that I can get to at least some of it in the weeks to come. At the very least there should be an interview or two, and minimum one year-end post. If not I might as well give this whole thing up.
For those that have wished to see a more mobile friendly version of Indieful ROK I have an announcement on the way, but the preparations have proven more complicated than I had foreseen. If you would anyway like to start using it right away, let me know and I’ll pass you the necessary information.