After a week back on a “normal” schedule, I can’t help but miss the long nights/mornings I could enjoy during that one glorious week when I would do my main sleep in the afternoon and wake up in the evening. Now I’m back to feeling too tired to do anything worthwhile in the evenings after work, without having much of a chance to get anything real done at home in the morning. I’m not sure how to get back to my vacation routine without taking a few days off so I suppose the current way will have to do for the time being.
This past week I’ve had a more visual focus than I usually do. I’ve been trying to get back in the habit of checking out recent YouTube uploads and posting all particularly interesting finds on Indieful ROK’s Facebook page. One of the biggest surprises has been Pulse‘s “메아리” from digital single Born, released on January 15th. Listening to it I can’t help but feel old–it reminds me of the kind of rock ballads I would be into in my teens or early twenties–yet there’s something about the refrain that has etched itself into my mind and days later the song still pops up to fill any otherwise silent moments.
Today, thanks to my new YouTube regimen, I finally gave ANON a proper listen. I’ve been following the band on Facebook since the release of EP A Grotesque Figure in February last year yet today was the first time I realized the band’s brilliance. ANON’s YouTube channel offers videos from last week’s gig at Club FF. Watching through them all I was reminded of early Muse and late Rainy Sun which as far as I am concerned is a very good thing. I will need to make sure to pick up a copy of the EP next time I have the chance and definitely look out for anything else they might have coming up.
I’ve also taken to watching Heart to Heart (하트투하트). I started it mostly because Tearliner is the music director and it’s so delightful to hear both old and new Tearliner songs while watching. The drama itself is also enjoyable, at least for the first couple of episodes (my Korean isn’t good enough to watch it without subtitles, so I’m a bit behind). Now I’m just hoping we won’t have to wait too long for a proper soundtrack release.
Just before Christmas Goldmund announced a tour through Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and EU in the spring. Now the first 20 dates have been announced and it looks as though the members will be plenty busy from late March till early May. 5-10 dates are still to be announced, including the EU leg of the tour set to take place between May 5th and 10th. Unfortunately with that timing I likely won’t be able to make it to any of the EU dates myself regardless of where they are, but the tour’s very first show is in Nizhny Novgorod and I would very much like to go back. Let’s see how this turns out.
And for the most exciting news of the month: Sunkyeol is back! Sunkyeol!! Sunkyeol leader Kyoungmo Kim is responsible for no less than 2 of my all-time favorite songs (“Clare” and “I’ll Write When I’m There“) and I have waited years for a new record. The first full-length album, 급진은 상대적 개념, is out this Tuesday, January 20th. It includes old demo favorites “마음을 둘 곳” and “흔들거리는 그네” in new recordings alongside 8 more titles. For the first month the album (including a download code!) is available at a special promotional price of just 5000 won.
I can barely wait to hear the full thing. And I’m so happy I can again name Sunkyeol whenever somebody asks me for my favorite bands.
A week ago I said I’d try to post the Gaon chart ranks for Korean indie songs and albums on a weekly basis, however seeing how little has changed between the 2 latest weekly charts I realized why I stopped the weekly updates to begin with. I’ll be posting weekly observations on Twitter when I do find something interesting and instead make the Gaon oriented posts on this blog a monthly feature.
Speaking of features, the KMA history series will continue for another couple of weeks. Following a look at which genres have been best represented in the general awards categories (Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, etc.) last week, this week I’m planning a post instead looking at the gender representation in the various awards categories. I have yet to go through all data in detail but have already seen that there are even less women than I had expected.