The last few months have been rather busy. So much in fact that it’s almost been 3 months since the last randomness post. Although what’s great about that is that I’ve finally managed to find some sort of balance between work, blogging, and life in general. Coming off my usual February KMA high I could finally indulge in my PAKK obsession beginning of March. Although I haven’t quite gotten PAKK out of my system yet, at least I’m now ready to resume blogging about other topics.
I try to refrain from public complaints, but the other day when I was placing an order with Hyang Music I took to Twitter to express some discontent over what I’ve found to be the most annoying part about Korean online orders. Lucky I did, as it lead me to the music of kimsoil. kimsoil’s self-released album 2015 from end of last year turned out to be exactly what I needed to move on with my evening in a pleasant and calm manner. Songs centered around an acoustic guitar with the occasional male voice, “inspired by Brian Wilson, Harold Budd, Messiaen & a bunch of beautiful films” according to the artist himself.
While I have yet to watch tvN drama Cheese In The Trap (치즈 인 더 트랩), I’ve been eagerly keeping track of the many OST singles that have been released while it lasted as my favorite Tearliner was the music director. His work for tvN drama Heart to Heart (하트 투 하트) last year was outstanding. This time he’s also been involving other artists and the result appears to be equally lovely. The full soundtrack was released on March 8 and contains so many strong songs I’m almost afraid to watch the drama in case it would somehow negatively affect my opinion of the songs. My favorite out of all is Tearliner’s own “이끌림 (Affection)”, sung by the drama’s lead actress Kim Go Eun.
Returning to Hyang Music, You may have heard the sad news that Korean indie music store Hyang Music shut down its offline store yesterday, March 12. Over the years I’ve bought several hundred CDs from that little shop. It’s been one of my favorite places to go whenever I’ve visited Korea. The prices were generally good and no other CD shop had the same extensive catalogue. But as Mark Russell put it, music history keeps moving on. Hyang Music is still available online, and this guide on how to place an order still works.
While Seoul is generally the place to go for a wide supply of Korean indie bands, there are other cities around Korea that also offer music scenes with a lot of history well worth exploring. Daegu’s Club HEAVY celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and is currently seeking to crowdfund a special 20th anniversary compilation. 21 local bands, including The March Kings, Dogstar, and November On Earth are expected to participate, as are Busan’s Unchained, Daejeon’s Burning Hepburn and a few bands more. With 28 days still to go, 59% of the funds have been raised. Release of the 2CD album is currently scheduled for May 2nd.
Now that IROK is updated on something akin to a regular schedule, I’m planning to keep it so. I’ll be heading out on a week-long business trip to India on Wednesday and know from experience that will mean very limited time for anything but work and sleep, but I’ve already prepared a few posts to cover my absence.
In addition to writing blog posts, I’ve also been spending a bit of time getting acquainted with Google Charts for various visualization purposes. So much fun to be had! At the moment I’m primarily looking at various ways to display statistics concerning the Korean Music Awards as well as trends based on Gaon’s music charts. I have little hope of actually turning any of that into actual blog contents before the end of this month, however, so that’s more of a teaser for things to come.