Sunday, November 04, 2007

Musical odds and ends

I noticed that Mark over at Korea Pop Wars had put up links to some old Korean videos/live performances which are well worth watching. Worth noting is the youtube user who posted them, orienkorean. Following that link to his profile will turn up hundreds of Korean indie rock videos (from bands you've probably never heard of), as well as some older pop/rock music as well. Some more older music is also linked to here (and some of it is referred to in an older post of mine here).

One video he posted was the following, by byul (not female singer). Byul is an indie pop/electronic band who are also involved in design (every cd comes with a book of photos and art). Below is apparently the only video they've done, which is for one of the two songs they contributed to the 2001 movie "Take Care of My Cat" (they also did the soundtrack for "Cat" director Jeong Jae-eun's short "The Man with the Affair" from the 2003 omnibus "If you were me"). Their new cd/magazine is out on Wednesday.

Worth noting is that a few years ago at, Darcy mentioned how he thought Wong Kar-wai's 1994 film Chungking Express did a good job of capturing what Hong Kong is like, and asked what Korean film captured what Korea was like. Take Care of My Cat was mentioned by many as being such a film, capturing as it does affluence and poverty, Seoul and Incheon, dance clubs and crumbling hovels, airports and police stations, text messages and migrant workers, and homeless and handicapped people.

3rd Line Butterfly is another good local indie band, though it's been three years since their last cd came out (which was far beyond what their other releases had hinted at). Someone once described them as 'Sonic Youth meets Sanullim", but you'd be wrong not to include the Velvet Underground as a rather large influence on the last cd. Anyways, here's the song '29, Suddenly'.

There's lots of other videos out there as well, something I've just started to notice in the last month. As for 3rd Line Butterfly, this song is pretty good too. I rather like Delispice's first cd, a song from which can be found here. 우리는 속옷도 생겼고 여자도 늘었다네 (known as the "Underwear Band" is also quite good; I set this video to their music. Oh, and I just thought of the group Gong Myeong, who I saw at the SSamzi sound festival in 2001 - a video of one of their performances can be found here. Their first cd is quite good, but their second cd rates as one of the most disappointing I've ever heard.

As for older stuff, there are a few videos of Sanullim playing live which are well worth a watch, such this one, and this as well. The second song in the first link sounded very familiar the first time I heard Sanullim's second album. It was then I realized I'd seen the guitarist play live at the cine-rock night at PiFan in Bucheon back in 2001, though I didn't know who he was at the time. Needless to say, their second album (from 1978) rocks, and I was pretty happy when a little soju bar in Apgujeong which had only lps played the entire album after I requested one song from it. Damn, I miss my vinyl collection.

For something fun (if you like Takako Minekawa and the anime Azumanga Daioh (Ajumanga Daewang in Korea)), this video (made by a fan) is pure genius. This official video is amusing as well. On the Japanese tip, off the top of my head there's also Cornelius, Salyu, Supercar, and for when you really want to piss off the neighbours, Melt Banana.

For something entirely idiotic, be sure to read this. Several hundred Superjunior fans gathered in front of SM entertainment to protest the inclusion of a new member to the group. And here I thought the protest by students against people gathering acorns in the forest (because the squirrels will starve) was dumb. Nope. These fans win the prize for the most moronic protest I've ever heard of. Also, Popseoul wonders why the hell the Wondergirl's song 'Tell Me' is so popular (do watch the video). In the past two weeks I've had numerous students either sing the song, write the lyrics in their notebooks, or ask me "What does 'tell me' mean?" ("Tell me why you want to know" would be a good answer). It is undeniably catchy, but I'm left needing something to drown it out. How about going back to it's source? Kraftwerk's Trans-Europe Express, Suicide's Ghost Rider, or, especially, Donna Summer's I Feel Love (all from 1977-78 - unless you want to go back to the Silver Apples in 1968).

Anyways, I just discovered this documentary on Nick Drake, so it's probably best to end this now.


Rhesus said...

Thanks for this post!

I'd been looking now and then for a Korean band that sounded something like Supercar (post Futurama) - byul seems to be the closest so far, though I wonder if the song in that video is representative.

I can't believe I wrote that. I may as well ask now if you or anyone you know has/has seen Samchung Kyoyukdae's second album.

Uh, anyway, props for the Silver Apples ref.

Leppänen said...

Great post! Wish I only had time to wast looking at those... My close to unrelated contribution to this post:
Sielun Veljet performs "Ikävä" in Moscow in 1987.
Peer Günt performs "Back Seat" in a concert in 1986.
What is common to these acts (besides being Finnish rock bands) and why are they in a Korea blog? They both performed in Pyongyang in the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students in 1989. Talk about last acts you'd expect to do a gig in DPRK.

matt said...

rhesus - byul is generally pretty laid back, and far more vague than Supercar (I really like Highvision, but not Answer, btw). Their sound ranges from indie pop to post rock to aphex twin-like electronic pieces to acoustic songs to stuff that sounds like early Verve. 2002's '20th century of you and me" and this year's "To forget" are both consistently good - the two albums in between are more uneven. Most of their stuff is difficult to find ( has some).

I've never seen Samchung Kyoyukdae's second album. Sorry.

Antti - wow, I know very little about that festival, and certainly had no idea foreign performers played there. Now I'm curious to learn more about it. I do have a copy of Andrzej Fidyk's Defilada (The Parade, 1989); I wonder if it was made at that time due to the festival?

Anonymous said...

Tell me that Wondergirl's TELL ME isn't 80% Stacey Q's TWO OF HEARTS.

As for Byul, his soundrack for TAKE CARE OF MY CAT was probably his musical high point (I say "he", although he insists Byul is a band). His website has a lot of other good songs, but it takes some persistance to go through all the songs and separate the good from the bad. And his concerts really skew toward the somnulent.

john said...

Hey Matt, it's orienkorean. Am i right to assume that this is the same Matt from FSS? :)

Anyway, i followed the link to your blog from the Byul video that i was watching earlier. If you want to see more old Korean videos, check out Word of caution though... He seems to be one of those highly nationalistic types, which is apparent in his writing. I can't keep up with him in the oldies dept. since my commitments are not just focused on the old stuff. But, if you want to sort through what i have to find the old videos, the key words to put in the video's search box are "classic", "retro", and "oldies".

I'm going to put up some live vids for 3rd Line Butterfly in the next couple of days, so look out for that. I might put up some live ones for Byul too (i put them up on FSS once, so i think you might have them already)

apologies, if this is a duplicate post. my comment didn't show up