Friday, May 20, 2011

(((10))) in Jeonju at Radiostar

Fun fact: Korea does have an experimental music scene. Small, yes, but it's there for you to dig around for. (((10))) (formerly just plain 10), are one of the players in the scene. They're made up of a Korean girl, and a Japanese dude, but for some reason have set up shop in Seoul instead of some place in Japan where they are bound to have a bigger following. And actually, they do have a following IN Seoul. And maybe Busan and Daegu, but on May 13, 2011, they played in the city of Jeonju in the North Jeolla province (전라북도) to a packed crowd of....8. Maybe. So, maybe Jeolla-do isn't ready for their experimental/electronic/psych/noise scene. But, who knows? Maybe next time they play, there will be 15! You never know. However, my Korean friend that I went with said this: "This isn't music to me." And there you have it. Open and shut case for some. But (((10))), whose new name looks an awful like like Sunn O))), but actually doesn't sound like them, gave it a good go. Honestly, I haven't been listening to much music like this lately, so I can't say I'm gonna be listening to their stuff for a while (I bought two cds), but it's great that this kind of music exists over here, AND I made a video of one of their songs and threw it up on youtube, so enjoy it. It's pretty funny, and I was laughing during the song. You'll find out why when you watch it. One more thing, these guys play in Europe fairly often, and they have, like, 4 records, so check 'em out of you dare. Here's the video:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Korean Travels and Class Reunions

Well, I'm behind on my postings. Unlike my fellow Hardworlders who have given up the fight, and apparently are never posting again. Well, I can't force 'em. Anyway, Sports Day is tomorrow at my school so I decided to fill up on Chinese Beer and do a post that is long overdue. The beer I be drankin' is Harbin and Hatepi which is made by the Harbin Beer People. Harbin is a city, too, and I've been there before. It's a cold ass city in the northeast of China. It's cold. Yes....Cold. Very cold. Did I mention that it's cold? Yes. So, here we go with photos and werdz:

Okay, so me and my Korean friend named Kim Man hwan went on a trip a couple of months ago to the magikal Gyeongsang province (경상도) for his class reunion. Man hwan is older than me, so I call him my hyungnim (형님) which means older brother in Korean. Man hwan doesn't know anything about black metal or worshipping the devil or chopped & screwed or any of that. Which is okay by me. However, he is from gyeongsang province which is interesting in and of itself. He's from a town near Andong, which is famous for their soju (which tastes like a combination of tequila and sake) and a few dishes and intellectuals. Despite the fact that Korea is such a small ass place, there are tons of interesting little things in each area you go into. I won't get into the dynamics of a small, but interesting, town like Andong for this post because I want to tell you about the trip, BUT, check it out on your own on the internet....or visit the goddamn place, asshole. Why do I gotta tell you everything!

So, we missed a lot of stuff on this trip cuz we woke up late, but we saw this which was amazing:

And we ate this not long after seeing that:
That stuff above is called chilk guksu (칡국수) which, according to my cellphone, is arrowroot. I don't know, either, but it was kinda tasty. My friend wasn't a huge fan of it, though. Anyway, chilk is formed into noodles, and then the broth is spicy, peppery, but light also. Similar to kalguksu (갈국수), but spicy, and no shellfish. Not the best stuff in the world, but it's not that common in any old place in Korea, so I'm glad I gave it a go. It could be a specialty in this part of Korea....maybe. Anyhoo....

These next few pics are from his class reunion. There was a hot 50 year old that I was kinda all about, but, c'est la vie, it wasn't to be. Basically, my friend comes from a small small ass town, and they combined the reunion with other classes, and then they would compete with each other in games on the ground as you see. The thing is, over here, they have a couple of class reunions every year, and this is the sports one. So, we drank (under class tents), I attempted some very bad Korean, I ate some kimchi, and pigs feet, and drank beer, and sat around, and tried to pick up old bitches, which is my habit. OMG! And here's some old school toilets which you rarely find in Korea. The things were IN the ground. I don't know how they clean 'em, but they were in the back of the school. Like I said, he goes to a small small ass town. I mean, like, maybe 1000 in the whole town, and that's a liberal estimate.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Moss (이끼) - 2010

Another decent thriller/mystery from last year. This time it involves a dude (played by Park Hae-il who was in The Host) who goes to a small town to bury his father. However, there's some strange circumstances surrounding his father's death, and soon our hero discovers that there's some conspiracy to cover up the cause of the father's death. The leader of the conspiracy has apparently taken control of the whole goddamn town, and the townspeople pretty much grovel at his feet. This director, Kang Woo-suk, is a huge box office draw over here. He's responsible for one of the highest grossing films ever in Korea (Silmido), and also one of the worst movies I've ever seen over here (Hanbando), which I think was a box office failure, as it should have been. This time he has scaled back a bit, and, for the most part, it works in his favor. The problem with most of his movies is the running time, and Moss is no exception. At 2 hours and 40 minutes, probably about 30 minutes could have easily been shaved off if not more. It's still a good movie, and I recommend it. For the most part, it's a straight story, and not too convoluted like some Korean mysteries can be. There's also some great acting, and for the most part, the characters don't seem to lose control and slaughter everything like in The Man From Nowhere. Catharsis is great, but, it's good to see some characters with some self control. It also builds up fairly nicely. Anyway, a good comeback for this director after that shithole called Hanbando exploded all over his face. (Incidentally, Hanbando means Korean peninsula, and by saying Hanbando blew up in his face, I meant only the movie, and definitely not Korea, so....)