Sunday, April 15, 2012

Michael Jackson is missing

Hey hey, I just saw this poster on the way home and thought it was kind of sweet that they named the rabbit Michael Jackson because it had one white paw/glove.

Anyhow, I have been absent from blogging of late mainly because I went to Korea for work and unlike a lot of business trips I've seen, I actually worked my arse off with little downtime. I had one afternoon where I got to go record shopping. There is word out there that there is good vinyl shopping in Seoul but I only managed to get to two shops. The first one, Purple Record, had an eclectic mixture of Western and Korean records. I didn't venture too far into the Korean stuff because I have no knowledge of it and while I've heard that there is some interesting indie and punk coming out of the country, I erred on the side of caution. The second hand section had a shit load of hair metal and a shit load of funk. While I sighed with nostalgia at the Gary Moore records I wasn't in the mood to buy that stuff but while I was tempted to buy some funk stuff, the records I wanted (Maggot Brain, Mothership Connection etc) were a little too scratched for my liking. I did buy some new Western records because they were cheap (Stones Beggars Banquet, Explosion in the Sky, Jonsi and Alex etc) but it wasn't as stellar as I'd read about. The second store I went to was part of a book store and the selection was pretty dire. I will return one day though and have a full itinerary of records stores to go to, I just didn't have time this visit.

Aside from that, I got to listen to a shitload of K-pop. It is everywhere as you'd expect although I didn't expect the taxi from the airport to have a dvd playing the latest K-pop hits as soon as we set out (I also don't expect taxis to have wifi but I can live with that). It made me appreciate it a bit more and I have been writing something about it, pretty much that it's good pop music but the hysterical hipster championing of it is slightly creepy. Anyhow, maybe I'll finish that some time.

Oh and thanks to Matt for putting me onto the Coachella live stream, I pretty much missed everything I want to see but there are whole concert replays of Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys and Explosions on youtube at the moment. I caught Justice this afternoon though but I'm not really sure how I feel about that. I also missed Refused but surely an Australian tour is in the pipeline... surely...



  1. Glad to assist. Hope Korea was better than the missile tests would indicate....
    I find the western appreciation of K pop to be somewhat baffling- I think of K pop as like my Kia. I bought it because it was extremely cheap, and I'm a cheap bastard when it comes to a commuter car, but I'm under no illusions- the design is just a knockoff of far better Japanese designs. Likewise, K Pop seems like a quick and dirty approximation of J pop, and therefore, only appealing to the undiscerning...

  2. Yeah, some of the Coachella stuff was great but I regret watching the At the drive in concert which is floating around youtube. I saw them years ago but at Coachella they seemed a pale imitation of their former selves. On Korea, I was there for the rocket launch but the only people who seemed to care was the tourists. My Korean colleague sighed loudly when I asked her about it prior to the launch and merely said "if anything happens, grab a bottle of water, some toilet paper and head to the nearest underground subway and wait for 24 hours," Sounds better than duck and cover...

    However, on the Kpop thing, I'm always a little fascinated when non-English speaking bands make a splash in our mainstream. I always remember being weirded out by 99 luft balloons as a kid - it sounded familiar but totally alien (I probably draw the line at the Macarena). I love that juxtaposition of the known and unknown but yes, there is nothing original about it at all. On the whole, its current popularity amongst hipsters seems to serve some creepy Asian fetishism. I'm sure the boys at Stereogum would never listen to a local equivalent ie an Australian or US song that sounds similar but not sung by a cute Asian girl in a short skirt.