Page 1

Pentaport Rock Festival

July 2011 | Issue 57


korn Guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer opens up to Kathy Kearns about everything from Korean BBQ and dreads to dead raccoons ahead of Pentaport Rock Festival


lead singer Nic Offer of !!! (Chk chk chk)

The A re pionee r on t trosp

fest he firs ective in thival of it music Kore e Repubts size at w a and lic of a h for at’s in s look this Augutore st

Contents Groove Korea | July 2011



Pentaport Rock Festival — The Pioneer......P. 26 INTERVIEW: !!! (Chk Chk Chk).......................P. 31 INTERVIEW: Korn...........................................P. 34


Jisan Valley Rock Festival — The Offspring...P. 5 INTERVIEW: Feeder..........................................P. 8 INTERVIEW: Jang Ki-ha and the Faces............P. 10 INTERVIEW: Dear Cloud..................................P. 12 INTERVIEW: Kingston Rudieska......................P. 14

Contents Groove Korea | July 2011

P. 20 8 What’s On

P. 14

front Cover photo by:

Nando Harmsen

Korea Beat 10 Korea's Biggest Enemy 11 Doc Keeps License 12 Suicide Note Blames Judge 13 3,000 Schools Shut Since '82 Analysis 14 Greenpeace Sails into Korea 20 The Day the Music Died 22 In Search of the Culture 24 Raising Kids in Korea

P. 38

Arts & Culture 38 Salmon's Korean War Book 42 Kim Ggobbi 46 White Box Theatre 48 Juan Anthony Reyes 50 Magna Fall 51 Super Sketch 52 RocKorea Pics

back Cover courtesy of:

jisan valley rock festival

Groove with Seoulvibes 54 ROKing Out in Asia Destinations 56 Urban Rafting Food & Drink 62 Siberia Restaurant 64 Ggaenip 66 Pizza Peel 68 Monkfish 70 Pancho's

Publishers: Sean Choi and MJ Kim

Music Editor: Summer Walker

Community Editor: Rob McGovern

Editor-in-Chief: Matthew Lamers

Travel & Food Editor: Josh Foreman

Sports Editor: Alex Jensen

Creative Director: Dan Thwaits

International Editor: Adam Walsh

Chief Consultant: Michelle Farnsworth

72 Listings 75 Dear Michelle 78 Pic of the Month

Disclaimer: The articles are the sole property of Groove Korea. No reproduction is permitted without the express written consent of Groove Korea.

80 Itaewon Directory

The opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.

76 Konglish of the Month

P. 56

To contact GROOVE Korea for advertising, submissions or general comments, please email or call 010-7560-5552

81 Hongdae Directory

Issue Date: Vol. 7, Issue 6 - June 1, 2011 Registration Date: January 25, 2008 Registration No. Seoul Ra 11806

TO ADVERSTISE: email: call: 010-5348-0212 P. 62 Website: Twitter: Facebook: Groove Korea (Magazine/Group)

What’s On Monday


July 2011 Tuesday

Jisan Valley Rock Festival

Pentaport Rock Festival

July 29-31

• • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • •

“Made in Jeonju” Tour @ Rock House in Busan Atlat, S.T.M.B., Humans & More

Free appetizer with menu order @ Big Rock. 5.30-9pm. Sun-Thurs.

Gangneung Danoje Festival - July 5-6 @ Gangneung City, Gangwon Province

Sunday Brunch @ Siberia restaurant in Kyungridan. Starting at 15,000w.

All-you-can-eat rib eye @ Gogitjip in HBC. 15,000w. Best bbq in town.

2 for 1 Fish & Chips Every Tues @ Wolfhound Pub in Itaewon

Bloody Sunday Quiz - 1st Sunday @ Craftworks in Noksapyeong. 6,000 won Bloody Marys! Brunch starts at 11, Quiz at 1.

FREE Seasoned Chips with Order of San Miguel Pitcher - Tues-Sun @ NOXA lounge 5pm-1am.

Newk. Black Hole, Won @ Rolling Hall Big Rock Sunday brunch @ Big Rock in Gangnam. No Cover & 1 FREE Drink Every Sun @ Club Mass in Gangnam til midnight

Massage Mondays @ SKY Wellness Center in Itaewon. 1-hr full body massage and get FREE 20-minute FOOT massage. All Day Breakfast @ Wolfhound in Itaewon. All day, every weekday.


“Happy Hours” 8-10pm Everyday @ Big Rock in Gangnam. Fried chicken plate at 10,000w. (Up to 2 plates per table) 2 for 1 Special @ Bar Bliss in Itaewon. Everyday 7-10pm

17 Movie Night - Every Sun @ NOXA lounge. 10pm-midnight


8// / /july 2011

Korn !!! The Ting Tings Plain White T’s Neon Trees Mamas Gun Joe Brooks The Ting Tings AND MORE...

Mark Lewis @ ELLUI

Moulin Rouge - Girls in Corset @ Volume

E-You, Fin @ Volume

The Geeks, Burn My Bridges & More @ Club FF in Hongdae

Tritonal & Cristina Soto @ mASS

Huckleberry Finn Release Party @ Sangsang Madang

Richard Gere Tibet Photo Exhibition, June 14-July 24 @ Seoul Arts Center

Rainbow Festival - July 2-3 - Chuncheon, Gangwon Prov. No Reply, YB Band, 10cm, Monni, The Koxx & More

Leonard De Leonard @ mansion

RNB Thursday! @ Club Volume. Every Thur

The Playground Vol.2 @ Sound holic

College Night Every Wed @ Club Mass in Gangnam. No cover & 1 FREE drink with student ID til midnight

Men’s Nite @ Craftworks in Noksapyeong every Thurs. 1000w of our Geumgang Mtn. Dark Ale and each one of our 24 single malts. Dames welcome.


Suji’s Sky High Pastrami Sandwiches @ Suji’s in Itaewon/COEX/Bundang. Every Wedafter 5pm get an extra 3.5oz. of pastrami free for a 10.6oz sandwich

2 for 1 Happy Hour @ NOXA lounge in Kyeongnidan. 7pm-9pm Tues-Thurs.


Dalparan and Kwon Byeong Jun Project: Six Mannequin - July 14-16 @ LIG Art Hall


W Summer Escape Party @ Woo Bar

Pre-Itaewon Party Every Fri @ Siberia in Kyeongnidan. Real Russian vodka shots at 3,000won

Shooters Night Every Thur @ Gecko’s in Itaewon. Every shot 4,500 won

FREE Cheese Plate with Order of Bottle of Wine - Every Fri, Sat @ NOXA lounge. 5pm-1am

Jazz Festival Every Thur @ La Cigale Montmartre in Itaewon. 7pm



The Geeks, Endo, Ninesin, Shellback & More @ Club Spot Remnants of Fallen, Diesel Sneakers, Oathean Terror Might, Skald & More @ Sapiens 7 House Rulez @ VERA



Lady’s night @ Big Rock in Gangnam Every Sat Free beer or house cocktail

Teacher’s Night Every Fri @ Big Rock in Itaewon. 10% OFF for all English teachers.

BBQ Night Every Tues @ Roofers in Itaewon BBQ Steak + beer = 12,000 won

BBQ Night Every Tues @ Roofers in Itaewon BBQ Steak + beer = 12,000 won

Steve Aoki @ elune

Guinness Day Every Tues @ Gecko’s in Itaewon

Guinness Day Every Tues @ Gecko’s in Itaewon

Drag Bingo Night Every Fri @ Bar Bliss in Itaewon. 9pm

South Town Show Vol.3 @ THE SHAKER in Busan


23 Int’l Friends Night @ Club FF & GoGos in Hongdae. Rock Tigers live on stage

Jisan Valley Rock Festival - July 29-31 HipHop Halo vol.2 @ GoGos in Hongdae. 8pm-1am.

Gangjin Celadon Festival - July 30-Aug 7 - S. Jeolla Province

Steelheart @ AX-Korea


Daniel Portman @ mASS

Dream Dance Studio party @ Hodge Podge in Hongdae 9pm. Bellydance by Eshe, Navah (orientale troupe), Mahadevi (tribal troupe)

Cookin’ Nanta Open run.


Boryeong Mud Festival - July 16-24 @ Daecheon Beach, S. Chungcheong Province

Ahn, Hoon, Jaimo, Wise Stone, VertechX @ Volume

Wing Night Every Tues @ Beer O’clock in Sinchon. HALF price with NEW flavors.

Wing Night @ Orange Tree in Haebangchon. 10 for 3,000won


Summer Wave Festival - July 22-23 Akon, WillIAm, Drunken Tiger, 2pm, UV & More @ Caribbean Bay

Wing Night Every Tues @ Beer O’clock in Sinchon. HALF price with NEW flavors.


The 22nd Kimchibilly Night — The RockTigers, Flat Out, Super 8 Bit @ DGBD


FREE BEER with Meal Order @ Big Rock in Gangnam. 5:30pm- 8pm Everyday.


Sketch Show — On Sparrow Hills, Vidulgi Ooyoo & More @ Theater Zero

Bucket Night Every Fri @ Beer O’clock in Sinchon. 5 shots with mix in a bucket 12,000 won

Open Stage from 8pm Every Thur @ Dolce Vita in Itaewon

Wing Night @ Orange Tree in Haebangchon. 10 for 3,000won

Poker Tournament Every Wed @ Fence in Nonhyun

Leonard De Leonard @ elune

Joosuc, MC Sniper, Insane Deegie, Nuk Up Shan, Bizniz, Side B, Defconn, Illskillz, Daephal & More July 15-16 @ V-Hall

Lotus Festival July 21 -24 @ Buyeo Seodong Park, S. Chungcheong Province


Guckkasten @ AX-Korea

Pucheon International Fantastic Film Festival - July 14-24 @ Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province


Guro Indie Rock Festival - July 2-3 Pia, Crash, Monni, Goodbye Sea, Dick Punks & More

Mind-Boggling Beatbox Championship 2011 Rhyme-A-, Sool J, VinDoctrine & More @ Club FF in Hongdae

5 APPLE CIDERS for Only 25,000 Won- Every Fri @ Big Rock in Gangnam


13 Spoken Word/Stand Up Comedy, Poetry Every Wed @ Tony’s Aussie Bar & Bistro in Itaewon 8-11pm

Wing Night Every Tues @ Nashville in Itaewon. 250won/wing. 5-8pm

Santé @ ELLUI

Seoul Auto Salon @ COEX - July 7-10

Steak Dinner Every Tues @ Hollywood Grill in Itaewon. Only 13,500 won

Open Mic Every Tues @ Olde Stompers in Itaewon

Canadian Day @ Big Rock in Gangnam. July 1-3.

Quiz Night Every Wed @ Craftworks in Noksapyeong. Fun for smart people! Free coloring books for dummies

Happy Hour Every Wed @ Bar Bliss in Itaewon



Byung-ki Hwang @ LG Arts Center


Drunken Chicken Night @ Gecko’s in Itaewon


July 16-24

All-you-can-eat Pasta Nite @ Craftworks in Noksapyeong every Tues. Mix and match four different noodles and sauces!

11 R.O.K International Rock Festival @ pasha

History of Rock Every Sun @ The Bungalow in Itaewon. 8pm




Boryeong Mud Festival

Aug 5-7

Chemical Brothers Suede Arctic Monkeys Incubus Atari Teenage Riot Jimmy Eat World Asian Kung-Fu Generation The Music AND MORE...




Lady’s Night Every Saturday @ Big Rock in Gangnam. Free beer or house cocktail.


30 july 2011// / /9

Korea Beat

All stories translated by Nathan Schwartzman at — Ed.

Doc Keeps License After Sexual Assault Verdict

Japan is ROK’s Biggest Enemy: Korean Teens Almost half of all teens polled recently said that the Republic of Korea’s greatest enemy is not North Korea, but Japan. The Korea Advanced Youth Association and Teengora Media surveyed 2,500 middle and high school students at over 400 schools nationwide. The survey also found that although 63.5 percent believe that North Korea was responsible for the sinking of the Cheonan, 44.5 percent said Japan is the country’s

greatest enemy. With regards to the cause of the sinking of the Cheonan, 20.7 percent (403 students) said it was uncertain, 12 percent (235) said they didn’t know, 3.8 percent (74) blamed a submerged rock, and 63.5 percent (1,239) said it was due to an attack by North Korea. As to how the South should respond to the North’s next attack, 27.7 percent (534) advise responding diplomatically through

the framework of the Sunshine Policy, 12.8 percent (246) said they did not know, and 59.6 percent (1,149) said there should be a strong response or immediate military action. Asked about enemies, 44.5 percent chose Japan, 22.1 percent chose North Korea, 19.9 percent chose the United States, 12.8 percent chose China and 0.6 percent chose Russia.

3/4 of Uni Students Say They’re Loners Police Investigate A study has found that seven in 10 university students consider themselves to be loners. According to the job website Incruit, 74.9 percent of the 443 university students surveyed said "I am a loner." Among the activities they said they frequently performed alone were studying at the library (81.9 percent), followed by, listening to lectures (71.4 percent), eating (70.8 percent), shopping (69.9 percent), and going to a movie theater (30.4 percent). A small percentage said they drink and go to a noraebang by themselves (2.4 percent). Reasons fcited or doing these activities alone were "I can be more productive alone" (46.7 percent)l "I'm used to doing things alone and like 10// / /july 2011

it" (36.1 percent); "things are cheaper when you are alone" (8.1 percent), and "I don't have any close friends" (6.6 percent). Half of those who consider themselves loners said it didn’t bother them: 49.4 percent marked "I don't really think about it." Others marked "I think it's good to lead my own life" (39.7 percent); and "I think I have problems making friends" (10.8 percent). The remaining 25.1 percent who said they do not consider themselves loners reported different reasons. Among those who do everyday activities with a friends, those who consider themselves socialites took up the biggest group. "I think I'm the kind of person who likes close relationships and being social" was selected by 38.4 percent; "I don't really think about it" (36.3 percent).

Student Assault on Teacher

Police recently launched an investigation into the alleged assault of a high school teacher by his students in Ulsan. The Ulsan South Police Department took statements from witnesses and the assaulted teacher, who they identified as Mr. A. Police said they will interview the student who allegedly instigated the incident. After that they will refer the case to prosecutors to press charges against him. The alleged incident too place at a high school at the end of April in the Nam-gu area of Ulsan. Mr. B, a first-year male student at the school, is said to have assaulted his teacher in his classroom, inflicting injuries so severe that they required eight weeks to heal. The incident set off a debate over Korea’s worsening educational environment.

A doctor who served a sentence for sexual assault was found to have started a new practice in a different region. The Korean Medical Association suspended his membership for three years, but upon his release from prison, the doctor reopened his practice somewhere else. The current law on medical care lacks any provision to permanently revoke licenses of doctors found guilty of sexual assault. In 2007, an appeals court upheld a prison sentence for a doctor convicted of sexually assaulted his female patient while she was sedated for an endoscopy in Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam Province. There have been increasing calls to include a provision in the medical law that would revoke licenses of doctors who commit sex crimes. The medical lobby is opposing the measure as “extreme.” According to prosecutors, the number of doctors arrested for sex crimes has increased steadily from 2006 when According to prosecutors, 35 were convicted. Forty the number of doctors arwere imprisoned in 2007 rested for sex crimes has inand 48 in 2008. In February of 2008, the creased steadily from 2006 Korean Institute of Crimiwhen 35 were convicted. nology found that 50 perForty were imprisoned in cent of those found guilty 2007 and 48 in 2008. of sex crimes are repeat offenders. National Assembly Representative Gang Gi-jeong of the Democratic Party proposed a bill to revoke the license of the doctor who committed the 2007 crime and remove provisions in the law that prevent the revocation of licenses, but it was defeated because of the opposition by the medical profession. Another attempt failed last year. In January 2010, Representative Kim Chun-jin of the Democratic Party introduced a bill to amend the law on medical care to allow the revocation of licenses of doctors who commit sex crimes. Prosecutors supported the bill, saying that, “there are not only fears for the safety of patients, but also there is problem of a disconnect with other professions such as lawyers.” The influential medical lobby opposed the bill. “We sympathize with the goals of the proposal, but oppose these changes,” the Korean Hospital Association said, reasoning that revoking licenses is too extreme a punishment. “When physicians commit sex crimes while carrying out medical care, current criminal law and its punishments for sex offenders is sufficient,” said the association last January. Netizens are putting momentum behind the latest move to ban rapist doctors from practicing. july 2011// / /11

Korea Beat

Rape Victim Blames Judge in Suicide Note A 29-year-old woman committed suicide after a judge allegedly insulted her while she took a stand against her accused rapist. The woman, known as Ms. Byun, made the accusation in a suicide note. Her family plans to refer the Seoul District Court judge to the National Human Rights Commission over his conduct during the trial of the alleged rapist, known as Mr. Jin. Jin, who was released on bail at the end of April and has laid low since Byun’s suicide, was re-imprisoned after the judge revoked his bail immediately after Byun’s suicide. Prosecutors have asked for a three-year sentence for Jin. The note was released to the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper after being sent to her mother and the judge. In the six-page document, she said, “the judge insulted me when he sided with the man who raped me and pushed me to accept a settlement.” Byun also wrote: “The judge refused to believe me because he said ‘you didn’t graduate middle school and just lived as a helper in a noraebang’ … I may have come from difficult family circumstances and did not have a chance to study that much, but I am absolutely not a liar or someone who would

put blame on a stranger.” Following are excerpt from the letter: “The judge said that ‘Mr. Jin is a nice young man who works in a company’ and that I was a slut who was ruining his life to make money … I have worked so hard in my life and made a lot of money, so I don’t need money.

For his part, the judge says he wanted to question her regarding her “relationship” with the accused in order to determine his guilt or innocence. He denies insulting her or telling her she should reach a settlement. “If you can’t believe me then what are you doing in court? … Do you think if a person in a noraebang is raped then they were a temptress? “After going to court, I felt I had been stripped naked in front of someone. After I was assaulted I felt like dying so many times, but I barely decided to live … Now I think I have to die, please listen to my words.

“There is over 50 million won ($46,000) in my bank account, please use it to hire a good lawyer and do something about this,” then included the mobile phone number of the prosecutor who investigated the accused rapist. Four pages of the note were found in the Oryu-dong hotel where Ms. Byun committed suicide, and the other two were found by her family in her home and given to prosecutors. According to a TV report, the accused is a Chinese citizen of North Korean descent. The victim’s lawyer denies that she worked in a noraebang in the report. The victim committed suicide one day before she was to testify, which she said she dreaded, having already failed to appear in court twice. For his part, the judge says he wanted to question her regarding her “relationship” with the accused in order to determine his guilt or innocence. He denies insulting her or telling her she should reach a settlement. The TV report quoted the judge’s statement: “The questioning was, at the least, to determine whether there was rape or a consensual sexual relationship.”

3,000 Schools Have Been Shut Since ‘82

Over 3,000 schools have been shuttered since 1982, reflecting the country’s aging and decreasing rural population. With young people drawn to the cities, especially women, rural areas find it increasingly difficult to fill seats in classrooms. Since 1982, the number of school closures nationwide reached 3,386 in March 2010. Just over 600, or 18.4 percent, were in Gyeongsangbuk Province and 731, or 21.6 percent were in Jeollanam Province, the most among the 16 provinces and special cities nationwide. This is indicative of a net ouflow of people from those areas to Seoul. Twenty-six schools closed in Daegu.

Korea Revises List of Endangered Species The Ministry of Environment revised its list of endangered species on the Korean Peninsula, adding 59 species and removing 38 others. Five of the species taken off the list where considered to have been incorrectly included on the list for not being native to Korea, while others were removed for having been declared extinct. For example, the sea lion and large sea lion, both of which used to feed near Dokdo in the East Sea, were removed. Varieties of elk and woodpecker were found to be extinct. Twenty-four of the removals were due to sufficient numbers being found, including a certain species of prawn.

Illegal Alien Injured at Detention Center

A foreigner was seriously injured recently at the same immigration detention center where dozens of Chinese-Korean detainees died in a fire in 2007. Thirty-two-year-old Mr. C “intentionally injured himself” at the Yeosu immigration detention center in the Hwajang-dong area of Yeosu in Jeollanam Province, according to authorities. Mr. C slammed his head into the wall and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Mr. C, an illegal alien, was caught after attempting to escape and then began injuring himself, immigration authorities said. 12// / /july 2011

july 2011// / /13

Analysis Greenpeace Sails into Korea Denuclearization, Sustainable Fishing Top Agenda By Matthew Lamers

The Rainbow Warrior II sails 20 miles of the coast of Korea. On Greenpeace’s agenda when it opens it office in Seoul this summer will be addressing Korea’s nuclear industry. No other county in the world is expanding its nuclear energy capacity as fast as Korea is. Paul Hilton/Greenpeace

14// / /july 2011

When Greenpeace opens its office in Seoul by the end of the summer, the global environmental protector will have its work cut out for it. Greenpeace will start by taking aim at Korea’s industrial fishing fleet. A country with only 48 million people, Korea is among the top five countries in the world in yield from the Pacific, the others being Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and the United States. Greenpeace will be looking to get Korea on board international fishing treaties. Also on Greenpeace’s agenda will be Korea’s nuclear industry. No other county in the world is expanding its nuclear energy capacity as fast as Korea is. Twelve new reactors are scheduled to come on stream through 2021, almost doubling the country’s nuclear capacity. That puts Korea at odds with countries such as Germany and the United States. The former announced plans to scrap its nuclear energy program by 2021, while the latter hasn’t built a nuclear reactor in 15 years.

july 2011// / /15

Analysis Greenpeace East Asia Executive Director Mario Damato told Groove Korea that nuclear power is a “dead end” solution. “It has well known companies with very advanced technology operating globally that have shown themselves ready to invest in innovative initiatives. They can invest in clean technologies, such as wind power, to a much greater extent then they currently do, and stop backing the dead end that is nuclear,” Damato said. “It would be great to see them use the same force for ‘good’ that is being used for ‘evil.’” The Seoul branch will join Greenpeace’s East Asia division, which has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Taipei. In an interview, Damato talked about the challenges associated with weaning Korea off nuclear power, promoting sustainable fishing, as well as the nuclear crisis in Japan and environmental successes in China.

Sea squirts (Styela clava) are sold at the Jagalchi fish market in Busan. Greenpeace has lobbied Korea to adopt conservation and management measures for its vast fishing fleet. Paul Hilton/Greenpeace

In 2005, an activist wearing a climbing harness holds a “Stop Whale Meat Factory” placard at the site of a proposed whale research facility and meat processing plant. Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Greenpeace

Can you fill in Groove Korea’s readers on what Greenpeace has been doing in Asia?

Korea has many big industries. Korea also has a huge fishing fleet. Korea is one of the top-five fishing nations catching two-thirds of the entire catch in the Pacific - the other four being Japan, Philippines, Indonesia and the United States. We are addressing this campaign

in all these countries. They are overfishing the Pacific – not just Korea of course. Tuna, for example will be fished out in less than a decade if the current trends continue. There are many international fishing conventions that Korea hasn’t really been playing a very positive role in. The International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC) has advised the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) to keep the fishing mortality level below the 2002–2004 levels. In response to the call of scientists, the WCPFC 6 adopted conservation and management measures for Pacific bluefin tuna in 2009, although Korea decided to not join in. The WCPFC 6 then requested its Northern Committee to draft new measures in the hope of getting all countries onboard, which in turn were adopted by the WCPFC 7 in 2010. Unfortunately this once again happened without the support of Korea. Moreover, Greenpeace is concerned that the agreed language has proven completely insufficient to stop the increases in catch levels as shown in numerous occasions in the past.

Minke whale meat is sold at the Jagalchi fish market in downtown Busan. Paul Hilton/Greenpeace

Minke whale meat is sold at the Jagalchi fish market in downtown Busan. Though not commonly consumed by most Korean families, whale meat isn’t hard to find if you know where to look. Paul Hilton/Greenpeace

It is important to take this within the correct global and historical context. Greenpeace is this year 40 years old, but it has been approaching Asia seriously only over the last 10 years. In this last decade we’ve been setting up offices in India and China, which have been developing in this period with the biggest environmental impacts. There are however other relevant countries and it is also important to look at inter-regional dynamics, and that of course is where Korea comes in. Squid are boxed and off-loaded on Jeju Island. Greenpeace said Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and the United States are all overfishing the Pacific and it is in each of their best interests to adopt sustainable fishing techniques. Paul Hilton/Greenpeace

What are Greenpeace’s goals in Korea?

Octopus are lined up for sale at the Jagalchi fish market. Korea is among the top five countries in the world in yield from the Pacific, the others being Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and the United States. Greenpeace will be looking to get Korea on board international fishing treaties. Paul Hilton/Greenpeace In 2008, Greenpeace and KFEM activists displayed a huge banner across a beach in Busan while the city hosted the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Greenpeace and KFEM lobbied to slash the tuna catch in the region. Dmitri Sharomov/Greenpeace

16// / /july 2011

july 2011// / /17

Analysis How does that apply to Korea? The same can be applied to any of our campaigns. In Korea, we will launch on two of our global campaign issues, oceans and climate/energy. Korea has an aggressive nuclear industry and we will be addressing that. We hope that in this democratic society, we can find the space to present our arguments and convince people about our vision on the energy debate. Korea does have potential to go the other way. It has well known companies with very advanced technology operating globally that have shown themselves ready to invest in innovative initiatives. They can invest in clean technologies, such as wind power, to a much greater extent then they currently do, and stop backing the dead end that is nuclear. It would be great to see them use the same force for “good” that is being used for “evil.”

A Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM) activist is pictured on the Rainbow Warrior II during the Oceans Defenders tour of East Asia. Paul Hilton/Greenpeace

What conclusion can you draw and what are Greenpeace’s demands? Management of Eastern Pacific bluefin is flawed, with significant loopholes, which in the near future are likely to result in a drastic reduction of the population: These include large uncertainties about the status of the stock, insufficient understanding of changes in the fleets behavior, increased catches in the stock breeding grounds and large catches of juveniles. The high value of the species combined with decreased catches for other bluefin tuna stocks may increase market demand for the species and call for extreme precaution in the management of this stock. Greenpeace calls on all parties participating in the fishery to put in place a robust management scheme that ensures: The spawning grounds of Pacific bluefin tuna are identified and closed to fishing; catches of juvenile tunas are sharply reduced, including through the setting of a minimum landing size; effective control mechanisms are put in place which guarantee the collection of critical data to improve the stock assessment of the species, including the identification of the species spawning areas, an observer scheme, mandatory VMS requirements for vessels participating in the fishery, a catch documentation scheme, and mandatory reporting of any farming facilities; effective limits are imposed on fishing mortality on Pacific bluefin tuna so as to ensure that these rates will not increase in the future. In addition, the Japanese markets should place import bans on tuna originating from the fisheries targeting the juvenile breeding areas in Korea, Mexico and elsewhere. The policies Greenpeace bring to the table do not target artisanal fisheries, i.e. local fishing communities with small boats; it’s the industrial fishers with their factory ships we’re after. We’re not saying “stop fishing,” we’re saying we need a sustainable rate of fishing. What Korea has to target is the big industrial fishing operations. In the long term, they are driving themselves out of business.

In a broader sense, what does Greenpeace look at? Greenpeace has a number of campaigns being carried out globally. In general, our campaigns address problems at source, we look at protecting the forest rather then just the tree. So for example we don’t normally campaign for the protection of a specific animal, and we are not an animal rights group. But by protecting the forests we are naturally also protecting the habitat necessary for a multitude of animal species. 18// / /july 2011

Many Koreans take great pride in their nuclear energy capabilities. When a Korean consortium won a contract to build a nuclear reactor in the UAE, it stoked the country’s national pride. Over half of the country’s energy comes from nuclear reactors. How would Greenpeace approach denuclearizing Korea? We understand that it is very important to provide solutions. It is not enough to simply say stop. For that reason, we will assign our experts to work with Korean experts to develop an alternative energy scenario for Korea. This will show what can be done to shift Korea’s needs for energy to be sourced from alternative energy sources rather then nuclear energy, or other environmental damaging sources such as coal or oil.

Will you consider publicity stunts such as attaching banners to bridges? I imagine there will be things like that happening at some stage, but very often you don’t have to do that. We lobby the powers that be, parliamentarians etc., and when they stop listening, we are forced to go that route. That is, however, very much the method of last resort. But remember that Greenpeace is always nonviolent. Most of our work is actually unknown to the general public. We have a good number of scientists and campaigners whose job it is to check the facts and the science of the issues we work on. In fact we often work with established laboratories and scientists. There work is not in the limelight, but without that work we would never be able to highlight the issues we bring to the fore and be able to take on the arguments of rich multinationals and governments, who have their own scientists and staff.

Are President Lee Myung-bak’s eco initiatives mostly hot air, or have there been legitimate initiatives? I believe that Korea’s government is in favor of nuclear energy. Greenpeace does not believe that nuclear energy is environmentally friendly, not only due to potential accidents, but also due to the fact that there is no environmentally-safe way to deal with nuclear waste or the irradiated parts of nuclear powers stations. If the Korean government opts for alternative energy instead, that’s a good thing. We don’t support any particular party – it’s rather the policies we focus on. We try to encourage all parties in power to push forward with clean energy. We understand that both main parties are very pro-nuclear. But after Fukushima (March 11 nuclear incident) there seem to be a lot of second thoughts with nuclear. If that is so, then there is a chance that Korea can not only change its own course, but also help the rest of the world. Korea’s advanced, innovative industries should be a leading force in developing alternative energy technologies, using natural resources such as the wind and the sun.

How does Korea’s environmental track record rank among Asian countries? Well, comparisons are always tricky. It’s not like the others are

so good. If you look at Japan, they have obvious nuclear issues. If you look at China, it’s not much better, since China has some ambitious nuclear plans. What we can say about China is they put more resources into wind power than even the U.S. China today has the the highest level of installed wind power. So it is difficult to say one is better than any other overall. Some are better then others in different categories.

Ending nuclear power would necessitate an immediate replacement in power supply. Since renewable energy generation isn’t capable of filling that void as of yet, coal would mostly have to be employed, causing a massive increase in emissions, worsening global warning, causing more frequent and powerful storms. What’s the advantage of going with coal, instead of rolling the dice with nuclear? The assumption is incorrect. The assumption that alternative energy cannot take over nuclear capacity is wrong. In Germany, for example, when they announced an end to their nuclear energy program (in June 2011) they said real alternative energy is what they would pursue. Greenpeace pursues this in a technical way. We take a look at each country and propose a plan on which form of alternative energy sources would best fit them. One country will vary from another, some might have potential for wind energy, and others had better go with solar, some will have land spaces that go well with extensive windmill use, whilst another might not and should look at offshore windmills instead.

Turning our attention over to China now, what role does Greenpeace play there? What can you tell us about the "Hidden consequences" report, which examined polluted rivers there? We have an ongoing campaign on water pollution from industrial sources in China. According to the most recent report from the Chinese government, one quarter of the population has no access to clean drinking water. Seventy-five percent of its surface water is polluted; 25 percent cannot be used for anything. There’s clear damage. As they develop industry so fast with no regulations, all toxic waste is just getting dumped into rivers. You have cancer villages. People are dying and fish are going extinct. The textile industry is the fifth-largest polluter. The other major polluters are the pulp and paper industry, chemical, electric power and smelt industries. To explain how we operate, I can take the example of how we worked in Cinatang and Gurao, where there is a thriving textile industry. Greenpeace asked a third-party independent laboratory to conduct tests for five heavy metals on water and sediment samples taken from these towns. The Laboratory revealed heavy metals such as copper, cadmium, and lead in 17 of 21 samples. One sediment sample from Xintang contained cadmium at concentrations 128 times in excess of Chinese national environmental standards. This pollutant is known to be very hazardous to the environment and human health. Cadmium can cause lung disease, kidney disease and cancer. Many industries use heavy metals in their production processes, and in turn release these hazardous chemicals into the environment.

Greenpeace has been active in Japan following the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. What does your research reveal about the extent of the nuclear contamination there? Before the Rainbow Warrior came to Incheon, it was traveling just outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. We took samples of seaweed and the levels (of radiation) we found were much higher than what the government of Japan had reported.

In 2005, activists refuse to leave the site of a proposed whale research facility and meat processing plant unless plans are withdrawn. Natalie Behring-Chisholm/Greenpeace

A day after our report was released, the government raised their radioactivity levels. So you see, we can make a difference.

What has been Greenpeace’s biggest achievement in Asia? Probably, it is that of establishing operations in mainland China. China is a country with one of the biggest environmental footprints in the world today. So it’s very important to become effective there. It is of course also very complicated to operate in mainland China due to the fact that non-governmental activity is quite strictly controlled. Over the last decade, we have managed to influence China on a number of issues. Amongst these, I can mention a campaign that brought out the realities of coal ash in China. Something which attracted some 9 million Chinese to view our specialized website on the issue. This in turn brought about the attention of the Chinese authorities on dealing with the realities of the matter, and taking measures on coal power stations. We have also been very effective on GE (genetically engineered) rice in China, and managed to bring about a change in government, and supermarket policies on this issue. We have also been very successful with the water pollution campaign, as indicated above. So yes, definitely our work in China is quiet a success story in very difficult circumstances.

What has been the biggest failure? Well, difficult to talk about failures. I would however say that our work on the whaling campaign in Japan has not been so successful so far. We have been successful on whaling, globally speaking, but (not really in) Japan. I admit that this is possibly due to the fact that we started this campaign long ago when the organization had not yet developed more sophisticated methods to deal with campaign issues more in line with local realities. This might have created a bad dynamic between us and the Japanese public, which is now rather difficult to overcome.

Is there anything you want to add? I would conclude by saying that Greenpeace is only one player. There are many other players that are important in improving things -- the government, the general public, the industrial and labor organizations. These and many others actually play a bigger role than Greenpeace. What we are good at sometimes doing is to light the match that ignites positive change. If we manage to help in that way in Korea, as well, I will be very happy.

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The Day the Music Died By Austin Kaufmann

The tragic deaths of rock and roll legends Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and “The Big Bopper” J.P. Richadson moved singer-songwriter Don McLean to write his famous song “American Pie.” And while that fateful plane crash on a shivery February day dealt a blow to the rock and roll world, it wasn’t a fatal one. No, the vibrant movement that was late 1950s rock and roll was a rolling stone just gaining momentum. illustrations by matt ferguson (

The day to which I refer, the day music died, occurred not in our history, but in a hypothetical, dystopian universe, if you will. In this alternate reality the music really did die – in fact, it was systematically slaughtered. What, you ask, could so completely destroy rock and roll? Certainly not the death of a few stars. (The early, tragic death of rock stars has become almost a staple of the industry.) No, it took something much more devastating, more subversive than that. Imagine, then, the death of rock and roll – the day English teachers took their red editors’ Pens of Truth to the lyrics of every rock and roll song. That, my friends, was the day that music died. Take, for example, the songs of one of America’s preeminent songwriters, Bob Dylan. Once hailed by many, including Alan Ginsburg, to be the greatest American poet of the late 20th century, Bob Dylan and his songs were quick to fall under the pens of our grammarians. With complete disregard to Dylan's use of assonance, "Lay, Lady, Lay" was laid waste, for lack of an object to “lay” across that big brass bed. Likewise, not a single verse of his song “Don’t Think Twice” remained untouched, not even the opening lines: "It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe / It don’t matter anyhow." The English teachers certainly didn’t think twice and quickly eliminated Bob’s nonstandard conjugation, incorrect usage, and subject-verb disagreement, churning out instead this grammatically error-free rendition: "There is not any use in sitting and wondering why, babe./ It does not matter anyway." Now, the nonstandard language in Dylan's first verse might have caused our English teachers a little discomfort, but it paled in comparison to the horrors of the second verse: "It ain't no use in turning on your light, babe/ That light I never knowed." Seismologists on three continents actually recorded aftershocks from the violent shudders that ran up the English teachers’ well-postured spines as they came to that final word.

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Another Dylan song gave the editorial staff fits. “It Ain’t Me, Babe” was so full of problems, they hardly knowed, ahem - knew - where to start: "But it ain't me, babe,/ No, no, no, it ain't me, babe,/ It ain't me you're lookin' for, babe." It was clear that starting a sentence with the coordinating conjunction "but" would not do, that the "ain’t" had to go, and that a single "no" would suffice. Some argued for "It is not I," citing that the correct answer to the question "Who is it?" is not "It is me," but rather "It is I." Another faction called for "It is not me," on grounds that the verb demanded the accusative pronoun "me." All parties agreed that ending a sentence with the preposition “with" was preposterous, and when all was said and done, the newly edited version of Dylan’s classic read: "However, it is not I, Babe./ No, it is not I for whom you are looking." Sadly, Bob Dylan was not the only musician to have his handiwork butchered. Bands of the so-called British Invasion found themselves under attack. The editors had only to look at the names of some of them to find fault. The Fab Four quickly had their spelling mistake corrected to The Beetles. Likewise, Pete Townsend, Roger Daltrey, and company were informed that whquestion words don’t require articles, and even if they did, they would have to call themselves The Whom, depending on context. And although the Rolling Stones were commended for the grammatical correctness of their name, perhaps their biggest hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was heavily inked up. The editors did, however, have some good news for Mick Jagger. It seems that due to his logic-defying “a double negative makes a positive” grammar mistake, he actually has been able to get that sought after satisfaction all along. He just never knowed it. The author has been a professor of English at Seoul National University for two years. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Groove Korea. To comment, e-mail -- Ed.

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Analysis I went on a search for the culture to figure out how it had transplanted itself from the “Boogey down South Bronx,” to the Korean Peninsula. I wanted to see what elements of the culture I had known remain intact and which ones had been discarded. From the onset, I knew that if I wanted to find the culture, I needed to make a connection with the people it now knows, Korean hip hop artists. Before I knew it, I was meeting with Korean rapper Vasco and a dynamic duo called The Untouchables. The search began with me walking into a coffee lounge and my interviewees viewing me from under their hoodies with suspicious eyes. The five of us, including Vasco’s producer, exchanged awkward handshakes.

Vasco’s take “So what do you wanna know?” I was asked. Simply, it was this: What is the culture like in Korea? According to Vasco, contrary to popular belief, T.O.P. from the boycandy-pop group Big Bang is not a legitimate representation of the culture. From afar, the culture seems to be saturated with love songs and K-Pop cronies that detract from its live and direct nature. Korean society is a harmonious one that has Confucianism at its core. There is no room for the culture’s rebellious temperament. For record labels to capitalize, they needed to extract an attribute of the culture that is easy to digest - love. “I wanna bring it back to its roots. Sure, love is a true emotion, but there are other emotions that need to be addressed as well.” Vasco’s music has one foot in the mainstream and one foot in the underground. It’s a dichotomy he must live with in order to represent the culture and remain relevant. Vasco feels the heat from the record labels to produce certain material. On Vasco’s third LP, “Guerilla Muzik – Volume 1: The Prologue,” his topics range from capitalism, religion, the positive and negative aspects of Korean society, and more jovial things-like a staple of Korean culture - drinking. In the end, pounds were exchanged and I departed with a new sense of respect for what the culture represents in Korea, but some topics were lost in translation. I needed people that embodied the culture’s country of origin and spoke its native tongue. So I dialed up the graffiti artist known as Barnes.

Barnes’ take

illustration by matt ferguson (

In Search of the Culture By Reggie Robinson

There is a culture brewing in the underbelly of Korean society. If you go beyond the multiple boy bands, gimmicky dances and sugar sweet hooks, the culture stares you in the face, waiting to share its side of the story. The question is not where do I find the culture, but will the culture be willing to invite me in? 22// / /july 2011

The culture has a way of projecting itself to the broader society. It forces everyone to look at it as it shows us that which society tries to ignore. Graffiti is the writing on the wall that refuses to be silenced in the midst of popular culture. Our modern landscape is a collection of gray that rewards monotony and cold, autonomous lifestyles. Yet graffiti reminds us that, like its colors splashed on concrete resurrections, life is beautiful with varying possibilities. The act of defaming public property speaks to the culture’s staying power. You may erase me but I will return bolder than ever! In a mainstream culture, where a proper façade is imperative, my ideas about graffiti were heavily romanticized. I imagined wearing all black and using the cover of night to complete artwork. I assumed heavy doses of adrenaline would pump through my veins for fear of being caught in a criminal act. Barnes put things into prospective: No, we weren’t going out on some seedy guerilla mission at night through the concrete terrain of Seoul, but yes, we were committing a crime. “‘Writers’, another term for graffiti artist, have a relatively easy time writing throughout the city. We rarely if at all go on stealthy missions,” said Barnes. The awesome thing about Seoul is that there is a community of both foreigners and Korean nationals painting beautiful pieces of work. “In America if you go into a shop and ask for 60 cans of spray paint, you run the risk of being questioned. Here, the owners know what we want the paint for, but never question us.” In fact, even some of the youth of Korea are starting to write and have created their own voice, unique to Korean society. “It’s dope to see a fifteen year old Korean kid treading along with her backpack full of paint and her cap right above her eyes,” Barnes added. Although it may be a bit of a reach to affirm that painting is a road

to strengthened diplomatic ties with Korea, on a micro scale, the affirmation holds some truth. Some pieces are painted by both Korean nationals and foreigners, which leads to a better understanding of the others’ respective culture by the expressions painted.

The culture in dance The culture paints life with vivacity, but it also has dance moves. Watching the culture dance is like watching the Big Bang (the scientific occurrence, not the group) and the formation of the universe. The culture seems to explode and create dazzling displays of galaxies violently hurling towards one another. The galaxies then merge to form a new galaxy. When the culture dances, it sometimes is a perfect display of the cliché “organized chaos.” Six days a week “organized chaos” can be observed at Ehwa 100th Memorial Hall (Tuesday-Friday: 8 p.m./Saturday-Sunday: 3pm & 7 p.m.) at Seodaemun. It’s a venue that looks more like an Ivy League campus than an event fit for a B-Boy show. Expat artist Black Ilumin performs as the vocalist with the B-Boy group Gorilla Crew. The crew is featured in Black Ilumin’s video Gasoline, but is known for their stage play “How a Ballerina Fell in Love with a B-Boy.” Their current show “Return to Street” is about a guy who struggles to live his dream of becoming a B-Boy while working a 9-5 job. The show features breaking, popping, locking, and nu-school hip-hop. They also add an element of martial arts called tricking: a new way the culture represents itself. Expressions of the culture can be seen through graffiti and break dancing but its voice is what makes it so intriguing. The culture dresses its voice to fit the occasion. It can be as casual as talking to a childhood friend or dressed in a tuxedo. The culture can also be vulnerable, dressed in nothing at all, vying for your attention. (Do you think that it is more this way when it’s beginning to rediscover itself somewhere new?) However the culture is clad, it speaks not to be an audible annoyance but to be heard.

The culture in Itaewon Every second Saturday of the month at Rocky Mountain Tavern in Itaewon, Adrian Caballero and Adam Palmeter host Iron Mic. The name can be a little misleading because it gives the illusion that two MCs are going to engage in a verbal altercation (battle rap). Battle rapping is far from the theme, but the show effectively combines freestyles, hip-hop, jazz, funk and rock music. According to Caballero, if a harmonica sounds good coupled with the other live instruments, so be it. Before making the trip from Queens, Caballero knew that he wanted to be involved with music in Korea. It wasn’t because he thought there was a void in the scene, but because he had passion for the culture. For him it was therapeutic. On May 14, Iron Mic held a fundraiser at RMT, for the Angel House Orphanage. “It was big for us! Not only did we raise money for Angel House, but we had a packed house full of new faces as well as the regulars,” said Caballero and Palmeter. The genius thing about this particular show was how they incorporated rhyming about individuals who came up to donate funds. Through Iron Mic, the culture brings awareness to the forefront about serious topics. Like Public Enemy or KRS 1, the culture brings us the news.

Pinncle TheHustler’s take The Culture can obviously speak for itself, but it also needs representatives. In Korea, few have represented the culture with such high standards as Pinncle TheHustler. He has been likened to Jay-Z musically, but the comparison also holds true when you look at the how he promotes the culture. People of color can find it difficult to become acclimated into Korean society because of prejudices. Seeing him on Korean TV is almost as euphoric and surreal as watching a black man become president of the free world. In some circles, the word hustler denotes a con artist involved in illegal activities, but a hustler encompasses the spirit of an underdog that works hard to obtain his perceived goals. Pinnacle is that type of hustler. He effectively exposes the culture to the masses through his radio show “Night Vibe with Pinnacle and Elliot” (seven days a week from 10 p.m. to midnight,, and his band Continued on Page 35 july 2011// / /23


The Pros and Cons of Raising your Child in Korea By Catherine Witten Boyd | photo courtesy of james and jennifer klipper

James and Jennifer Klipper returned to Korea with their daughter Zoe when she was 8 months old and have lived here ever since. Zoe turned six in March, “though she insists she’s seven. That age thing is still confusing,” said Jennifer.

“No matter how long we live here, Zoe will never be Korean, and for her that is very heart breaking,” said Jennifer. They believe, though, that Zoe’s ability to communicate in Korean, coupled with the fact that she is a social dynamo, helps her overcome these obstacles.

The Canadian family calls Daejeon, Chungcheongnam-do, home. Zoe has spent most of her life in Korea, so day-to-day issues are rare, say her parents. “She is fully bilingual, loves the food, uses chopsticks, puts the ‘V’ fingers in every photo and draws pictures of poo. We use rock-scissors-paper for most major family decisions. Thankfully, we have learned that she always starts with scissors.” For the Klippers - like most international families in Korea - the biggest challenge is the education system. They believe the efficacy of the schools and the teachers is improving, but the over-burdening of students is as bad as ever. “It’s the demands that the school places on kids that often has us up in arms,” Jennifer said. Many of the problems they face connect back to education such as hagwon, costs, learning expectations, competition and empty playgrounds. “Zoe does go to a public school, as we cannot afford the international schools and we don’t want to segregate her any more than she may be already,” said her parents. For Zoe, the biggest challenge is looking different. She feels Korean, but gets a constant stream of “Wagook sarem! Wagook sarem!” according to her parents, who, “understand that Korea is very homogenous, and a different look can be very challenging.” They say that Zoe has come home from school requesting to dye

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her hair black so she will look like her friends. “No matter how long we live here, Zoe will never be Korean, and for her that is very heart breaking,” said Jennifer. They believe, though, that Zoe’s ability to communicate in Korean, coupled with the fact that she is a social dynamo, helps her overcome these obstacles. James also has two sons from a previous marriage. The younger son, Shae, came to live in Korea for several months in 2009 when he was 15 years old. While Zoe, years younger and raised in Korea, feels at home on the peninsula, Shae found things a little more difficult. “From our experience, life is probably better for teens back home,” say the Klippers. “If you can afford the international schools, this would help with many of the teen challenges.” Shae was home schooled while living in Daejeon. James and Jennifer describe the lack of time had by high school students as being one of Shae’s biggest difficulties. “There was literally no one for him to hang out with. He enjoyed living with us, but was desperate for company his own age.” They would have loved for him to stay, but understood his need to return to Canada. The Klippers find there are lots of benefits to raising a child in Korea. The biggest being the amount of time they get to spend together as a family. Other benefits include the number and quality of playgrounds, family friendly festivals and activities, affordable restaurants and ease of both domestic and international travel. Even the negatives can be flipped to positives, with the education system providing hagwon for any interest, and a huge amount of positive attention for the beautiful blue eyed Zoe. James, Jennifer and Zoe have developed a close relationship with a Korean family who provide an emotional connection, which has helped them feel like they belong. “Your family dynamic automatically changes the moment you arrive … when you come here, it is natural to become somewhat insular. For us, and Zoe especially, this family is our family.”

july 2011// / /25

l a v i t s e F k c o R t r o p a t n Pe r e e n o i The P usic festivals m of ge ta or sh no is Today there it comes to the bign he w , er ev ow H . ea ly in Kor ck music festival, yonRock ro st be e th d an st ge mind – Jisan Valle two names come toport Rock Festival. Festival and Penta

By Kathy Kearns

t music festival Pentapor t was the firs of Korea, datblic pu Re of its size in the t time, the festival ing back to 1999. At tha tival and the imfes was called the Triport led to include edu sch s wa pressive lineup t ins the Machine, Deep Purple, Rage Aga digy and more. Pro Dream Theater, The ekend was struck Unfor tunately, the we g damage to the by torrential rain, causin to be cancelled w sho tire stage and the en after the first day. just raining and “I remember it was d never been so ha I g. nin raining and rai before that. It was sopping wet in the rain ring two days,” redu more than 350 mm general manager calls Lee Yong-suk, the t. “I remember en of Yescom Enter tainm on Deep Purter wa of there were drops nta’ got its inspiple’s drum set. I think ‘Na . Lee ses ration from that,” tea d the finanan he, rop ast cat Due to this organizers, the to cial burden it caused

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july 2011// / /27

Pentaport August 5-7



a second attempt didn’t come along until much later. It wasn’t until 2006 that the first festival was announced under the Pentaport name, with acts including The Black-Eyed Peas, Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. The festival was co-produced by Yellow 9 entertainment and Yescom Entertainment, two top Korean promoters. At the time of this announcement, there was nothing else here like it, so there was a genuine excitement and buzz in the air upon hearing the news. Back then, pickings were slim for music fans and typically they had to take what they could get. “Before Pentaport, it was sort of a big deal if Toto came around,” jokes PR Consultant and nine-year Seoul resident Niels Footman. Up until that point, there were no festivals, just one-off concerts at over 100,000 won per ticket. Suddenly Pentaport came around and changed the game entirely. “People were very excited. Now they could see a number of great bands in one weekend, and there was camping, too,” recalls Summer Walker,

Groove Korea’s music editor. Pentaport was essentially responsible for introducing Koreans to music festivals, so with that came a bit of education. What was a music festival? Early promotional materials actually explained what a festival was and what attendees could expect in terms of music, camping, food and all aspects of festival life. “Most music fans at the time hadn’t really been to a festival before, apart from Koreans who had studied overseas. So I think for that reason it’s always going to hold a special place in the hearts of some people,” explains Footman. Pentaport paved the road for what was to come over the next five years, with new festivals popping up every year. Despite heavy rains and some financial losses once again, the 2006 concert was deemed a success, with over 25,000 attendees. The festival continued on over the next two years, consistently landing big international names and rapidly increasing the crowds. However, in 2009 the two promot-

ers involved - Yescom and Yellow 9 - ended up having some irresolvable differences. It is a delicate subject for anyone who has been involved with the two promoters, so no one is eager to give up the juicy details as to exactly why the falling out happened. And today it’s a bit less newsworthy than when it first happened, but generally it seems there were differences in opinion over lineups, artists, finances and matters along those lines. It was at this point that Yellow 9 left to start its own festival, which is the Jisan Valley Rock Festival we know today. The first year after the split hurt Pentaport, as now there were two major festivals vying for the same artists on the same weekend. It is no secret that typically the promoters of both festivals will try to snag bands from the nearby Fuji Rock or Summer Sonic festivals in Japan, while many of the major international acts are already on this side of the globe. After that first year, Pentaport decided to move its festival back a week in order to diminish the competition from Jisan. Since then, both festivals have managed to maintain a level of success. Jisan has become known to have a stronger international lineup than Pentaport, but Pentaport has managed to hold its own as a place to discover new music and give more underground local artists a chance to reach wider audiences. "These festivals have helped a lot of local acts not only gain exposure to local audiences, but also prep them for playing

Joe Brooks

13 Steps

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Korn !!! The Ting Tings Plain White T’s Neon Trees Mamas Gun Joe Brooks Galaxy Express The Geeks Vidulgi Ooyoo The Ting Tings Buhwal, Wonderbird Black Skirts Linus Blanket Super 8 Bit No Brain Garion Schizo Vassline Wiretap in My Ear Idiotape Hwang Boryung=Smacksoft 13 Steps Byebye Badman Boni, Eastern Sidekick Jambinai Choi Go Eun AND MORE... Tickets: 132,000 won At the gate: 88,000 won — 1 day 165,000 won — 3 days

The Ting Tings 28// / /july 2011

Neon Trees

Mamas Gun

Hwang Boryung=Smacksoft

Plain White T’s



August 5-7

August 5-7

overseas festivals, too," explains music industry veteran and President of DFSB Kollective Bernie Cho. "Over the past few years, Korean bands are regularly invited to Japanese summer festivals. And last year, directors from Canadian Music Week, SXSW, and CMJ all came out to Pentaport to check out some of Korea's best and brightest live acts." Not only have Pentaport and other subsequent music festivals helped the music scene, but they have also exposed South Koreans to new social experiences. “I think they have helped open and broaden the minds of people in South Korea,” comments JC Ahn, partner and international director of VU Entertainment, one of the companies that helps to produce Pentaport. “If you really think about it, a festival is like 10 to 20 concerts in one. It’s something more enjoyable than a regular concert. At a concert, you come in, you buy your ticket and you find your seat. At a festival you have time to walk around, shop, go buy some food, play some games and enjoy yourself with your friends. You get drunk and dance. There are so many options. I think it was a good thing that Korea actually had the chance to experience something like that.”

What to expect at this year’s festival The 2011 Pentaport Rock Festival will take place on Aug. 5, 6 and 7 at Dreamfield Park in Incheon. The festival lineup has been announced in multiple parts, with the first consisting of a mixed bag of international performers. Acts will range from the intense rock of headliners Korn, to the funky disco beats of !!! (Chk Chk Chk), to British pop duo The Ting Tings, to the pop rock of Plain White T’s. Korean performances are scheduled to include longtime punk act No Brain, the electronic trio Idiotape, up-and-coming rockers Galaxy Express and many others. This year’s festival will also be different from past Pentaport festivals in that Friday will be a special night devoted mainly to hip-hop acts, while Saturday and Sunday will focus more on rock and electronic acts. Friday’s Toyota-sponsored event, called Su-

perTraxx, is intended to reinforce support for world athletics by celebrating and pumping up the athletes who are preparing for the upcoming World Championships Daegu 2011. SuperTraxx will showcase performances by Grammy Award nominated artist B.o.B, Korean Music Award winners Drunken Tiger & T Yoonmirae, Taeyang, and Miss A, as well as K-Pop chart-toppers G-Dragon & T.O.P. As for food and drinks, festival prices have been to known to be quite reasonable in the past, with costs about the same as you’d find anywhere else outside of the festival. And, as with most music festivals, you can expect crafty, bohemian vendors and maybe even a fun surprise here and there - like a pool with a slide, which made an appearance at a past Pentaport festival. “Pentaport does not take place in a refined location, so it is more wild and passionate. However, wildness and passion are the essence of youth, so we expect our fans to embrace this and come with an open mind. But don’t worry, the venue will be very comfortable and we are working on providing many places for downtime,” says Lee. For tickets, the full lineup and the latest information go to For more information on Friday’s SuperTraxx stage, go to


!!! (Chk Chk Chk)

Still In Search of That Undeniable Groove By Kathy Kearns | photos by lane coder

Upon first listen to any !!! track, it’s clear that they have many different musical influences. Their sound has been described as disco punk, indie dance-rock, funky electronic and more. If you are not familiar with !!!, you should get your hands on their breakthrough record, “Louden Up Now” (2004), working your way to “Myth Takes” (2007) and then the most recent, “Strange Weather, Isn’t It?” (2010). It’s a musical journey that any music fan should explore. 30// / /july 2011

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Pentaport August 5-7

We’re always trying to find new ways to write, so each time we make a record we’re making up a new way to write it. With our earlier records we were definitely always jamming and collaborating together in a room. Now that we all live in separate cities, we have to do it any way we can. So we kind of just meet up with whatever formation of the group is together, if there’s a couple of us, or three or four of us. It might be something that somebody wrote and the rest of us jam on it. So with this last record, we experimented with a few different ways we could work.

Where do you find inspiration for new material?

The band is also known for putting on an amazing live performance, so this is one act you do not want to miss at Pentaport. It is hard to take your eyes off of lead singer Nic Offer once he gets started with his hipshimmying dance moves that are somehow both nerdy and sexy at the same time. Groove Korea had the chance to chat with Nic about the band’s upcoming trip to Seoul and the band’s musical inspirations. You guys are just finishing up a North American tour including gigs at SXSW, Coachella, Sasquatch and Bonnaroo. What was your favorite part of this tour so far and why? You know I had a really good time at SXSW. Everyone says that it’s kind of just a shitty music industry festival, but I thought it was fun. I actually saw some really amazing bands. We generally have a good time wherever we go. And this year we’ve been playing our new songs, so everything has been fun.

Have you ever been to South Korea before? If so, what was that experience like? No, never been. We’re excited to play somewhere we’ve never played before, so everyone is looking forward to making the trip.

The band is known for its great live performances and you are known for your dance moves. Where did you learn those moves and were you always so comfortable on stage? I kind of just made up most of my moves. Although when I was 10 years old, I did take a break dancing class for a few weeks, which I thought was actually good. I mean, I don’t do anything up there that looks like 32// / /july 2011

break dancing, but it helps you think about it in a weird way. I think it is a really good idea for kids to have these classes. Then just recently I did go to a choreographer to have her help me think about it differently again. But pretty much everything is just me doing what I’m doing, you know? I’m just trying to do anything to have a good time. As much as I try out stuff off of the stage, all of that just goes out the window when I’m on stage. It’s very kind of natural. I’ve always been comfortable on stage. Even as a kid, I was doing air guitar at the talent show. I was having a blast already.

So it sounds like you were meant to be a performer? I think so. I even remember in school there were days when the teacher would announce a book report and she would say it was oral. The whole class would be groaning and I would be like, “Sweet!” because now I don’t have to do anything. All I had to do was read the book and just go up there and talk about it and I’d get an A. So that’s always been the easiest thing for me.

In August your latest album “Strange Weather, Isn’t It?” was released. Currently, the band doesn’t all live in the same city, so did that make the writing and recording process different from previous albums?

I mean, we’re always excited about new music. We’re still searching for new sounds and to discover something new from music. Music is still my greatest inspiration. I’m still a fan. That’s what always blows me away, is that I’m still just as in love with it as ever. But in order to write lyrics, I usually have to be reading something. That’s inspiring too.

Are there any particular bands you are into right now, whether new or old?

reggae at some bar. That will be fine for me.

I’m trying to think of what I’m listening to this week. I really like the new Dodo’s album. I think it’s really good. I like Ramadanman. Mostly I’ve been listening to techno-ey dance music lately, so it’s been more like listening to singles instead of albums.

!!! formed back in 1996. Generally speaking, how do you think you have grown and changed since then?

What do you enjoy most about being a musician and why? Really just playing music itself. When I think of all of my other interests - whether it’s books or film or art or whatever - I love all of those things, but my obsession with them just comes so far behind music. When we’re in the jam room and we’re first beginning to groove and it’s taking off, I think that’s one of the most exciting feelings in the world. And when we’re on stage playing music, the sounds that come out of us, whether they are good or not, they sound good to me. That’s just the really exciting part to me.

Could you ever imagine doing anything else? If so, what would it be? "Well that’s the thing, I mean I can’t do it forever, so I do need to figure out something else and I can’t fucking figure out what that would be (laughs).

But why do you say you can’t do this forever? I mean, you could potentially. No? Ehhh, not a lot of musicians make good records when they are older. It is possible, but when you look through your own record collection, the average age is… well, younger than I am (laughs). But whatever, I always do it just to have fun and I’ll always do it in some sense, even if it’s just with some guys playing

We’ve changed in so many ways, it’s actually easier to say how we’re the same. The way that we’re the same is that we’re constantly in search of that undeniable groove that will make everyone dance and we still just

want to have a really good time together. We’re still just really great friends.

Is there a new album or project in the works? Yeah, we’re working on the new record. I don’t know what to say is different, but it definitely is different. There’s a new fire in the band. We’re just really excited to find something new and keep going. We’ll be playing some of the new songs in Seoul for sure.

Continued from Page 25 Pinnacle and The Antidote. His album “The North Korea LP” is tentatively slated to be released in August. I got a chance to hear a few records off the album, after which he responded: “I’ll kill you if this leaks.” I’d like to think he was serious. What was weird about the whole ordeal was he asked me to critique the records, showing me that he sincerely cares about the quality of his music. “How do I wish to represent the culture? By destroying negative stereotypes perceived in Korean society about black males and kicking anyone in the face for using the N-Word. I love the culture and when you love something or someone you put that which you love before yourself,” he told me. The culture would be proud of his “tend and defend” like attitude. Pinnacle loves the culture so much that he launched a life-style website,, in order to connect people with what the culture has to offer.

The full Monty Thus far I had captured glimpses of the culture and I wanted to see the full Monty. I needed to see the culture’s many personalities embodied in a singular event. The culmination needed to feel less like an event and more like heaven for all those who have diligently searched for the culture. So, I decided to take a pilgrimage to Mecca, or its government name, World DJ Festival. If you can develop selective amnesia and disregard being patted down in a country with relatively no crime, DJ Fest is truly nirvana. Gor-

geous girls, a parading silent disco, cheap food (I suppose money is useless in nirvana) and libations that cause you to forget your name! While the celebrations were off the Richter, the DJs spinning the culture’s gospel made the ordeal seem like a religious experience. The DJs were, in effect, the culture’s prophets, preaching through electronic, drum and bass, dub step and house. In my mind a question hummed on like the constant noise of the universe. Where was the origin of all the different genres of the culture? Where was hip-hop? Tucked away from the other stages was the hiphop tent. The culture’s very being was damn near hidden, and when I found it, hardly a soul was keeping it company. Had Korea never seen the culture’s heart? Looking at the hip-hop tent was like watching a loved one fighting for every breath. I expected to see the culture standing triumphant and instead there stood bewildered bystanders. Korea had no love for the culture. That is, until nightfall! The culture has a way of putting people off and drawing them back in at just the right moment. Like when you’ve been away from home too long and you’re greeted by the smooth, swaying embrace of a loved one. Except sometimes this loved one has a hundred people there to party with you and share your joy. The culture was more than triumphant, it was packed to the brim with faithful followers yelling sweet jubilations as the MCs and DJs rhymed and spun the audience into a trance. Korea does have love for the culture. And that’s where my search ended, in the arms of the culture under the firework lit sky. july 2011// / /33

Pentaport August 5-7


Korn On Korean BBQ, Dreads and Dead Raccoons By Kathy Kearns

Korn is a band that doesn’t need much of an introduction. If you had a pulse in the mid-90s, you’ve heard the song “Freak on a Leash” and probably remember its animated MTV video, which won them a Grammy. But this band goes much deeper, beyond its breakthrough hits. Korn also has a cult-like following of diehard fans that have stayed with the band from its first album in 1994 through its 10th studio album, which is currently in the works. This is a band with staying power, which is increasingly uncommon today. Having sold over 30 million albums worldwide and playing countless sold out shows, one may expect to find Korn a little jaded at this point. Yet when Groove Korea had the chance to chat with guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer, it was surprising and refreshing how grateful and humble the band remains today.

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july 2011// / /35

Pentaport August 5-7

You are in the midst of European tour. How has that been so far? Any highlights that stand out? Well we just finished doing one of the biggest festivals … I think in the world. They have it every year; it’s called Rock am Ring and Rock am Park and it’s a German festival. And that was our sixth time playing it. I mean the festival itself is run really well. The first night there was 50,000 people. Last night we played for 70,000 people. Germany loves Korn. It’s just a great festival.

Do you have a favorite city to play in? A favorite city? It’s too hard to pick one, but my favorite city in the world is probably New York City. I actually owned a place there for a while, for about five years, in midtown around like 37th Street, near the theater district. I just wasn’t there enough, you know? But I loved it so much that I had to buy a place there. And I used it a little bit, but not enough. It’s like a whole world of culture in one city.

You guys are not newcomers to South Korea. What was your last show in South Korea like? I loved the food and the culture. Everyone’s really nice and polite. The fans are so loyal and people are really respectful. They really appreciate whenever we come. I have a good experience every time.

You mentioned that you loved the food, do you have any favorite Korean foods? Well I like the traditional Korean BBQ. Last time we were there we had eaten it at a few places that were near the hotel. Something like six times in two days (laughs). And it’s just sort of a cool social experience. It keeps the bond between family and friends, surrounding a meal.

What do you expect this time around when you headline the Pentaport Rock Festival in August? Lots of BBQ (laughs). And I just like checking out something new. Last time we were there I checked out this temple [Bongeunsa] that was right across the street from the hotel. I spent about two or three hours there and it was really peaceful. We had a day off, so I remember it was a great day. I’m looking forward to hopefully being able to stay at that same hotel, so I can go there again. It was a nice place to get centered. I’m also looking forward to seeing the fans. I like to shake their hands and say hello as much as I can.

Do you think you’ll stay to check out any of the Korean bands? Yeah, we like hanging out. We usually show up early, check out the other bands, hang out and kind of mingle a little bit. There was a 36// / /july 2011

time when we didn’t show up until right before the show and then we left right away. Things have changed a little bit now that we’re older. I think we’re just enjoying having a career that has spanned almost 20 years. We have a new take on how fortunate we’ve been and how loyal the fans have been through the years.

Korn fans are known to be extremely loyal and dedicated. Tell us about the craziest thing a Korn fan has ever done. There’s a lot. One that sticks out in mind was I think around 1997 and we were doing an instore, which is an autograph signing for the release of our record. People were lined up and we were at a table and people were coming across – you know, kind of like a book signing. And this kid brings in … it’s a dead raccoon. And he’s like, “Will you sign my raccoon?” And it smelled so bad. The security guard escorted him out. And he just had this crazy look in his eye. They wiped the table down and everything. That was freaking weird. And then later that night we had a show in that town, somewhere in Pennsylvania, I can’t remember the town. But later he was in the front row, holding the raccoon at the concert. And we were like this dude is out of his mind! Still it was kind of cool … it was like “Man, this is crazy!” It was his pet dead raccoon. It could have been fake, but it looked pretty real and it smelled. Yeah, that’s one of those crazy fan things that sticks out.

On your latest album, “Korn III - Remember Who You Are,” you worked with producer Ross Robinson who also produced your first two albums. Can you tell us a little about what it was like working with Ross again? It was so weird because our personalities within the band and Ross’ personality are so similar. I think because of where we grew up. He grew up in a small town called Barstow, which is a midway point between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. It’s much like where we grew up in Bakersfield, which is a real kind of shitty town. There’s not anything to do really. So when it’s time to make music, the communication between us is really effortless. It becomes sort of, ”Ok, this part needs … ” and you just make a face and hand gesture and he knows what we’re talking about. All that time had gone by from when we made the first two records - about fifteen years between Life is Peachy and Remember Who You Are - but it was like no time had passed. It was so weird. It was like we were in a time warp and all of the sudden we were back in the room making music and we were just really having fun. And there was no pressure to put out an album either, because at that point we didn’t even have a record label. So it was just us in a small room, recording

how we used to record and having fun. We wanted the recording to come across almost like a live recording, because you kind of feel like you’re in the room with us when you listen to the songs. You kind of hear breathing and talking in between the takes.

Would you say the album is special because of that connection with your early career? I do. I think that it has a certain spontaneity that made it special because there were no songs when we went in. It was just like, let’s pick up our guitars, let’s get on the drums and just start jamming see what happens. So the songs sort of just took the form of a song at the moment.

You guys recently collaborated with dubstep artist Scrillex on the song “Get Up.” How did the interest in dubstep come about? Jonathan has been doing a lot of these DJ gigs. He’s been exploring that whole world of electronic music and he became a big fan of it. He started playing me some stuff and I started playing him some stuff and we starting getting inspired again. Much how we did in the beginning when we were creating our first album. Where we were basically taking our influences from hip-hop and metal and kind of smashing them together to create the sound of Korn. And I think that’s basically what we’re doing again. We’re really excited about working with Scrillex and doing more tracks with him. And possibly having a whole album with other artists in the same dubstep genre and mashing the stuff up.

“Get Up” will be on an upcoming EP, correct? Can you tell us a bit about what else we can expect on that EP? We’re still trying to figure out if we’re going to put out an EP with this sound or if we have enough material, we may just release a whole album.

About a year ago, the band signed to Roadrunner Records, which has been home to some of the most respected names in metal. How has that experience been so far? They’re great, they’ve been really cool. They are a bunch of people that really love music. They’re not there just because they want a paycheck. That’s kind of what you find with downloading and stuff now. The industry has changed so much, so you really only have the people in the industry that still do it for the love of music, because there’s no one making any money. We’re making money out here because we’re touring, but there’s no one making money off of record sales. Not that much. Not (enough) to keep a corporation going. But they’ve managed to do it because I think they’re really artist-friendly.

What other bands or types of music are you inspired by that might surprise your fans? There’s actually a new band, they’re called Hyro da Hero. It’s cool, you’ll have to check it out. I think the record may have released in late May. Actually, I think we may be doing a show with him soon over at the Download Festival outside of London. So I’m looking forward to checking that out. It’s got the anger of like Rage Against the Machine mixed with some electronic, mixed with more of a hip-hop influence and a bit of rock. Yeah it’s really cool. I also love Inner Party System and Pendulum. They’re great.

Korn has managed to maintain a long and successful musical career dating back to the early 90s. Looking back to your earlier days, around the time of “Freak on a Leash,” what do you think has helped the band maintain its staying power? I think that it’s the combination of the luck and the timing of when we first started, and capturing those loyal die-hard fans. I think it’s also probably just trying to reinvent ourselves each record to try to keep things fresh without losing the core sound of the band that launched it.

Do you guys ever struggle with trying to keep in mind what sells records and that kind of thing, and staying true to who you are? Or do you just keep your heads down and focus on what you love and that’s that. Yes. I can’t speak for the other guys, because sometimes through the years record companies plant little seeds in your head to make you think that you’re not going to sell any records if you don’t put out a single. And that’s actually what happened when we wrote

the song “Y’all Want a Single” … and it ended up becoming a single. For me personally, I just keep my head focused and play what feels good. Just play whatever feels good to you and that’s it. I try to stay away from that. I don’t like that end of it.

Are there any other bands you admire that do the same thing? That just put their heads down and just go for it and have been around for quite a while? Metallica. We’ve really looked up to Metallica since we were kids, but the way they’ve maintained their success is amazing. They have 10 years on us, or something like that. Or at least five, but you know. But it’s great to see them still going after so long. And they’re so nice and down-to-earth; they’re great people. And I think that has something to do with it. Nobody wants to be around people that aren’t nice. They just don’t. And if you’re going to be like that to the people who you work with or to your fans, if you’re not likeable … I’m not going to mention names, but I’ve listened to bands when they’ve been my favorite singer and then I meet them and they’re total dickheads. I don’t even like to listen to their music anymore, because I know who they are. I know what kind of people they are and I just don’t really want to listen to the songs anymore.

Well, you guys don’t seem to have that problem. Yeah, we have our moments and our days. But generally, we’re all good people. We all want the same thing and we’re all really grateful about even having a career that’s lasted that long.

I found that with a lot of metal bands are so nice. Do you think that you get your aggression and anger out in the music? Almost like

therapy? Absolutely. Absolutely, because you think oh this guy’s is probably scary and shit, but then you meet them and it’s all like “Hey, what’s up! Hi!” Because you get to express on stage and you just get that anger out and you feel great afterwards. It’s like working out, you know? It’s like going to the gym or working out. You kind of get that sort of high from it. … It’s like sex.

Your shows are intense and seem very physically demanding on stage. How do you maintain your energy on stage? Well, right now I just came back from the gym. Honestly I work out in the morning a little bit and I have to be careful about what I eat and what I drink. And then also when the crowd and music starts, it’s like starting a car motor, really. It’s like the key goes in the ignition and you turn it on and it goes. It’s much like the music - we turn on the crowd and it ignites and the adrenaline is mostly what it is. I mean a Red Bull can only do so much.

Do you have any special message for your South Korean fans? I would just like to tell them that I look forward to playing the festival and seeing all the beautiful people that live in South Korea again.

Very important question – how do you guys maintain your dreads? Any tips for dread lovers out there? I used to kind of take care of them and I don’t even care about them anymore. They just maintain themselves. I really just sort of roll out of bed and wash them once a week with really good shampoo. Because you can’t have any funky scalp going on. That’s nasty. Just keep that shit washed. july 2011// / /37

The lack of recognition amongst the younger generation in Korea is not likely to be something that bothers these veterans too much, but a lack of recognition in Britain is different. Retuning from a country on the other side of the world, seeing your friends killed and barely surviving the murderous Korean winter, as well as wave upon wave of Chinese and North Korean attacks, only to be ignored and have your plight trivialized is something that many veterans feel very strongly about. Salmon recalls a heart-breaking example: “A group of Aussie veterans went into a Returned Servicemans' League club when they returned from the Korean battlefront. These, by the way, are guys who had fought in six battles; advanced and retreated half the length of the Korean peninsula; and endured temperatures of minus 30 degrees centigrade.

Arts & Culture July 2011

When they tried to enter, a couple of World War II veterans at the bar turned round and said, 'You can't come in here, Korea was not a real war. Piss off.’” Andrew Salmon seems to have carved out a kind of niche, writing historically accurate and emotionally engaging books about a forgotten war from the point of view of people who, even when the war is remembered, are usually not. With so many stories left to tell Salmon, says he has tentative plans for future books. “I have two non-fiction book pitches I have delivered to my agent and will hopefully be discussing with publishers in London this summer. I'd rather not say anymore at the moment, but one of the books is military history, and the other is Korea-focused,” he said. “Scorched Earth, Black Snow” is published by Aurum Press and is available through Amazon.

Limit of exploitation: Highlanders take up position amid the ruins of Chongju, their limit of exploitation in North Korear. Kim Il-sung's army was smashed, the war seemed over, and these men expected to be returning to their base in Hong Kong. Within days, they would be fighting for their lives as China surged south. Courtesy State Library of Victoria

Slaughterground: Victorious Chinese troops advance through the junkyard/abattoir of the U.S. Army's 2nd Infantry Division, which was shattered in a 6-mile ambush south of the mining town of Kunu-ri. British troops holding a blocking position to their south were appalled to see bloodied U.S. survivors clattering through in splintered trucks: One officer was reminded of descriptions of Elizabethan sea battles in which blood poured from the scuppers of shot-up battleships. Courtesy National War Memorial of Korea

Emotionally Engaging Account of Britain, Oz in Korean War Scorched Earth, Black Snow: Britain and Australia in the Korean War, 1950 Andrew Salmon Aurum Press Ltd. 416 pp


By Rob McGovern

ndrew Salmon is a journalist and writer and has been living in Korea for 12 years, originally coming to study the Korean martial art hapkido. Salmon’s new book “Scorched Earth, Black Snow” looks back at the first year of the Korean War and retells the story of a group of British and Australian soldiers who fought for their lives. The United Kingdom lost more men during the Korean War than it did in the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts combined. The United States lost more men in three months than it did in a decade in Vietnam. Now in the autumn years of their lives, many veterans are bitter about the lack of recognition they’ve received over the years

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for the suffering and loss that occurred here. After a chance encounter with Sam Mercer, a former member of the “Glorious Glosters,“ a British regiment that served in Korea and was all but wiped out, Salmon began to think more about the war that shaped the Korean peninsula into what it is today, and the people who served and gave their lives in defense of a country most had not ever heard of. Salmon recalled the encounter with Mercer that started his fascination with the Korean War. “It was on the Imjin battlefield in 2001, the 50th anniversary of what remains, to this day, the bloodiest battle fought by British soldiers since WWII. An epic, odds-against stand, a brigade against an army,” he said. “On one of the old positions, I saw this old man limping up the track, and he had a prosthetic leg; he was also wearing the cap badge of the Glosters, the battalion that were annihilated

in that battle. So I jogged over and said, 'Look, you don't have to walk up, jeeps have been laid on, you can ride up.' He looked into my eyes - and I noticed he had a glass eye - and said 'No, I feel I have to walk up this hill.'” That stare and those words were enough to inspire Salmon to find and talk to more survivors of that battle. He documented their stories and they ultimately became Salmon’s first book about the Korean War. “To the Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea 1951” received international acclaim. That was back in 2009 and the hour-byhour account of the battle, however excellent, covered only a tiny slice of the overall war. “I realized that there were so many extraordinary stories that had never been told. No post-war conflict had the drama of Korea: the North Korean attack; the desperate defense

of Busan; the counter at Inchon; the counterinvasion into North Korea and Chinese intervention. Korea was the free world's first and only invasion of a communist state during the Cold War, while the Chinese intervention triggered the greatest reversal of battlefield fortune in modern history and marked the rise of China as a superpower. Vietnam; the Falklands; the Gulf; Afghanistan - none of these campaigns boast this level of drama,” Salmon explained his motivation to write the follow up. “Personally, I had become obsessed with the Korean War, it gripped me; over the last four years, barely an hour has gone by when I have not thought about it for one reason or another: Watching an old person walking down the street and wondering what happened to him or her during the war; seeing the sun set on the hills, and recalling the fear veterans had of the "Chinese moon" and the night attacks. So writing the second book kind of exorcised or, perhaps satiated my own demons.” Even when the war is not forgotten, not all the combatants are remembered. History tends to remember the great sacrifice made by the U.S., but the efforts of soldiers from countries other than the U.S. seem to have been forgotten, even to an extent, in Korea. “I think it is reasonable that the U.S. gets the lion's share of the credit. Britain was the next largest contingent, yet for every Briton who died, 30 Americans were killed. So the predominance of American involvement in the literature is understandable,” said Salmon. “However, young Koreans know very little about the war - I think because history (in Korea) is badly taught and written. It is either a list of names, dimensions and dates to regurgitate in exams, or it is a vehicle to inculcate nationalism.” Salmon said the war has been very heavily tainted by ideology here.

Preparing for Battle: A Royal Marine Commando parade breaks up prior to the breakout from Chosin Reservoir. U.S. Marines were astonished to see the commandos parade before jumping off into combat. Courtesy Michael O'Brien/John Walter

‘Scorched Earth, Black Snow’ Excerpts Following are excerpts from “Scorched Earth, Black Snow: Britain and Australia in the Korean War, 1950” by Korea-based journalist Andrew Salmon. To contact him, e-mail andrewcsalmon@ or call 011-792-6315. – Ed.

Exodus: North Korea There were countless tragedies. 3 RAR Intelligence Officer Alf Argent passed an old man mutely standing beside the track with a dead child in his arms, hit by a truck or tank, tears glistening on his cheeks. Willoughby noted the silence of the refugees; even children were mute. Passing a temporarily halted convoy, he saw ROK troops assisting some refugees, who had just thrown their bedding and bundles into the truck, when, before they could clamber aboard, the column started up again. The refugees – two children, a mother and a baby – were left standing helplessly,

watching their only possessions disappear in the dust. In utter despair, some mothers abandoned offspring. ‘You’d see women on the edge of iced rivers, they’d take babies off their backs, put them in a hole in the ice and let them go,’ recalled Mankelow. ‘Others put babies on the side of the road and kept walking, just walking…’ The plight of children was most heart-rending. ‘Argylls are good at helping people, when we gave the children chocolates and sweets, they were over the moon,’ said Mutch, ‘Poor wee mites!’ At other times, kindliness was overturned. ‘The Jocks were kind to women and children, but there were times when we completely ignored them, we were quite rough getting them out of the way,’ admitted Slim. ‘Like all people in that sort of situation, the refugees were mesmerised, in shock. They were smart to get out of the way.’ Yet desperation was a spur. Thompson watched a boy with a smaller child on his back, climbing the skeletal girders of a downed viaduct, leaping gaps with a 50-foot drop below. Silhouetted against a slate sky, the reporter thought him, ‘a heroic figure, greater than tragedy’.

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er. Positions lit up with laser-like streaks of red machine gun tracers, their chatter a relentless popping crackle; mortars and artillery dropped defensive fire tasks with flashing crumps; tanks rocked back on their suspensions as they fired out. Invisible in the darkness overhead, American night fighters droned, guided onto enemy concentrations by parachute flares fired by the artillery, or by solid lines of red tracer from heavy machine guns – their crossfire marking bomb aiming points – then adjusted by radio from Air Contact Teams. ‘They had a very slick system of fire control,’ said Thomas, awed by the god-like firestorm the Americans were summoning from the skies. ‘Imagine a hill with these figures all over it coming down with a background of white snow, lit up by flares, by tracers going up in the air,’ recalled Langton. ‘Fireworks night!’

Arts & Culture July 2011

A Nightmare Wonderland: Chosin Reservoir The marines and commandos were now entering a nightmare wonderland, for battle in Siberian temperatures had transformed Hellfire Valley into a surreal gallery of cartoonish monstrosities, of hideous grotesqueries.

Airstrike over hanok: Another Kim Song-hwan watercolour captures U.S. airstrikes over Seoul. Post-war, Kim would become "Gobau," South Korea's most famed and beloved newspaper cartoonist. Kim is a major character in "Scorched Earth, Black Snow;" a gallery of his work appears on the author's website. Courtesy Kim Song-hwan

In normal circumstances – even allowing for the rigidity of rigor mortis – tensile integrity deserts corpses, giving them their rag-doll appearance as they lie sprawled or flat. Not so at Chosin Reservoir. Here, the bodies – like victims of an icy Pompeii – had frozen into rigid postures, limbs sticking out at peculiar angles: ‘stiffs’ in every sense of the word. Even though the corpses had been lying in the valley for six days and nights, they looked freshly killed, Moyse thought. Some tableaux were reminiscent of an abattoir: spilled blood had not coagulated to its usual brownish scab, but frozen into streams and puddles of crimson. The feelings and emotions that the men had been undergoing at their moment of death – shock, terror, agony – remained frozen in their faces. O’Brien recognised some. They were ‘terrible to see’, lying, trouserless, with their feet up in the air where the Chinese had stripped them to clothe themselves; their legs had frozen in the extended position. There were greater indignities. The Korean interpreter, Lieutenant Lee, could not help noticing how many corpses displayed signs of having soiled themselves. And Allen passed a marine who had been sniped while defecating. Dead, trousers round his ankles, he squatted at the side of the track, a frozen sentinel.

Misleading messages: On the second day of the Korean War, North Korean troops charge down the Uijongbu corridor, closing on Seoul. Young newspaper artist Kim Song-hwan (foreground) sketched the scene: A thatched roof village lies in the valley; a dustry track winds through the paddies; bare hills tumble into the hazy blue distance. The smoke on the ridgeline is from artillery impacts. State radio told South Koreans not to flee as the invaders were being repelled; in fact the ROK Army was crumbling. Kim is still angry at the misleading messages, which dissuaded many Seoulites from fleeing. Courtesy Kim Song-hwan

On 3 December, with Washington apparently considering nuclear options, South Korea’s defence minister opined that his people would rather die in an atomic blast then become communist slaves. Whether the electorate concurred is uncertain, but the passengers of one of the last trains south had no opinion. Man saw it chugging into a station: it was so packed, that desperate refugees had lashed themselves to the locomotive and its carriages. In the sub-zero temperatures, wind chill had done its work: Every one of the external passengers was frozen dead. The retreat rolled on.

Inferno: Hill 282 The demonic aspect of napalm was recognised by reporters in Korea who saw its effect and who dubbed napalm ‘hell bombs’. This was the munition dropped on Song-san at just after 12:15 on 23 September. The Mustangs, however, did not drop their loads on the enemy weapons on Point 390, the infiltrators advancing through the scrub on the ridge against C Company, or on the gully up which the North Korean attackers were swarming. They delivered their ordnance squarely on top of the Argylls of B 40// / /july 2011

Company. In echelon, Quartermaster Andrew Brown, watching the battle from afar, watched the air strike with satisfaction. ‘We thought, “Ah, tremendous,” it was just a sheet of flame,’ he said. ‘Little did we know it was our fellows. Later when we found out – oh, God …’ ‘We were cock-a-hoop when the Mustangs arrived,’ said Adjutant John Slim. ‘Then we heard the screams…’

Counterattack: Pakchon With their objective some 800 yards across open ground, the long line strode forward, each man spaced at least 10 feet from the next to minimise the effect of enemy automatics. ‘We were not told how serious the situation was, it was just another big attack,’ said A Company Private Mick Servos, who had so enjoyed earlier combat. The line came under fire immediately. ‘A machine gun nest was on the hill firing at us, I could see him firing, see bullets landing,’ Servos said. Bursts were hitting just ahead of the advancing line; Servos watched spurts of dust arrowing towards him from the right as the gunner swivelled. ‘I thought I had better jump – then it felt like the wind had picked up a house and the house had hit me.’ He

collapsed. Five rounds had punched right through his thigh. ‘I almost got a DSO – dick shot off!’ he said. ‘I was lucky, it shot all the muscle out of my leg, but did not hit bone.’ Other men were falling. Next to Private Stan Connelly in B Company, the company clerk went down. ‘His head exploded like a watermelon, he dropped dead beside me,’ Connelly said. ‘This upset me, but the attack had to go on.’ The Diggers could not lose momentum to care for casualties. Wounded and dead lay behind in the paddy.

Human Wave: Chosin Reservoir Illuminated by flares and burning buildings, the ghostly, white-clad masses emerged from the darkness, rolling forward: a wall of men. ‘You could see hordes of them on the skyline – literally hordes! – like a Western when you see Indians suddenly appear on the hilltops,’ said Maindonald. ‘You just waited for the bugle as you knew then they were forcing their attack home.’ If the Chinese assault was cinematic, the American response was operatic. As the perimeter lacked obstacles – mines were invalidated by the permafrost; barbed wire was minimal; field fortifications poorly constructed – defence depended upon firepowjuly 2011// / /41

Arts & Culture July 2011

Kim Ggobbi:

A Korean Star in the Making By Michael Hurt Hair and makeup by Lee Ja-yeon hanbok provided by 한복다홍치마 Photo by Michael Hurt


he city of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands lies 150 km off the northwest coast of Africa, and is said to have “the best climate in the world.” The city of Vladivostok lies on the far eastern coast of Russia, and is the starting point for the Trans-Siberian Railway. Both cities hold annual film festivals. And in 2009, both festivals presented their best actress award to a young woman from Bucheon named Kim Kkobbi, for her performance in the film “Breathless.”

Selected Filmography • 창피해 / Ashamed (2010)

Magic and Loss (Japan-H.K.-MalaysiaKorea-France, 2010)

• 귀 / Be with Me (2010)
 • 죽으로 갑니다 / Be My Guest (2009)
 • 똥파리 / Breathless (2008)
 • 삼거리 극장 / Midnight Ballad for Ghost Theater (2006)
 • 화기애애 / Friendly and Harmonious (2005)
 • 질투는 나의 힘 / Jealousy Is My Middle Name (2002)

“Breathless seemed to hit viewers’ emotions opportunities. “A couple years ago, I happened to meet a in a very fundamental way,” Kim said in an interview. “I think that’s why it was so well re- Japanese producer, Kiki Sugino, at the Busan ceived at international film festivals and in Ko- International Film Festival. We became friends rea.” The surprising success of this low-budget and then later I got a phone call from him, askindependent feature by Yang Ik-june proved to ing if I wanted to shoot a film.” The end result be a breakthrough for Kim, who had studied was “Magic and Loss,” shot in Hong Kong by a acting since elementary school and made her Malaysian director with an international cast. film debut as the daughter in “Jealousy Is My It screened at the Busan festival in 2010. “It is a difficult film,” she said. “The audience reMiddle Name” (2002). In person, Kim makes a remarkably different sponse ran to both extremes.” Speaking a few days before flying to the Berimpression from the tough-talking, combatlin Film Festival to present ive high school girl she her latest work, “Ashamed,” played in “Breathless.” Kim said, “I’m interested in Quick to smile, and with “Acting suits my personaltaking on a wider variety of an unaffected, friendly ity,” she said. “It can be a roles in the coming years. I’ve manner, she has a face difficult and unstable profesplayed a lot of high school that seems at times to be sion, but I like the freedom girls up to now, and I want expressing two emotions of it. I like giving all my to move beyond that image.” at once. energy to a role for two or For now, her next project in“Acting suits my personality,” she said. “It can be three months, and then hav- volves a trip to Hong Kong to a difficult and unstable ing time to relax and travel.” shoot a video installation by the artist Adrian Wong, anprofession, but I like the other friend she met through freedom of it. I like giving all my energy to a role for two or three months, the festival circuit. When Korean Wave stars become welland then having time to relax and travel.” The sort of challenging, low-budget films that known in foreign countries, they stand at the Kim often appears in may not sell a lot of tick- head of a formidable distribution and marketets in Korea, but they do allow filmmakers to ing campaign that may involve large numbers travel the international festival circuit. On such of people and cost billions of won. Kim Kkobbi trips many Korean actors and directors tend to is not famous abroad yet, but in a more modspend time in close-knit groups with other Ko- est, and perhaps a more meaningful way, she reans. But Kim, who said she “loves parties,” too is a Korean actor who has gone out to the has made use of her English skills to spend world. The difference is that she has done so time getting to know directors, actors, and pro- on her own power. ducers from around the world. A version of this article appeared in Yahae!, Korea's This has sometimes opened up unexpected first online fashion magazine (

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Arts & Culture

korean DVD reviews By Daniel Joseph Vorderstrasse

July 2011

Coming to Theaters July 13

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Daniel Radcliffe Emma Watson

Dream Dance Studio party! Friday July 22 9 p.m. rs

Bellydance • Eshe • Navah

July 28

The Unjust (부당거래) Society is on pins and needles as a savage serial murderer terrorizes a city by abducting and brutalizing children. To make matters worse, the incompetent police force cannot bring a halt to the heinous crimes. Feeling pressure from the people, the president commands the police to find the culprit and bring him to justice by any means necessary. Captain Choi Cheol-gi (Hwang Jung-mun) is chosen as the leader of the task force assigned to the seemingly impossible task. His resume speaks for itself and his abilities are more than sufficient for the assignment, but he did not graduate from the prestigious police academy, so he has been denied promotion over the years as inferior officers pass him. Being acquainted with conspicuous friends doesn’t help his reputation. Stemming from an internal investigation into Choi’s associates, he is railroaded by the internal affairs bureau and blackmailed to accept the assignment to save his family, investigative team, and ultimately his way of life. As a reward, promotion and an end to his exponentially increasing problems are guaranteed. As the case unfolds, the amount of corruption in the justice ranks becomes exposed, in addition to the extreme means some officers exploit to get ahead in the world. Choi and his team of misfits must solve the case while dealing with their own problems, which include gambling, corruption, ties with organized crime, and an explosive feud with the sly, slippery prosecutor Joo-yang (Ryoo Seung-bum). While somewhat entertaining, the movie goes miles overboard on the extent of corruption in the justice system. Everyone with a badge or a law degree is corrupt in some way and has sold their soul to attain their lot in life. In addition, the movie is not exactly groundbreaking. It features a plot that leans heavily on gangster-influence on the corrupt government. Originality is not to be expected from this film, but it does possess entertainment value and one could certainly due worse with the lack of quality movies being produced these days. Expect a slightly above-average movie at best, while viewing a plot you’ve most likely seen before.

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Dreams Come True — a.k.a. On the Pitch

(꿈은 이루어진다) Saddened by the recent passing of his mother, a North Korean squad commander (Lee Seong-jae) turns to soccer for emotional stability. Unfortunately for this soldier, he cannot participate in the spectacular events taking place only an hour across the Demilitarized Zone in Seoul. As the 2002 World Cup begins in South Korea, frustration peaks because, according to the squad commander: “Soccer has no borders.” The leaders under “Our Father” do not see eye-to-eye with him and see through the spectacle of capitalist propaganda occurring in the South. During a nighttime reconnaissance mission, a small company of North Korean soldiers chases a wild boar to quench a craving for meat only to be confronted by a South Korean recon team in the reeds. Tension is high only for a brief instance before both sides stand down and enjoy a friendly meal, forging a friendship that is nonexistent the peoples of these states that remain technically at war. The two groups bond over soccer and establish secret radio communications so the North Korean soldiers can listen to games being broadcast in the South. As the tourney progresses, the danger of partaking in these actions increases for the North and an investigative team is convened to find the “traitor” in the squad who is betraying the nation by engaging in communications with the mortal enemy. This dramatic comedy possesses a steady does of tension towards the conclusion, but comic relief is evident throughout to ease anxiety. Overall, the film was enjoyable and holds the viewer’s attention. The movie deals with many issues, so isn’t necessarily a sports movie to be only enjoyed by soccer enthusiasts. It involves uniquely dangerous problems present on the Peninsula. At a time when it is increasingly hard to find a movie to recommend, this picture doesn’t have many problems, making it compatible with most audiences.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Chris Evans Tommy Lee Jones

Orientale upe Tro Bellydance

hadevi • Mari bal

T e ance Troup d ly Bel




10,000won with 1 Drink

July 28


Anne Hathaway Jesse Eisenberg

july 2011// / /45

Arts & Culture July 2011

Watch, Act or Direct: Seoul’s Stage is Ready By Alex Jensen | photos by michelle farley


he white-painted simplicity of White Box Theatre is refreshing and symbolic of owner Desiree Munro’s approach. If the recent show “Summer Shorts” is a barometer, just about anything goes. The basement venue near Hyochang Park became home to the city’s English-language theatre in April. Co-owner Munro arrived from Australia in 2009 with 30 years of theatre experience between herself and her husband. Groove Korea caught up with her at the recent “Summer Shorts” performance, a string of eclectic 20-minute pieces. After moving to Seoul, Desiree quickly spotted an opportunity. “We noticed it’s very hard as foreigners to find a theatre to find a place to rehearse and perform,” she said. Location was always going to be important, and White Box Theatre is perfectly placed around the corner from Hyochang Park subway station. It is just three stops from Itaewon on line six. “Summer Shorts” opened with a piece that was visually compelling, but so abstract that 46// / /july 2011

much of the audience was visibly baffled. Not long after, onlookers were treated to a thought-provoking one-man portrayal of war in the Middle East. This month, perceptions of race will be challenged by “It’s not easy being seen” on the weekend of July 22- 23. Until July 10, fans of comedy can also enjoy “Some Girl(s),” an expose of premarriage jitters written by the provocative Neil LaBute. Would-be actors and experienced thespians alike can attend regular auditions. Anyone passionate about theatre is welcome,” said Desiree. She has even given the stage to a performer who had never done any kind of acting. “We look for talent, not experience or qualifications, because it is the finished product that matters, not whether someone has studied at RADA This month, perceptions of or the Actors Studio.” race will be challenged by Desiree is also al- “It’s not easy being seen” on ways looking for help the weekend of July 22- 23. behind the scenes. Until July 10, fans of com“We would welcome edy can also enjoy “Some discussions with diGirl(s),” an expose of prerectors and are always marriage jitters written by looking for help with the provocative Neil LaBute. publicity, sponsorship, costumes, sets, graphic design, translations, make-up, front of house tasks and much more.” There have been some teething problems. Those who attended “Summer Shorts” will have noticed a lack of air-conditioning, though that is now being taken care of. White Box Theatre is also limited by its size. Desiree’s husband announced in front of the largely expat crowd that they needed to get more seats for the next show. Then again, get there early and seats are not a problem. Standing room only is also a symptom of success. It is the opportunity to take part in so many aspects of the theatre experience that makes the White Box Theatre such an appealing platform. The very disadvantage of Seoul lacking a vibrant English-language theatre scene also becomes its attraction as an accessible, open-minded and welcome distraction from the mainstay sources of entertainment in Seoul. Tickets are very reasonable for those simply wishing to check it all out (up to 15,000 won). See for more information. july 2011// / /47

Arts & Culture July 2011

Meet Blue Joe Cool, a Soldier and a Trumpeter


By Laine Ritter

rmed with devastating goodlooks, arresting trumpet skills, easy charm and friendly wit, Juan Anthony Reyes seems to have it all. However, the nuanced man experienced much in the warzone of Iraq and battled life’s challenges - including overcoming a difficult divorce.

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Through all of these travails, the man and his music have emerged stronger, better and more resilient. Reyes knows how to harness the blues and use a broad brush

of it to flex his artistic palette in such a way that makes his music vibrant and resolute. The remarkable trumpeter from Duncan, Oklahoma started playing at age 8. He re-

membered being fascinated with his father’s trumpet and picking it up at home. From those stolen moments on the living room couch, his passion for music grew. A “terrible student” in high school, he joined the U.S. Army in 2002 when he found out that could get a steady pay check playing trumpet if he made the cut. Well, he made the cut and has been a professional musician since, doing gigs and playing in venues around the world. Along the way, he got stationed in Korea, met the woman of his dreams and got married. Shortly thereafter, his idyllic life got interrupted with the demands of his job. The U.S. Army sent him to deploy in Iraq and the pressures of a longdistance relationship proved too much. His new wife left him a month into his Iraq deployment. This hardship represented a breaking point in his life. To recover, he surrendered himself to his craft. Juan said that living for his music, moment to moment, opened up his creativity and enabled him to channel his emotions, adding depth to his work. In essence, the experience allowed him to pour his heart out through his trumpet. Sometimes it’s not easy to reconcile the lifestyle of an artist with the restrictions that go with being a military man. “It affects my military life more than my artist life. I am not very good at juggling both. I have a very strict military lifestyle and a loose creative life. I like my creative life, but it sometimes kind’a gets me in trouble with my military life,” he said. “There are times when I get so focused in my military life that I just kind’a block off my creative life. It takes some relaxation to refocus my energy and that takes practice.” Almost at the halfway point of U.S. Army retirement eligibility, Reyes does not see himself serving in the Army for another 10 years. “I don’t want to retire,” he said. “I will be 38-40, by then. I feel that starting a new career as a jazz musician is better when I am 30 than when I am 40. “Don’t get me wrong, I owe a lot from joining the U.S. Army. It brought me to lots of places, here in Korea and other places. I’ve met lots of friends, but at this point, my Army commitment is holding me back from the music. I am constantly thinking it is time to put it down.” For now though, the 27 year-old trumpeter looks forward to coming back to Korea after his next Iraq deployment. july 2011// / /49

Super Sketch and the Two Year Anniversary of Super Color Super

Arts & Culture July 2011


By Hemani Naran

uly 9 marks the latest installment of a popular threedimensional event in Seoul combining live art, musical performances and partying: Super Sketch. Brainchildren of the Super Color Super collective, it is a hybrid of live art and live music.

Magna Fall: Bastards No More
 By Conor O’Reilly

photos by kim hwa hyun

We had to change our name from Bastards of Bupyeong because no one knew where Bupyeong was,” Kevin Heintz, the lead singer of the up and coming Magna Fall, told the standing room only crowd in the basement of Phillies during the HBC Fest last May. “I don’t know how good your Latin is,” he continued, “but magna means great and fall means, well, fall.”

Perhaps the band, two thirds of whom are from Ireland, are banking on Murphy’s Law for fame and fortune. Regardless, they have taken the wise decision of ensuring they have the musical side of their act sorted out in case the former direction falls through. The American-Irish three piece formed in the Bucheon neighborhood of Bupyeong in March 2010. Since their first gig in May of that year, which was cut short by the complaints of a neighboring love motel manager, they have been immersing themselves deeper into the club culture of Hongdae. Made up of band members Kevin Heintz (vocals and guitar), Neil Smith (bass and synths) and David Holden (drums); Magna Fall started out playing cover songs to bars in Bucheon on Saturday nights last May. But since September, they have been writing and recording original tracks. The band usually starts out experimenting with a new sound or riff, which they quickly add lyrics too, and if it all sounds good, they work with it. “I think the breakthrough came with ‘Boshintang,’” Heintz explained. “Neil

50// / /july 2011

Made up of band members Kevin Heintz (vocals and guitar), Neil Smith (bass and synths) and David Holden (drums); Magna Fall started out playing cover songs to bars in Bucheon on Saturday nights last May.

came up with it. It had nice evenly divided parts and it was fun and raucous. Since then we have learned a lot and expanded our writing and our styles immensely.” While they had been writing and practicing songs for a while, the band itself originally went into the studio so that they could offer clubs a sample of their music to secure more gigs. Smith, who arrived in Korea after both Heintz and Holden, was motivated to get a band together early. While the song writing process is a band effort, Smith understands the importance of it for their growth. “At first it was a novelty to be playing in a new and strange country for friends and getting some money and a free beer, but after a while I got sick of it. Every gig was playing for drunken people who just wanted to hear their favorite drunk dancing song,” he said. The band is now in a very different position. “Now we are writing songs and there are a lot of people who respect original songwriting bands and who want to hear original, quality music,” he elaborated. This, he said, makes it worthwhile.

The band started out as a straight rock band, but has now gone beyond that. Sure, there’s a definite old-school sound to them, but it’s not all rock. Many of their songs, like “Phantasmorgia” in particular, have a funky get up and dance feel to them. And, with Smith’s synths and loops interspersing the songs, they now have a unique electronic sound that is building a reputation as a band to watch. At the moment the band are producing about one new song a month and are looking to get into the studio next autumn to finalize an album. In May the band played to big crowds at the Cinqo De Mayo festival in Insadong and at their first HBC Fest. HBC was their best gig yet. “That bar we played in was dark, dirty, and sweaty. Somehow that’s a good thing. It was also packed full of people interested in the music,” Magna Fall’s drummer, David Holden, said. In the coming months, Magna Fall are scheduled to play at the Boryeong Mud Festival in July, as well as their now regular performances in clubs in Hongdae. For regular updates, band information and a list of upcoming gigs, visit

The average Seoul art lover is left shuffling around contemporary galleries, silently bopping to whatever tracks happen to be running through their MP3 players. Alternatively, a usual Saturday night for indie music folk mostly involves trawling thorough Hongdae and watching a live band in the usual club. Super Sketch bridges the gap to create a three-dimensional event combining live art, musical performances and partying. Super Sketch features many types of art, with only one condition – it’s all hands-on. This includes analog (traditional) and psychedelic art, crystals, traditional overhead projectors, live drawings, and even shadow puppeteers. The analog aspect gives the show a crafty feel. Using only analog methods allows participants to view the entire process; they see what’s going on. From the inception of an idea all the way through to the finished product, the audience is included. There are over 20 artists, both Korean and international, on showcase. As for bands, expect a mash-up of folk, experimental electronic music and indie rock. It is a departure from a traditional live performance, which usually involves kicking back in a dimly-lit bar trying to yell at your friends over the “noise,” or being one of a handful of people going ape-shit on a usually-makeshift dance floor. At Super Sketch, the bands play among the art, often playing in time with the projections, which further adds to the ethereal, otherworldly nature of the event. The end result is a continuous battery of beautiful sights and sounds. This time, the mood is going to be especially celebratory as the party coincides with Super Color Super’s second anniversary. For the past two years, Super Color Super has been a force on the Korean indie music scene, working tirelessly to change the usually static party circuit into something wilder and more dynamic. Super Color Super has brought out golden acts such as Caribou, Teengirl Fantasy, Coco Rosie, and most recently Toro y Moi. They are also responsible for Super Sketch and the regular Round Robin series, which involves bands playing one after the other while the crowd gets down in the middle of the venue. Come blow out the candles with Super Color Super and Super Sketch at Theater Zero on July 9.

july 2011// / /51

Arts & Culture

groove korea SPONSORED EVENT

July 2011

RocKorea Festival JUNE 4-5

Photos by Ronnie Kick Last month, local music fans flocked to soon-to-be-built Midan City to watch at their favorite indie, cover, and tribute acts perform on the big stage. Its remote location offered zero public transportation, but the journey was part of the thrill. Shuttle busses ran throughout the event to and from Incheon airport. It was a beautiful day to enjoy good music, a wide variety of food, and Craftworks beer. Although marketed as “A Tribute to Indie Rock,� the festival put more emphasis into "tribute." Thrilling performances by The Three anguses (AC/DC tribute act) and scene staple Over the Hills and Far Away (Led Zeppelin) were what concertgoers went away talking about. Fans had to come out early and stay late for indie crowd favorites Sotto Gamba, as well as best-band-in-town Pinnacle and the Antidote. Those who did brave the late night enjoyed more than 14 hours of nonstop music. Although the sky threatened the party, the mass of people went home dry. On this day, the concert gods held off the rain to help make it an epic event.

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GROOVe with seoulvibes

In Bangkok, some picks would be LED and of course Bed. As you travel to Koh Samui to hit the Full Moon Party, we strongly suggest a stopover at Gecko Samui. This will prepare you for your pilgrimage to Koh Phangan in order to enjoy the mayhem on Haad Rin Beach. If you are stuck in Jakarta heading to Bali then you have several choices in Blowfish, Barcode, Dragonfly, Immigrant, Stadium, and X2. Bali has truly risen from the ashes, showing the world its resilience and peaceful Hindu spirit. In Seminyak, the legendary Double6 has closed, leaving Bacio and Potato Head at the forefront with Kudeta, Maria Magdalena and SOS offering a more refined clubbing experience. Déja Vu usually hosts excellent local talent this coupled with their beachfront view guarantee some late night mischief especially since it is a stone’s throw away from Vida Loca. In Kuta, 61 Legian aka Sky Garden with resident Damian Saint is the marquis club for expats while MBARGO is a favorite with the locals. In Beijing, try to hit up GT Banana and The House. In Shanghai, Lola, M1NT, Muse, and Shelter are well established clubs. Bar Rouge is also a favorite amongst expats. Overlooking the Bund this venue offers expansive views, great local residents and a regular influx of international talent. Premiere Artist Group has some excellent bookings across the country and we also recommend following DJ Choyce Kutz for the lowdown on China.

ROKing Out in Asia As summer falls upon us with its unbearable humidity levels and torrential downpours, clubbers from across the peninsula will be heading out of the country for a much needed reprieve from the sauna we call Seoul. With that in mind, we have decided again to stretch the aim of our column and give you some venues to seek outside the South Korean capital.

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If you are landing in Taipei for a layover the choice is quite simple — Club Luxy. This dual room club has been a primary stomping ground for the best DJs the world over. With an arsenal of top residents which include DJ Noodles this club has zero competition and brings in an elite roster of electronic and hip hop talent. On a smaller scale, Room18 is a good alternative for dance music. Heading south to the Philippines, whilst in Manila, Republiq formerly Embassy has been the reigning club for years.

In search of some underground beats do checkout TIME. The Amber Lounge offers a nice chilled environment, while Cebu boasts one of the islands top clubs in Penthouse. If you jump over to Boracay we highly recommend Hey Jude. Located in the middle of White Beach, this venue uses the sand as its dance floor and the music and cocktails are second to none. En route to Singapore, Home, Stereolab, and Zirca are places to hit up. The top club in Asia also is on the island — ZOUK. If you are trapped in Hong Kong then the word on the street is that Volar and Dragon-i are the places to be seen, but be warned that clubbing in HK can be exclusive and expensive. In Kuala Lumpur, Euphoria by MOS, Maison and Zouk KL seem to be the places to hit. While in Macau there is only one choice and that is the Lotus Club in the Venetian Hotel. This venue constantly hosts the creme de la creme of the dance music universe. If you have to make a visa run to Japan then it is an easy toss-up whilst in Tokyo — Womb or Ageha, although Warehouse and Air provide good competition and a more true underground flavor. In Osaka, head to Triangle Park in American-Mura since there are several clubs located minutes away from each other. Make sure to get a hotel in advance otherwise you will be stuck in a capsule or even worse, sleeping in the park itself. Osaka’s preeminent club is Onzieme, which hosts some of the best artists touring Japan. If you are landlocked in Korea then we have only one suggestion for you — head south and checkout out Haeundae Beach and go rip it up in Busan since Elune and Matkum are worldclass venues. Otherwise set your alarm early so you can get some space at the Hamilton Hotel’s pool parties on Sundays. Whatever you do and wherever you may be, make sure to drop into one of these spots on your travels around Asia in the summertime. Get up, get out, and get ROKin’!

This is a column dedicated to electronic music in Korea. Our aim is to give Groove Korea readers: interviews and updates on what is happening on the peninsula. Feel free to contact the links below for information on clubs, DJs, or events! | |


july 2011// / 55

Destinations July 2011

Tennessean Andy Faulk paddles the Tancheon.

Urban Rafting By Roger Gribbins

The Captain Erik Custer sits across from me in the living room of his Bokjeong-dong apartment, his large frame consuming a brown leather chair. He looks comfortable in his scattered environ. Acoustic guitar propped against the couch, power chords and guitar picks strewn about, football cleats and pub jerseys crumpled in the corner, dirty laundry draped over the furniture, and the hulky Canadian’s voice filling the small space. Custer’s broad shoulders bounce when he laughs, and his entire face lights up like a child when he smiles. He has a natural cadence when he speaks. Like many expatriates living in Korea, Custer moved here to teach, but his path is a little different than the drifter looking for adventure or the teacher looking to escape the contagion of western education. When Custer was 16, a Korean student lived with his family in Canada for a year. Custer and Jerry Kim became good friends, not surprising given Custer’s gregarious nature, but lost contact in the natural way that teenage friends do. But when Custer was 56// / /july 2011

Erik Custer, the mastermind of the Tancheon-Han rafting expedition.

traveling to China, he looked up Jerry. “I had lost contact with him but when I did contact him he was very hospitable,” Custer said. “He gets five days for holiday each year, and he took three days off while I was passing through. He took me everywhere, we tried all the different food – he was an amazing host.”

Custer stayed with Jerry in his Hongjae apartment for one week, and then continued on to China. He was working in China for about a year when SARS hit. Before the country shut down, and not wanting to be stuck in China indefinitely, Custer returned to Korea. “With one day notice, I returned to Korea and lived with Jerry and his family for six months.

I taught their seven-year-old daughter English while I was living with them.” After living with Jerry and his family for those six months, Custer left Korea to travel the world with a backpack and thinly lined pockets before returning to Canada to pursue his teaching license. He graduated from the University of Victoria Bachelor of Education Licensure program, a post-degree professional program, but entered into a job market with little opportunity and his thoughts quickly returned to Jerry and his family in Korea. When Custer returned to Korea he started teaching English at Seoul Women’s University, a job he landed through connections with a football buddy. The job came with free housing on campus, and that’s where the rafting idea was first conceived. Seoul Women’s University is on the Joongrang Stream that feeds into the Han from the north. The Joongrang is also bigger and wider than the Tancheon. Leaning forward in his chair, Custer recalls the events that first spawned the idea. “We passed by the Joongrang every time we took a taxi into Itaewon, or coming back from Itaewon. We often drove alongside of it. It was completely feasible to boat on the Joongrang. At the time, a lot of my friends lived in Itaewon so I was going in quite often. One day I thought, this thing flows all the way to Itaewon — it would be a hell of a way to get there. There’s a COSTCO up near the university also, and I saw these boats in there for 80,000 won. That was it. That was the connection. I knew that was the way to do it.” That was in 2007. The plan was stalled for four years. Lost in the late night ideas of barroom rants that are amazing at the time but strange and distant in the morning. Custer tried to convince bar friends, football buddies, and fellow musicians, but he never pushed it hard enough and the planning always seemed to fall through. It was one of those ideas that is easily embraced but rarely followed through to fruition. Custer now lives along the Tancheon and still sees the same rafts in COSTCO (and still keeps in touch with Jerry and his family). “Every time I see the boats in COSTCO I think, I should do this. I was in Jeju at a Frisbee tournament and I mentioned it to some of the guys that I teach with and they lost their minds at the idea. It’s not going to be a fun boat trip on your own, but if someone else is as crazy and enthusiastic about it as you are – it’s going to be fun.” Custer softly laughs as he thinks back to all the years driving past the river and all the years seeing the same boats on the shelf at COSTCO. Captain Custer sits up straight and the thoughts start rolling through his head, his eyes distant. Will we get stopped? Will the boats make the trip? Can we successfully portage form the Tancheon to the Han? How far will we get? Will this actually happen after years of talking about it?

The River The Han River rips a 514-kilometer tear across the Korean peninsula, including all its tributaries and its two source rivers. It is formed from the joining of the Namhan

Mitch Waters christens the bow of the HMAS Ilich.

River, or the South Han River, originating in Mount Daedeok, and the Bukhan River, or the North Han River, originating from Mount Geumgang in North Korea. The Han flows from east to west, cutting Seoul in half, and is the fourth longest river on the Korean peninsula. It eventually merges with the Imjin River before pouring into the Yellow Sea, or West Sea to Koreans. Twenty-seven bridges span the Han River, the majority of which traverse the one-kilometer wide section pumping through the heart of Seoul. Any river with a size and location like the Han has a history, some of it recorded and some of it swept down stream. Prehistoric sites from both the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras have been discovered along its muddy banks. Bronze age artifacts have also been unearthed from the silt. The Three Kingdoms of Korea (Baekje, Goryeo, and Silla) used the Han for transport, water and farming, and fought for control over its resources. Following the Three Kingdoms, the Goryeo dynasty and the Joseon dynasty held similar claim to the Han, and similar appreciation. The Han was a vital trade route to China, and its fertile banks a vital asset for agriculture, but The Han is no longer used for commercial navigation because the estuary that spills into the Yellow Sea is on the border of the divided Koreas and is therefore closed to civilian access. Currently, the Han is a place of recreation with bike trails, parks, exercise stations,

fields, restaurants, and bridge cafes. The river is open to small watercraft and water skiing or wake boarding, and several ferries take to the river on a daily basis. It has also become a recent backdrop for cinema. In 2006, The Host, a horror flick guaranteed to be a cult classic, and South Korea’s claim to monster movie fame, depicts a fictitious snafu where the American military dumps old formaldehyde into the Han creating a mutant monster that threatens the safety and well-being of Seoulites seeking a day of leisure along the river’s banks. There are currently rumors of The Host 2, in 3D.

The Tributary The Tancheon begins in Yongin and then flows through Seongnam, a total of 35.6 kilometers. The majority of the tributary flows through Bundang, and all streams in Bundang supposedly feed the Tancheon. Five water parks dot the banks of the Tancheon in the area of Seongnam, all of which are open to the public. The Tancheon also has an interesting piece of Korean folklore. The word Tancheon roughly translates to Charcoal Stream. The tale goes something like this: the Korean spirit of immortality, Dong Bangsak, lived along the banks of the stream and was starting to upset the other spirits, what with Dong Bangsak being immortal and all and cheating death for centuries. The other spirits tried to trick Dong Bangsak and return him to the spirit world,

july 2011// / /57

Destinations July 2011

The author (left) and Aaron Elser set off across the Han.

but with his charm and persuasion he managed to foil their attempts, and would even convince them that he was not Dong Bangsak. After a long contemplation, one spirit devised a plan to fool Dong Bangsak. The spirit started to wash his clothes in the Tancheon with charcoal. When Dong Bangsak passed by and inquired what was happening, the spirit simply replied that charcoal would get clothing whiter than any other alternative. Dong Bangsak laughed at the spirit and boasted that even after millennia of lifetimes he had never heard of such foolishness. This slip revealed Dong Bangsak’s true identity and the spirit was able to return him to the underworld, ending his long life of deception.

The Crew Erik Custer, The Captain, age 30, from Vancouver, Canada, physical education teacher, living in Korea on and off for six years. Special move: motivating five other people to share his dream of urban rafting in Seoul. Andy Faulk, The Mechanic, age 28, first grade teacher, from Kingsport, Tennessee, living in Korea for two years. Special move: fixing a breeched hull on the Tancheon with nothing more than duct tape. Aaron Elser, The Outdoorsman, age 33, high school science teacher, from Hughesville, Pennsylvania, living in Korea for four years. Special move: discussing the depth of the river in terms of recent precipitation and percolation, while actually knowing what he is talking about. Jim French, The Spiritual Advisor, age 33, fourth grade teacher, from Ontario, Canada, living in Korea for five years, proud father of Aleea French. Special move: spreading good vibes throughout both rafts and keeping all crewmembers upbeat and buoyant. Mitch Waters, The Safety Expert, age 34, fifth grade teacher, from Shell Harbour, Australia, living in Korea for seven years, proud father of Kaimika Waters. Special move: 19 years of lifeguarding experience and bringing a handcarved Maori paddle along for the trip. 58// / /july 2011

Roger Gribbins, The Documentarian, age 31, high school language arts teacher, living in Korea for two years. Special move: taking pictures and keeping the sailing log while navigating the notorious Tancheon rapids.

Provisions • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

2 Rafts 2 Raft Pumps 4 48” Aluminum Oars 6 Life Jackets 1 Emergency Transistor Radio, able to receive signals only 4 Coolers 3 Bags Ice 6 Pair Sunglasses 2 Bottles Sunscreen 12 Ham and Cheese Sandwiches (mustard, mayo, BBQ sauce on the side) 3 Packs Beef Jerky 1 Bag Apples 1 Bag BBQ Potato Chips 12 Granola bars 48 Cans Cass Light 2 Bottles Soju (for boat christening purposes only) 4 Liters Water 10 Plastic Bottles PowerAde 3 Packs of Gudang Garam Clove Cigarettes/1 Pack Camel Cigarettes 3 Lighters Rope Duct tape

The Vessels The Seahawk 400: 3 air chambers including inner auxiliary chamber inside the main hull, 30-gauge PVC vinyl construction, two fishing rod holders, two inflatable seat cushions, grab handle on the bow, gear pouch, oar locks, oar holders, all around grab line, two quick-fill/deflate Boston valves, and a repair kit. Each boat measures 133 x 19.5 x 50 inches. Motor mount kit and 1.5 HP motor optional, and after first hand experience with the vessel - not recommended. The vessels have been christened the S.S. Bulgolgi and the HMAS Ilich (in honor of Mr. Pit Silich).

The Tancheon runs into the Han River from south of Seoul.

The HMAS Ilich carrying Captain Custer, French, and Waters. The S.S. Bulgolgi carrying Gribbins, Faulk, and Elser.

long as daylight, rations, and moral will sustain. As far as our six-person crew is aware, we are embarking on an uncharted course.

The Sailing Log - Sunday, May 22, 2011

The vessels are properly christened with the local spirit, Soju, and a small amount of the clear liquid poured to the ground in memory of all the fellow watermen who could not partake in the journey. Our thoughts are with our families and friends who are waiting on the mainland for our safe return. We enter the Tancheon tributary form the northern bank, divided into two rafts. The S.S. Bulgolgi carrying Mr. Gribbins, Mr. Faulk and Mr. Elser – all American. The HMAS Ilich carrying Captain Custer and Mr. French – both Canadian,

8:00 a.m. – Morning Calm

The crew wakes to sunny skies after three days of rain and dark clouds and gnashing thunder. Like an eager mistress ready to cooperate, the skies clear the morning of the voyage and the orange sun burns brightly through the crisp morning air. Our course is simple: raft from Bokjeong-dong to the Han River via the Tancheon Tributary, and then continue course due west on the Han for as

11:10 a.m. – Setting Sail

and Mr. Waters – Australian. Cruising along this first leg of the journey the conversation is light and the banter disarming. The crew is in good spirits as we set out. The immediate juxtaposition of the pale gray apartment high rises and the lush banks of the river, of the delicate trickle of the river and the thin buzz of the highways surrounding us, sets the backdrop for the enduring contrast of this voyage. The crew swiftly navigating the shallow waters and soft turns of the Tancheon, and enjoying the peacefulness of this meandering water way. The inexplicable, peaceful idle of waters’ journey. Waterfowl softly calling in the background. The greenness of the Tancheon. The plants and waterweeds populating its muddy banks and overcrowd-

ing its shoreline with beauty. We cruise by enormous carp that dart and jump out of the water, splashing the boats. Mallards and Egrets feed in the shallow areas. There are moments when the local flora engulfs us and there is no sign of the concrete jungle surrounding the tributary. After floating silent for a clip Mr. Faulk sums it up, “Tell me the Tancheon’s not beautiful.” 12:25 p.m. – The Tancheon

The pace is quickening. The wind is shifting to our backs. The Garden 5 shopping complex has drifted out of sight behind us and the tiered spire of the World Trade Center Seoul, located next to COEX, is peeking above the horizon. The boats have snagged on a few july 2011// / /59

graced the stadium long after the closing ceremonies. Metallica. Nine Inch Nails. Michael Jackson. The shade is a brief respite from the burning sun and the slow flow of the Tancheon. Just shy of three hours of sailing and the Han is in striking distance. This will be our last haven before we portage from the Tancheon to the Han. Korean cyclists wave to us from the bike path, and foot pedestrians stop to take pictures of the boats and their foreign crew. The S.S. Bulgolgi is holding strong with a patched hull, and the crew is optimistic about the next leg of the journey. We have come this far, and our next big step is just around the bend. We push off waving goodbye to the pedestrian path onlookers, the hum of highway traffic overhead. We pass an old bicycle submerged in the river, its silver frame glinting sunlight and refracted sparkles through the tan water.

Destinations July 2011

2:35 p.m. – Portage

The crew packed thorough supplies for the trip.

shallow areas and some scary-sounding pops and burps have broken the thin silence when the hull has caught on rocks. Provisions are still going strong and the mood is still light. The midday temperature is rising. The Tancheon continues to surprise us with her hidden beauty, but one pervasive element is the smell of this waterway. It is all at once earth and musk and the smell of thick green life and dark mud with the acrid hints of urban runoff and sweet motor oil. At times it is distant and at times pungent, and the pungent moments have been affectionately appointed the title “stench pockets” by Mr. French. We are floating through one right now. 12:30 p.m. – Breech in the Hull

The S.S. Bulgolgi has a breech in its hull. Section two, the first section of the outer wall, has been punctured by a rock and is quickly losing air. There are some low footbridges on the Tancheon, so low the crew almost grazes their heads along the bottom of the bridge while floating under. While exiting one of these archways, the Bulgolgi briefly founders on a shallow rock area and all members aboard feel the tug of the vinyl as the ship frees herself from the mooring. Shortly after, the crew of the S.S. Bulgolgi notices bubbles protruding from the underside of the vessel and immediately steers the craft toward the first available sand bar. One of the major concerns that our critics, namely wives and friends, voiced has materialized. Evil thoughts are swirling; thoughts of not being able to cross the Han, or even make it to the Han, and being forced to pull ashore and fully deflate the S.S. Bulgolgi only two kilometers into the Tancheon. Morale is low. 12:45 p.m. – Saved

The S.S. Bulgolgi floats again! After a thorough inspection of the hull by our mechanic, Mr. Faulk, the source of the leak is pinpointed, thoroughly cleaned with a spare shirt, and expertly sealed with the most vital provision aboard either ship: duct tape. 1:-00 p.m. – Double Rainbow

About three kilometers away from the World 60// / /july 2011

Trade Center Seoul, the crew is blessed with a rainbow. The timing is perfect following the near catastrophe that almost damned the S.S. Bulgolgi to the murky depths of the Tancheon. The rainbow is a full circle around the sun. Mr. Elser, the consummate outdoorsman and local environmental scientist, informs the crew that, “It’s a Sundog – a high altitude rainbow caused by the reflections off ice crystals.” Upon closer inspection the crew notices there are actually two concentric Sundogs – a double rainbow. But what does it mean? 1:15 p.m. – Lunch

A slow section of the river provides the perfect lull for lunch. Two hours in and the crew estimates we are about halfway to the Han. With a soft headwind canceling out the current, the boats come to a complete stop and the crew is happy to conjoin rafts for a galley picnic. A quiet meal with mystery in the air: will we make it to the Han? Will the patch job on the S.S. Bulgolgi hold? Will our provisions sustain the duration of this voyage? How are the wives and children and friends doing back on dry land? These are contemplative times. 2:00 p.m. – Olympic Stadium

We take brief shade in front of Olympic Stadium under Bongeungyo Bridge. The totemic colorful rings are mounted to the side of the stadium and peeking through the tree-covered banks. The sleek curve lines of the roof resembling a soft ocean swell frozen in motion. Built for the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, the initial capacity of Olympic Stadium for that 24th Olympiad was close to 100,000 people, and it was the first time since the 1972 Munich games that the Olympics had been held without a boycott. The building sits vacant and quiet on this Sunday afternoon. Long gone are the fans who witnessed Ben Johnson beat defending champion Carl Lewis in the 100-meter-dash with a new world record of 9.79 seconds, only to be stripped of the medal following a post-race steroid scandal. Long faded are the last resonating chords of the modern-day rock gods and pop stars that

Exiting the water before the Tancheon spillway goes smoothly. Each crew manages to coax its vessel to the western bank of the Tancheon and then muscle the rafts onto the break wall. Fishermen line both sides of the confluence and our presence is noted. Curious stares and concerned looks greet our portage from the Tancheon to the Han, and we encounter our first, and only, resistance of the voyage. With both boats resting just off the pedestrian pathway, Mr. Faulk, Mr. Waters, Mr. French, and Mr. Elser go in search of a safe place to enter the Han, I stay with the rafts, and Captain Custer enjoys a brief respite in the shade. The crew returns, having successfully scouted out an access point, and an elderly Korean man approaches us on a bicycle. He looks official. He has some kind of twoway radio attached to his hip, and a matching emblem on his black hat and red-collared shirt. The emblem is gold wings resembling the pilot wings that children are given on commercial airliners. Embroidered around the emblem on his shirt are the words: Hangang River Park Authority. He is rifling off some commands in Korean while gesturing into the air with the motion of a signature, suggesting that we might need some kind of paperwork to be involved in whatever it is we are involved in. We feign confusion. He repeats, both words and gestures. We point to the bottom of the S.S. Bulgolgi. Floating in the mixture of Tancheon river water and spilled grog are the directions for how to inflate the rafts – the closest thing we have to official paperwork on either ship. We pick up the directions, still hermetically sealed in their factory plastic, and offer them to the gentleman. He makes it clear that this is not the paperwork he wants, and begins to point to the other side of the spillway and the bridge that connects the opposite paths. We agree, through a variety of gestures and elementary Korean, to carry the boats all the way across the bridge and to the opposite side of the spillway. He bikes away. We wait a hot minute, grab the rafts, and make a run for the closest entry point originally scouted by the crew, and at 0243 in 2011 on May 22 we successfully enter the Han River.

3:00 p.m. – Crossing the Han

For reasons not entirely clear to the crew at the time, the S.S. Bulgolgi and the HMAS Ilich decide to split up shortly after reaching the Han. The Bulgolgi makes a quick move to cross the Han and patrol the north side of the river; the Ilich sticks to the southern shore. Crossing the Han requires time, and paddling, but given the mere trickle of a current that pushes the Han toward the Yellow Sea in early spring , there is little nautical experience required. We immediately cross under the Cheongdam Bridge and the Yeongdong Bridge is directly ahead. The S.S. Bulgolgi safely crosses, and soon the HMAS Ilich is a small dot floating on the opposite side of the river. Communication is lost between the crews, and both boats are forced to operate on intuition and prediction. 4:00 p.m. – The Han

The Han River is like a steamroller, wide and slow. The green brown water bears a similar pungency to the Tancheon, but the lush green of the banks of the Tancheon are a distant memory. This is urban rafting. Bridges and elevated subway cars and tall apartment complexes and modern buildings with flat screens the size of a city bus mounted to their shell surround our small speck of a boat drifting down the timid torrent. We pass under the Seongsu Bridge with its rollercoaster-like construction of industrial orange beams and concrete support slabs. The Namsan Tower pierces the sky in the distance. The perfect beacon for urban rafting. We are forced to paddle to make any ground, and the wake of other boats and water skiers and jet skiers gently rocks our vinyl ship. The S.S. Bulgolgi is given an emergency pumping of 50 PSI of air. 5:00 p.m. – Reunion

The S.S. Bulgolgi and the HMAS Ilich rejoin between the Dongho and Hannam Bridges. It is discovered that the S.S. Bulgolgi has taken the longer of the two paths due to a large

Aaron Elser heads down some of the Tancheon’s mini-rapids.

bend in the river, and that the south edge of the river is the selected course for all future expeditions. Dinner is taken on the water with both boats linking up via rope. The sun is starting to drop behind the urban sprawl of Seoul, and the endless pulse of cars and bikes and people continues to pump all around the river. The S.S. Bulgolgi is given an emergency pumping of 50 PSI of air. 5:38 p.m. – Terra Firma

The sun setting and the current slow, and the provisions beginning to run low, and Captain Custer makes the call to land at Hannam Bridge. Both crews paddle to a suitable landing spot – a sandy beach with easy exit to street level. The voyage is over. The S.S. Bulgolgi and the HMAS Ilich and the six crewmen successfully commandeered 8.21 Nautical Miles of the Tancheon/Han River systems

(roughly 15 kilometers), in approximately six hours and thirty minutes. A day on the river. John Powell bombing through the Grand Canyon via the Colorado River. Jacques Cartier sailing up the St. Lawrence River aided by the Iroquois. Huck Finn trolling the Mississippi. Someone else on the something else. The indigenous tribes of everywhere floating on something. A day on the river is a chance for the unknown, for the unexpected. It puts us out of our element and into the hands of the river, pulling and pushing and choosing our path. We are alowed to make minor corrections only; it is the river that chooses where we turn next. It is a chance to watch the world roll by. It is a chance to be removed from the paved life and to escape the cars and buildings and drift with the current while everyone else is racing the tides.

Jim French, Erik Custer and Mitch Waters rest on the bank of the Han after completing the voyage.

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Food & Drink July 2011

The restaurant also has lighter dishes, like this cucmber-wrapped salmon. Zhanna Bergy, a native of Siberia, co-owns the restaurant and café with her husband.

The menu includes hearty fare like cheese-stuffed chicken breast.

One of the signature dishes at Siberia is tvorog, a sweet, soft cheese. Here it is wrapped in blini.

Russian food in Kyungridan? Oh da.


By Josh Foreman | photos by josh foreman

cheese exists in Seoul that is rich and sweet and soft and textured. It would please the palette of the most discerning babushka. It is called dvorog, and it is made by an immaculately dressed and madeup Siberian named Zhanna. She does not give the recipe out, but she is eager to give spoonfuls of the stuff to interested people. 62// / /july 2011

The interior of Siberia Café, which is across the street from Siberia restaurant.

ChefHands – Siberia’s chef, Sasha Kim, is a former Zelen chef.

Zhanna Bergy sells her dvorog at Siberia, the new Kyungridan restaurant she co-owns with her husband, Pat. She hails from Siberia, Russia’s largest and most storied region, and she is here to share her country’s food with Seoulites. Siberia is different from most of the Russian joints in Seoul. For one, it’s in Kyungridan, not Dongdaemun. It’s also more upscale; you don’t get that feeling of slight danger eating there that you get with the alley-hidden places in Dongdaemun. Their chef, Sasha Kim, is a former Zelen chef, and you’ll see some of the same techniques at Siberia that you would there – stuffed chicken breasts, roasted pork, big hunks of steamed vegetables. Their food is mostly stuff that could sustain you through a cold Russian winter – hearty soups (including a unique yogurt-based one), steak with brown mushroom sauce, The stand-up fridgand shashlyk (who es behind the bar doesn’t like chunks are stocked with of skewered, roasted beer and vodka, lamb?). But there are including the lighter choices. They Baltika and Stary have a salmon salad Melnik range. that is uniquely prepared – each sliver of salmon is wrapped in a transparent-thin slice of cucumber. The pink of the salmon emanates through the cucumber. And then there are the desserts. What would a Russian restaurant be without blini? They serve the little pancakes stuffed with that sweet dvorag, except that here the dvorag has been flavored with strawberries. Mmmm… strawberry dvorag. Pat Bergy, Zhanna’s husband, has a knack for flambéing. He can do bananas foster, flambéed coffee and “cherries jublini,” a twist on cherries jubilee that is poured over bliniwrapped ice cream. And of course Siberia has plenty of Russian booze. The stand-up fridges behind the bar are stocked with beer and vodka, including the Baltika and Stary Melnik range. To get to Siberia, walk up the main street in Kyungridan. It’s on the right, past the Well-being Mart, on the second floor. The couple also runs a smaller spot called Siberia Café that serves shashlyk and drinks. It’s across the street from the restaurant. july 2011// / /63

Food & Drink July 2011

Urbs & Spices by read urban

photos by josh foreman

Pesto Chango


love ggaenip. That densely green, serrated-edge leaf that comes with galbi. The stuff right next to the lettuce on the table. An amazing combination of fresh mint and licorice anise. I am obsessed with it. I even went as far to tattoo it on my body. Of all the ingredients that Korea has to offer, it was ggaenip that wooed me. Ggaenip is the flavor in Korea that embodies delicateness.

When you are constantly hit over the head with boldly spiced red sauces and fatty pieces of pork, along comes ggaenip. It cuts through all of that and reminds us that Korea can do subtlety. As foreigners living here, it is easy to lose focus on a cuisine we are still not fully comfortable with. What has always helped me is taking their ingredients and making something familiar out of them. Several years ago, I came across a blog post written by someone with too much ggaenip in his garden. The writer decided to use it as a base for pesto and was pleasantly surprised. I remember reading the article and deciding to put the idea on the backburner. I continued to mar-

vel at the leaf in Korean cooking, eating it as much as I could. It wasn't until recently I came back to the idea of using ggaenip in a different way. I loved the flavor so much, why couldn't it work in western cuisine? My mind continued to go back to that blog post, but I guess I was unsure what the product would really end up being. Finally, after telling myself to stop being such a wuss and go experiment in the kitchen, I marched into my local market, proudly bought two large packs of ggaenip, and told that cashier “I'm making pesto.” She was confused, to say the least. I have tweaked the recipe a bit from what most North Americans are familiar with. The first thing you will notice is I use walnuts instead of pine nuts. It has only been the past few years that I have come to really appreciate the walnut. I love the slightly bitter earthiness that they impart to dishes, while still being rich. The next ingredient I decided to add to the pesto was lemon juice. I have always preferred my pesto lighter, with a bold acidity, usually lacking from any store-bought brand. The lemon juice also plays a very important role when pairing it with seafood, like the mussels in the accompanying recipe. I also removed cheese from the equation because I think it stands in the way of other flavors. It is an afterthought to an already wellbalanced sauce. The last thing, which is a matter of taste, is a nice big pinch of freshly ground pepper. Do your pesto a favor and give it that punch that it needs. The resulting sauce is surprisingly similar to the basil pesto we have all come to love. The ggaenip flavor mellows out, releasing a floral herbaceous quality you never see in Korean cooking. Lemon and olive oil give you the comfort of western food, while the ggaenip adds a brighter twist. Toss it with pasta, mix with aioli for a quick condiment, or stir into a hearty minestrone before serving. It is a cheap, versatile sauce that will soon become a staple in your kitchen.

Mussels with Ggaenip Walnut Pesto •

2 pounds of fresh mussels (rinsed, and cleaned)

¼ cup of white wine

4 cups Ggaenip (washed, stemmed, and roughly chopped)

½ cup of olive oil

½ cup of toasted walnuts

Juice from ½ of a lemon

2 cloves of fresh garlic


a good pinch of fresh ground black pepper

Place the garlic in a blender and pulse until finely chopped. Add the ggaenip, olive oil, and lemon juice. Blend, scraping down the sides, until it is combined . Add the walnuts and continue blending until it is a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Set a large pot over medium heat. Add the cleaned mussels with the white wine and cover. Let them steam, stirring once to rearrange them, about 6-7 minutes. Discard any that do not open. When they are finished, take them off the heat and stir in 3-4 heaping spoonfuls of pesto. Transfer to a large bowl, pouring all the liquid over the mussels. Make sure you have some bread to soak up the juices and a glass of wine to wash it all down. 64// / /july 2011

july 2011// / /65

Food & Drink July 2011

Pizza Peel serves Napoli-style pizza, as well as North American-style.

Neapolitan Meets Cosmopolitan at an Itaewon Pizzeria


By Laine Ritter

hat do you know about real pizza? I’m taking about the Italian kind, in particular the Neapolitan variety — thin crust, red sauce (unless you like it “blanco”), and cooked in a brick oven. Luckily, to get a taste of Napoli, you don’t have to travel far. Hidden in an Itaewon alley, you can find a pizzeria that blends the flavors of Italian-style pizza while capturing the cosmopolitanism of the city. 66// / /july 2011

As a pizza aficionado (I lived in Napoli — a.k.a. Naples — for two years), I can say that Pizza Peel, the new pizzeria, offers pizzas to rival that city’s. The menu offers a mix of traditional and alternative pizzas and calzones. The pizzaiolo (pizza chef), Dave Lauckner, polished his skills at a pizza externship program in Naples. He also worked for four years at a pizzeria in Canada, which accounts for the North American flair in some of his dishes such as the New York calzone and the “supreme” pizza. What’s his secret? It’s often said that the crust makes the pizza. At Pizza Peel, the dough is the outcome of a three-week effort. Lauckner says the key to his crust lies in the yeast starter, which he rests for several weeks before adding it to the flour mixture. The technique allows more air into the dough, making the crust “more bubbly.” The result is a crust that is more than a delivery mechanism for the cheese and toppings. The crust is slightly sweet, and airy yet crispy. To keep his menu current, Lauckner is constantly on the lookout for dining trends and ways to share his love of pizzas. Not long ago he began a pizza workshop for kids (and kids at heart). He also just introduced a wider selection of American beers such as Indica IPA and Dead Guy Ale by Rogue. To get to Pizza Peel, turn right down the first alley past the Itaewon Arch on Itaewon’s main street, heading away from Noksapyeong Station.

Chef Dave Lauckner checks a pizza inside his brick oven.

Lauckner uses a special technique to achieve airier crust. july 2011// / /67

Food & Drink July 2011

Squid Ink by Paloma Julian


Konglish & Pic of the Month

An Ugly Fish Makes it All Alright…


elcome summer, and welcome vacation (at least for some of us). Oh yeah, time to relax and do the things that we really like. I came to Spain two weeks ago, which is what I love to do, to visit family and enjoy friends that my expat life doesn’t allow me to see that often. Arriving here always seems to bring out the extreme emotions in me, good and bad.I still remember coming back for the first time to be greeted at the airport by a crowd of family and friends. It felt incredible! But after a while, what was exceptional became normal. The number of people waiting for me at the terminal decreased proportionally to the times that I landed (Currently at zero). The fact that no one waits for me at the airport always leaves a kind of bitter taste in my mouth. It is the taste of being in a movie that I don’t belong in… a movie that I don’t like at all. Like the last Woody Allen movie, “Midnight in Paris.” That movie is full of pretentious cultural and historical references (now is when my friends, brother-in-law and sister, will make fuss at me). I know that I am not a movie critic, but let me ask you something: how

come a movie filmed in Paris is full of Hollywood stars and there is not a piece of cheese, a cafe au lait, or a croissant in sight? I know, I know. I’m obsessed with food. But I can’t get over movie scenes like Julia Roberts’ flying escargot in “Pretty Woman,” or movies like Jon Avnet’s “Fried Green Tomatoes,” or Ang Lee’s “Eat, drink, Love” or Lasse Hallstrom’s “Chocolat," Arau’s “Like Water for Chocolate," or Anh Hung Tran’s “The Scent of Green Papaya.” It’s cinema for gourmets, of course. To erase the bad taste in my mouth, I want to rewrite my movie for this summer. My arrival in an empty terminal was just the start of my summer story — in few days I will fly to Menorca, one island full, in this case, of history: invaded by English and French, bombed by Italians not too long ago, and back to being Spanish at the beginning of the nineteenth century. But more importantly, it’s an island full of summer, blue sea, sun and food. So, here comes the question: What is the dish that completes my story? I’ve decided it will be a recipe using one of the ugliest fishes on the outside, but most delicious on the inside: the monkfish. When you cook this fish’s white flesh with the right technique, I think you’ll find it’s very similar to lobster. So pick up your backpack, go to Garak Market or Noryangjin, and cook. Happy summer!

Fake Lobster (serves 4) •

Monkfish tail (1kg)

½ cup of olive oil

½ cup of white wine

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 bay leaf


Black pepper (grain)


Silver foil


Make the seller clean the tail; you don’t want to have bones or skin. Sprinkle some oil and salt all around and paprika on one sides. You’re trying to imitate the pink-and-white color of the lobster. Wrapped the tail in tin foil, making the shape of a lobster tail. In a saucepan boil water with the bay leaf, white wine, pepper, and onion. Put the wrap into the water for around 25 minutes. Take it out as soon as you see that the texture of the fish is pretty much the same that a lobster has. Let it cool down, cut it into slices and serve with mayo and salad.

68// / /july 2011

july 2011// / /69

Food & Drink July 2011




By Laine Ritter

alking down Itaewon’s main street, a word in a banner caught my eye: “Inasal.” It brought back memories of the dusty streets of Manila and chicken roasting over charcoal fire-pits. Curious, I walked in. The place, Pancho’s Restaurant, had a sports-bar-meets-Mexicancantina ambiance – sombreros and serapes, televised sports, a pool table and nice window seating with an enclosed veranda. I tried out a couple of lunch specials. The shrimp quesadilla was crunchy, a decent size and well-seasoned. The sour cream sauce was tangy with a hint of sweetness which enhanced the flavor of the shrimp. The beef “fajita pita” was nicely seasoned as well. Although, the flour tortilla was a bit dry. Luckily, the three sauces that came with the dish helped compensate for the tortillas. My companion ordered a tasty chicken and beef mixed-grill – a spicy and sweet dish served on a bed of Asian-style white rice. We ended the meal with a leche flan dessert that was smooth, properly caramelized and delicious. Overall, not a bad meal at reasonable prices. As for the Chicken Inasal I came in for, unfortunately, it was no longer available. Pancho’s is located on Itaewon’s main drag, across the street from Hamilton Hotel.

Rating: HH out of 4 Stars Price: Lunch – W Dinner – W W

70// / /july 2011

Restaurant & Bar Directory Bar Bliss Itaewon Exit 1 (Line 6) make the first right. It’s on the corner. Price: 12,000-35,000 won. Contemporary cuisine and highend bar. Great cocktails and patio. Beer O’Clock Head to Exit 1 of Sinchon Station (Line 2) Go behind the Hyundai Department store towards the 7-11. Turn left on the third street up. 2nd floor. English Menu and staff. #:02-333-9733 www. Prices: 8,00024,000 won. Canadian Sports Bar with great wings, burgers, donairs, and pizza. Big Rock Brewery Head out Gangnam Station Exit 7 and make the first right and head up the hill past the GS25. www. Prices: 5,00015,000 won. Canadian Brewery with a great Sunday Brunch and good pub fare. Craftworks The nation’s only foreign-owned brewpub specializing in great steaks, inventive vegetarian dishes and, of course, amazing handcrafted beers brewed right here in Korea. Open every day but Mondays from 11 a.m. ‘til 2 a.m. 02-794-2537 HBC Gogi-Jib Out Noksapyeong Exit 2 (Line 6) and walk straight along the street with the kimchi pots. English menu and staff. #:02-796-5528. Nightly bbq specials, generous servings, and open late. Le Quartier Latin Go out Sinchon Station Exit 3 (Line 2) and walk straight until you get to the big church. Make a right and walk about 500 meters. Look for the large French Flag. English Menu and Staff. #:02333-9874. Prices: 4,000-26,000 won. Authentic French Bistro with reasonable prices. Naked Bar and Grill Line 6 Itaewon Station Exit 1 walk straight and make a right at KFC. Naked Bar and Grill is next to B1 on the left. English menu and staff. #:02-794-4225. Prices: 5,000 to 40,000 won. The perfect after party place with great food and drinks. Naked Grill Naked Grill is located at Yongsangu, Hannam Dong 29-21 towards the U.N. Village. English menu and staff. #:02-749-4225. Prices: 4,000-12,000 won. Tacos and homestyle American favorites for eat-in or take-out. Petra Restaurant Kebab House Exit 3 of Noksapyeong Station

(Line 6) and up the overpass. It’s located to the right. English Menu and staff. #:02-790-4433. Prices: 5,000-18,000 won. Authentic Arab food made by a certified chef. Excellent Falafel, hummus, and Sultana style lamb and chicken. Pizza Peel Go out Exit 4 of Itaewon Station and walk past the Rotiboy and make a left into Market Alley. English Menu available — Itaewon’s Newest Pizza Shop serving fresh pies daily. Roofers Go out Itaewon Station Exit 3 and make a right at the Fire Station. It’s on floor of the building across from the Foreign Food Mart. #02749-2970. An artsy, spacious bar with good food. They have an outside roof that is used for brunch and performances. Rookies Ichon (Line 4) Exit 5 and walk in the direction of Yongsan Station. Pass train tracks to your left. It’ll be on your left. English menu and staff. #:02-792-3383. Price: 4500-22,000 won. A sports bar with creative bar food and burgers. Sanchae House (산채집) Go up around Namsan Mountain from Myeong-dong Road. It is near the Namsan Cable Cars and the restaurant N’Cucina. English menu. #:02-755-8775. Price: 8,000-25,000 won. Savory bossam and fresh leaf bibimbap. Spice Table Go straight out of Exit 2 from Itaewon Station, turn left onto the first street (corner of Helios), Spice Table is on the left (2nd Floor) and across from Los Amigos. English spoken and English Menu Available. #:02796-0509. Price: 7,000-25,000 won (Cuisine), 8,000 won Lunch Special Menu, 40,000-90,000 won (Wine) Stylish Asian food to Itaewon using a fresh and flavorful approach. Wolfhound Go out Itaewon Station Exit 4 and turn left to go down the hill and make the first right. English Spoken and English Menu Available: 02-749-7941. Price 10,000-20,000 won for food. The best Fish-N-Chips and comfort food in an Irish Pub atmosphere. Yaletown 400 meters from Sinchon Subway Exit number 2. Make a left at Beans and Berries. English Menu. #:02-333-1604. Price: 5,00018,0000 won. Great Pub fare such as poutine, burgers, and nachos. july 2011// / /71



Seoul Saturday Soccer League - Please apply to and leave your phone contacts to call you for more information.  

Handball - Team Handball - Olympic Handball - We often organize friendly games against Korean teams during evenings or weekends. Male or female players, beginners, intermediate or advanced players... everybody is welcome! Just email SEB at handballinkorea@ or visit


Royal A siatic Societ y (R AS) – This non - profit organization offers lectures about Korea’s history and culture, while also offering tours to various locations around the country. Please contact raskb@ or visit

Gaelic Club - If you are looking for a physical and competitive sport, while also wanting some craic while you are at it, then check out Irish football, aka Gaelic. It is a mixture of soccer, basketball and rugby. Male and female teams meet frequently for training, games and social

Korea Ultimate Players Association – If you have been searching for some hot disc action in Korea, come out to play ultimate every Sun with the Korea Ultimate Players Association. Please visit www. Disc-Golf in Seoul - Looking for something different to do and want to be more active in Korea? We are always looking for new people to play disc-golf every Saturday. contact The Korea Lacrosse Association would like to involve more non-Koreans, with or without lacrosse experience, to participate in the growing tournaments and leagues. Please contact by emaiil parkpc@ or 02-743-5291 Football Club - Gecko's FC is looking for players, preferably with experience, for the start of the new season.We practice regularly, play games on Sundays and take road trips once or twice a season. Please contact Crystal Palace Football/Soccer Team – We are recruiting players of all abilities to join our games played in central Seoul. Please contact Alex at or 010 3040 6114 Seoul Survivors RFC -Seoul Survivors has been around for over 20 years. We practice regularly and play a variety of different teams in friendlies, competitions and on tours. For more information, please contact Ian at or 016-897-6282 The Seoul Sunday Football League, a competitive amateur expat league, is looking for referees to officiate matches in Seoul and surrounding areas on Sundays. No official qualifications are necessary, but you should have a good knowledge of the game. Pay is 70,000 won per game. Also, if you are interested in playing, then we can also find you a team. Please contact: Seoul Sisters Women’s Rugby Club: Looking for new members, both Korean and foreign, to grow the in-house league. No experience is necessary and there are great coaches to get you up to speed quickly. contact or check out www.ssrfccom Lokomotiv Goyang Football Club: Playing games in both Seoul and Goyang, we are a football team always looking for new members. Please contact or check

Clubs Free Bellydance Classes in English in Itaewon nights and weekends. Over 20 classes a week. Learn an art, awaken your body, make friends, eliminate stress, pamper yourself! Bellydance Classes in Seoul Tues nights & Thurs mornings. Belly dance is an energizing, low-impact exercise suitable for men & women of all ages. Reduce stress, improve balance & posture, strengthen & tone muscles, develop grace, reduce weight, and increase self-confidence!

Kimchi Confessions | www.myspace. com/jeremytoombs Writing Club - Looking to form/join a writing group. Meetings would likely be on the weekends, twice a month. My focus is on short fiction/prose at the moment, but I would be open to non-fiction/longer works as well. email Bryan at scriptingends@gmail. com Lodge Han Yang #1048 the oldest Masonic lodge in Korea welcomes all visiting and returning brethren to attend our regularly scheduled meeting every second and fourth Wednesday. Contact lodgehanyang@ for additional information Seoul Fencing Club — Seoul Grand Park in Ichondong. Please go to or email The Seoul Book Club, a new book club. We plan to meet once a month read and various works in English and then share and discuss our impressions, all are welcome. Please contact Sean at 010-3648-2861 or KH Toastmasters is a fun, supportive environment to learn public speaking and leadership skills in English. Our group is a dynamic mix of foreigners and Koreans, and we meet 8pm every Tuesday in Hyehwa. Guests always welcome. A map of our meeting location can be found at: khtoastmasters. com Southside Hash House Harriers: Do you like to walk, run and drink beer? Well then, come and join the Seoul branch of this world-wide club that meets in a different location south of the Han River each Sunday at 11:00am. All levels of fitness are welcome, just bring along your sneakers and a sense of humor! Please contact Countess at Section 8 Gaming: we meet Sundays in the Seoul area to play a variety of pen and paper role playing games, including Dungeons and Dragons. Contact Toastmasters International, every Thursday Night, near GyeongBuk Palace Subway station, for more information visit the following websites: www. or Contact us at: Belly Dance Classes in English. Learn fine muscle control of the torso, arms and hips, and interpretation of intricate music in English with an interesting group of women. Classes on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings. All levels welcome. Contact Texas Hold Em in Ilsan - Weekly Hold Em throw down at cool bar in La Festa, Ilsan Tues & Thurs around 10pm & Sundays 7pm. Contact mrleon29@gmail. com I'm all-in. May the flop be with you! I n t e r e s t e d i n T h e a t r e? S e o u l P l a y e r s i s a n all-volunteer community theatre group which does two English language shows a year. For more info, please email Interested in Surfing? There are trips throughout the winter to discover Korea’s secret spots and great waves. Please contact Nathan or Jack at

Korea Latin & Salsa Korea Latin and Salsa welcomes new members of all ages and experience levels for parties, salsa lessons in English and Spanish, trips, friends, and fun. Please visit our website

Bazzer’s Buddies Dog Walking Club Namsan, Han River and other outdoor areas around Seoul. A fun way to get out on a Sunday afternoon and meet new friends. Send an email to to find out when and where we will meet.

Seoul Artists Network (SAN) have a bi-monthly open mic that takes place at Woodstock in Itaewon on the first and third sundays of each month. www.

The Original Seoul Toastmasters Club - Are you interested in joining a club of professionals working to develop communication and leadership skills?

72// / /july 2011

International Clubs

Investor & Real Estate Club Meetings - Every Monday @ Watts On Tap. Discussions on international dating, relationships, investments. Discuss investments with ROI higher than KOSPI average. Anyone with valuable or critical comments wins cash & prizes! Contact 010-5552-5568

St Pats FC -

International Taekwondo club - looking for new members interested in taekwondo and cultural exchange on Sat& Sun 4:30PM ~ 8:30 PM near Konkuk Univ. Email to or visit to

interacting together. Please contact Dong Wan at: Suwon Scuba Club: A dive club close to Osan Air Base and Camp Humphreys, we teach all Padi courses and run regular tours for fun dives to the East Sea. Along with dives, the club has a major social element with outstanding BBQ's and parties on each tour. Please contact Nic at:, 010 3123 2061 or

Ice Hockey- Interested in playing with experienced and competitive ice hockey players? Join Korea’s original ex-pat hockey team, the Geckos Glaciers Sunday nights at 8pmin Anyang. Contact Charles at

Touch Rugby - contact and more information can be found at touchtagrugby.


The American Women's Club (AWC) now meets at the Sofitel Ambassador Hotel at 9:30 AM on the first Tuesday of each month. The Australia & New Zealand Assocation (ANZA) meets at the Grand Hyatt Hotel at 9:30AM on the third Tues of the month. For more information, please visit or

Meet new friends, both Korean and foreign, at the original Seoul Toastmasters Club. Please contact Joohun Park at and 011 9279 8299 or visit

The British Association of Seoul (BASS) meets at the Seoul Club from 10 AM to Noon on the fourth Tues of the month. For more information, please contact

Seoul PMS H3 – This is a running club for women that is also part of the Hash House Harriers. We meet one Saturday afternoon a month and are looking for other women who like to run, walk, drink and/or socialize. Contact msthanx4nothin@gmail. com or visit

The Canadian Women’s Club (CWC) meets the second Tues of the month & also participate in a group activity the fourth Wed of the month. For more information, contact

Karaoke Club - Join a karaoke club in Seoul with people who love to sing, whether you sound like Frank Sinatra or Frankenstein! We meet once a month. Please contact Are you a vegetarian or vegan in Korea? The Seoul Veggie Club meets twice a month to check out veggiefriendly restaurants and enjoy picnics. Koreans, foreigners, vegetarians and non-vegetarians are all welcome. "Facebook group Seoul veggie club" MEETinSEOUL – Come hang out with a large free, all-volunteer social group. There are no membership fees, just pay for your own cost of the events (movies, dinners etc). Yongsan Kimchi Hash House Harriers - If you enjoy running, walking and trekking throughout Seoul as well as drinking beer, then come join us every Saturday at 10 a.m. For more information, please visit (then go to "hareline") or Hiking Club – The International Hikers Club meets every Sat. For more information, please contact Mostly Over 40 – This club meets for lunch on Sunday a month and, as the name depicts, consists of p e ople who are mo s tly over 40. For more information, contact mostlyover40@yahoogroups. com CWG, ‘Conversations with God,’ discussion and study group is open for anyone who is interested in talking about the themes and implications of this book. Contact or 011 9990 4291 Artists – We are interested in starting an artists’ collective in Seoul. Are you a visual artist interested in t aking par t in a group exhibition? C ont ac t seoulcreative@yahoo.comForeigner/Korean Friendship Club: Our purpose is to meet at a bar on Saturdays to meet new people, introduce new cultures, share thoughts and have fun. Contact or check out Fusion Art: Seeking members involved in various arts (painting, drawing, illustration, sculpture, photos and more) for regular meetings and exhibitions to share information about colors and opinions. Please contact, chubbyhubby@hanmail. net or 010-6423-6037 Korean Movie Club: With English subtitles, people are now able to enjoy and understand recent Korean (and some non- Korean) movies and dramas in front of a 120-inch screen. The club is located just a minute from Sinchon Station. Please contact or www.geocities. com/koreanmovieclub Seoul Stitch ‘n Bitch: This club has a craf ting get-together the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month in Haebangchon, Seoul, Please contact seoulsnb@ or check Sinchon Toastmaster s Club: Looking for new members, both Korean & foreign, wanting to improve their public speaking and leadership skills in an atmosphere where members can also have fun

Club Italia hosts a lunch every Sun at 1 PM at the Franciscan School in Hannam-dong. The lunch costs KRW 15,000 and everyone is welcome. For more information, please visit Career Women in Korea (CWIK) at the New Seoul Hotel on the third Wed evening of the month. For more information, please visit or contact The Seoul Intl. Women’s Association (SIWA) meets at the Sofitel Ambassador Hotel at 9:30 AM on the third Wed of the month. For more information, please visit Overseas Chinese Women’s Club (OCWC) meets monthly and is open to all women who would like to make new friends, enjoy good food and learn about Chinese culture. Chinese is spoken, but interpretation is available. For more information, please visit our website at or contact

Announcements ARNIS/KALI: Q: What should a Korean fan of Filipino martial arts who can’t find many like-minded Koreans do? A: Take up English and work with expats. Free 90-minute session weekly between Seoul Station & Sookmyung Station. E-mail Navah Bellydance Company - Looking for performers with dance experience or who are willing to train with Eshe for events in and out of Seoul. The Ang Dating Daan Korea Chapter conducts free Bible Study and distributes DVDs of Bible Expositions of the only sensible preacher in our time — Brother Eli Soriano. If you want free copies of Bible Expositions and hear free Bible Study, please call 010-57372561 / 010-3004-0817 Amnest y G48 is an of ficial group of Amnest y International Korea. This group is made up of both Korean and foreign volunteers who actively take part in the movement to promote and protect human rights for all people around the world. E-mail Tom for further details @ All Native English Speakers, Kyopos, and Koreans. Proficient in English are welcome to join our weekly bible study/fellowship meetup held every saturday at 3 pm. We seek to delve deeply into scripture. Contact Info. 011-359-1317 Bellydance lessons in English in Itaewon at the Well Being Studio by Eshe on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Absolute beginners welcome. Awaken your body and spirit with this ancient healing art. Details at www. or email eshebellydancer@ Bible Study Enthusiasts - Weekly Bible study for Native English Speakers. We are having a weekly Bible Study every Saturday, at 7:30 PM. Everyone is welcome! Call me at 011-359 -1317 or email or homechurch. for further information. S e oul Glob al C enter - S e oul Help C enter for foreigners has been renamed and relocated to the Korea Press Foundation Building floor.

Horoscope Aries You're winding down from an especially hectic June, dear Aries, but life definitely isn't slow in July! There are more errands to run, busy mental work, and plenty of diverse activities for you. Your heart, however, is with home and family, and making changes that help to bring more peace and beauty to your domestic life. You are taking special care of your personal possessions and you feel more stable on practical levels. This is an excellent month for financial rewards, promotional activities, and career advancement.

Taurus July is strong for gaining support, both financial and moral, dear Taurus. Your powers of persuasion are excellent. Close partnerships grow, and some of you might form new partnerships. You take better charge of your finances, particularly money shared with others or derived from other sources than your personal income. Trips could be especially rewarding, providing a pleasant breather from pressures in your life. You have a strong interest in broadening your mental experiences in general, and finding expression of your personality through them, perhaps through higher education or exploring different philosophies.

Gemini Friends are seeking you out in July, dear Gemini, and you are in high demand! Asserting yourself comes naturally. Motivation to get going on pet projects and for pursuing your dreams is strong, so take advantage of this steady flow of energy. You're unlikely to run out of steam easily, particularly in the first week of the month. What you begin now tends to have long-term potential and can go far. A relationship may deepen due to the resolution of a long-standing problem. Some of you may enter a successful business partnership.

Cancer Friendships can be especially pleasant and supportive this month, dear Cancer. A friend might be an important player in achieving your goals. Partnerships tend to be more goal-oriented, free-spirited, and tolerant in July. Some of you may take a friendship into unexplored romantic territory, or meet a significant person through a friend or group association. Relationships with children grow, and opportunities to have fun expand. You are also more focused and ambitious when it comes to your work and health and fitness programs. Self-care efforts thrive in July.

Leo July can be a highly productive month for you, dear Leo. Your sometimes Herculean efforts, and your close attention to performance and details, will not go unrewarded! Some of your most natural talents meet with reward and acceptance. You are able to focus when it comes to creative output, and could work quite doggedly at a particular hobby or craft now, perhaps from behind the scenes. While July can have many practical benefits, personal advances are also likely. Romantic relationships deepen and intensify in July, and home life may be easier and happier.

Virgo Communications and transportation issues improve in July, dear Virgo. Studies are successful, and you are more ambitious and go-getting in your career. Those Virgos in the creative arts can inspire others with what they create, and can reach a broader audience. Romantic opportunities might come from people of an entirely different background or culture, or through education and travel, this month. You are especially organized in your home life, and more compassion and tolerance emerge in your relationships with family. You could feel more "in charge" of domestic matters.

July 2011

Libra Career matters take priority in your life in July, dear Libra. You might enjoy strong opportunities for presenting your ideas with charm, and you could find that your influence and powers of persuasion are enhanced. You might also enjoy benefits or support this month, particularly for home or home improvement endeavors. Some of you could acquire property. Job offers might arrive, or there could be improved working conditions and salary increases now. Any studies or skills improvement efforts can reap wonderful benefits down the road, so apply yourself as much as possible.

Scorpio This month, the emphasis is on strengthening a close relationship, dear Scorpio. You learn a lot through your experiences and interactions, and the lines of communication open up between you and a special someone. There can be a real learning experience with someone with whom you can bounce ideas off and come to a better understanding of how you define yourself. Creative partnerships might be formed in July. Your financial picture improves, and you could find work in the communications industry especially fruitful. Negotiations tend to work in your favor.

Sagitarius Your sign is known for a love of adventure, dear Sagittarius, but recently you're finding more benefits from staying closer to home and concentrating on practical matters. You might enjoy financial benefits from increased attention to work in July. You can be very focused on what truly matters to get ahead. Your natural talents are likely to be utilized � and appreciated - in your work. Some of you might find an opportunity to work from home, or in domestic-related fields. It's a strong month for feeling productive and valued.

Capricorn Your romantic and creative worlds expand and grow this month, dear Capricorn. You are learning to express yourself playfully and creatively without apology, and more willing to take some personal risks in order to do so. You have a stronger ability to hold the attention of an audience. Love, love affairs, and other social activities help to enhance a healthy self image. You more determinedly pursue your personal goals and at the same time enjoy contributing to a team or group effort. Your confidence about pursuing your dreams is on the increase.

Aquarius Your personal life tends to overshadow your professional life and material activities these days, dear Aquarius. Periods when you completely relax and retreat from everyday affairs will be especially beneficial and desirable now. You are motivated to pursue recreational activities this month. Interestingly, taking these "time outs" can help improve your professional life as you release self-imposed pressures. You are looking for more authenticity in your associations in general, weeding out those connections that feel too superficial. You are bound to make some fortunate connections that benefit you for years to come.

Pisces You are likely to enjoy more opportunities through your communications and contact with others this month, dear Pisces. Chances are excellent that you will find a lovely confidante. Networking opens you up to many new possibilities and ideas. More focus, determination, and intensity are brought to your career and professional goals. Business-related travel may enter the picture or it might increase. You are reaching more people in your career, broadening your contacts or your audience, and drawing on wonderful powers of persuasion. Educational, publishing, and promotional activities are favored in July.

july 2011// / 73

Medical & Health Info Pediatrics Serim Pediatrics 02-544-0234 Apgujung, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Subway line #3. Apgujung stn. Exit 4 Seran Family Medicine Clinic 02-2642-5975 Mok-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul Subway line #5. Omokgyo stn. Exit 2.

Cardiology / Heart Specialist Dr.Simon Lee Heart Clinic 02-543-0072 Chungdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Ophthalmologist BS Eye Center 02-519-8013 Gangnam Station, Seoul Gangnam stn. Exit 5 Seer & Partner Eye Institute 02-511-0567 Apgujung, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Dream Eye Center Myeong-dong Center 02-779-7888 Gangnam stn. Center 02-554-8400 Obstetrics Cheil Women’s Healthcare Center 02-2000-7119 (Emergency Room) 02-2000-7062 Mukjeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul CHA hospital 02-3468-3000 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Miz Medi Hospital 02-3467-3741 Daechi-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Dermatologists TengTeng Skin Clinic 02-337-4066 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Subway line #3, Sinsa stn. Exit 2 Hushu Skin Clinic 02-519-8013 Apgujung, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Subway line #3, Apgujung stn. Exit 3 Nova Skin Clinic 02-563-7977 74// / /july 2011

Gangnam Stn. Subway line #2, Gangnam stn. Exit 8 Dentists Yonsei Miplus Dental Clinic Hongdae Clinic 02-3141-0028 Sinsa-dong Clinic 02-3141-0028 SMart Dental Clinic 02-517-6278 Apgujung, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Subway line#3, Apgujung stn. Exit 4 UpennIvy Dental Clinic 02-797-7784 Ichon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Hushu Dental Clinic 02-519-8013 Chiropractors Create Wellness Center 02-798-1446 Itaewon, Seoul SKY Wellness Center 02-749-4849 Itaewon, Seoul

Oriental Medicine Jaseng Hospital of Oriental Medicine 02-3218-2167 Apgujung, Gangnam-gu, Seoul INI Oriental Medicine 02-824-0075 Sangdo-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul Subway line #7, Soongsil Univ. stn. Exit 3 massage Healing Hands 010-3158-5572 / 02-20718090 Itaewon, Seoul Ophthalmologist Samsung Medical Center 02-3410-0200 / 02-34100226 Emergency 02-3410-2060 Ilwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Yonsei University Severance Hospital 02-2228-5800 / 010-99480983 Yonsei Univ., Seoul Asan Medical Center 02-3010-5001 Poongnap-dong, Songpa-gu

Dear Michelle: Banking Advice for

Foreigners in Korea

Submit your banking questions to:

Dear Michelle, Why do I need to choose only one bank to send money overseas from? ~One-Bank Man Dear One-Bank Man, To do any kind of foreign exchange transaction* from your Korean won bank account, you must first designate just one bank as your "Primary Foreign Exchange Transaction Bank" and then do all foreign exchange transactions from that bank (any branch of that bank). To do this, you just need to fill out a simple form in person at your bank branch. Of course you can have as many bank accounts as you like and you can always change this designation later by filling out the same form at another bank that you wish to designate as your Primary Foreign Exchange Transaction Bank. The reason for this designation is to help the Bank of Korea keep track of the outflow of Korean won. Everyone has to designate a Primary Foreign Exchange Transaction Bank. Koreans too! The only difference between Koreans and foreigners is that Koreans are automatically designated at the first bank they use to send money overseas from; they do not need to fill out any paperwork the first time. But, if they change banks or try to send money overseas from another bank, they will need to fill out the same form that we do. *Foreign exchange transactions that require “Primary Foreign Exchange Bank Designation” include: 1. Exchange of Korean won into a foreign currency of an amount that is equal to or greater than US$10,000 (or equivalent) 2. Overseas remittance (international wire transfer) 3. Overseas withdrawal from your Korean won account (with your international check card) 4. Overseas credit card spending

Remember: You can make US$50,000 (or equivalent) in foreign exchange transactions per year, no questions asked. After that, you will have to submit proof of the source of the funds for approval before you can send more money overseas. Best wishes,

Michelle “Dear Michelle: Banking Advice for Foreigners in Korea” is a monthly column written by Michelle Farnsworth. Michelle is an 8-year resident of Korea who is currently the Foreign Client Relationship Manager at the Shinhan Bank Seoul Global Center – the only bank branch in Korea that is exclusively dedicated to serving foreigners and foreign companies. Please visit the “Shinhan Bank Seoul Global Center” on Facebook for more information. Also, please note that the banking information provided in this column is based on Shinhan Bank policies and may not be applicable to all banks in Korea. july 2011// / 75

Konglish of the Month 2nd Place — Jessie Palmer

3rd Place — Laura Stanley

The winner will receive a food or entertainment voucher worth 50,000 won. 1st Place — Kristy Welch


60 Fixed look 61 Captain Picard's counselor 62 Professional org. 63 Didn't have traction 64 Hinged fastener


1 Distort 5 Doozy 9 Battery fluid 13 Copier 14 Auguries 16 Affectation 17 1952 Brando film 19 Seaport of Algeria 20 Singer Sheena 21 Calamity Jane portrayer 23 Have a fling? 25 Milk-related 26 Biblical song 29 Eccentric 31 Mislay 32 Expected to arrive


33 Aviator Earhart 36 Capital of Sweden? 37 Ilium 39 Conversational stopgaps 40 Weep noisily 42 Assist 43 Singer Kristofferson 44 Mountain lions 46 Admirer of Beauty 47 Truck fuel 48 Bring home the bacon 50 Made numb 52 Lock sites 56 "Long Day's Journey ___ Night" 57 "Love Story" author 59 Opinion

76// / /july 2011

1 Silent greeting 2 Samoan capital 3 Engine speed, for short 4 Babble 5 Bank deals 6 Ballpark official 7 Be in front 8 Countless 9 Early Christian 10 Chain of mountains 11 Son of Abraham 12 Disavow 15 Slow Spanish dance 18 Type of lens 22 Caesar's "veni" 24 First course 26 Commoner 27 Fair to middling 28 Colleagues 30 Keep out 32 Cynic philosopher 34 Eye part 35 Little helper? 37 Monopoly purchase 38 Seine tributary 41 Square dance 43 Branagh of movies 45 Tips off 46 Bikini tops 47 Patron saint of France 49 Felt sore 50 Opera star 51 Watch face 53 Mogul capital of India 54 Neighbor of Thailand 55 Minor mistake 58 Dernier ___

Please email your entries to:


The aim of the puzzle is to insert numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3x3 box must contain one of each digit from 1-9. Theres is a unique solution, which can be found by logical thinking.

july 2011// / 77

Pic of the Month 1st Place

Arthur Quejadas — "Cube" I have a wild imagination, and as I look through the viewfinder, I travel to a different dimension. I have come to think that in photography, the world is not spherical at all, it's already a "cube." Pictures are everywhere — even in negative spaces — we just have to find them.

Theme: Negative Space

2nd Place

Adam Nicholson — "Bubble Bath" I love baths, and I love the jjimjilbang/sauna culture. But sometimes, one wishes to be alone. Unfortunately, in Korea it is a bit difficult finding a tub in which to soak alone. In those rare moments of solitary peace, I am very, very happy.

3rd Place

Christian A. Cuison — "On his mark..." One of the best methods in achieving a good-looking macro shot is through minimalist approach. By creating empty spaces in your photograph, you actually intensify the subject.

The Groove spc Challenge

where/when of the photo. Entries must be at least 2000 pixels on the longest side and 300dpi to meet printing requirements, and be taken no more than two weeks prior to the announcement of the challenge.

The SPC is an online community of expats in Korea who are interested For further info, visit the in learning about and discussing the Seoul Photo Club on Flickr art of photography. But ‘Seoul Photo Club’ is a bit of a misnomer - membership is free to anyone, anywhere in Korea. Together with Groove Korea we run the photo competition. Each month, a themed challenge is announced in Groove Korea and at the SPC. Past themes include such topics as Repetition, The Sun and Spring Portrait. Just submit your interpretation at the SPC or via email to have a shot at having your pic published here in Groove Korea and winning the monthly prize.

The winner will receive a food or entertainment voucher worth 50,000 won.

You must provide your name and contact details plus a 50-150 word description telling us the what/

August's Challenge: "Cityscape" Capture the city as a landscape

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july 2011// / 79


Bungalow Lounge — 02-793-2344 This bar and restaurant sets the standards of unique excellence to higher levels - decked out with bamboo, sand, pools, swings, a fireplace and more. Chiropractic Clinic — 02-798-1446 American and Australian trained, doctors are fluent in English, Spanish & Korean. copacabana — 02-796-1660 Come to COPACABANA where a mere 29,000 won gets you all-you-can-eat of the best Brazilian barbeque and buffet in Korea. Craftworks — 02-794-2537 The nation’s only foreign-owned brewpub specializing in great steaks, inventive vegetarian dishes and, of course, amazing handcrafted beers brewed right here in Korea. Open every day but Mondays from 11 a.m. ‘til 2 a.m. Don Valley — 02-796-2384 Conveniently located in the heart of Itaewon, this spacious restaurant accommodates 120 guests for delicious dinners and large parties. Open 24 hours everyday, it specializes in “Korean BBQ Done Right” - grilled beef ribs, bulgogi and bibimbap as well as many others.


JONNY DUMPLING — 02-790-8830 Enjoy different styles of healthy, handmade dumplings made fresh everyday. Meat as well as vegetarian dumplings are available. LA CIGALE MONTMARTRE — 02-796-1244 Contemporary French cuisine in cozy and intimate surroundings.with a classy yet casual feel, it has a variety of food which includes a range of mussels. Its terrace brings an outdoor feel yet warm & dry comfort to accommodate the weather. LA PLANCHA — 02-790-0063 Spanish grill restaurant includes combination platters along with al la carte side dishes. Feast inside in the warm and cozy atmosphere or sit out on the plant covered terrace. LOCO LOCA — 02-796-1606 Enjoy Salsa music and dancing in the vibrant atmosphere. Freshly baked pizzas with Latino flavors and the very best South American wines will be served. MARAKECH NIGHT — 02-795-9441 Moroccan & Arabic restaurant offering authentic dishes, atmosphere and music. Wine, beer, juices and yogurt drinks are also available. Enjoy flavored tobacco from traditional shisha pipe. McDonald’s — 02-790-6413 Open 24 hours with breakfast served from 5 – 11 a.m. Panchos — 02-792-4746 A Mexican bar with darts, pool, television and a wide selection of music. A spacious setting with big windows overlooking Itaewon’s main street. Queen Queen welcomes ALL people for who they are and creates an open environment where different people from various backgrounds can cross barriers and unite as one community while having the time of their lives in the ultimate party kingdom! SKY Chiropractic & Massage — 02-749-4849 US trained and certified chiropractors and massage therapists. SKY Wellness Center integrates chiropractic and massage to correct your body’s imbalances and achieve optimum health and wellness.

TMAS — 02-796-7976 Total Martial Arts System. Designed for FOREIGNERS and lessons in English. learn true martial arts, training and spending time together like a family. Unique Travel — 02-792-0606 A travel agency in the heart of Itaewon where English, Japanese and Korean are spoken. Wolfhound Irish Pub — 02-749-7971 This two storey Irish pub has a wide variety of imported beers, exceptional food and a great atmosphere. Guinness and Kilkenny on tap. 80// / /july 2011

july 2011// / 81


Groove Korea caught up with the kings of K-ska to ask them about how they got together and if they have anything special planned for this year’s Jisan festival.

July 29-31

So, how did you get together? Choi Chul-wook and Oh Jeong-seok met in 2003 while playing in indie bands and we eventually got together as we were all involved in the music scene around Hongdae, Seoul at the same time. Some of us played jazz and some played punk. There are many kinds of music that go into ska, and so it helped to widen the spectrum of our music.

A musical genre that originated in 1950s Jamaica isn’t exactly the kind of music people might immediately associate with Korea. How did you get interested in Ska? Actually Choi Chul-wook was in a ska-punk band originally. In the 90s, ska punk was really popular and it still is. We really like the roots of the music and we love that it makes everyone, regardless of age or sex, jump up and down and dance. We also found a more profound and hidden side to ska, and along with reggae, jazz and blues, we are interested in the historical backgrounds and traditions of each kind of music. We were influenced a lot by Jamaican band The Skatalites.

In an interview, you said that you are the only real, original ska band in Seoul. What is the difference between you and other bands that call themselves ska? What makes you original?


Kingston Rudieska

Jisan Valley Rock Festival, Main Top Stage, July 31

By Rob McGovern

The K-Ska Kings:

Kingston Rudieska played the main stage of Jisan Valley Rock Festival last year, and the nine-piece band will be back again this year. An exciting, energetic band that fills any stage, literally and metaphorically, Kingston Rudieska are stepping up to represent ska in Korea.

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• • •

Band Members: Choi Chul-wook (leader, trombone) Lee Suk-yul (lead vocals, conga drum, percussion) Oh Jeong-seok (trumpet, flugelhorn) Kim Jeongg-gun (trumpet) Sung Nak-won (tenor sax) Seo Jae-ha (guitar) Son Yong-sik (bass) Hwang yona (drums) Kim Oek-dae (keyboards)

We don’t remember when and who said that, but terms like “original” and “authentic” sound like marketing jargon, and to us it doesn’t mean anything. We aren’t Jamaican, we don’t play New York ska or Japanese style ska. We are experimenting with our music, while at the same time, making sure we don’t lose track of the roots of the music or disrespect its origins. We can’t recreate truly original ska because of our origins, even though we are playing music from abroad. It’s the same with movies and literature. However, we believe that we have our own ways and ideas to help us create our music. And our environment influences us too, so in this way, yes, we are original.

Last year you played at Jisan. How was it compared to the small clubs of Hongdae? Both are good. Small club gigs are good because we are literally closer to the audience, we can see their faces as they react to our music. Big stages and big festivals like Jisan Rock Fest are also good, because open air concerts, surrounded by nature, make people happy.

Are you planning anything special at Jisan this year?

That is the one of the biggest festivals in Korea so we are planning to arrange our songs in a new way and put together a show that we can’t really do in small clubs. So yeah, we are looking forward to Jisan again.

You have performed with the Mimi Sisters and others in the past. Can fans look forward to another performance with them at Jisan, or any other collaborations? It’s a secret! It is always interesting to work with other musicians and create something new. So yes, we will continue to collaborate with other musicians and create new experiences for our fans.

You have collaborated with various other bands and also traditional forms of Korean music. How did you find ska mixed with pansori in particular, but also other forms of music? We have performed lots of times with Jang Goon and pansori singers. People may think it is difficult to mix these various types of music together, but we are collaborating the roots of these kinds of music. We don’t find we have any problems assimilating aspects of other kinds of music into our own style. The important thing for us is being open minded and respectful to these other genres of music, it wouldn’t work otherwise. We have had all kinds of musicians in the band, people who like jazz and punk, so we have always collaborated in some way. Ska was affected by other kinds of music like R&B and Jazz, but more importantly, it was informed from an attitude of enjoying music, having a creative spirit and a positive mindset. Jang Goon played music with Kim Ban-jang of Windy City in a dub/reggae band called I&I Djangdan. We have plans to try some interesting things in a similar scene with Kim Ban-jang.

What are you planning for the future? We have performed in the club scene for seven years without really taking a break, and we are proud of that. While continuing to play, we are planning our new album this year. We are going to steadily work it on and hopefully it won’t take too long to complete.

Has anyone ever used the term K-ska to describe you? Is Groove the first? It is! K-pop is booming, but we hope that K-ska can become as popular. Actually we think that once it becomes well known, it will become the most popular genre of music. We are sorry that more people don’t listen to it, but that is just because they haven’t been introduced to it.

july 2011// / /15

Jisan July 29-31


A Band for All Seasons:

Dear Cloud

Jisan Valley Rock Festival, Green Stage, July 30 By Kim Stoker | photo courtesy dear cloud

What is it that carries a live band? What elements converge to make one band stand out from the rest? Maybe it’s the sheer force of its sound or perhaps it’s just a good-looking singer or even a gimmick. But to stand the test of time, a band needs more. A band has to have the ineffable “it” factor that will grow into a dedicated following. If you’re looking for a new band to discover, meet Dear Cloud. Groove sat down with Dear Cloud on the eve of the release of its long-awaited third album. For its recent sold-out solo show at Baekam Art Hall in Samseong-dong, Dear Cloud rocked out through a set that included every track from their latest studio release “Bright Lights.” Fans had been waiting almost three years for the album, their third, self-described as “slightly brighter” than the two previous studio albums - their debut “Dear Cloud” and the intense eclectic followup, “Grey,” and last year’s EP “Take the Air.” “We really tried to be bright on this album,” said bassist Elang. “For us it’s a big deal.” It’s clear that there’s a tight bond between the five band members who perform sans upstaging while playing off each other’s energy. We’ve been together for six years now and we see each other every day so it’s more like family,” said Elang about the connection between the members. Led by charismatic singer Nine’s inimitable vocals and Yong Rin’s passionate guitar riffs, the band’s signature sound is a mix of lyrical longing and nuanced melody. They take their musical inspiration from modern British rock and their own poetic sensibilities. Backed up by the dynamic rhythm section of keyboardist Jung A, Elang, and ever-impressive drummer Kwang Suk, Dear Cloud is one of those must-see live bands. In terms of what makes us different,” said Jung A, “I would say we have a unique sensibility. I think that a foreign audience will really be able to feel that because of the influence that foreign bands have had on us.”

12// / /july 2011

Since they first began doing live gigs in 2005, Dear Cloud has been a regular on the Hongdae indie music scene performing at clubs like Freebird, Live Club Ssam, Club Ta, and at Club Day. In the early days, Nine and Yong Rin could be found performing acoustic at the Hongdae Flea Market on weekends. Starting with the release of their first album in 2007, the band expanded its audience by playing larger venues such as Rolling Hall, Sang Sang Madang, and V-Hall in addition to making appearances on TV. The absorbing new album marks not only their most mature effort to date, but also the band’s solid songwriting and musicianship that’s woven together with string arrangements on eight out of 10 tracks. Oft-times cinematic, the inclusion of strings brings a complexity and depth to their already layered melodies. The riff driven power-house opening song “You’re Never Gonna Know” echoes the opening instrumental track from their EP “Take the Air,” which according to the band was a kind of sneak preview of “Bright Lights.” Stand-outs include the catchy title song, “For You” (널 위해서라고), the bitter-sweet ballad “You’re Still the One I Know” (아직도 그대가 익숙해) about being unexpectedly moved after an encounter with an ex, and the flirty “Run Into Me” (스 쳐간다). “What's been different with this album is that before we had a more explosive sound with an emphasis on the guitar,” said Nine. “But this time, we felt the strings would give it a more refined feel.” For more information, go to dearcloud


Jang Ki-ha will perform at Jisan Valley Rock Festival on July 31. In an interview, he told Groove Korea about how being a famous musician has changed his life.

July 29-31

among music fans and increase our fan base, so I suppose there is more pressure now.

Your first album sold at least 35,000 copies. Did you anticipate that it would be so successful? To date it has sold more than 52,000 copies, which we really didn’t expect at all.

Awards, recognition, record sales and sold-out concerts seem to be normal now for your band. How has being a famous musician changed your life changed? There is some stress that comes with being well known, but overall we appreciate everything that comes with being famous pop musicians. We are thankful that we can play our music we make for our fans.

Some say the beauty of your music is that it doesn't follow traditional thoughts or themes. You don't seem to write about straightforward things, or at least not in straightforward, conventional ways. How do you come up with ideas for songs? For us, the starting point when writing songs is always ordinary life. We try to write songs about things that are important to us and we hope that our fans will find that some of our songs are meaningful to them.

What are your main musical influences? There are a number of musicians we are influenced by, but we lean on tradition a lot, too. However, we don’t think that looking only to the past can help us make our music better. We try to think about ways to make our music unique and inimitable.


Meet the Top Indie Act in Korea:

Jang Ki-ha and the Faces Jisan Valley Rock Festival, Main Top Stage, July 31 By Rob McGovern

By spring 2008, singer-songwriter Jang Ki-ha had finished writing the songs for his debut album. To perform these songs, he gathered some session musicians who eventually became The Faces. The Faces got more involved and contributed to the writing and composition of the second album and Jang Ki-ha and The Faces were born. 10// / /july 2011

Depending on what you read, you are sometimes considered pop music, sometimes indie and sometimes something in between. In what genre do you place yourselves? Jang Ki-ha: We don’t think pop music and indie music are unrelated to each other. We like to play fun music for both ourselves and our fans, and in that respect, we feel we are pop music. We also feel like we could be considered a rock band.

You are sometimes called the Seo Tai-ji of indie music. How do you feel about that and what do you think it means? We don’t think we are called the Seo

Tai-ji of Indie music because of some musical connections. We got famous quite quickly compared with other bands and artists and so if people do refer to us as the Seo Tai-ji of indie, it is more to do with our quick rise to popularity. We, of course, appreciate that people are interested in us in anyway.

You are seen as one of the main successes, if not the main success, of the Korean indie/alternative music scene. Do you feel any pressure? We didn’t feel there was any pressure on us to be famous when we were first starting out, but we started thinking about how we could make ourselves more memorable

In an interview, you said that when you started the band, you wanted to have fun. Are you still having fun? Yes. We feel that if we aren’t having any fun, then the band and what we do will have no meaning.

Last year you played the main stage at Jisan. How was it as an experience and where did it rank in terms of audience sizes you have played to? Jisan was one of the biggest crowds we have ever played to. We were touched by the enthusiastic response from the audience and the energy that came from the crowd spurred us on to write our second album. july 2011// / /11

Jisan July 29-31


Two Decades of Rock: Feeder Jisan Valley Rock Festival; Big Top Stage; July 30 By Rob McGovern

A South Wales-Japanese rock-combo, Feeder have been around since the early 90s. Their 1997 debut album, “Polythene," was met with critical acclaim and set the wheels in motion for a career that shows little sign of slowing. The single “Buck Rogers" is instantly recognizable. It, along with the attendant album, “Echo Park,” confirmed Feeder’s rock credentials, something that their fans had known since the 1995 debut EP “Two Colours.” Drummer and founding member Jon Lee committed suicide in 2002, but the band vowed to carry on. Feeder are back in Korea, after previously playing at Pentaport, and are eager to get on the Jisan stage. Singer Grant Nicholas took some time to answer a few questions for Groove Korea. Since you formed, you must have seen and experienced some fantastic, amazing and bizarre things through your exploits as rock and roll stars. The best ones are always hard to remember, as they normally end in a night of total debauchery, but sharing the stage with U2 followed by an extremely heavy night in Italy was right up there.

Further to this, what’s the most rock and roll thing you’ve ever done yourselves? TV's out of hotel windows? Cars in swimming pools? Trashing a tour bus in the U.S. in ‘97 and stealing Jon Bon Jovi's Kerrang award. Not guilty.

You released “Renegades" last year, which was your seventh studio album. Do you still have the same zest and craving for rock and roll, for gigging and recording? I think even more in some ways. We have so much more do before we leave people in peace.

Was it the success of “Polythene” that really launched Feeder? Polythene put us on the map, but it was 8// / /july 2011

really the success of “Echo park” and “Comfort in Sound” etc. that pushed us to another level.

“Renegades” is an album that some say has seen you return to your roots, a return to the kind of music you produced with “Polythene.” Would you agree with that? Yes in some way, but “Polythene” was really our first go at recording an album after all those years of playing live and trying to get noticed. We really wanted to go back to find our roots again, and that was the heart of the “Renengades” album.

Fans at Jisan will surely want to hear a lot of “Renegades,” but can they also expect to hear a mix of the Feeder back catalogue? We play a mix of all the albums in general. We are also working on the next Feeder album.

The band have well established connections with Japan and so it is no surprise to hear that you decided to try and help by releasing “Side by Side" as a charity single to help raise money for the Red Cross's Japan Tsunami appeal. We decided to do something very soon after

the earthquake, as it felt like the right thing to do, and Japan is very close to our hearts.

How does it make you feel to hear that after all this time (I’m not having a go about your age) that Feeder can still compete? Ha, funny, we are not kids, but we still love making music and feel lucky to still be around in such a difficult industry after all these years. We are also very passionate and feel that we have something to express musically still.

What are you expecting from the festival and what are your feelings on returning to Korea? We are just very happy to be playing in Korea again. The last time the audience was fantastic and made us feel very welcome. Thank you.

What can Feeder fans expect in the future? Can you imagine yourselves being a Rolling Stones type band who keep gigging until you can gig no more? We are just finishing the last stage of the next Feeder album, and are planning a busy tour next year. As for lasting as long as the Stones, we are not that bloody old, but maybe! Respect to them, however.

Jisan July 29-31

By Rob McGovern

The thunder comes, the birds scarper and all the little woodland creatures run for cover. Clanking, clunking, hammering and grunting replace the sounds of nature. These man made, industrial sounds in such a pleasant and tranquil setting mean only one thing: It’s festival time. The dawn chorus can no longer be heard and eventually the whole valley has been transformed from a dormant ski resort into a summer rock venue. The three-day party that is the Jisan Valley Rock Festival is a non-stop, booze-fueled music extravaganza with power chords that can be heard by Kim Jong-il. Jisan is the Drew Barrymore of festivals, legally emancipated yet doing pretty bloody well for itself. The Jisan festival has, after only two years, cemented its place in the annual calendar of must-do events in Korea. Oasis, Weezer, Muse, Pet Shop Boys and Basement Jaxx are some of the biggest names in music and they have already tasted Jisan. And they liked it. This year it is the turn of the Arctic Monkeys, Jimmy Eat World, Asian Kung Fu-Generation, Incubus, The Chemical Brothers, Suede, Feeder, The Music and the interestingly named Ogre You Asshole and Angree Yung Robotz, amongst others. They’re joined by the most rockin’ anti-Kpop bands in Korea: Jang Ki-ha and the Faces and Kingston Rudieska. Groove Korea has put together a Jisan Valley Rock Festival primer, interviewing Feeder, Jang Ki-ha and the Faces, Kingston Rudieska and Dear Cloud. The South Wales-Japanese rock-combo Feeder burst onto the music scene with their 1997 debut album "Polythene" and will be returning to Korea this month. “We are just very happy to be playing in Korea again. The last time the audience was fantastic and made us feel very welcome,” said singer

Grant Nicholas. Jang Ki-ha and the Faces rocked the main stage at last year’s Jisan festival and Korea’s most exciting indie act will return to this year’s main stage. They said the 2010 festival was so exciting that it was the inspiration for their most recent album. “Jisan was one of the biggest crowds we have ever played to. We were touched by the enthusiastic response from the audience and the energy that came from the crowd spurred us on to write our second album,” Jang said in an interview. Although now established, it wasn’t too long ago that an argument over money threatened to scupper Korea’s fledgling festival circuit. Let us take you back to the last century, when people were stocking up on food for the end of the world and Vancouver wasn’t considered a travel risk. A festival is born. Back in 1999, after seeing the Fuji Rock festival do such a brisk trade in international acts in its first two years, some bright Korean sparks decided that the peninsula needed a big summer festival, too, and set about organizing one. All was going well until some extreme weather conditions scuppered it. Festival fans would have to wait another seven years for their festival fix and an opportunity to see Prodigy, Deep Purple, Rage Against the Machine and Dream Theater. It would be a full decade from that initial attempt before the first Jisan festival changed Korean rock forever. Jisan is the offspring of Korea’s other big festival, Pentaport, which was created in 2006 by IYESCOM and Yellow 9. A split over money (what else?) led to Yellow 9 starting up its own festival, conceiving Jisan in anger and giving birth to it in an atmosphere of spite and greed. Or so it is said. IYESCOM told the Korea Herald last year "Yellow 9 decided to rescind their contract with us and got off the reservation to startup their own festival. They subsequently registered the Pentaport brand name and trademark rights on their own without notifying us and have left us out." Yellow 9 responded with a tat for IYESCOM’s tit. Blah blah blah. He said, she said; 600 million won; obligations; contracts; registering trademarks; name calling; sticks and stones and breaking bones. It is hard to have sympathy for international music promoters.

People just want to see the best bands. But as everyone knows, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And Yellow 9 knew everyone. For the first few years of its existence, Pentaport was on the last weekend of July. It was timed perfectly to snag acts coming off the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. Easily the biggest music festival in Asia. Jisan thought the same. A battle was a-brewin’. That was 2009 and Jisan won the battle. They attracted Oasis, Basement Jaxx, Jimmy Eat World, Fall Out Boy, Weezer and Jet, along with lots of Korean bands and artists. Pentaport’s lineup was less star studded. Pentaport submitted the following year and moved their festival ahead one week before Jisan, possibly in an attempt to attract Fuji Rock Festival bands. Their lineup was as equally unexotic as 2009’s. That same year, Yellow 9 teamed up with CJ E&M, a subsidiary of CJ Group, a chaebol that spun off from Samsung in 1995 and is worth over $3 billion. And it all falls into place. Mnet happens to be a subsidiary of CJ E&M and is supervising the organization of Jisan and 9 Entertainment, the new name of Yellow 9, is a co-organizer and promoter. They have ties with Smash Corporation, the Japanese music promoter that organizes the Fuji Rock Festival. Jisan maintained its momentum and with the backing of CJ Group, brought world-class acts that were to appear at Fuji Rock Festival. This year is set to follow the pattern of the first two years, with Jisan attracting acts that have made the trip to nearby Fuji. Pentaport’s organizers are staying clear of Jisan again and have scheduled their festival for the weekend following. Both festivals are settling into their niche. And that’s a good thing for music lovers. “(Jisan) is the one of the biggest festivals in Korea, so we are planning to arrange our songs in a new way and put together a show that we can’t really do in small clubs. So yeah, we are looking forward to Jisan again,” the kings of Korean ska, Kingston Rudieska, told Groove Korea. They’re tight-lipped on who they might be playing with this summer. “It’s a secret! It is always interesting to work with other musicians and create something new. So yes, we will continue to collaborate with other musicians and create new experiences for our fans.”


Jimmy Eat World

Atari Teenage Riot

Chemical Brothers Suede Arctic Monkeys Incubus Atari Teenage Riot Jimmy Eat World Asian Kung-Fu Generation Quruli Feeder The Music Amadou & Mariam CSS Cwy Band Guckkasten Huckleberry Finn Priscilla Ahn Chang Ki-ha & The Faces Dearcloud Kingston Rudieska Pia Apollo 18 The Moonshiners DJ DOC Priscilla Ahn The Koxx Telepathy Crash Thieves Like Us Jung Jinwoon AND MORE... Advance: 99,000 won — 1 day 198,000 won — 3 days At the gate: 110,000 won — 1 day 220,000 won — 3 days

The Music

CSS 6// / /july 2011

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Arctic Monkeys


Chemical Brothers


Thieves Like Us

y e l l a V Jisan l a v i t s e F Rock g n i r p s f f The O P. 10

P. 8



Jang K-ha and The Faces

P. 14

P. 12

Dear Cloud 5// / /july 2011

Kingston Rudieska

Jisan Valley Rock Festival

July 2011 | Issue 57


Feeder Korean music festival veteran Grant Nicholas pleads not guilty to stealing Jon Bon Jovi’s Kerrang award

jang ki-ha & the faces dear cloud The offspring

Rob McGovern sets the stage for the best three days of rock in Korea with Arctic Monkeys, Incubus, Chemical Brothers, Suede, Feeder, the Music

kingston rudieska

Profile for dan thwaits

Groove Korea — July 2011  

July 2011 issue of Groove Korea

Groove Korea — July 2011  

July 2011 issue of Groove Korea

Profile for dthw8s