So just why are you into Malian music anyway?

Glad you asked. The obsession began around eight years ago when I strolled into the Hampshire College library one evening, as was my wont, after a somewhat reverse circle-jerk-like Philosophy of Time class, and Alice-in-wonderlandly fell into the music section: hundreds of CDs, and most of them really fucking weird. Like, I’m talking Karlheinz Stockhausen kind of excellent weird: there wast discovert Steve Reich, Sergei Prokofiev, Balian jegogs, and, at last, les griots du Mali.

Super Onze

Listening to this music is like being lost in a tornado. Feelings of joy and sadness, praise and lament, wrap me in ecstasy…everything great about American music in its purest form: rap, blues, jazz, rock, all together flowing from these clattering ngonis and pounding calabashes. I bought it off itunes last Friday and have been listening to it all day long ever since, walking the streets and feeling as if I’m about to faint and spin up inside a whirlwind, my eyes closed, breathing through my nose, smiling. Give one of their music videos a chance: the dance moves alone look as though they’d work in any context.

Show! Music Core.


SHINee, Psy, 4minute, Teen Top, Davinci, Infinite, K.Will, 이하이, Girls day, Juniel, History, Geeks, ElectroBoys.

I’ll just leave this right here…

I’m going to dance to all this K-pop tomorrow! HELLO HELLO, mother father gentleman, 니가 할 말 알아 그 말만은 말아!


Korean-American excelling in role as Son of God

Michael Lee

Nice article and interview in the Joonang Ilbo today about Korean-American stage actor Michael Lee playing the lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar.

The title of the piece is, wait for it… “Korean-American resurrects role of Jesus in ‘Superstar’”

Lee is a veteran of the stage and has been involved with JC Superstar in various roles over the years.

Report: K-Pop Girl Groups Baring More Skin in Japan than in Korea. Really?

T-ara Bunny Style

T-ara from their Japanese release. And you thought that ‘Easter in the Saloon’ look died out with the old west didn’t ya?

Understanding Psy (싸이 이해하기) / Psy-Ology

Gangnam Style is about the silliness of South Korea’s nouveau riche; Gentleman is (more or less) about the silliness of assholes.

This is the best of KPOP: incredibly simple, incredibly fast, incredibly repetitive, incredibly catchy. All South Korea will be playing this song from every storefront and every television and every smartphone around the clock for the next six months, long after the rest of the world has lost interest; nonetheless, Psy is no one-hit wonder.

PSY`s New Video: Making Obnoxious Cool? Or a Clever Piece of Satire?

Is PSY’s new video promoting the art of being obnoxious or a piece of clever commentary decrying how people treat each other? Or, is just PSY doing what he’s always done –pushing society’s buttons as we pay to watch him do it? Either way, a billion hits, here he comes.

Jazz on the Rise in the ROK

I didn’t know it, but apparently jazz is seeing its star rising on the peninsula. Not that bland Kenny G kinda “jazz”, but the good ol’ traditional stuff. There were over 100 jazz offerings released in Korea in 2012 alone.

I interviewed jazz singer-songwriter Jumi Lee in the latest issue of Haps about her music and jazz in Korea.

Among other things, I was curious why she chose to sing only in English, a language she scarcely speaks, on her debut CD The Rising Sun. Her response was interesting:

The Dodos in Seoul! Who wants to be friends and go to The Dodos...

The Dodos in Seoul! Who wants to be friends and go to The Dodos with me?

St Patrick’s Day in Seoul, 2013

If you haven’t heard already, I’m chairman of the Irish Association of Korea, and every year around this time we organise a small get together. You might have heard of it, we call it Saint Patrick’s Day.

I won’t blether on too much about it as my brain is exhausted at the simplest mention of the event, however give this link a click and you’ll find all the info you need about the event.

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