Late last month Super Color Super announced — to the surprise and delight of indie rockers across Korea — that it had booked legendary American alternative rock band Blonde Redhead to play in Seoul this upcoming May.
February is gone. Love is no longer in the air. Life is moving along, and suddenly one of my friends sends me an email: “What’s the best drink for a broken heart?” After considering several options (the cheapest cocktail? the beer nearest my hands?), I try to put myself in her shoes (not difficult at all) and provide her with a good answer. Sartre, the French philosopher, said that happiness is not doing what you want but wanting what you do. I know my friend really wants a good answer, so I put my hands to work, write her an invitation to my house, and start creating an uplifting cocktail.
I missed Korean food. Being away intensified my love for all things pickled, preserved and enriched with pork fat. My family at home looked confused when I tried to explain my cravings. Once Korean cuisine gets a hold of you, it doesn’t let go. It weaves its magic slowly, then holds on tight. I have it bad. I have the itch and I’m not ashamed. On the long plane ride back I had one thing on my mind: kimchi jjigae.
Hongdae partiers will recognize Shalla Ganai, the owner of this new North Indian restaurant. He’s been making kebabs in front of Club FF there for years. Now he has a brick-and-mortar operation in Itaewon (don’t worry, he’s still selling kebabs in Hongdae).
Little India has a more modern feel than many of Seoul’s Indian restaurants. The décor is understated, with a silver, gray and maroon color scheme. White wicker chandeliers light the place, and Hindi music plays softly in the background.
You wouldn’t be surprised to find Aladdin lounging on the floor in this basement restaurant, smoking opium with voluptuous, dark-haired women. OK, maybe you would be surprised. The point is, Yeti has a desert-tent, den-of-thieves vibe. It’s dimly lit and smells of incense; most of the seating is on the floor, atop patchwork cushions and pillows; silky cloth hangs from the ceiling; hookahs are always within arm’s reach, ready for the smoking.
“Genius means douchebag, scumbag. But we wanna be geniuses,” explained Kim Il-du, guitarist and lead singer of the Busan-based indie-rock band Genius.
Three years ago, American expat drummer Lee Chung-mok watched a band called Nabongkkundeul at a popular expat bar called The Basement, near the PNU area of Busan.
“They were the coolest band I’d ever seen. Never did I imagine that they would let me play drums with them. But they did,” Lee said.
The enigmatic but no-nonsense folk singer Kim Il-du has been around the Busan music scene for years. Currently, guitarist and lead singer of Genius, Kim is also an adept solo performer.
Last month saw the release of a remastered version of one of his earlier solo albums “SUSPENS,” and a split album with Ha Heon-jin.
It’s February, and Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. I must say, the day is way too sweet for me. For all of you happily in love: couldn’t you celebrate said love on one of the other 364 days of the year? It’s absolutely impossible to escape the pink and red hearts this time of year, the chocolates, flowers, cards, advertisements. Love is in the air, and everyone knows it.