3 Things I’ve learned this week…

Well, not so much learned in a “Wow, that was interesting and informative. It’ll definitely make my life more complete!” kinda way, but more like a grunt of acknowledgement and acceptance kinda thing.

A week or so ago, I was perusing through one of the free, local, monthly magazines in my local boozer. My buddy and I were talking about the ad on the back cover that was promoting “The 2012 Jisan Valley Rock Festival” and who was playing at the three-day jamboree.

If you’re in Seoul or elsewhere in Korea, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the free monthly Groove magazine (they also publish online if you can’t bear the excitement)? If you have July’s copy, check out page 65 where our writer suggests that the Jisan Festival could one day grow into something similar to Coachella in the US or (my favourite typo/mis-spelling in this issue)) “Redding” or Glastonbury in the UK.

For the record Ethan, it’s Reading (like the noun, though it is pronounced  like Otis). Google is your friend.

Anyway, as we were checking out the headliners from the three days (Radiohead and Elvis Costello on the Friday – The Stone Roses and Beady Eye on the Sunday – not too shabby with the exception of Beady Eye who sound piss poor, but I’m sure they’ll play plenty of Oasis tunes to make up for it) I noticed that on the Saturday the headliner was James Blake.

Who?

My buddy had no idea who he was either, so a couple of days later I Googled him and checked him out (as you do).

Well, after listening to three tracks (that was enough) I thought that he was probably one of the worst acts to headline a rock festival that I’d ever heard of. His style is somewhat reminiscent of Portishead and Massive Attack, but it has the feeling that the tracks are being played at 33 rpm instead of 45 rpm. It’s a long, boring, laborious process getting to the end of the songs and I can only hope that for those people who have tickets for the Saturday at Jisan bring a good book, their mp3 player, or shit on a stick to amuse themselves whilst this is on.

I don’t think it would be that bad if you had it on your mp3 player and were going about your day, doing your thing. And if his style is for you, then fair play to you. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard, just a bit too minimalist and navel-gazing for me. Where’s the chorus, James? If you’re at the gig, ask him for me. Would you?

He is not who I’d expect to see headline a rock festival. Ever. Having a lot of hits on Youtube is no guarantee.

As to stop sounding like my old man (or yours, for that matter), I’ll jump to number two. I had no idea who Frank Ocean was until 2 days ago. Other than sounding like a detective from the a Quinn Martin Production from the 1970’s, I was wondering what all the fuss was about. A few days prior to discovering Mr. Ocean (sadly, not related to Billy), I’d read about him coming out, or he was bisexual, or both, or all three. I didn’t care.

Still, the stories kept coming (Twitter timelines will do that to you) and I thought I’d at least to a few of his tracks, just to make sure. The end result was not as bad as I’d feared, not thing special all the same. If he’s getting all this hype due to some marketing muppet playing the ‘sexuality’ card, then so be it, but I can’t help but feel that there’s just a bit more style than substance behind this. (“Novacane” wasn’t too bad, and at least he knows where the chorus goes).

The last thing that I’ve found really difficult to shake was what I can only describe as “Odious C**T Watch”. Whilst that may be a snazzy title for some (well, let’s face it, the majority of us) “K-Town” (which they sadly settled on instead) really made me cringe. K-Town, is the predominantly Korean area of Los Angeles (although there are plenty of other ones sprouting up) and this ‘show’ follows 6 (actually, I gave up counting) of these muppets who ponce around K-Town and “wear white, talk black, and drive Jewish” (a comment on Youtube  – not my own). It is quite the anthropological study, let’s put it that way.

I think I know what the K stands for?

Seriously, if this sorry excuse for entertainment is trying to break stereotypes or portray Korean-Americans in a positive (or whatever) way, then I must have missed a fucking meeting somewhere down the line. I was aware of shows like “Jersey Shore” or “Fly Fishing with the Kardashians” or whatever, but I’d never sat through an entire episode, and now I know why.

I came across the link while I was reading another Korea-related blog and thought I’d give it a try. See if I’d ‘learn’ anything? You never know?

Oh, if the inane bullshit doesn’t get you, the whiny fuckwit voices will.

The only thing I did learn was that I won’t watch any more episodes of ‘K-Town’ and nor should you. Well, just one. That’ll do the trick.

There were some interesting comments, one of which caught my eye.

 “Alexander Cho, a PhD in Media Studies at the University of Texas Department of Radio-Television-Film said shows like “K-Town” combat stereotypes by offering multiple representations of a group by showing people who are totally contradictory to the stereotype or challenge it. He said the trick will be representing diverse images of the Korean-American community without making it look horrible the way many Italian-Americans felt Jersey Shore did to them.”

I think Prof. Cho got his Doctorate from one Mickey Mouse University? Absolute pish. See for yourself if it’s the lowest common denominator or not?

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Author: From a Late Night Train

Teacher. Musician. Ponderer. Had lived in Seoul, South Korea since 2000. Moved back to Glasgow, Scotland in May 2017.

1 thought on “3 Things I’ve learned this week…”

  1. ahahaggghhr.. I got to 1 minute of James Blake and had to stop it and go slit my wrists. thanks for the heads up Craig. K town too. I saw a few clips on line and fear any further clicking.

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