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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Eight out of ten - Seoul trip 2

You know, I thought it was about time I wrote about my second trip to Seoul. Of course, in my usual fashion, this post is a key procrastinating tool. This time for my thesis. Seriously though, I really have no motivation to write my thesis right now. I just want to be doing other things, for example, I'm feeling really motivated to study Korean. I'm even feeling really inspired to write the journalistic story I'm going to write and get published after the thesis is all done and dusted. But then I'm like, no you gotta stop and write your thesis! But I'm like ehhh, and so I waste time on the internet, which is 10 times worse.

In my defense though, I usually have the two month break between semesters, and of course that has not happened. As soon as I got back from Seoul, I hit the ground running. I'm pretty proud that I smashed out 6K words of my thesis in a couple of weeks. It's just so intense.

But hey, let's talk about Seoul. I just had such a great time. It was just the best, and my kind of idea of a good time. Plus the weather was so nice! I've got the worst shoe tan, but at least my arms are basically the same colour as my legs; a world first for me. More importantly though, how did I go on the gig front?? I put in a pretty solid effort I think. Eight out of the 10 nights ain't bad! Even though you can't really call them all gigs because some of them involved clubbing, still.

My friend, who's a music journo among other things, took me to Ultra Festival. Even though he said it was totally "not your style" I ended up seeing some stellar Korean music. I saw this amazing funk disco band Sultan of the Disco. They're completely insane and wear costumes, yet they are completely brilliant music wise. I also saw this indie band, The Koxx and they were sick! I haven't had a good old fashion mosh like that since I was 15! Then I saw one of my favs, Zion T and of course he was amazing. I also saw Knife Party and Axwell & Ingrosso, they were ok, but I'm not an EDM kinda gal.

I also went to Itaewon this time, both during the day and night. Itaewon's club scene is mint of course. I was there three nights in a row. I went to the famed Cakeshop (I saw Jinbo just hanging out and my biggest regret in life is not going up to him, and I also got to see DJ Soulscape DJ which was awesome). I also went to this club where I saw Paloalto DJ and saw G2 and him both hanging about, and of course I didn't go up to them. And I also went club hopping with my friend, because we were low key scoping out his competition haha.

In the day Itaewon cool and really nice to walk around, too, but at night I definitely prefer Hongdae, it's a little more laid back. I also just don't like a lot of foreign guys that hang out in Itaewon, most of them are just douche bags. Also since I stay near Hongdae, I may be a little biased because it's a pain to get home (and actually costs money) haha.

Of course, I hung out in Hongdae, I went back to my fav club, The Henz Club. I went there on my first night to see Miso's DJ set and she killllled it!! I stayed for the rest of her squad, Club Eskimo and it was the best. I was worried about going alone clubbing for the first time, but I had nothing to worry about. I just got turnt on my lonesome and it was great! Out of all the clubs I went to, I 300% recommend Henz, they just play really top notch music.

Also Dean showed up and he walked past me twice, once actually brushing past me. Like damn, the first time I'm in Seoul, I see him in concert and we share a moment i.e. we had eye contact, then this! So next time I'm in Seoul, we're gonna be married haha.

Anyway, I ended up staying till about 1:30pm, which I think is a pretty good effort considering I had been traveling for 30 hours previously. AND as I was leaving in ran into Nochang, which was funny because they had played a Beenzino song he produced, that night. And then I told my friend the next day, and he told me a funny.. let's just say altercation, they had together.

I also went to this club called Cocoon in Hongdae. I had heard of it and since it's not really my type, I wasn't even thinking of going there. But, Sean L, one of the rappers I interviewed is actually the MC and kindly invited me along, so I was like what the heck. Overall, I did have a pretty good night. The music was mediocre, but still dancable, (though the did play like three K hip hop songs and I did drop it like it was fiery hot), but damn, it was so god damn loud. My ears were ringing for two days after, I'm not even joking. Legit, I have no idea how the staff have any hearing left. So while I did have a fun time and ended up staying out till 3am on a Tuesday (pretty solid effort for a gal just sipping on water) 3/10 would not recommend.

Yeah, so for the interviews, I was right in just letting things go with the flow; things fell into place. I was worried initially that I wouldn't get any at all, but before I knew it, I had them both organised within a few minutes (Emma, you are truly an angel and I can't thank you enough). The rappers were just genuinely sweet guys, who just truly love hip hop. And from the interviews I got what I needed for my thesis. I just actually have to some how find a way to organise all the information I have into something even slightly coherent.

Oh and in other news, I'm presenting my thesis at a legit conference (like with legit academics who have been doing this for so many years) at my uni of all places. Of course it's an amazing opportunity, and it's going to be cool to actually talk to people about all my hard work, but damn, I'm going to be shitting myself on the day. Like for realz, I don't know how I'm going to go. 

Oh, oh, oh and I'm going to see THE SONICS in September. I can't even believe it. I honestly thought I would've had to made a time machine to see them, but nope! It's gonna be insane!

And now I leave you with a song from C.Cle who I also interviewed, and who just dropped his new EP.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


A photo I took on my day off to visit Namsan Tower
I thought that I better get around to writing, even just a quick post, about my trip to Seoul. Especially considering the other day I picked up my flights for my second trip to Seoul. Yep that's right, I'm going back. Ok, so I just looked back at my previous posts and I don't think I actually mentioned it. Oh well now you know. I went to Seoul in March to do some research for my thesis on Korean hip hop.

I fell so hard for that place. Seriously, within a few hours I knew I wanted to live there. I am 100% not exaggerating. I met up for my first interview after being in the country for like three hours and just walking around made me love it. Hongdae is the place to be. I was right in thinking it's a cross between Melbourne and Hong Kong. I think I would fit in well because it reminds me just enough of home with an Asian twist.

What I loved most were the people. Korean people, and even foreigners that have lived there for a while are just so lovely and that was just from every day experience. And in terms of people that I actually hung out with... I met some of the most amazing people and had some of the best conversations of my life. And it was so great to be surrounded by people who love music as much as I do. Yeah, that was one of my other favourite things. It's the kind of environment that I want to be surrounded by.

I also I really learnt a lot about myself on this trip, but I think the most important is that this music journalism thing is what I want to do, and I really think Seoul is where I want it happen.

I had such an interesting experience too because I was doing things I normally do like going to gigs, doing interviews, shopping, catching public transport and hanging out with homies. So I didn't feel like I was in another country at all.

Also I feel like people didn't treat me as a tourist, which is 100% what I wanted. I don't know if it was the vibe I gave off, the clothes, my ability to scrape by with the language or having a bit of an understanding of  Korean customs. Most likely a mixture of all those elements. #assimilationcomplete

Though I must say, and I talked about it in my diary (yeah I'm kinda betraying you and going old fashioned with a physical diary) but I'm not 100% sure if it was the experience that made me happy, and it just happened to be in Seoul, or it was Seoul itself. It's probably a bit of both to be honest.

I'm not going to mention much about my hip hop observations because I want to keep it for my article that I'm writing along side my article. So stay tuned for that bad boy to hear about that.
But I will mention that Hongdae is lit, I saw Simon D out while seeing Illa J, went to the Illionaire concert in which Zino looked at me and I got to sing "fuck these broke ass motherfuckers, peace out" at the top of my lungs with 4K other people and one of Korea's top hip hop music critics called me a real Korean hip hop fan.

But yeah, I loved it so much that I'm going back for 10 days this time. This time though it's more of a holiday. It's basically a completely selfish trip to make me happy. And you know what, I think I deserve it. I don't really do that many big things for myself, so I was just like fuck it, I'm going.  Also it's going to be the only real break I get till the 21st of October which is when I submit my thesis. So I probably really need it too.

What will I do there? Well I plan on doing what I do best (and love most) which is go to gigs, and I'm really gonna try a go to a different one every night. I don't know how I'm going to go, and how much it'll cost, but I'm just going to wing it. Winging it and going with the flow was the key to success for my last trip, so I'm going to try and do the same this time round. It's also going to be summer so I am so going to be in my element. I'm already getting excited just imagining the sun blazing down on me. It's going to be great.

Alright, I better get back to studying now; I've got a conference tomorrow where I'm presenting my essay on Kendrick Lamar and the messages in hip hop. I'm actually quite excited because it's something that I genuinely enjoy talking about.

Catch ya.