Monday, September 16, 2019

"Nights are gettin' strange"


The Cars, "Since You're Gone" live

They were undoubtedly more a keyboard than a guitar band, but that made Elliot Easton's lead work the ultimate secret weapon.

R.I.P. Ric Ocasek, from a kid who used to take guitar and music very seriously and in high school cut my teeth on covering The Cars' Greatest Hits with a bass player and his older brother on keyboard.  (We eventually hooked up with a drummer but at first we didn't let that little detail stop us.)

I'll also go out on a limb and suggest that image-wise, both for themselves and their album covers, they were way ahead of the game.

Also easy to forget just how many artists Ocasek worked with outside of his main band.

Friday, September 13, 2019

This Is Some Bullshit, South Korea


Koreans are, for lack a a better word, great big fucking babies when it comes to a little rain.  So I took the one hour subway ride out of town to the ball park yesterday, got to the stadium for the five p.m. start, and while it was overcast it was not raining.

Too bad White Devil, game cancelled because rain is not water from clouds, but actually toxic radioactive dragon piss.

What bullshit.

Anyhow, I went back into town and drowned my sorrows with fried chicken and beer and this really excellent Kim Stanley Robinson novel.

Sports fandom, much like life, is highly overrated.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Better Than The Beatles?


The Damned, "Help"

It's the second week of the semester and things are going along swimmingly, but a quirky thing about working in South Korea is that the end of this week is Chuseok, or the rough Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving.  So we've got Thursday off, and already I've got to start juggling make-up classes.  (It could be worse -- it's possible to actually miss Tuesday through Thursday, or Monday through Wednesday.)

The weather is still pushing 90 degrees as well.  Not good.

Usually I'd head down to Busan for a long weekend but I think I'll just stay in Daegu this year.  The Samsung Lions are home this Thursday and Friday, and Daegu FC is playing at home this Sunday.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Autumn Comes To Daegu, South Korea

I officially don't care about NFL football any longer.  The decline in my interest was a long time coming, and arguably if I wasn't born a Washington fan I might still care about some of the younger, better stories in the league.

But I don't.

Rooting for any professional sports team is, nine times out of ten, rooting for a poisonous, racist owner and his horrible, toxic offspring.

So I can't any longer.  (I mean, I'm hardly a Profile in Courage here, just thinking out loud.)

Go Dodgers!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Completely Unscientific


Billy Eilish, "Bellyache"

My semi-annual poll of Korean college students (first week of class introductions, asked them for favorite singer or band) finds that BTS and BlackPink, the two K-Pop acts currently attempting to cross over to America and Europe, really aren't popular among home-grown K-Pop fans.  I've noticed this before -- the acts that you hear about in Pitchfork or appearing on Letterman, while certainly selling units, aren't necessarily the ones 20 year old Koreans tend to care about back here.

Highly unscientific of me, I realize.  Hell, completely unscientific.  But I'd bet you 5,000 won there's something to it.

Meanwhile,  out of about 150 students so far two have mentioned Billie Eilish as their favorite, and that's cool.

Who says Daegu is a backwater?  (I do!  Frequently!)

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Instant Karma

One of the greatest things about living in South Korea is the food.  For about five bucks (at least outside of Seoul) you can sit down in a place with mostly fresh food and stuff your face.  (Those in the know will find places with free refills on kimchi and rice as needed.)

So while it's a little sad, it's also inevitable that instant and ready-made foods are becoming increasingly popular:
"Home meal replacement dishes are a growing trend in the global food industry, gaining popularity not only from young people, but also with older customers. Korea is one of several countries where the growth has gained momentum in the last few years backed by social changes like the rapidly aging society and the increase in single-person households.
Pre-packaged meals used to mean pouches of instant curry filled with mushy vegetables with no real substance, but today the ranges available offer far more palatable options, including recipes designed by famous chefs and ingredients that still retain their original texture.
Due to the improvement in taste and diversity, home meal replacement dishes have helped reduce the time people spend on cooking for special occasions."
As mentioned, South Korea is one of those rare countries where it's generally cheaper to eat out than it is to cook at home.  Hopefully that won't change any time soon.