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Jeju Island, South Korea: Day 1-2

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Jeju Island, South Korea

There were birthday travel plans already for Nanjing, when an officemate mentioned that she’d be heading out to Jeju Island in South Korea for a weekend. You know that eye-frown you make when you wouldn’t think that was a real swell idea to go for? I had that, until she told me her budget, and the following facts: plane fare was relatively cheap coming from Shanghai, and a Philippine passport wouldn’t need a visa stamp to visit the island. Then that eye-frown quickly went bug-eyed, and the sense of a good opportunity welled up in my brain. This annual December undertaking of mine won’t be done back home or in China anymore, and the only thing I know about the specific area was fed to me by a movie, which I happen to really like.

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December 14th, 2014 at 7:16 am

Mono (2014)

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Mono
Mono

This was my second time to go to a Mono show (read about the first gig I went to here), and there really isn’t a lot of new things to say this time. Same amazing display of post-rock awesomeness? Yes. Notable moments consist of Tamaki Kunishi picking up a guitar for a few minutes instead of her bass, both guitarists would now choose to stand up for a few songs, and, no encore, which was the same as last time. There was also the thing where I wasn’t one of the early birds, and that I didn’t start the queue to get into Mao Livehouse. I was still situated in front row, way off-center, but the view I had was definitely nothing to complain about.

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October 23rd, 2014 at 2:45 am

Toe/Miaou

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Toe
Toe

My first mention of the Japanese band Toe is noted on this 2007 entry. That was the period when I’ve dipped feet into the land of post-rock, and there was a mention of this band on one of the community blogs I frequent at that time. Since then, they fell out of my regular playlist after being almost exclusively played on long work commutes at that time. I credit them for being my gateway drug into Japanese music.

When they played in Manila, my knee-jerk reaction was that everyone who’d be watching must suck, suck big time, since I knew them before everyone did, right? I stopped the thought, of course, because, well, I only had ethereal, connections with like minded individuals over my social networks, and no one here goes to gigs with me. What is the point of gloating about this, really?

I saw them last weekend here in Shanghai. It took 7 years, and it was my chance to end this stupid, ill feeling.

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September 14th, 2014 at 1:27 am

Slowdive/Sepultura

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Slowdive
Slowdive

Back in the mid to late 90s, a college friend introduced me to Slowdive, highlighting their other titular song ‘Dagger’, and letting me listen to their Souvlaki record by way of a CD-transfer to cassette.

A few years later, I became the owner of a Mojave 3 CD, a bargain bin purhcase. Neil Halstead, Slowdive’s frontman, leads Mojave 3, but this predominantly acoustic-sound undertaking didn’t make much of a splash in my own music consciousness. More than a decade later, I was more than surprised to see them slated to play around here in Shanghai. I knew it would still be a good nostalgia trip if I did catch a show, but this was one of those things I just decided to skip.

NOTE: Other shows I decided to skip? Cat Power. DJ Shadow. Behemoth. God Is An Astronaut. Don’t ask.

When I saw the name ‘Slowdive‘ show up in these expat-centric online gig listings, it didn’t take me long to get my hands on a ticket, and head on over to Youtube to catch up on what their recent reunion shows look like. I read a review or two. What I’ve watched and read pointed a watered-down version of their old glory. After watching the actual show, though, I’m sorry, I must’ve seen a different band than everyone else did. They were fantastic.

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July 31st, 2014 at 3:43 am

CSS/Cracker

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CSS
CSS

Best band photo of the year, so far. Maybe all I really needed was to start taking photos of the better sex, rocking, again.

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July 1st, 2014 at 11:43 pm