Thursday, August 25, 2005


The phrase "sinparam" in Korean translates very roughly into "refreshing wind" in English but does not capture the deeper meaning. Here's a better explanation from author Chung Kyungmo-

"There is a Korean word, sinparam, that expresses the pathos, the inner joy, of a person moved to action not by coercion but by his own volition. Param is the sound of the wind; if a person is wafted along on this wind, songs burst from his lips and his legs dance with joy. A sinparam is a strange wind that billows in the hearts of people who have freed themselves from oppression, regained their freedom, and live in a society of mutual trust. This word, redolent with a shamanistic mystique, has a talisman-like appeal for Koreans."

The fruition of so much hard work and perseverance in the past couple months, and especially these last few weeks, has left me feeling breathless, almost with vertigo, as well as vindicated. There is an encouraging response from the media, folks are starting to take notice, and new opportunities abound. In times like this, I find it so important to stay grounded, humble, organized and diligent so that things don't get too out of control.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Am I Too Eclectic

This homebound, largely solitary lifestyle mixed with the relative novelty of being in the entertainment biz is messing with my psyche. I've read one too many articles this week talking about "proper blogging" style and content, yet I've barely scratched the surface and would rather just have fun venting into cyberspace for the time being. Ditto for self-promotion as an indie artist...hell I never planned on making money from this pursuit, much less be "successful." There's really no point to it if it's not enjoyable and has become a chore. If it were as simple as missing the fundamental binary truths of info-tech work then I'd be more thrilled with working again...yet I'm not.

Seems like I've been here before, one difference is more comfort with the concept of being at peace with past, present and future all at once.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Arrow Flies

Looks like a trip to the Big Apple in late fall is in the works. Promises to be a showcase gig, with "industry" types in attendance. Also working towards a local benefit around October, opening for a very powerful headlining act soon to be disclosed.

Caught a very moving documentary in Little Tokyo titled "Repatriation" marking Liberation Day hosted by Mindullae. I thought the film should have been edited, and noted the pro-DPRK tone of the film, nonetheless it brought to light an important issue relating to North Korean prisoners held for many decades in the South.

On a practical note, the end of summer is imminent with the cooler weather and plans for this author to return to income-generating activity.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

40 Years, Acres and a Mother Grieves

There's a somber mood everywhere today you can feel it, words unspoken. Marking 40 years since Watts, and so many unfulfilled promises, dreams deferred, cries unheard. Hear this -

The trench is dug beneath our hearts
Cause there's a riot goin on
The fire this time
Lost in memory
Strange fruit
For rotting vegetables
Strange days
Will the revolution be televised
And up on the watchtower
Machine gun Man
Welcome to the Terrordome
We're all
For the taste of
Once again
Burn baby burn
I wonder if
Heaven got a ghetto

On another note, was listening to the radio and cried when I heard about Cindy Sheehan camped out in Crawford, Texas waiting to speak to Mr. Bush. For shame. This woman deserves our support and empathy, and my prayers go out to everyone out there representing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Signs of Hope

Finally reviewing a draft of the press release for my new CD, feeling a little like the calm before the storm. On the other hand, it's been complete for a couple weeks and I'm not exactly getting stopped in the street for autographs haha. Seems safe to assume this blog is falling on deaf ears too right now but trying to get into a good habit with posting regularly. There's mention in the press release of an upcoming "national tour" which is news to me...lots of excitement ahead this fall to be sure.

Spent most of the day learning "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley embarrassed to admit. The chord changes are a little harder than I thought and I still don't have the chorus down but it's getting there. There are so many open mic-type events that it would be good for me to have a larger repertoire of acoustic solo numbers.

This week's non-music reading looks to be a hefty report called "The Gulag in North Korea." As a long-time independent leftie, I feel qualified to state that the US liberal/left is totally snoozing on this one and it's an issue Bush is bound to focus on to distract attention from Iraq...On a side note I was shocked at how fast my printer (Canon C84) was spitting out the report in draft mode, took maybe 1/2 second a page very cool.

Let the the tooth fairies smile upon me this week so this throbbing from my recent root filling finally goes away.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Music marketing 101

Reading lots of materials lately on advertising, promotion, and publicity which are presenting different strategies for raising the visibility of my musical project and various political issues (Korean peace and reunification, inter-ethnic relations, community empowerment). From Malcom Gladwell's Tipping Point to CD Baby CEO Derek Sivers' excellent writings on music PR to this recent article from the LA Times discussing the spate of Hollywood action box-office bombs this summer, it's obvious that changing times and demographics call for increasingly creative, end user-focused approaches to marketing. I could read this stuff all day long but at some point need to take action and see what works best. It goes without saying that controversy sells, sex sells, being REALLY unique sells, but this artist refuses to engage in unprincipled whore-dem simply to sell records. Short-term behavior with long-term implications, too many cautionary examples to cite.

RIP Peter Jennings. I recall seeing him up-close many years at a rally in New York, seemed slightly too cool to be bothered but I guess that was also his screen presence.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Remembrance Day

It was 60 years ago, today...atomic bombs were used on Hiroshima in the interests of military expediency. The world is still dealing with the Pandora's Box since unleashed and the dream of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation seems more distant than ever.

Working at getting some new gigs after the successful show recently at Backstage Cafe in Beverly Hills. Nobody seems to have all the answers as to how to generate publicity for a politically-focused Korean American rock vocalist with an axe to grind, but somehow somewhere the message has to get out. Was leafing through the latest copies of Revolver and Alternative Press, which both cover the current rock/metal/hardcore scene and got a little intimidated by all the advertising and whiteness...but it would still be pretty cool to do the Vans Warped Tour someday.

Changes in personal life are impending...leaving the security of the corporate world for the drama of rock-n-roll 24/7 necessitates more flexibility.