Category Archives: music

Lil Zion T Boi


Zion T came to Vancouver, so I went to see him. Actually he came to Coquitlam, which as it turns out is an extremely Korean suburb of Vancouver. I wanted to stay near the venue, so I’m having pretty much the Full Koreaboo—didn’t really expect that, but it’s OK, I can eat meat porridge for breakfast if I need to. (While I understand that a Korean market in North America needs to differentiate itself from the mainstream supermarkets, I have to point out that I never had a problem finding Western breakfast foods–many actually made in Korea–when I was in Korea, even when I was shopping at a 7-11 in Suwon. And honestly, your only dairy offering shouldn’t be Milkis. That’s just wrong.)

Anyway, the concert was excellent. It wasn’t just Zion T but Lil Boi as well, although at this point Lil Boi isn’t such a baby face. Zion T, though—dude looks 10. His face, his size, his proportions: It’s like watching a child who’s just a incredible natural performer.

Anyway, it was interesting because Zion T is this smooth R&B singer, which attracts a mellower crowd (although not so much an older one—I saw two other gray-haired ladies but then realized that they were there with kids). The venue was seated with reserved seating. Combine those two factors (plus, this is Canada), and the concert started late because the freaking audience didn’t show up on time!

Or maybe they were just trying to miss the opening act? Joke was on them, though, because Zion T opened, did mellow songs, then Lil Boi came in and hyped the place up, and then Zion T returned and did his upbeat songs. Then he did an encore, and then he faked everyone out by turning on the house lights, and just when everyone had given up and started to leave, turned them off again and did a bunch more songs!

Zion T spoke Korean almost exclusively—apparently he’s quite funny, although of course I missed a lot of what was going on. But he had a litany of complaints: He hadn’t eaten, he was tired, his voice wasn’t good, he was all alone on stage, he had asked Crush to come with him but Crush couldn’t (the audience had to sing Crush’s part, and our singing was a sad disappointment). He kept asking if he was doing OK. He tried to make an on-stage companion from an open water bottle, but Lil Boi kicked it over, so he drew sadly on the stage with the water. He struggled (and not in silence) to put a microphone stand on its marks.

It all culminated with the audience chanting “Don’t cry!” in what I thought was a highly impressive display of group sarcasm.

Anyway, despite the late start, it was an excellent concert. Zion T was great, Lil Boi was great, and DJ Dopsh was great!

Korea Times Music Festival, maybe?


So, the Korean Times Music Festival has started selling tickets for the 2018 show, but hasn’t released the lineup yet.

They have, however, released this:

So people are thinking that Block B may be on the menu. Worth keeping an eye on, anyway.

As I’ve mentioned, I went last year, and while the festival itself is awesome, if you’re really only interested in seeing one group, I’d give it a pass–the sets are fairly short, there’s no high-touch, and the crazy-expensive close seats are mostly already sold out. If you like lots of great music in a terrific natural setting, though, I’d definitely go.

Although I personally cannot go, because I’m going to the resort that costs less than Zico’s sweater. It tells you something about how this tax season is going that this extremely trivial first-world “problem” was enough to trigger an anxiety dream about trying to go to a Block B concert but forgetting the ticket, and my elderly relatives were involved and had to be looked after, and the whole thing was an enormous stressful mess.

No, children, Bruno Mars did not invent funk music


You know, I don’t often feel like there’s this enormous generational gap, but when people talking about “Men’z Night” apparently know of only one funk musician, that honestly troubles me. (And don’t get me started on the “Bruno Mars + Daft Punk” thing–kids, you do realize that Daft Punk is retro, correct? They’re like, Daft Punk, The Retro Music Group. It’s their mission statement or something.)

So, I figured I’d do a little musical tour of the world of funk. Most of these songs came out before Bruno Mars was even born–OMFG!!!! And if you like Bruno Mars, you’re about to get very happy!

Begin at the beginning: This is why James Brown is famous.

Sly Stone was another pioneer. (Yes, he’s probably high.)

This is not Bruno Mars + Daft Punk. Nor is it ripped off from Snoop Dogg (many hip-hop artists sample funk songs!). It is George Clinton–this is a later song of his but Clinton kind of rounds out the trifecta of Funk’s Founding Fathers. (ETA: RC in the comments made me feel remiss about not including the older “Flashlight,” so check that one out; like “Atomic Dog,” you’ve heard it even if you haven’t.)

The Gap Band! This is the first funk song I remember hearing on the radio! Check out them spangles! No, seriously, take careful note–disco and funk were popular at around the same time, so there was a lot of overlap. Also, note the cowboy hats and truly awesome fringe. (They were from Tusla.)

Can’t leave out Rick James!

Remember way back to last year, children, when some guy named Prince (or maybe something else, that was a little confusing) died and everyone (including Bruno Mars!) got all upset? Think of Prince as Old Bruno Mars, OK? A popular musician who was very, very into funk, Prince kind of moved funk away from that heavy early-1980s sound.

(That video is a lot funnier than I remember.)

There you go! If you want further entertainment–well, let’s just say funk attracts some real characters and leave it at that.

Let’s get Dean mad about something else!


Shame on me, but I’m kind of loving how PISSED Dean is about the bullshit allegation that “Where U At” (from Show Me the Money) is plagiarized from “I’m the One.” These things are basically always crap, of course, but Dean’s been awesomely breaking down every aspect to PROVE exactly how dumb this is.

He keeps posting and deleting to Instagram, so it’s hard to capture this in all its glory. Soompi got most of the first two posts, but they missed the bit where Dean actually spelled out the chord changes (luckily a fan copied this to Twitter)

Dean also posted a video showing the differences between the songs.

Now he’s got another new post up because someone contacted the producer of “I’m the One,” who said (this is an exact quote) “Nope” to the charge.

Go, Angry Dean, Go!

These are cool


These are a couple of years old, but they popped up on my Google alerts today for some reason.

The second one takes a little while to get going, but it works. With both songs I like that the person didn’t just layer the vocals over another track and let’s hope to God they fit (or worse, just fade from one song to another and back again). Apparently they had to isolate out the vocals, too, so kudos to them for putting some work into it.

(And of course if I’m talking about mash-ups, I have to include my fave: