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Monday
Apr062015

Billboard Magazine : K-Pop Night Out Marks Biggest Success Yet at SXSW 2015


Epik High performs at K-Pop Night Out 2015 showcase on March 19, 2015 at Elysium in Austin, Tx as part of SXSW 2015 (Photo by Loren Wohl)l
On March 19, the epically anticipated showcase "K-Pop Night Out" returned to Austin, TX, as part of SXSW 2015. The showcase, launched in 2013 by KOCCA (Korean Creative Content Agency) to support K-pop's international expansion, brought Korea's musical outfits including Epik High, Crayon Pop, Hitchhiker, EE, The Barberettes, Asian Chairshot and Eastern Sidekick to this year's blowout -- making it one of the most genre-diverse lineups yet.
 
Taking place at Club Elysium, K-Pop Night Out had an unprecedented amount of attention with increased U.S. media interest from outlets like Vice, Fuse and MTV, and the showcase's biggest turnout yet as hundreds of enthusiastic fans lined up early as 9:00am., eagerly waiting entrance to the 550-capacity venue.

The show started at 7:40pm with a slew of exciting talent: Five-member rock band Eastern Sidekick's thundering, 40-minute set, which consisted tracks like "The Exciting Song," and "Monochrome Cartoon City"; Emotional and apocalyptic indie band Asian Chairshot continued to cook up the crowd with its hard-hitting set of explosive guitars and drums; Magnetic, retro-modern girl group The Barberettes sparkled in their '60s inspired hair and sequined dress and gave a pitch-perfect performance while singing "Little Gals" and covering The Ronnette's "Be My Baby" and The Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann"; Plus, hyperkinetic husband-wife duo EE tantalized with their psychedelic set of electro beats and eerie vocals; Beat-making maestro Hitchhiker (who made waves throughout the week in his super-shiny astronaut suit while roaming the streets of Austin) re-energized the exhausted audience with his eclectic DJ set.

For the first time, K-Pop Night Out was also used as the testing ground for new material. One of the most anticipated acts, and the only full-on "K-pop" group of the night, Crayon Pop, showcased their well-rehearsed routine of goofy choreography and quirky charms in black patent leather Power Ranger costumes before premiering their exciting new single "FM." The exclusive premiere made it a must-see for fans -- who uploaded clips of the addictive track once they found service -- and reporters able to share about new music nearly a week before the track was revealed.

The highlight of the night came when veteran hip-hop group Epik High hit the stage a little after 1:00am. Stripped of any outrageous outfits, over-the-top stage designs or dramatic video production, Tablo, Mithra and DJ Tukutz owned the night with one of the most commanding rap performances ever seen at K-Pop Night Out following past performers like Jay Park and HyunA.

The headlining set sparked huge interest for the act on social media. According to Twitter, the phrase "#EpikHigh" was one of the top hashtags and trends at SXSW while its charismatic rapper, Tablo, was one of the Top 5 most mentioned artists at the fest. It probably didn't hurt that Epik High was seen out and about interacting with fans and industry execs at other showcases throughout SXSW 2015.

Still, it's no surprise after the trio's (literally) intoxicating performance of "Born Hater" immediately put the crowd in a state of frenzy  as the guys continued their set taking swigs of soju in between tracks. Tablo welcomed fans, calling them "beautiful people of earth," and introduced himself to the people that "may not know him" over O.T. Genasis' trap hit "Coco," wittingly changing the famous line to include a play off his name with "I'm in love with the Blo Blo." The energy continued to grow as they performed a set of decade-spanning hits, including "Happen Ending," "Burg Khalifa,"  "Map the Soul," "High Technology" and "One."

Epik High's meticulously selected setlist of career highlights, freestyle raps, as well as taking the time to speak to the audience was powerfully intimate. That ability to move a crowd -- along with exclusive song premieres, a super-diverse lineup and a larger media presence -- proved that K-pop was alive and well at SXSW and could indicate a bright future for the Korean music scene at later fests.

-- By Jessica Oak with additional reporting by Jeff Benjamin

2015 KOCCA KPop Night Out Showcase (Planning/Production/Promotions) : DFSB Kollective x SL Communications
International Distribution : DFSB Kollective (EE/Eastern Sidekick)


Sunday
Mar222015

Fuse TV : SXSW 2015 Highlights


Crayon Pop @ 2015 SXSW KPop Night Out
K-POP NIGHT OUT DELIGHTS AND SURPRISES AT SXSW 2015
Now in its third year, the Korean pop showcase has solidified its place as one of Austin's best events

For many American pop fans, entry into K-pop came last year when Lady Gaga invited girl group Crayon Pop to open her Artpop Tour after the diva made a very surprise appearance at SXSW 2014's K-Pop Night Out showcase. But for the superfans, Gaga was late to the party.

This became evident at last night's K-Pop Night Out showcase. Now in its third year, the event has grown exponentially in both excitement and notoriety. The gig was scheduled to start at 7:30PM, and by 4 there were dozens of kids (many in costume) lining the outside walls of Elysium club, looping down the following block. 

- See more at: http://www.fuse.tv/2015/03/k-pop-night-out-sxsw-2015#sthash.3n9x7l5X.dpuf
Now in its third year, the Korean pop showcase has solidified its place as one of Austin's best events - See more at: http://www.fuse.tv/2015/03/k-pop-night-out-sxsw-2015#sthash.3n9x7l5X.dpuf
Now in its third year, the Korean pop showcase has solidified its place as one of Austin's best events

For many American pop fans, entry into K-pop came last year when Lady Gaga invited girl group Crayon Pop to open her Artpop Tour after the diva made a very surprise appearance at SXSW 2014's K-Pop Night Out showcase. But for the superfans, Gaga was late to the party.

This became evident at last night's K-Pop Night Out showcase. Now in its third year, the event has grown exponentially in both excitement and notoriety. The gig was scheduled to start at 7:30PM, and by 4 there were dozens of kids (many in costume) lining the outside walls of Elysium club, looping down the following block.

EE @ 2015 SXSW KPop Night Out
The dedication and fandom was anything but misguided. When DJ/robot/possibly-not-human Hitchhiker took the stage to perform "11" as part of his debut live performance, the crowd exploded into something akin to a Skrillex gig, except inside a video game: Flashes, lasers, smoke machines, screens with Web 2.0 graphics that would make every net artist jealous.

Next were Gaga's beloved Crayon Pop, all decked out in matching latex/almost Power Ranger-esque costumes. Their look has evolved since their smash, "Bar Bar Bar," with the ladies heading in for a more mature direction...meaning they're superheroes now. Their choreography was phenomenal, as well. If these girls know anything, it's how to entertain.

Epik High closed out the night, bringing Korean hip hop to the stage around 1AM. They're one of the biggest acts of their genre, and that became apparent the minute they uttered their first words. They were tight, un-intimidating, and it was a true delight to watch those new and unfamiliar with Korea's popular music almost gasp in the afterglow. It was a change of pace from the usual secret-guest buzz-band cynicism that plagues many SXSW attendees, and an exciting one at that.

FUSE FINDS - OUR 10 FAVORITE MUSICAL DISCOVERIES AT SXSW 2015 : #2 HITCHHIKER


This list wouldn't be a discovery list without some K-pop. Hitchhiker was a delirious delight. When the DJ/robot/possibly-non-human took the stage at K-Pop's Night Out, doing so in true EDM fashion. It was a never ending stampede of flashes, lasers and smoke machines, a truly modern club performance (with killer tunes to boot).


18 BEST MOMENTS OF SXSW 2015 : #3 EPIK HIGH



Headliners Epik High closed out the third annual K-Pop Night Out showcase on Thursday evening, bringing Korean hip hop to Austin around 1AM. They're one of the biggest acts of their genre, and that became apparent the minute they uttered their first words. It was a true thrill to watch newbies to Korean popular music almost gasping in the afterglow.

K-pop girl group Crayon Pop co-headlined K-Pop Night Out, all decked out in matching latex costumes. Their look has evolved since their viral smash "Bar Bar Bar," with the ladies opting for a more matured sensibility. Their choreography was impeccable, as if someone measured each inch of their arm extensions with a ruler. - See more at: http://www.fuse.tv/2015/03/sxsw-2015-best-moments#8

18 BEST MOMENTS OF SXSW 2015 : #8 CRAYON POP


K-pop girl group Crayon Pop co-headlined K-Pop Night Out, all decked out in matching latex costumes. Their look has evolved since their viral smash "Bar Bar Bar," with the ladies opting for a more matured sensibility. Their choreography was impeccable, as if someone measured each inch of their arm extensions with a ruler.

By Maria Sherman (Photos by Waytao Shing/Getty Images)

2015 KOCCA KPop Night Out Showcase (Planning/Production/Promotions) : DFSB Kollective x SL Communications
International Distribution : DFSB Kollective (EE/Eastern Sidekick)

Now in its third year, the Korean pop showcase has solidified its place as one of Austin's best events - See more at: http://www.fuse.tv/2015/03/k-pop-night-out-sxsw-2015#sthash.3n9x7l5X.dpuf

 

 

Sunday
Mar222015

USA TODAY : SXSW - Thousands of Gigs Later, Fest Is A Wrap


AUSTIN — Over the last week here, more than 2,200 bands and artists performed more than 3,000 gigs in music halls, bars and even hotel lobbies.

And that's just the official number from South By Southwest. Unofficial performances throughout the city numbered in the hundreds more.

While most of the acts were up-and-coming and lesser-known, big names such as Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus made surprise appearances. As the week came to an end, lingering rain showers dampened outdoor venues, too.

Snapshots from a week of music :

South Korean punk rockers No Brain held down Saturday at South By Southwest. (Photo: Mike Snider, USA TODAY)South Korean punk rock godfathers No Brain were among the last performers inside the Austin Convention Center on Saturday. Lead singer Bulldaegal took seriously his job of inciting a sluggish 1 p.m. crowd, telling them their first attempt at cheering didn't match the band's previous South By Southwest audiences.

Their furious set paid homage to The Ramones and The Clash with short, straight-ahead rock songs and a dalliance with reggae. Drummer Hyoonga took the microphone to sing a song devoted to soju, a Korean alcoholic beverage. A cover of Social Distortion's Bad Luck broke down any language barriers.




By Mike Snyder

International Agent/Distribution : DFSB Kollective (No Brain)

Friday
Mar202015

The Austin Chronicle : 2K15 Seoulsonic @ SXSW South By Southwest


03.20 FRIDAY SHOWCASES
Korea Night 2: Seoulsonic
8PM The Majestic

Seoulsonic is different from the previous night's K-pop Night Out, in the sense that it focuses on the less bubbly and less commercially viable corners of the Korean music industry. Headlining is YB, a legit Korean rock band that writes songs that could easily co-headline a distant Warped Tour circa 2005. They sing in English, so you don't have any excuses. Victim Mentality are a bedazzled, leopard-print glam-metal act, which is about as ridiculous as you'd expect. The language barrier means we probably won't even know how seriously they take themselves. Big Phony makes stripped-down, empty-space folk à la Iron & Wine and Elliott Smith, which is the exact opposite of Heo's dreamy, chill-out synth-pop. Other acts include the Solutions, who deeply idealize the bygone alternative nation and Britpop revolution right down to the skinny ties, and From the Airport, who wear sunglasses and make heavy beats. Remember that outside the K-pop corporate sugar, which we all love, South Korea remains a place with musicians trying to make their way far away from the machine. SXSW exists for us to acknowledge that. – Luke Winkie

03.21 DAILY SXSW
SXSW Live Shot : Victim Mentality

Korea Night II : The Revenge of Glam Metal


The Austin Chronicle [Photo By John Anderson]

We can thank South Korea for many things: bimbibap, director Park Chan-wook, Psy, and the 38th parallel among them. Now let us raise a glass of soju and toast our good fortune at discovering Seoul-based Victim Mentality. Friday brought the second half of SXSW’s Korea night, but it might as well have been 1990 at the Starwood on the Sunset Strip.

Glam metal dead? Not on your life. It’s simply changed hemispheres and now thrives on kimchi instead of the more traditional fare of blow, booze, and babes.

Playing to an overpacked crowd, the band looked the part – of Warrant’s best buddies – with hair extensions nearly to the floor and enough technicolor spandex to impress even Richard Simmons. Then guitarist Kyungho Sohn hit the first monster power chord of Korean smash “Don’t Spit on Me” and all of hair metal’s sins were forgiven in a high decibel blast of pure pop metal froth.

Frontman Krocodile lunged to the front of the stage and let loose a yowl, a come-hither glint in his eye, and more strutty swagger than Cinderella’s Tom Keifer and Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach combined. The crowd roared its approval and Victim Mentality roared right back at them.

Drummer Tarantula kept up a mid-tempo beat, occasionally kicking it up a notch, and Sohn’s fretwork can’t be faulted. Six songs in, the band closed with kickass chorus shouter “I’m Not Your Friend,” which may or may have a ring of truth to it. Certainly the long lines of autograph hounds fervently prayed that wasn’t really the case.


2K15 SXSW Seoulsonic Showcase (Planning/Production/Promotions) : DFSB Kollective x Mandoo Entertainment
International Agent/Distribution : DFSB Kollective (From The Airport/Heo/Big Phony)
International Distribution : DFSB Kollective (YB) 

Wednesday
Mar182015

MTV K : (K)Pop, Rock, Metal & More @ SXSW ’15


Courtesy of SM Entertainment

South By Southwest 2015 is well under way! The music, film, and tech show, which kicked off opening exhibitions on March 13, annually draws the hottest international talent to Austin, Texas like a giant convention magnet. Naturally, we’ve got our eyes on the music acts repping Korea this year.

Lucky for attendees (and fan-cam watchers), most of these acts will appear together in two showcases this week: K-Pop Night Out on Thursday and Korea Night II: Seoulsonic on Friday. We couldn’t have planned it better ourselves.

Of course, you don’t have to be partying it up in Austin to get the best of Asian Chairshot, Epik High, The Solutions, Victim Mentality, and all the rest — check out these essential tracks and rock on wherever you are:

KPOP NIGHT OUT | MARCH 19 @ ELYSIUM

EASTERN SIDEKICK | 7:30PM

SXSW’s third annual K-pop Night Out will get a grunge rock kickoff with Eastern Sidekick, the five-piece band that swept rookie awards in Korea back in 2011 and specifically captured our attention with their 2012 single “Fight for Rainbow.” Why deny it – we’re waiting for their upcoming EP, Hammer Lane, with baited breath.



ASIAN CHAIRSHOT | 8:30PM

Asian Chairshot’s blend of psychedelic, garage rock, and alt-rock will hit you over the head much like the outlawed wrestling move they’re named for: hard, fast, and outta nowhere. Showcase attendees should brace themselves for our personal favorite of theirs, “Mask Dance,” which won them a “Best Rock Song” nomination at the 2014 Korean Music Awards.



THE BARBARETTES | 9:30PM

The Barbarettes will croon their way through through covers of golden oldies and nostalgia-inspired originals. The lovely “timeslip” trio have been stealing hearts in perfect harmony since mid-2014, when they released their debut album full of ’50s and ’60s inspired tunes.



More SXSW performances:
—March 22 @ The Palm Door on Sixth | 9PM

EE | 10:30PM

Husband and wife duo EE take their “total art performance” tagline to a level so high, pretty soon we’re going to need binoculars to see them. Every genre-defying sight and sound is perfectly crafted to engage the audience, and we’re totally hooked. On top of impressive credits like being the first Korean band to play at Cochella (2011), the pair have been extra busy lately: Check them out on Drunken Tiger’s new album and definitely don’t miss their new digital EP, Dear Door.



More SXSW performances:
—March 18 @ 405 Club | 11PM

HITCHHIKER : 11:30PM

K-pop hit production machine turned global EDM enigma HITCHHIKER is also on the list for K-Pop Night Out, and he’ll grace Elysium with the shiniest suit and the hypest beats. Check out the insane MV for his first single “11(Eleven)” below, and if you don’t feel confused enough after that, make a beeline for the remix and this hilarious profile piece. You are welcome.



More SXSW performances:
—March 17 @ Highland | 11:45PM

CRAYON POP : 12:30AM

If we loved Crayon Pop any more, we’d probably need to be committed (click HERE to hear all about it). The five-member K-pop team is gearing up to drop new material later this month, and we’re excited to see if it lives up to viral expectations.



EPIK HIGH : 1:10AM

The one and only Epik High holds the final K-Pop Night Out showcase slot — get there early because we expect the venue will be PACKED by the time they hit the stage. It’s probably safe to expect tracks from their latest album, Shoebox, so familiarize yourself with “Spoiler” and “Happen Ending” below. You can also join us in hoping against hope for an abbreviated live version of “BORN HATER,” sans guest rappers.




KOREA NIGHT II : SEOULSONIC | MARCH 20 @ THE MAJESTIC

FROM THE AIRPORT : 8:00PM

The electro rock is strong in this one. The Seoulsonic 2015 showcase will satisfy all your digital cravings, starting with the guitar and synth-driven melodies of From the Airport. It wouldn’t be such a bad deal if we only hear tracks from the duo’s first full-length album You Could Imagine, but we have a good feeling that they’ll knock out fan favorites like “Colors” as well.



THE SOLUTIONS | 9:00PM

The Solutions call their brand of electronic rock “future pop” — we just call it gold. The duo’s 90s-Brit-pop-meets-American-alternative-meets-modern-J-pop sound is primed and ready to get the whole venue jamming to tracks off of their 2014 album, MOVEMENTS.



HEO | 10:00PM

How much does the crowd love it when HEO delivers their ambient indie rock with a dark edge? Enough to land the trio “Best Dance/Electronic Album of the Year” at the 2015 Korean Music Awards with their latest album, Structure, that’s how much. Check out “Luna” and “Word of Silence” for a taste:



BIG PHONY : 11:00PM

This Seoul-based singer-songwriter from NYC (woo!!) makes his return to SXSW this year wielding everything from acoustic folk sounds to electronic indie rock. On this year’s schedule: An acoustic solo set on Thursday, electronic set with a band for Seoulsonic on Friday, and party with No Brain at the Funny Or Die booth.



VICTIM MENTALITY : 12:00AM

Armed with 80′s glam metal inspiration, epic stage names like Tarantula and Krocodile, and (sometimes) a bullwhip, Victim Mentality is bringing metal to Seoulsonic 2015. On top of fan favorites “Magic Finger” and their latest single “Don’t Spit on Me”, Seoulsonic attendees should look forward to first listen privileges for tracks off of the band’s upcoming album.



More SXSW performances:
—March 18 @ Club Metropolis(Heavy Metal Pool Party) | 4:30PM
—March 18 @ Karma Lounge | 9PM

YB : 1:00AM

YB (aka Yoon Do Hyun Band aka Yoon Band) will close out the Seoulsonic showcase, a fitting spot for one of Korea’s top rock groups and a 4-time SXSW veteran. If you’re not into them yet, you’ve got nine albums of top-quality material to get started on. At a loss for where to begin? Why not their their newest English single, “Cigarette Girl?”



More SXSW performances:
—March 21 @ Lucille | 11PM

By Corynn Smith


2015 KOCCA KPop Night Out Showcase (Planning/Production/Promotions) : DFSB Kollective x SL Communications
International Distribution : DFSB Kollective (EE/Eastern Sidekick)

2K15 SXSW Seoulsonic Showcase (Planning/Production/Promotions) : DFSB Kollective x Mandoo Entertainment
International Agent/Distribution : DFSB Kollective (From The Airport/Heo/Big Phony)
International Distribution : DFSB Kollective (YB)