Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Smashing Pumpkins in Asia

I've compiled a list of Pumpkins dates in Asia - it seems nearly every two years since 1992 Billy Corgan and gang have shown up here in Asia and last time he came here was as a solo artist in 2005. So I think he is due to visit over here again on the new Pumpkins tour......

Billy Corgan

(with Smashing Pumpkins)
1992/02/21 Club Quatro Osaka, JP
1992/02/23 Club Quatro Nagoya, JP
1992/02/24 Club Citta' Kawasaki, JP
1992/02/26 Club Quatro Tokyo, JP
1992/02/?? [Japanese TV] Tokyo, JP

1994/02/09 Sun Plaza Tokyo, JP
1994/02/11 On Air West Tokyo, JP
1994/02/12 Club Quatro Nagoya, JP
1994/02/13 Club Quatro Osaka, JP


1996/02/19 Archaic Hall Osaka, JP
1996/02/20 IMP Hall Osaka, JP
1996/02/21 Aichi Kinro kaikan Nagoya, JP
1996/02/23 Todoroki Arena Kawasaki, JP
1996/02/26 Todoroki Arena Kawasaki, JP
1996/02/27 Shibuya Kokaido Tokyo, JP
1996/02/29 Thai-Japan Bangkok Metropolis
Youth Centre Bangkok, Thailand
1996/03/02 World Trade Centre, Singapore

James Iha

1998/06/23 (unknown venue) Tokyo, JP
1998/06/23 Nihon Budokan Tokyo, JP
1998/06/24 Koyakuin University Hachioji, JP

2000/06/20 Pacifico Yokohama, JP
2000/06/21 Kenmin Hall Sendai, JP
2000/06/24 Koseinenkin Hall Hiroshima, JP
2000/06/25 Zepp Fukuoka, JP
2000/06/27 Castle Hall Osaka, JP
2000/06/28 Koseinenkin Hall Nagoya, JP
2000/06/30 Budokan Tokyo, JP
2000/07/02 Kokusai Forum Tokyo, JP
2000/07/04 Olympic Park Gymnastics Stadium
Seoul, Korea

Melissa Auf der Maur

(with Zwan)
2003/02/01 Zepp Tokyo, JP
2003/02/02 Zepp Osaka, JP
2003/02/05 Club Diamond Hall Nagoya, JP
2003/02/06 Liquid Room Tokyo, JP

(Billy Corgan solo)
2005/08/01 Namba-Hatch Osaka, JP
2005/08/03 Club Diamond Hall Nagoya, JP
2005/08/04 Shibuya-AX Tokyo, JP
2005/08/05 Shibuya-AX Tokyo, JP

(with Smashing Pumpkins)
2007/09/01 Hezarfen Airport Istanbul, Turkey

Jimmy Chamberlin
pictures from the Japanese Smashing Pumpkins fan site

Monday, July 23, 2007

Smashing Hotel Rooms? What Visiting Stars Do in Korea

A bevy of international music stars will come to Korea for concerts this year. They will make a deep impression on numerous Korean fans with their performance, but what impression will the stars come away with? The Chosun Ilbo asked sources in the performance industry for a glimpse of the life some famous musicians enjoyed during their visit to Korea.

Can’t live without booze

Many (mostly Rock) musicians proved that they couldn’t live without alcohol by spending every spare minute here drinking. The now-disbanded heavy metal group Pantera would have won the competition for the hardest visiting drinkers. The group enjoyed themselves at the Walkerhill Hotel casino all night on the night before their gig, drinking two or three 500 ml bottles of liquor a head. After getting a bit of sleep at the hotel, they gave the planned concert, with the help of more liquor stored in 10 beer glasses at the corner of the stage.

The British singer Sting kept a low profile by enjoying some wine privately in his hotel room, but he spent as much as W4 million (US$1=W938) on meals and wine during his four-day stay. Of course, he paid for it himself. Another heavy metal group, Rage Against the Machine, spent W2.5 million on wine here.

Counter-intuitively, according to a staffer with event organizers Access Entertainment, Metallica, who have been nicknamed “Alcohollica” for their dedication to booze, did not touch a drop during either of their two Korea visits.


Sharon Osbourne, the wife of Ozzy Osbourne, showed what a shopaholic is like during their Seoul visit. She bought knockoff bags and watches worth some W5 million in Itaewon, the well-kwon pirate brand district in Seoul. Craig David brought home a Korean-made MP3 player he bought at the TechnoMart shopping center and about a dozen antiques including paintings and stone statues from Insa-dong. A staffer with Private Curve said many pop and jazz musicians like to look around Insa-dong and buy antiques to take home.

Out walking

When British rock group Oasis visited, they encountered some young fans of the Korean boy band TVXQ in front of the group’s agency SM Entertainment in Apgujeong, Seoul. Some of them recognized the world famous group and followed them. Some 10 minutes later, Noel Gallagher asked them why they kept following and gave them his autograph to send them away.

Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst also spent some time in Korea walking around Apgujeong. He ran into a cable music TV crew team who were doing street interviews and, feeling a sudden urge for fun, shouted in front of camera, “I, Limp Bizkit, have come to Korea.” Failing to recognize him, a reporter was dumbfounded, and Durst, now also confused, went on his way. But a producer recognized him belatedly and drove after him, succeeding in landing an interview.

When Eric Clapton was in the country for his first concert here a decade ago, he bought three pairs of socks for W10,000 from a street vendor while strolling around the busy streets of Seoul’s Gangnam. The elderly vendor threw in another pair for free saying, “You have grown old gracefully.” Clapton thanked him and left.


When Boyz II Men came to Korea in 2005 to give a joint performance with Korean girl band Big Mama, they got into a fight over music. It was resolved magically by getting them to play poker for US$1 stakes. Smashing Pumpkins was so notorious for discord between members that they sat separately on the plane and had separate meals in Seoul. A source from event planners Yellow Nine said members also went to separate bars after their concert.


All bad boys the Prodigy really wanted in Korea was a sauna. When they came here in 1999 for the Triport Rock Festival in Incheon, their performance was canceled due to heavy rain. The group’s manager called the festival organizers and asked to change the hotel because the place where the Big Beats combo were staying would not allow them into the sauna because of their tattoos. The firm had to decline, saying no hotels would tolerate body art of such dimensions.

The Hip-Hop group Black Eyed Peas, who attended the Pentaport Rock Festival in Incheon last year, were unwilling to wear their expensive shoes costing W2-3 million on the muddy stage, so they bought Wellington’s boots worth W4,000 on the spot and performed in them instead.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins are a Christian rock band?

We all know that Billy's been writing lyrics with religious overtones for many years now, but did you know that current guitarist Jeff Schroeder used to be in Christian rock bands like Violet Burning and Lassie Foundation? Or that new bassist Ginger Reyes was in the all-girl Xian band the Halo Friendlies? Or that new keyboard player Lisa Harriton played on a lot of praise and worship albums for Word Records?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

List of Lasts

Last Movie I saw: Casablanca, it was on TV the other night with Korean subtitles.

Last Book I read: The Man Who Ate Everything, by Jeffrey Steingarten.

Last Meal: the aforementioned Huevos con chorizo and horchata at Taco Amigo in Seoul.

Last spin in my Ipod: Bullet With Butterfly Wings, by The Smashing Pumpkins. I played this about 12 times, while riding the KTX from Cheonan and subway in Seoul last night. I'm still blown away by the intensity of the playing on this song. Tarantula, off their new album, while a good song, seems to just TRY TOO HARD.

Last phone call: from Lisa about 30 minutes ago, saying she apologizes but she's too hung over and can't get out of bed to meet me for coffee. :-)

Last email: 5 days ago, to Mark who lives in PDX.

Last time I was infuriated: before lunch thinking of how much Americans don't really care about politics and health care, only about who won American Idol or did Paris Hilton get out of jail too soon/too late, etc. (but maybe that was just from low blood sugar)

Last really great day: today is the greatest, day i've ever known.....

Monday, July 16, 2007

Yes, Mexican food DOES exist in Korea....

Taco joint I went to last night in Seoul.


Burrito I had there. Ingredients: Beef, beans, rice, lettuce, onions, jalapenos, cilantro (yummy!!!!) and cheese. Price: 5,000 won (about $5.00 US).

Another place down the road I went to for breakfast/lunch today served a very nice horchata.

And here is the huevos con chorizo platter I had today.

Sign on the wall at the joint I went to last night.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

IM ANGRY!!!!!!!!!

by Linda Strawberry

the problem is i dont know where to begin. all i know is im upset right now. not even so much at the state of things as the state of people. people saying things like "i dont follow politics..ignorance is bliss" "i dont like paying attention to what's going on because it fills me with negative thoughts" ignorance might be blissfull but its still ignorance!! what has happened to us that we are so afraid and complacent... that we are so broken down that we would rather keep quiet and not tip the balance. what about freedom of speech? what about freedom of information? freedom of the press? are all our freedoms gone?

it takes so much courage to look straight into the ugly face of things. to acknowlege whats actually going on instead of what we wish was going on. everything's fucked up right now and this is supposed to be a democracy. power of the people. so why is everyone so afraid of the government? is it because we have tracking chips in our passports now? is it because we say a couple of words into our phones and we appear on some security list? that the government can bug us and track us if they want to? that we can get thrown in jail without the right for an attorney if the government decided we are a possible 'terrorist'?
is our government the real terrorist?

i cried while watching 'sicko' micheal moore's new documentary. ive been really sick since the beginning of june. i am currently struggling as a DIY independent artist so i dont have health insurance and a strong bank accont. i fear going to the doctor or hospital. i finally just went because i was worried and i wanted to get checked out. now i have a 3 thousand dollar billfrom 2 hours of medical care!! the only alternative is a free clinic and they arent always reliable and its hard to get in. it is so demoralizing. it makes you feel like you dont matter. that no one cares if you get sicker and die. in this country they only care about money. they make more money for NOT taking care of you when you are sick. watching 'sicko' made me so mad. i want to move. i want to go somewhere where they care if my stomach hurts or if i need an x-ray. i want to go somewhere where i know my money is going to help other people who are sick too. an environment where people arent losing their homes and lives just to pay for their prescription drugs.

i feel so dubious about the upcoming elections. its not like we are going to have another abraham lincoln. or someone who isnt being bought by all the lobbyists and rich people. i dont even see the individual parties anymore. they are all equally corrupted. what has happened to america.. what has happened to americans. at least my idea or what i was raised and conditioned to think america was.... people here dont want to know things. overall here in america we are just getting fatter stupider and lazier. our fda is corrupt. they approve harmful things like splenda but wont approve stevia which is harmless. i heard something like.. gas is going to be FIVE dollars by the end of summer... oil companies are making more money than ever! we are slaves. especially here in los angeles where people dont walk anywhere.. and there's no real effective public transportation.... who can afford five dollars a gallon!! fuck us. and fuck the atmosphere i guess.. as long as the rich are getting richer!

we are an overworked overtired oversaturated overeating culture. but we cant be bothered to care about what's happening to us. we'd rather turn the tv on to watch the latest reality tv show or read a magazine about paris hilton. we are just marching ourselves straight into a nightmare..
how many people know about the document our president signed to eventually combine canada and mexico and the u.s. into one nation with the "amero" as currency... isnt that alarming? what about these new id's they are going to give us by 2008 that will have all our personal information scannable on the strip? what about when they start microchipping US?
its terrifying how many things are wrong with our country. i dont want to sound like a conspiracy theorist... but what if its true that it was a government scheme to further the agenda of the richest people in the world that REALLY run things and are moving us around like pieces on a chess board? obviously those buildings werent knocked down by planes.. it was a planned demolition..

people just dont want to open their eyes. they dont want to look around and see. its like the game that my cat plays.. he will hide his head under something and i swear he thinks we cant see him then. are we just osterich's sticking our heads in the sand? our media is totally corrupt too. they just say what they are told to say. i guess everyone can be bought in this country.
someone wrote me a message saying "welcome to the truth movement" is there really a truth movement? can i be a part of it? i am not going to be afraid to look at things under the harsh light of truth. i care. i care about myself and i care about my family and i care about you. i will say whatever i think and i will care about what's happening. im not scared of the old rich fucks that run the music business. im not scared of the old rich fucks that run our country either....
if i end up on a list somewhere then FINE!!! bring it on!!!!

im not trying to be a greedy rich corrupt human. im not going to live my life just to stockpile money and things. im just trying to be a healthy happy productive human being. i want to make my art... i want to sing my songs... i want to do what i can for the people i love.. i want to be loud and obnoxious about the things i stand for.... THAT is what freedom means to me. and dont anyone dare call me unpatriotic.... im patriotic BECAUSE have the balls to care about whats ACTUALLY happening to my country. im not anti republican or anti democrat or anti anything. im for all of us as human beings. we all have to care about each other and stick together or we are doomed.

i want to live in an educated sentient fearless society. where people love themselves enough to take care of themselves and other people. where the rich and poor get the same health care. because no one is more valuable than anyone else. im asking you... what are you afraid of? are you afraid of the government? are you afraid of the truth because its hard to hear? are you afraid of terrorists? are you afraid to go to the hospital? fear is a corrosive disease. it gets inside your heart and starts to freeze you.

ive got to go now and get on the phone and try my hardest to fight for an appointment at a free clinic just so i can know if i need an antibiotic or not. since that's my only option in our fucked up health care system. i only wish i was in canada where my grandmother and aunt are so i could walk into a hospital and actually feel like someone cares about me getting better...
god bless..

Linda Strawberry is an independent songwriter and musician who lives in Los Angeles.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Korean Police Uncover ATM Scam

Suppose you use an ATM and the machine shows a message saying it is short of cash after you have entered your PIN number. A sensational case before the courts this week suggests you had better check that the machine is genuine, or else your money may be gone.

Busan Metropolitan Police said a man identified as Kim and seven accomplices who had known each other from jail, pooled W220 million (US$1=W938) to build two fake cash machines. They bought parts of an ATM, a card reader and a CCTV camera from China and installed the devices on second-hand ATMs that were used in Korea three to four years ago.

They made them look genuine by putting a sign saying “CASH-BANK” and a list of domestic financial institutions’ names on the machines. As soon as anyone inserted a credit card, the information was stored in the machine and the PIN number recorded by the CCTV camera installed right above the keypad. The fake machine then displayed a message saying it was out of cash.

Kim and accomplices withdrew about W70 million by illegally copying some 100 credit cards over the last four months. Busan police arrested Kim and one of the accomplices and is chasing the other six. Police are investigating whether there were further such crimes since a similar scam was reported in China.

( )

Guam International Airport

by Jeff Turbitt

Out in Micronesia , just a small radar blip in the Pacific, sits Guam International Airport. Like many airports, it is a vast, packaged, neon vestibule of unhealthy, overpriced fast food, the mind boggling curiosity of duty free shops, and a more common currency: aggravated Asian travelers. One notable difference is that Guam is an America much closer to Hong Kong and Tokyo than New York or Los Angeles .

Guam is a full blown U.S. territory like Puerto Rico and a common transfer hub for Asian travelers to Hawaii , other Micronesian islands, Australia and other locales. Guam has two well known monikers. Fiscal conservatives noting the federal dole that Guam , and other Pacific Islands survive on, say Guam stands for Give Us American Money, while retired military expats familiar with the more lascivious, neighboring locations of Thailand and the Philippines say Guam stands for Give Up And Masturbate.

A traveler doesn’t have to visit Guam , a popular beach vacation site for Japanese honeymooners, to feel the hysteria post 9/11. A mere transfer will suffice for this dog to bite, as America continues to expand global alienation on a more personal front: airport security. I speak from recent personal experience.

I get off the plane in Guam after getting a quite thorough screening at Palau International Airport . Palau is one of the most renowned scuba diving locations on the planet, its main tourist draw and the one that brought me there, and is in Free Compact of Association with the United States , which basically means Palauans can enter the United States without visa issue, and the U.S. provides them with economic aid. The U.S. in return gets a claim on a place that is famously part of the “Coalition of the Willing” from Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.

The first thing I have to do in Guam right off the plane from Palau at 4 am : Welcome to the United States . “Take your shoes off sir, belt, all metals, and are your nuts still attached, if not, please place them in this basket for inspection.” I've only been married a few years, so they are still connected, sorry, use the wand, and tickle a little bit since it's 4am , I'm on the redeye from hell, I'm stuck in your shithole airport and I need a cheap thrill.I just got off an airplane, I didn't go anywhere near an unchecked civilian, so this begs the obvious question of why do I have to go through the shoe bullshit again, not to mention another x-ray, take off your belt, shave your pubes routine in case you're hiding some well placed plutonium in your sac region? Why again!!!! Is Guam security so much more thorough than the last airport? One idiot tried something with his shoes years ago and people the planet over have to go through these shoe theatrics without end in sight. Please. I've had times when there have been like three shoe checks for one trip. I saw this one Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) officer examine my flip flops with the wrapt attention of Howard Carter opening King Tut's tomb.

Leaving Palau , the existence of shaving cream in my checked, not carry on, luggage caused a literal ten minute investigation. I might be the only one with a toothbrush coming from Palau , but I can't be the only one who shaves. Throughout Micronesia locals suffer massive dental issues from their love of a tree fruit called betel nut, which is generally stuffed with cigarette pieces, mixed with powdered lime to break it down for easier chewing, and wrapped in a pepper leaf to provide a nice buzz. There are probably more cigarettes chewed than smoked in Micronesia . Betelnut is a common addiction in Micronesia and has similar health, dental and aesthetic issues as chewing tobacco.

The war on terror, I mean hygiene continues, though. I had deodorant in my carry on, which is legal, but that still entailed a Nuremberg type deliberation since somehow Old Spice equals Al Qaeda. At some point someone needs to snap and say, “Use some sense, you soulless automaton!” I’m convinced they must electroshock all vestiges of independent thought and common sense out of these people at TSA Academy .

After the foiled UK plot a few months back, the liquid and hygiene situation is the latest overreaction. The silliness over water continues unabated. If you can drink it, and demonstrate that it isn't some Mission Impossible liquid bomb, let it go. It's water, like 80 percent of the human body. Chill out Nurse Ratched. We don't examine most any cargo coming into the states, but three shoe checks and no water, so we’re supposed to think we're safe. What a bunch of babies we’ve become, not to mention that this American airport in Asia is as welcoming as a punch to the stomach.Then Guam security sets up this rope to subdivide the airport and actually block you from your gate. This is designed so they can give the new arrivals the stare to march them along like lambs to the slaughter for the pointless Guam immigration check in counter, and if you, the already harassed, step on the wrong side at the wrong time, they threaten you with a fresh round of shoe checks, X rays and quite possibly a trip to Guantanamo Bay. Even an American traveler like me feels cowed from asking the obvious question of why do I have to clear immigration in Guam when I am not staying there, or not be able to head to my gate yet because others need to go through this ridiculous routine? Doesn’t my name go down on the easily identifiable “previously manhandled” list?

With all this security you’d think Guam International Airport would be a hub for all travelers, but nope, they won't let Filipinos, and others from less prosperous countries, transfer through without a full blown U.S. Visa.

It is still the middle of the night, I've got a long layover in Hades, and there is hardly anyone in the place, so sleep seems in order. I'm not expecting the Ritz Carlton, just to sack out in peace on their mangy carpet. Naturally, sleep is hard to come by with a blaring announcement over the loudspeaker every fifteen minutes not to leave your bags unattended and to report any suspicious activity to the Guam Gestapo.

These security pros clearly find travelers annoying, so they briefly held me hostage on my initial layover. I couldn't exit without a Continental representative to walk me through immigration like it was my first day of kindergarten. I ate at the lousy food court, so I wasn’t exiting completely within the allotted time. Since this was inconvenient to security, I had this bozo airport cop on a power trip interrogating me on whether my green tea in a cup was beer. What am I twelve, what if it was? His invented regulation: “You can't take green tea out onto the streets of Guam sir.” I'm sure the teeming masses of Guam appreciate that kind of protection. I was going to mention that I saw one guy with an apple, and if he could stop him, he might get a Homeland Security appointment in the Bush administration, but I really wasn’t in any mood to undergo extraordinary rendition and be re-routed for less comfortable questioning in Syria, so I merely smiled and sheepishly surrendered my $3.00 beverage before heading out of the Taliban’s new headquarters.

Guam Airport is the United States government in microcosm: reactionary, bullying, lacking common sense and self-important. The terrorists have already won since we are a bunch of drunk on fear ninnies, alienating both Americans and citizens of the world’s fastest growing economies with our bullshit.

American Fast Food

by Randy Stonehill

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

By Gil Scott-Heron

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag
and Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back
after a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, the tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.