It’s time for the Indie Playlist for the week of February 26th 2012. We got rock, ballads, and acoustic guitars.

1) OKPUNK – Not the End


We’re starting with OKPUNK which sounds like they should be a punk band but they’re not…but now that I think about it, I suppose Daft Punk is also not a punk band. Anyways, this band is a kind of TV project which puts an actress named Kim Ok Vin as the lead singer of a rock band. The band is made up of famous indie musicians that already have successful bands. We got GoGo Star vocalist Lee Tae Sun (bass), The KOXX vocalist Hyunsong (guitar), Devin of N.EX.T and Dr.Core911 (guitar), Toxic‘s Kim Seul Ong (drums) and Kim Hyun Woo of Dick Punks (keyboard). While I’m really happy to see these epic indie musicians getting an awesome chance to advertise their skills and thus promote their own bands, the lead singer of OKPUNK just doesn’t do it for us, and yes, I know she isn’t a trained singer, but considering the vast amount of good singers out there in Korea who aren’t getting exposure, I just can’t grasp the concept of the show. Put an actress who likes punk as the lead singer of a super talented band and watch her flail? Simon likes basketball, but that doesn’t mean they should put him on an NBA all star team and film him get crushed by Jeremy Lin. We all know that Kim Ok Vin is not a trained singer, and I suppose that is the point of the TV program (but why?)

It’s just…when I heard her singing live, I died inside. As a huge fan of heavy metal (this is Martina) a lot of people think that screaming or scream singing is talentless and easy to do, but it takes serious vocal training to get it right and not damage your vocal chords. I guess it just makes me sad to see this all star line up come together, in probably a once in a lifetime opportunity, and not have an awesome lead singer. The studio single they released is much much better, but I don’t know if I can get past her live singing. We’ll include a link to her singing 2NE1 live and you can let me know if I’m being too harsh on her singing.

2) Park Ji Yoon – “Tree of Life”


This next song is really beautiful and accompanied by an artsy fartsy video with lots of weird but beautiful images. I like this song so much because they slowly add additional instruments that help make the song sound continuously fresh. The reason I’m not a big fan of ballads is because they usually bore me. Most ballads have a repetitive nature, and the most that changes is perhaps the song moves up an octave and gets a wee bit faster. That doesn’t really do it for me. This song is awesome because around the 1:40 mark there is a gorgeous little piano break. After the piano break the rest of the song sounds slightly different as they include…if I remember my music classes properly…just a simple snare drum and metal brush, and then again at the 3:00 mark, they add an additional sound again. I was worried I would be bored when I first started listening to this song but absolutely not. From her warm voice, to simple makeup and crisp white shirt, to the awesome filming, I love this song. Read more about her here.

3) Taru – Spring Has Come 봄이 왔다


Taru has a very sing-song voice, she reminds me of a really small and cute bird from a Disney movie. That being said, this song is not really my style. It’s not that I don’t like Disney birds, I’m not a heartless b*tch, I’ve just never been into solo female singers. Like ever. I can appreciate their sound and say, “wow that was really beautiful” but I just can’t get into it and I never want to listen to the album on my spare time. (With the rare exception of Metric, Erykah Badu, Gwen Stefani, and Esthero.) However, if I opened up a coffee shop (which is my dream) I would capture Taru and put her in a cage to sing for my customers because this girl sounds like a walking indie coffee shop soundtrack.

4) PHANTOM – 19 Song

Ohhh it’s like a quiz show for kpop lovers! Phantom, normally a hip hop style group, are testing your knowledge of kpop songs that have been BANNNNNEDDD for non PG lyrics. Even something as stupid as talking about being drunk can get you banned. Yes, I’m sure high school students in Korea have NEVER seen a drunk person in Korea and these lyrics will scar them for life. *deadpan stare* COME ON SOJU COSTS LESS THEN THE COST OF JUICE, SODA POP, and COFFEE!!!! Ahem. I digress. See how many songs you can recognize, and remember, they don’t sound like they normally do, it’s just the lyrics they’re keeping the same. Oh, and if you’re under 19 and Korean, don’t watch this music video. I’m WATCHING YOU!

  1. Sharon Kulp

    Martina, your hair is so adorable in this video! :)

  2. just1988me

    Could you please review Fanny Fink’s 권태 그 앞에선 우리
    (*Sorry I don’t know what’s the tittle in English*)
    Thank you guys!You’re always AWESOME! <3

  3. Maybe you guys already know them (I wouldn’t be surprised ^^) but I think you should review ByeByeSea/AnnyeongBada!! They were in Playful Kiss, you know the kid with the blonde afro cut! ^^ Anyway my favorite from them is Starlight is falling http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U4mxBpX_m4&feature=youtu.be but their newest song Devil is really awesome too! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vjyIYawA1o&feature=player_embedded

  4. I like Park Ji Yoon’s song

  5. Kim Ok Bin I adore her and have been a fan of her for a while. She starred in Over the Rainbow, Hello Good, and more. She is a great actress and has what it takes to be a singer. You are correct that she  is not trained but tries her best.
    Its great you are covering the show OkPunk,

  6. Wendy Brown

    Could you do a post on the reason why each of the songs mentioned in Phantom’s song was banned?  I only know why “Under my skin,” “Americano” & “Knock Out” were banned.  

  7. nowadays they are calling cnblue as a rock band
    they were indie and they did their major debut with their 1st single in my head and then 2nd single where you are
    i really would like to know your input about this
    it seems you know more about rock music than me

  8. Hey guys. I thought you could check out an awesome korean indie band. It’s called Black skirts ( 검정치마 in Korean). They’re music videos are really creative~! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHuSSJ4ggwA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIyVUn21N8A&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL1AAAC6A842D77630 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loysypSfVN0

  9. i love that you guys are talking about korean indie music!  I’ve started doing my own digging too!  I really love Aile  and I’d love to hear your opinion! (or anyone’s for that matter!)

    Aile: Truthfully I Wanted to Cry

    (i’m pretty sure this is their official youtube channel)

  10. i love this weeks playlist! park jiyoon is super pretty, i already loved the 19 song and taru is adorable. i didn’t like okpunk and omg her live was terrible..

  11. I like listening to these indie playlists while doing my homework.  I don’t really look at the mvs but when I hear something I like I switch to this window to see what’s playing :D Kinda like the Voice. Park Ji Yoon’s voice is lovely!  I didn’t know the secretary in Lie to Me was a singer~ maybe that would have saved the bad drama. :/

  12. can you guys review the pony and 검정치마 (The Black Skirts) ?

  13. stardustyuri

    TARU~~~~! <3 <3 <3
    Makes me think of that strawberry song she did for Baskin Robins
    always love this playlist.

  14. Cinnamon_Cappel

    Muhahahaha, being a bit deaf I guess has helped me out. I LOVE OK PUNK!! The vocals sound good to me :) However, its a bummer when y’all talk behind the camera, I have to jack up the sound, and rewind until I get what your saying… Enjoying the playlist with all the new songs. I am going to need a second job to support my music addition. Oh and this is to Sailor Spudgy, love your video and I swear your in my old apartment in Okinawa, even the table looks familiar. 

  15. W&Whale Break it Down   I think you guys might like them. 


  16. Please, Epik High ”The One”!!!

  17. Pallavi Sambasivan

    When Phantom debuted earlier I put the song on loop :P I love the tree of life, but when spring comes isnt really my thing………and about the OK Punk song..the instrumental was ssooooo awesome that I want to love it so bad, but I can’t :( Those vocals are just horrendous and that Ugly cover? Horrible! I feel so bad for the rest of the members that they have too put up with her…

  18. You nailed this on the head Martina. In the first video the music was great but the lead singer was… not. Clicked on the link to the live song and the music again was fantastic but the lead singer… so much more not. Love the variety of songs on K Crunch indie!!

  19. Sharon Park

    haha, love the phantom choice. i laughed sooo hard when i found out what their song was about. the mogef sorta had this coming for their RIDICULOUS standards

  20. Phantom, why have I never heard of them? They rock!

  21. Loooooooooooooooooved Park Ji Yoon & Phantom!!!! Soo great I wonder why I’ve never heard of them before…

    • park ji yoon used to be a HUGE pop star, every korean still knows her. Used to go out with Kang Ta… then she disappeared, apparently studied music, and has been performing on and off for 3 years or so now again. 

  22. Yeah, the singer of OKPUNK isn’t that good…that live cover of “Ugly” by 2NE1 was…not that good…the “all alone” part was painful on it’s own…

  23. 6/19 that’s not that bad considering that i don’t speak korean and i’ve only been listening to kpop for a year :)

  24. OMG I only heard the MV version of Not the End. A while ago I commented that i really liked the song despite the fact that singer isn’t the most talented one. But holly cow now that i heard her live performance I’m very dissapointed. Her singing in the studuio version is ok, but obviously enhanced. If this ad hoc band really want to take themselves seriously, she should practice a lot more! By the way I did’t know that the other bandmembers were already recognized musicians. Why would they choose to cooperate with an amateur singer? Anyway finishing my rant: I still like the song, but only the studio version :)

  25. I got 4, lame
    anyway I just watch it for you guys omg
    Taru got some big eyes there and she really looks like hamster :D

  26. Anime Anime (Sailor Spudgy) is funny!  I liked her video

  27. Nicole Chavannes

    I counted six songs that I knew, I feel like that’s a decent number for a kpop listener lol. Their vocals are amazing, so fluid. Gotta check them out more. I’m loving these k crunch indies, like a lot. ^_^ 

  28. I just wanted to say that I’m totally loving the new K- Crunch Indie segments! The playlist mode was a great idea as well. You two are awesome!!

    LOL!! I was laughing at the end when Simon actually knew the Sailor Moon song. Yes, you’ve got my vote for that too, Martina. Ahhh, Darian….. :P It’s been over 10 years since I’ve seen that show, but love it just as much as I did back then. “Moon Prism Power!!”

    • I totallllly had a mad crush on Darian! I’m currently re-watching the shows (but the non-dubbed version with Eng subtitles) and I’m like…this show is clearly out of my age level now…I need more action. Hahahahahaha ah. 

  29. Vassline – New World Awaits http://youtu.be/okpS3G7Rjnc
    Crash – Crashday http://youtu.be/ZucEw4vKNFc

    metal fans, check out these asskicking korean metal bands lol 

  30. i do not know if this songs would fall under indie but they are still interesting.
    ali-365 days (her voice is just beautiful mv is not really connected to song)
    Epik High –  paranoia (amazing just amazing the beat and lyrics are maddening! literally,.. no mv )
    Epik High =  November 1st (really good and sorrowful song)
    Epik High – Fan (awesome lyrics and awesome music video)

  31. Whoa, normally K-Crunch Indie doesn’t do much for me (I honestly do love the whole non-artsy genre of bouncy, boppy mainstream K-pop), but this week presented 3 out of 4 acts I want to check out further.

    Though the singer’s voice might not be the best, I love the instrumentation on OKPunk’s song, so I’ll be looking for more music by them, just to hear more from the combined musicians.

    Taru’s sweet voice flat-out works for me, and I like the melody of her song.

    Phantom’s medley-mashup song is shockingly pretty to be so tongue-in-cheek.

    Thanks so much for sharing! 

  32. momomarquez

    I feel the same way about the actress “almost” turned singer! Although I have to admit, I don’t particularly like female singers in general, but there are some exceptions of course. For example, from the moment it got out I loved, absolutely loved “Tree of life”, but I am really into ballads these days! On the other hand, I think I would not have liked her even if she sang a little bit better and she didn’t sound like a little boy (I think that’s how she sounds). Anyway, the other songs are really nice!

  33. I agree with Martina. Ok Singer has no breath control.

  34. Heavy metal! XD Martina, do you know any good Korean Metal bands?

  35. I love The Black Skirts and would really love to see you do one of their songs.  “Dientes” is a great song, but the music video makes me depressed, so I’d recommend “Our Young Love” – also sad but less so! http://youtu.be/loysypSfVN0


    I GOT 5/19

  37. just want to say to keep up with the playlists! it helps me to be open about music rather than being basis and listen to just BIGBANG and alot of YG

  38. OKPUNK sounds to me like North America’s “AnyBand”.  It’s good, but it sounds like 100 other OK-ish bands.  (Hence: AnyBand.)  Except in OKPUNK’s case, they are AnyBand minus AnySinger.  Better vocals needed for sure.

  39. Martina – YOU are a fan of heavy metal?  AWE-SOME!  (Anvil played my friends club here in Chicago last Thursday night.)  If you can find some K-Metal, please advise!

    • Yup. I grew up listening to rock which open the doors to metal. My big biases are Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Deftones, Korn, Static-X, Fear Factory, NIN, Death From Above, Metallica.

      I think I’m going to have to put some Korean metal on the list, I’m just scared it will horrify so many people. Maybe I’ll make it the last song on the list? :P

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