Sunday, August 14, 2011

50 Most Influential K-Pop Artists: 26. Jaurim

[Series Index]

26.  Jaurim [자우림]

Also known as:  紫雨林 ("purple rain forest")

Years of Activity:  1997-present

Members:
Kim Yoon-Ah [김윤아] - Vocal
Lee Seon-Gyu [이선규] - Guitar
Kim Jin-Man [김진만] - Bass
Gu Tae-Hoon [구태훈] - Drum

Discography:
Purple Heart (1997)
Lover [戀人] (1998)
The Wonderland (2000)
04 (2002)
All You Need is Love (2004)
Ashes to Ashes (2006)
Ruby Sapphire Diamond (2008)
Conspiracy Theory [陰謀論] (2011)

Representative Song:  I'm a Fan [팬이야] from 04. (Parts that are originally in English are marked in blue.)



팬이야
I'm a Fan

아무렇지 않은 표정으로 애써 웃음지어 보여도
Even though you try to smile like nothing happened
나는 알고 있어 때로 너는 남들 몰래 울곤 하겠지
I know you will sometimes cry when no one else is around
특별할 것 없는 나에게도 마법 같은 사건이 필요해
I am nothing special, but I too need a magical incident
울지 않고 매일 꿈꾸기 위해서
So that I can dream every day without crying
언젠가의 그 날이 오면
When that day comes someday
Oh let me smile again in the sun
Oh let me smile again in the sun

내보일 것 하나 없는 나의 인생에도 용기는 필요해
Even my life with nothing to show for requires courage
지지않고 매일 살아남아 내일 다시 걷기 위해서
So that I don't lose, survive every day and walk again tomorrow
나는 알고 있어 너도 나와 똑같다는 것을
I know that you are just like me
주저앉지 않기 위해 너도 하늘을 보잖아
You are also looking at the sky, so that you won't fall.
언젠가의 그날을 향해
Toward that day that will come someday
I see the light shining in your eyes
I see the light shining in your eyes

I'm my fan
I'm my fan
I'm mad about me
I'm mad about me
I love myself
I love myself
매일 거울 안의 내게 말하곤 해
I tell that every day to myself in the mirror
I'm my fan
I'm my fan
I'm mad about me
I'm mad about me
I love myself
I love myself
매일 거울 안의 내게 말하곤 해
I tell that every day to myself in the mirror

어디론가 남들 몰래 사라져 버릴 수만 있다면
If only I could just disappear without anyone else knowing
어디에도 존재하지 않은 없었던 사람인 것처럼
As if I never existed anywhere
내보일 것 하나 없는 나의 인생에도 용기는 필요해
Even my life with nothing to show for requires courage
지지않고 매일 살아남아 내일도 내일도
So that I don't lose, survive every day, and again tomorrow, and again tomorrow
언젠가는 그날이 올까
Will that day come someday
아직 어둡게 가려진 그날
That day that is still darkly obscured

I'm my fan
I'm mad about me
I love myself
Day after day I'm saying same prayer for me
I'm my fan
I'm mad about me
I love myself
Day after day I'm saying same prayer for me

I see the light shining in my eyes
I see the light shining in my eyes
I see the light shining
I see the light shining
I see the light shining in my eyes

Translation note:  Jaurim is one of the few bands of Korea whose English lyrics are not awkward. This time, the Korean tried a more natural translation instead of a more precise translation. Comments are welcome.

In 15 words or less:  Queen of the indies, Korea's greatest modern rock band.

Maybe they should be ranked higher because... Without Jaurim, will people have noticed what was happening at Hongdae?

Maybe they should be ranked lower because... Did they ever totally capture the public's imagination as did some of the artists ranked lower than them?

Why is this band important?
When it comes to K-pop history, the significance of the indie scene near Hong-Ik University -- more commonly known as its contraction, Hongdae -- cannot be overstated. Hongdae, with its prestigious art major, has attracted the most brilliantly creative minds of Korea since the 1980s. These creative minds have provided a ready audience for the types of music that did not shine in the mainstream. For a time, the live bandstands near Hongdae were the only islands on which one could avoid the tsunami of  corporatized idol group music.

Jaurim is important because it is the reigning queen of the Hongdae scene. And it ascended to its throne on the strength of sheer talent. In fact, Kim Yoon-Ah may be the most talented woman in K-pop history. Yes, there have been better singers and there have been better song writers. But few women in the history of K-pop can match Kim Yoon-Ah's charisma and musical vision, AND translate that talent into a broadly accessible format. (Kim edges out Lee Sang-Eun in this regard.) Picking a representative song for Jaurim was a particularly difficult task, because of the vast range of music in which Jaurim comfortably resided -- no band in K-pop history could go from light to dark, chipper to serious quite like Jaurim could. Add Kim's particular talent for visual presentation (a must-have for pop singers in the 21st century,) and the conclusion that Jaurim might have saved Korean pop music no longer seems outlandish.

Interesting trivia:  Jaurim has not changed its members in its 14-year history, making it the longest running intact band in Korea among those currently operating.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at askakorean@gmail.com.

13 comments:

  1. I became a fan when I heard Carnival Amour and 죽은 자들의 무도회 consecutively. Then Magic Carpet Ride, followed by 낙화.

    :D The band was quite a bipolar experience for me.

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  2. Ahem. "Feedback is welcome'.

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  3. Aahh, the afternoons spent nearby Hongdae are still a very dear memory to me. Something that any Korean anywhere should go thru.

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  4. @bumfromkorea, same here. i first heard carnival amour and instantly liked them. fan is good too...it really reminds me of alanis morisette.

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  5. Minor typo here: "Jaurim has not changed its members in its 14-year history"

    I also heard "Carnival Amour" first too, and loved it. But since I came across it via Last.fm radio, I didn't get a chance to hear anything else by 자우림 until now. I'm shocked at how different the two tracks sound, but the group is really talented for being able to pull off so many genres.

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  6. I've been a fan since I first saw "일탈" on TV during a lazy summer in Korea. Maybe it's just a wonky memory, but didn't the band break up between their forth and fifth albums? (after which 김윤아 did her first solo album and two of the three remaining members, including 이선규 went onto form Chococream Rolls temporarily) Or maybe they didn't break up and just went on temporary hiatus while they pursued their own projects, but I remember the message boards being quite incensed about the breakup. 김윤아 has held the spot of my Kpop crush ever since I first saw the music video for "애인발견!!" that summer of '99, although I do prefer her work with Jaurim over her solo work.

    I'm just gushing here. But I definitely agree that this band deserves a spot on the chart, even if only for their immense talent--but also for their influence on the rest of the Korean indie rock scene. I feel like every young female would-be k-rocker out there ends up covering a Jaurim song with her band. At least YouTube videos would attest to that. And I love how many female rock vocalists there are in Korea, that's a very encouraging thing and I don't doubt that the success of Jaurim has at least a tiny part to play in that.

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  7. Thank you for the typo corrections. They are all fixed now.

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  8. And no, the band did not break up. But it did go into hiatus while individual members did their own thing for a bit, as you remember correctly.

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  9. Mr The Korean,

    Don't forget, they've just released their eighth album! :)

    Also, the Untitled EP they released about two years ago is also worth mentioning. (Well, in my opinion, at least.)

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  10. They JUST came out with a new album!
    Their title song is named IDOL.

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  11. The newest album is added on the discography. Thank you.

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  12. TK: Maybe they should be ranked lower because... Did they ever totally capture the public's imagination as did some of the artists ranked lower than them?

    Say that to the enamored audience that gave the band 1st place on 나가수 on their first appearance.

    Personally, I think their rendition of 고래사냥 was no way deserving of that honor (particularly since the song is such a masterpiece), but 자우림 seems to have caught the public's imagination alright.

    I'm getting less fond of them since they've become so mainstream. I always did like the fact that I rarely saw them on TV, but at random concerts all across the country. But even my MOM knows them now...SIGH. Oh, the good ol' days!

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  13. After living here in Korea for my fifth year, just recently got into Jaurim.
    Heard them off and on for several years, but I didn't know what I was really missing!

    They're the only thing that's saved me from going insane from K-pop Hell.

    Yes, Korea, this is what the rest of the world wants to hear.
    Not G-Dragon. Not SNSD. Not Boa or Rain. Geez, give me a break.
    That stuff is for pre-pubescent snot-flingers.

    Real music. Uniqueness. Talent. Range and depth.
    I am now firmly of the belief that Jaurim is the only original breakout talent
    that could truly bridge the gap between what stuffed-shirt chaebol-types and government hacks think Hallyu should be, and what foreigners actually want to hear.

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