Wednesday, March 28, 2012

50 Most Influential K-Pop Artists: 20. Crying Nut

[Series Index]

20.  Crying Nut [크라잉넛]

Years of Activity: 1998-present

Members:
Park Yoon-Sik [박윤식] - Vocal, Guitar
Lee Sang-Myeon [이상면] - Guitar
Han Gyeong-Rok [한경록] - Bass, Guitar
Lee Sang-Hyeok [이상혁] - Drum
Kim In-Su [김인수] - Accordion, Keyboard

Discography:
Run the Horse [말달리자] (1998)
Circus Magic Traveling Troupe [서커스매직유랑단] (1999)
Love Song Under the Water [하수연가] (2001)
Old Radio [고물라디오] (2002)
Cow at the OK Corral [OK 목장의 젖소] (2006)
The Uncomfortable Party [불편한 파티] (2009)

Representative Song:  Circus Magic Traveling Troupe [서커스매직유랑단] from Circus Magic Traveling Troupe.


서커스매직유랑단
Circus Magic Traveling Troupe

[Intro]

안녕하세요 오늘은 김선생이랑 같이 나왔어요
Hello! I came out with Dr. Kim today
아이고 김씨 아저씨도 나오셨네요
Oh my, Mr. Kim came out too
아랫마을에 장이서서 서커스가 왔데요
The village is holding a market and a circus came
아~ 그럼 우리한번 가볼까요
Ah -- then should we go take a look?

아이구 장에 나오니 사람 참 겁나게 많네요
Oh my, the market is so crowded
글쎄 써커스단 이름이 뭐래요
What's the name of the circus by the way?
서커스 매직 유랑단 이래요
They call themselves Circus Magic Traveling Troupe.

[Song]

헤이! 헤이! 요기조기 모여보세요 요것조것 골라보세요
Hey! Hey! Come one, come all. Pick one, pick all
우리들은 서커스 매직 유랑단
We are Circus Magic Traveling Troupe

안녕하세요 안녕하세요 우린 매직 서커스 유랑단
Hello hello we are Magic Circus Traveling Troupe
님 찾아 꿈을 찾아 떠나간다우
We travel to find our honey and our dreams
동네집 계집아이 함께 간다면
If a girl from the town will come with us
천리만길 발자욱에 꽃이 피리라
Flowers will bloom at her footsteps for ten thousand miles

우리는 크라잉넛 떠돌이 신사
We are Crying Nut, traveling gentlemen
한 많은 팔도강산 유랑해보세
Let's wander around the sorrow-filled Eight Provinces
마음대로 춤을 추며 떠들어보세요
Dance and talk as loud as you want
어차피 우리에겐 내일은 없다
For us there is no tomorrow anyway

오늘도 아슬아슬 재주 넘지만
Again today performing the thrilling stunts
곰곰히 생각하니 내가 곰이네
But to think and think, and I am the bear
난장이 광대의 외줄타기는
The midget clown's tightrope walking is
아름답다 슬프도다 나비로구나
Beautiful, sorrowful, a butterfly

우리는 크라잉넛 떠돌이 신사
We are Crying Nut, traveling gentlemen
한 많은 팔도강산 유랑해보세
Let's all wander around the Eight Provinces filled with sorrow
마음대로 춤을 추며 떠들어보세요
Dance and talk as loud as you want
어차피 우리에겐 내일은 없다
For us there is no tomorrow anyway

커다란 무대위에 막이 내리면
When the curtain falls on the big stage
따뜻한 별빛이 나를 감싸네
The warm starlight shrouds me
자줏빛 저 하늘은 무얼 말할까
What does that violet sky say
고요한 달 그림자 나를 부르네
The silent shadow of the moon calls me

떠돌이 인생역정 같이 가보세
Let's go together on the vagabond life journey
외로운 당신의 친구 되겠소
We will be friends for you who are lonely
흥청망청 비틀비틀 요지경 세상
Extravagant, stumbling, kaleidoscopic world
발걸음도 가벼웁다 서커스 유랑단
The steps are light for the traveling circus

오늘도 아슬아슬 재주 넘지만
Again today performing the thrilling stunts
곰곰히 생각하니 내가 곰이네
But think and think, and I am the bear
난장이 광대의 외줄타기는
The midget clown's tightrope dancing is
아름답다 슬프도다 나비로구나
Beautiful, sorrowful, a butterfly

우리는 크라잉넛 떠돌이 신사
We are Crying Nut, traveling gentlemen
한 많은 팔도강산 유랑해보세
Let's all wander around the Eight Provinces filled with sorrow
마음대로 춤을 추며 떠들어보세요
Dance and talk as loud as you want
어차피 우리에겐 내일은 없다
For us there is no tomorrow anyway
떠돌이 인생역정 같이 가보세
Let's go together on the vagabond life journey
외로운 당신의 친구 되겠소
We will be friends for you who are lonely
흥청망청 비틀비틀 요지경 세상
Extravagant, stumbling, kaleidoscopic world
발걸음도 가벼웁다 서커스 유랑단 헤이
The steps are light for the traveling circus. Hey!

Translation note 1:  The song contains a lot of cultural allusions that need full background to understand.

- In traditional Korea, the market was consisted of traveling merchants who would appear every five or seven days to set up shop. Very rudimentary circus troupe sometimes travels with the merchants. This persisted in rural Korea through 1960s and early 1970s, and still continues to a very small degree to this day.

- The "Eight Provinces" is an idiom that refers to Korea, as traditional Korea was made up of eight provinces.

- The reference to "bear" is designed to evoke Korean old saying, "The bear dances and the owner takes the money," which is used in a situation when someone went through a lot of effort that ended up benefiting someone else.

Translation note 2:  There was no good way to translate 흥청망청 비틀비틀 요지경 세상. As always, suggestions are welcome.

In 15 words or less:  The reigning kings of rock in Korea.

Maybe they should be ranked higher because. . .  Greatest rock band of Korea in the 2000s. Doesn't that count for more?

Maybe they should be ranked lower because . . .  Has rocked mattered that much in Korea in the past decade?

Why is this artist important?
Seeing today's K-pop scene, it is difficult to believe that only 25 years ago, rock was the king of Korean pop music. But it was true -- through late 1980s, legendary rock bands like Deulgukhwa were dominating the charts, radio waves and TV times. Starting from early 1990s, however, Korea's rock began to cede the public stage to dance, hiphop, and general corporatization of pop music. By early 2000s, Korean rock was at a nadir. It appeared that, against the depressed consumer market following the East Asian Financial Crisis, the album market ravaged by the introduction of Internet downloads, and the swarm of manufactured idols backed with massive capital, Korean rock was gasping for its last breath in the self-segregated enclaves of Hongdae and Daehakro.

However, as its adherents have reminded the world for decades, rock will never die. Korean rock came back in a huge way in the early 2000s, and Crying Nut was the band that led the charge. How? Arguably, Crying Nut is the best translator of Korean sensibility into rock format since Deulgukhwa of the mid-1980s. The band's best songs consistently invoke the slightly retro, nostalgia-inducing images of Korea (well represented in Circus Magic Traveling Troupe) and marry them sometimes with manic energy, at other times with deep sentimentality.

Crying Nut has been building momentum in the underground indie scene, but it truly exploded into the scene during the 2002 FIFA World Cup, for which the band composed the official supporters' anthem for Korea's national soccer team. This opportunity for an outpouring of passion once again proved that there was no better music than rock to express overwhelming energy; rock bands like Crying Nut and Yoon Do-Hyun Band would lead the rebirth of rock by holding massive outdoor concerts that doubled as a viewing party for the World Cup. The renewed appreciation for rock reverberates in Korean music to this day, as more talented indie bands are marking their territory even as the manufactured idol groups march on their path toward world domination.

Interesting trivia 1: The two Lees of the band are twins.

Interesting trivia 2: Apparently, the band was formed after the members, who were high school classmates, went out on a field trip and saw a guy with a guitar attracting many girls. Therefore, initially the band was made up of five guitarists. The owner of the club in which the band was set to perform had to forcibly allocate the appropriate instruments for Crying Nut to be a legitimate band.

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

8 comments:

  1. Oh, HELL Yes. LOVE Crying Nut. I have my favorite songs, and then I have my favorite Crying Nut songs. No matter what kind of mood I'm in, Crying Nut definitely has at least one song that I can relate to.

    다죽자 and 지독한 노래 are my favorite songs of their work. :D I would love to see your take on translating 지독한 노래, btw.

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  2. One thing checked off my bucket list: got to dance and sing on stage with Crying Nut last year during the EBS English Concert at Seoul Land.

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  3. I would definitely put Crying Nut in the category of punk based on the style of music and the attitude.

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  4. LOL.. ZenKimchi has been married too long and it has blunted his no doubt once formidable edge.. Crying Nut is not punk.. but excellent rawk and roll..

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  5. I'm looking forward to seeing these guys next week in Los Angeles! Been listening to them ever since I heard their "밤이 깊었네" on the soundtrack to the not-so-great movie 후아유 back in early 2000's.

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  6. That was - almost surreal. Hearkens back to my days as an American hippie. I'm glad to see another dimension to Korean music to enjoy. Thanks!

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  7. Crying Nut, as I discovered yesterday, are amazing live. Anyone who has an opportunity to see their show should not miss it!

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  8. Crying Nut is the best Korean band of the 2000s? Have you simply not heard of Sagitta?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eIyIHPwepo

    ReplyDelete

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