Say Sue Me, a South Korean band from Busan, appeared on a well-known American concert program Live on KEXP last Thursday. KEXP, a historic public radio broadcasting in Seattle, was created by four students of Washington State University in 1972. Its original name was KCMU. The students, who were more interested in alternative cultures rather than pop music, mainly played indie rock. Members of legendary bands such as Soundgarden and Mudhoney used to volunteer as a DJ for the program.
Seattle is a special city for American music. It is known for rock music rather than jazz or country music that filled the film Sleepless in Seattle. It was a hometown of Jimi Hendrix (1942–1970) and a culture ground for grunge, which took the 1990s by storm. The city that is foggy, cloudy and rainy all year round gave birth to alternative music. Sub Pop, the most famous indie rock record label in the world, is also based in Seattle.
KEXP’s influence goes a lot further than the 90.3MHz radio. It has become a channel that music fans who look for unique and powerful bands all over the world, follow and set notifications on YouTube. Live on KEXP, which streams performances on the radio and YouTube, is known for its ability to capture the raw energy of new bands and veteran musicians. It is the holy land of band music with guitar and keyboard tunes.
The Say Sue Me members looked completely different on the stage. Their tension and shyness evaporated with the heat of rock music. They delivered the powerful heartbeat of rock to the heart of Seattle. The sound of guitar sizzled while the rough base guitar and drum sound rushed. Among four songs, “Just Joking Around,” which is longer than six minutes, was the highlight. The sound of rock music started like a breeze and dramatically drove up to the end like a high wave swallowing a city. The sound mix exquisitely placed the energy from the vocalist and musical instruments on the stage decorated with glimmering blue light bulbs did KEXP credit.
This live show is highly recommended for stay-at-home audiences. In the meantime, small theaters and live clubs in Korea are in crisis as all schedules for March and April have been cancelled. These small places that gave the stage to obscure musicians were the hotbed of Jambinai and Say Sue Me.