5:17 a.m, “Canine Tooth” – the Electric Eels

1. A Street Cafe Near Sunrise

I’m writing this nestled inside a cafe on the cusp of Hongdae. I’ve been here for about five hours now, whiling the night away with work and stuff. Outside the huge glass walls there is no stop to the activity on the street — pedestrians pass sporadically and cars cruise by at an almost regular pace.

It has been awhile since I had a plot of cyberspace to retreat to and write in. There is a certain kind of writing that has gone somewhat stale in this cynical Tumblr-led age of snippets and short-term fun. Not that I disapprove at all. But I still like being as honest as I possibly can. So we’ll see how this goes.

Frankly I’m still perplexed by this blog. I made it on a whim because it hit me I could do this and then I brain-vomited the idea onto a legal pad I had handy and voila.

사진 1

The cafe I’m at – a somewhat shaky exterior view.

사진 2 (1)

The street where the cafe is located.

5:30 a.m. is a magical hour when the lights come on and the first buses start running.

Early wakers are already starting their day. I am not yet one of them but their fresh busy vibes kick off my chilly not-yet-autumn  continuation of another brand new day. Days are a spectrum, a continuum, and everything is volatile.

2. Canine Tooth, Electric Eels

Watching the embedded video play on a flat, two-dimensional screen spawns a weird sensation, in the headiness immediately following a caffeinated night just spent wide awake hunched over a coffee table.  Tiny, crisply delineated people are playing their instruments in a box the size of my palm made of photons in LED plasma. How did I make this happen, all I did was move my fingers to press a few plastic buttons. It’s so obvious but it really shouldn’t be.

This song has been making me really happy these past few days. There’s also an official music video that sees the lead singer/guitarist bouncing frenetically around a tidy restaurant with off-primary-colors, flicking through the roles of patron, chef, waiter, janitor, and rock star, desperately trying to catch the attention of the stolid-faced bassist who’s just focused on eating her food (at one point she reaches absently for the “Hottest Fucking Sauce.” Without even so much as a wayward glance she dribbles it all over her plate, ruining the ketchup heart so carefully spurted onto her omelette.)

3. The Electric Eels 

The song is ‘Canine tooth’ (송곳니) by the Electric Eels (전기뱀장어), off their first album “The Best Date” (you can download it on Itunes!)


From left to right: Kim Na-Yeon, Kim Ye-Seul, Kim Min-Hyuk, Hwang In-Kyung

The Electric Eels have actually been around for a while — they formed in 2009, when founding members Hwang In-kyung, Kim Ye-seul, Im Ji-hyuk, and Ryu Min-Yeol were walking past a random restaurant near Jongno and saw that a specialty menu was cooked eels. Their first EP was released in 2011 (I’ll do a separate review of this in-depth at a later time.)

Since then the lineup has undergone some changes and the current members are Hwang In-kyung (vocals and guitar), Kim Ye-seul (guitar), Kim Min-hyuk (drums). Aaand the most recent bassist, Kim Na-yeon, actually quit earlier this year so there’s a vacancy.

Here’s their website, and the lyrics:

송곳니                    Canine Tooth

너의 날카로운 송곳니가 좋아     I like your sharp canine tooth
니 붉은 혀도 좋아                          I like your red tongue too
하루 열세 번은 견딜 수가 없게   Thirteen times a day I can hardly bear it
목이 마르잖아                                I get so thirsty

니가 잘라주는 돈까스가 좋아     I like the pork cutlet you cut for me
너의 손가락이 좋아                       I like your finger(s)
내가 많이 외로울 땐                      When I’m feeling really lonely
너만 아는 얘기들로                       Whisper gently to me
나지막히 속삭여줘                         With stories only you can know

그거 아니 그거 아니 그거 아니     So do you know

I’ll never know I’ll never know
I’ll never 보고 싶어 너의 일기         I want to see your diary
I’ll never know I’ll never know

눈부신 태양 아래 우리 함께 걸을 때  When we’re walking under the blinding sun
차가운 내 손을 잡아                               Grab my cold hand
초라한 내 모습 불안한 내 두 눈           I want to show you
네게 보여주고 싶어                               My shabby self and uncertain eyes

그거 아니 그거 아니 그거 아니        So do you know

I’ll never know I’ll never know
I’ll never 알고 싶어 너의 비밀                I want to see your diary
I’ll never know I’ll never know

내가 이상하다 생각하지는 말아줘        Please don’t think that I’m weird or anything
그냥 너를 좋아하고 있는 것 뿐이니까    It’s just that I like you

“The Best Date” was released on October 16th, 2012. These are the songs listed on the album, and you can see music videos for some of them on the website I linked above. The general consensus among the hoity-toity critique types is that their upbeat, generally seemingly carefree sound, with Hwang’s somewhat petulant, unruffled, boyish voice belting over a rock-steady bass line and jumpy crunchy guitar-scapes, is a refreshing and welcome addition to the scene. Their sound has been compared to that of the Arctic Monkeys or the Black Skirts or the Strokes and the lyrics are generally considered very relate-able.

1 화살표  Arrow
2 송곳니 Canine Tooth
3 질투  Jealousy
4 별똥별 Shooting Star
5 거친 참치들  The Rough Tunas
6 스테이크  Steak
7 그녀의 모든 것  All about her
8 최신유행  Brand new fashion
9 704호  Room number 704
10 최고의 연애  The best date
11 프레디  Freddie
12 저녁의 노래  Song of the evening
13 수중분만 Aquatic Delivery
14 너의 이빨  Your Tooth

조만간 이 글을 한글로도 올리고 이 글이랑 상호호환 링크 걸겠음 ㅇㅇ


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