Crying Nut, Brian McKnight headline separate Seoul concerts

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Crying Nut, Brian McKnight headline separate Seoul concerts

Crying Nut and Brian McKnight are staging concerts in Seoul this week and next.

The indie band Crying Nut began seven years ago, playing small gigs in the neighborhood by Hongik University. They were four high school boys -- Park Yeung-sik, guitar and vocals; Lee Sang-myeon, guitar; Han Kyung-rock, bass, Lee Sang-hyeok, drums -- having fun with punk music.

Four albums later, the band known for making it from small-time dives to Asian tours is breaking up: Army service calls.

"They've got to do what they've got to do," says Shin Hong-seok, marketing manager at Drug, Crying Nut's record label.

Before disbanding, Crying Nut is holding a final "Crying Nut Good-bye Concert" at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Olympic Fencing Stadium in southern Seoul. Organizers are expecting 4,000 fans.

One of Crying Nut's first hits was "Mal Dalija," in which they sang about going forward, whatever the cost. As adolescents, "they were a fun lot, and loved fooling around," Mr. Shin says. "They're on their way to adulthood with responsibilities that they will not shirk."

In their seven years, they have matured as musicians and branched into other art forms. They starred in the independent film, "Looking for Bruce Lee," shared the stage with Korea's legendary Sinawi, appeared on MTV-Asia and played at World Cup festivities in downtown Seoul.

The band was unavailable for comment, but Mr. Shin said their mood these days is optimistic. One reason is that Crying Nut's fourth album, "Gomul Radio," was released yesterday. And two years from now, Mr. Shin says, "Crying Nut will be back."

Rhythm-and-blues singer Brian McKnight is returning to Korea for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Jamsil Gymnasium in southern Seoul.

McKnight last headlined a concert in Korea in February. The show was a sell out. The Korean pop star Park Jin-young opened that concert. McKnight also sang duets with Korean singers Jo Kyu-chan and Kim Jo-han.

Next week's "December's Romance" concert is being staged with Lee Hyun-woo, a pop star, radio deejay and producer. Lee is known for ballads such as "Missing You" and "He-eojin Daeumnal" ("The Day After We Broke Up").

by Joe Yong-hee

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