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A visit to Manhattan’s Korean CD shop: How did I do?

At a recent trip to visit my co-workers in Manhattan I of course made sure I looked in at AM Records in 32nd Street to see what Jay Kim could fix me up with this time. I went in without any fixed idea of what I wanted: an ideal scenario for an astute salesman such as Mr Kim.

So here’s what he sold me – an interesting selection of stuff released in the last three or four months:

Top left to bottom right:

ShinmyungDado - Tea MusicAs usual, he threw in a couple of compilation CDs. Because I am on a fruitless quest for Shinparam Yi Paksa!, he gave me a disco trot compilation, plus the usual pop / ballad double CD mixers. And then, on a roll, he also flogged me a couple of less mainstream numbers. To the left, Shinmyung: some traditional folk singing comprising mainly percussion and voice, but with the fusion element of an added double bass. That one’s going to take a lot of getting used to. And the other (right) is something I got used to in 5 seconds flat and hated immediately: it’s the sort of bland new-age whale-music you might hear going into a spa in a posh hotel. It’s advertised as “Korean Tea Music”. I prefer what I had bought just down the road at Koryo Books (I could never have bought it in AM Records and looked Mr Kim in the eye: Yes, it was the LKL readers’ choice of 2007: Suju’s second.)

10 thoughts on “A visit to Manhattan’s Korean CD shop: How did I do?

  1. Is this some new “street” meaning of the word “good” I haven’t come across before :-D? The one I got is totally ghastly. Agree with you about Hwang Byung-ki though – that would certainly upgrade the quality.

  2. Minor correction: What you listed as “Yozoh with A Small Mystic Puzzle Band” should be “Yozoh with A Small Acacia Band”. That’s a really cute album.

  3. Thanks for the correction. I can’t remember where I got the translation from. Probably either Mr Kwang or YesAsia.

    I agree. It’s a cute sound. Haven’t had a chance to really listen to it properly yet, but I liked what I’ve heard so far

  4. Well, the first 2 tea music cds were great. Then it all goes tumbling down from there on (i think they made 5/6 of them..)
    I read your post a bit quickly I guess. I never reached the “whale-music” phase (thank God for that)

    I almost scheduled something with the Wonder Girls recently.

  5. Are you going to the JYP gig later this month? Looks huge fun (if you are prepared to suspend certain critical faculties for the necessary amount of time). Wish I could be there!

  6. I love AM Records. Mr. Kim has ben hooking me up with great music since 1997. Every time I visit New York City I stop by, and it’s really the only music store I shop at in all of the city! Does he still even bother with those punch cards? It’s been a year since my last visit, and I’m missing those compilations. Good to know there are others who check him out as well.

  7. Nope, am not going to the JYP gig. Are you? (you’ll be around, if I read your facebook message correctly.. which I seem not to be able to do anymore – at least in the past few days) Instead, I’m sending someone else.

  8. Unfortuanetly, I went there last week and was dismayed to see the CD store has closed down. Alas…..

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