jang kiha and the faces — once in a lifetime


While lying in bed with a migraine last weekend, I stumbled across the info that Jang Kiha and the faces — an “indie” Korean band (NOT K-pop) that we have been listening to with the kids (and Tuck!) for years… WERE GOING TO BE IN PHILLY TONIGHT. It barely made any sense. I truly thought I’d have to fly to Los Angeles to get my kids to a Jang Kiha concert. Which wasn’t out of the question — they are TRULY an amazing band.

It was hard getting there. I had a bug. Béla had a bug and hours before leaving, was basically lying with me in bed, with me cheerleading dully, “Really. We at least have to get in the car and go. Even if we just get a t-shirt and come home. It’s Jang Kiha. I don’t know that this will ever happen again in your lifetime.”

Béla started feeling more himself before we left the house. By the time we got to the venue, it was Claudia who had this mini-bug.


Jang Kiha as the opening band for some other acts, although at the merch table, it seemed all their merch had already sold out — except for these little paper doodads. I found it rather funny, that a band that Béla so strongly associates with, would have a little origami doodad as a promo piece. And I loved these bold claims (foreshadowing)…


Well, the kids had met the bassist on the way in, so that was pretty cool, considering they’ve been seeing him in music videos most of their lives, and he was awesome and kind. Once the show started, the kids were full-on energy — IT WAS JANG KIHA. IN A REALLY SMALL VENUE!


Both kids got up front right next to the stage as soon as possible, with Ben and Tuck’s phones for recording. That’s when something truly amazing happened.

As many of you know, Béla has had for the last few months an abiding interest in David Byrne and the Talking Heads, having watched Stop Making Sense many times this year.

So when Jang Kiha… from, as Tucker said, eleven time zones away,… did this… you can imagine why Ben and Tuck and I were literally gape-mouthed.


Really? REALLY? Jang Kiha just covered the Talking Heads “Once in a Lifetime” in a tiny club in Philly on their first North American Tour, and my eight-year-old Korean son who loves David Byrne is there to see it and RECORD IT HIMSELF?!

My son who just got a David Byrne Jumping Jack puppet in his Easter basket?


Damn Skippy.

Oh, and then Kiha threw water on everyone in the front, so Claudia came back soaked and thrilled (and no longer sick).


From watching them both, I think it was the most fun that they’ve ever had at a concert (and they’ve been to: GWAR, of Montréal, Kishi Bashi, Stevie Wonder, Cake…)

They came home totally pumped for Jang Kiha videos and we ordered some sushi and the while watching the videos Claude said to B., “Hey — he has MUCH wider eyes than you do.”

…While NOT the teachable moment I wanted to have right then, we were then watching — computer simulations of double-eyelid surgeries!! Thanks, Jang Kiha! (And thanks, Buzzfeed Eugene, for keeping your eyelids natural and gorgeous.)

Honestly, at 6pm, it had looked like we were going nowhere. By 9pm, I knew they were having an experience they would remember forever. Things can be like that.