Feb 022012
 
Rock band in Kyungsung, Busan - by Patrick Mowat

photo by Patrick Mowat

BY MELISSA TAIT

Do you like live music? I know I do. At the age of 19 I thought I would be the world’s next Lester Bangs and spread the word about the revolutionary music scene in Sydney. Well, there was pretty good music but calling it a scene was pretty laughable. There were just a bunch of guys and girls…in bands…who played at certain places more often than not. And then I kept on running into the same people and realised that was a ‘scene’. So, I guess a ‘music scene’ is just knowing where bands play more often than not and then just passing the word around. So, I was a little bummed about the ‘Busan Music scene’ when I got here because I just couldn’t figure out where to start. Local paper? Can’t read it. Internet? Doesn’t really seem to have what I need. So, here’s just a few notes about where bands play more than not, and you can check out some live music.

Generally, Busan isn’t a stop on a world tour. Seoul sometimes is, and gigs are listed on international English pages such as Last FM (select location as Korea, Republic of). I haven’t had much luck buying tickets on the Internet for gigs, but if you have a Korean friend translate for you, they can probably buy some tickets on their smartphone in three clicks.

Rock band in Kyungsung, Busan - by Patrick Mowat

photo by Patrick Mowat

But back to Busan. I like more indie music so I’ve really enjoyed being friends with DIY Busan Live on Facebook who tour mainly American acts around Korea. They’re the sort of bands playing festivals around the world so you get to see them at a more intimate venue, and some street cred from your hipster friends. (For example, ‘oh yeah, I saw them in a really small venue in Busan’) The main ‘music scene’ in Busan is expats who just happen to like playing music and are motivated to form groups and perform for our amusement, centering on the nightlife districts of Kyungsung and PNU.

Kyungsung

Ol’55 in Kyungsung has a very popular open mike night on Wednesdays and the calibre of talent is pretty impressive. And of course there is Vinyl Underground, also in Kyungsung, which has live music several nights a week. I think Vinyl updates their events on Busan Haps more often than their Facebook page, so the best way keep in touch is to check out the Busan Haps event listings. Korean and foreign bands play here, good idea to just check out what’s on. (CLICK TO JUMP TO MAPS)

Dan Deacon at Vinyl Underground, Kyungsung, Busan

Dan Deacon at Vinyl Underground

PNU

Crossroads hosts another open mike night every Thursday. Another venue which has both Korean and English-singing bands in the Basement in PNU. You can keep up to date with what’s coming up on their Facebook page. (CLICK TO JUMP TO MAPS)

Rock band in Kyungsung, Busan - by Patrick Mowat

photo by Patrick Mowat

Keeping in touch

Busan Haps has a very detailed Music Events page with all sorts of fancy links to keep you in the loop. I would start there for a search and then go to the individual bar Facebook pages or websites for more detailed information. But then, most shows I’ve found out just by keeping my eyes open and seeing a poster somewhere. Low fi, but it works! If you’d like to see more Korean musicians, start with this method and then have a talk to the guys that work at the venues on their favourite bands.

As an aside I have to say that I caught Dan Deacon at Vinyl Underground recently. It was an amazingly small show with an enthusiastic crowd that Dan was able to work until we were all dancing our booties off. You’d think he was an English teacher or summer camp counsellor the way he was able to pull off some group games with just the right amount of enthusiasm. I managed to get a Busan! Awesome! exclusive when he told me that “the beach here seems really cool. I just got here from Tokyo and it seems a world away.” Aint that something!

Also, my music tastes tend to begin and end with guitars, so if you would like to write an article about a different music scene, we’d love to hear it!! Also, any tips and hints would be appreciated for this article.

 

Kyungsung



View Busan (Awesome) Music Scene in a larger map

PNU



View Busan (Awesome) Music Scene in a larger map

Rock band in Kyungsung, Busan - by Patrick Mowat

photo by Patrick Mowat

  4 Responses to “Busan Music Scene”

  1. Looking for any Country Music scene in Busan

  2. The main music scene in Busan is expats playing?? Then why are Patrick Mowat’s photos of Korean bands Nachopupa, Rocktigers and GENIUS? Not cool, boys and girls.

  3. Well, the reason is because they’re bands we’ve seen in Busan and enjoyed. But they don’t play every week whereas there are open mike nights every week. Love to hear your thoughts on cool bands to check out Admin. As I wrote at the end of the article, “My music tastes tend to begin and end with guitars, so if you would like to write an article about a different music scene, we’d love to hear it!! Also, any tips and hints would be appreciated for this article.”

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