Blonde Redhead, a band I have fond memories of seeing in their prime at Gabes Oasis in 2000 (? I think?) have recently announced a world tour. They’re coming through Asia, so I was initially excited to finally see some live music here. Then I looked at the itinerary. The Asian leg looks like this:
So, no South Korea. I’ve found little to no information on any music scene aside from K-Pop in South Korea since before I arrived (albeit The Wire has a few articles in the archives) and it’s really starting to get aggravating. I know there’s an underground music scene here. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and I know there’s an anti K-Pop scene here, there has to be. If not in Daejeon then certainly in Seoul. One of the worlds largest cities must have an “underground” “experimental” “alternative” whatever you want to call it music scene. I am determined to find and elaborate on it. And I know there’s something in Daejeon. There absolutely has to be. Hell, if I can’t find it, I’ll start it.
I should say, I really have nothing against K-Pop, just as I have nothing against American pop. I just have a tendency to seek something different (for better or worse.)
I’m working on a new blog, one about alternative culture in South Korea. I said I haven’t found much evidence of an underground music scene, and that’s not entirely true. I haven’t found much evidence in English, so I’m making myself the source. Purple Record in Seoul is, from what I’ve seen in my one visit, a great record store and a great place to start. A bar here in Daejeon, Santa Claus, has shelves full of records behind the bar. This may be considered naive nostalgia in the states, but here, in one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, where children are born with smartphone in hand, where “new” or “beautiful” is the only thing that holds any semblance of popular value, it’s significant. There’s something here, and I’m going to find and document that something.