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This week’s K-Crunch Indie Playlist is a special edition in lieu of the South by South West concert happening in Austin, Texas next week. The reason why this is important is because a few Korean Indie bands are playing at the festival, so we thought it would be perfect timing to talk about them!

A lot of people who move to Korean and aren’t into kpop feel frustrated and claim that Korea has no good music. It is really unfair to say that, since Korea has tons of talented musicians that play almost every genre of music, but it’s still true that it’s not easily accessible, partly because Cyworld, Naver, and Daum (the Korean search engines and blog sites) aren’t open to be browsed by outsiders. Search for a wildly popular K-indie band and you’ll get like five good hits on Google, and those hits are often not even related to the band’s real website. On top of that, the radio is pretty much dominated by either trot music (new and old) or kpop (new and old) but there isn’t really K-rock or less popular Korean hip-hop playing. Even when you go to coffee shops, they play English speaking jazz or an easy listening cover of classic Top 40 songs. I always imagined that when I came to Korea I would hear Korean jazz and Korean Top 40 hits, but I was very mistaken.

That’s why I’m so happy for YouTube! It has really opened up Korean music to the rest of the world. I can search korean rock music and get a bunch of random bands, even fan cams of these bands playing in Hongdae. But still, a lot of these bands don’t have their own page nor have they added tags with their names in Korean and English to help in being found. Unless you’re music geeks, like us, who love to actively seek out new music all the time through browsing other nerdy music websites (like Pitchfork or Korean Indie) it’s pretty tough to discover Korean music outside of kpop. I’m hoping this will change over time, and more people will be blogging about their favourite Korean indie bands that they found easily on iTunes, myspace, and wherever.

Ok, enough of that. This week we have a special playlist for the Korean Indie bands playing in South by South West. Hopefully they’ll get boatloads of recognition, come back to Korea praised as gods, and crack open the mainstream to get some K Rock in there. YES! Well, maybe that won’t happen, and maybe you’re not into K-Rock that much, but we don’t talk about it all too often. So…yeah! On with the videos! Check out the videos in the playlist above, or check them out below, if your playlist won’t work!

3rd Line Butterfly – A Heavy Night Fog

 

Galaxy Express – Jungle The Black

 

Bonus: Check out their super fun Noraebang version here.

Yellow Monsters – Riot!

 

Crying Nut – 말달리자

 

ToFebruary
  1. This list seriously did my soul some good. I was on cloud nine especially with that first one. Her voice is just…epic. SO appreciate and love these playlists. Even though I’ve never liked pop much (I was at just the right age to adore NSYNC in their glory days, but just…didn’t), K-pop somehow drew me in, but rock and all its branches is still my first and biggest love so I’m LOVING this stuff from a country I’ve grown to love. Oh how I wish I could go to Austin ;_;

  2. I just heard 나인씬 – Frozen Heart and it was awesome! You should hear it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eLnlQvpfIcM

  3. *Simon and Martina get weirded out as the 4th wall is broken… 

  4. SXSW is on my life to do list.  Unfortunately it always falls at the most inconvenient time of year for me.  

  5. The thing about mainstream though; if they do make it into mainstream and get loads of recognition, the haters and antis will soon follow…

    Perhaps it’s a western thing? The culture that encourages individualism means that having unique interests makes you a cool person, whereas if you follow mainstream, you’re just…dumb. K-indie may be cool now, but if they make it big, they too will fall victim of all the insecure youths who are trying so hard to be cool by putting down what everyone else likes.

    And what’s sad about this is; many people make it into mainstream precisely because they are THAT good, and yet people nitpick their weaknesses in order to make themselves look superior. I think it’s a sad phenomenon.

    So while I’m happy that the things I like get more recognition, I also would rather they never went mainstream – lol, because that way I’ll always be the ‘cool person’ (I LISTEN TO BANDS THAT DON’T EXIST YET!!!)

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