Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Korea and Western Bands

Honestly, I don't know much about the band "Travis" besides that they're Scottish and played in Seoul last week. I didn't go, but I listened to the song "Closer" a few minutes ago and was totally bored. How many more generic bands from the UK do we need making this type of Radiohead throwback music?

My distaste for the sound aside, I do like that they came to Korea and that Korean fans were totally into it. Just like Jason Mraz (another one I don't care for), Korean fans seem to be catching on to Western music that isn't just a choreographed dancing/singing group.

Still, one of the problems with Western music in Korea is found in the first line of the KT article.

"Paper airplanes flew around the packed Olympic Hall, as Scottish rock band Travis performed ``Closer" in the middle of their concert in Seoul, Sunday evening."
The show was on a Sunday night. Sure, it was packed and that's great, but the timing of so many of these Western attractions is awful. I remember seeing that Prodigy played in Jamsil last year...at 3pm on Thursday.

My thoughts on this is that if Korea wants to start attracting more Western acts here and become a destination for non-Asian tourists, they are going to have to open up and when it comes to music, they need to copy Japan.

Take a look at this site called Jambase.com. I used this in the States all the time. It used to just have jamband dates on there, but now they have pretty much everything.

Here's part of Japan's list:

There are over 100 shows in the next two months. On there are nearly 60 popular western bands ranging from "Of Montreal" and "Beck" to "Bad Religion", "Sum 41" and "Dragonforce". Now, I don't know/like any of those bands, but Japan has also hosted many of my favorites during my three years in Asia.

Here's Korea's list:

So what is Korea doing wrong?

To be continued later, but the member's of Travis know part of the battle.
"We'll be going soon, but we'll be back soon. We'll tell all our friends and other bands that they have to come here, too. See you soon," Healy said."

I have no doubt that they'll come back. It was a sucess for them. The question is will others?