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Toyko and South Korea

Guest Tam o' Shantie

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Guest Tam o' Shantie

If your old man said "I'm off to South Korea for a couple of weeks for work, and we're having a day out in Toyko too - do you want me to pick anything up for you?" What would you say? Kimchi and Sushi won't keep, and my dad ain't gonna be buying anything expensive, so what's small and cheap and fun?

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I have been to Korea and Japan many times. Both countries have a vibrant and astonishly varied music scene - everything from old-style Do Wop groups to ultra modern, avant-garde punk.

The best thing your Dad could do is to bring back a pile of the Japanese and Korean music magazines that he will see on the airport newstands.

The music press is very colourful and it is easy to get the gist of what the articles are saying. They often use English in advertisements and many of the magazines have demo CD's. A few of these magazines will certainly give you some wild ideas.

If you click on the link below, the lower half of the page that appears has links to six Japanese groups that are in regular touch with me. If you persevere and dig into these sites you will find that as well as having links to Japanese and Korean music companies, promoters, gigs etc they also have message boards. If you post a message in English - you will be surprised at how many musicians will reply.

KYLE ESPLIN - Mr BOOGIE WOOGIE - picks links to the World's best Rock 'R' Roll websites

Japan and Korea are both huge markets for music. Toshiba is EMI's partner there, JVC's label is mainly jazz and "far-out" groups, Sony has a massive operation that runs the gamut of all types of music from classical to George Michael.

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