Korean bands at Canadian Music Week

Image courtesy of Seoulsonic's Facebook page
Image courtesy of Seoulsonic’s Facebook page

*Editor’s note: updated information*

I know some of you are upset that there are no K-pop artists at this year’s Canadian Music Week (CMW) and I’m definitely disappointed – especially as it’s the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Canada and Korea.

However, there are still some great Korean bands we can enjoy. There are four in fact! For the longest time there was only one Korean band listed on the CMW website and I was starting to despair – especially after the open letter to K-pop fans about the no K-pop this year from CMW on Facebook. But the Korean music industry didn’t forget about Canada. Three more bands were listed on CMW’s website on Friday with Facebook event pages being added on Sunday and the official announcement coming out either today or tomorrow.

Want to know who’s coming?

Yay, it’s official. We first found out who was coming from CMW’s website. Yay technology! But we can now update you with all the information about the two shows. Windy City will be playing separately on Wednesday March 20th, while the other three bands are touring together as a part of the Seoulsonic show on Thursday March 21st (see below for all the details, including how to buy tickets). This will be the 3rd Seoulsonic show at CMW. Last year’s rocked! But I know you want to know more about the bands.

Windy City

They were the first band listed and are performing separately from the other three Korean bands at CMW. I’m totally fascinated by the concept of a Korean reggae/dub band and can’t wait to hear their sound. 

No Brain

I love No Brain and as soon as I saw them on CMW’s website, I immediately did a little fangirl dance.  So. Very. Excited! I first saw them live in Seoul in 2007 and have been listening to them ever since. No Brain are one of Korea’s best rock/punk bands. I’m not sure if it’s because it was the first song of theirs I heard but 넌 내게 반했어 Your Crush On Me (featuring Tiger JK) from their 2005 album “Boys, Be Ambitious” is my favourite of all their music. And it’s not just me that likes them, they’re an award-winning band – Netizens Choice: Rock Artist of the Year (2008) and Band of the Year (2007) at the Korean Music Awards. And for the K-pop fans who aren’t familiar with Korean indie bands… they did a song – Oh My Friend – with Big Bang!

(No Brain’s latest song – 소주한잔 Drink of Soju.  The song starts 50 second into the video.)

Lowdown 30

Lowdown 30 are a blues rock band from Seoul. Founded in 2000, this trio is full of soulful guitar-driven sounds. Unfortunately, I’ve never heard them live but I’m looking forward to changing that.


They’re a four-member band with the world’s longest name – Goonamguayeoridingstella, or Goonam for short. Okay, I don’t know if it’s the world’s longest for sure but it sure is long! ^^ Goonam are described as an retro-electro rock group. 

About Canadian Music Week (CMW)

CMW is an annual music festival in Toronto that features over 1000 artists from all around the world performing over 6 nights in 60 different venues. Basically Toronto comes alive with music (although there’s more to the festival that just music). This year they are doing a “Spotlight on Korea” which will feature an industry panel and delegates, as well as the four bands performing.

Just the Facts

Windy City (CMF Showcase)

  • When: Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 10:00pm (doors open @ 7:30pm)
  • Where: Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas Street West, Toronto)
  • How much: tickets are $10, all wristbands accepted
  • How to buy tickets: online
  • Extra info: this is a 19+ event

Seoulsonic (Spotlight on Korea Show)

  • Who: No Brain, Lowdown 30 and Goonam
  • When: Thursday, March 21, 2013  @ 10:00pm (doors open @ 6:30pm – another show beforehand)
  • Where: Tattoo Rock Parlour (567 Queen Street West, Toronto)
  • How much: tickets are $10, all wristbands accepted
  • How to buy ticketsonline 
  • Extra info: this is a 19+ event

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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