SXSW Thursday Showcases

2k14 SeoulSonic

8pm, Icenhauer’s

logoEven with the explosive and happily sustainable popularity of K-Pop tarnishing South Korea’s worldwide musical reputation, don’t forget that there are men and women on the Korean peninsula making unsponsored music, the kind that belongs in a tangible indie scene. All these bands come from Seoul, but beggars can’t be choosers. Smacksoft, anchored by songwriter Whang Bo Ryung, weave layered, smoky synthetic blankets like Portishead. Big Phony writes simple, English-language acoustic pop songs, while Glen Checkprovides bouncy teen-pop perfect for John Hughes capers. Rock N’ Roll Radio condenses several decades of American pop excess into spaceship rock entirely unconcerned with death. Love X Stereo, meanwhile, is perfect for young, swollen-heart stargazers, warming you up when you need a reason to breathe. Lastly there’s No Brain, an unflinchingly positive punk quartet. Leave it to the Koreans to stay optimistic.