Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Links to useful open mic guides to Osaka:

– Obviously, this is not a list of open mics, but here is another such guide, but for Osaka Live Houses.

– And while we’re at it, here’s a Live House for the whole country of Japan!

Brad Spurgeon’s findings on Open Mics in Osaka:

The first thing to keep in mind when coming to Japan and looking for places to play music, is that while there are such things called open mics, there is another phenomenon that you must know about, and that is the ubiquitous “Live House.” Live Houses come in various forms, but generally what they are are bars with live music, or music venues that people can rent out by the time clock for a fee and then invite people to come and hear…and pay back the rental fee in their spendings. But Live Houses can also be places that hold open mics and open jams of the kind I focus on with my list. So aside from my limited list, the place to start looking for places to play in Japan is a Live House. Just find one, then see how they operate. They may have an open mic or an open jam – or you may want to rent the room for your half hour or so slot. Like many places on my worldwide tour, in Japan I have played at some places that are not on this list, but I cannot confirm still exist, or that I know have ceased to exist. Here in any case are the ones I have attended and that are still in existence, and I will soon add a list of ones that I have heard of or had recommended, under a different category from those I have attended myself:

Tuesday – Soma, Osaka, 〒542-0083, 大阪府大阪市中央区東心斎橋2丁目1-13, 大阪屋ジャンボビル B1F, TEL: 06-6212-2253, FAX: 06-6212-2254,, a very large live house. I have put this under Tuesday night because that is the night that I had the stage at Soma live house for my session. But it seems to be open most of the week. As far as I know, there is no open mic here, but there might be. My point in putting it here is that it is an example of the live house phenomenon, where you rent the stage and you invite your guests and their money pays back the use of the stage. A great way to launch a CD, but probably not something you want to do a few times a week.

Wednesday – Club Mercury, Osaka, open mic and live house, ※お問い合わせは下記連絡先にて承っております。TEL :06-6263-0027, I have put this under Wednesday night because I see as I write this that they last held an open mic on the first Wednesday of the current month. Having said that, I am not entirely certain how often they hold open mics. But this is another of Japan’s live houses and I played there even on a night when there was no open mic, as I came in with my guitar and they had just finished their showcase of bands for the night. It is a very small, intimate live house, and the people who run it are friendly. The stage itself is a fabulous square thing high above the spectators and with great sound and lighting. You feel like you’re in a cage, almost, but you also feel on a pedestal, and it is very cool to play the music with the spectators looking up from the small bar-style, tall, circular tables below.

Another Dream, Osaka, 電話番号, 06-6211-5759, 542 -0074, 大阪市中央区千日前1-9-7 フローラルイン難波B1, located under the Floral Inn Osaka hotel near Nanba station, it may be another live house, but I just had to include it on this list because it has a bluegrass night every second Wednesday of the month. I don’t even know if that is an open jam, but by the looks of what I saw when I showed up just a little too late for the bluegrass night at Another Dream, it must be open. If you show up with a banjo and play bluegrass, I’d be pretty surprised if they don’t let you play – let’s put it that way….

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