Sound Day: Island City

Sound Day

Last weekend was somewhat very music oriented…. Anna tipped me on “Sound Day” at Hongik University area. I’m familiar with the Club Day which is held last Friday of every month which I never made it due to my lack of physical energy. The Club Day is pretty famous and it’s one of the reasons that I often avoid Hongik University area on that Friday. I heard there are some good DJs and for about $15, if you can go any of 30 clubs all night, it’s not a bad deal. Many foreigners appear in the street during the Club Day. Last Club Day, while I was still recovering, I’ve got a text message from foreigner friends who were visiting Seoul for work… ‘Club Day?’ My answer was, ‘I don’t think I’m capable of that kind of activities tonight’ Later, they told me it was great.

In the other hand, the Sound Day isn’t as known and it’s not that crowded either – more reason for me to like it. It’s more laid back environment & it usually goes from 9 pm to 12 am although the schedule says until 6 am – I believe it’s DJ club thingy after midnight. If you pay $15 equavalent Won, they will give you a wrist band, a schedule of bands & a map. That covers a free drink and any live bands (Indie bands) at any participating clubs. Sadly, there aren’t that many clubs participating or neither big crowds participating. It was a reality showing how poor environment indie bands are thriving in Korea. No wonder the TV is covered with boy bands and girl bands mostly.

We went to the first club where fusion Jazz band, “Water Color” was playing. They were pretty good. I wanted to listen to young rock indie band so after reading reviews of bands, we picked, “Island City.” It was an excellent choice. It got crowded when they just began to sing. This band is formed with 3 girls and 1 boy. A cool looking drummer girl, base guitarist girl and a vocal who plays acoustic guitar and sings like Jaurim. She has a great voice. The lead guitarist is a boy. I sat back while drinking a glass of screw driver and enjoyed their performance. I will follow this group. They definitely have a potential.

My New Guitar, “FLOW” & The Musical Instruments Market

The very next day, I was in a mission to buy my first (perfect) guitar. After harassing my TA who is a lead guitarist in a band (who can play Muse songs very well) for a couple of times, I finally managed to gather some experts who I trust & who agreed to go to a musical instrument market in Seoul downtown. I’ve never been at that market (it’s called Nakwon Market and it’s a three floor huge building where you can really get lost among numerous musical instrument stores. If you need a piano, guitar, drum set or something else, this is the place to be. Note that store owners aren’t so friendly & will try to rip you off so you’d better bring some expert with you.)

After struggling to find my dear colleague, DS who agreed to help me out in the streets outside of the building, I understood that this market is as large as being able to connect two subway stops. Of course, I’m clueless which direction is Jongro 3 ga or Anguk. For e.g., DS told me to meet him near the entrance on the Jongro 3 ga side… I was like, ‘Huh? I see the several entrances on this street but, could’t tell which side was toward Jongro…’ After we met up and waiting for more hands-on experts, we decided to look at guitars. Everyone I talk to told me that the first guitar has to be pretty and I have to like the look. The idea is that I have to love the look so I will pick it up more often to practice. Also, if I’m hopeless, at least it will look cool on the wall. 🙂

I loved the Music Man but, I was more into Gibson then, I decided on Gibson equevalent brand that is affordable, Epiphone. However, regular Les Paul was too heavy for me and I didn’t like the shape of SG. I wasn’t crazy about Fender except light blue custom one which was … at least $2500. So, I was also considering Ibenez guitar because there was one model which I love the shape. After few hours of us wandering floors of this market, my guitar expert TA guy came with a group of school band kids who were looking for a drum set. That’s when I met my new guitar displayed at the corner of the window where they have many Gibson and Epiphone guitars. I asked the owner if I can see that. I’ve lifted it and surprisingly lighter than regular Les Paul. Then I read, ‘special edition’ written on the neck. Cool. So I requested to hook it up with a large Marshall amp and my TA guy had to play it for me to make sure. I’m not sure if he was good or it was a good amp to plug in …or both, it sounded good. After asking everyone’s opinion & glancing at the owner’s annoyed face front of bunch of musicians who are playing in his store, I decided. I already loved that guitar but, I managed to hagel a bit. ($50 off)

It is just pretty.

That’s how I met my first guitar, cherry color Les Paul, special edition. It’s thinner than regular Les Paul so it fits someone tiny like me. We went to celebrate my new guitar afterward, my treat of course. It was freezing on the way home but, my guitar case on my back kept me warm. I still keep smiling whenever someone asks me about Flow. (yes, his name is Flow.)

mmm, only problem is to keep my left finger nails short. I’m finding it’s extremely inconvenient without fingernails covering my fingers… can’t pick up things anymore. I wonder how boys live with short fingernails.