Yesterday was a tiring but alright day. I left for Seoul in the morning, which meant I had enough time to wander a little before heading in for the late-afternoon sound check. I had a nice sandwich over at Itaewon and got a chance to check out the excellent new bookshop What The Book? which is not only cheaper than the big bookshops in Seoul, but lets you order anything, apparently sans credit card, and even offers free delivery if you order more than one book! The location is worth visiting, if you can find it: it’s out near the Itaewon Mosque, a couple of blocks past Abby’s Book Nook and on the other side of the street. I don’t know if the proprietor is into SF, but I suspect he is, as his SF sections, both new and used, are pretty good, and he mentioned having read
(and then excitedly given away) the book I bought there, China Miéville’s The Scar. I also picked up a copy of James Morrow’s wonderfully heretical Towing Jehovah and, for Ritu, Neil Stephenson’ Zodiac, though I actually found the Morrow book at Abby’s, because What The Book didn’t have it in stock.
As for last night, we played at Cavare’s anniversary party. Dabang was one of four bands to play, along with Plastic People, The Oh! Brothers, and another band I had never seen before, and whose name I didn’t catch, but which featured an accordionist dressed like a witch, a guy with a ukelele, the keyboardist from Plastic People, and a singer who reminded me of a Korean cross between Michael Stipe and Louis Armstrong, except that only describes the way he danced as he sang. It was pretty funny, I’d had a sandwich and not been hungry when most of the bands went to eat, and I ended up in the hallway outside the club, sitting and goofing off musically with the kids from that band. I’ve played the theme song from the Spike Lee film Mo’ Better Blues before, as it is somehow a popular tune (and even a jazz standard) here in Korea (perhaps people like the fact the melody’s based on an “oriental”-sounding pentatonic scale), but I’ve never been accompanied on accordion before. I guess there’s a first for everything.
Anyway, I recorded our show on my iAudio M3 player, at 128bps; I don’t know what the quality is like, though, because it’s the first time I’ve used the record function. I listened to what I captured on it last night, though, and the quality was pretty good, though the volume was low. If it turned out well, I’ll rip a few tracks and put them up for popular consumption, here and at the dabang cafe. One strange thing I found was that the “line-in” function I was told about didn’t seem to be working. Either that, or one needs a mic with some kind of condenser function. I tried using my old pocket Sony mic, which doesn’t condense or amplify, and got absolutely nothing on the recorder, but using the built-in mic seemed to work.
Anyway, I have to check out how it turns out.
I wanted to stay after and hang out, spend a little time with the people I haven’t seen in ages who’d come to the show, like John Wendel and Kim and Chai, but I decided before coming that I would head home the same night, and get a good sleep in my own beder, okay, on my own floorand so with (honest, to-be-kept) promises to visit when I can, I left to catch the bus home. I caught one of the last buses and made it to Jeonju by a little after 2:20am, which means the ride was only a little over two hours.
And that, that was my Saturday.