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COMPASS MAGAZINE > December 2014

Sound Live House: A Taichung live-music champion

By Courtney Donovan Smith
Translated by Sho Huang

Live original music is an important part of cultural expression and has the power to transform and provide the soundtracks to not only our personal lives, but also to the bigger picture, as witnessed during the Sunflower protests. Without places like Sound Live House nurturing new music, those songs wouldn't exist.

Sound Live House has evolved into a soup-to-nuts, one-stop-shop for music. Most famously, it has a main stage with a large checkerboard dance floor that has hosted many famous and soon-to-be famous acts, including Japan's Hawaiian 6 and Locofrank as well as local bands like Tolaku (脫拉庫) and the famed ChthoniC (閃靈). Compass frequently posts upcoming concert information in its "What's On" section.

Sound Live House Sound Live House

There is also a smaller stage in front of the main hangout area where patrons can chill out in the various comfy sofa clusters. This is a fun space, with tons of whimsical knickknacks and decorations, including old TVs, mountains of toys and colorful lights. In this area guests can hang out with friends, order drinks and sometimes catch acoustic performances or watch movies. There is also a whole selection of CDs from underground bands on offer.

The entrance area to Sound has two strikingly beautiful graffiti murals by famed artist Virus No. 6 (6號病毒的布雷克) and, according to charming manager Mika, is a very popular spot for selfies. There is also a ticket booth and plenty of free stickers, pamphlets and zines.

A more recent addition here is the music center, which offers rehearsal spaces for bands to hone their craft, as well as a store selling all sorts of instruments and musicians' kit. Other services and facilities that make this spot a must-go for musicians include music video editing and a music recording studio, as well as CD editing and production, event planning (and organization), stage and equipment rentals and even music-agent services.

However, it is clear that the heart of Sound Live House is still the live house part, and the dedication and hard work of this establishment is one of only a few strongly-beating hearts remaining in the anemic post-Ala fire landscape.

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