GK2 (18 Apr 2011): London+Seoul+Cops

right on the heels of the first gltich karaoke came the second gtlich karaoke for “meanwhile at the fair.” we didn’t expect to do 2 so quickly after 1, but the opportunity presented itself, our set-up from the first was still up in the bowels of the meanwhile whitechapel space, and i was going to seoul, the city of 24 hour karaoke and home to my most diehard karaoking compadres. where karaoke is “no rae bang” which transliterates to “song room” or “singing room” (as “no rae” is both the verb and noun for the warbles in korean). and where in my known universe it is “nrb” for short. with dnaiel manning things from london and me in korea, we thought this would be an ideal opportunity for us to do a quick and dirty gltich that would offer insight into what really works/doesn’t work on both ends. and also within some not-so-ideal constraints. namely that because it was part of the meanwhile fair, it would start at 4pm london time when people are not quite in karaoke mode and also, on a tuesday, still at work. in addition, as a dry event, we could not rely on the usual inhibition-loosening effects of alcohol on the london side. also, we had lingering concerns about exploding meanwhile’s data limit again. for team seoul, neither booze nor data limit were an issue, but rather, its being on a weekday + locating the right space where people could easily converge on such short notice (two days from the time i landed on the peninsula) for a midnight-to-whenever party that wouldn’t piss off the neighbors. on a weekend, not such a big deal, but on a weeknight when people have jobs the next day, a trickier thing. sister sahn (who is based in seoul at the moment and therefore knows the lay of the land far better than i do) and i batted around some ideas of potential places/spaces. safety robert threw out options for commercial venues that might host–bars or small clubs–but in the end, given the time-crunch, it seemed to make the most sense to house party it a la japan in the first gltich. without any neighbors in super-close proximity, my seoul homebase would’ve been ideal in many ways–except that it’s not centrally located in the city–a bit of a trek for those south of the river especially (again) on a weeknight. and so, as per sister’s suggestion, i asked safety–who lives in itaewon and has a very big-screen wall-mounted television to boot–if he wouldn’t mind hosting, and though he expressed some reservations about neighbors and noise, generously said yes. to be honest, i would’ve been fine if it was just the three of us gltiching for team seoul. in part because 1) it was coming so soon after the first gltich, 2) i had a desire to focus more on rolling out the project from the non-london end of things and less on entertaining/hosting 3) there was the simple matter of a jetlag of near-narcoleptic proportions, and 4) i was curious to see what it’d be like for gltich to be offset by different ratios. few people versus a lot, big venue versus small, a party on one end and more/less just a casual almost uncomfortably lone-man thing on the other. these people factors being as–if not more–glitchifyingly interesting than streaming delays and hardware meltdowns. but lovely and supportive sister and safety pulled out all the stops, forwarding the invite i made at the 10th hour to their people at the 11th hour, and so we made food (safety a particularly delicious korean-italian fusion dish of ricecake gnocchi with a spicy fish-based pesto sauce, aaron a finger-licking salad… and i a rather sad version of french peas (did not have time to soak the peas) that nonetheless was edible by temporarily-vegetarian sister) supplied drinks, and people came even though clearly bleary-eyed from work, bringing more booze and foodstuffs. come 9pm or so the home of safety was abuzzing, and though many people left by the time midnight rolled around, all of this meant that the eight or so diehards–reigning karaoke king sean, eunice, cathy, seung, bernie, sister, safety, and i were good and ready for some karaoke anything. the irony of course is that while the korean side was initially envisioned to be an almost pathetically small affair and team london was much more promoted simply by being part of “meanwhile at the fair,” when we connected with d at 4pm london time, the seoul:london ratio was something like 8:2. d and i were more than aware that this might end up being the case–but the extent of this possibility and how it’d “feel” didn’t reveal itself until the actual event. like last time, we had connectivity issues, but lessons learned from gk1 meant that we simply youtubed other karaoke vids in the interim. on the korea side, we danced on the bed and sang en masse and were looking forward to nrb-ing until the sun came up… until, about a very brief forty minutes later, bernie (asleep in the living room), woke up to find a policeman hovering over him and asking what was going on. so it seems, safety’s concern of unhappy neighbors came true… for someone had indeed called the cops on us. trying to explain what gltich karaoke was to law enforcement was a somewhat ridiculous affair, but cathy with her loveliness and perfect korean was able to charm the two cops and send them on their way. needless to say, we were bummed at the very short-lived nature of gk2 on the korea end, and whispered one final song into the computer’s microphone before disconnecting with what i was later to learn was a very fun, very successful gltich london later in the evening. lessons learned? time and location, more than anything, are key. backup plans to account for connectivity issues also key. hub people (safety and sister) who can and will rally the troops also key. having a charming charmer in your midsts to deal with law enforcement also super key. also, don’t leave a chocolate cake unattended on a coffee table if you do not want your dog to eat it. also, there was much more stress on d and i to setup and host and such our respective locations; having 2 people taking care of things is far far better than 1. fortunately d had holly and i a safety and a sister. some of this we already knew, some of it we didn’t. for team korea, this was just a taste. an amuse bouche of gltich karaoke sparking ideas, imagination, and enthusiasm for more… now we are thinking in august?

there is still much to note on the rather heated-in-a-very-productive-way post-game conversation d and i had sometime in may over a snack (for d)/lunch (for me) of somethings organic at an eating establishment (the name of which i forget) on the main strip of new cross.  but will save that for another day soonish.

– kyougn