Day: September 24, 2012

‘Kangnam Style’s Irony is Missed b/c of the Publicity Wave

I try to avoid K-pop on my website, because I find far too many foreigner websites in Korea focus on the silliest, shallowest elements of what is around us – probably because the language is so hard, Korean pop culture is the easiest for us to understand. But I keep getting asked, and it is huge hit, so here a few thoughts:

1. Thank god ‘Kangnam Style’ shows a level of irony, self-awareness, humor, and creativity that K-pop normally lacks. That alone is enough to value it, given how shallow, idiotic, and pre-packaged almost all Korean pop is otherwise. K-pop is wasteland IMO. (Try it yourself; tell me how long before you cringe.) None of these carbon-copy bands like the Wonder Girls or Girls Generation or whatever would even get considered for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (I’m from Cleveland, so I thought I’d add that little plug). K-pop slavishly copies from the boy-band/girl-band model that began in the US 20 years ago and crossed-over to Japan. The hair, the synched dance-moves, the gratingly cutesy presentations, the insipid teen love-story lyrics – it’s awful. None of them can play an instrument; they are recruited solely because they’re hot, and the music-machine does the rest. Continue reading

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Workshop + Monday Morning Linkage = Not Many Links

From Her Majesty’s Explorer.

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