Korean fashion and design is having a moment, but what is fueling it? It's complicated. Let's explore the K-wave. [more inside]
PSY's new music video HANGOVER (ft. Snoop) knows that success is measured in reaction gifs. (slyt)
It's that time of year when Korean entertainment companies / music labels release Christmas songs, typically featuring all the acts from the label. Christmas 2013 saw songs from the smaller labels, Cube, Starship, Jellyfish, MYSTIC89, Bighit. Of the big 3 (SM, YG, and JYP), SM and JYP released all-company Christmas songs in the past, although they seem to be skipping them of late in favor of individual releases. SM's 12-member boy band EXO had the melancholy "Miracles in December", YG's Park Bom (from 2NE1) and Lee Hi covered "All I Want for Christmas Is You", and JYP avoided Christmas songs altogether. Crayon Pop had a Lonely Christmas, being Chrome Entertainment's only signed act until late this year. [more inside]
Could this be the next k-pop viral hit? The Wall Street Journal seems to think so. Climbing its way up the Korean charts since debuting at No. 143 in June, Crayon Pop's "Bar Bar Bar" has proven popular with policemen and policewomen, Taekwondo students, cheerleaders at baseball games (Samsung Lions, Lotte Giants, Hanhwa Eagles) and been parodied by Saturday Night Live Korea. Crayon pop also boasts some devoted fans - videobombing, serenading, and cheering at music shows.
Psy follows up Gangnam Style's horse dance with Gentleman's hip-swaying dance, aka "arrogant dance" from the Brown Eyed Girls' Abracadabra. Psy is helped along by Gain from Brown Eyed Girls and the cast from Korean variety show Infinite Challenge.
"This year, two monumental genres with decidedly global pedigrees arrived on our shores and attempted to crack the American pop code, with one enjoying far more decisive success than the other...One of those is definitely sexier and zeitgeistier than the other, but that doesn't always result in sustained cultural relevance."
K-Pop, EDM, and Baby Brosteps Toward a More Global Pop Landscape
K-Pop, EDM, and Baby Brosteps Toward a More Global Pop Landscape
A short list of Kpop songs with double word titles from the last 3-4 years: Cry Cry High High Mirror Mirror Spark Spark Cooking Cooking Push Push Sorry Sorry Haru Haru [more inside]
Wonder Girls are back in Korea with a 2nd album, after a foray into the U.S. including touring with the Jonas Brothers in 2009, and an upcoming movie for Teen Nick, "Wonder Girls at the Apollo." The first single, "Be My Baby" will also be featured in the movie soundtrack. The album also includes their re-interpretation of Korean rock legend Shin Jung-hyeon's "The Beauty" - "Me, In" (link is to trailer for the song). If Wonder Girls are not your cup of tea, some other Korean girl groups: [more inside]
What's that you say? Kpop? Don't you have to be on a permanent sugar buzz to listen to that stuff? Correct connaisseur. But if you don't have pigtails and think you might enjoy some crisp beats along with the happy happy sounds, check out Areia Creations and its remixes of Korean hits. Reliably better than the originals, and a nice introduction into what is and has been hot on the Korean charts. Very addictive. [more inside]
The Persecution of Daniel Lee: Korean rapper was a victim of an online smear campaign that said he didn't go to Stanford. But it gets worse... [more inside]
Seoul as seen through music videos, whether driving (1, 2), sitting (3), running (4), or walking (5). [more inside]
This guy makes mashups of American pop music, Korean pop music, and Japanese pop music. (MLYT) [more inside]
In this corner, Norazo from Korea, singing about Superman, risking one's life, and that wonderful fish the mackerel (sung in an actual fish market). And in the other, DJ Ozma from Japan, singing about Spiderman, drinking, and Age Age Every Night (videos may be NSFW). [more inside]
Korean girl groups dominated the Korean music charts this summer - Brown Eyed Girls cast a spell with Abracadabra, Girls' Generation is your Genie, 2NE1 is on Fire, 4Minute turn up the Muzik, T-ara Lies. [more inside]
The live performance shows for Superstar K (warning: audio autoplay) will start beginning this Friday, September 4, 11 pm, Seoul time. The South Korean version of shows such as American Idol and Britain's Got Talent, 713,503 hopefuls in 8 Korean cities were winnowed down to 10 contestants, all vying for the 100 million Won (approximately USD 80,400) prize and recording contract reserved for the winner. The show has been a massive hit for Korean cable music channel Mnet, garnering viewership above 6%, or 1 in 10 televisions on at the time, where 2% or higher is considered a hit on Korean cable TV. [more inside]
Korean cell phone ads blur the line between music videos and ads. "Lollipop" from popular idol group Big Bang and newcomers 2NE1 was created to advertise LG cell phones and topped various Korean music charts in the process, even while government-owned broadcaster KBS refused to feature the song in its music countdown show because it was a jingle and not an actual single or album release. "Amoled", from Son Dambi and After School, was created to advertise Samsung's Amoled touchscreen phone. [more inside]
Dynamic Duo do an attendance check, DJ Doc run to you with Epik High and Younha's help, Epik High and Younha love love love, Buga Kingz hear a siren, Drunken Tiger has a good life with T (윤미래) and bizzy, and Dynamic Duo check whether you're solo and still here!
Billy Jean from Winter Play, Can't get you out of my head from W & Whale, Karma Chameleon from 이장혁 (Lee Jang Hyuk) with 검정치마 (Black Skirts), Personal Jesus from Yi Sung Yol and 서울전자음악단 (Seoul Electric Band), Nobody does it better (+ Wonder Girls' Nobody) from Yi Sung Yol> [more inside]
Singing, dancing, rapping, looking hot - boy bands from Korea and Japan. From Korea: DBSK (or TVXQ outside of Korea), SS501, Big Bang. From Japan: KAT-TUN, Arashi, NEWS. But wait - Tohoshinki (as TVXQ is known in Japan) singing in Japanese, as do SS501. [more inside]
Move over, Wonder Girls! It's Jang Kiha and Faces (장기하와 얼굴들), the latest Korean Internet music sensation. Their performance of 달이차오른다, 가자 ("The moon waxes, let's go") on a Korean educational TV channel catches the attention of Korean netizens, who respond by producing mashups and following the terpsichorean teachings of "Reverend Jang" - from middle school students to college students, and even a professional Starcraft player. [more inside]
The Wonder Girls a Korean pop girl-group, got people in Korea wanting to learn themoves for their hit song "Tell Me." Everyone's doing it, girls (in the snow and in classrooms), boys (at a wedding, and, er...abandoned auditorium?)... [more inside]
Clazziquai Project is a Korean band fusing jazz, pop, and electropop, leading their music to be described as Shibuya-kei. Several of the band members are Korean-Canadian, including the main man DJ Clazzi, who writes, mixes, and produces. The lyrics are usually a mix of Korean and English, with all-English versions of their songs being released for foreign markets. Their most recent album, Robotica, included remixes by a number of Japanese musicians, such as Fantastic Plastic Machine and Shinichi Osawa. [more inside]