Sunday, May 2, 2010

100th Post K-pop Extravaganza

First of all I would like to thank my readers for sticking with Fun Times in South East Korea for the past year and a half. I started this blog way back in November of....I don't know I think it was 2008. Anyway I started this blog with the dream of some day getting adsense to work and having thousands of readers come to my blog and click on the picture of the girl from Asian friend finder. I would then take the proceeds from adsense and then and invest them in an index fund and retire in five years. Well it turns out that I couldn't get adsense to work so boo hoo for me.

At any rate this blog doesn't really have any focus, sometimes I get really proud of something that I cooked, take pictures of it and then make a blog post. But since I live and work in the nice little (By Korean standards) town of Jinju, South Korea, I suppose this could be considered a Korea blog. In other posts I have commented on Korean pop music.

I actually find a lot of K-pop to be rubbish. Boy and Girl bands appear and disappear suddenly. Many members of Boy bands sadly find their careers cut short by stints in the Korean military. Others in both boy and girl bands come to the realization that they have no actual musical talent and disappear as well (Nick Khun I'm talking to you.) But there are some acts that I can get excited about.

Recently released "Swing," by Lee Hyori, is gritty and sounds like it has been taken from one of the "Kill Bill," sound tracks. There is an unfortunate case of rapping in it, but if you listed to the song on Youtube you can just skip that part - to be clear I love hip hop, just not in the middle of every damn song.

I was listening to the radio one morning and I heard something that seemed to have Rihanna's Jay Z produced beats, and Rihanna's verbal punctuations of "eh eh," from the song Umbrella, except said as "ah, ah." The singer's voice - in my opinion - carried a lot of the husky qualities of Grammy award winner Adele. This singer is Gil Hock Mi, 길학미, runner up of a Korea idol like contest.

This track, "Fiesta," is also pretty cool. It reminds me a little bit of "Everything But the Girl's," "Missing." Which is pretty cool because for some reason this Spring I have been enjoying listening to nice late 1990's style electronic music. Unfortunatly there is some rapping in this song as well, but it works a little bit better, once again it is like 1990's electronic Britpop.

I would like to thank Miss Gil, or her producers, for making some pretty cool music. She seems to defy recent K-pop by making music that is good on the radio and isn't defined by how she looks. Seriously do you thing that anybody watches K.B.S. music bank, S.B.S. Inkigayo, or Mnet media count down because they want to hear good music? No they just want to see a bunch of pretty boys and girls dance around.*

*I can't deny that I don't like that either, well I like to see girl groups dance around while they lip sync. I also like to make passive aggressive comments about Nick Kuhn.


Brian said...

The Lee Hyori song isn't too bad. Not as bad as a Lee Hyori song might turn out. Have you heard LeeSsang before? They're a pretty good group, but I'll point out I liked them before they made it big last year, with their video that had Lee Hyori in it.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but the singer/rapper in the second one is CL of 2NE1; I guess she put out a solo mini-album or something.

3gyupsal said...

I don't think that the Lee Hyo Ri song is bad. I just don't think that it needs rapping of any kind. If Hwang woo-suk, in his Dokdo based underground lab manages to bring Tupac, Biggie, and the ODB back to life, their legendary skills of beats and rhyming wouldn't make the song any better. I would prefer the song without any rapping at all, but that is just my opinion. I don't really go out of my way to listen to Korean rap, though, I'll try to give LeeSsang a listen, but I think K-rappers sound a bit like white rappers. Not that K-rap and white rap is inferior in anyway, its just that both try to take on an urban cadence that just doesn't sound quite right. Like when a suburban girl talks about how her boyfriend might try to "open up a g-funk era on you," your left frieghtened not because of what might happen, but because you are completely dumbfounded as to what a g-funk era is.

The second and third videos aren't CL, but 길학미. She has been compared to C.L. for her far out "tude," but they aren't the same person. 길학미 was the runner up on superstar K, and has since landed a contract with Bobby Kim. I don't really like C.L. as much, but I like 2 ne 1 for not being all cutesey, and if you are in Dunkin Donuts and the radio starts blasting Park Bom's "You and I," it is actually quite nice.