Saturday, September 15, 2012
K-pop Is Koming
The post below was published in September of 2012. Recently––December of 2012––a brouhaha erupted over Psy's impending performance for President Obama and some lyrics he performed in 2004 regarding deaths caused by the U.S. military in South Korea and around the world. This article from the Guardian U.K. offers some much needed perspective on the situation. Please read.
His moniker is Psy (for Psycho, nee Park Je-Sang or Jaesang). He may not be a part of the Korean pop music scene AKA K-pop, at least he'd rather not think so. In South Korea he is called "The Bizarre Singer." (This passes for bizarre in Korea?) In the U.S. he may also be a sign of things to come. Americans have traditionally had phobias about music with non-English lyrics but this may be changing. I may be attracted to this for all the reasons that I liked the Archie comic as a kid. Archie wasn't handsome or smart, had freckles and red hair (like me), no ball skills, no money, and no friends outside of Jughead. What he did have was the two hottest girls at Riverdale High fighting over him (at least on the covers, inside the books Veronica was usually more blasé). Psy has the chicks and also no illusions about his quotients of coolness, trimness, or danceness. (See him splash in the bath and sit on the toilet.) But who cares? He still has the chicks and the most virulently watched video in K-pop history. He may also something of a subversive in Korea (see link below).
I was alerted to this video by my 14 year old daughter. She is part of the post-modern generations that care nothing about gay marriage, cultural miscegenation, or music with lyrics that can't be understood. Perhaps they are the Brave New World at last. That should keep the Tea Partiers awake at night.
The Atlantic looks into Psy and gives some context to his video here. Adult son and his 60 year old mother bust a move Gangnam Style here.
Addendum: The records-keeping authority announced Friday morning that Psy’s Gangnam Style broke the record for “Most Likes on YouTube” with 2,141,758. That breaks the previous record set by LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem (1,574,963), Justin’s Bieber’s Baby (1,327,147) and Adele’s Rolling in the Deep (1,245,641). (It should also be noted that Psy is edging close to 100,000 dislikes as well.) Gangnam also has racked up 227 million views [over 823 million by Nov 25], which puts it just outside of YouTube’s list of the 30 most-viewed videos ever. [Gangham Style is now the Most Viewed Video Ever.] Postscript to the addendum: Gangnam Style now has the distinction of being the first video to break the billion mark.
Addendum excursus, etc: Gangnam is now moving into future trivial pursuit territory. Proof is this Berkerly, CA based Korean-American group giving Psy the Nouvelle Vague treatment. Together, the group is adorable but the girl is adorable cubed. Her hand gestures are just so.