Here's a silly video that circulated all around the internet a few years ago -- about in 2004 or 2005. It makes me laugh.
numa numa song
On a COMPLETELEY unconnected note, here's a cute popsong that I heard constantly (when there's a hit song in Korea, it's TOTALLY ubiquitous -- it's almost dizzying how much you hear a song when it's number one in Korea, walking past storefronts, etc.) in 2006. Even my little seven year old students would sing along to it. The artist's name is Hyun Yeong. Yes, she is at least somewhat serious.
nuna wei ggum - the sister's dream
Here's another pair of videos that caught my attention for TOTALLY UNCONNECTED reasons. Especially the Choruses. If you wish, you can ignore the imagery and just listen to the music, or you can watch the videos and muse on the objectification of women and the vileness of beauty culture, both in the West AND in the East.
I know what you're thinking with all these videos by now: CEASE AND DESIST ALREADY, ROB!
"Do Something" by Britney Spears
(yes, I just put Britney Spears on my blog. But I'm making a point here, OK?
Now, "Gonna Getcha" by Korea's own number one Pop Tart, Lee Hyori. In this one especially, pay attention to the loving fixation on stuff, especially in the transitions between dance sequences -- car, phone, clothes, those amazing boots -- so many materials to obsess over, it's almost like stuff pornography.
Not to be nothing but disparaging (how do you like THAT triple negative!), here's my favourite Korean songwriter/singer. His name's Kim Kwang Seok, and like Jeff Buckley, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and almost every other artist I love except Tom Waits and Radiohead and Prince (and a few others), he died young. He committed suicide (purportedly) because he was depressed from hiding his closeted homosexuality in Korea's very conservative society. Before his tragic death, this guy was about as beloved as a pop star can be in a country--every Korean my age and up can tell you their favourite Kim Kwang Seok song, and how they felt when they heard the news that he died.
This dude has a gift for melody, an incredibly expressive voice, and a real grace that I love. It's a shame he died and let the plagiarists take over.
This one's called "Letter of a Private" it was made for the soundtrack of the movie "JSA" which is remembered as a high watermark in Korean filmmaking; it's a story about low level soldiers on either side of the demilitarized zone (the Joint Security Area, or JSA is where North and South stand closest to each other), who become unlikely friends. If you ask nicely, I'll do a post about my favourite Korean movies, and one I loathe.
I really like the next one's melody -- my man Kim is a real wizard with a melodic line. I think it and his expressiveness are his best strengths. The song's title translates as "Please Wait"
This is my favourite Kim Kwang Seok song, the one that I think shows everything I love about him. It's also the only Korean song I can even come close to singing in the noraebang (karaoke room). The title is something like "I used to love you". If you're only going to listen to one of these, choose this one.
He even warrants a tribute: here's a tribute to him, recorded by some other big Korean stars. It's another of his best songs, rendered. . . adequately and lovingly, by some other people.
And one more upbeat one.