[identity profile] koganbot.livejournal.com
"Today my body is acting strange, as if it doesn't belong to me." Returning to the locked ward, we present IU's new video, "The Story Only I Didn't Know":

(If you don't see English subtitles, click through to YouTube and then on the lower right click CC.)

The major aesthetic question is can even a singer as sensitive as IU get me to like ballads, the answer here being, "Well, she did this time, but she doesn't always."

The lyrics are basically, You were leaving for good, you never actually felt love, but I was the last to know. Or as the Zombies might have said, Well, no one told me about him, the way he lied. The video, however, surrounds the track in a whole psych-ward story, bathed in numbed-out, walking-dead white. So the shattering of what was probably a brief affair is a mental shattering as well, love leading to pathology, or love itself a form of insanity - 'cept just because they're in an asylum doesn't mean the video is presenting this extreme breakdown as anything but the way things are, a hyperbolic expression of how it feels, and no sense that love shouldn't be this devastating thing, or that maybe such devastation isn't love.

Dialogue at the end:

"Your father passed away, right?" "He will come back. Everyone thinks he is my dad. But that person... is not my dad," leading some YouTube commenters to think the video's adding an incest and abuse theme, or a stepdad theme, or both. But a simpler interpretation would just be that the doctor is trying to link up the young woman's trauma with the recent loss of her dad, whereas the woman's got a different man on her mind, loss piling upon loss.

Conveniently, today in America this vid is introduced by an ad for Source Code, a flick about a military man whose mind crosses over into another man's body.

Beautiful song.

You must look like someone I once knew )

As usual, I'm cross-posting this over on koganbot.
[identity profile] koganbot.livejournal.com
Nothing problematic about this one, at least for me, except to wonder why sullen passion is captivating in this video when I wouldn't find it sexy in real life. Ga-In is gorgeous, of course, with her chiseled, chilled prettiness. Narsha's made up as her twin, and the fierceness between them is stronger than anything they might feel for the guy.

Even though I've watched the thing about twenty times, the ending still holds me: Ga-In with her smirking malevolence, her look saying, "Oh, you're going to kiss me too? Yes. My animal power." And then the focus on Narsha, smooth and blank, way more deadly. I'm assuming Ga-In doesn't realize it's a kiss of death.

Any thoughts regarding:

--The picture on the wall (seems to depict the 18th century, a hat, a parlor? a sitting room? a boudoir?)
--The shiny modern apartment in muted tones (as a place to have sex?)
--The dog? Someone walks a dog down the hallway.

The director, Hwang Su-a, fades her shots in and out at the start, giving us a lot of information but making the scene feel indolent and ominous, despite the fast cuts. Then, as the electrocution device is prepared, the cuts get sharper, and we click into the song.

Rihanna, call your manager.
[identity profile] koganbot.livejournal.com
At Maddie's suggestion, I'm posting Co-Ed School's "삐리뽐 빼리뽐 (Bbiribbom Bbaeribom)" as this week's problematic Korean video.

This presents the mentally ill as goofy and silly in kiddie-candy colors, so as potential objects of ridicule, I guess, though also as fun. So the positive side would be that, in playing crazy, the Co-Ed Schoolers get to be way goofy and silly and colorful and fun. My question here - and I don't know the answer - is: does stuff like this actually harm anyone? That is, does it help perpetuate attitudes that lead to bullying, to cuts in services, and so forth? I think that most people know that mental illness is actually sad, grim, dangerous. For example, one of my best friends in high school became a paranoid schizophrenic in his early twenties and several years later committed suicide. But that doesn't necessarily make me get all upset at a video in which stereotypically catatonic, obsessive inmates get to dance in bright colors. This video doesn't do right by his agony, but so what?

(And anyway, whether or not I get upset doesn't answer the question of whether anyone gets harmed.)

Think the song is a good one and I like the beat, though the singers are weak; typical anonymous Italodisco singers from 1985 could have given this more feeling. Fun is getting in the way of feeling, here. So this rendition is unfair to fun.

Co-Ed School's "Too Late" is a more gripping track and video, though again the singers don't give it what it needs.
[identity profile] koganbot.livejournal.com
Here's some stomping r&b that's intensified rather than compromised by the four-four and the Autotune, singers as strong as the beat. And I get that the performers may potentially be seizing the derogatory "Piggy" and turning it around, making it their own. My main problem with the vid is that, if the point is that fat can be sexy, then the singers should be allowed to really shake their stuff and show some skin.

At the pizza chompin' start, the vid's trying to have its cake etc. and eat it too, uplift the Dolls and make fun of them at the same time. That's what I feel about the name "Piggy Dolls" as well. I don't want to prejudge how audiences will take this, of course. Think it's good that these women are out there. YouTube commenters are trying to position the Piggies as "real" in comparison to other idols, which is problematic in its own way. I guess I think this is all too defensive, but we'll see.

Also, though the arrangement and the performance are strong, the song's not all that special, doesn't quite hook or grab, is too anonymous.

(Since I don't understand Korean, I don't know if or how the lyrics fit into this.)
[identity profile] koganbot.livejournal.com
This week we present a trio of leggy model types in their late teens/early twenties dressing like kiddie toys in a kiddie picture book. It looks incongruous and eerie to me. As Mat says, "It's odd, because they almost have a supermodel look to them with their long legs, and it just seems grotesque to put them in cheap girly Halloween costumes." I think you get a lot of this in Korea; I don't have any insights. Orange Caramel are a sub-unit of the fierce After School, so perhaps this is a chance at another identity (or maybe it's a way to wall off this side of their characters so the rest of After School - mostly mid to late twenties, and supposedly inspired by the Pussycat Dolls' eroticism, though I don't necessarily see that - aren't contaminated by the little-doll stuff).

For further reading, see [livejournal.com profile] petronia on twee versus burikko.

(Orange Caramel also do a nice version of M2M's "The Day You Went Away," which it turns out has been covered a whole shitload of times in Asia.)

EDIT: Of course, just because something might strike us (in our ignorance) as grotesque doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with it, or anything problematic. Or the problem might only be ours, that we don't understand what's going on. But women acting girlie can raise a red flag. That is, do women in that world generally have a choice not to act girlie? What are the consequences for those who don't act girlie?
[identity profile] koganbot.livejournal.com
Hi folks. It's Friday, which means it's Problematic Korean Video Day here at [livejournal.com profile] poptimists. Our latest episode features T-ara, pronounced like the bejeweled crown one wears atop one's head (if one is the sort to wear bejeweled crowns atop one's head), except that our story here finds the young women opting for feathers instead.

Now, the depiction of Native Americans in Korean media, and the treatment or mistreatment of Native Americans in Korea, have not hitherto been subjects to excite much commentary at [livejournal.com profile] poptimists, and I suspect they will continue not to excite much, as one assumes there is little or no treatment of Native Americans to speak of in Korea (at least Native Americans as such, as opposed to Native Americans as U.S. soldiers who happen to be Native American, who are probably treated as American soldiers).

So what we've got is untrammeled silliness, a handsome young pilot crash landing on a tropical island paradise where the natives, dressed as if from mainland America, bind him and "torture" him, each according to her wont, or want. Cecil B. DeMille has called this the most erotic scene ever filmed. Actually, he was referring to Jean Arthur and Gary Cooper when they're trussed-up and ready to be roasted alive in The Plainsman, but you get my point.

The tune is excellently catchy, as are a couple more on T-ara's brief EP Temptastic.

A fat person is made fun of at the end of "Ya Ya Ya," and the question of girth is bound to reappear in this series, the Piggy Dolls having just released their first video.
[identity profile] koganbot.livejournal.com
What's the general feeling in Freaky Trigger etc. circles about the Go! Team? I know little of their stuff and sense that they get an ambivalent reaction, but I actually like the little I've heard. An old track of theirs was used effectively in the U.S. this year in a television PSA (public service announcement):

[identity profile] koganbot.livejournal.com
Yes, my personal shopper does happen to be a parrot. What of it?

[Later] Excuse me, you seem inadvertently to have left your parrot in my gift shop, so I am personally returning it to your home at midnight.

[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com

This is pretty good, isn't it? The gentleman doing the rapping is called Wretch 32 and the song is called 'Traktor' as in "I ride this motherfvcking beat like a traktor". There are "choo-choo"ing noises. The video features a lady hitting a dusty drum and a random OWL.
[identity profile] piratemoggy.livejournal.com
Crikey. One of my friends just posted this on Facebook; I don't know if it's been previously discussed but it feels very grey Monday-friendly, with lots of space and pause and a craftmanship about it that's completely arresting. It's nothing new (in fact it sounds incredibly like Massive Attack) but it's exquisitely executed.

What was the last thing you heard where you were left thinking 'god, that's well-put-together?'
[identity profile] koganbot.livejournal.com

Sunny Sweeney

It's someone else's party and she'll cry if she wants to, but discreetly.

Or on Vimeo.

Ga-in "Irreversible"

Regrets, she's had a few.

[EDIT: I've now found a version with English subtitles; if you're not getting them, click CC.]
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com

1) Her fan catches fire
2) "Hey Mr DJ, now that you've given me an earthquake, why don't you play me the last - and the best - of Rick Astley?"
3) Her rapping sounds exactly like I do at karaoke
4) ♥♥♥
credoimprobus: cartoon dancer bear strikes a pose (( my turn ))
[personal profile] credoimprobus
But with less of the only half coherent masses of text, haha. 3 x Finnish pop & rock lead singles that have got me excited in the last few months:

1. Jenni Vartiainen (aka her what was responsible for one of the late decade's hugest hits here back in 07/08, and incidentally also for one of my top 5 singles of 2008) knocking another one out of the park:

two more )

ALSO the new Ron Browz single, which is AWESOMEomg:


Mar. 26th, 2010 03:16 pm
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
Interests are now UPDATED! Thx for all your suggestions - moderator's veto applies of course :)

IN: Dizzee, Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Wiley, Prince, Kid Sister, Kara DioGuardi, Ke$ha, Gabriella Cilmi, Toby Keith.

OUT: Chemical Brothers, Blur, Blossom Hill, Jethro Tull, Mr Oizo, Stardust (come on, they only had one single ever), Hooks, Uffie, Mika, Smog.

Dodgy Remixes is replaced with Shonky Bootleg Mashups, Sugababes is replaced with 'all incarnations of Sugababes'. Or perhaps I should have just left it at 'Heidi Sugababe'...

Behind the scenes there has been PLOTTING afoot for some interim orgafun, stay tuned next Tuesday for more poll action. In the meantime why not go and check out the Pop World Cup over at Freaky Trigger? The standard of matches is very high this year!

Or perhaps have a look at this (make sure you stick it out until 1.04):

[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
You have until tomorrow lunchtime to vote in Heat #5 of 2005! It's all pretty close at the moment so your vote could be CRUCIAL.

Until then, let's see what 25-year-old divorcee Avril Lavigne has been up to recently:

Oh dear!
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
Dudes, this is pretty good! I love the boingy bassline:

credoimprobus: cartoon dancer bear strikes a pose (( my turn ))
[personal profile] credoimprobus
So Keri Hilson recently contributed a track to the soundtrack for a random German film:

It pretty much hits the perfect sweet spot between current zeitgeist electro'n'b and '80s synthpop pastiche, and considering I've been disliking the former since summer (apparently there is such a thing as "too chintzy" even for me -- and trust me, that's saying something) and the latter is something I only rarely enjoy*, by all rights I shouldn't like this. AND YET I DO, in fact, I pretty much love it to ridiculous extents. I've listened to it literally 50 times in the last couple of days, ahaha.

(And on a completely shallow note, dere sweet god Keri's preposterously stunning in that video.)

*) of course, the exact vein of 80s synthpop it mines is the same one Jordin's Freeze did, which I last year realized is probably the single most powerfully formative sound of my developmental years, so that part of the equation working for me shouldn't be much of a surprise, after all
credoimprobus: cartoon dancer bear strikes a pose (musakz)
[personal profile] credoimprobus
With the year-end ballots being practically around the corner now, I should probably take the opportunity to post some things I've failed to rep enough/at all for while the taking's still good:

Single of the freaking year, for me. A post-breakup, failing to move on lament: delicate, sweeping and haunted, all ice crystals and windswept tundra. And the weeping cello(?) in the middle eight, jesus. (Posted before in comments here, but I don't know how many people saw it.)

Best song off an amazing album, and probably Clark's most pop moment to date: kind of like Rex the Dog doing Warp. Vivid, catchy and warm.

Ne-Yo's best kick-him-to-the-curb anthem since Irreplaceable, brilliant in its simplicity. That chorus is pretty much impossible not to holler along to. How this has not been a single is MORE THAN I CAN FATHOM.

Also: Few Nolder's El Snig & Moderat's Rusty Nails I've posted before, but deserve a second mention now that I've concluded they're among my top 10 tracks of the year. Check them if you haven't!

If anyone else wants to get some last minute reps in, feel free to use the comments section of this post! This can be the official pre-polls campaigning thread, or something.
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
New N-Dubz single in referencing social media platform shocka!

credoimprobus: Bo & Kenzi on the case (Default)
[personal profile] credoimprobus
Have we all heard the new Amerie? I gotta say, I liked Why R U plenty enough, but it didn't have me in a froth for the new album -- but THIS one! Single Ladies energy, awesome slapping beat, and OMG what a vocal performance! NOVEMBER IS WAY TOO FAR OFF.

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