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Generic songlist intro: Had mostly completed this a month ago, felt I ought to say something about some of these, hence the delay in posting. Here's the YouTube playlist:

1. Lil Debbie "F That"
2. NCT 127 "Limitless"
3. MC G15 "Deu Onda"
4. CLC "Hobgoblin"
5. Juan LaFonta ft. Big Freedia "Bounce TV"

6. Pristin "Wee Woo"
7. Steps "Scared Of The Dark"
8. Jovi "Ou Même"
9. Vince Staples "BagBak"
10. Cherry Coke "Like I Do"

11. K.A.R.D "Rumor"
12. Alternative TV "Negative Primitive"
13. K.A.R.D "Don't Recall"

Lil Debbie. By strapping herself tight to rhyme and meter schemes she becomes taut and virulent.* NCT 127. If this had been Super Junior doing the "baby it's you" part, the hair-on-the-neck harmonies would've been shivery and cold. NCT sound warm doing pretty much the same, and good for them. MC G15. The genre is "funk ousadia," Google translating it from the Portuguese as "daring funk" or "bold funk," which in this case is a slow goofy dance on a high wire.** The melodica brings me back to Ennio Morricone and Augustus Pablo, also shivery. CLC. HyunA moves with a nice ungainly beauty into which she's instilled presence and charisma while still being accessibly goofy. She's written and produced a HyunA soundalike track for CLC, who have none of her charisma and little of her talent, and they sound almost as good anyway and almost as compelling, also goofy.*** Juan LaFonta ft. Big Freedia. 60 seconds is an effective length for Big Freedia's insistent repetitiveness, about the length of a long TV commercial, which this literally is. K.A.R.D. Immediately gripping but the grip is too tight, or anyway the beats are a tad sludgy and, surprisingly, it's the female singers rather than the males who lie too heavily atop the rhythm. Lots of promise, though, in the songs and the singing.

*Virulence can be a massive irritant of course when linked to Debbie's childish toughness, and fuck that, but it's up to better people to make better music, and at the moment they don't.

**"Sexual connotations and puns in the form of humor," Wikip helpfully opines, also with the assistance of Google Translate.

***Hence the question I asked 30 days ago: "'What if the Rolling Stones had written and produced hits for the Shadows Of Knight?' (Well, what if HyunA wrote and produced CLC?)"
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David Frazer said this in my lj comments; it deserves its own post.

Chocolat's contracts expired in February, and Melanie has given an interview to Kpopalypse.

To summarise, they never earned any money, the CEO was useless, the staff constantly pressured them to work harder and lose weight, and Melanie became depressed and began self-harming. And after thinking up the biracial gimmick the CEO decided that Melanie was "too American" and needed to look and behave like a proper Korean girl.
The interview does speak for itself. I'll add here that Melanie's whomp of a wail of "I want it all, all or nothing" in "I Like It" — a song she felt nothing for — showed right off that she had major talent. Even before that, in her narration of the first ChoColat publicity clip she was easily alive and playful in front of the camera. So, was management entirely obtuse, given that they picked Melanie to narrate right at the get-go, and had her loud and highlighted on the second single? Also, management chose good songs every time (i.e., songs I like), which is extraordinarily rare, and for all we know the girls themselves would have chosen worse.

So, we don't know management's own view of this, or the other girls': Still, if you're choosing performers because they're different, it seems lunkheaded to then try and squash down the differences. And if your training technique is psychologically backfiring on one of your talented singers, you should try to change the technique, right? (Yes, I realize this isn't so easy or even always possible when there's more than one performer involved, with each potentially responding differently to the coaching but all more or less needing to be given the same rules. Still...)

Also — I don't know this and obviously haven't done the research — but I had the impression back in 2011 that Korea was developing a body of case law that said that if a youngster signs a 7-year contract at age 12 or 15 or something and she subsequently sues to get out of the contract, the courts will back her and invalidate the contract. Of course, having a right to sue doesn't make actually doing so emotionally or financially feasible, or protect her from getting blackballed for it.
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Stubs of ideas, some of which may turn into future posts:

(1a) A punk votes for a punk (Johnny Rotten says nice things about Trump). Okay, he's not necessarily saying that he did vote for Trump, though from what he said it's a good assumption he did; but anyway, my armchair psychosocial analysis of the Trump win already had been "Punks voted for a punk," my using the word punks in a sorta pre-punk-rock sense, meaning people who compensate for subconsciously feeling weak by scapegoating and bullying and hurting the vulnerable; but such "punks" can include normally nice people too, people who let the punk aspect of themselves do their electoral thinking.

(1b) Only "sorta pre-punk-rock" given that original garage-rock punks such as ? And The Mysterians and the Syndicate Of Sound and the Seeds were indeed punks in the old sense, weak bully-type punks (and sexists as well),† but most of the great punk rockers — I'd start "punk rock" w/ Stones and Dylan, actually, with the caveat that the true punks, the garage rockers, weren't Stones and Dylan but the garage kids who'd dumbed Stones, Dylan, and Yardbirds down into punk, which'd be a fine explanation except that no one limits "punk rock" this way; most critics etc. would also include the Velvet Underground and MC5 and Stooges and Patti Smith and Richard Hell and Rocket From The Tombs and even more would include Ramones and Sex Pistols and the Clash and the Heartbreakers and X-Ray Spex and Black Flag and Nirvana and Hole, generally self-aware nonbully types, and if you're going to do this you've got to go back and count Dylan and the Stones — ...anyway, most of the great punk rockers (as generally defined) were about punk way more than they were punk; nonetheless, being self-aware, they drew the connection between actual inner true punk impulses and the punk rock they were playing, understanding their own weakness and that bullying and scapegoating were in there lurking, sitting dangerously inside. But anyway, of all the great punk rockers, the Sex Pistols, who were maybe the greatest ("They make everyone else sound sick by comparison," said my friend Bill Routt), were the ones who were true nasty punks as much as they were about punk. They were the band that made punk safe for fag-bashers (fortunately only somewhat safe).* None of which explains why Johnny Rotten would shit his brains down the toilet and support Trump (apparently, Johnny can't tell a racist from a hole in the ground). If you want to turn to social affinity and group identification as an explanation, Johnny's loyalty is to real punks, not to punk rock. (Yes, there's no way to come up with a unitary reading of the word "punk" in this paragraph. It'd be a stupider paragraph if you could.) I doubt that many self-identified "punks" — those who embrace the music as part of their social identity — voted for Trump. These people veer left instead. If you go by social category, Trump got many of the rocks and hoods and greasers and grits and burnouts — at least, more than he should have — but few of the punks. (Among whites he got a significant amount of the jocks and middle managers, too, and their psyches are probably as much punk as the hoods' are, but that's not relevant to Johnny Rotten's social identification.) I doubt that many Trump voters had ever bothered to listen to punk rock (not counting the garage hits they heard way back); if they had, the aboutness would've stung them, and they'd have been repelled. Nonetheless, I think I can understand that what makes the Sex Pistols sound true and real to me, the screaming squalling blind attempt to stand against anything acceptable and settled that can get you by, is what makes a lying hollow pathological bully like Trump sound transgressive and therefore real and true and honest and substantial to a lot of his fans.

(1c) Of course Trump doesn't win if he gets only the punks. And my armchair analysis isn't based on any actual research of mine into "the Trump voter." As I said two sentences ago, there's more than one type of Trump voter, and individual voters are multi-faceted in their urges and ideas anyway (so a particular Trump voter can be more than one type). I'm actually doing two questionable things: (i) reading the characteristics of the voter off of the characteristics of what they voted for, rather than actually asking the voters who they are and why they like what they like; (ii) using a psychological model that can apply to an individual person to explain the behavior of a group of people (the punk types who voted for that punk Trump), as if the group were an individual writ large. Obviously I think the analysis kinda sorta works, or I wouldn't have made it. It's a strong hypothesis, punks voted for a punk, strong in my mind anyway, though maybe someone more knowledgeable could beat it down with an alternative. ("Strong" analysis? Seriously? How so? It tells you what most of you already know: (1) that I don't like Trump, (2) that I think many of his voters voted for a lot of what I don't like about him, even if they don't understand the policy implications, and (3) that he's a punk. You already knew that. He's a punk. It's maybe a correct analysis, but not strong, since it doesn't tell you anything you don't already know. Maybe it makes you think harder about punk rock, and what I write below maybe'll help you think harder about social class.)

(1di) Trump got more working-class whites than he was expected to )

(1dii) The terms hoods, greasers, grits, and burnouts as stand-ins for current social identities )

(1diii) The class systems in people's immediate experience are not an exact match for the upper-middle-working class grid )

(1div) They voted against Clinton because she's a student-council type )

(1dv) Kids who bombed out of the classroom still hurt by it )

(1e) Middle class divided )

(1f) Want to hurt people and feel good about hurting them )

(2) The failure of education )

(3a) Duncan Watts criticizes idea of 'representative agent' )

(3b) How would we measure 'punks voted for a punk'? )

(4) The principle of the inferred et cetera )

(5) Top 100 singles of 2016 )

(6) A punk votes for a brat )

(7) Etc. )
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Sorry I haven't been communicating more. Kind of caught up (as a spectator mostly) in Twitter snark about Trump et al. (The Onion: "Heartbroken Russian Ambassador Thought Special Meetings With Jeff Sessions Were Very Memorable." Matt Yglesias: "It's traditional for the Speaker to hide the health care bill at the start of the seder so the children can search for it later." Yglesias again, in response to "Sen Cornyn, emerging from GOP healthcare mtg, was just asked what the plan is. 'You think I'm going to tell you what the plan is?'" "No Mr Cornyn, I expect you to di-- -- wait, it is totally reasonable to expect you to say what the plan is!")

In the meantime, here's a Chinese cover of Dschinghis Khan's "Moskau."


(Unfortunately, there are no high-quality rips of the MV — in fact, this rip seems to be the only one, though of course there are many rips of this particular rip, this being one of them; i.e., probably not the original rip itself.)

H/t John Wójtowicz for reminding me there's a Dschinghis Khan, and Twitter person @LoofaFace for the empty-chair ref I used as the title of this post. (@LoofaFace's moniker itself is taken from a memorable Daylin Leach tweet.)

Urgent update: David Frazer informs me that there's a North Korean dance to "Moskau" performed by Mullah Resmat protégés Wangjaesan Art Troupe.
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In the meantime, Badkiz cover a Badkiz song.

(This is a very subtle post that only [livejournal.com profile] davidfrazer will appreciate fully.) (Also see our conversation regarding Badkiz' impact on Korean Taekwando outfit K-Tigers, and the impact of Melbourne bounce on each.)

Way To Go

Sep. 25th, 2016 04:10 pm
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New Crayon Pop.

Advance single "Vroom Vroom"

About perfect: Light splashy Italodisco, a boat ride past small islands. Writer and (I think) lead singer Way adds enough ache to give this a promise of passion, a hint of adventure.

Album teaser, Evolution Vol. 1

First 8 tracks, I guess; 17 are due, 10 all new. Track 2 has interesting promise, as if it's early-mid Sixties girl group morphing into soul, or early Eighties Britain burnishing up that sound so that it glistens. Or something different; it's only several seconds. Track 6 is on a different Sixties borderline, like the Animals grabbing at teen tragedy and creating a venomous adult wail — not that I expect Crayon Pop to get close to venom, or to full slaughterhouse wailing. Probably will just be nice woman dancing into the distance, leaving small pangs of dust to glint in the sunlight.

Title Track Single "Doo Doom Chit"

Track gallops and kicks right out of the gate. So much for my impression from the teaser that it'd go down a tad too easy.* In fact it's so pushy and crowded I'm having trouble disentangling it. The beat seems to be battling the atmospherics, while Crayon Pop prance steadfastly forward. Strong, but I don't know if I know how to hear it.

Anyone want to tell me how you're hearing it?

h/t David Frazer for the alert, and the post title.

*"There's a powerful monomaniacal repetition at 9 seconds in that lasts for two-and-a-half seconds ('Shaky shaky shaky HAH!' or something like that) which potentially upends or punks up the song in a good way. The rest at first listen goes down a tad too easy, though I like the flimsy discarded-cardboard drum-like sound that propels the track."
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In an egregious breach of self-discipline, I posted on an Ann Powers facebook thread* whose subject was "rockism." Given that the thread was mainly stupidity and floundering, and it didn't jostle anything loose in my own thinking, I fear that there was little useful I achieved. My justification, if there is one, is that the stupidity I refer to is relative, and I genuinely believe that if someone somewhere takes in and masters my ideas regarding the "authenticity" thing it would save her several years of wheel-spinning.

Antirockists have never had the slightest actual interest in the people they call "rockists" or in the phenomena they call "rockism." So the conversation has been about defeating phantom enemies rather than about understanding the world.** This makes antirockists frustrating but it doesn't always make them boring, since their beating up on "rockism" is an attempt to use a crowbar or pole vault to get out from under something — even if they won't figure out what it is in themselves and their world they're trying to surmount.

This is what I wrote. I do urge you to click the two Rules Of The Game columns I link down at the bottom of my third comment. Might help your wheelbarrow gain traction.

Antirockism is just rockism with a few of the words changed )
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I chose Debbie Deb, Clare chose Fatboy Slim.

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Saw Ash-B's first appearance on Unpretty Rapstar and went, "Oh, no, they're making her/she's making herself sound tough and real and it won't work and she'll lose," so I averted my ears and avoided the show.

To my barely informed mind HyunA is now the dominant rapper in K-pop in that whenever anyone in Exid or 4minute who is not HyunA starts to rap or sing, I go, "This sort of sounds like HyunA but now I'm waiting for HyunA herself to show up." "Red" last year established this for me. (The wait is longer in Exid than in 4minute, obviously.)

Crayon Pop continue to score by ignoring past achievements; SHINee and Wonder Girls explicitly wallow in a past that's of course been implicit all along throughout the genre; most interesting freestylish moment, though, is "Delete," which casually pairs old NY-Philly-Miami riffs with cool autonomous vocals that you'd never ever have heard on an actual vintage freestyle track.

Since spring I've barely listened to anything that isn't medium-old jazz (Lee Konitz, Miles Davis).* So this list suffers, esp. in its dearth of No Tiers discoveries.** I've basically been relying on YouTube-generated playlists for K-pop and on random looks at the Singles Jukebox for everything else. I found Lila Downs via her "Cuando Me Tocas Tú" linked on Jonathan Bogart's Tumblr. (That track and Wonder Girls' "One Black Night" are candidates for my Freaky Trigger ballot, which allows album tracks.)

So, what have you been listening to?

1. Ash-B "매일"
2. The Seeya "The Song Of Love"
3. Azin "Delete"
4. Rihanna "Bitch Better Have My Money"
5. HyunA ft. Jung Ilhoon "Roll Deep (Because I'm The Best)"

6. Crayon Pop "FM"
7. ZZBEst "랄랄라"
8. Titica "Você Manda Fogo"
9. Momoiro Clover Z vs KISS "Yumeno Ukiyoni Saitemina"
10. Red Velvet "Ice Cream Cake"
Daphne And Celeste through T-ara (11 through 20) )
SHINee through GFriend (21 through 33) )

*In jazz, I didn't like what I heard this year from previous fave Matana Roberts. Sounded like a parody of a 1950s bohemian séance.

**But let me reiterate my liking for the missed-by-me-last-year "Babomba" from the impressively overlooked (and now personnel-shifted) Badkiz.
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The mp3 blogs took a pass on Badkiz's "Babomba" last November which is why I didn't hear it. Could've made my top ten: it's like T-ara in relentless dance mode — "Sexy Love" and "Number 9" — but instead of those songs' strenuously beautiful love pain it's got high-pitched playground chants similar to those on Badkiz's previous single. Though he didn't produce this, Shinsadong Tiger, who wrote and produced "Sexy Love" and "Number 9," is listed as a co-writer (says Wikip). Maybe that's where most of the budget went, to the song and the sound.* The rather cheap video** has the band pushing foam in the face of annoying guys, maybe a follow-up to the funny anti-bully moves of Badkiz's first vid, but too crude and slack in its attempt at comic timing. The dancing is greatly improved but still rudimentary, the concept being to bend the torso and wave the hair. Manages to be appealing, in its little way, especially live.

(But on Inkigayo, they were, strangely, wearing hoodies, for a kind of delinquent-cute look, maybe. A YouTube wiseass suggested that this was to hide the fact they couldn't afford a hair stylist.)

Allkpop called the video concept "sexy and funny." I think when you come down to it Badkiz don't really have a concept. Maybe "invention a little outside the box," which draws comparison to Crayon Pop, but Crayon Pop really are inventive. How about: reasonably good voices and they're willing to try hard, with joy (guerilla performance here)? People on YouTube have been creating dance covers of Badkiz's simple moves, which gives me hope the band will continue. Two songs so far, both of high quality.

*"Babomba" also has a sequence where successive lines are started by a shouted number (3 and then 4), a gimmick Tiger lifted from "Hot Issue," the first track he did for 4minute.

**[UPDATE: The agency seems to have killed the original cheap video in favor of a cheap 2nd video made around the same time.]
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I've been wanting to comment on an ever-increasing number of Mark Sinker posts, especially this on Freaky Trigger where he continues a convo (prior installment here) that, among other things, draws on my hallway-classroom metaphor. Here's a preliminary map (or something) of how I might start responding, when I get the chance.*

1. I'll start with the question, "What would Mark say that he's saying here?" although, in order for this to be an exercise in understanding rather than typing, I'll try wherever possible to avoid using the words he uses.

Or you should try, if you want to anticipate me in taking a shot at it. Also, "saying" is a generic here that includes "doing."

2. You can walk and chew gum at the same time.

In other words, if I say or do A, that doesn't necessarily mean I'm not also saying or doing B, C, D, E, and F, including some K's and L's and M's I'm unaware of.

3. A special instance of the principle "You can walk and chew gum at the same time" is my attack on the hallway-classroom split.

The split goes, in the hallway you talk to and about each other; in the classroom you talk about some third thing: the subject matter. My claim is that good rock critics don't buy into this divide, so they refuse to honor the boundary between hallway and classroom.

4. I'm an alienation addict.

Notes )

*Posting here on my lj since I don't know if Freaky Trigger has fixed its spam filter problems, which had been delaying the posting of comments on old threads.
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Am more ambivalent about "Chick Chick" than the high ranking indicates, given the social inequity underlying the song: the vocals are utterly pedestrian during the cutesy "mǔ jī mǔ jī mǔ jī mǔ jī" stuff and during the rap; the track only starts to cook when the screaming and the chicken clucking and the cackling let loose. It's then that it goes to syncopated excitement, a great visceral speed chase — really penetrates the nervous system, sorta like Bob Quine's guitar lines back in the Voidoids. But my needing to reach so far back for an example, and to guitar sounds rather than singing, leads me to this disturbing conclusion: Chickens are now more credibly penetrating than human beings are. Oh yeah, and if this list and my own viscera are representative (big "if," since they're quite possibly not, and if I'd listened to more hip-hop and rock and banda* maybe I'd know this), women are more credibly penetrating than guys are, women are more credibly tough than guys are, women are more aggressively cute than guys are, women front for rock music better than guys do, women front for heartbreak better than guys do, etc. But I've been worrying about this for years, every time I post one of these lists. And since I'm a glass-is-half-empty kind of a guy, I don't attribute this to women being good but rather to guys being lousy. And it isn't that I believe males no longer have talent, but rather that they're not finding musical models that work for them — as singers and front men, that is; when the spotlight's not on, guys are there contributing to the adventure, as instrumentalists, songwriters, dancers, impresarios, owners. Actually, the boybands are great dancers. And as for "not finding models that work for them," what's really — or merely — evident in this list is that guys are not finding models to make music that works for me. Boybands are doing fine among the fans. I'd have ranked boybands Vixx and Infinite higher if the singers had pulled off the high emotion, but the songs are gripping nonetheless.

Oh yeah, and I'm also pissed off that it's mainly young women and young men on my list (even my token trot track is by a relative youngster), but I've harangued about that before too.

I'll note that celebrated chickenphobe HyunA kicked butt this year (as well as displaying, slapping, and embracing butt (of more than one species)), and was somewhat penetrating back in 2011 deploring chickens. And that A Pony Named Olga are male human beings, not ponies.

Bold for tracks I added since October 1.

1. Wa$$up "Jingle Bell"
2. The Chainsmokers "#Selfie"
3. HyunA "Red"
4. BiS "STUPiG"
5. Kate Nash "Sister"
6. Courtney Love "Wedding Day"
7. Orange Caramel "So Sorry"
8. Tinashe ft. Schoolboy Q "2 On"
9. Nicki Minaj "Lookin' Ass Nigga"
10. Crayon Pop "Uh-ee"
11. Orange Caramel "My Copycat"

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12. After School "Shh"
13. Shakira ft. Rihanna "Can't Remember To Forget You"
14. A Pony Named Olga "Funny What You Pray"
15. Wang Rong "Chick Chick"
16. Vixx "Error"

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17. Future ft. Pharrell, Pusha T & Casino "Move That Dope"
18. T-ara "First Love"
19. Puer Kim "Manyo Maash"
20. Danity Kane "Bye Baby"
21. Badkiz "Ear Attack"
22. PungDeng-E "잘탕 (잘 시간이 어딨어)"
23. GP Basic "Black Bounce"
24. Serebro "Ya Tebya Ne Otdam"
25. Dal★shabet "B.B.B (Big Baby Baby)"
26. Ca$h Out "She Twerkin"
27. Crayon Pop "C'mon C'mon"
28. Arcade Fire "We Exist"
29. The Hold Steady "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You"
30. Gabylonia "Tirano"

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31 through 70 )

By the way, I'm only half-joking about the credibility of chickens — not that chicken sounds are inherently credible, but if it's Wang Rong herself doing the chicken vocals — and I think it is — the chicken voice unleashes something in her that she can't do otherwise in anything close to her own voice, at least not in the several tracks of hers I've listened to on YouTube. (But, given that Wikip says she's been putting out music since the early '00s, I've hardly got an overview of her work. This one's nice enough, this one's got some interesting voice maneuverings, and on this one she sings with authority.)

A Pony Named Olga )
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From Korea, middling sellers or out-and-out commercial failures that I like a lot. Alphabetical order.

A.Kor "But Go." On the 2NE1 template, being haughty and inviting at once.

Badkiz "Ear Attack." Shouts, whistles, social seriousness, and a squiggle from "Party Rock Anthem." (I wrote about the vid here.)

Choi Sam "Answer." Beat rumbles tectonically; voice dark like rubber that won't go elastic.

Delight "Hate You." Sentiment is evergreen, voices are rough.

GP Basic "Black Bounce." The singers circle relentlessly.

PungDeng-E "잘탕 (잘 시간이 어딨어)." PungDeng-E PungDeng-E Go! PungDeng-E PungDeng-E Go! What others are getting from Lip Service's "Yum Yum Yum" I'm getting from these kids.

Ray.B "살만한가봐." The pang of an '80s New York night, now done better in Seoul than anywhere else.

Scarlet "Hip Song." Also a hiccup song, the vocals jumping and stuttering in rhythm.

Switch "39˚C." Bleary nights, wandering from club to club.

Wa$$up "Stupid Liar." Slow, brooding, bruising. This group has depth and variety, if anyone's ever going to notice.

Z.Hera "D Island." Last year her decor was études and preludes. This year she's livin in smoove. Still impressive, still aches.

Zizo ft. Nan Ah Jin "Spy." Guest singer gets the close-up, rapper feints and darts around her.

They're too popular for this list, but I'm currently also digging Hong Jin Young's "Cheer Up" (h/t Mat), Vixx's "Error," BTS's (Bangtan Boys) "BTS Cypher PT.2: Triptych," After School's "Shine" (Japanese), and everything Orange Caramel have laid their hands on this year.

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Question that applies to the past and the present: were there/are there many disco boybands and disco girl groups? Except I'm meaning "boyband" and "girl group" a bit more narrowly than I normally would: I'm thinking of the music dating back to the gospel quartets that went secular and was taken over by teens and doo-wop and then the late '50s/early '60s girl groups and permutated through the Impressions and Motown into the Jackson 5 and New Edition and then into New Jack Swing. I have huge gaps in my knowledge, but my sense is that this type of group vocal singing (as opposed to other types of group vocal singing?) made it into funk and '80s black pop much more than into disco and freestyle and house. Obviously there are vocal groups there, too, many I wish I knew better; but not ones that I'd put into a line that goes from doo-wop to Bell Biv DeVoe and the Backstreet Boys and ilk.

Or am I all wrong? Did that sort of boyband or girl group appear much in disco? I kinda feel the Bee Gees might belong here, though despite hitting huge, they seem a bit apart from everyone else, not quite in any line of development (but notice Infinite sounding like the Bee Gees below). I probably ought to count Trammps and Tavares too.

As for the present, K-pop draws hugely on the Jacksons and New Jack Swing while keeping disco and freestyle in its living language. I'm thinking especially of the work of writing/producing duo SweeTune (Han Jaeho, Kim Seungsoo), for instance with boyband Infinite and girl group Nine Muses.


Nine Muses Figaro and Infinite Be Mine )

Actually, not sure if Nine Muses are in enough of the "black vocal group" style I have in mind to count, but "Figaro" is a great track. And I barely have anything definite in my mind. Hoping some visitor to this lj will take over the discussion.

Here's a tentative playlist for Infinite, not in any order except how I think the music would flow best. Is kind of a best-of except my knowledge of Infinite is hardly infinite, in fact is barely adequate. And of course not all of it uses disco beats or horn and synth flourishes.

Infinite playlist )

"Back" (by Rphabet, not SweeTune)

Exculpatory verbiage )
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Even with S. Korea having canceled spring on account of the ferry disaster (as Subdee says), I'm woefully behind on K-pop, and my listening elsewhere has been too random and intermittent even to be called scattershot. But anyway, int'l dance cheese goes strong at its most opportunist (Chainsmokers, Orange Caramel, Badkiz [the "Party Rock Anthem" influence still potent in Seoul], PungDeng-E, Arcade Fire, Mia Martina), whereas the boring int'l amalgamated danceR&Bglaze&crud that's been weighing down charts worldwide since 2009 somehow manages to sound touching in the hands of a Shakira and a Rihanna who've had all their distinctive characteristics removed. Danity Kane go retro, referencing Teena Marie; equally retro Dal★shabet, who still can't sing for shit, nonetheless find themselves immersed in great freestyle riffs. Ole punk manages not to be dead in the hands of poignantly desperate and angry Kate Nash and Courtney Love. T-ara, Jiyeon, and Puer Kim veer smoove and After School master smoove. Few boys' mouths, as is usual on my lists these days; fewer still who sing. And as the biz still invests almost nothing in us oldsters, funky fresh young Crayon Pop represent on our behalf.


1. Wa$$up "Jingle Bell"
2. The Chainsmokers "#Selfie"
3. BiS "STUPiG"
4. Kate Nash "Sister"
5. Courtney Love "Wedding Day"

[Error: unknown template video]

6. Orange Caramel "So Sorry"
7. Tinashe ft. Schoolboy Q "2 On"
8. Nicki Minaj "Lookin' Ass Nigga"
9. Crayon Pop "Uh-ee"
10. After School "Shh"
Future through Shakira )
Bass Drum through Rascal )


1. After School Dress To Kill [Avex Trax]
2. Kali Mutsa Souvenance [Shock Music]

koganbot: (Default)
Pasting in the Facebook convo (through early in the day, May 13) that Chuck began in regard to my q about Richard Rodgers and Dave's about whether there's any statistical support for the common assertion that the majority audience for hip-hop is white. You'll see a link to a WSJ report of an actual study, which produces an actual number (audience 60% white), but methodology seems shaky and there's no further breakdown beyond either they own hip-hop or they don't (so no record of how much hip-hop someone got, or what sort of hip-hop).

But the thread does veer off into an interesting discussion of "When did you first hear hip-hop, and how did it strike you?"

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There's no Richard Rodgers discussion, though thanks to Kevin John we verified that Dorothy Rodgers did indeed tell Billboard in '82 that husband Richard was a fan of the Marcels' version of "Blue Moon."

As for my attempt (so as not to have to visit a library or make phone calls or do actual research) to find out if Richard Rodgers did actually take out full-page newspaper ads urging people not to buy the Marcels' "Blue Moon," so far Twitter and Tumblr haven't helped me verify or refute the story or, if it's false — WHICH SEEMS LIKELY — determine where the story came from. Web, you fail. Story seems false not just because twenty years later Rodgers' wife said something opposite to it, but because none of the bios I sampled on Google books mentioned the story. If Rodgers had placed the ads, that's too effortful an event for a biographer to ignore. (Although Google Books doesn't post books in their entirety, so the story may be in the bios in unposted sections, that all such references to the story would fall through the cracks in Google Books seems unlikely. And whenever I made my way to an index, the Marcels were absent.)

Here we go:

It's just like the military pulling a rank/We got a new dance and it's called the spank )
koganbot: (Default)
Remember in 2011 when promo copy for new group Blady emphasized the simplicity of their dance moves, praising it for fostering fan involvement?* "This style of choreography is powerful yet easy, so that it can express Blady's uniqueness. This also allows fans to be able to learn and keep up with the dances." Seemed like a clever way to rationalize their lack of a mandatory K-pop skill, given that K-pop fans actually take hard dances as a challenge.** In any event, Blady did manage the simple motions passably well.

But now, here's a snazzy little track from rookie group Badkiz that combines stylish vocals, Wa$$up playground shouts, and funny LMFAO synthesizer spazzes.

But what strikes me is that here they are, doing a dance track, and they're genuinely poor dancers. I'm impressed. The bullies they subdue in the vid nonetheless get into it, abandoning a life of stealing jackets and of hitting people with lollipops, giving it all up so they can move with the groove.

Haven't yet found my way to actual promo copy. Badkiz are too obscure to rate an Allkpop writeup much less a Wikipedia entry. Someone did post the vid in an Allkpop forum, calling 'em Crayon Pop copiers. I can't say I hear this, but I'm guessing the poster was thinking of the scene in Crayon Pop's "Bar Bar Bar" where Crayon Pop take on some back-alley toughs. And maybe Badkiz are following Crayon Pop in using lollipops as accoutrements to their delinquent pose.***

But Crayon Pop can dance.

*Okay, you probably don't remember. I know I wrote about it, but Google isn't helping me find out where or when. Blady, by the way, started off with a couple of very good neo-freestyle tracks under the supervision of Shinsadong Tiger. Eventually all but one of the original Bladies left or was sacked. Newer dance is more a strut — not complex, but takes balance, esp. on platforms. (Sound is still kinda '80s, but leaning r&b rather than freestyle, and not as interesting.)

**I do remember CL explaining how on "I Am The Best" 2NE1 used fairly easy hand moves for the fans to follow, while Minzy did all the difficult expressive show-off stuff. But IMO the hand waving still required flair and precision.

***UPDATE: The Music Bank performance of "Bing Bing" seems to have disappeared from the Internet, but there's one on Show Champion that isn't as delinquent but still's got the lollipops.
koganbot: (Default)
Just in time for my first quarter wrap, Crayon Pop show up in shtetl garb traditionalist clothing, playing old people's music as the young-un's in back discreetly tap their toes. Above them in the ten, Wa$$up ring my bell, BiS prove that Anti-Idol is Idol, Tinashe brushes my Cassie spot, Future gets together with a bunch of other dopes to move some dope, Kate Nash punks better than she'd ever quirked, Orange Caramel assay a disco-Cuban b-side to which they barely even attempt to dance, Dal★shabet crochet in freestyle, Puer Kim does an elegant monster maash, and Nicki Minaj scores by any means necessary.

1. Wa$$up "Jingle Bell"
2. BiS "STUPiG"
3. Tinashe ft. Schoolboy Q "2 On"
4. Future ft. Pharrell, Pusha T & Casino "Move That Dope"
5. Kate Nash "Sister"

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6. Orange Caramel "So Sorry"
7. Dal★shabet "B.B.B (Big Baby Baby)"
8. Puer Kim "Manyo Maash"
9. Nicki Minaj "Lookin' Ass Nigga"
10. Crayon Pop "Uh-ee"

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11 through 20 )

Jingle the bell.

New digs

Mar. 16th, 2014 06:59 am
koganbot: (Default)
As you may have surmised, foreign agents shut off the transponder on my home DSL. Search parties expect to find said DSL sometime midweek. In the meantime I've been walking around my new neighborhood. I'm now living in heavily Latino west Denver, though my apt is just a couple minutes' walk from the Little Saigon business strip on Federal. The ratio of phở joints to marijuana establishments is about 30:1, a ratio you don't find in other parts of the city.

(Spambots are still pounding the hell out of my comment threads. With my not having frequent Internet access, spam posts may accumulate. I'll do my best not to delete legitimate comments.)
koganbot: (Default)
K-pop kills it for Christmas:

UPDATE: The "Jingle Bell" vid is now inexplicably blocked in the U.S. (it's on Wa$$up's own VEVO, ffs); here's an audio stream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9CfIPRc1Kg. RE-UPDATE: They posted another one, so I re-upped, but I'll keep the audio stream just in case.] [UPDATING THE UPDATE: Now they've taken it off this VEVO and onto another of theirs. So I've re-upped once again.]

h/t centurion of prix, David Frazer.


koganbot: (Default)

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