Chad Future wants to introduce America to K-pop

Well, actually something he calls “AK-pop” or “American music inspired by K-pop.”  Chad Future (a.k.a. Detroit native David Lehre) has even set up a production company, Vendetta Studios, to make music videos and record songs.

Here are a few of them:

Listen, I can’t speak for the anyone else other than myself, but I laughed, I cringed and I really couldn’t get into the music.  Overall, I thought his videos and music were a little strange and overwrought.  That’s just my opinion though.

The last video, “When You Call,” features a Korean American singer, Jamie Seo, who looks so untypical for a Korean pop star.  She isn’t super skinny with long legs, big eyes and aegyo sal.   I think that’s refreshing and something that K-pop can perhaps learn from Chad Future.

Any ways, Mr. Lehre knows he’s got a lot of haters out there, but he’s being persistent.  He’s been at it for at least 2-3 years (I first blogged about him in 2012) and I have a feeling he won’t be going away any time soon.  So, Mr. Lehre/Future, I’ll be honest and say that your music isn’t my style, but it isn’t my business to tell another man not to pursue his dreams, so I wish you luck.

  • redwhitedude

    Let me start commentary that on behalf of the detractors and trolls over Kpop by saying that he is in the payroll of the Korean Ministry of Culture.

    There I hope this took a lot of wind out of their accusations.

    I wonder if all these fans really understand what these Kpop “idols” go through. It’s like slave labor compared to what Lady Gaga, Justine Bieber, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and so forth have to go through.

    Does this mean an invasion of Konglish so extensive that will utterly corrupt English too?
    BTW why do we have so many posts about Kpop all of the sudden?

  • wangkon936

    “… he is in the payroll of the Korean Ministry of Culture.”

    Really? Where’s the evidence? I honestly want to know! That would be a very interesting bit of data to have.

  • DC Musicfreak

    We had K-pop in the US before even the parents of today’s boy and girl band stars were born. We called it bubble gum: The Archies, Josie & The Pussycats, The Partridge Family, Menudo …

  • Aja Aja

    lol.. his shirt says “소녀시대”. This reminds me that lot of Koreans really don’t listen or even like Kpop. It’s the kpop-philes, many from outside of Korea who are the ones most going gaga over kpop. There should be better infrastructure to promote and better support the local artists who are not kpop music. It’s too bad that they seem to be left out in the cold and left to survive on their own.

  • redwhitedude

    Ask those trolls. They are really imaginative in this regard.

    The extent of government involvement is to encourage and push this but the production of Kpop is done by private entities.

    Something that the CCP in China doesn’t get. Just remember that mainland China with its CCP is even worse offender in this regard. They bemoan that they can’t produce stuff that’s as attractive as Kpop, K dramas and so forth. You know socialism/communism is all about total government control. It’s in their DNA. So next time some mainland China trolls this feel pity for them that they will never get it. It’s like government determines what specs are for something and directly gets involved in producing things and you know how well it works out.

  • redwhitedude

    Wasn’t there a Korean magazine in the early 80s that was called 소녀시대 in Korea?

  • Aja Aja

    Does anyone else think Ariana Grande who is now US Billboard’s Number one hit, has taken on the Kpop formula? Her music and her MV’s have all the Kpop characteristics like trying to be cutsey/sexy, dance, facial/hand actions, etc. which immediately reminded me of Kpop as soon as I saw her MV for the first time. The US music scene has been just a shadow of its former self back in the glory days, and it’s getting worse every year.

  • DC Musicfreak

    My Korean friends — mostly policy wonks, media types or diplomats — roll their eyes at the mention of K-Pop, much like a Canadian would react to expression of interest in the MUSIC of Justin Bieber. They do accept my case that the soft power that accrues from this is good for the national brand.

  • Aja Aja

    That’s the only thing that’s good about it, Korea gets to sell more products and bring more tourists. So Koreans (who are over the age of 25) will have to grin and bear it.

  • DC Musicfreak

    But K-pop borrowed liberally from, say, the old Janet Jackson and other 1980s-90s “R&B” videos, so it’s more like cross-pollination. Formulaic music is easily replicated, which is why this Chad guy’s project is a bit odd to me. Kind of like a French designer basing a collection on copies of Chinese knockoffs of French designer goods.

    As for US music, the mainstream certainly sucks, but sub-genres and music for adults are thriving, especially those who make most of their income from touring. Country, both the cheesy and the more authentic outlaw alt-country kind, is booming.

  • pawikirogii

    you’re the one who said kpop would never have a hit in america and that it would be confined to asia. don’t you get tired of being wrong?

  • wangkon936

    So, you got nothing.

  • wangkon936

    Hummm….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS1g8G_njx8

    Ariana Grande’s video does remind me a lot of K-pop. I see a lot of 2NE1 and Big Bang. The imagery, not the rhythm of the songs.

    However, I think it’s probably because of “cross-pollination,” like DC said.

  • DC Musicfreak

    I guess it depends on whether Gangnam Style counts as K-Pop. I think of K-pop as Girls Generation and all the cook cutter bands that followed, female and androgynous. I don’t think of K-pop as simply any music from Korea.

    The girl bands that Korea was trying to export to the US — the actual subject of my comment — have flopped, so I was not wrong. Your hostility, shoddy reading comprehension and other defects prevent you from recognizing when people mostly agree with you.

  • Aja Aja

    Yeah, that one. I saw that video and it immediately reminded me of Kpop like no other American MV’s. Not just the skinny very young just past the adolescent girl singing and acting cute. Also look at the facial imagery, her hand motions, flashing eye lashes, her facial shots to the sides – also reminds me more of 소녀시대, and less 2n1e.

  • pawikirogii

    riiight. i got ya. you’ve said what i said you said a couple years ago. don’t you get tired of being wrong?

  • pawikirogii

    btw, how’s ihhb?

  • DC Musicfreak

    I do see lots of K-pop here. Universal music for 7th-8th graders.

  • wangkon936

    It’s “Cultural Technology”… 😉

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/10/08/factory-girls-2

  • wangkon936

    The close ups and hand motions are 소녀시대, but the theme and randomness of the images is 2NE1.

  • Aja Aja

    Not just 7th-8th graders, look at the crowd here outside of the NBC Today show.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StlF8Yi0XVk

    Not just the American mainstream music going down, also American taste for music going down.

    It’s all junk.

  • wangkon936

    Where’s Lincoln Park, Matchbox 20 and Maroon 5 when you need them? Those groups soared because of us Gen Xers. Them dang whipper snapper Millennials are ruining everything!

  • pawikirogii

    now here;s something that ets the expats blood boiling. but, but, it’s just koreans voting!

    http://www.fuse.tv/2013/11/sexiest-artists-2013-poll-winners

  • Aja Aja

    At this level of music tastes and expectations and sliding standards, I’m not so sure that this Chad what’s his name and his KPOP-influenced theme, will flop at all as expected. I think he may even do well – just put a KPOP music with an American White face. They’ll eat it up.

  • pawikirogii

    here’s an example of why kpop has gained such a following. perfect dance routine with a catchy song. it even looks like the coats are in sync.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0otjkbeaeI

  • bigmamat

    This video is old. It’s been out awhile. The Children of the Corn (kpop fans) don’t like this guy. There’s no way he can make an impact on Kpop.

  • wangkon936

    The “When You Call” vid was published in 8/29/2014.

  • wangkon936

    I… I… don’t like what you wrote, but I can’t refute it… :(

  • DC Musicfreak

    What do the cognoscenti think here: Is this guy even K-Pop? To this non-and-never-gonna-be- fan, I say that at a minimum, the genre requires songs being sung in Korean, and arguably sung BY Koreans, and less arguably (but supported by the record to date), sung by good-looking Koreans who can dance. Those are the K elements. Everything else about it is derived from what has been done before. Can non-Koreans take K-pop and “make something” of it, out of context?

  • Aja Aja

    “The last video, “When You Call,” features a Korean American singer, Jamie Seo, who looks so untypical for a Korean pop star.”

    She’s pretty cute looking, but she would be more up the ally of American taste of what constitutes as a beauty – the exotic Asian style, which most Koreans wouldn’t find attractive.

  • DC Musicfreak

    Avoid mainstream with rare exceptions. I’m 53 and see 2-3 live shows a week, sometimes 5, and they are mostly musicians’ musicians types, critics’ buzz bands and a few who have become popular or trendy from hipster adulation. I would not be seen in public with a declared fan of Ariana Grande.

    http://www.thealternateroot.com

  • Aja Aja

    So my pet peeve and my question is, what happened to great music where bands wrote and played their own music and became Billboard top 100, instead of having to struggle to promote themselves, and playing in off the beaten path locations for concerts. When and how did their music not become mainstream music? Isn’t American music industry just following the same paths as Kpop industry in some ways?

  • bigmamat

    It still doesn’t matter none of the kpop sites paid any attention to that one at all. The one he released back in the spring got a mention or two but the consensus was…nothing to see here….Koreans might not even know who he is…just international kpop fans…

  • wangkon936

    I don’t think this blog attracts too much of that crowd’s demographic.

  • DC Musicfreak

    Well, not fans, per se, but some admirers and the knowledgable. Pawi, bumfromkorea… I am really curious. Maybe my definition of K-pop is too rigid, but without Koreanness what is there, really?

  • DC Musicfreak

    The digital revolution flattened the music economy.

    “Forty years ago, co-writing a song with Ringo Starr would have provided me a house and a pool. Now, estimating 100,000 plays on Spotify, we guessed we’d split about $80. When I got home, on closer study, I found out we were way too optimistic. Spotify (on par with other streamers) pays only .00065 cents per play.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/04/van-dyke-parks-on-how-songwriters-are-getting-screwed-in-the-digital-age.html

  • Aja Aja

    So it’s all about the money.

  • redwhitedude

    He probably does it out of personal interest. Nothing wrong with that. But you got those trolls who bash Korea all the time. Can’t really enjoy videos about Korea without seeing idiotic comments from them whether it be Japanese, Chinese or somebody else. I just made an off hand comment about trolls in my original comment.

  • Aja Aja

    So I’m not the only one who thought it strangely sounded like Kpop.

    http://ask.metafilter.com/243161/Why-does-this-song-sound-like-kpop

    And LOL, she even shared one of the songs that was written for her, with a Kpop girl group.

    http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/k-town/6091799/k-pop-group-fxs-no-more-was-originally-ariana-grandes-boyfriend

  • redwhitedude

    If their kids are into this then it won’t matter. They might be held hostage by them. After all people have fought over toys for their kids at ToysRUs.

  • DC Musicfreak

    Well, not entirely, but the big money and the obscene record deals aren’t in it anymore. The singers and bands I follow are national artists who sell-out respected venues and seem to have middle-class lives, but they don’t really do it for the money and they aren’t rich and famous. One Virginia singer always closes his show saying “A large part of the money you spend on my merch will go to support local needy children: my 2 kids.”

  • Aja Aja

    I guess it will still be considered Kpop as long as they sing in Korean.
    There are a number of non-Korean Asian members of Kpop groups, and they’re still considered Kpop.

  • redwhitedude

    I wonder how all this acts that exist now will carry over. That is their fans. There are people who still have a soft spot for acts like FIN KL.
    just like certain people in the US fondly remember New Kids on the Block.

  • Aja Aja

    This is like you’re saying it’s the end of real music, replaced by factory made songs. It’s not great, when I have to go out and search for these groups and bands. This is depressing.

  • redwhitedude

    It’s a niche thing in the US. So if he meant mainstream he still is right, in a way. Besides you really can’t expect a lot of 30 year old, 40 year old and 50 year old to radically change what they listen. They make up a bigger audience than the younger crowd.

  • redwhitedude

    There is always a chance of a backlash against Kpop.

  • redwhitedude

    Sometimes I wonder who determines what to listen. The listeners or these music broadcasters who bombard you with the song they want you to listen.

  • Sumo294

    The real music is there–it’s on the net, on youtube, and for downloads. Even the variations on covers are getting very decent to listen to. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbUkZq-zHaA

  • DC Musicfreak

    Not at all. Lots of great, real music being made, sold and played. An embarrassment of riches for fans, if not revenue for artists.

    Some of it is possibly the matter of you aging out of genres or scenes and not liking what replaced it. What sells as R&B today would make Motown or Memphis stars of the 1960s or 1970s throw up. Hip Hop has become basically disco. EDM has taken a huge bite out of the live music scene. The last time US pop radio played music that I even gave a shit about was probably REM and Ronald Reagan was president.

    Pop charts, top 40, mainstream, FM and college radio aren’t what they were in terms of power and importance. They have largely gone down hill. But a lot of distinctive and gifted artists who would not have made the cut in the record label heyday for not having instant commercial appeal can produce music and reach audiences now digitally. Check out good music blogs and websites. Satellite radio can surprise, too.

  • Sumo294

    Pawi–you have a real eye in an area I have no real perspective on–ty for the insights.

  • DC Musicfreak
  • DC Musicfreak

    China and Japan have shown some backlash, but it is driven by nationalists and has little to do with music per se. K-Pop has found itself a nice little niche in North America for people who like dance videos — and for parents who like safe stuff for their kids.

  • DC Musicfreak

    I get tired of being misquoted and/or taken out of context.

  • wangkon936

    Pawi,

    Although a number of expatriate commenters a few years ago predicted the demise of kpop and/or that it would never be successful beyond it’s shores, I am not sure if DCM was among the most forceful proponents.

    If you still feel strongly about it, do what I do. Dig up the offending comments and point out the offense, otherwise back-up a little.

  • DC Musicfreak

    The talented son of Gregg Allman of the Allman Bros Band fame, has a solo career and plays guitar in a southern supergroup called The Royal Southern brotherhood. He just posted this on FB:

    Devon Allman

    Someone recently asked me “How do I make a living at music?” I responded “Focus more on making really great music that touches people and touches you and focus less on USING or WANTING so badly for music to make you money. Meaning : When it’s ALL about ONLY the fucking music…when you’re willing to sleep on sofas and eat shitty tacos and deal with douche nozzles and business deals gone to shit and being broke as hell…..when that NEVER EVEN ONCE fades you because all you want is to make music …then chances are your music will get really REAL and touch people…then the dollars probably will come. If they don’t …write more songs and eat shittier tacos. Humble yourself to the art and maybe the art will notice and take care of you”. DA

  • wangkon936

    As DC said. Cross-pollination.

  • redwhitedude

    “China and Japan have shown some backlash, but it is driven by nationalists and has little to do with music per se.”

    Which is why it has little credibility. It has to be by musical merit or lack of it.

  • RElgin

    The REAL Korean music is not K-pop and it does exist separately from chaebol music and needs our support by going out to hear them.

  • redwhitedude

    Dancing as a group facing the camera straight ahead is so Kpopish.

  • redwhitedude

    The question is will that carry over for all these 7-8th graders when they get older.

  • redwhitedude

    And also most likely you have to be physically in Korea to seek it out.

  • Alex

    can you concede that Gangnam Style IS Kpop and that perhaps your arbitration of what defines Kpop is too narrow?

  • DC Musicfreak

    Perhaps. What do the experts think? Gangnam Style is kind of a one-hit wonder completely different in every way, from creation to musical style to target audience age, from the whole rest of the genre.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    he should die. Ebola was made for him

  • redwhitedude

    It looks like its appeal will be limited to 20s and under.

  • redwhitedude

    Jeez why the hostility?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    You have to ask?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    How gay can that get?

  • flyingsword

    oh please know, American pop music is bad enough now; please don’t make it worse!

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    He’ll probably get picked up in SK. Or, if he’s smart, he’ll find a way to make it here on his own. And once he does he’s gonna get more ass than a toilet seat.

  • wangkon936

    That reminds me. IHBB in the previous thread about Chad Future speculated that Chad wasn’t trying to get into K-pop but was actually “parodying” K-pop. So, he was essentially saying that Chad was “punking” K-pop and its fans.

    To bad he’s not around anymore to see that he was wrong.

    His comments to that effect don’t exist anymore. It got vaporized during the great TMH Disqus conversion.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Its out there. Leonard Cohen is releasing a new album. This song is really good.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Trash

  • bumfromkorea

    Dude, why am I listed as “admirers” of K-Pop? That’s fucked up. :'(

  • DC Musicfreak

    It’s a very wussy sub-genre of music, we’ll grant you. But no need for homophobia here.

  • DC Musicfreak

    “the knowledgable” clause applies to you, bum. honest.

  • Sumo294

    Its not trash its just not to your taste. Its an offshoot of modern art–married to music that was not meant to be emotionally shared. It seems to me that the object of the shoot was to distance the audience outside of the artistic experience. The gaze is to be that of an observer looking into a box.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    No, its trash devoid of any soul

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I once wrote this comment. It bears repeating in the context of this thread.

    K-pop is empty. Devoid of soul. Devoid of meaning. Plastic, vacuous, pointless, shallow. It is interchangeable parts, interchangeable songs. It is death: of that which makes us human, of taste, of decorum. Sex over all else but in a way sexless; money crowding out all other consideration but at the same time bankrupt. A factory, no different than factories spitting out microwaves or those wheels under your chair. It is neither breakfast, nor lunch, nor is it dinner…it is anti-lunch, anti-breakfast, anti-dinner…for it eats you and not you it. It leaves you empty; it leaves you flipped inside out, upside-down, it erases you qua you as it corrodes you slowly from within; which is not to say that it doesn’t also dissolve you from withOUT. K-pop is a wave; a wave of existential destruction; nihilism OF nihilism, for nihilism itself IS…K-pop simply is NOT..it is an idea devoid of idea; sugar devoid of its goodness; emptiness materialized in the process of eating itself into non-existence; it is the bees-knees were bees-knees really the stinger…a stinger of utter devastation.

    K-Pop is bad taste par excellence; the harbinger not of decadence, but the post-decadence age, the age of the Final Collapse.

    K-pop, oh you kill me

  • wangkon936

    Replace “K-pop” with “pop music.”

    There, fixed for you.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Not at all. K-pop.

  • bumfromkorea

    I eagerly await SMS’s defense of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Justin needs a punch to the throat.

    You realize that Sinatra was considered pop music in his day, right?

  • bumfromkorea

    You also realize that Sinatra’s career is older than most K-Pop act’s parents, right?

    I see that trait a lot when I read criticism of K-Pop music here – the point of comparison is always against the Western music of the past. It’s never 소녀시대 vs. Miley or 슈퍼주니어 vs. Bieber.

    As much as I despise K-Pop, it is an extension of my derision for modern pop music. To that end, my point of comparison for K-Pop is always against the K-Indie scene – the underdog heroes of the Korean music.

    Song of the summer, ladies and gentlemen. Bask in its apparent quality over the K-Pop crap.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-zpOMYRi0w

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Be that as it may, Old Blue Eyes is still to be found in the pop music section of your local music store. Well, not in Korea because its all Kpop all the time here.

  • wangkon936

    Okay, whatever genre of music that Bieber/Miley crap fits into.

  • bumfromkorea

    Sure, let’s just see how many people in America think “Frank Sinatra” when someone starts talking about the “Pop” music genre.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    But what does that prove? In the West Bieber and Miley are one genre in a SEA of genres. In Korea its Kpop and a tiny indie scene.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Im sure many do.

  • bumfromkorea

    Riiight.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Thank you

  • bumfromkorea

    Hey, anything for your regularly scheduled 정신승리.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    didnt you like my post above?

  • bumfromkorea

    Oh, so it’s about the genre of music available now. Well, it’s about the time for you to start moving the goalpost (though this is more of changing the sports mid-game).

    You’re right. The sheer difference in market size does allow for other genres of music to thrive in the West. Still doesn’t change the hilarity of trying to use Frank Sinatra (born 1915) as the representative of “Pop music” against the modern K-Pop (its current form arguably born with BoA’s career in 2000).

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    It also is about what is IN THE GENRE itself: K pop vs american pop. You wont win this pissing contest

  • bumfromkorea

    No, I think I will, since your initial reaction was to go to Frank Sinatra as the defense.

    Again, I eagerly await your defense of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I don’t need to defend Miley or Justin to defend American pop-music.

  • bumfromkorea

    You kinda do, since those two are, you know, pretty big in American pop-music. You can always go to the song of the Summer, too, if you feel that your original premise was too hard to defend normally. Tell us all about the musical genius that is “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    All I need to do is go through any of the Hot 100 or AT40 charts and find acts that I can defend.

    On the latest Hot100 are Maroon5, John Legend, Jason Aldean, Coldplay or One Republic. I ca defend any of them against your beloved K-Pop

  • bumfromkorea

    Oh GOD, I love this. Literally NONE of the musicians you picked (Pop rock, Hip-hop soul, Country, Alt rock, and Pop rock again) are of the “Pop music” genre.

    You wanna try again?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Pop music is of course short for popular music, and the Hot 100 charts literally states the following:

    “The week’s most popular current songs across, ranked by radio airplay audience impressions as measured by Nielsen BDS, sales data as compiled by Nielsen SoundScan and streaming activity data from online music sources tracked by Nielsen BDS. Songs are defined as current if they are newly-released titles, or songs receiving widespread airplay and/or sales activity for the first time.”

    See, the problem you have is that K-pop has a specific meaning: it is quite literally the soul-sucking emptiness produced by the chaebols in Korea. In America, there is no such strict meaning to what pop is. Pop is simply that which is popular. But let Wikipedia explain things to you:

    “Pop music (a term that originally derives from an abbreviation of “popular”) is a genre of popular music which originated in its modern form in the 1950s, deriving from rock and roll.[1] The terms “popular music” and “pop music” are often used interchangeably, even though the former is a description of music which is popular (and can include any style).[1]

    “As a genre, pop music is very eclectic, often borrowing elements from other styles including urban, dance, rock, Latin and country;[1] nonetheless, there are core elements which define pop. Such include generally short-to-medium length songs, written in a basic format (often the verse-chorus structure), as well as the common employment of repeated choruses, melodic tunes, and catchy hooks.[1]

    So-called “pure pop” music, such as power pop, features all these elements, using electric guitars, drums and bass for instrumentation;[1] in the case of such music, the main goal is usually that of being pleasurable to listen to, rather than having much artistic depth.[1] Pop music is generally thought of as a genre which is commercially recorded and desires to have a mass audience appeal.[1]”|

    Google also agrees. Enter “pop music 2014″ into the search window and the FIRST site is the Billboard 100, which, also, features the above listed artists.

    Slam Dunk on your red head

  • bumfromkorea

    LOL. First, congratulation on finally arriving to the conclusion of “pop music” = “music that is popular”. Your favorite person has the exact same opinion on the term.

    http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2010/04/50-most-influential-k-pop-artists.html

    So, your problem now is that, while you have graciously accepted The Korean’s definition of “pop music” for the Western genre, you are staunchly defending your narrow view of the term “K-Pop” – Worse, you state your confused contradiction like an argument when you write,

    See, the problem you have is that K-pop has a specific meaning: it is quite literally the soul-sucking emptiness produced by the chaebols in Korea. In America, there is no such strict meaning to what pop is. Pop is simply that which is popular.

    Of course, if you are arguing in terms of popular perception, I think I have a bit more accurate access to that one given my fluency in English, familiarity with the culture, and my physical location. John Legends = “Pop music” part really made me laugh though, so thank you for that.

    So now, you have to resort to a hilarious double standard (K-Pop = shitty idol music / American Pop = any music that people like) to defend yourself. In an added hilarity, you’re trying to teach a lesson about the definition of “pop music” to a guy who 1. lives in the United States 2. speak English quite fluently 3. quite familiar with the local culture and 4. is socially active.

    Just admit that you’re wrong (But I do hope that you won’t). Modern pop music is atrocious across the globe, even if the cause of the shit quality is different.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    1. The Korean did not reach that conclusion, it is a fairly accepted definition of popular music.
    2. Even if we forget that K-pop really does have a specific meaning, and that along with it go equally mind-numbing “cultural products” as part of that nihilistic, or rather post-nihilistic, wave called Hallyu, the crucial problem for you is that even by the open definition I afforded to American popular music, Korean popular music is levels and levels of hell lower and deeper. All one needs to do is turn on any music video channel in Korea.

  • bumfromkorea

    1. One that you curious reject just for the Korean music scene. Hmm…

    2. Indeed, as a whole, Korean music scene is of less quality than the American music scene (ignoring who is actually popular and who is critically well-received, of course, for your sake). But that conclusion still collapses your original premise because musicians like 자우림, 크라잉넛, 클래지콰이, 국카스텐, 장기하와 얼굴들 etc. don’t deserve this rant:

    K-pop is empty. Devoid of soul. Devoid of meaning. Plastic, vacuous, pointless, shallow. It is interchangeable parts, interchangeable songs. It is death: of that which makes us human, of taste, of decorum. Sex over all else but in a way sexless; money crowding out all other consideration but at the same time bankrupt. A factory, no different than factories spitting out microwaves or those wheels under your chair. It is neither breakfast, nor lunch, nor is it dinner…it is anti-lunch, anti-breakfast, anti-dinner…for it eats you and not you it. It leaves you empty; it leaves you flipped inside out, upside-down, it erases you qua you as it corrodes you slowly from within; which is not to say that it doesn’t also dissolve you from withOUT. K-pop is a wave; a wave of existential destruction; nihilism OF nihilism, for nihilism itself IS…K-pop simply is NOT..it is an idea devoid of idea; sugar devoid of its goodness; emptiness materialized in the process of eating itself into non-existence; it is the bees-knees were bees-knees really the stinger…a stinger of utter devastation.

    Thus, either “Pop music” = “popular music” and your paragraph is wrong, or “Pop music” = “colloquial definition of Pop music” and your objection to Wangkon’s comment is wrong.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I do not reject it at all. I distinguish between Korean pop music and the very specific product sent out for foreign consumption under the label of K-Pop.

    My “paragraph” is not wrong. It is a brilliantly written aphorism. Recognize.

  • bumfromkorea

    ㅋㅋㅋ again, anything for your regularly scheduled 정신승리, Ah Q.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I have not been around much yet you still believe I am here every day! I’m in your head, Karl

    You need to admit you couldn’t write something like that if your copy of Das Kapital depended on it

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    It’s not a rant, its an aphorism. Recognize.

  • Sumo294

    Right on!!!! That is absolutely right. If you really are an artist then stop bitching about how you are not getting paid for your work. If its about the art–then the art should do the talking. Very few souls are genuine about their art and even less are are genuine with real talent to support their desires. The great artists for the most part lived in squalor and poverty. If you can’t do–POOR–then go into business and sell something.

  • Sumo294

    Most modern art is not about the pursuit of the beautiful–in fact–they for the most part do not acknowledge that there is a shared conceptualization of the beautiful much less the sublime. From that working premise and the basic rejection of most present day artists of even moderate critical thinkers–like Panofsky–you will get what you get–centered exhibitions of a single artist.

  • DC Musicfreak

    The Korean nails the definition thing that I had questioned my grasp of. I like the term “chaebol pop” that Elgin uses. When I think of “K-Pop”, I think only of the boy and girl bands, idols and that dreck. Likewise J-pop to me is Japan’s version of that. In the US, I shy away from music marketed as pop, but it is indeed an amorphous category.

  • wangkon936

    Many restrooms in Korea don’t have toilet seats… da, da dum! I’m here all week folks!

  • bumfromkorea

    My problem with the K-Pop industry comes from the fact that it tries to suffocate the vibrant K-Indie scene – in that sense, “Chaebol pop” is a very accurate term. The incidents with YNot and Crying Nut are very good examples of why “Chaebol pop” is evil (though it’s certainly not the only reason). I don’t like K-Pop because it’s a shit quality music, but I despise the companies behind it because of the way they conduct business.

  • DC Musicfreak

    Monopolies suffocate — indy artists are like the SMEs of Korea who fight for daylight in the shade of the behemoths. I think US mainstream pop music, although still more diverse given a population/market of 300+ million and the cultural melting pot, suffers from the same declining quality for similar reasons. It doesn’t bother me hugely because, as I’ve noted elsewhere on this thread, there are so many outlets and channels to access the genres I like.

  • bumfromkorea

    Monopolies suffocate — indy artists are like the SMEs of Korea who fight for daylight in the shade of the behemoths

    That’s the extra “cool” factor for me when it comes to K-Indie, I guess. 😀

  • DC Musicfreak

    Well said. If memory serves, AAK’s review of Korea night at SXSW this past spring made the strong point that the suckiest, least well-received act was the chaebol K-Pop act, while the indie groups held up quite well.

    I don’t consider myself a snob or elitist, but I have a strong tendency to ignore or walk away from artists, even reasonably hip ones, who cross a certain threshold into mass appeal.

  • A Korean

    “I don’t consider myself a snob or elitist, but I have a strong tendency
    to ignore or walk away from artists, even reasonably hip ones, who cross
    a certain threshold into mass appeal.”

    So just a music snob, but not a snob in general?

  • sloppycho

    Whatever one thinks of kpop or jpop or just pop pop, this age-old debate boils down to this….

    The preceding generation will always hate / look down on the musical tastes of the succeeding generation no matter how good or bad it may be in reality. And the succeeding generation wouldn’t want it any other way. Imagine if their parent’s or grandparents actually took a liking to THEIR music and started following along with their kids. THAT would certainly mark the death of whatever genre of pop music unlucky enough to appeal to to the geezer demographic.

    So for those that get overly serious about their hate for kpop, this is how you will always come across, no matter if you’re right, no matter your argument or reasoning against it…

  • sloppycho

    I don’t consider myself a snob or elitist, but I have a strong tendency to ignore or walk away from artists, even reasonably hip ones, who cross a certain threshold into mass appeal.

    You certainly are full of yourself though.

  • pawikirogii

    i don’t have lots of kpop but i look at the videos and this one caught my eye. i thought the dancing was second to none and i noticed that when the ladies took their coats off, the coats seemed to move in sync. that’s attention to making a high quality product and it’s no wonder kpop gets the attention it does. makes so many others look shabby in comparison. mind you, i don’t like everything i see but can i show you another one that caught my eye? it’s the dance version of ‘ringa linga’ and i thought it was cool to see taeyang dancing with blacks and latinos. awesome vid. btw, an american chreographed the video. i’m sure the haters will latch onto that. a few years ago, these haters told us kpop would never catch the attention of the west. now, their tune is, it will never be big but i’ve learned in life never to say ‘never’.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho1y-4mXIL0

  • pawikirogii

    tens of millions would disagree.

  • pawikirogii

    some of this guy’s videos got hundreds of thousands of hits on youtube. not bad and i hope he keeps trying since it isn’t easy to break into the entertainment industry. maybe he’ll get a hit in korea and then get some endorsements. that’s where the real money is. interesting to see a white dude sing the occasional line in korean. i wish him the best.

  • pawikirogii

    he said what he said. he was in cahoots with that jerk, ihbb. to me, dcmusicfreak is an arrogant korea basher who always gets it wrong. few years ago, it was ‘never’. now it’s ‘but, but…’ i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, count the koreans out at your own risk.

    ps kpop stands for korean pop. somebody care to tell me ‘gangnam style’ isn’t pop? also, korean pop music is a far cry from hye uni’s
    ‘뛰뛰 빵빵’

  • wangkon936

    Provide the links to comments that prove what you said, otherwise, don’t make the accusation.

  • http://www.kimchibytes.com/ kimchibytes

    The first video reminds me of a bad version of an early Will Smith video, not k-pop.

  • Sumo294

    Yeah–you have a good eye for the visual medium. Never really bothered to develop that skill myself. I admire people who can see it, capture it and then offer a perspective on it. Its an aspect of art that has a positive tail effect on modernity. It certainly makes life varied and interesting to live in. You have the skills to have been a producer if you are not one right now.

  • pawikirogii

    thanks for saying that. hope you have a good day, sumo.

  • felddog13

    When you drastically shrink the pie–the financial rewards for successful artists–you shrink the pool of talent being fed into the front end of the equation. Very simply: fewer creative, talented people have the incentive to stick with or even begin a music career when all the money is going to Apple, Google, and Samsung rather than the artists (and the record companies–though few are shedding tears over them). This argument that “only the REAL artists” will continue to make music, out of LOVE, is simplistic and ignorant. What would happen if the same thing happened to movies? What if as few people went to see a movie in an actual movie theater as now regularly buy CDs? What would the quality of movies be like?

  • cactusmcharris

    Pawi,

    That’s a vast improvement over SNSD and the like, IMO. Thanks for it. If it’s Kpop, it’s the non-saccharine version.

  • pawikirogii

    i agree. have a good day, cactus.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Thanks for proving my point! What tens of millions like IS MOST LIKELY to be trash

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Stop. It isn’t art.