Sunday, November 25, 2012

KOREAN MOVIES: Free Concert Performed to Promote the Movie "26 Years"

On November 16, 2012, there was a free concert performed in the heart of Seoul Plaza to promote the 2012 South Korean action revenge film "26 Years."  The movie is based on Kangfull's 2006 comic by the same title which is also based on the historical event that happened in 1980, that is, the Gwangju Democratization Movement, aka, Gwangju Pro-democracy Protest or Gwangju Massacre. (Click to learn more about the event.)  The following clip is a cast interview video featuring Jin Goo, Han Hyejin, Bae Subin, Im Seulong, Lee Kyung-young, Jang Gwang, Jo Deokjae, and Kangfull.

And the video clip you are going to watch next features the cast and director interviews at the movie premiere (Nov. 22, 2012):

This movie will open less than two days and I hope it will be a mega hit movie of all time. Now, the last clip for you to watch is the 5-minute highlights from the movie:

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KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hi (Lee Hayi) Updates (10)

(UPDATE)  At this very moment I'm writing this, Hi is on a plane heading to Hong Kong, together with Big Bang. Scroll down to see her pictures taken at the Incheon Int'l Airport today (Wednesday morning (11/28/2012) in KST).


Yesterday (11/24/2012), YG said Hi's new song "Scarecrow" was meant to be a surprise gift to people in their 30's and 40's (LINK). As many of you already know now, this song was written by JYP at YG's request five years ago and was supposed to be Park Bom's solo debut song.  She even performed it in 2007 Big Bang concert.  When YG chose to form 2NE1 and made her join the group, however, the song seemed doomed to remain unreleased. But as he loved the song so much and he figured out over half of Hi's fans are in their 30's, 40's and even 50's, he wanted to comfort these old school analog generations with an old school analog song. According to YG, this song will not be featured on her next album scheduled to be released early next year and her next songs will definitely lean towards soul.


(You ask me) why I don't know
that all kinds of love will change over time.
(You tell me) things will change in a year
and even the thought of you will not pain me.
But I know my heart too well;
I know too well that it will never change.
Because everyone has a perfect match,
that kind of love will never be forgotten.

(Refrain)You may think that I've forgotten you
and that I am happy with someone else.
But I still can’t forget you like this,
like a scarecrow that is left standing alone.

When the sun sets and everyone goes home,
I am left standing alone in an open field.
Darkness grows thicker and gradually makes me blind
so it scares me more and more because I'm alone.
But before I know it, when I open my eyes that I have kept tightly shut,
I see stars beautifully twinkle.
They look like you who are so far away
so I pray to them that you will come back to me someday.


You may think that I've forgotten you (oh, you may think that I)
and that I am happy with someone else (having forgotten you).
But I still can’t forget you like this (I can't forget), 
like a scarecrow that is left standing alone (even when you left me, like a scarecrow).

Like a scarecrow that is left standing alone.

Lyrics and Music by JYP
Translation by ONSEMIRO

BTW, is it just me or does this song sound quite familiar with Tashannie's 2000 song Haru Haru (하루 하루, "Day By Day")?  Tashannie's song was a cover of Jung Yeonjun's 1993 song; Jung, a former member/leader of Uptown, aka, Chris Jung, was the producer of the duo. He claimed that he wrote the song himself but in fact, the song was mostly a rip off of Karyn White's 1988 song "Superwoman."

[MV] Tashannie: Day By Day (2000)
Warning: This video contains content some viewers may find disturbing.

[MV] Karyn White: Superwoman (1988)

Lee Hi pictures taken in the Incheon Airport boarding area

Monday, November 19, 2012

KOREAN MUSIC: PSY Performs with MC Hammer at 2012 AMAs

MC Hammer joined PSY on American Music Awards finale tonight and their mashup of "Gangnam Style" and "2 Legit 2 Quit" (Too Legit to Quit) brought the house down.  PSY once said when he was a Berklee student in Boston, he had so much fun dancing in the club instead of studying - such students or people in general are vulgarly called Nallari in Korean (lol) - and I don't think it was a waste of time for him. Ever. Look, he is one heck of a swagger! And it was great to see you again, Mr. Hammer! (Or should I call you Pastor?)  Actually, I'm quite positive that it was PSY's idea to get Hammer back to the stage.

[HD] At 4:38, you can see Joe Hahn of Linkin Park

(UPDATE) Yeah~~ I was right it was PSY's idea!  Watch him explain why he wanted Hammer to do the performance with him:

Read Related Articles:

MTV Article: "Psy, MC Hammer Unite At AMAs, Send America Into Gallop-Like Frenzy"
Korean rapper Psy was the icing on the cake at the 2012 AMAs.... MC Hammer hinted that the two might work together again. “He’s got the whole world dancing,” he said and compared Psy to James Brown, Michael Jackson and himself.” After the AMAs, Psy said to the press, “That was awesome. We experienced a miracle tonight.” (Excerpt from the Examiner Article, Justin Bieber wins big, Psy steals the show at the 2012 AMAs, by Jackie Kass)
No 1. PSY & MC HAMMER:  P!nk's performance was braver and harder to pull off, but PSY's feverish rendition of "Gangnam Style" accomplished what so few award show performances can: a palpable sense of excitement. The combination of the K-pop star and MC Hammer, who shimmied onstage to mash up "Gangnam" with his 1991 hit "2 Legit 2 Quit," was a stroke of genius that very few could have seen coming -- although PSY's baggy pants might have been a sly tip-off. Furthermore, "Gangnam Style" and "2 Legit 2 Quit" sounded incredible when paired together, with PSY's international dance anthem given a stronger backbone by Hammer's throwback barks. The PSY performance was always going to be a highlight of the 2012 American Music Awards, but upping the ante with MC Hammer made the sort of water-cooler fodder that doesn't happen often enough. (Excerpt from the Article: AMAs 2012: Top 5 Best Performances, by Jason Lipshutz)
Greatest Ending Ever: Don't lie, you know the dance—Psy got the crowd going with "Gangnam Style." And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, MC Hammer got on stage and they mixed the Korean dance song with "Too Legit to Quit." (Excerpt from the E!online Article, 2012 American Music Awards: Best & Worst From the Show, Plus Full Winner's List, by Bruna Nessif) 

Dance Practice: Gangnam Style/ 2 Legit 2 Quit Mashup

Thursday, November 15, 2012

KOREAN MOVIES: Music Video of the Song "Flower" from the Soundtrack of "26 Years" Unveiled

As follows is the music video of "Flower," a song featured on the soundtrack of the 2012 South Korean movie "26 years" with English subtitles. The song/video features South Korean musicians and actors such as Aktoong, Bae Subin, Bye Bye Sea, Horan, Im Seulong, Jin Goo, Jung Jichan, Kim Hyungjoong, Kim Jongseo, The Koxx, Lee Gyuho, Lee Hyunseok, Lee Seokhoon, Lee Seunghwan, Peter Pan Complex, Pia, Romantic Punch, Rose Motel, Soran, Taru, Trans Fixion, Yellow Monsters, Ynot, Yoon Dohyun, Yoon Sang, Yozoh, Zitten, and the cartoonist Kangfull.

Lee Seunghwan revealed on TvN's "Taxi," aired on November 8, 2012, that it was unusually hard to call his artist/musician friends together to collaborate on the song 'cause the movie deals with sensitive topics. Many of his musical colleagues who readily accepted his offers to collaborate at other times chickened out and said no this time.

The song "Flower" was originally released March 12, 2003, along with its music video, just 8 days before the Iraq War (3/20/2003~12/18/2011) broke out.  South Koreans were so amazed when they first watched the video as the purpose of the video was to convey the anti-war message. In fact, they posted messages such as these: "Was this video made, predicting the war in Iraq?" or "Let's send this video to CNN so that people around the world can watch it too." Lee Seunghwan said he wanted to tell the world that no war is justifiable in any case. The video also conveyed the message of hope as it showed a flower blooming in the ruins of war at the end of it.

The music video featured the actress Park Shinhye ("You're Beautiful") at age 13.  During the time she was signed to Lee Seunghwan's Dream Factory (DF) (2003~2009), she was trained to be DF's BoA but it's been known that despite her outstanding dancing talent, her singing abilities, especially when expressing her emotions while singing, held her back. So she was advised to take some acting lessons and ironically took up acting in the end. Yes, it's true when we say no one knows what tomorrow may bring.

[MV] Flower: Lee Seunghwan (2003)
Featuring Park Shinhye

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

KOREAN MUSIC: Mashup! PSY vs. Madonna

PSY and Madonna performed a mashup of his "Gangnam Style" and her "Give It To Me" at Madison Square Garden today (11/13/2012)!

HD Version 1

HD Version 2

Sunday, November 11, 2012

KOREAN MUSIC: PSY Wins the EMA Best Video Award!

PSY just won the Best Video award!  The award was presented by David Hasselhoff and his acceptance speech was really moving, especially, when he showed his gratitude to his family who have to live with his selfish job and this selfish guy and also to the lady who decided to marry him 6 years ago.

Congrats, PSY!!!!!

Click to watch the HD version.

PSY's Best Video Acceptance Speech

Saturday, November 10, 2012

KOREAN MUSIC: PSY Talks and Performs Live on Jonathan Ross Show

PSY made a guest appearance on the Jonathan Ross Show in the UK today (11/10/2012). This was the best talk show that had ever featured PSY and really enjoyed watching him talk with his usual carefree nature.  I think he looked very relaxed probably because the show was quite well scripted and Ross is a funny, kind, and friendly host.  BTW, he revealed that his next dance move has to do with some sports, not animals.

KOREAN MOVIES: Lee Joon (of MBLAQ) Will Star in the Upcoming Film Written and Produced by Kim Kiduk

Director Kim Kiduk and Singer/Actor Lee Joon
on SBS's "Strong Heart" (9/4/2012)

According to OhmyNews (11/2/2012), Lee Joon, my most favorite MBLAQ member, has been cast as the lead role in Bae-wuneun baewuda (배우는 배우, "Actors are Actors"), a film that will be written and produced by Kim Kiduk and directed by Shin Yeonsik, one of Kim's apprentices. Lee will play an actor who becomes a star overnight then hits rock bottom.  (However, OhmyNews reported J.Tune Camp, Lee's agency, was very unforthcoming about whether Lee will appear in the film. Wait, didn't they act the same way when Rain was cast in the 2010 KBS drama "The Fugitive: Plan B"?)

It is the third film that Kim will only write and produce (but not direct) since the 2011 film Pungsangae (풍산개, "Pungsan Dog," aka "Poongsan"), directed by Juhn Jai-hong; and it is the second in the "A is A" series.  Jang Hun's Yeonghwaneun Younghwada (영화는 영화, "Movies are Movies," aka "Rough Cut") is the first in the "A is A" series and also the first film to be written and produced, not directed, by Kim. Both Juhn and Jang were Kim's apprentices as well and Kim's been doing it to help them make directorial debut.

When I first heard the news, I couldn't help but be reminded of the show, SBS's "Strong Heart," aired on September 4, 2012.  I always get the impression that most of the guests on the show can't care less about others' stories; I may be wrong but they don't seem to listen with their hearts even when they pretend as if they do. But Kim Kiduk was different. Contrary to people's belief, he is a very caring, empathetic, and respectful person and his personality shone through on the show. He was all ears and heart when Lee Joon shared his stories; he even turned around quite often to look at Lee while he was talking.  And when Lee revealed he had wanted to be cast in Kim's film and when Kim said he hoped to work with him someday, I kind of could see it coming and yes, it's really happening!  I just can't wait to see what Kim and Lee do together to surprise us. Now, here's a scene from the show where Lee reveals he wanted to be cast in Kim's film.


YG revealed today Psy is booked to perform at the American Music Awards (AMA), Sunday, November 18th and also for a guest spot on NBC's The Tonight Show on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 22nd).  He will also perform at the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA), a week before the AMAs as he received his first EMA nomination for Best Video. (News link)

And recently (November 1st), YG said in an interview with eDaily that he had already listened to Psy’s US debut single and he personally thought it would be no less than “Gangnam Style.” It was originally scheduled to be released sometime in November and its lyrics would be a mix of half Korean and half English. According to YG, however, chances are that its release will be postponed until early next year because “Gangnam Style” is still going strong (in the US). YG also revealed that they were reconsidering the ratio of Korean to English in the song and contemplating ways to get him ultimately good results.

BONUS 1: Ever curious about PSY's female backup dancers? The girl who always dances to his right (or to his left from your point of view) is Won Ayeon (the blonde in the video below) and the other girl is Yoon Heejin. They are part of YG's Crazygirls Dance Team. Ayeon is my favorite and was featured in "Gangnam Style" music video - she was the hot girl who opened the video by cooling PSY with her fan, strutted with him in the outdoor parking lot, and danced with him in the stable.

BONUS 2: Watch PSY perform in front of over 25,000 Parisiennes and Parisians who seem to have authentically inherited Ddechang (떼창, "group singing") from South Koreans.

PSY performs at the Trocadéro, located across the Seine 
near the Eiffel Tower, Paris. (May 11, 2012)

PSY performs at the Trocadéro, located across the Seine 
near the Eiffel Tower, Paris. (May 11, 2012)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

KOREAN MUSIC: KBS Bans Hot Potato's Music Video "Pillow"

Kim C is a South Korean folk rock musician, actor, TV personality, and author; he’s the lead vocalist, guitarist, and song-writer of Ddeugeo-un Gamja (뜨거운 감자, “Hot Potato”), a two-person folk rock band consisting of Go Beomjun (bass) and himself.  (His birth name is Kim Daewon.)  Hot Potato recently released their 5th full-length album “Who Doesn`t Like Sweet Things” after a 2+ year hiatus since their mini album “Seesaw”(2008).

Well, this post may belong to Zilly Talkz, not Korean Music, since the music video of their title track Palbegae (팔베개, “Pillow”) was recently banned by KBS for some stupendously ridiculous, "zilly" reasons and I dare you to guess why. Of course, I know you gotta watch the video first:

Hot Potato: Palbegae (Pillow, 2012)

So, can you tell why this vid was banned?  Now, scroll down to see if you guessed right.

Hot Potato (left to right): Go Beomjun and Kim C

The answer is "Misdemeanor": Kim C walks the wrong way down the moving sidewalk and also commits a littering in the video.  

Last Wednesday (10/31/2012), Kim C tweeted, “The funniest story of the year – the music video of “Pillow” was banned by KBS due to walking the wrong way down the moving sidewalk, a public facility, and throwing out the trash on it. Hahahaha.” (C@slykimc)

I would call it a comedy, a black comedy. The song is about sharing your love downward, i.e., with people who are worse off, which is a way of life against the tide of materialism, consumerism, and physical comfort.  Was there any human society where people didn’t “like sweet things?” But the narrator of the song chooses to live against human nature, which is symbolized by his walking the wrong way down the moving sidewalk in the video. As he says in the song, he might feel his arm is going numb while lending it to someone as a pillow, which means his life turns out to be bitter, but he still wants to go against the tide. And his “littering” is symbolic of his strong determination to pursue goods for others by giving up his belongings, favorite things, and habits. (Note that Kim C was a semi-professional high school baseball player.)

Are people on the censor board just ignorant, insensible, and unaesthetic or what? How come they didn't get it?  Or do they just hate the band ‘cause they are signed to Daeum Entertainment, home to such musicians/entertainers aware of social and political issues as Jeong Taechoon, Park Eunok, YB, or Kim Jedong?  Whatever the reason is, it’s really frustrating….. and funny. Stupendously, ridiculously funny.

BTW, even though Hot Potato is often considered a social commentary band, they also have a mellow side. So, here’s a bonus: Two other music videos of the band’s 2010 hits, “Confession” (featuring Bae Doona and Kim Taewoo) and “Seesaw.”  Hope you enjoy!

P.S. At the request of my blog reader a, I also subtitled the music video of Kim C's "Love," the title track from his first mini solo album released this year (2012). Actor Zo Insung, his old friend of 10 years, was featured in the video.  Please scroll down to watch it.

Hot Potato: Gobaek (Confession, 2010)
Featuring Actress Bae Doona & Actor Kim Taewoo

Hot Potato: Seesaw (2010)

Kim C: Love (2012)