Friday, January 6, 2012

The 10 Best KPOP Videos of 2011

For many Westerners, KPOP ranges from a mystery to a nuisance. But within the Pacific Rim, KPOP is what is quickly becoming the preferred playlist for the youth of Asia. The Korean Wave has been progressing quick to engulf the Asia pop markets in the last five years and it is only a matter of time before the Korean Music Industry adapts a group that will be able to crack into the European and North American pop markets.

KPOP is simply entertainment. Gorgeous people singing and dancing with a catchy tune, some flashy clothes, and a few crazy moves. It does not require thought (especially if you do not speak Korea), and the less you think about it, the more entertainment you will get from it.

These are the ten best music videos of 2010 as chosen by an expert panel of free-time Youtube surfing Waygooks.


#10 - "Itaewon Freedom" by UV (with J. Y. Park)

Release Date: March 27th, 2011

Special Honors: Best Styled Wigs, Most Likely to Offend a Black Person in Itaewon, Best Remake of an 80s Pop Song Nobody Has Heard Of Before

A comedy duo decided to team up with JYP to remake a song called "Harlem Desire" by the London Boys.  These guys had fun making a song dedicated to the foreigner district in Seoul, and the joke was lost on Koreans.  This song received little attention or appreciation from sincere KPOP fans, but it is hard to not be infected by the absurdity of this song and it had to make it on the list of best KPOP songs of the year.  Nice hair!


#9 - "Knock Out" (뻑이가요) by GD and T.O.P

Release Date: January 3rd, 2011

Special Honors: Best Use of Bubble Wrap, Least Likely to Acknowledge Your Presence In An Elevator, Best Effort at Literacy Promotion in a KPOP Video

G-Dragon and T.O.P of Big Bang had a fantastic year.  They took a break from their own solo work... and their work within their group, Big Bang... to release a series of awesome hits together.  They have a compelling story as childhood friends turned pop stars and their clash and compliments in style make for memorable moments.  If you think these guys deserve recognition, check out their other songs together "High High", "Don't Go Home", "Baby Good Night", "Oh Yeah".


#8 - "Hot Summer" (핫썸머) by f(x) (에프엑스)

Release Date: June 17th, 2011

Special Honors: Most Likely to Ask to Borrow Your Spare Stick of Deodorant, Best Use of Pink Artillery, First to State the Obvious About the Weather in August

This is a dynamite song with an obvious seasonal message, but it caused some controversy in that f(x) bought the rights and completely stole this song from a German group called Monrose.  Can you blame them for stealing?  It's a... hot... song.  This countdown also needed a second song with a tank in the video, so this song had to make it.  f(x)'s other hit this year was "Danger".


#7 - "Keep Your Head Down" (왜) by TVXQ (동방신기)

Release Date: January 3rd, 2011

Special Honors: Most Likely to Actually Be Gods, Best Use of Gratuitous-360-HD-Slow-Motion-Panning, Most Likely to Show Up To a Knife Fight With a Fireball

TVXQ holds a very coveted title in KPOP: 'Most names for their group'.  Their international name is TVXQ (also stylized commonly as TVXQ! or TVfXQ) and it stands for Tong Vfang Xien Qi in Chinese. However, in South Korea they are known as DBSK or Dong Bang Shin Ki (동방신기) and in Japan they are known as Tohoshinki (東方神起). All of their names and acronyms are supposed to translate as "The Rising Gods of the East.".  This alone makes them the biggest badasses on the countdown.  The video lives up to their name(s).


#6 - "Be My Baby" ( 비마이베이비) by Wonder Girls (원더걸스)

Release Date: November 5th, 2011

Special Honors: Least Likely to Be Your Baby, Best in Heels, Most Likely to Have Gotten Their Inspiration From an 'OK Go' Video

Everyone loves the Wonder Girls!  How you can not from watching their videos?  Their style is definitely distinct and their retro fashion and set design always makes for a great combination with their upbeat music. They spent much of 2010 touring with the Jonas Bros. and they took a hit with their fan base here in Korea.  But this song has brought them back and put them back in the top tier of groups.


#5 - "Perfection" (태완미) by Super Junior (슈퍼주니어)

Release Date: February 28th, 2011

Special Honors: Best in Coon Skin Hat Fashion, Most Perfect at Being Perfect, Least Likely to Know the Names of Everyone in Their Group

With Super Junior, you know exactly what you are going to get with every video: amazing style and furious dance moves.  These guys brewed a powerful formula with their all time greatest hit, "Sorry, Sorry", three years ago and all they have done since then is rinse and repeat their silky smooth image.  These guys always show up to entertain and it would not be a true countdown without them representing.  Their other hits this year were "Mr. Simple" and "A Cha".


#4 - "Sixth Sense" by Brown Eyed Girls

Release Date: September 22nd, 2011

Special Honors: Best Use of Sex Appeal in a Music Video, Most Super-Sexy-Sex-Sexiness, Least Likely to be Without a Date on Valentine's Day

Is there any group that Korea missed more than B.E.G.?  We all have been waiting forever for them to release a new hit together.  The girls who brought us "Abracadabra" more than two years ago are finally back and their new hit was the sexiest video of the year.


#3 - "Love Song" by Big Bang

Release Date: April 13th, 2011

Special Honors: Most Likely to Spontaneous Combust, Least Likely to Comprehend the Origins of the Universe, Best at Not Looking Sweaty in the Desert

Be careful if you utter the words "Big Bang" in public, it will cause the Korean masses to go into a fit of panic.  No other male group can come close to the recognition and respect that Big Bang has earned for their members both as a group and as individuals over the last three years.  These guys are all accomplished and distinct personalities and their return this year generated the most hysteria among diehard KPOP fans.  Their two big hits this year were "Long Song" and "Tonight".  Love Song made the countdown for all the cool stuff that gets set on fire and blown up in the video.


#2 - "Roly Poly" by T-ara

Release Date: June 28th, 2011

Special Honors: Coolest Dance of the Year, Most Totally Historically Accurate KPOP Video Ever, Most in Need of a Popped Collar

For those who remember T-ara's "Bo Peep Bo Peep" from two years ago, it is difficult to watch these girls and not picture them in cute animal outfits saying what in English really fast sounds like "puck me, puck me, puck me".  T-ara easily had the best dance of the year and their video was a cute retro throw back to a time in Korea that probably never existed.  This video is buckets of awesome.  You just have to skip the first 8:00 minutes to get to the good part.  Click here for the 'Copacabana' version.


#1 - "I am the Best" (내가제일잘나가) by 2NE1

Release Date: June 27th, 2011

Special Honors: Most Modest, Best Use of a Rotating Chair, Last People You Want to Know the Combination to Your Gun Safe

The title of their song says it all.  If artists were allowed to repeat on this countdown, then all their hits from this year would have had to have been included on the countdown.  These girls are fierce, fun, sexy, and overall hands down the best pop group that Korea has to offer to the world.  They can dance.  They can sing.  And they will charm your pants off in an interview.  They are the best, don't hate.  Their other hits were "Hate You", "Don't Cry", "Don't Stop the Music" "Ugly", and "Lonely".

There were lots of other lesser known and appreciated KPOP videos that were still good this year.  If you like KPOP and missed any of these, check 'em out.

Mighty Mouth - Tok Tok
Girls' Generation - Visual Dreams
Girl's Generation - Taxi
Kahi - Come Back You Bad Person
GD&TOP - Don't Go Home
2NE1 - I Hate You
Kim Wan Seon & Yong Jun Hyeong - Be Quiet
IU - You and I
Girl's Day - Twinkle Twinkle
B2ST - Fiction
Orange Caramel - Shanghai Romance
Orange Caramel - Funny Hunny
Tiger JK - Get It In
Secret - Shy Boy
Sunny Hill - Midnight Circus

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hey All,

It's been a while.  I took a new job in Korea last summer and it consumed a significantly higher portion of my time and energy than my previous job, so I decided to take a break.

It has also been a fantasy of mine to either start or promote this blog to a video blog and post more original videos and content.  I have tons of ideas, but lack the technical knowledge and tools to make the stuff.  I bought a mac and the software needed, but self-teaching is difficult and the internet at times really isn't as intuitive as programmer manuels want you to believe.


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