Just try to get either of these out of your head

I know this isn’t my typical subject matter, but two things I love have come together, and I have to share this with someone, and you guys are it.  One of my favorite K-pop groups, BTS, recently released a new single (or “comeback” in K-pop parlance).  You may have seen them performing it on America’s Got Talent.  Here’s the music video:

There is also a version for their collaboration with Nicki Minaj.  Both great videos: crazy, but entertaining.  The song is super catchy and has great, positive lyrics.

But wait, there’s more!

I’ve previously featured the Star Wars episodes of Bad Lip Reading, which is a YouTube channel that is exactly what it sounds like: the producer re-dubs video based on what it looks like the actors are saying.  He also occasionally makes songs out of it, and they are really good songs.  So thanks to him, BTS is now singing about a “Sample of My Pasta.”

My favorite part is at 0:43 where V yells “Cute bird!” because that seems like something he would do anyways in real life.  He is my favorite singer of the group (aka my “bias”) because he’s kinda weird and crazy (a “4D” personality).  He’s also sporting what looks like lemonade-colored hair in this video.

I’m happy to talk about BTS all day, so I’d love to answer any of your questions in the comments 😀

 

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5 Favorite K-pop MVs of 2017

I actually made a playlist of K-pop music on Spotify to take to the hospital with me while I was giving birth.  I suspect that may have been a first for the Labor and Delivery unit.  It’s been another wonderful year of K-pop music videos; here are some of my favorites.

1. “Yes I Am” by Mamamoo

There is so much to love about this song, this video, and this group.  The song is so catchy and has the most body-positive and self-confident lyrics I’ve ever heard in a K-pop song.  The video itself is colorful and cute, and they did the choreography themselves.  But I can’t say enough about these four ladies as performers, because in my opinion they give the best live performances in all of K-pop.  Their vocals are flawless and their stage presence is magnetic.  They are known for changing their lyrics on stage and doing little ad libs.  If you really want to see them at their best, check out some live performances of this song, like this one.

2. “MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix)” by BTS

BTS had another huge year, breaking further into the American audience with appearances at the AMAs and on Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen.  I loved their first single “DNA,” but I was really struck by the video for their remix of “MIC Drop,” a song I already liked from the first time I saw it performed live.  The remix version is what they’ve been performing recently, and while I like this new version of the song fine (it has more English lyrics), the video just blew me away with its visuals.

3. “Hobgoblin” by CLC

I love finding new, young groups, and CLC is one that came on my radar this year with their badass video for “Hobgoblin.” Hyuna apparently worked with them on this, and you can really feel the 4Minute vibe, which is very welcome since the disbandment of that group.  Most young girl groups have a cutesy concept, which is not my thing, so it’s great to find a next generation capable of taking on the swag of groups like 4Minute and 2NE1.

4. “Rollin'” by Brave Girls

Here’s another group that came across my radar this year with a catchy song and great choreography.  I normally don’t go for concepts that are “sexy,” but this one is on the classy side (I know the title says “Clean Version,” but all that was removed was a few clips of the girls lying in a pile.  I dunno.)  I absolutely love the use of the stools in the choreography.  And in those high heels, too!  Very impressive.

5. “Peek-a-Boo” by Red Velvet

I’ve been a fan of Red Velvet and their catchy songs for years, and they sure had a great year with two big hits.  This is the most recent video on my list, but I’ve already played it on repeat so many times.  It is such a bizarre concept: a cult of girls who lure pizza delivery guys to their house to kill them.  Wearing shiny rainbow dresses.  Or something.  Somehow involving Jell-O.  But Red Velvet pulls it off just like anything else.

Other Honorable Mentions:

  1. “Shall We Dance” by Block B—Mainly for the adorable little girl showing off her moves with them.  Also P.O wearing Burberry lol.
  2. “Move” by Taemin—The maknae of SHINee once again turns out a killer video–actually three videos, but this one is my favorite.  His style blends so well with Japanese choreographer Koharu Sugawara; they are just poetry in motion together.  It has such an emotional and sensual feel in a very gender neutral way, without being overtly sexy.  Beautiful.
  3. “Ninano” by Minzy—Speaking of great dancing, my bias from my favorite K-pop group 2NE1, made her solo debut, and Minzy is such a good dancer it was fun to see her collaborate with Marquese Scott in this video.  It incorporates some of the original video choreography with freestyling.
  4. “Hola Hola” by KARD—This co-ed group is consistently churning out tropical house-style hits with awesome choreography.  This video adds some beautiful scenery and a chance to display some personality of the members.
  5. “Love” by PSY feat. Taeyang—Though this song is by the K-pop idol most famous here in the US, he doesn’t appear in this video at all.  Instead, we are treated to awesome dancing by Parris Goebel and her ReQuest Dance Crew (you may recognize them from Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” video).

 

5 Favorite K-pop MVs of 2016

Another wonderful year of K-pop music videos; here are some of my favorites.

  1. “Blood Sweat & Tears” by BTS

Just when I thought I couldn’t love BTS any more, they came out with their Wings album this year.  This video, aside from the catchy song, has great choreography and complex scenery, plus the classic BTS cryptic/philosophical story.  Normally I hate it when MVs put a break in the middle of the song, but I didn’t mind it so much here.  Rap Monster is reciting lines from Hesse’s Demian; sales of this book have apparently jumped haha.

2. “Sayonara Hitori” by Taemin

Who knew SHINee’s maknae Taemin was actually an anime character?  Between the special effects and Taemin’s dancing, this is probably the most visually amazing MV I saw all year.  I also loved that this is the Japanese version (which I can understand better–and I think his Japanese has improved).

3. “Whistle” by BLACKPINK

I’m not the only one who loves this video, because it just won best MV at the 2016 MAMAs.  This rookie group is helping to fill a part of the 2NE1-shaped hole in my heart.  These four girls have such great style and attitude.  They already have four great songs out (“Playing with Fire” is another favorite), and I have a feeling I’ll be a fan for years to come.

4. “Cheer Up” and “TT” by TWICE

TWICE is back again this year with two cute videos.  I embedded “Cheer Up” because I think it’s marginally more original.  Each of the girls is playing a character in a different genre of movie (horror, action, romantic drama, kawaii magical girl, etc.), which is a fun way to play up some different tropes and give each girl a distinct personality (kind of important when there’s nine of them).  “TT” also has a cute use of Halloween costumes to achieve the same effect.

5. “I Like That” by SISTAR

While SISTAR is a very talented group, I’ve never really been a fan because their videos tend to be gratuitously sexy, to the point that I’m uncomfortable.  But this video has a very classy style of sexy, with a Chinese theme and some interesting choreography using their drape skirts.  The use of silhouettes near the end is also very striking.

Other Honorable Mentions:

  1. “Hate” by 4Minute—Before they broke up, Hyuna’s former group 4Minute gave us a follow-up to last year’s “Crazy.”  This one was produced by Skrillex, so wait for the drop.
  2. “Liar Liar” by Oh My Girl—From another younger girl group, this video has some great transitions, and I liked the references to Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland.  They also did a dance version wearing roller skate shoes!
  3. “Queen” by History—We needed some more guys on this list, and who can resist guys in suits? I don’t know what the part with the puzzle is about at all, but the rest is pure eye candy.
  4. “I’m Jelly BABY” by AOA Cream—I know I’ve said I don’t like cutesy concepts, but this one by the subgroup of AOA is so over-the-top with its magical girl theme, I just can’t resist.
  5. “Why Not” by Bulldok—Also known as “How’s This?”–this song is the debut of another tough girl group.  The first rapper looks straight out of Sucker Punch, and the second seems like she’s in a Final Fantasy game.

What do they (nearly) all have in common?

I was just reading this somewhere and it made me laugh; if you watch all these, you can see a trend appear: having all the members sit around a table.  Four or five of these videos have that trope (you can even see it in the thumbnail for “Blood Sweat & Tears), plus a few others I can think of (like Red Velvet’s “Russian Roulette”).  Too funny!

More Star Wars Bad Lip Reading

Since my post about the “Chicken-duck-woman-thing” has been so popular, let’s talk about “Star Wars: A Bad Lip Reading” some more!

In the Empire Strikes Back video, there are 3 fabulous songs.  We open to a rap from Luke during the battle of Hoth (Dak has a slight malfunction trying to turn up the bass). (Edit: CHECK OUT THE FULL VERSION “Hostiles on the Hill” HERE!)

I watched this dozens of times times before I realized it’s actually a diss track.  I don’t know who he’s actually directing this to, but just for fun let’s call him “Wedge.”  Luke makes multiple comparisons between himself and Wedge:

  • Wedge=soup can, while Luke=Superman
  • Wedge touches a pom pom, while Luke touches an A-bomb (atom bomb)

Yeah, that doesn’t exactly paint Wedge in a favorable light.  He also seems to be competing with Luke for a girl named Veronica; looking at the closed captions, the lyrics are “I know you want her, too.”  However, Wedge stands no chance because he so lame he doesn’t even have any shoes.

I think it’s pretty clear now who the baddest pilot in Rogue Squadron is.

And you know what, even Wedge agrees, because in the extended version he repeatedly avows that Luke is so sweet “like cinnamon.”  Which technically isn’t sweet, just a spice, but whatever.  We all agree, Wedge.  Take that, General Veers.

Moving on to Yoda singing about seagulls around 1:49…I don’t have anything else to say about this except that it’s amazing and I know all the lyrics and I wish this were a real song.  Even if he’s “sorta pitchy,” haha. (EDIT: It is a real song! There’s now a full version called SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)–enjoy!)

scary yoda

Last, at 5:57 we have C-3PO’s song to end the video; I don’t think it has a name yet, but it appears that we’ll be getting a full music video of this one, too!  (EDIT: It’s called “Not the Future” and it’s wonderful.) I was trying to figure out what genre of music this song is and the best I could come up with was a mix of 80s rock and EDM.

This song brings up a couple of points.  First, there are several funny lines where characters are simply narrating what they are doing, like C-3PO walking away/turning back, or Han just moving his hand around in Cloud City.  It kind of breaks the 4th wall a little, a different kind of humor.

Also, the Star Wars movies work pretty well for funny dubs because of all the droids and characters with helmets (like Vader, stormtroopers, etc.)—because they have no lips, the actors are just interpreting their body language.  This gives a lot more range to the conversations the characters can have.  It also allows for some good non sequiturs, like Vader’s “spinny chair” song.

Star Wars also has a lot of characters that don’t speak Basic (aka English), often because the alien physiology doesn’t allow it, which lets the writers have a lot of fun with interpreting these more limited lip movements into English words, like Chewie saying UH-HUH.  Or sometimes not even real words…check out Admiral Ackbar in ROTJ haha.

Last, I found C-3PO’s Indian accent to be hilarious and strangely fitting.  But then I started reading comments on the videos (famous last words…) and saw some variations of “Of course he’s Indian, he’s tech support.”  In that light, I kind of feel a little uncomfortable about it now.  But none of his dubbed lines actually have him play into the tech support stereotype, so it’s just a meta-joke, and possibly an unintended one at that.  I dunno.  Thoughts?

We all got a chicken-duck-woman-thing waiting for us: Star Wars Bad Lip Reading

If you like absurdist humor at all, check out “Star Wars: A Bad Lip Reading” to find out about the selfies that Vader’s sending Leia, Han’s pet giraffe, and what happens if you look at a dead spider.  It features guest voice actors Jack Black, Maya Rudolph, and Bill Hader.

Stick it out til the end to hear Ben Kenobi sing about what exactly happened to Luke’s father.

That song at the end is pretty much the best thing ever and I’ve been singing it for days.  There’s even an extended version, with lyrics!

I love how the song functions on two levels, both within the film as the way Ben Kenobi is making up BS about how Luke’s dad died (which I’m sure is all true, from a certain point of view…), and also on a more general level, talking about how there’s always difficulties in life, usually in places we least expect them, even from people and things we love.  SO DEEP.

They’ve also done Empire Strikes Back (which might be the best one), featuring Yoda singing about seagulls (with a full version of the song here).  My husband and I are now going around saying “I don’t like fruit” to each other.

The Return of the Jedi one is also good, in which you can find out about Mon Mothma’s emotional state and the loose screw in Luke’s lightsaber.

I think Ben Kenobi really has some of the best parts in all of these, mainly because Alec Guinness always played him as looking very thoughtful.  So it becomes really funny when he says these offbeat things with that facial expression.  Whether it’s telling Luke about cleaning his father’s blood out of the floor boards, or just humming to the beat (not to mention calmly threatening to choke Luke over his taste in music in ROTJ),

EDIT 1/16/16: This post got like a hundred hits in the past week, mostly from people searching for “chicken duck woman thing,” so I went back and added some more analysis about the video and song to this post, and also did a follow-up post with more thoughts on these videos: More Star Wars Bad Lip Reading.  Add your thoughts/questions/etc. in the comments!