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Korean Music Awards

July 19, 2008

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We noticed through our window that something was being built in the park. It was a massive stage, with hundreds of lawn chairs in front of it, a huge tv behind it, and smaller (but still huge) TVs on its sides. We thought that this was being made in preparation for the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (check it out at www.pifan.com), which is around ten days of awesome movies being shown in various locations around Bucheon, akin to the Toronto International Film Festival (only the Bucheon one is “Fantastic”). Martina took some really cool pictures of it at night that you have to have to have to see (some of which you can see in the thumbnails below) and we didn’t think much else of it. We just expected some movies to be played in Korean and that was all.

That was until Thursday, when Martina was taking a nap after school and was woken up by the blaring speakers of the stage. We ran to our window to see what it was, and what we saw- instead of a Fantastic Film Festival – was a live performance by a huge Korean Pop Music band called “Battles.” They’re quite ridiculous by North American pop standards, and their hit song sounds extremely familiar to any of us alive and cognizant during the early nineties. Check their video out here, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when you hear the chorus.

And so we left our apartment and went to the park to see what else was going on. Right when we got there MC Mong, Martina’s favorite Korean Rapper, got on stage and began singing his new song. Afterwards, a rapper by the name of Mighty Mouth sang his super chipper song, “Energy” while his backup dancers jumped around. It was very…energetic. Anyhow, what’s most interesting about all of this music is how much of it is in English. Why are all of these songs with English titles? Much of the songs are in English, and – after being here for a month and surveying the state of English in South Korea – we’re not sure how many people understand what’s being sung. That much being said, it was still a really interesting experience to wake up to a huge Korean concert in your backyard with Korea’s biggest artists on stage. It’s a shame that it had such little meaning to us. If these were English artists of bands that we actually cared about this would have been absolutely amazing. Instead, it was just cool, and it was kind of funny to see how everyone was absolutely in love with the artists on stage.

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