October 4, 2011
FINALLY! Brown Eyed Girls have returned after a painfully long hiatus with Sixth Sense. If you haven’t checked out the video, here it is:
Wow. There was so much that we wanted to say about this song and video that we just didn’t have the time for. See, you saw some of my fanboying in our video, but we didn’t explain it all too well. I was the last between the two of us to be converted to Kpop. I stubbornly resisted it for as long as possible, would use it for classes when necessary (we still think that using Kpop is a great way for teachers to relate to their students), but I wouldn’t actually like it. Brown Eyed Girls’ “Abracadabra” changed that. It was an awesome song, and awesome video, and that’s what finally brought me over to the dark side. Couple that with Ga-In’s awesome “Irreversible” which we sadly didn’t get a chance to review, and you’ve got a fanboy in the making.
So yeah, I was happy for this video to come out, as was Martina. We’re both Brown Eyed Girls fans. When we first heard the song though, we were a bit disappointed that it didn’t rock our socks off like Abracadabra. It did grow on us, big time, though. Viewed in the Abracadabra light, it might be disappointing, but on it’s own, without any other context, it’s a pretty rocking song and video. Did anyone else think it sounded like Peter Fox’s “Alles Neu”? Tell me it doesn’t have a similar booming orchestra sound to it:
We also mentioned how this video seems to have been inspired by Trent Reznor’s “Art is Resistance” movement. If you check out the site and the stencils, you’ll see that the logo is similar to the one used in the posters here, as well as the same “You Have a Voice”.
Stuff like this makes us happy for Kpop videos. Sixth Sense isn’t easily dismissed as superficial fluff. It’s not a masterpiece that people will be studying for millennia, but it has a lot more thought put into it, than, say, Bilasa’s “Beautiful Target”, which doesn’t go much deeper than “OMG look at us we’re cute boyz!”
[incoming Martina rant]
Now the only problem we have with the message of “use your voice” and “rebellion” and “freedom of speech” is that BEG is still underneath a President who runs their label, and while they’re not under the 2 big labels in Korea (YG and SM) they are still not their own free band to act and say what they please. So is this video deeply, deeply ironic, in the sense that we’re praising BEG’s unique voice and call to freedom when this very video is being run by a secret man or women in a gold mask? How much influence do Brown Eyed Girls’ management have in their song and message?
Well regardless of the puppetry behind this video, at least it has a stronger message (or at least a message at all) in comparison to other kpop videos. Which is the other difficult position to deal with. We’ve taken a lot of flack from people who live in Korea and HATE kpop. They feel like they can only support everything which is Indie, and any support of a mainstream band is some kind of devil worship. We firmly disagree with this perspective and the snobby attitude towards kpop and anything mainstream. We, too, listen to many crazy Indie bands that are loved by a small groups of elite fans (do we announce that fact as if it’s some proud badge to be worn? No) but we also really love and respect kpop.
How can we come to grips with these two extreme positions regarding music and culture? To us, it’s the talent and passion of the members of the band that matter. Not everyone in the world can play an instrument, or sing, or dance, or write music. If you grow up playing the guitar and you form a rock band in your garage and fail for 10 years and make it in the 11th, we’re happy for you, but does that mean a kpop idol who trained to sing and dance for 10 years is any different? Yes, they have a label supporting them with money to get their names out there, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that kpop idols ARE talented. Opera singers don’t write their own music and are usually discovered only after appearing in many musicals backed by companies, but does that mean they’re not talented because they weren’t found singing Opera in a tiny university bar? Absolutely not. The same goes for many talented singers throughout the decades (even Elvis Presley).
The point of this long rant is that even though we can acknowledge that BEG and other kpop groups have big wig companies backing them, I’m tired of people immediately writing off kpop (and pop in general) because of that fact. I think the deepest irony in this whole situation is the very musician wants to be in the position of popularity that kpop bands have, but once they reach it (by their own means or via a record label) many fans will desert them, saying that they “sold out”. What you want to say is, “I’m jealous my special band no one knew is now know by many people. I’m sad they’re making money and supporting themselves.” So what do you guys think? Have you come across these kinds of people before, or do you hold a similar or differing opinion? I’d love to know!
[rant end…Martina gasps for air…]
Anyhow, since we do honestly dig this song and video, we decided to do another giveaway to show our support. Woot! We’re bought two copies of the new Brown Eyed Girls album. For our lovely YouTube subscribers (YOU GUISE ARE AWESOME!) all you gotta do is tell us what was your favourite part of the Sixth Sense music video. Oh, and since we love our blog readers as well, you can answer here, too :D. Just leave your YouTube username so that, in case we do pick you, we can make sure you’re a subscriber, of course!
If you don’t win the album, you definitely should still pick it up, because it rocks. Click on the picture to the right to get your copy. Get two copies. Get seven. And, as for the bloopers, you can see Spudgy’s terrible running skills when he encounters Simon’s raunchy kitty, as well as some terrible Snape impersonations. Poor Spudgy! His legs, as some of you may know, are pretty gimpy, so whenever he runs he moves faster than his legs can carry him, so he often falls over. What a dumb but sweet dog! Also, Martina’s a fan of the Tea Party. Not the American political movement thingy Tea Party, though. The dude with the pedophile moustache Tea Party. Yeah!