September 6, 2011
First off, we want to take the time to thank you for all of your awesome support. This is our 52nd Music Monday, our one year anniversary of doing this show, and we didn’t expect it to be where it is today. We first started the show, because many people were asking us to do more How to Dance Kpop videos, and we thought that we’d do it for a couple of months. But everyone’s responses were phenomenally supportive and encouraging, from your fan pics, to emails, to comments, to relentlessly spamming us lovingly on Twitter and Facebook to get us to review your favourite artists. Really, thanks everyone for liking this show and giving us the inspiration to keep on scripting and filming! To show our thanks, we’re having our biggest giveaway ever, which we’ll explain at the end of the post.
But first, our One Year Anniversary Special! We usually just talk about one video for Music Mondays, and we usually count your requests to decide who we review, but today we’re doing the videos we want to do, the videos that didn’t get enough votes to win for the week. We’re doing, finally, UV’s “Itaewon Freedom” and Xiah Junsu’s “Intoxication.” We were going to dedicate our entire anniversary special to just one, but – hell – we feel so strongly about both videos that we had to do both.
This is the greatest video ever made. That is all.
If we ever got the money and crew and equipment to direct a Kpop music video, we’d make this video. If we had money to make a second video, we’d make this video again.
What makes this video so awesome is its context. Really. Kpop videos have been over-saturated with sexy boys and girls looking sexy on camera, doing sexy things and making sexy face. They train for countless hours to perfect the crispiest choreography. And we get that with just about every Kpop video that comes out, and – really – we get something like two to three kpop videos being released per week.
This video comes as a breath of fresh air. For those of you that don’t know, UV are actually well known comedians in Korea, and they’ve been around for a while, but this is 100% our favourite song by them. You got three older guise that aren’t necessarily the sexiest Korean guise out there and who aren’t necessarily the best dancers (although JYP’s guest appearance is prettttty awesome), all creating a rockingly entertaining video with crap sets and bad effects.
So for those of you that also don’t know about Itaewon, it’s a district in Seoul near a USA army base, so it has developed into a very foreigner friendly neighbourhood. It has import grocery stores, real foreign food (like authentic Indian food and the Irish Wolfhound Pub), and a foreign crowd. So, Korean people that go there can really let loose and act “foreign” which means, dress however you want and enjoy the non-judgemental atmosphere. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, it can sometimes be preeeettttyyy sketchy on the weekends after everyones been out drinking and dancing and *coughpickingfightscough* so we don’t really like that neighbourhood as much as we love Hondgae. But still, if you live in Korea, you learn to appreciate how Itaewon can comfort you when you feel homesick. That’s why Itaewon Freedom has ranked as a favourite amongst many foreigners in Korea that aren’t into kpop music. *Martina wipes away a tear and sucks it up to buy a super overpriced can of root beer*
One of the things that’s difficult for us when talking about this video is in saying anything funny about it. UV are comedic geniuses, and they’ve pre-emptively took all of our jokes from us. What can we say about it? Their outfits are bad? They wanted them to be bad. That their dancing sucks? They know that it sucks, and make it awesome in the process. That their special effects are silly? You don’t get that bad by accident. Being this bad, is an artform.
The video’s outdated, looks like the worst that the 80s has to offer. And the guys are too old to compete with the likes of young kpop boyz. But they take their weakness and make it their strength. It’s so…inspiring. Sure, they’re not taking themselves seriously. They’ve got the blanket of irony protecting them from criticism, but – hell – that doesn’t make this song less awesome.
Furthermore, they’ve got JYP, Overlord of one of the top Kpop labels in Korea, singing and dancing with them. That’s what really makes this song and video special for us. JYP, who knows the kpop scene very well, takes part in a kind of anti-kpop video. It’s just so…poetic. Too awesome for words.
Xiah Junsu’s “Intoxication” holds just as special a place in our hearts as Itaewon Freedom. We can’t begin to tell you how much we love the song. It’s epic. They lyrics are epic. The video is epic. The dancing is epic. But we don’t love it because it’s good (< ---speak for yourself Simon). We love it because it's sooooooo bad, but - unlike Itaewon Freedom - it doesn't mean to be so bad. And because of that, we love it even more.
Don't get angry at us, Junsu fans. This song is ridiculous...ridiculously sexy, but that doesn't make it less enjoyable. Junsu has written the Korean equivalent to 90's R&B...which Simon grew up listening to:"DO YOU MIND IF I STROKE YOU UP? I don't mind...*punch*---OKAY! SIMON IS CUT OFF!!!! We were amused rather than aroused (<---speak for yourself Martina), but our amusement is endless. And, in turn, our amusement turned into love, pure, pure love for this song.
Some people might be confused about the bananas joke. Nowhere does Junsu ever mention that he wants to rub bananas in the song, but the story behind it is this: when Martina was playing it on loop within the first couple of weeks of being introduced to the song, I - Simon here - heard the song in passing, when in another room. From the muffled sound of it, the part where Junsu says "let me feel your naughtiness" sounded like "let me feel bananas." As well, the part where he says "Momomoto, momomoto" in Japanese, I heard "Not a homo, not a homo." And so, my mishearing of the song led to our laughter, which led to an endless inside joke between us, which has since been translated to our videos. So, no, Junsu does not love bananas, nor does he want to rub them (<---speak for yourself Simon and Martina). But in our hearts, Junsu's passion for rubbing bananas is limitless.
And funny side note...a few of my students (Martina) had begged me to play this song at the end of class. Without knowing how utterly raunchy this song was, I agreed. As the video played, my students covered their eyes, screamed and yelled things like, "AH TEACHER!!! DIRTY!!" and "OH NO! TEACHER NO!" and other awesome phrases while I stared on in shock. I'm pretty sure I corrupted about 80% of that class. My bad. Or should I say, JUNSU'S BAD!!! (ps-> got the same reaction from Rain’s “Hip Song”…oh innocent Korea…)
Our Special Giveaway: Updated
The list of stuff we’re giving away now is:
Shazam! ELEVEN prizes, for six different sites:
1) For YouTube, tell us in the comments what was your favourite Kpop Music Mondays moment.
2) For this site, answer the same question in the comments to this post!
3) For Facebook, answer the same question in the contest thread. If you don’t know where it is, look for it. Also, since this is now updated, look for a new post. Like it, and answer the same question there. Woot!
4) For Twitter, make sure you’re following us first, and then retweet the link to this page by clicking on the Twitter button above. Or if you’re too lazy to scroll up, you can click here.
5) For Tumblr, make sure you’re following us there as well, and then like and reblog the contest post.
6) For Google Plus users. We didn’t forget about you! Find our Google Plus Profile, add us to your circles. Then, +1 this post, and +1 the site as well. Woot!
We’ll pick two winners from YouTube, this site, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, and one from Google Plus, and announce the winners next week in our blooper footage. Speaking of which, here are this week’s bloopers as well: