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The Un-Sausagefest Edition

February 18, 2014

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Too many boy bands! Time for girls!

You know, I noticed that it’s a bit difficult for us to talk about female acts the same way we do about male acts. With male acts, we can poke fun at some of the ridiculous things they do. When it comes to female acts, however, if we make fun of them, it’s difficult to do so without deeply offending someone. Girl groups predominantly do sexy videos, and any poking fun at their videos would then be interpreted as poking fun at their sexuality. The most we can say is that videos that only rely on sexy concepts and offer nothing apart from a peep-show are boring to us.

Ga-In “FxxK You”

This video, on the other hand, is not a boring video. It depicts sexuality in a video far more realistically than most videos that just depict girls dancing sexily for the audience. More to the point, this video shows sexuality in a relationship, which is not a common topic at all in Kpop. The most you see in a relationship is a girl dating the entire band and making them boo-hoo-hoo about it. This video, however, takes it to yet another level, and graphically depicts an unhealthy sexy relationship, with the man forcing himself upon Ga-In.

Whoa! Sorry, but I didn’t expect that at all in Kpop. I don’t see that in videos ANYWHERE in the world, and to see it come out in a Kpop video, the genre of which is predominantly bubbly and fun, I’m really amazed. Really. Check out the video if you haven’t already. It’s got a lot more to it than what we could mention in a few minutes of a video, as opposed to the next video, which doesn’t even deserve a few sentences:

Stella “Marionette”

Lamest video we’ve seen in ages. Boring, uninspired, unimaginative, and lazy. Reeks of desperately trying to push the limits so that people will talk about it. Otherwise lacking in substance. Put that up against Ga-In’s video and it’s a shame this has anywhere close to as many views.

I think our test is fair: would the kpop video still be interesting if the band wore plain clothes?

Spica “You Don’t Love Me Music Video”

Yes, I know “Music Video” isn’t in the title. We just have to point it out when Kpop companies do a bad job of titling their YouTube vids.

Ok, apart from that, we love this video! The song’s great as well! If it wasn’t for Ga-In’s video this would be on the top of this week’s list. It’s a fun doo-wop-py song, and the video is really well done as well. So well done! In fact, Soo Zee’s Sunbae directed this video! She told us today. They’re not close, but the video was directed by her upper classmate, and it’s a woman. A woman! From our experience, there aren’t many female Kpop video directors. Supposedly she also directed Rain’s “30Sexy” from what I overheard, too. Awesome! If that’s the case, that’s two great videos done by her in a short timespan. Question: how can Soo Zee talk to her and convince her to let us on a Music Video set as an extra? It must be done. Check out this video and let us know if you like it as well. Spica’s doing good stuff, and isn’t getting enough recognition for it yet.

Kiss & Cry “Domino” Game”

We wanted to talk about this video in comparison to the GPBasic video and talk about our thoughts on rookie bands. Let’s be honest. You feel it. We feel it too. The amount of Kpop groups is too damned high. There are too many to keep up with. Too many bands with fans that say “oh my babies are working so hard they deserve all the awards!” Anyone here watch Mad Men? I love that show. One of my favourite lines from last season was “Not every little girl gets to do what she wants. The world cannot support that many ballerinas.” If everyone got to be in a successful Kpop band there’d be more bands than fans to listen to them.

The point I’m getting at isn’t that Kpop bands should stop emerging. Our point is more along the lines of, if you’re gonna be in a new Kpop band, do something to stand out. Be different. Show some innovation. Music should be creative, not re-created. We all can admit that there is a formula to some Kpop songs, videos, and concepts, and not everyone can use that formula to be successful. Come up with new formulas! Don’t ride on other people’s successes and try to get a piece of the pie by doing what they’re doing.

A lot of the new bands that we’ve seen have generic established style and tempos. We won’t follow them, and we don’t wan to talk about them. Kiss & Cry, though they aren’t the greatest thing out there, at least have convinced us more than other new bands, and we’ll definitely check out their next video, whenever it comes out.

Rainbow Blaxx “Cha Cha”

Ah! So much potential! This could have been a great video! A commentary on women in the Kpop industry! The unhealthy ultra-strict diets they need to go on! The focus on measurements of women in the industry as opposed to just talent! The male gaze and voyeurism! The sweet-go-in-money-come-out imagery! It had so much potential! If only those shots lasted longer than the 10 seconds they have in the video, and focused less on Rainbow Blaxx sexy dancing. Our guess is that the video producers actually made a really good cut of the video, but the company thought more like “no! we need moar sexi!” and then told the directors to cut it differently. It’s happened before, even to some of your favourite videos. It could have happened here, too.

Anyhow, let us know what you think. We talked about a lot this time around. Some of it you might agree with (or none of it). We’d like to hear it! If you’re in a less than serious mood: here are this week’s Bloopers!

Oh! And make sure you click on this pretty button here. It’s important!

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The Un-Sausagefest Edition

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  1. Totally with the others on Mamamoo. “Peppermint Chocolate” has me sold on this group. Loving the song, loving them, can’t wait for their official debut. Kiss&Cry was okay, but I don’t like the song “Domino Game” as much. They perform it competently, but it’s just a bit dull.

    Reading the YouTube comments on the video was interesting, though. I’m surprised at the number of people defending GP Basic by pointing out that they aren’t rookies (still nugus, though, so S&M aren’t totally wrong). How does pointing out that they debuted in August 2010 make things better? If anything, with more than three years experience since debut, shouldn’t they be the strong, confident ones? Shouldn’t they get on stage, or in a music video, and just absolutely kill it? I don’t understand the logic.

    4 years ago
  2. lol the title of the video got me cracking up from the start, and even though most of the time you were being serious, I was still thoroughly entertained the whole time. Thank you for being just a bit more spark to my life and thank you for being awesome. :P

    4 years ago
  3. Oh, another thing. Am I the only one who thinks of that Eat Your Kimchi thing when they play that Trumpet thing? It’s just like the thing you do! Please tell me I’m not the only one >_< In SPICA's "You don't love me" around 01:45 o.o

    4 years ago
  4. The Spica video is awesome! I was unprepared for the level of awesomeness of it. Great vocals, great video, oh and excellent fake butts :)

    4 years ago
  5. GAIN- Truth or Dare !!!!! OMG I like what the video means in terms or celebrities

    4 years ago
  6. I super love Ga In… I love that her music is grown up… and not all cutesy… She is awesome (and B. E. G. is awesome!)

    4 years ago
  7. Leotard?

    4 years ago
  8. 1. I gathered that it was an abusive relationship (how could you miss it,) but my mind did not make the leap all the way there. The blood was just confusing. I like the video way more now that I know that.
    2. The word you’re looking for is “leotard.” A unitard covers the arms and legs.
    3. The word you’re looking for here is either “vibrato” (which is the natural shake in a singer’s long notes) or “belting” (which is flexing your abs and supporting your breath so you can sing with power).
    4. I’m so happy you talked about Kiss&Cry! I have really high hopes for them, and I think all they need is a bigger budget. You should also check out Mamamoo if you haven’t.
    5. I feel like the plot of “Cha Cha” is that the Rainbow members are somehow turning the sugar into crystals, and their captors are measuring them to make sure it’s still working? Yeah, I would also love to hear an explanation.

    4 years ago
  9. 1. I got a bit upset when I first saw Ga In’s video because I thought it was glorifying a sort of “sexy” violence in relationships, but then I realised that it wasn’t the video at all, it was some comments on youtube and such that made it seem like that. when people only comment about how hot and sexy the video is and how gorgeous the actor, then that’s pretty tragic :(
    2. SPICA are awesome and the difference in their singing is that their voices don’t come from their throats, they use their whole bodies to sing, it works like a “sound box” and produces resonance and an open, full sound

    3. I just forgot point three

    4 years ago
  10. All your commentary was spot on! I’m a big fan of girl groups, so I hope the two of you continue these reviews. Loved it.

    4 years ago
  11. The reason Kiss & Cry seem like this isn’t their first time around is because for 3 out of the 4 of them, they’ve already been in girl groups XD

    4 years ago
  12. i total love how gain came up with that song! it has the meaning and the song itself is good ! Kiss and Cry is totally the best rookies out there! the whole stellar music vid is just …

    4 years ago
  13. SPICA YAY!
    You Don’t Love Me MV is GOLD! Sexy but elegant, funny yet serious~^^
    The song is my latest jam! ;)
    Oh! And, guise, how could you not talk about SPICA’s FAKE BUTTS?!
    I thought it was hilarious!! ;’D

    4 years ago
  14. Martina, I think you might be talking about vibrato when you were mentioning the vocal technique that SPICA often uses?

    4 years ago
  15. I like sausage fests… they’re great

    Too much sexy concept bores me. I’d like some girl group to do something like B.A.P where there’s some interesting visual and hard core rap or dances. Like stomping, hardcore dancing, something that most kpop guys do. Hell if I can do most of Shinee’s Everbody dance, other girls can too. I want less butt grabbing and butt moving, more stomping and floor dances.

    Now, if you go on the opposite spectrum of aegyo, then its boring as well. Over aegyo is just too much. But. I haven’t seen that much aegyo recently, so I think the management of girl groups is shifting towards sexy.

    4 years ago
  16. Some really good points in your blog post guys, I really agree with a lot of the points you made. Also I have always loved Ga-in, and I’m really proud she took a risk with her video and made something that most people in the world are hush hush about.

    4 years ago
  17. See….I’m glad you guys did the girl group video, I really am…I just wished I like girl group/ girl artists. They just don’t appeal to me other than 2NE1 or f(x)….I was kinda disappointed that you guys didn’t do B.A.P
    But, oh well, it what you guys wanna do, right? ^^

    4 years ago
  18. The “outfits” might be bodysuits http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodysuit if they’re not leotards;)
    I love how you guise ‘splain the MV industry details. I think its so interesting. Thanks!

    4 years ago
  19. I don’t know if anybody mentioned this, but when you guys were talking about SPICA and how they have shakey voices, I think you’re referring to a vibrato.

    4 years ago
  20. Woooooow. Stella’s Marionette was really bad. I made it through the whole mv, but with a sour face. I did laugh at the butt rub though. And for some reason, Dia from Kiss and Cry reminds me of Leeteuk from Super Junior….hmmm, why is this? Great video guys!

    4 years ago
    • They so do! I knew she reminded me of someone. I think its the nose (which by the way I think looks so good on her I know most people might not like it but I think she looks great).

      4 years ago
      • It is! I like it too. It makes her different from the rest of the girls. Because of that, I will probably remember her more than other girls , and I mean other girls in ALL the girl bands.

        4 years ago
  21. do any1 know the man in gain song is the hero in princess hours/goong drama? thats the 1st kdrama that i watch…on that time he look like doesnt know how to act…but after the controversial issue he goin through…he bcome manlier n cool like in this mv…

    4 years ago
  22. I really get the 2NE1-vibe from Kiss&Cry… Their style, the rhythm use, their moves, even their confidence and clothing, their position/dancing… It’s 2NE1 2.0 :)

    4 years ago
  23. Hmmm Its not like I dislike watching these videos reviews, it is in fact interesting but I do feel that you should remove voting on your chart. Since late last year you dont really follow fan votes on which video you chose. So what is the point of voting?

    4 years ago
    • i think its happen since S&M removed the kpop chart update… i think if they dont removed that, it will b the best segment where they can gv the opinion with certain latest 3 mv every week that sometimes they didnt hv any opportunity to say cuz the fan isnt able to make it in 1st place

      4 years ago
    • The point of the kpop charts isn’t to just win a kpop group a KMM review. If that was the case, we would have saved ourselves the money and design effort and just have stuck with our original format of picking bands via email popularity. We made it for many reasons:
      -people can check out what’s ranking highly in the kpop world based on international opinions, not record sales
      -It’s for you to easily click a button and share new videos with your social circle and promote them

      -many people, including us, browse the kpop charts to see what’s happening in the kpop world and to catch up on new videos
      – It provides a place for people to have conversations about groups without people bashing each other or spewing hate talk. Our mods are fantastic people!

      Yes, some people just visit the kpop charts only to vote for a fav group for KMM, and that’s totally okay, but it wasn’t created for the sole purpose of voting for KMM. :D

      4 years ago
      • if that is the case maybe you should just change your format since it does give the impression that if ppl vote and get an MV into the top 3 they have a chance to see a KMM.
        Also is not like by you improving your website (investing) you didnt help yourself. You do make profit out of this. Voting does spread the MV but it also promotes your website.

        But in the end who cares it is just my opinion.

        4 years ago
    • These recent videos aren’t “official” Music Mondays. They’re more like mini ones, to catch up on all of the videos they missed over their month-long trip to Canada.

      4 years ago
  24. I really enjoyed this MM. I don’t go out of my way to find new songs and groups in kpop like I do for a lot of English music, so MMs that talk about more than one song are always enjoyable to me.

    The purple haired girl in Kiss & Cry’s really stole the show in their video for me.

    4 years ago
  25. I appreciate the irony of a Bro Code t-shirt in an un-sausagefest review!!
    I’m sure you got answers to this already, but the words you were looking for were leotard and vibrato! Hahahaha, but your explanations were priceless.
    And lastly, I could not agree with you more about the group Kiss & Cry. They just totally did their thing with such confidence and then dropped the mic and challenged other rookie girl groups to step up their game!!

    4 years ago
  26. Good call…the new SPICA video…Mamamoo and Lip Service are the best girl videos out there right now.

    4 years ago
  27. even i 1 of the nasties that request for girl group KMM…i totally forget abt this coz im paring attention between B.A.P or bts review….

    4 years ago
  28. A great Music Monday, but I couldn’t watch the first video you posted…It wasn’t because of me being squeamish. Bad memories, too many friends and family having similar events, etc. I’m glad that this is being made in to a music video, and I assume it was well done from what you said, because more people need to become aware of that subject. There is a reason why there is something called “Grey Rape”, or the grey area of rape, and it needs to be addressed.

    On to happier subjects! I ADORED SPICA’s music video, it was wonderful, and I agree on the bad editing of Rainbow Blaxx “Cha Cha.” SO close, just SO close! I didn’t even bother with Stella’s music video…just…no. Kiss & Cry’s “Domino Game” was a little catchy, and if this was their first MV, DAMNS.

    I hope you do more girl groups for Music Mondays in the future, it was great to watch!

    4 years ago
  29. in my opinion, i think gain could have done the concept better by in other parts of the music video and teaser pictures, and promotions, that she’s completely covered, not looking sexy at all, rather a classic and simple pretty, to show that she was hurt that someone didn’t recognize her human dignity as a woman, and further brought her to a completely degraded level lower than dirt. promoting her song in an unsexy way shows that she does not what to be used that way again.

    4 years ago
  30. Okay, so here’s my go at the Rainbow Blaxx video. I think it’s a representation of the seven deadly sins. Gluttony, Greed, Lust Pride, Envy, Sloth, and Wrath. Gluttony are the sweets they eat. Greed is the older woman when she throws the gems up in the air. Lust, well that’s obvious. Pride I think is the older woman in general. Envy is the maid at the end. Sloth are the girls, waiting around for their next performance. And I think Wrath could be the video it’s self. So what do you think, fair?

    4 years ago
  31. I don’t know if you guys have ever read the blog The Grand Narrative [by an Australian/British/other-expat living in Busan and blogging about gender and women’s issues; his stuff is VERY worth a look], but he gives a great discussion of Gain’s Bloom video as a sort of bailiwick of a new Korean female subjectivity (here: http://thegrandnarrative.com/2012/12/09/ga-in-bloom-female-empowerment/ ). And with “FxxK U,” Gain is certainly continuing the trend of aggressively discussing women’s sex lives. Personally, I also thought “Truth or Dare” dealt in an interesting way with the backlash that comes from her frank dealings with taboo subjects.

    4 years ago
    • is he the type of guy who has a really westernized point of view?
      if not, i think i want to check it out

      4 years ago
      • Well he is himself a Westerner, but he seems acutely aware of the dangers of Orientalist-type readings of Korean popular culture. You’ll have to decide for yourself, but he spends considerable time and energy translating feminist critiques from different sources in the Korean news media.

        4 years ago
        • also, i think simon and martina do a much better job at dissecting korea than james from the grand narrative.

          4 years ago
        • oh yes, this guy….
          i remember him now.
          i personally dislike his website, because i find it still western-view centered.
          although i do see his efforts of researching,
          he often fails to see the social aspects.
          yeah, i probably won’t go back to the horrible web.
          i don’t see much difference between him and the ranting people he criticizes.
          also, i think he advertises korea in a bad light to international viewers.
          so yeah, i think his web is probably one of the least likely ones i would recommend
          to foreigners…

          4 years ago
        • Oof! Well, okay :) While we’re on the topic, could you possibly recommend an equivalent site with a less Western-centric view? Keeping in mind that I only have half a semester of hangul to date?

          4 years ago
        • You know, to be honest,
          so far Simon and Martina are the only ones who are doing a good job.
          I visited many sites before…
          and they were always either too critical (like the Grand Narrative s**t),
          or too general.
          If anyone were to recommend me a website,
          I will ONLY recommend Eatyourkimchi.

          4 years ago
        • Wow, you really, really hated that site huh? :) It is critical, but I always viewed it as constructively critical rather than, say, just talking badly about Korea. It seems like Korean feminism/female identity (and more broadly, gender) is at a turning point right now with attention being paid to inequities in professional mobility and compensation, new definitions of the family unit, and (as with Gain) a public acknowledgement of female sexual freedom/agency. Historically, however, anyplace that women are demanding greater equality will also see a concomitant hard look at conditions in the broader society which can seem, at times, quite negative. As to whether the slant of it is too Westernized, we may also be seeing that a lot of very involved Korean feminists went to college in Europe or the Americas, so there may be a Western bent to Korean feminism in general anyway (I seem to remember Eve Ensler’s show being performed somewhere in Korea last year, for example), though I think that, too, is being addressed by Korean feminists.
          As to Eatyourkimchi, yeah, they’re fantastic too. Keep up the good work, Simon and Martina!

          4 years ago
        • and lastly (sorry for the long comments :p),
          one might think, ‘aw, it’s just a critique, what could happen?’
          but I saw few comments in that web where people said, ‘wow, korea is so horrible!’
          or ‘korea sucks!’ after reading all the feminist critiques (done by not korean women,
          but foreign men, ironically…)
          do people know how heart breaking that is, and how rude those writers look like?

          4 years ago
        • ALSO, i don’t know if any foreigner have the right to ONLY openly criticize another country.
          What in the heck are the Korean wives of those writers thinking??
          Do they really want other countries to perceive negative images ONLY of their native country?
          I saw blogs of Korean women or men living abroad criticizing the place they live in,
          comparing it to Korea,
          and I don’t think the native Germans or Argentinians, etc would be happy at all seeing those information shared with Koreans.
          Overall, any web that shows a certain culture/country in a negative light ONLY is problematic.
          Sure, they have the freedom of speech by law, but is it polite? Is it moral?
          Don’t think so.

          4 years ago
        • I agree about it being impolite. I had a friend from Italy once who had almost nothing but negative things to say about my country (I’m from the US). I understood where she was coming from (different social and economic systems, etc.), but it got real old, real fast.

          4 years ago
        • totally! i have seen more foreign friend who complain about the US (I’m in Chicago at the moment),
          and my immediate thought is: if you don’t like it here, then leave!

          4 years ago
        • I dont think that Grand Narrative intentionally was talking badly.
          I do agree with some of their points, but they often tend to miss WHY that happened.
          It’s more than just patriarchy that leads to the problems.
          They don’t think about corporal power, the Confucianist minds of Koreans,
          and mostly, they forget about the demanding Korean women.
          They always talk about the ideal female body image becoming problematic,
          caused by men, but they forget that Korean women are the problem too.
          In Korea, women often take fun of the ‘uglier’ or ‘not ideal’ women waaaay more so than men.
          Unless it’s a celebrity, most guys don’t even care about the uglier one!
          so yeah, that’ my example of what the Grand Narrative might miss in their critique.

          If I were to recommend another, I recommend mykoreanhusband, although it’s a bit personal.
          however, Nicola does a good job with the drawings and just explaining what’s going on.

          4 years ago
        • Good point. I actually think this also speaks to an issue in gender studies as a field… it seems to have emerged from the earlier field of women’s studies in order to combat (possibly valid) criticisms that the narrow focus on women made its discursive constructions less-than-relevant to discussions involving male gender identity, etc… however, the male side of the field is still only lightly researched, leading (ironically) to a continuing, 1970’s-esque idea that male-as-oppressor is useful as a primary type. It still has use, but like you say, women are often complicit in the structures that betray them as well. Thank you for the link: I’ll check it out.

          4 years ago
  32. (regarding the rainbow blaxx music video) im probably wrong but im pretty sure that they are trying to say that that the old lady is like a person judging them or something sense she is like measuring there arms and thighs, like how people do in the real world (metiforicly) because everyone judges girls by the way they look ( like how big there thighs are) and maybe the fact that they are dressed so “sexy” is because its saying that a lot of girls are forced to act sexy so that guys will like them or people will pay attention to them or something and the rest of the video, like the maid collecting the jewels… im not exactly sure

    4 years ago
  33. and here comes my opinion:
    I think Stellars mv also really boring and I wish there would be more plot, but I really like the song.

    GP-Basic is not a rookie-group, they debuted 2010, but they got a lot of criticism and they are still only 15-17 years old, while Kiss&Cry are 21+, so in my opinion it is totally normal that K&C look more confident, but I still like the dancing of GPBasic more.

    Rainbow Blaxx MV could mean:
    Rainbow : Idols that addicted with cakes who can’t give up the sweet life, while they have to dance and sing with sexy clothes according to their management.

    The old man : Consumers who observe and scrutinize idols’ body for the whole time and pay gems for sweet cakes that idols consume.

    The old woman : Management that strictly measures everything of the idols and make them sing and dance with clothes the old man might like. Feed them cakes and takes gems that the idols earn and become rich.

    The maid : Staffs to run the management but get only a little piece of gem as their wages

    4 years ago
  34. Dang, Stellar’s mv has more dislikes than likes?? Looooool
    YES SPICA I LOVE SPICA :DDD I’ve been following them since Russian Roulette and they are hands down the most vocally talented group in kpop. And I LOVE the quirkiness they put into their most recent videos, in Tonight and YDLM they do all this weird shit with a straight face on and it’s just the greatest thing ever xD

    4 years ago
  35. I definitely agree with this. SPICA’s one of my favorite girl groups so far, hopefully Mamamoo debuts and Glam comes back seriously where is Glam? And Stellar definately had a boring video, I felt uncomfortable with it. And the song’s good, but like with Wa$$up and K-Much, even though I do like the girls, it’s a lot easier to just do something like that and you’ll get more views.
    And with what happened with Rainbow Blaxx, seriously give me something with a plot, a good plot. Or just have it be sexy and dancing, just no Stellar butt scratching please.

    4 years ago
  36. How can one discuss recent female K-pop songs and NOT include Ailee? Seriously, guise?

    4 years ago
  37. A. (ANSWER) unitards have the legs attached to the torso as one piece. they are wearing leotards, but they (stellar) are wearing ones too small for them.

    4 years ago
  38. This is how bad Stellar’s MV was: I started laughing midway through because I couldn’t take it seriously. In regards to all your other thoughts, I have to agree though I would like to say for GP Basic the song gets stuck in your head. Do they need work, yes but I like their overall concept simply because I get tired of the majority of girl groups being either sexy or cute (there is a reason why f(x) is my favorite girl group). I just am interested to see the direction they take as they get older. Final thought: I am excited that this year is looking like it is going to be a great year for girl groups.

    4 years ago
  39. i think that 2 members of Kiss&Cry were in the trio Bella, who debuted in 2011, but i don’t know who

    4 years ago
  40. Whenever B.A.P. is first, you guys don’t review them :(

    4 years ago
    • B.A.P. has had a number of K-Pop Music Mondays. I recall Rain Sound, One Shot, Warrior, No Mercy, etc. In the current voting system, lots of really great songs and videos will be consistently overlooked, which is why, I think it’s important that they occasionally add these multiple video review videos.

      4 years ago