In South Korea, more youngsters are electing to have plastic surgery so they can look like their K-pop music idols. Dateline reporters from Australia examine this trend.
After the breakout success of Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” we introduced you to several other slick K-Pop hit-makers. It’s time to follow up and give you a taste of Korea’s indie musicians. They might not be burning up the charts like their mainstream counterparts, but these half-dozen bands get high marks for originality, and their videos are all fun to watch as well. In no particular order, check out:
GLEN CHECK, “French Virgin Party + Battaille!”
JAMBINAI, ”Time of Extinction”
NAM SOO-RIM, ”Drive Me To the Moon”
TELEPATHY, ”Techno Shoes”
3RD LINE BUTTERFLY, ”Sexy”
Cosmetics companies are using fresh-faced South Korean pop stars to fuel sales of their products to Asian men, who increasingly view appearance as a vital ingredient for success.
Sexy dance moves and romantic lyrics are usually the two hallmarks of music videos by K-Pop girl bands. But just like Psy, with his monster hit “Gangnam Style,” some South Korean girl bands have begun creating videos placing more emphasis on crazy antics and surreal visuals. Here are a few of the standouts in this emerging genre.
Orange Caramel, a subgroup formed from the band After School, has fun lampooning Little Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland and other fairy tales for “A-ing.”
T*ara’s “Lovey Dovey” attracts the attention of a zombie horde.
The five-member group, Girl’s Day, stages a colorful retro dance-off in the Moon Night Club to introduce “Oh! My God.” The girls: B-boy Mina, Retro Yura, Crashing Haeri, Krumping Jihae, and Sexy Sojin.
2NE1 (pronounced “21″) sings “Scream” accompanied by a chorus of mounted reindeer trophies in an eerie, perhaps haunted house.
Miss A with “Touch.” This is as abstract as K-pop gets, a mix of the psychedelic ’60s with sheer and sexy expressionism.
“Midnight Circus” by Sunny Hill. In existence since 2007, Sunny Hill used to be a coed band, but changed into an all-girls’ band when Janghyun, its one male member, got called up for his two-year mandatory military service.
Finally, Psy’s “Gangnam Style” flame, the hot-dancing Hyuna, with her own sun-filled “Bubble Pop,” filmed on the Japanese island of Okinawa.
Hats off to the ubermom who created “Buster Gangnam Style” — the best of the movie-themed Gangnam mashups appearing on YouTube. She assembled these clips from more than 20 Buster Keaton pictures. The timing throughout is impeccable, but the horse stable, elevator, carousel and romantic interlude scenes are, not just uncanny, they are…priceless.
“Gangnam Style” gets the old-school video game treatment in Dane Boedigheimer’s “8-bit Gangnam Style.” Boedigheimer is better known as the creator of the Annoying Orange cartoons.
“Gunman Style,” a parody influenced by Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Westerns, although containing more than enough silliness to satisfy fans of Psy.
The US Naval Academy’s 22nd Company Spirit Spot gets into the act with its own parody.
And last but not least “Klingon Style.”
A few weeks back, we introduced eight “Gangnam Style” parodies from Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Norway and the United States. With Psy’s mega-pop hit now surpassing 250 million views on YouTube, the parodies just keep coming, often from new corners of the world. There are now thousands of versions. Here are eight more new ones we’ve found worth checking out.
From Malaysia, “Super Hero Style.”
From India, “Rajini Style,” showcasing Bollywood matinee idol Rajinikanth, Asia’s highest paid actor since Jackie Chan.
From the United States, “Kim Jong Style,” taking a few potshots at the North Korean dictator. H/T Barely Political
From Brazil, Galo Frito’s “Vou Te Encoxar.” Naturally, the sexiest of the bunch.
From Russia, “Europa Plus Style.” Funny business in Moscow from Russia’s most popular commercial radio station.
From Philippines, “Pinoy Gangnam Style,” featuring Eric Tai aka Eruption, and a host of Filipino celebrities.
From Germany, Alexander Bohm’s “Gangnam Style: Auf Deutsch.” Bohm specializes in making German-language spoofs of pop songs from abroad.
And finally, from Australia, “Aussie Battler Style” from Fitzy and Wippa, a breakfast radio show hosted by comedians Ryan Fitzgerald and Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli, broadcast in Sydney.
They’ve sprouted up like dandelions all around the world. Psy’s K-Pop hit “Gangnam Style” has spawned more parodies than any other song this year, perhaps all decade. On YouTube, you won’t find three or four parodies, or even a dozen, but several hundred of them from all across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Americas and even from Oman. We can’t, and wouldn’t want, to present them all — some are sweet, but best left for friends and families to view. Here are eight that merit viral attention.
First, from Korea, comes “Hongdae Style.” Just as Psy sings of Gangnam, Seoul’s most upscale shopping district, this parody celebrates another neighborhood of the Korean city, the Hongdae district, full of nightclubs and restaurants that cater to college students and younger Koreans.
Also from Korea, “Byuntae Style.” Byuntae is not a place, but a slang term for a pervert.
From Thailand, a parody called “กำนันสไตล์,” which I’m afraid I can’t begin to translate. But the love interest in the red, white and blue USA hot pants needs no translation.
From Italy, “High on Gangnam Style.”
Some animated horseplay — “Pony Gangnam Style.”
Here, the University of Oregon Duck leads the Oregon Cheer, Sluggo and Bigfoot in their own Gangnam parody.
And, finally, even the Norwegians cut loose with “Norway Style.”
With Superman, Wonder Woman and James Bond in our camp, the world can sleep easy tonight, knowing wrong will be righted, and we can all awake tomorrow to a better day and a safer world.
Norazo with Superman.
Wonder Girls with Tell Me.
Hyunseung from the boy band Beast and Hyuna with Troublemaker.
Wonder Girls with Two Different Tears. Funny cameo by Bobby Lee as an alien.
Super Junior T with Superman.
South Korea’s fast-rising pop star, Psy, with his signature song and its hilarious dance moves. Gangnam, by the way, is the most affluent district in the city of Seoul, an entertainment hub and home to Seoul’s most upscale retail outlets. The song lampoons the materialistic style of Gangnam.
There have been many attempts to launch Korean pop, also known as K-Pop, stateside. Look for Psy to finally achieve that breakthrough. He’s currently the second most downloaded artist on iTunes — behind only Justin Bieber and just ahead of Katy Perry.
And here’s Psy in a duet of the song with Hyuna, released last week and dubbed “Oppa Is Just My Style.”
I have a confession. I’m a longtime, diehard K-Pop fan, but not because of Psy. The appeal for me: South Korea boasts the world’s sexiest all-girl bands, with the slickest dance moves and catchiest songs. Don’t believe me? Watch Korea’s After School taking Japan by storm, performing “Bang!”
Girls’ Generation answered with a Japanese version of “Mr. Taxi.” Why Japanese versions? Japan is a huge music market, so K-Pop songs can be easily translated and become much more profitable. Not always, but sometimes the Japanese music videos are also steamier than the originals.
More controversial has been Brown Eyed Girls with their hit “Abracadabra,” with its kinky overtures, including boob fondling and hints of a lesbian kiss.
Finally, the K-Pop girl band that perhaps best embodies Psy’s flair for fun — the colorfully costumed and hot-stepping T-ara (shorthand for “Tiara”) with “Roly Poly.”