21 May 2018

21 May 2018 - Lindsey Buckingham - Holiday Road

You know all that Fleetwood Mac we just posted a couple of months back?

That all started because I was looking for this video. It was worth the search - it really has nothing to do with the National Lampoon's Vacation movie that made it famous. 

17 May 2018

17 May 2018 - BIGBANG - Fantastic Baby


Honestly, after watching this video, I'm not sure there's much more to say.

But there is so much more to say.  This is arguably the biggest K-Pop hit of all time.  It was released in 2012, and was on the US World Digital Singles year-end charts - so, charts for the whole year - in 2012, 2013, and 2014.  No song has charted on that chart (which is a weekly) longer than this one.

The song is a pretty standard dance-club banger, with a Sly and the Family Stone tribute mixed in for good measure.  Or did you think the boom shakalaka was just there because it sounded good?  The beats draw you in - it's a catchy song lyrically as well, especially if you know Korean.   

But this video.  My God.  It's a bit much.  And amazing. And a bit much.


16 May 2018

16 May 2018 - BTS (방탄소년단) - MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix)

I was going to try to ignore BTS. I mean, they're really good for a seven-piece boy band.

This song is popular because an American of Japanese descent remixed it.  And let's be clear - this song was a big hit.  It made mainstream pop radio Top 30, which is rare for a song with very few English words.  However, BTS is pretty front-and-center in this very visually-interesting video.  At the end of the day, Steve Aoki's remix gives the song some polish, but their singing and dancing skills carry the day.

Also, no, guys, I have not seen your bag.


Incidentally, this song does exist in a version without remix. This Japanese version of the video shows a side without Aoki.

15 May 2018

15 May 2018 - BLACKPINK - '붐바야'(Boombayah)

Today, let's talk about Korean girl groups.  Specifically, let's start with the new kids on the block.

BLACKPINK are a somewhat manufactured band that debuted in 2016 with this video.  From a Global chart standpoint, few Korean acts have done nearly as well, and they've done all this in a very short time.  With names like Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa, very easily translated to English, it's my suspicion that this was always the plan.They were always meant to take over the world.

Mission accomplished. Their songs historically perform stronger on the US Global Chart - with all five of their singles thus far making the top 5 on that chart, with 3 #1 hits - than even in Korea. But let's be fair - they're big stars back home. too. 

This song is catchy, even in Korean.  I mean, there's a fair amount of English in here.  You'll be singing about BLACKPINK in your area before you know it!


14 May 2018

14 May 2018 - HYUN-A (현아) - '빨개요 (RED)

Let's start our K-Pop week with Hyun-a, Korea's Madonna - the big diva of their music scene. We've featured her here in the past.

In pop star terms, she's been around forever.  Really, it's only been about 10 years, but in the K-Pop world, that's a long time.  As someone who appeared in the video for PSY's worldwide hit "Gangnam Style" (and, if you are a long time reader of this blog, you know she recorded her OWN version), she's also arguably the first female Korean artist to have worldwide recognition.

This song isn't "Gangnam Style" and not even "Bubble Pop".  It's a more mature pop song from a serious artist.  Who likes to shock people in her native country (this video is borderline risque and Korean broadcasters refused to air what Rolling Stone called one of the ten best videos of 2014).

All in all, it's a great tune with both electronic and Middle Eastern influence.  Give it a listen.

09 May 2018

9 May 2018 - Meat Puppets - Backwater

In 1980, the Meat Puppets formed.  They were indie rock darlings for a decade, attracting the attention of a lot of other musicians, but not really growing their audience.  In the 1990s, they decided to give major label music a try.

And then Nirvana invited them to participate in their Unplugged performance and covered three of their songs in 1993.

Which led to this 1994 hit, the biggest of their career.   And while the video hits all the 90's grunge cliches, the song itself doesn't.  It's rich and deep and has great harmonized vocals. 

06 May 2018

6 May 2018 - The Darling Buds - Sure Thing

Admit it. You thought this was a one year joke. You thought I'd run out of material.

No. It's a real thing. And Darling Buds Day is actually noticed.  We'd like to think we are responsible for their new material.  I'm not sure that's true, but we're happy to take credit.