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Friday, December 4, 2009

KPOP: 8eight

I think some of you would just cringe at the mention of the word pop music. You know, I really can't blame you & I'm sometimes guilty as well for indulging shamelessly in bubble gum pop (like Shohjo-Tai I hope you didn't see this)

In the music industry of today, we've been fed with so much manufactured pop, sweetened sounds, electronic filters & effects, the glitz & glamour, the dance, the fashion & the coolness that comes with it, that we forget what music is really about. Remember this?

Milli Vanilli doing their thang in tight tights.
(Why in the world did this group have to exist?)

What we sometimes forget is that at the heart of it all, what really matters is the power of the human voice that stirs & uplifts us. This is about singing like Alicia Keys or Beyonce or Fergie from Black Eyed Peas.

(Quick off-tangent: I've always wondered what the heck black eyed peas are. Now I know.)
But fear not dear readers, for there is hope! In 2007, the world suddenly got better by one notch when an unknown trio who calls themselves 8eight (for unknown reasons) won a survivor-like singing competition on Korean TV. Observe, their prowess on stage.

Now when you have someone singing in front of you like that, without dressing up, without the lights, without the mike, it really makes a lot of difference.

This is what real singing is about. It is singing in its most natural form, the human voice stripped bare, unplugged. This is why talents like 8eight rocks.

If you put me in front of them, I will melt like Milli Vanilla ice-cream.

It's true talents like this that makes us think twice before picking up the karaoke mike. But then again, some people have skin as thick as the Great Wall of China on their faces. Have you seen American Idol? I rest my case.

OMG Milli Vanilli is stuck in my head. I regret putting up that picture of the two of them in the super tights. I shall have nightmares tonight.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Art of Popping: U-Min

A long time ago, when I was a teen with raging hormones & volcanic acne on my face & nobody understood me, one movie came out that changed my life forever.

Yes, I know. They had funny clothes & one of them actually had leotards on. But you see, that was the 80s & they were supposed to be cool at that time.

But what was even cooler was the way they danced.
And it was a new revolutionary dance at that time that came from the streets. It was called THE BREAKDANCE (in deep Darth Vader-like booming voice with echo effect).

There was of course the moonwalk which got stuck with Michael Jackson till the day of his death.

And the turtle.

And the worm.

And the windmill.

And the head spin.

And the wave.
And it was the coolest thing ever, and everyone was doing it, and I was on. I had my 80s baggy pants on, rented the poorly recorded VHS tapes of breakdancing competitions in the US & I breaked the dance.

Now looking back, I think I must have looked pretty stupid attempting it. I thank God every night before I go to bed that I do not have pictures of those moments.

There's this really cool group in Japan called U-Min & they do popping. They've been able to bring the art of the dance to the ultimate level. Enjoy.

And I'm just glad I didn't go for the leotards.