So obviously that is not a very serious video! Hugh channeled his inner Korean middle school student for this. We made it because the first time Hugh watched the ‘Hello’ music video he said “I’m fine thank you and you?” to that part of the song. Although it was a joke, it was almost an automatic reaction because of the way this English dialogue is drilled into the heads of students learning English in Korea. In Korean there are set phrases that everyone says, however English is more flexible with those initial greetings and I’ve seen many Koreans quickly falter when faced with native English speakers who vary from the ‘script’. We don’t all say “I’m fine thank you and you?” like that. So this video was a little dig at the way English is taught in Korea and I hope it makes people, especially English teachers here, laugh.
Woohoo Bigbang comeback! Unfortunately tickets for concerts go on sale while I’m in Australia so it’s impossible to try to buy them online from here. Even if I was in Korea, it’s so hard to get tickets because they sell out immediately and super hardcore fans have many computers set up to get them as quickly as possible. I can’t compete with that! Fingers crossed that I can get some tickets though… and don’t just have to settle with my husband singing me songs…
Cheese music! I kinda want that on a t-shirt…
Michael Bolton was recently in Korea and there was a TV show and Korean singers did his songs……. I don’t know, I didn’t really watch it haha. But it made Mr Gwon go and watch a lot of Michael Bolton stuff. As much as I laugh at him liking a lot of cheesy music, especially 80’s music, I think it’s great that he just unashamedly likes whatever he wants to like. I notice that in Korean society as well. Compared to Australian culture, where there is a lot of shaming about tastes in music, Koreans seem to be a lot freer to watch and like whatever they want, no matter what their gender.
We talk about what it was like to be a hardcore fan in the 90’s. How is it different from today? What differences were there between Korea and Australia?
If you want to play along you can answer the questions too.
Who was your favourite band/group in the 90’s?
Who was your favourite member?
How did you get your music information?
How did you see new music videos?
Did you buy magazines just for posters?
Did you make mix tapes?
What did you use the internet for back then?
Big Bang inspiring him to work out again! Taeyang’s new music video was released at midnight so this happened after midnight. We really like the song and music video so we’ve been listening to it all day. And it was not surprising that Taeyang had his shirt off for the whole video…
I do get quite a few emails from people wanting to do a guest post or want us to promote them somehow on the blog and the majority I turn down. We only really promote things we really like and we want our blog readers to trust us when we recommend something.
Last night I got an email from a guy called Henry and it was such a nice thoughtful email! I’ve had my share of copy paste emails of people wanting promotion so it was such a pleasant surprise to see a personal email from someone who is obviously following the blog.
Henry is an American musician who moved to Seoul in September. He was motivated by his positive experiences with Koreans while at Berklee College of Music and, like me, ended up having Korean friends and being interested in Korean culture.
This is his new music video which is so cute and fun. As soon as we saw it we knew it was something we would be happy to share with you guys. You can definitely see the Korean influence right?
We really liked the song and video and Hugh was singing along after just one listen.
You can check out Henry’s website here.
Something we didn’t mention in the video was WHY Korean men have to do compulsory military service but I think most people are pretty aware of North Korea. South Korea and North Korea are still technically at war because a formal peace treaty was never signed. With such an unpredictable and unstable threat right across the border, South Korea needs a very large military force. If there wasn’t compulsory service they wouldn’t have the manpower. The issue of ending compulsory service does comes up, but with provocations every now and then from North Korea it’s very hard to even just scale it back a bit. However, the Western media always blows up the North Korea issue, so don’t think North Korea is going to launch huge attacks or anything like that.
It is interesting how people’s perceptions and views are formed by the country they grow up in. Many people understand the need for the military but there are others from countries that have no military and have a very negative view of the military that are critical of anyone who does military service. I think it’s very unfair to judge those that have to do compulsory service and it’s best to have a balanced view. Korean men that do their service don’t necessarily agree with all decisions made by the military, it doesn’t mean they agree with war, but it’s their national duty.
You get very used to the military presence in South Korea. Everywhere there are men in uniform and military vehicles and get a bunch of Korean guys together and inevitably the topic of military service will come up. Men that don’t do their service become excluded from these conversations, can find it hard to connect to other guys and can even not be hired for jobs because they didn’t do it. When the majority of the male population have given up 2 years of their life for their country, it’s important for them to see that Kpop idols are doing it too.
So what we said in the video was just our guess about Big Bang – that at least some members will likely enlist after their comeback (“comeback” in the Kpop sense of the word).