It’s been a while since i posted on this blog. It definitely feels like a good time to update.
Currently i’m on my first visit to Thailand. I’m not visiting any beaches, but rather just spending a full week in Bangkok, enjoying experiencing somewhere new and interesting.
I had my first real, genuine Thai-made pad thai for a later dinner last night. I must say it was just as incredibly delicious as i’d heard it described by others. It did not look very special, but the taste was wonderful. I’d eat it again almost any time. I do like Korean food, but it was fantastic to try something different for a change, too.
Speaking of which, as much as i hate TV, i am enjoying listening to and watching the local music video channel here called ‘Astro Hitz’ while i study. There are two main reasons why i hate television: the constant nature of being interrupted by commercial advertisement breaks, and, that someone else is choosing what to play, and when. However, in this case there are mercifully few ads, and in the case of music and songs, i actually enjoy hearing new music and seeing new videos, so i am happy for someone else to play a selection of sounds and images.
Then again, if the style of music was drastically different to my preferred genre i would not want to watch. I do not, as a general rule, like ‘K pop’ at all. I find it to be pre-fabricated, over commercialized, bland, uninteresting, and really only selling the sex of the underage, over-made starlets. I think K pop is very sad both for the performers and the audience.
This is not to say that I dislike Korean music. I enjoy traditional Korean music, whether is is performed on a gaeugeum, or just a lone voice and drum as in pansori, and even more modern indie rock, as in Crying Nut, or the Rock Tigers.
Anyway, it’s nice to hear music performed in my original language again, and to see what the latest releases sound and look like. In particular, I’d heard and read a lot about Pink over the last few years, but not heard or seen her perform. I really like the single I saw just this morning while finishing breakfast, called ‘Please Don’t Leave Me‘. She has an amazing voice, and is a very relaxed, natural performer… although it is interesting to read that I must have just seen the third video version of the song recorded.
Apparently the first unedited version was so disturbing it had to be edited heavily – for western audiences – although I can imagine that for some Asian audiences even that was too bad, so the version I saw simply had her singing (lip syncing) with a backing band. I do think that this is quite ironic though: the average martial arts, horror or even just drama movie has a lot more serious incidents of clearly graphic violence, whereas this music video was obviously tongue-in-cheek comedy, and, apart from the golf club to the knee, it showed no real violence. It does make me wonder if the only objection that some cultures and peoples might find in it is that it portrays a woman being active and attempting to take a form of physical control, and actually largely succeeding.
I was also glad to hear a Smashing Pumpkins song; I like the video too, with all its science fiction imagery.
Speaking of videos, there is a ‘good’ video by a band called Korn out since 2005 which I just saw for the first time. It is ‘good’ in the sense that it creates a strong impression, but the images are fairly disturbing, even if they are actually also quite funny in a twisted kind of way. It features a ‘band’ called ‘Korn’ but this one is actually made up of fairly famous rap stars, of whom I only recognize Snoop Dog. At the end of the funny video, they hold a conference with the real band members acting as their agents, complaining about them, their bad rock star behavior and their terrible rock music. The song is called ‘Twisted Transister.’
Also interesting is that the director for this video is the same guy who directed that one I just mentioned, by Pink. His name is Dave Meyers.
Whatever you think of his ideas and creative direction, I certainly enjoy hearing something other than the latest rehashing of trite love songs and awfully mangled English, and it is refreshing seeing something different to the lastest dance steps by the same set of choreographers in Seoul.