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Neo-80s Korean Music Videos (From 2008) and some Oldies

I’m busy grading but I thought I’d share this crazy stuff. Despite what it looks like, it was made a couple of years ago. Looks like the 1980s are finally back. I am both horrified and amused:

And some more videos for you, by the same weirdoes:

Bizarrely, I find these videos way more “authentic” in some way than mainline K-pop. Maybe because the people in the video look like normal Koreans —  by which I mean, not plastic-surgeried beauty queens — just like in old K-pop? And because there’s an exuberant cheesiness in it.

Now, some real old K-pop — from the 90s, mind, but it looks very 80s to an Anglophone Westerner:

I’d probably not have liked this stuff at all if I’d been around when it dominated the airwaves, but it’s funny how a completely, utterly plasticized pop music industry can make the goofy, not-taking-itself-so-seriously stuff look appealing or even authentic, at least by comparison.

Of course, authenticity in popular music is generally a kind of fantastical proposition anyway, as I seem to remember being pointed out in a book that was reviewed, quite interestingly, here. (I read the review a number of years ago and still remember it, so it’s worth the look, I think.)

Still, when I say it looks positively authentic by comparison, I mean this: unlike in a lot of contemporary Korean pop music, the lyrics in those songs above are mostly in Korean (not nonsensical English), the singers look older than 15 (and a mix of men and women), they’re occasionally off-key (because they’re not lip-synching and because singing and dancing at the same time is hard when you’re actually trying to dance well, not just sexy-awkwardly) and the plagiarism, if there is any, is only mild.

(I’d swear half of the former song is assembled from phrases of other pop songs, but I can’t put my finger on any of them, not being a pop music fan — but it feels like pastiche, more than direct ripoff.)

And a song I recognize only from the remake, but:

This video may be 90s, but it’s so 80s to me. It screams “Video Hits,” which was the awful  CBC TV show, right in that late-afternoon slot, that first alerted me to the phenomenon of music videos:

I remember the intro, but not Samantha Taylor, though I’m sure I was seeing this by 1986 or so (during which time she was still the host). I know for a fact I saw the video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on this show, because it scared the living hell out of me. Not the dancing zombies — that looked totally camp and funny to me. It was the werewolf stuff that scared the living crap out of me.

Er, I think I’ll just quit this post while I’m ahead.

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