Tag Archives: Music video

You’re Impressive

KPOP Tuesdays: VIXX’s “대.다.나.다.너” (G.R.8.U/ You’re Impressive)
By Olivia of WangGuk

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Watch before you read 🙂  >>   http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9vIZT-aIUKc

This week I’m talking about VIXX’s video for “대.다.나.다.너” because it is noteworthy and is a much-overlooked gem in KPOP right now (I know, it was posted a while ago, but it is still over-looked and still noteworthy).

VIXX is a rookie group of rookie groups. If you don’t know who they are, it isn’t surprising to me. But it is disappointing. Because these guys are seriously talented and conceptually, I always feel like their music is very mature and well-thought-out. Recently, VIXX made a comeback with a song called “Hyde” which had a pretty creepy-but-cool video to go with it. It explored the idea of a split personality brought on by a bad relationship with a girl. Its title “Hyde” refers to the story of Jekyll and Hyde, and the concept in the video was that a guy started out really sweet and content and nice at the beginning of his relationship with this girl, but the girl mistreats him and hurts him, so he goes crazy with pain and turns into his own kind of “Hyde.”

This newer video for “대.다.나.다.너” is a continuation of this same concept; it’s actually a kind of response to “Hyde.” But although it came after “Hyde” and is a continuation of the same concept, it is actually the precursor story to “Hyde.” The video is actually what happened before “Hyde.” As you watch it, you’ll notice that the whole thing is backward; the video was shot in reverse and it plays backward for most of the song. (How do their lips still match up perfectly with the forward-moving song, you ask? Talk about impressive— the VIXX guys actually memorized the entire song backwards down to the syllable so that this effect could be achieved…WOW).

Why the backwards motion? If you listen to (or look up) the lyrics, you will find that this is actually quite a sad song, which most people don’t get because they think “Oh, soft pretty colors and smiles and cuties—it’s happy.” It’s actually talking about what the guy felt like at the very start of the relationship: he talks about how he wanted to love her but couldn’t and then he finally let himself go and let himself fall crazy in love with her. The lyrics are beautiful so you should really just look them up. It’s poetic and it’s also lamenting. He keeps saying “Why am I like this?” and that he changed because of her; that she awakened a him he never knew existed. This doubles in meaning because at first, she awakened in him a love that he never knew was possible and it was great and beautiful. But then, she hurts him and drives him crazy and he says “There’s no way something this sweet can be bad for me.” He realizes that she also awakened a horrible, hurting version of him as well (his “Hyde”). The whole thing is basically this guy realizing that this girl is bad for him, that she’s hurting him, but he can’t let her go because he loves her too much and he’s stuck wondering why she doesn’t love him back, wondering how things got so bad.

The backward motion works so well in this song because it is literally the guy looking back on the relationship. Kind of like in that movie 500 Days of Summer where Joseph Gordon-Levitt goes through all the days he spent with her, in this video, the guy is retracing his steps through the relationship. It’s like he’s looking back through the steps it took to get this bad— you’ll also notice that the VIXX guys are making a mess in the room they’re in. There’s chaos everywhere and they’re destroying everything. This symbolizes the mess of the relationship and how chaotic and bad it’s become. Knowing this, the video becomes kind of weird because you’re stuck wondering why all the guys look so happy and cute. But this goes along with the juxtaposition of how happy the relationship started, and how messy it now is all around him. The fact that they are making the mess around each other coincides with the story about the guy. He made the mess himself, he knew he shouldn’t have been with the girl, but he let himself fall anyway. And as the relationship progressed, the mess got worse and more convoluted (the beginning of the video when they’re all lying on the ground, exhausted from making the mess— since it is backward, the start of the video is the end of the relationship).

So since it’s running backward, the end of the music video is the beginning of the relationship— it ends with the guys’ choreo in a clouds-and-blue-sky room where they’re all dancing and looking happy, even as they’re still singing the sad lyrics. So the mess they’re making runs backward until it is the beginning of the mess (the beginning of the relationship; end of video) and everything is happy and new and untouched still.

This video actually is quite genius, in my opinion. Let’s put aside the cold hard facts that these guys have amazing vocals, great choreography, and they memorized the entire song backwards— conceptually, these guys are way ahead of the curve. The fact that they achieved the communication of their concept completely through the structure and imagery of their music video is far more impressive than most popular KPOP rookie groups currently under the radar. It is a little baffling to me why these guys don’t receive more attention. Maybe it’s poorly planned media exposure, maybe it’s always bad timing. I don’t know. All I know is that these guys have more than musical choreographical talent— they think about what they’re putting forth to the public, and it always shows. You’re impressive, VIXX; keep working hard and hopefully more people will start to realize the art you are so capable of producing.

Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9vIZT-aIUKc

Still photo creds:  vimeo.com

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I Want to 미치GO

KPOP Tuesdays: GD’s “미치GO”
By Olivia of WangGuk

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watch video before you read :] >>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrwnL62HObI

This week, I’m going to write about a music video that I really disliked at first. In fact, it wasn’t until just this week, after ignoring it since it first came out, that I actually started to appreciate it. An unexpected love: G-Dragon’s 미치GO or MichiGo.

When this song and video first came out, I was like “Okay so Crayon but a slightly different beat and much more crazy and messed up. Cool.” I didn’t like it at all and I felt like, after Crayon had just come out, it was a complete cop-out and just a bad copy of everything in Crayon. I was actually really disappointed in GD for a while because I felt like the video lacked creativity.

This past week, as I have been falling in love over and over with his newest album (songs from which I’ll review in future posts), I re-visited some of GD’s earlier work. I always love to do this because you can really see an artist’s growth and development over time by looking through all of their work in order. I started with his super old stuff (all that hip-hop rap and more; that good old stuff) and I finally got to 미치GO, and I was like, “Well yeah but I hate this so I’m not going to watch it.” But then I forced myself to re-watch it (I often do this. I listen to a song I know I hate, try a food I know I hate for the 60th time— just to make sure I still hate these things). And upon re-watching the video, I discovered that I actually love it for a ton of different reasons.

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First, this song and video are completely GD. This video doesn’t lack any creativity (no idea what I was thinking before; I was probably on my period or something), nor does it lack musical quality. And although musical quality can be very subjective, I think we must agree that GD never lacks in this department. And 미치GO is no exception. The beat is in fact unique and quite different than Crayon’s beat and backdrop. Some have complained that it is annoying and repetitive and there is no depth to the song itself. COMpletely false, in my opinion. We’ll explore why.

If we look at the visual effects in the video, there is A LOT going on. I mean, there’s this freaky crazy subway with bowl-cut GD riding some giant pink elephant, there’s curly-cue GD who’s trying to read his book, there’s these creepy weird people with masks for faces, and everyone is dancing crazy like someone just dropped a serious acid-bomb on this train. Visually, it’s a lot to take in. Especially if you’re just going to sit through it once and think you’re ready to judge it as a whole. Once we get out of the subway for a little while, there’s this scene where poor curly-cue GD is at the doctor’s office, trying to fix his now suddenly elephantine feet (how did these suddenly grow out of nowhere?), which is spliced with a scene where afro-pic-wearing GD is peeing in this creepy green-lit bathroom— peeing but trying to dance at the same time. This is further spliced with the scene where GD is getting spanked by his mask-face mother and father, as he says “feels goooood.”

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It continues with these scenes, also spliced by a library scene where little curly-cue GD is still trying to read under a table, but keeps getting interrupted by all the other crazy GDs and people dancing and jumping and screaming all over the place. This leads to the scene where a fancy Thom Browne-coat-and-trousered GD is shooting the feet of curly-cue GD with a GD-branded laser-gun, making him dance and flail so as not to get zapped.

Yes, visually, it’s a lot to take in. Especially if we’re just going to call this a weird hodge-podge mess of a bunch of randomly selected weird, creepy, or somewhat-disturbing ideas thrown together into one MV. But it’s so much more than that. Let’s break it down.

I don’t think anything in this video is random. Everything coincides perfectly with the lyrics. The lyrics consist of a GD saying “today I’m michigo, today I’m michigo, today I’m michigo” and other things he repeats several times, like “dirty mad fiesta” (found several translations and it seems that no one really knows what he’s saying there; I think it’s “fiesta”), “today I shake it” and other things. The title of the song, “MichiGo,” is a mix of Korean and English. “미치” (pronounced like “michi”) means “crazy” in Korean and “go” is in English. So put together it literally is “crazy go”— “go crazy.”

This is repeated throughout the song, which is fitting because the song itself is chaos. It’s about going crazy. The reason I like this song so much is because, to me, it almost feels like a video that illustrates the inside of GD’s mind. Now, I’m not GD and I don’t presume to know or comprehend what goes on in his mind, but to me, this video is like an encompassing picture of what GD’s life is like. He starts off as this scared innocent little kid and then he jumps on this express train that takes him into another world. In this world, he meets all of his alter-egos and subconscious selves. There’s the crazy twisted GD who doesn’t even recognize his parents anymore (“mother, father, who are you?”) and then there’s the little boy GD who’s still a kid and who’s still trying to survive, reading under the table, amidst all of the crazy different GDs who keep emerging.

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The feet, to me, are a metaphor for this. The scenes where little curly-cue GD’s feet are getting too big communicate the crazy GD trying to take over the body of the little kid GD. All of these GDs are trying to fit in one body and he’s just one guy, so this swelling of self occurs, so to speak. And throughout the song, GD keeps saying “dance, dance!” like it’s a command, almost like he’s telling himself to dance. Also, at the beginning and end, he says, “I want to go back—No! Shut up!” almost like there is one GD speaking to another. If we roll with the idea that this song is a bunch of GDs fighting to be one body or one whole person, these lyrics become like a dialogue between his alter-egos. Like all his different selves fighting each other and talking to each other. And the rest of the chaos going on, like the guys carrying stacks of books and boxes that keep falling, just solidifies the image of chaos that’s inside him. It’s like GD the kid, who started writing music when he was six, is still there, but now he exists amidst a GD who is constantly changing and developing, going crazy with fame and fortune and all the rest— like the kid’s just trying to keep up with the celebrity. And at the end, when GD the little curly-cue kid gets off the train, he’s got this weird virus, almost like all those GDs are dancing around in him, fighting for control. He’s now got both inside him— GD the kid and GD the crazy. Who’s the real GD? All of the above. It’s a crowded room in there. It always is inside a human mind, I think. We’re each so many different selves in one.

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So this might be completely not what GD was thinking when he created this, but for me, I learned to appreciate it by viewing it in this manner. After seeing it as a picture of the inner GD, it really struck me as not only artistic and strikingly creative, but also rather sad. It now sounds like both a crazy fun dance party song sung by the crazy artist GD and also a lament and cry of chaos from the innocent little boy GD that’s still in there too, whose life is moving too fast for him. It’s just a creative piece altogether. GD’s always one to make me think twice. And now I love it more than I ever thought I would.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrwnL62HObI 

photo credit to:
www.kpopstarz.com

seoulbeats.com 

www.ohkpop.com  

fareastvibes.com 

soundcloud.com