Archive for music

Pump it up!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 13, 2010 by yujinishuge

In the late 1990’s a shift in video games occurred. In the 1980’s it was pretty much established that video games were to be played with a hand held controller. The shift occurred as video game technology changed. Games home games went to 3D, and were still primarily being played with a controller, but the coin operated games started needing a gimmick to be worth spending lots of money in an arcade. (Afterall, why would anyone pay good money to play a game in the arcade instead of waiting a few months to buy the home version, which they can play for free?)

So, what kinds of gimmicks started to be prominent?
Well, the first type were the gun games. These actually were not new, as gun games had been made since the 1970’s. But as graphical technology increased, the 3D realism of the gun games made them popular.

And then Japanese arcades became noisier...

Next, there were the music games. Here, the player had to have rhythm to perform a set of actions based on music. There were dancing games, band games, DJ games, and all sorts of games requiring manipulation of a musical instrument-like controller. Here, we will be mainly concerned with the dancing games.
Dancing games? Continue reading

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Wonder Girls release new single – 2 different tears/ the history of K-pop

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 17, 2010 by yujinishuge

The album cover for 2 Different Tears

I like K-pop. The term K-pop means Korean Pop Music. In Korean, they call it gayo (가요) most of the time, but the terms can be used interchangeably. If you were to simply say “pop music” in Korean, that usually refers to English language pop-music from America or Great Britain.

I’m writing this because I think that this is the first time I’ve heard a song written in English and sung by a Korean pop group that sounds natural and not a forced. 2 Different tears is a song about a woman who is reflecting upon her long term relationship. Her lover has loved her, and hurt her, so she loves him and hates him at the same time. It’s a complex battle of emotions that pop-stars who haven’t had time to do anything other than train for their eventual debut since their pre-teen days probably know nothing about. But even so, it is delivered in such a way that the emotion is believable. Ye-Eun’s cries of “So I hate you… So I love you…” sound so powerful, that if I close my eyes and listen to them, I’d think they were coming from Whitney Houston. In short, this song is good.

The Wonder Girls came out with 3 hit singles in Korea from 2007-2008, “Tell Me”, “So Hot”, and “Nobody”. In Korean, these songs were great. In 2009, the Wonder Girls made their U.S. debut. In the U.S., they naturally had to sing in English, so they took their song Nobody and changed it into English. They were moderately successful, being the first Asian artist to appear on the Billboard Top 100 Chart. However, I didn’t really like the English version of “Nobody”. It’s just obvious that it was originally written in Korean, and parts of it just don’t fit in the established rhythm, and some of the girls need to work on their English pronunciation. Basically, it’s a better song in Korean.

“2 Different Tears” is nothing like that. In fact, I have to argue that the English version is slightly better than the Korean one. Below is a music video, take a look for yourself!

(Americans viewing the video may notice that Korean-American comedian Bobby Lee has a central role in the video.)

http://www.youtube.com/v/0iVPPqF7Xv0&hl=en_US&fs=1&

K-Pop has a long and fascinating history. You can read my interpretation of that history after the jump. Continue reading