K-Pop Korner: Big Bang

May 18, 2009

Big Bang enjoy immense popularity amongst my students. I think they’re goddamn awful. Weak-sauce, even by Korean pop standards. Their “leader”, G-Dragon, lists his weight as 54kg. What the hell kind of a weight is that for a grown-ass man? He’s bragging this?

I suppose I should make the disclaimer that, since I’m a devotee of what has been called “aw that kill yer granny music“*, my opinions on pretty much the entire catalogue of Korean pop music are going to be less than enthusiastic (with a notable exception being made for Seon Yeo Shidae here).

Here is the video for Big Bang’s smash hit, “Lies”, the track that first brought them to my attention.

I used to have to put up with kids who, when I chastised them in class for whatever bullshit shenanigans they were getting up to, would apologise by singing the lines from the chorus of that song. This is perhaps the root of my hostility to (the fistful of soggy tampons masquerading as pop stars known as) Big Bang, a kind of Pavlovian reaction. Whenever I hear that tune I’m bitterly reminded of the various times that I was mocked by kids.

*(This is the title of an album by The Alpacinos)



  1. I think what’s so hard to stomach for me about phenomena like Big Bang, Wonder Girls, etc. isn’t the music itself so much as just how ubiquitous they become within Korean culture.
    This isn’t just pop trash for teenagers — EVERYONE listens to this stuff! Sans irony!! Uni kids set the songs as their ring tones. Businessmen listen to these songs on their ipods during their daily commute.
    When some new fad takes Korea by storm it seems literally everyone is into it, with no accounting for personal taste, and no discernible demand for diversity.
    Talk about a mass culture.

    Where are the hippies?! Where are the punks?!!

  2. The punks can be found in clubs like Skunk Hell. It’s punk-lite though. Cartoon goth-punk, like a Tim Burton lunchbox.

    I’ve never seen a Korean hippy. Ever.

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