It’s tough being such a popular, loved and respected blog and working hard to live up to the expectations of the global k-pop fan community. Of course I’m very grateful for all the attention and praise that I consistently receive, but sometimes I need to look after my own mental heath and put the brakes on my steady readership increase by making another post just for the hardcore truly dedicated music fans who don’t care about popularity or idols and just appreciate music of all types no matter where it comes from. That’s right, it’s time once again for Kpopalypse Nugu Alert!
Here’s a dilemma that many of you reading this who are Korean pop music fans have no doubt experienced. You’re with a friend and you’re talking about music, and the conversation goes something like the following:
“So what sort of music are you into?”
“Er… Korean pop.”
“Oh. I didn’t know that you speak Korean?”
“Well actually, I don’t.”
“So why listen to it then, when you can’t understand what they are singing?”
“[insert big list of reasons here]”
“But YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY’RE SINGING!“
Of course, being able to understand the words in pop music (or not) is irrelevant to the actual music itself, however it’s still very important to a large amount of music fans. This is because music for a lot of people is much more than music itself, but communication, and if people feel locked out of the communication loop then it feels like they’re missing the “human element”. If there is one common thread that unites all Korean pop music, and in fact almost all popular music across the globe, it’s the human voice. Humans are social creatures who thrive off the company of other humans, hence we’re drawn to the sound of each other’s voices (and this is why every prison has “solitary confinement” as a very effective punishment). Even the most early tribal musics started with the human voice before progressing to instruments. This predisposition toward hearing the human voice is so deeply ingrained in all of us that if you want to have any sort of currency as a pop music producer, you’d better work out how to make some kind of music with some sort of human voice on top of it (even if it’s just a sample of some gibberish or whatever).
This very strong predisposition towards hearing voice front-and-center unfortunately relegates a lot of instrumental music to instant nugudom. While exceptions have occurred, they are very few and far between – climbing the charts as a pure instrumentalist has always proven to be exceptionally difficult. It’s already damn tough to be a musician in Korea of any type, as a purely instrumental artist it really must be so much harder, so I believe that it’s time Kpopalypse Nugu Alert gave the instrumentalists their due.
Usual Nugu Alert rules apply:
- Less than 20,000 views across official channels
- Generally not known to the international k-pop fan community
- Relevant to Kpopalypse
Let’s get it started.
Ash – A School Of Dolphins
I know a guy who fucking loves dolphins a whole lot, he used to live by the beach and tell me these stories which were all endless variations of “I looked out at the water from where I live and saw some dolphins today”. I have no idea why anyone would love dolphins so damn much because they are truly fuckheads, the Bill Cosby of sea creatures, but anyway, the guys shooting this video for Ash should have hooked up with my friend who could have shown them where to go scuba-diving to find some dolphins quite easily. There’s not a fucking dolphin to be seen anywhere in this video’s first-person fish-eye lens adventure, but what we do get eventually is a big fuck-off shark/whale thing that eats a bunch of fish stupidly swimming around its mouth, I guess that’s the best they could come up with, and after a while of not finding any dolphins the video team just sort of say “fuck it” and go shopping instead. It must really suck going out to make a video for a song called “A School Of Dolphins” and then not finding any dolphins, but I guess you can’t control that type of thing easily, I hope they weren’t working on a per-dolphin commission because that would have been some awkward times come payday. They should have renamed the song “a big fuck-off whale and some fish that get eaten plus we looked at mangoes at the grocery” and it would have all made more sense but there’s no telling these creative types what to do. At least the tune is alright.
YouTube views at time of writing: 1490
Notable attribute: Christmas decorations up in November, way too fucking early man
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
Hwado Man – Memories
In this touching drama video, a woman is walking along a street when she sees a guy busking. She takes her headphones out and starts listening to the guitar playing instead of whatever garbage bullshit Korean pop music she’s into, probably something by your bias. She notices that the song the guitar player is playing is a crappy ballad that’s even worse than the bullshit in her headphones, and that the guitar player also appears quite destitute – she takes pity on him and wonders if she should give him some coins. Being forced to play shit music for food has to be a sad life, she thinks to herself. Then she observes him some more and notices something a bit peculiar – the sounds coming out of his guitar don’t quite match up to his hand movements. “This guy must be miming, what a fucking cheat – I don’t feel obliged to give this scumbag a goddamn thing” she thinks to herself, as she begins to smile. She walks down the street and straight out of his life without giving him a fucking penny, then goes home and streams Monsta X all night on 57 different devices while fapping furiously to Wonho’s abs. Don’t you just love a happy ending?
YouTube views at time of writing: 393
Notable attribute: it’s actually legal to drive at 30km down the pissy little street this video was shot in, no wonder Korean drivers are running over pedestrians so much
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
Dahye – Warehouse Of Past Memory
You wake up. You wonder where you are. You stare in front of you, you’re looking at a glass roof and some plants. You feel conscious of a bruise on your head, and that you’re lying on your back, with your body tied to a bench. Then you remember what happened – what brought you here. You had been walking home from the shops when the car pulled up, a long limousine. Two men grabbed you and forced you into the back of the car at gunpoint. Once inside, you met two Korean girls, almost identical in appearance. “Papa YG doesn’t appreciate your latest article, IATFB” says one of them. “I think you’d better remove that article now”, says the other. “But… I’m not IATFB! I didn’t write that article!” you protest. The two girls look at each other. Then they look back at you, and the girl on the left stares at your close, examining your features carefully. “Oh fuck… hey, he’s right! We got the wrong guy… must be one of the other authors” she says. “What do we do?” says the other girl. “Eh, fuck it. Let’s hand him over anyway, they’ll tie him up in the YG greenhouse and torture him to get IATFB’s location. It’s all money.” At that point you don’t remember exactly what happened next, but here you are. You can smell the heady stench of marijuana as a piano gently increases in volume. At first it is bearable, but after a few minutes you can take no more. You can feel your brain gradually shutting down, pounded into atrophy from sheer boredom, you know soon you’ll be rendered powerless to resist telling YG all that you know about the inner workings of Asian Junkie HQ. You bend your neck and reach down with your mouth to your shirt collar, and bite down on the cyanide pill that all Asian Junkie authors have stitched into the fabric of their clothing to use in the event that they are located and tortured by the YG authorities. They won’t take you alive, you’ll have the last laugh.
YouTube views at time of writing: 2582
Notable attribute: nugu greenhouse is not structurally sound enough to keep the wind out
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
That’s all for this episode of Kpopalyspe Nugu Alert! Kpopalypse will return at a future date with more nugus for you to enjoy!