Watch North Koreans watch K-pop

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It’d be delicious if I knew they were being shady, but I don’t know if they’re confused, or angry, or trained from birth to sit quietly, or what. The cultural gulf is too unbridgeable. It’s like when you get a foreign exchange kid from some country that’s so different that you can’t even be cruel to them because they don’t get that you’re making fun of their clothes?


They’ll do wonderfully in the Western culture, just wonderfully.


You’d think they’d ease them into the way things are outside their borders a little. I’m not even ready for K-Pop and I’ve been living outside North Korea for many years. All of them in fact.


Anybody know Korean out there to translate this group’s lyrics? After watching Gagnam Style, I can only think the songs are so full of popular culture references that the NK audience has no way of grasping. I’m thinking 14th century Englishman listening to Eminem’s “Rap God”…a few verses make sense, then gibberish.

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To be honest, that would also be my reaction.


Audience: Are we supposed to applaud? Is it okay to cheer? Will our families be blacklisted if we smile? Let’s wait and see what the others do.



Instead of starting a game of “Guess-which-country-you’re-in,”
let’s just say that blood is thicker than water, especially on the Korean peninsula.

South Koreans singing the Korean national folk song “Arirang”:


NK-pop is much more chillwave


This is Korea you’re talking about.
Ideas and experiences are borrowed, distilled, and intensified into their essence.
Once a decision is made, everything changes all at once.

The singers do not appear to be wearing any of the government-approved hairstyles, so I think it wise of the audience to maintain a prudent silence.


A brief review of South Korean music styles (not that middle-school K-pop crap) …
I’m not Korean, but I am proud to have lived and survived there as 미국 외국인 …

Mind blown yet? Enjoy.

Shamanist Dancing:

Tradition drumming with Kim Duk-soo (famous in Korea, but take your dramamine):

Cover song on traditional instrument (Hendrix on Gayageum):

Korean Trot music (featuring the ajussi-uncle stare when you’ve done something wrong …):

Early Korean punk (Crying Nut):

Grunge-techno (Pipi Band):

IMO, the best Indie band in Korea (Jaurim, check their back catalog):



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What an unfortunate name…


Named after “Pippi Longstocking”

Not K-Pop… but…

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Donald Trump’s favorite one!

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I’m wearing the same blouse today as the girl on the left. It looks better on her.

I just felt like sharing.


They’re interesting, … never heard them before. Not sure why not?

I’ve been trying to find uptempo Korean 뽕짝 music (the stuff with the the pew-pew laser-gun sounds), and all I could find was early Korean psychedelic music from the post-war era.

You wouldn’t happen to know where I could find that Trot rave-style stuff, do you?

Here’s some Shin Jung-hyeon, godfather of Korean pop music.

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Did Laibach get as much shit for that as the Manic Street Preachers got for doing concerts in Cuba and meeting Fidel Castro?


Of all the Manics’ antics, the one with the longest-term consequences was their 2001 press trip to Cuba, at which they were photographed shaking hands with Fidel Castro. To this day a substantial number of fans cannot forgive. The band address the subject on their new LP, Futurology.

“I have plenty of regrets,” says Wire. “Cuba was different. It wasn’t an endorsement. We didn’t know Castro was going to be backstage… We never thought Cuba was going to be a communist Nirvana. People in post-Soviet Europe have a certain point of view about us going to Cuba: they despise Castro, bring it up all the time that we shook hands with him.”