Skip to content

K-pop in America

February 3, 2012

You may wonder when this blog started being more about K-pop than going on adventures and climbing mountains.  The answer: when it got really, really cold outside.  I’ll hide inside until March.

A while ago, I wrote about K-pop’s dominance in Japan and South East Asia, and how the next natural progression was to the West.   And now, here’s Girls’ Generation on David Letterman from a few days ago, singing in English.  This is one of my least favorite K-pop songs, and it sounds more awkward in English, but fans of highly choreographed dancing or Korean girls rapping should watch the video.

Lots of people have written about whether K-pop (and, specifically, this K-pop group) will be successful in the States.  The detractors say that Americans will just be confused.  Why are there so many of them?  And, of course, any aegyo behavior from them would be completely baffling.

However, I think that Girls’ Generation has a decent shot at gaining a foothold in the US pop market.  The material that they are trying to market in the States isn’t very different from US pop music.  The writer for The Atlantic (linked above) thinks that it has a chance if it’s marketed towards young teenagers, which seems reasonable.  But I think that the “Americans will just be confused” arguments underestimate the level of irony in US pop music consumption, especially among people my age.  After all, Ke$ha’s “Tic Tok” became the most popular song ever released by a female artist (!) not because Americans thought it was a good song, but because everyone thought it was funny.  It would be a very different sort of irony, but I could definitely see SNSD’s novelty (there are nine of them!) being embraced with a smirk by someone like Stephen Colbert.  Their strangeness could be an asset.

What do you think?  (I’m not really trying to think of this from a aesthetic perspective, but just a “will this make money and be successful” perspective).

Also, it should be noted that if I could hang out with Bill Murray and Girls’ Generation at the same time, I would be really happy.  Dave doesn’t know how lucky he is.  Nice job on saying 감사함니다 pretty well, though.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Adam permalink
    February 3, 2012 11:00 am

    haha my first thought was “Gosh, there are so many of them!”

  2. Jack Straub permalink
    February 5, 2012 1:05 am

    Let’s see if they make it to KEXP.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: