Tuesday, 9 October 2012

5 'Gangnam Style' Vids That Tickled My Fancy

        Unless you‘ve been living under a rock for the last couple of days, chances are you've heard of Gangnam Style by Korean artist PSY. With an unprecedented worldwide appeal due to its catchy tune and ridiculous dance moves filled silly music video, Gangnam Style is (at the time of writing) no.1 in numerous countries as well as the in the UK pop charts.
        That’s pretty insane considering the majority of the lyrics are in Korean and the UK is generally not known for having foreign language hits.
        A huge part of its success is down to the song’s exposure on Youtube (smashing all records as the most viewed K-pop song EVER), and so it’s no surprise then that numerous covers, tributes and parodies of the song have sprung up from every corner of the globe.

        Of course it would be pointless to attempt an exhaustive list or even come up with a definitive ‘best of’ as there are just too many videos out there. Instead, I’m just going to note down the 5 videos (in no particular order) that I have seen in passing and have tickled my fancy. First though, if you haven’t already seen it or need a refresher, here is the original.

        What would this ridiculous music video look like without the music? If you have ever pondered this then ponder no further - as this video presents it as just that.
        Using only the acapella vocals, ambient background noises and tons of sound effects, this manages to be consistently funny, with scenes of deafening wind machines, the awkward clip-clopping of the dance moves and the merry-go-round music - being particular highlights. Not only does it manage to make a ridiculous music video somehow even more ridiculous – but is also humourous in that you feel that there is a certain element of truth to it – as in they must have experienced similar moments of musiclessness when filming certain segments of the original music video.

        Many parodies of Gangnam Style exist out there, often with people dressing up and with adapted lyrics in English (see POP! Goes The Mischief’s Gotham Style and ScreenTeam’s Gandalf Style for examples). However, this video featuring a guy dressed up as Deadpool is my favourite as it just fits with his mischievous character so well.
        The song is not changed in any way – it’s just footage of a guy dressed up as Deadpool wandering the streets, dancing and just generally larking about. Highlights include the escalator spinning-plank, members of the public gamely joining in with him and the numerous times he thrusts his crotch into people’s faces.
        I guess its funny just to see how different people react to something like this. Some love it and get involved straight away, others just try and ignore it in the hope that he will eventually just go away.
        There are plenty of nods to the original video too – as well as a guest cameo from Bane! Who says Marvel and DC cant get along?

        Another video that has gained a ridiculous amount of exposure following the growing popularity of the song. I mean, five hot Korean girls performing a fun dance routine in short skirts/shorts – what’s not to love?
        What I like about this video is that the dancing is actually pretty good (a lot of the moves are to the lyrics and not just the beat/melody), but also the fact that the girls are not afraid to show that they have a sense of humour by also incorporating the dance moves from the original music video. Simple, but effective - which definitely makes it one of my favourites.

        There have also been many covers of Gangnam Style in a variety of different styles. Lara’s piano cover and Erock’s metal cover come to mind as strong contenders. However the best one I’ve seen so far is Berkley based Korean band Ra-On and their supremely soulful acoustic cover. Featuring two singers and a guy on guitar, it somehow totally changes the song and elevates it into something spectacular.
        Not much to add here, really – just have a listen for yourself.

        What better way to celebrate your marriage than to make a Gangnam Style music video - featuring the bride, groom, family, friends and other wedding guests? Crazy as it ,ay seem, this San Francisco based couple enlisted the services of LightBulb Videography to make a music video of the song to commemorate their special day.
        As well as numerous references to the original, this video also features actual footage of the couple inside the church and at the wedding reception!

        This video is great because it’s professionally produced – but mainly also because it looks like it was legitimately fun to make and be a part of. It may be kind of groan-worthy to some watching it right now due to the current massive popularity of the song, but just think – many years from now EVERYONE in it will look back and think ‘dayum – we had bare jokes that day!’…
        Good times!

        Know of any other Gangnam Style vids that deserve a mention? Suggest them in the comments below!

Here's a bonus clip - just for fun!

9 Oct 2012

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