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Posts Tagged ‘pop

“Wherever you are right now, you’re just taking a break”*…

BTS

All seven members of boy band BTS have become multimillionaires after their label, Big Hit Entertainment, pulled off South Korea’s biggest stock market listing in three years. The K-pop label is issuing its shares at 135,000 won ($115) each, Big Hit said in a filing on Monday, raising 962.55 million won ($822 million) and valuing the company at 4.8 trillion won ($4.1 billion). That makes the deal South Korea’s largest stock offering since July 2017, according to data compiled by Dealogic…

CNN

K-Pop is huge, generating huge sales and cultural impact around the world. But what, readers of a certain age might ask, is K-Pop? And why are the groups so large? Our friends at The Pudding ride to the rescue:

Try typing “Why are K-pop groups…” into Google search and autocomplete offers several suggestions: “…so large,” “…so big” and “…so popular.” The rapid global growth of Korean music over the past decade has puzzled non-fans (and even experts), and it seems that the size of K-pop groups might be a mystery, too.

Traditionally, rock bands have as many members as there are instruments: a lead singer, two guitarists, and a drummer. Popular Western boy groups—like The Jackson Five, New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, The Jonas Brothers, One Direction—and girl groups—like The Supremes, Destiny’s Child, TLC, The Spice Girls, and Little Mix—have ranged in size from 3-5 members. Compared to those numbers, K-pop groups with 7 or 9, or even 23 members (yes, a group that big exists) might seem alien, or downright excessive. And yet the average size of the top 10 selling K-pop groups of the last decade (like girl group TWICE, pictured above) is 9 members.

So, how did groups get that large? What about large groups is so appealing? And, what do the sizes of K-pop groups tell us about why K-pop is so popular?

To answer those questions, we tracked trends in group sizes and member roles over modern K-pop’s 30-year history, breaking the numbers down across the industry’s three generations of artists…

Elegant infographics explain: “Why are K-pop groups so big?

* BTS

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As we ponder popularity, we might recall that it was on this date in 1976, during Saturday Night Live‘s second season, that musical guest Joe Cocker performed his hit version of Traffic‘s “Feelin’ Alright.” In the event, the audience got not one Cocker, but two, as an identically-dressed John Belushi (already noted for his Cocker impression) came out with Joe for the full live performance. The two traded lines and successfully mirrored each other –a testament to both Cocker’s trademark stage presence and Belushi’s remarkable impersonation abilities. New York’s own jazz-funk heroes Stuff (hence the shirts in the video) backed them up.

Written by LW

October 2, 2020 at 1:01 am

“Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great”*…

 

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On May 2, 2019 thousands of fans streamed into Barclays Center for the Brooklyn leg of Cher’s “Here We Go Again” tour to see her for the first — or the 30th — time…

cher2

More fabulous fans at “The Look Book Goes to a Cher Concert.”

* Cher

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As we emulate idols, we might recall that it was on this date in 1975 that the Goddess of Pop graced the cover of Time.

Cher-on-cover-of-Time-March-17-1975.1 source

 

Written by LW

March 17, 2020 at 1:01 am

“It’s exact and indefinite. It’s like pi– you can keep figuring it out and always be right and never be done”*…

 

piPie

 

It’s Pi Day!  What better way to “prove” 3.14 than with that most perfect of pies– pizza!

Via the ever-illiminating Boing Boing.

See also: “Pi Day: How One Irrational Number Made Us Modern.”

* Peter Schjeldahl, quoting the painter John Currin

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As we celebrate the irrational, we might recall that it was on this date in 1958 that “Tequila” hit the top of the pop charts (sales and radio plays, both pop and R&B).

 

 

Written by LW

March 14, 2020 at 1:01 am

“So sa-a-a-ad that you’re leaving”*…

 

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It happened exactly 36 seconds into the song—a glimpse of the shape of pop to come, a feel of the fabric of the future we now inhabit. The phrase “I can’t break through” turned crystalline, like the singer suddenly disappeared behind frosted glass. That sparkly special effect reappeared in the next verse, but this time a robotic warble wobbled, “So sa-a-a-ad that you’re leaving.”

The song, of course, was Cher’s “Believe,” a worldwide smash on its October 1998 release. And what we were really “leaving” was the 20th century.

The pitch-correction technology Auto-Tune had been on the market for about a year before “Believe” hit the charts, but its previous appearances had been discreet, as its makers, Antares Audio Technologies, intended. “Believe” was the first record where the effect drew attention to itself…

And an era was born.  We’ve looked at Auto-Tune before (see here for an example of the difference the technology can make, here, and here); now, from our friends at Pitchfork, an in-depth history of the most important pop innovation of the last 20 years: “How Auto-Tune Revolutionized the Sound of Popular Music.”

* Cher, “Believe”

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As we pine for authentic imperfection, we might recall that it was on this date in 1901 that the Victor Talking Machine Company was incorporated.  A phonograph manufacturer and record company, it operated on disc record patents that it soon licensed to the Columbia Record Company as well (reinforcing Victor’s position as the leading phonograph manufacturer).  In 1929, Victor was merged into RCA.

 

Written by LW

October 3, 2018 at 1:01 am

“Pop music has been exhausted”*…

 

 

… and so it becomes the subject of art.

A year ago, local artist Elle Luna challenged artists from around the world with her “100-Day Project,” an idea with a simple premise: do the same thing every day for a hundred days — draw a doodle, write a poem, whatever — and document the results.

San Francisco–based designer Katrina McHugh responded by making infographics based on popular song lyrics that reference the natural world, mirroring the style of vintage encyclopedias she inherited from her grandfather. The project, titled “100 Days of Lyrical Natural Sciences,” is a gorgeous and hilarious exercise in taking metaphor too literally…

Try your hand at identifying the songs in question at “Classic Pop Songs, Reimagined as Infographics.”

* Brian Wilson

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As we tap our toes, we might spare a thought for Cabell “Cab” Calloway III; he died on this date in 1994.  A master of scat singing and led one of the United States’ most popular big bands from the start of the 1930s to the late 1940s, regularly performing at the Cotton Club in Harlem.  His band featured performers including trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Adolphus “Doc” Cheatham, saxophonists Ben Webster and Leon “Chu” Berry, New Orleans guitar ace Danny Barker, and bassist Milt Hinton.  His “Minnie the Moocher” was the first jazz record to sell 1 million copies.

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Written by LW

November 18, 2016 at 1:01 am

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