I feel emotionally battered by the election, feeling simultaneously vulnerable and malicious, as if I'll be attacked for anything and nothing and I run constant fantasies of going back and settling old scores.
I've been sitting on most of this list for a month now, wondering what to say. I don't know how this music "plays" among the people most affected by it. I'm also not completely sure whom I should consider the "people most affected by it," anyway: thirteen-year-olds uneasily trying to figure out who they are and what other people think of them, and being subjected to this music, to these vids? Kids who when they listen don't see or hear themselves and wonder what's wrong with themselves for not being like it, kids who do see themselves and don't like what they see, kids who like what they hear, like what they see, don't realize they're being set up, kids who are inspired to change themselves, kids who are just having a good time, um [trying to think of positive impacts], kids who grasp these as vehicles for love, for excitement, for conversation, for adventure? I don't know. Kids who like the way they look when they dance to this? Kids who hate the kids who dance to this?
—Why am I privileging "kids" here? ('Cause they're the ones for whom "who am I?" social choices are still fairly open, and influenced.) Why am I still listening to so much kids' stuff, anyway? (Well, other stuff I listen to isn't likely to produce singles.)
But, age 62, wondering why I'm not finding or particularly searching for good music fronted by people my age, two-thirds my age, three-fifths my age, even half my age; or fronted by male people; or explicitly political from the political Left.
I hardly ever visit the lyrics translation sites,* if the lyrics would provide much of a hint.
So I'm not doing much research, am I? Just sitting around wondering.
Locker room talk: I was molested (in a bullying, taunting way) in an actual locker room when I was a teenager. I recently dashed off a piece for my writers group about how if I imagined myself on the bus with Trump I'd think he was, among other things, challenging and bullying me. It didn't dawn on me to include what was done to me back in my track-and-field locker room. In my junior high bullying piece back in WMS #9 I said something like, "It was all over by ninth grade," but the molesting happened when I was in 9th grade, so clearly it wasn't all over. I don't know if I ever even brought up the locker room with a therapist (until last Wednesday, when I did). Maybe I thought (somewhat correctly) that it was relatively small cheese in comparison to the effect of the verbal teasing of a few years earlier. Anyway, songs in my life then were part of the soundtrack, whatever support or fear they provided.
From approximately 1963 through 1980 people more-or-less "socially" like me made great music that had a strong public presence. Afterwards, they didn't. ("People more-or-less socially like me" is vague enough.)
This is why I never post this. I'm just... not wanting to put thoughts together. Making excuses, it feels like.
Tension two paragraphs back between the phrase "people more-or-less socially like me" and the fact that one way of being "like me" is having a similar visceral response or aesthetic sensibility.
So, if I were to study old Mayan art and somewhat understand its world and be moved by it, does that make me more Mayan (if only marginally so) than I'd been before? (But do I have any idea whether my being "moved by it" is similar to how the Mayan's responded to it or what they did with it? Well, presumably if I'd done some research I'd have some idea about that, too.)
I get the sense that K-pop mostly comes from the mainstream and is geared towards cheerleader types and jocks more than to the freaks and the greasers (to use ancient terminology from a different part of the world). Also, duh, I don't know what I'm talking about it. Cheerleaders and jocks aren't necessarily more conservative than greasers, anyway, and are often less explicitly reactionary. Also, I assume (not necessarily correctly) that those who create K-pop are living in a Seoul version of Hollyweird, hence a bit more liberal than their audience. I think of particular performers, e.g. Brown Eyed Girls, and video director Hwang Soo Ah, as being vaguely on the "left." Whereas T-ara, for instance, traffic less in the need for some kind of breakout. But, e.g., T-ara's videos with director Cha Eun-taek hardly seem authoritarian or particularly traditionalist, and many of them are very good. (Cha Eun-taek is in the news right now in relation to an emerging government influence-peddling scandal, but not only do I truly know little about it, I'm wary even on my Blog That No One Reads of linking someone to the word "scandal" when I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm mindful of how the simple constant repetition of phrases like "T-ara bullying scandal" and "Clinton email scandal" creates the sense in the broad public that certain people MUST be in the wrong, even when most of the public has no idea whether or where there really is a scandal and what the alleged wrong is. Cha to his credit was one of the few industry people to tweet in support of T-ara (and Eunjung in particular) during their duress.)
"Songs in my life then were part of the soundtrack, whatever support or fear they provided." (Songs Implicated In Bullying Scandal!)
In the old days, when more people read my lj, at least a few people who knew more than I do would come along and help me out.
Here's a YouTube playlist of my Top Singles, 2016; will continue to be updated. Think I'm probably underrating the Mike Larry and overrating the will.i.am:
YouTube playlist: Ongoing Singles 2016
1. HyunA "How's This?"
2. Britney Spears ft. G-Eazy "Make Me..."
3. Crayon Pop "Vroom Vroom"
4. 4minute "Canvas"
5. FAMM'IN "Circle"
6. Tiffany ft. Simon Dominic "Heartbreak Hotel"
7. Era Istrefi "BonBon"
8. Aommy "Shake"
9. Serebro "Slomana"
10. NCT 127 "Fire Truck"
11. Wonder Girls "Why So Lonely"
12. DLOW "Do It Like Me"
13. Oh My Girl "Windy Day"
14. Serebro "Let Me Go"
15. Blackpink "Whistle"
16. Tiggs Da Author ft. Lady Leshurr "Run"
17. Britney Spears "Do You Wanna Come Over?"
18. NCT U "The 7th Sense"
19. Your Old Droog "42 (Forty Deuce)"
20. Serebro "Chocolate"
21. Crayon Pop "Doo Doom Chit"
22. BTS "Blood Sweat & Tears"
23. Riton ft. Kah-Lo "Rinse & Repeat"
24. Shide Boss ft. Zack Knight "Women"
25. Mike Larry "Such And Such"
26. Yoonmirae "Jam Come On Baby"
27. Rihanna "Love On The Brain"
28. Future "Wicked"
29. Snow Tha Product ft. W. Darling "Nights"
30. Kiiara "Gold"
31. Britney Spears "Clumsy"
32. Oh My Girl "Liar Liar"
33. Selena Gomez "Kill Em With Kindness"
34. Martin Solveig ft. Tkay Maidza "Do It Right"
35. Rihanna "Needed Me"
36. Snow Tha Product "AyAyAy"
37. Charles Kelley "Lonely Girl"
38. Blackpink "Boombayah"
39. Mamamoo "Taller Than You"
40. French Montana ft. Kodak Black "Lockjaw"
41. Vince Staples "Prima Donna"
42. Luna "Free Somebody"
43. Jessy Lanza "It Means I Love You"
44. will.i.am ft. Apl.de.ap and Liane V "GRAB'm By The PU$$Y"
45. CL "Lifted"
46. Twice "Cheer Up"
47. Yuri X Seohyun "Secret"
48. Dev ft. Nef The Pharaoh "#1"
49. Ladies Code "Galaxy"
50. Wanna.B "Why?"
51. Oh My Girl ft. Skull & Haha "Listen To My Word"
52. Taylorgirls ft. iamtrinitytaylor "Steal Her Man"
53. Jinco "Tokyo"
*Pop!gasa has a good reputation, though I forget who said so (which makes my use of "reputation" in this sentence a good example of what reputation is).
- Songs Implicated In Bullying Scandal (Top Singles, Five-Sixths Through 2016)