Friday, November 23, 2012

Psy-ched out?

Enlarge to see
girls in bikinis.
The Orange County Register is reporting that South Korea's Internet sensation Psy — he of Gangnam Style and its three-quarters of a billion YouTube views — has decided to cancel a major performance at the Honda Center, the OC venue formerly known as "The Pond" (because the Anaheim Mighty Ducks play hockey there).

While this wouldn't be particularly blog-worthy, I'm writing about it because the OCR music reporter is making the case that this is a sure sign of the end of Psy's US career, a run that shouldn't have lasted beyond August.

A snippet the entire article:
Let’s change that overplayed phrase to “oppan cancel style!”

South Korean pop star Psy, whose summertime sensation “Gangnam Style” is already played-out and much-parodied as the holiday season arrives, has scrubbed his headlining performance at Honda Center in Anaheim on Jan. 26. Refunds are available at point of purchase.

The official cause for the cancellation is “a scheduling conflict caused by unexpected international travel issues.”

That’s likely true. But it’s hard not to wonder if deleting the date from his itinerary had anything to do with ticket sales perhaps being sluggish for such an enormous debut gig. The fact that the show isn’t being rescheduled is also a telling indicator.

No word about whether the man born Park Jae-sang will also need to bow out of his appearance at the second night of KIIS-FM’s Jingle Ball on Dec. 3 at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, alongside Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Flo Rida, fun., Owl City and more.
Presumably he’ll be there. He’s still listed in the lineup on Ticketmaster.
I'll admit I was as baffled as I was amused not just at Psy's phenomenal popularity, but by how high and broad it went, with numerous appearances on all sorts of American mainstream media, from The Today Show to Saturday Night Live.

And for the past few months, including up to now, I had all sorts of people asking me to translate the lyrics or explain its meaning, and I've overheard countless people singing the song, calling out the title phrase, or doing the dance. On more than one occasion when I was writing something in Korean, I've had people asking if I was writing "Oppan Gangnam Style" (and I always say yes).

I'm not so sure the phenomenon is as dead as Ben Wener makes it out to be, nor am I entirely convinced Psy can't pull off another popular song or two (though it's nearly a given it won't reach 750 million YouTube views, because, well, virtually nothing reaches 750 million YouTube views).


1 comment:

  1. According to the BBC,

    A propaganda slogan extolling the virtues of North Korea's new leader has been built on a hillside in 65 ft (20m)-high characters.

    The message, which stretches for more than 1,800 ft (548m), reads "What, Me Worry?"

    (With apologies to the BBC, Alfred E, Neuman and Mad Magazine).


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