This is right around the time of year in 2012 that PSY’s massive hit “Gangnam Style” broke the Guinness world record for most liked video on Youtube, surpassing “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO. I’ll admit I don’t listen to much Korean music, particularly K-Pop despite my Korean-American heritage.
On the other hand, we’re in an incredibly critical time in America… one in which “Breaking Bad” is coming to an end in less than a week. For those of you who watch it or have been keeping up, I can only say one thing. WHAT THE HELL VINCE GILLIGAN.
One part of me wants to share some Korean-made music with you that’s not popular for having your mind barraged with horse-dancing and a man in a blue suit and sunglasses screaming at buttocks. Another wants to go with a Breaking Bad influenced playlist for you. In the end, I’ve decided to meet half-way. This is my Korean-Amethican playlist.
WALLA – Nature
Kicking this week off, I’m giving a shout out to a fellow Korean American from southern California. The lead vocalist and guitarist for WALLA is Jonathan Hoonch Kim (if that’s really his last name, I’m kind of jealous), who briefly makes an appearance in the music video for this song as a bearded man going outside to get the newspaper. One listen and you probably won’t be too startled that they come from Los Angeles because of its beach-bum-esque danceable sound. According to them, they have been influenced from all kinds of genres such as “pop, funk, samba, rock, metal, folk, disco and psychodelia” which isn’t all that surprising considering their diverse backgrounds (Korean, Mexican / El Salvadorian, Italian, Brazilian, Indonesian).
Flex Cop – This is Not Meth
Flex Cop samples Walter White saying “This is not meth” before the song breaks into an upbeat remix of Darondo’s “Didn’t I Tell You” which was used on “Breaking Bad” in a memorable scene. I’m on a strictly no-spoiler policy with this whole post, no worries. Either way, I think he took a pretty depressing, soulful song and turned it something funky that you can dance to.
JUNIP – Line of Fire
If you were wondering what that beautiful song in the commercial for the “Breaking Bad” series finale trailer was, it was this particular song by JUNIP. Jose Gonzalez’s non-solo project was one of the acts I mentioned in my first Tunesday ever. I’m glad to see them getting the success they deserve. Really, listen to the whole album.
High Highs – A Real Hero (Cover of College & Electric Youth)
The song from “Drive” is covered by High Highs. It’s exemplary of the characters of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Certainly they’re not real heroes by any means. They’ve made mistakes. They’ve done shit, seen shit. Either way, we love them because they are as human as some of the best characters can get (i.e. Dexter, which just ended this past Sunday). The chorus of the song, “A real human being and a real hero” seems to repeat a million times in both the original and the cover, but it never gets tiring.
Glen Check (글렌체크) – French Virgin Party
Chances are that if I never told you, your first guess would not be that this band comes straight from South Korea. This song was a part of their debut album, Haute Couture, which won the award for best dance & electronic music album at the Korean Music Awards this year. It has the feel of what that 80’s idea of 2013 might have been… maybe that statement will make a little more sense after listening.
Giraffage – Better Off Alone (Cover of Alex DeeJay)
Alice DeeJay’s song “Better Off Alone” was one of the most iconic songs of the 90’s for me. It was one of the songs that started my relationship with EDM, along with Darude’s “Sandstorm” as much as I’m ashamed to admit that one. Giraffage gives an interesting cover of it here and I’m still very serious about my no-spoiler policy, but I think it fits the situation that’s currently boiling on “Breaking Bad” for most characters.
Planet of Sound – We Are Together
I’m ending this with Planet of Sound’s “We Are Together.” This is one hell of a feel-good song and if I had to guess, it’s likely you’ll need something like this after Sunday night. Who knows where “Breaking Bad” is going, but if Vince Gilligan is willing to do all of this before the first minute of the series finale, it’s likely he’ll be crushing us some more. Godspeed, “Breaking Bad” fans.
As usual, please comment or e-mail me with suggestions or feedback. I’m always up to listen to what you have to offer, and every once in awhile your recommendations may make it here.