Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Western vs Asian

Since Yohio advanced to the finals of the Swedish outtakes to Eurovision Song Contest there's been some rageing about it. How he dresses like a girl, how it's a freak show etc etc. Mostly I've encountered some hating against Asian music and the Asian scene overall and I must say that I don't get it. If Yohio had sung in Japanese in his song, people would've raged even more. But there's not a word about the guy who sung half is song in French, cause that's perfectly alright. Why? There wasn't alot of rageing against the girl from Norway two years ago who sung the chorus of her song in Swahili. That it's a European language is no excuse there. So why's Asia so bad? Is it cause the stage performances are different? That the stage show is different? That the fashion is different? Or has Asian music simply gotten a bad reputation here because of all the high-pitched anime intros? So I'll show you a few examples of how Asian music isn't that different from our music. That may get you to learn something or maybe even realise how wrong you've been to have prejudices against all forms of Asian music.

Bubblegum pop: Toy-Box vs. W

Pop: Katy Perry vs. Girls' Generation

Dance pop: Rihanna vs. Morning Musume

Crazy music videos: Lady Gaga vs. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Rock music: Coldplay vs. Bump of Chicken

Guys in make-up and strange clothes: Twisted Sister vs. Yohio

Extensive make-up on guys: KISS vs. Karasu

Heavy metal music: Soilwork vs. Dir en Grey

Rockballads: Avenged Sevenfold vs. Kamiki Aya

Pop rock: Avril Lavigne vs. SCANDAL

Boybands: One Direction vs. Arashi

All-girl groups: Spice Girls vs. Morning Musume

I chose this song from Morning Musume cause it's from around the same time as the song by Spice Girls, and this song sold over 1 million copies. Otherwise I would've gone with AKB48.

So how is Western music different from Asian music? Except that it seems more publicly accepted that a guy dresses like a girl in Japan - it's even considered something nice! In the Western music stage make-up on guys and flamboyant clothes seems to be a way of rebellion, while in Japan it's part of some musical styles that not only focus on the music but on the whole package too. Now, I wasn't around in the 80's, but there seems to have been more of the same kind of movement going on in Western music back then, both on the pop scene (Madonna) and on the rock/metal scene (every goddamn rock band of the 80's). Where did that go? And why don't we have that today? Why is it such a fright when a pop/rock artist makes a flamboyant performance? Why are only rock and metal bands (Alice Cooper, Lordi, Slipknot, etc) and some special few pop artists (Lady Gaga) "allowed" to have flamboyant performances in the West? Why is cross-dressing wrong unless you're gay? I've heard a multitude of straight guys complaining about how there are no fun clothes at the mens' department, and that sometimes they'd want to be girls just for the clothes. I think it's interesting how Japan can be so advanced and yet so outdated when it comes to sex and sexuality.

So no, I don't see much of a difference really. So what is it with Asian bands that make people so reluctant to like it the way they like any Western band? One of the best moments for me last year was when I was on the bus to school and the driver had the radio on and Gangnam Style came on. Hearing Korean streaming out of the speakers and actually hearing an Asian song on Swedish radio made me very happy, and I thought that maybe, maybe we were actually evolving towards accepting Asian music.

Defending Asian music Gangnam Style:

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