Thursday, November 11, 2010

P-Pop? More Like P-Poop, Amirite?

.:P-Pop? More Like P-Poop, Amirite?:.

Reading Ade's, Rico's, and Jepoy's scathing commentary, I couldn't help but take a closer look at all the hubbub.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a new age in Philippine pop music (I dare not call it Original Pinoy music...): P-Pop, following in the tradition of K-Pop and J-Pop, is becoming quite a trend, and while the few acts composing the P-Pop scene are still sparse and not quite yet there in terms of overwhelming popularity, it’s still a trend to take note of, nonetheless.

I’m sure it’s easy to just handwave all of this and say that it’s just business as usual of Filipinos ripping off “foreign” and “superior” products, but you see, it’s always possible to adapt something well, and clearly, that’s not what they’ve managed to achieve here so far.

The thing I noticed with K-Pop is that while there are some distinct qualities present in all their popular acts, the whole concept is still very broad and very varied, and it seems that our take on P-Pop is limited by the equally limited viewpoint we have of K-Pop. It’s like we took a snapshot of one particular facet of the genre, then spun ourself off of only that snapshot of the tapestry.

I suppose this is the pot calling the kettle black, because I’d admit I use the same tactic when I try to channel my inner Colbert and Tsao when I write for The POC and now, Filipino Voices, but it’s best to be self-aware when you do these send-ups rather than act as if you’re suddenly a magical authority on the genre just because you’re aping it.

As a guy who has a wide range of taste in music, I can’t say I absolutely detest XLR8, although their new competitor, 1:43, what with their deliberately mangled Taglish, gives the term “indie music” a whole new meaning. In the words of the great Mike Unson, “indie yan music.” But I digress, because I recognize it’s a matter of taste. And I’m glad I have enough of it to just stick to less pretentious genres within the world of OPM.

For the life of me, I’d never understand how the local music industry works and survives the way it does. It seems to thrive off of remakes, novelty acts, Willie Revillame, and bandwagons, and yet at the same time, genuine genius in the likes of Eraserheads, Itchyworms, Juan dela Cruz, Gary Valenciano, Francis Magalona, Gloc 9 all still have a place in the industry. It’s easy to dismiss bubblegum pop as fluff that nobody will remember in five years’ time, but it’s here to stay, so I guess I’d just count my blessings whenever I see some of those acts slip through the cracks. Maybe as P-Pop gets more refined, we’d finally have a distinctive pop sound all our own, but for now, it’s just really badly mangled Taglish, and I can’t be bothered to support this kind of music.

And, oh, just because their frontman is still doing that stupid exposure show, can I just register my disdain for Callalily’s music? Yes, I’m biased. No, I don’t care.

Overall, watching this music video really made me facepalm. I think I’ve worked in the radio industry long enough to know that this doesn’t even remotely qualify as good music...

You hear that sound? That’s the sound of my soul dying juuuuust a little. It’s as if I looked at the face of the Other and tried to extend my kind gaze to her in a way that would make Levinas proud, then the Other promptly got up, smiled back at me, then swiftly kicked me in the ‘nads. It was just aggravating to listen to the song, and as much as I want to restrain myself from being overtly opinionated and blasting something I dislike without trying to be fair about it, this one made me want to tell this hidden “gem” of an act to please, please, stay hidden.

Lately, it feels like anyone who has a CD Burner, a Mac, and Autotune could come out with the latest and hottest “indie wonder” album. Somewhere out there, the Einerlei bares its ever-expanding maw, to consume one and all as we find ourselves deeply entrenched in a morass of mediocrity and bandwagoning.

Way to go, 1:43! You have set the bar lower for succeeding acts, and everyone else is going to look like effing Tchaikovsky right next to you! Thank you for rendering this great service to the music world.

Recently, Korean actress Lee Da Hae made apparently disparaging comments about how Filipinos speak English, and there was a mild furor over the whole issue. Once again, another celebrity has joined the Alec Baldwin's, the Chip Tsao's, and the Adam Carolla's of the world. She has subsequently apologized, but as per schedule, more than a few Filipinos still demand some retribution, some payback, if you will.

Filipinos looking for vengeance, look no further. 1:43 is the musical equivalent of flipping the bird at the Korean people.

Less vindictive Filipinos, on the other hand, would like to apologize to the Korean people for this travesty. Then again, we don't really know if we could forgive ourselves for this, to begin with.

On first look, 1:43 may seem like a bad ripoff of K-Pop minus all the talent. But don't be fooled, 1:43 is a bad ripoff of K-Pop minus all the talent.


skysenshi said...

Good gawd! Well, I actually blogged about this we've become a nation filled with cut and paste kids. The O in OPM is dead.

skysenshi said...

Ok. I just watched the video (the 2nd one)...two things:
1. OMG. I know the video's director. He's my colleague, though we've never met personally.
2. This is like the male version of 2EN1, a group that talented Toni Gonzaga also imitated (though I don't know why she needed to do that when she has the voice that this group does not have):

My ears hurt. I couldn't finish the video. Will go listen to classical music now...

Kel Fabie said...

@sky: With NU out of the picture, one genre will have a harder time than ever of breaking into the mainstream the way it used to...

Thankfully, the P-Poop genre isn't catching on as much as the progenitors would want it to.