KOREAN MUSIC: PSY's Gangnam Style and SISTAR's Alone ROCKified on NAGASU, I Am a Singer

Last Sunday, the viewers of MBC's NAGASU (I'm a Singer) had G~R~E~A~T fun witnessing the showdown between Guckkasten (2001~present) and the rock legend Sinawe (1986~present). What a coincidence that both chose to sing the hottest Korean dance songs, released this year. Both bands trumpeted each other's victory, half-joking, half-seriously, and it was really fun to watch them growling at each other. Like, when the show’s host compared Gucckasten to a tiger, Sinawe's Shin Daecheol compared his band to bonghwang (Asian phoenix). The show was like an unexpected feast for my rock mania ears and eyes and made me want to write about Sinawe anytime soon.

I'm not going to tell you who the winner is; you determine whose performance is better. Let's first watch Sinawe's heavy metal rendition of PSY's worldwide ultra mega hit "Gangnam Style": they thrilled  audiences with the instrumental mastery, especially of Shin Daecheol, one of the most dexterous, distinctive, and artistic guitarists, I think, in the world (and also a son of the Korean guitar legend Shin Joonghyun or Shin Junghyeon); and then, Gucckasten's psychedelic rockification of SISTAR's sultry dance song "Alone". BTW, I think Gucckasten is doing the job YG did for the show in the past season - the Energizer.  (Note that the following videos have English subtitles.)

Sinawe: "Gangnam Style"
on NAGASU (10/7/2012)

Guckkasten: "Alone"
on NAGASU (10/7/2012)

And the show also offered the bonus of brilliant performances by Han Young-ae and Cho Janghyuk.

Oh, Cho Janghyuk: who can ever resist his nostalgic, raspy yet sexy voice? He became quite famous for the songs featured on the soundtrack of MBC's 1997 smash hit drama "Star in My Heart," and ever since, he's been featured on some hit dramas and released six solo albums. He had gone on long hiatus until he appeared on NAGASU (9/2/2012) to compete in the special event to invite a new singer. There, he sang Cho Yongpil's "Dream" so superbly that his voice attracted even my mom (in Korea), who was busy doing household chores with TV on.  She later told me on the phone that she was really surprised and disappointed when the result came out: He was not chosen to be on the show.

And you know what: my mom was not alone. At the ardent request of the viewers, he was invited to join the show and voilĂ  here he is! He covered Lee Seungcheol's "Shout," which I think was a little tense compared to his previous rendition of Cho Yongpil's "Dream." (Too bad I can't find the video clip anywhere.) Maybe he was a little too nervous but still, I really loved his understated performance. I hope he shows off his underappreciated talent to its full potential throughout the competition and eventually soars to stardom.

Cho Janghyuk: "Shout"
on NAGASU (10/7/2012)

And last but not least, here's Han Young-ae. Before her performance, Han showed her gratitude for Na Eol (aka Naul) who gave her a permission to cover his song. In fact, Na Eol just released the album featuring the song on September 20, just a week before her NAGASU performance. She said her version would be a little faster than its original version; and as usual, audiences were bewitched by her Janis Joplin-like voice that pierces our heart and soul.

Han Young-ae: "Memory of the Wind"
on NAGASU (10/7/2012)

Original Version: Na Eol (aka Naul), "Memory of the Wind"
(Release date: 9/20/2012)

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