Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Who Ate Us? Hy Ate Us.

I have doggedly blogged each Wednesday and Saturday since January 1, 2008. I missed Saturday, April 4, and that opened me up to the temptation to take a short hiatus. I wasn’t burned out; a number of extracurricular (i.e. non-blog) projects reached the tipping point in the same short stretch of time. I didn’t think it would matter, but I got a few “what’s up” emails and an unnervingly consistent hit rate. So, to those of you who stopped by and found yourselves reading the same post for two weeks, I apologize. I am also grateful for the fact that you kept looking.

Now, let me tell you what I intended to tell you on Saturday, April 4. If you look at the previous (April 1) post, I discussed an artist named Mik Tap who releases all of her recordings backwards. Well, as it turns out, I masked the goal of that profile pretty well, as no one who asked me about her realized that it was an April Fool’s Day joke (not that any of you are fools). The singer is named Patty Kim, and she has been a mainstay of the Korean Adult Contemporary scene for some 50 years. The two songs I posted were two Korean-language recordings: “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and the “Do Re Mi” song from The Sound of Music.

Maybe you still see some humor here: Although the Republic can easily be construed as the Republic of Korea, if you wish, I can’t imagine how the puns of the Do Re Mi thing translate to Korean.

How did I get the Patty Kim Greatest Hits CD? When I worked at Tracks Records in Bloomington, Indiana, a guy came in, wanting to sell the CD as a used item. The store had no use for it, but I thought, “You never know when you might need a CD in Korean.” So I gave him two bucks for it, and my co-worker said I really made the seller’s day.

Well, two years later, I was tutoring an exchange professor in English. He was, of course, from South Korea, or this would be quite the digression. After a few sessions of English practice, I remembered the Patty Kim CD, and I pulled it off the shelf. He exclaimed, “Patty Kim!” and he sat, mesmerized, through the entire CD. At one point, he cried. So that was two dollars well spent.

I am posting the songs in their original format, below. A number of the recordings on the CD are in English, and her English is far more than passable. It’s really not a bad collection, if you enjoy cabaret music, and she is an icon of Korean pop. God bless Patty, and Mr. Cho, who cried when she sang.

And now, I want to bring up a female artist who is not quite breaking news. Most everyone will have heard her by now, but if I introduce her to even one new listener via this blog, I will consider the time and space worthwhile.

If you have ever watched American Idol, the U.S. counterpart to Britain’s Got Talent, you probably encountered the phenomenon of William Hung, who turned his shocking inability to sing into a recording career. We fixate on train wrecks, it seems.

Within the past few days, April 12, I believe, Britain’s Got Talent was doing auditions in Scotland for the upcoming season. You probably know from watching the auditions for American Idol what that tends to mean: people appear who can’t sing but sadly have been informed by their families and friends that they should go for it. Simon and the gang then have a good chuckle at their expense.

The British show has no age limit, unlike the U.S. show, so in the Scottish auditions, a matronly 47-year-old woman, unemployed and unkissed, stepped out in a modest dress and high heels to sing a song from Les Misérables, which she mispronounced. Simon rolled his eyes. Here we go, everyone thought.

And there we went. If you don’t already know this video, please watch the entire prelude to her performance, and listen to the song, and let the reaction of Simon and the other judges wash over you. It is really an unforgettable experience. If you saw it elsewhere, enjoy the event again. If you have not yet heard of Susan Boyle, don’t thank me for bringing her to your attention, as I owe my own acquaintance with her experience on stage to a string of people.

There’s no embedding allowed, so click here to see the video in another window.

So, there’s that, and I’ll get back to the 1950s charts for Saturday. See you then!

Patty Kim, Battle Hymn of the Republic

Patty Kim, Do Re Mi


Maia said...

Wowsa, sean...I cannot believe how prolific you are with all your different blogs! I don't know much about music but it's fun to read your posts. Keep up the great work! xod

whiteray said...

Having watched Susan Boyle: Just amazing! Thanks for the tip. Wow!

Lizzle-ba-Dizzle said...

"if I introduce her to even one new listener via this blog, I will consider the time and space worthwhile."

Well, consider the time and space worthwhile, then! Despite the ridiculous amount of time I waste on YouTube, I hadn't seen this. Holy guacamole, Batman!!