Tuesday, August 4, 2009

DBSK dilemma

Junsu + Yoochun + Jaejoong + Yunho + Changmin = DBSK / TVXQ

So I had promised myself that the next time I post I wouldn't a) complain about the weather, b) feign surprise at how fast time flies, c) rant about my insomnia, and d) upload a lot of food pics just for the sake of it. Perfect self sabotage, that was. Did I effectively shut myself up or what?

Let's talk K-pop. It's a huge part of my life, although I appreciate it far more now than when I was in my teens. (I was an angst-ridden, angry rocker chick without the bike/tattoos.) Maybe it's because the music itself has become far more sophisticated, maybe it's because I'm not the sneering, 'music cred' flaunting music snob that I once was.

K-pop can be cheesy and absolutely camp, but what I like about it is that it never ever apologizes for it. It embraces 'pop' like the soda drink; bubbly, fizzy, excitable, sugary sweet and energetic, meant for everybody. Isn't 'pop' short for 'popular'? That's what K-pop is. True to the essence.

If you listen to K-pop you'll inevitably be introduced to the endless boy bands and girl bands. Although there are many influential solo artists, notably Rain~~~!!!! (after the "rivalry" with Stephen Colbert I can't seem to say his name any other way) and BoA, it's not an understatement to say that groups are the anchors of the K-pop industry.

DBSK (Dong Bang Shin Ki) aka TVXQ have been in the news lately. They are one of the reigning boy bands in the K-pop scene. Three of the members filed a lawsuit against their management agency, SM Entertainment, citing unfair clauses in their current contract.

DBSK may be the most successful boy band Korea has had to offer. They are big not only here but also in all of Asia. They have achieved an astonishing level of success as foreign artists in Japan, which is considered a very difficult market to break into.
In fact, they are at the peak of their popularity. Since the content of the lawsuit deals with the basic conditions of the members in question, this issue has raised the possiblity that DBSK may disband, as two of the members (Yunho and Changmin) are not involved.

Not surprisingly, fans started going berserk. The entertainment industry started getting nervous. DBSK just opened a big whupass can of worms.
This family affair isn't simply an internal dispute. The repercussion will be big; all aspects of the Korean entertainment industry will be affected, the rights of artists and agencies' management methods, the loopholes in legal contracts will be exposed and new standards will be set up.
No matter what the outcome, something is definitely going to change. Whether the industry is ready for it or not.

I'm not going to speculate further and take sides. I do not and cannot have an objective view with different facts thrown out by the opposing parties. All I know is that it's a we said-they said situation that has all the potential of turning into a very long and ugly legal battle, which is tragic.
I adore DBSK. They are great singers and dancers. I admire their spirit, their dedication, their endless perseverance. (It also helps that they are fabulous eye candy but I'm trying to avoid shallow - really, I am- in this post.)
I don't want them to disband. I want them to remain a close-knit brotherhood and be happy forever and ever after. As a cynical adult, I want some fairy tales to be true.

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