Selective Hearing 2011 Year End Recap: The Airing of Grievances

Those who celebrate Festivus have a tradition where one airs their grievances before the world. That seems to the m.o. around here daily but I would like to point out a few major things that really grinded my gears this year as my final entry into the recap series.


As always the opinions expressed in this article are my own & do not necessarily reflect those of the other Selective Hearing staff or affiliates of the site.

Your company stinks!

That is one of the many classic lines from the Festivus episode of Seinfeld which inspired this article. For those who are fans of Hello! Project it is most applicable & perhaps sometime during the year you have screamed that at Up Front International.

Personally I haven’t had to scream at Up Front that much this year. H!P really redeemed themselves from the hit & miss of 2010. That doesn’t mean they get off the hook. The first point of contention I have with them is the systematic dismantling of what I considered to be the future of the collective, S/Mileage.


To me they were the natural successors to Morning Musume’s flagship status. They were on a hell of a roll until the totally unnecessary 2nd generation auditions and its anti-climactic (& totally predictable) ending. My opinion is S/Mileage were fine as a unit of 4 who were had the makings of becoming a well oiled idol machine. Now? They’re stuck with a bunch of inexperienced noobs (one who may or may not be a vampire) and are down 2 veteran members.

Most don’t really give a damn about this turn of events since they’re happy with these noobs and joyfully accept them with loving arms. That leaves me (& others of the same mindset) in the minority as we don’t constantly thirst for the blood of young, underage girls like many of the typical fan base of Hello! Project and similar idol groups.

Speaking of that there was also Morning Musume who are my second point of contention. After the 10th generation auditions they are now full of young, impressionable girls that make the remaining 5th – 8th generation members look like grandmothers. The most surprising result of the recent auditions was that an older girl was accepted into the group. Sure Iikubo’s shelf life will not be that long but at least the widening age gap was reduced a little bit by admitting the hotness into the fold.

I had high hopes for the latest generation’s debut song and then I saw the concept & was instantly disappointed. All the awesome Momusu had generated from their double a-sided single went out the window when I saw chicken suits and heard what sounded like a left over S/Mileage b-side that wasn’t a Tanpopo cover.

Yet fans are eating up the entire idea like it’s one of the greatest things ever. It makes me wonder if everyone is just being a Kool-Aid drinking lemming loving the whole nonsensical mess because it’s Morning Musume & to do any less means you’re a shit fan. Has the standard of quality dropped so much that chicken suits are considered to be the pinnacle this group’s modern accomplishments?

No wonder the whole AKB army is steamrolling Momusu to the bank. I have to say that bikini’s, lingerie and schoolgirl outfits that pander to the lowest common denominator of male fan is greater than chicken suits. Perhaps in a few years we’ll see AKB sink to the lows of chicken suits too, but for now Morning Musume is in what sports fans like to call “rebuilding mode”. Which means that they will really suck until their roster matures and is able to handle more complex songs that don’t need silly gimmicks.

If you’re a Momusu fan it’s going to be a rough road for a while. The question of whether they actually are rebuilding or are a Titanic like ship waiting to take their remaining fans down with them is something that will be discussed later in the new year.

Hallyu’s taking over bitches!

Girls Generation

It’s something that I hear over and over and over as I get deeper and deeper into the K-Pop world. It’s getting to the point of being annoying because even K-Pop record executives are starting to believe the genre’s own hype.

Sure the current K-Pop sound is the hot thing now, but will this be relevant 20 years from now? Probably not. The over saturation of the market with so many look and sound-a-like groups makes it difficult for anyone to tell one apart from the other. To me, a lot of current K-Pop is a mish mash of electronic noises, auto-tune, hot girls & effeminate looking dudes.

I find it funny that the more vocal fans expect that the Hallyu wave will overtake America and finally break the glass ceiling. So far nothing I’ve seen supports that as something that will ever happen.

Is it the fault of the artists who cross over? Nah… I thought the attempts by Rain, The Wonder Girls and BoA were all admirable but ultimately poorly timed and over shadowed by acts who can dedicate more time to stealing the American fans hard earned money with their home grown brand of pop fluff.

Sometimes it’s just shit songs like Girls’ Generation’s The Boys that may be mega-hits in their homeland but are ultimately reject bin material for most DJ’s and program directors with a decent sense of musicality and knowledge of their market. Remember, no longer how much you polish a turd, it’s still a turd. The saying on reality music shows is true. It’s all about song selection.

I’m not saying that K-Pop is bound to fail in America. Who knows what will happen as more and more acts find their way to this side the pond? What I’m pointing out is that some of you (not all of you) are probably getting a little too overzealous. I understand that comes with the territory of being a K-Pop fan but perhaps those of you are are extreme fanatics should calm down, let the blood flow away from your throbbing loins and think rationally for a few minutes.

Then go back to screaming your heads off.

That’s it right?

Yeah, that’s it. I feel better now. Bring on 2012 and more stuff to bitch & complain about. =)

About Greg 973 Articles
Greg is the creator, administrator, editor, code monkey, overlord and general jack of all trades at Selective Hearing. He can be found lurking among the overseas Asian pop fandom and bumming around Japan every year for some reason or another.