Just in case you didn’t hear the news (‘cus you know, it only happened 9 days ago, which is apparently 6 months in music blog land), James Brooks, the seemingly gentle, sensitive, Canadian, BF of Grimes, K-pop enthusiast, and (now sole) proprietor of (what was) the electro-pop project, Elite Gymnastics is having an existential crisis… Okay no, he just wanted a new band with different name, or two.
Back in August of 2012, Josh Clancy left Elite Gymnastics, and since then, James Brooks released a track or two, though he obviously had other ideas in mind, such as a fresh start. At the end of July this year, Brooks announced that Elite Gymnastics was now “defunct” (sad face) and his new project Dead Girlfriends was in full force – He even released an EP, Stop Pretending (happy face!). However, just 4 days after the revealing of Dead Girlfriends, Brooks has changed the project name to Default Genders, stating on his site:
The name sort of had an effect i didn’t want, and it took me a little while to think of another phrase i could use that contained words that start with D and G so the artwork with claire’s drawing would still make sense. it doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily but thematically it makes more sense i guess
i apologize to anyone who’s inconvenienced by this but especially to anyone who was upset or offended or grossed out by the old name, and to the other band that was using the name first
Don’t sweat it James! Now that the name is sorted, have you listened to the new tunes? “Stop Pretending,” the title track from Default Genders‘ EP is by far the most addicting, and almost “Omamori“-esque (favorite Elite Gymnastics jam). Watch the video (complete w/Karaoke sing-a-long words!) starring what looks like a giant stuffed Totoro:
Default Genders – Stop Pretending
It was brought to my attention by a fellow English teacher still living in Korea that (MY K-pop band), 2NE1 was recently in tha’ Pitchfork house – and more interestingly enough, they were being interviewed by James Brooks from Elite Gymnastics – A wonderful combo of two of my favorites in their respected genres: K-pop literally meeting Electro-pop.
Back in April at a show, I mulled around Elite Gymnastic’s merch booth pointing out their lack of …well, merch and curiously asked Josh Clancy, who is now no longer in the band (!), about their obvious obsession with and the influence of K-pop on their band. “Have you ever actually been to Korea?” I asked. “Well, no.”
I don’t think it’s possible to understand the wide, weird world of K-pop, unless you’re fully forced/immersed into it. Having lived in Korea for a year as an English teacher, I fully grasped the madness that is K-pop mania, and when I first landed in The ROK, I quickly realized that K-pop would be the only exposure to music I’d ever experience outside the comfort of my own computer. Like kimchi, Koreans breath, sweat and eat up every ounce of K-pop – You can’t and won’t ever escape it. The interesting thing about it, however, is that everyone in the country is obsessed. Three-year-old babies and/or 75-year-old ajummas picking up trash in the park gladly sing along and more importantly, dance to it. Apparently once you K-pop, you can’t stop.
Giving in, rather than resisting the never-ending ear wash of catchy K-pop jams playing in every possible direction undoubtedly made my year in Korea easier, and to my guilty-listening-pleasure, 2NE1 became my fav ‘edgy’ K-pop group. I mean, according to Wikipedia, 2NE1’s official color is Hot Pink. – Doesn’t get any edgier than that. Now on to the good stuff…
Elite Gymnastics, the New York by way of Minneapolis electro-pop band (of now one), with a serious K-pop crush recently released Andreja 4-ever for the Adult Swim’s Single Series. I hear he’s also going to be touring with Grimes in the near future.
Elite Gymnastics – Andreja 4-ever
This is my all-time favorite Elite Gymnastics jam, and one that I still listen to on repeat for ungodly amounts of time.
Elite Gymnastics – Omamori
You can’t mention 2NE1 and NOT post this video, ‘cus it IS “the best.”
2NE1 – I Am The Best