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Gangnam Style, Beer Talk, And 'Bitch' Is Back

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Friday, September 28, 2012

K-Pop has found a juggernaut international hit with Psy's hyperkinetic song 'Gangnam Style.' K-Pop has found a juggernaut international hit with Psy's hyperkinetic song 'Gangnam Style.' (courtesy of the artist)

Tonight on Soundcheck, a look at the incredible international hit song "Gangnam Style," the K-Pop breakout with a video watched over 300 million times on YouTube. 

Then, NPR Music critic Ann Powers on the history and resurgence of the word "bitch" in pop music -- from early blues to Elton John to Kanye West's latest song, "Perfect Bitch."

And the Two Man Gentlemen Band come by the studio to sample some "fancy beer" in our occasional series Beer Talk. Plus, they play live.


Ann Powers and The Two Man Gentlemen Band

'Gangnam Style': The K-Pop Hit That Could

It's been a big week for the Korean pop sensation Psy. His viral hit, "Gangnam Style," moved up to claim the second spot on the Billboard Hot 100. His larger-than-life YouTube video hit 300 million views. And, he earned a Guinness World Record for the most YouTube "likes" that the site has ever seen (currently more than 3 million).

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Bitch Bad? Dissecting Pop Music's Favorite Five-Letter Word

Last month, both rapper Kanye West's "Perfect Bitch" and Lupe Fiasco's "Bitch Bad" rekindled an age-old debate about the use of the word "bitch" in music. Pop music critic Ann Powers  recently wrote about the term for the NPR Music blog The Record. Powers joined us to talk about the history of the word's usage in music -- from 1920s blues ballads to Elton John's proclamation that the "Bitch is Back" -- and to explain why the word "bitch" continues to make her uncomfortable. 

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Gig Alert: Bettye Lavette

R&B singer Bettye Lavette performs at The Highline Ballroom Friday night. Download her interpretation of the Gnarls Barkley radio hit "Crazy" from her new album Thankful N' Thoughtful.

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