Day of epic proportions in my personal life

Today’s random post is brought to you by Kim Joe Jang of Cassies-fame.

So I tend to not like to mention things about my personal life here aside from the occasional sarcastic comment or picture or mini-rant, but today was just ridiculous in the amount of, well, ridiculousness that has happened in my life – and of course I mean awesome ridiculousness. Kpop related ones. Wut.

I spontaneously attend a KSA meeting so I can get fed ramen and because I am friends with the secretary, and can thus bribe my way into getting food without paying dues 😛 For the first time ever I was jamming to music I can’t normally jam to in public locations, and I realized I have learned the Soom dance. Too many YG songs, though. Try to Copy Me was played at least twice and there were no new songs aside from Soom. I almost volunteered my iPod *eyeroll*

Sidetracked my bioengineering friend with Kpop video watching. She is lesbian, got a huge kick out of AKB48’s Heavy Rotation PV, and I learned she has a massive crush on f(x)’s Amber (she was upset after I told her Amber is currently AWOL). I am corrupting more students’ lives with awesome irrelevance. I then proceeded to confuse her thoroughly by contrasting Mister/Pretty Girl/Lupin Kara and Genie/Kissing You/Run Devil Run SNSD. Yep, even she was mindfucked about the concept changes (after Lupin, “…were these the same girls…? I recognized the HBIC though, the one they dance circles around in that ass-shake dance?”). CLASSIC.

Had a nice heart-to-heart with a friend, where I was given questionable looking but tasty Korean supplements and was taught the proper usage of the expression, “hyul.” Apparently I’m going to have to shove someone down the stairs and then try this. I have the pronunciation down pat, though (lol, it’s only one syllable, BUT I SOUND LIKE A NATIVE OK???).

…did you know I had a dream featuring G-Dragon plus Big Bang, once? I had to fill in for TOP’s rap in Haru Haru, only to miserably fail. And I talked to G-Dragon like a normal person and learned that OMG he was a really cool dude – very normal, easy to talk to, and cool. IT WAS SO REALISTIC and I think this is my privileged insight into his true mind, so this is how I will see him from the future :DDD /cray cray cray

I watched WGM as we were returning from our ecology lab field trip (but did not download Adams couple this week FML).

I honestly think this is like compensation for me blowing the past couple of exams. Not quite sure yet whether this is good or bad news…

This seriously belongs in elsewhere, but…I’m too tired to be logical.

SKpop’s TOP 5: September 2010


Guess which GQMF I saw gracing the walls of some Korean restaurant I randomly decided to try last weekend? ❤

And of course Yong-sama was there too in the corner. There was also a horrible and horribly grainy picture of young Rain that I didn’t bother to include.

Whoo, September was a busy month for everyone, and I gotta say Kpop’s really beginning to pick up. I’m now excited to watch shows every week, where I’ll be excited to watch not only the idol acts but also the amazing power vocalist acts that are popping out. The fail this month has been so fail that I had to divide the Top 5 post into two parts. Expect the other half tomorrow.

5. Oh Jong Hyuk – Heart is Beating
Less idol music, more singers who really know how to sing. Usually angsty ballads are my cup of tea, but this song is too infectiously happy to not include. Go forth, then, and put a stupid grin on your face and melt for three minutes – it’s more soothing than any amount of replay of Hello.

Credit: 79798282

TRAX – Oh! My Goddess!
I just had to include this in here as a tie for 5th considering I had my little TRAX binge last month (mostly with their older stuff, however). Since TRAX has now been reduced to just Jay and Jungmo, they’ve opted for a more pop-oriented sound, akin to what FT Island and CN Blue are doing. But if I have to say, if TRAX will ever unite (No Minwoo + drums = ugggh I am so helplessly attracted to this fine piece of flesh) and if bands can ever play live regularly on shows, it’d be a music revolution with the TRAX at the top. Jay’s voice is like the V.O.S. of bands, and what he said during an interview, that if bands were able to play live, dancing groups have no chance, is completely correct – there’s nothing matching a live band atmosphere. But until then, we will live, listen, and dream of No Minwoo.

Credit: sment

4. Seung Si Kyung ft. IU – It’s You
Prince of ballads is back, fresh from his army release in May. And does he pick up the trend quickly, duetting with IU, possibly the hottest non-idol act right now. IU has the midas touch right now, with every collaboration/OST she participates in shooting to the top of the charts. It’s You is just a gorgeous, gorgeous peaceful duet – you take IU from the cutesy Marshmellow concept her company tries to jam down her throat and plop her next to an outstanding duet partner, and it’s magic.

Credit: hjhandy1

3. BoA – Copy and Paste
We’re gonna hit Ctrl-C for copy, and then we’re gonna hit Ctrl-V for pasting, and create. The man. Of my desires. *evil laughter*
Have I ever revealed that I have a taste for the dramatic? BoA’s lines may have played off to some as cheesy, but it tickled me pink. A lot of people were disappointed and thought Hurricane Venus was better. I thought the contrary – this seems more along the lines of the natural, flowy BoA with the floaty choruses than the OMG HBIC FANFARE APPLAUSE SM tried to paint with Hurricane Venus, which I felt was too ostentatious in presentation than what the song was capable of displaying. The choreo isn’t zomg amazing compared to her best, but it feels natural and professional. I was really surprised by how high some of the notes went, especially in the bridge, but it’s BoA – like it or not it’s always been her style.

Credit: sment

2. Beast – SOOM
Please read here as to why I love this song so much. Well done angsty songs with hints of piano are my weakness :3

Credit: Beastoffical

1. 2NE1 – Go Away, Clap Your Hands, Can’t Nobody <–in order of my preference
Ah fml, I’m behind on my 2NE1 review. But it will be full of 2NE1TV gifs to make up for the delay. What can I say, this was probably the most anticipated comeback of late 2010, and I honestly believed they didn’t disappoint. Of course, I also had realistic expectations – this wasn’t going to be on the level of Mirotic-epic nor was this going to generate another surprise hit like I Don’t Care. The expectations and suspense was ridiculous, not aided by YG deciding to make us all poop our pants with three songs/MVs. I think how impacting this comeback was can only be fairly analyzed at least half a year into the future, so we’ll save this for a Retrospect post. The autotune really bugged me initially but faded from issue after the 5th album repeat. Go Away in a sense comes off as I Don’t Care’s slightly less successful sibling with a slightly overdone MV. Clap Your Hands is hands down the most live performance oriented song and is just pure fun, though not a chart-topper. Can’t Nobody is that song that’s awkward to perform but for some reason the public digs it and currently my ringtone. All in all, 2NE1 more or less owned September.


Credit: 2NE1

I’ll be listening to this a lot next week…

Credit: MiChiVisualeuse

Wait until you YouTube muddy cult. Be warned! That MV was a little too visceral for my taste. But Nega’s bipolar musical quality contrasting haunting guitar lines plus piano with suicidal screamo is so soul-wrenching and precious for some reason. Plus, this will make for perfect emo-music as I hit the library for physics tomorrow. Some Kara Rollin’ would so not fit the mood (aka I HATE PHYSICS GO DIE NOW).

Remember that I came upon Kpop from J-rock. I honestly had no interest in music beyond classical and my orchestra/band repertoire until I happened upon a certain J-rock band called Nightmare, and from then on my life became so musically rich, from the current radio pop to underground indie to Brit rock to Swedish metal, and yes, even High School Musical for a week (after which I was so traumatized I don’t even give Glee a chance). I even started singing again, and all was happy and flowers. For some reason, Jpop was never my jam, but I kept on seeing videos of J-rock vs. K-rock and, naturally, J-pop vs. Kpop videos. I’m pretty sure my first Kpop videos were of DBSK, Suju, and the like, but for the longest time I thought boy bands were in general ridiculous.

The first Kpop video that really stuck to me was this, of all things.

Credit: hazerxx

Impression 1: what kind of name was SS501? I just finished the WWII portion of my history course then, and the SS
Waffen definitely came to mind…

Impression 2: o.O wow the dancing was really synchronized. And the guys were kind of attractive.

Then came the Brown Eyed Girls (Abracadabra got me in, but it was their first two albums that made me stay), then Ring Ding Dong, then 2pm, 2NE1, and my life was over. When I started watching 2NE1TV 24 hours before my chem final…er, let’s just say I am extremely grateful for my grades. That was on top of the WGM I was already watching (but thankfully before I found sites with updated subs, so I only had 16 episodes to work with), and once summer started I watched every SNSD variety show in two weeks. The excessiveness burned out really quickly, though, so now I am grateful to have Kpop as a good diversion to keep the equilibrium of my day.

I’m excited to return to normal blogging soon. I am a 2NE1 and Japan Invasion review behind, plus Beast is coming back next week. Look out for a September Top 5 post, first. I still need to get two midterms over with, though, and schedule out 15 hours of mandatory volunteering, all for next week. Organic chemistry went surprisingly well, so I’m comforted (probably false hope >.<) that my hardest course is manageable with some efficient studying. For all you students out there, don't forget to hit the books! It's all about the self-discipline.

Can’t Sleep

EDIT: Bwahahaha 2NE1 thinks CL’s acting is bad, renders the haters’ argument irrelevant and the situation funny. And soju still tastes like butt.

From Dara’s Me2Day:

Even just up till a while ago.. I was worried about CLroo’s bad acting..I said that and then..After watching that I changed my opinionㅠ That comic visual and bad acting.. makes me want to really drink some soju!ㅠ An embarrassing video is born! The truth is, when we were filming that scene, Chaerin said it was too funny and burst into laughter and took a picture of me. Since then, it was already funny..

And it’s partially attributed to 2NE1. The new 2NE1 mv for Go Away is actually pretty deep, if you look for the substance. It tackles a lot of sensitive topics beyond your regular relationships/breakups. Domestic abuse, alcohol abuse, revenge, etc. To really get the full message, you would need to read the lyrics (or translations) and contrast it to the storyline of the mv – someone on AKP called the storyline a “cautionary example” of what not to do in a negative relationship.

Ironically, the best interpretation I’ve found came from YouTube comments of all places.

Cl’s old self in the MV died and was reborn as a strong woman…She was full of anger and frustration so she decided to get revenge on him but it didn’t work out..What the video wants to say is that no matter how much you hate that person, gettting back at him won’t get you anywhere and you won’t be able to move on…By killing Cl’s character, the director is basically telling us that “You can just turn your back on him and make him GO AWAY..Why did you have to go through all that?

But wow, we are slowly approaching Gaga level mv depth here, Kpop. Maybe in five years 2NE1 will release a new song that somehow ties together nuclear proliferation, global warming, and of course the Illuminati.

And the acting – you know, I don’t find CL half bad. I didn’t think the beginning was overly cheesy either, because I do plenty of people watching in my time and that’s EXACTLY how highly conscious people act in public. The mv’s mood was all over the place, too, first giving me the false impression it’d be I Don’t Care funny/lighthearted, then freaking beatings went down, then it made me care more than I ever should about a car race (I realized I didn’t even match CL to the correct car the first time – seriously thought she was in the orange one), then the worst CGI crash mindfuck ever, then…she’s alive?

Regardless, YG did a nice job. I haven’t been so emotionally/mentally provoked by a mv since 2AM’s I Did Wrong, which made me sob like a hysterical fangirl (I blame it on not sleeping for 48 hours beforehand, though).

I realized that I would stan like crazy for 2NE1 if only they were more public. I don’t need to see them all the time, but a couple set of shows would be nice. Just 2NE1TV isn’t quite enough, but on the other hand I respect their clear separation between them as the musicians and we as the fans – it’s quite Western, quite un-idolish, and definitely refreshing. And again, mad props to all the North American views of this mv – it seems YG music is the only type of Kpop that might appeal to the US’s mass market.


Credit: 2NE1, in da flesh

SKpop’s TOP 5: August 2010

So starting this month, I’m going to pick my favorite songs from the month and put in some comments! Anything goes, so that means they don’t have to be title songs, from idol groups, etc. but it will stay Korean fo sho. I stole this idea from a YouTube video I saw – five seems like a reasonable number, since no one pays attention past number 4 on a top 10 list anyway. Plus, this will allow me to spew thoughts on songs I probably wouldn’t have time to address.

And of course, it’d be so boring if this was just a regular top 5 list. So I’m adding a WTF!Panda Top 5 as well, for miscellaneous songs I want to comment on that don’t belong in the top 5 because 1.) I hate instead of love them, 2.) they’re way old, but I just have to comment, 3.) something about the song/lyrics/mv was just exceptional…ly weird.

#5 FT Island – Love Love Love
Yeah ok, I complained and moaned about FT Island’s emo music again and again, but I couldn’t help but fall back in love with their music. Sure, Hongki’s “pushing” motions get repetitive, but FT Island’s songs are so emotional, well-written, and well-song. And yes, I still do love angsty music. So for now, the FT Island boys are again back on my good side. And Hongki’s wine-colored Beethoven hair didn’t even bother me much – I thought it looked good.


Credit: AsianMusicWorldHD

#4 Shady Girl – Sistar

Hyorin is perfect. In all honestly, the girl is a fantastic live singer and has such a positive personality that simultaneously make me feel happier and depressed that I in comparison seem like a hardcore emo. Shady Girl is such an improvement over Push Push, especially because Boram, and to a slightly less extent Bora (the rapper), finally shows the world that omg, she has a voice. Dasom, unfortunately, is still a bit lost in the background, and come on, she even dyed her hair a horrible shade of hooker blonde. It’s another solid song that will help build up this rising rookie group’s resume. And Heechul ❤


Credit: iAznSamManMV

#3 I'll Be There – Taeyang
In Korea/Japan, G-Dragon and TOP are by far the most popular Big Bang members. However, overseas, especially in North America, Taeyang rules. He is so freaking popular here I don't even pretend to try to understand – we kind of see him as the Asian Usher/Ne-Yo, and though I don't see it/think he gets a bit overrated at times, there's no denying that more people from the U.S. watch Taeyang videos than any other Kpop act.

I more or less expected something like this from Taeyang – I Need a Girl was so not his style (because, surprise! It was supposed to be Se7en's song, nice to see how YG mix-and-match like that…), and though I enjoyed happy Taeyang, I know he loves his emo songs more – what set I'll Be There apart from Where U At and Wedding Dress, however, is that it is much more pop feeling. Yes, Where U At had enough Teddy-synths to blow the moon up, but it was at its base very R&B. I enjoy I'll Be There a lot, I like the dance, the MV, the dark concept, etc. It's very good, and the best I've seen from Taeyang yet.


Credit: YGTaeyang

#2 Hurricane Venus – BoA
BoA's epic mega comeback yielded her 6th Korean album that I didn't care for at all. It's always been like that, though, hit or miss. I love Valenti but Hurricane Venus was blah. Oddly, I didn't hate Game like everyone else (until Nikki from PRN revealed it was f(x)'s Ice Cream 2.0), but Hurricane Venus totally did not float my boat at first. However, it started growing on me, and I even used it at a recent party. For me to change my opinions on a BoA song is quite an accomplishment. Plus, she racked up the music show wins/album sales. My hat off to you, and welcome back!


Credit: sment

#1 Madonna – Secret
My blog, my choice 😛 MADONNA DONNA. I'm so happy that they moved out of their craphole basement apartment with the foil window. That was a huge no no. I've anticipated their comeback since Sunhwa's teaser pic was released, and loved them enough to even review their minialbum. The song is so catchy and fun, and most importantly stays true to the Secret style – they may be aiming to sell, but they aren't going to abandon their classy identity to do it. My last hopes against autotune-mania. Plus, I thought the MV was gorgeous. Remember that week when every girl group in existence seemingly came back? One had to stand at the top. Congrats, Secret!


Credit: iAznSamManMV

…and now

WTF Kpop?
WTF!Panda Top 5!

#5 Homme – I was Able to Eat Well

So I’ll keep this short since I’ve already written about this, but wut, I love 2AM and 8eight but please keep my Kpop superficial and country free. I’ll go home and listen to the radio if I really wanted to hear country. Actually, I’m just really surprised at how popular this song became – Cyworld Song of the Month? Okkkkkay Korea, it’s your call.

#4 Beside You – BoA

Yeah. See why I made this poll? This song came off her million-copy selling Valenti Japanese album in 2003, and it’s not even the title track. However, I only got around to listening to it about 7 years later. Have you heard it? Read the lyrics? OMFG IT’S SO MAGICAL. I love this song.


Credit: diando

#3 2Me – Kara

2Me, Me2, whatever it is, it’s another case of “Nicole refuses to proofread anything English for Kara” as one Omona! post so helpfully wrote 😉 I actually kind of like the song – it represents the ideal equilibrium of Kara cuteness with some electropop in there to prevent me from gagging at the sheer amount of sugar, spice, and everything nice present in certain other Kara songs (Rock U, Pretty Girl…-__- I’m judging you. I’ll forgive Pretty Girl for its positive message, however). But WTF. The LYRICS. I could not take the LYRICS. I’m willing to tolerate a lot lyrically, considering my own Korean is so damn broken, but they even have to make it sound like some adult phone service in ENGLISH. Touch me, hold me, teach me, take me… It’s the worst Kara-gedy since the AWESOME BEST NIKCUF FIVE shirts…

The only reason wankfest isn’t occurring is because they are singing it so happily and innocently. Can you imagine of After School rocked some of those lyrics? Let’s just say I know how Micky Yoochun bagged Kahi as his hot noona.

Your Engrish are belong to us

#2 First Round – Dalmatian

Yeah. Was not expecting that. Did you know that I actually was about to dedicate a post to them? Inati’s life story is so touching, plus I’m so happy that a non-Bieber age group debuted, plus I was willing to overlook their name because of their looks, and most importantly they seemed really well-trained and had previous experience. I expected…well…a MC Mong sounding song, since he is the  “seon saeng-nim,” or at least something catchy like Joosuc’s Pop and Drop, but First Round was so out of the blue. It’s not a bad song, but…er…WHERE ARE MY BAD BOYS T__T. The MR removed sounded good, though, so kudos to the boys.

#1 Utada Hikaru goes on 2+infinity hiatus and I want her album
See how major this news is? It’s Jpop but it made it on my blog. T__T Ok Hikki is a lazy cow for the slow rate she releases but OMG I cannot bear 2 years without her. I think I will shell out money to buy her Best of album. OMG so upset. Rest of you Kpoppers, go back to work.

…And ok, let’s add a third section of “Notable Kpop News”

#5 Park Gyuri went kumquat blonde. WTF. At least she looked better in subsequent pictures taken.

#4 Kara shakes booty in Japan, sells Lupin EP x2 amount of CDs in a month.

#3 SMTOWN 2010 in LA. I hate my UCLA friends. Tiffany, I can’t recognize you no more TT

#2 Eru – Tae Jin Ah – Choi Hee Jin conflicted often psychotic yet tragic but mostly confusing circle of accusations, blackmail, abortion, and sabotage.

#1 Tablo has some major problems with 130k+ netizens. I honestly think that they are attacking him due to his outspokeness on “controversial” topics like depression and lack of tolerance and understanding for psychotherapy in Korea/Asia in general. The man is very smart – I was watching his CNN interview yesterday, and I got to thinking. Here’s a guy who doesn’t just make music – he is intelligent enough that he actually observes the world and contemplates weighty issues. While other idols rub off as very materialistic and commercial (it’s all about their music or their sales), Tablo emanates the aura of a conflicted, contemplating soul. That’s why he’s so susceptible to these netizen attacks – his strength lies in his brilliance in the intake of ideas and the complex churning and processing that goes on in his mind to create cutting lyrics and profound writing. This is also his weakness – he takes in everything, even the baseless derision and accusations, and contemplates over them too much. All we can do now is pray the courts shut the netizens up and hope Tablo stays strong 😦

Back to the 2NE1 album – gotta get at least 3 more repeats before I can start reviewing.

Housecleaning before 2NE1’s comeback

So, 2NE1’s coming back 9/9/10 (which is also Zhang Liyin’s debut day, so please wish her a good one, if only because I love her so), and I want to clarify a few things, especially to new Kpoppers, so they can witness their comeback with full objectivity. I don’t really care what CL is wearing, who GD is dating, or who’s the winner of that eternal catfight of 2NE1 vs. SNSD vs. 4minute vs. Sistar (omg, they wear flashy colors, must be copycats) vs. [insert girl group or slightly feminine boy group name here]. However, it gets on my nerves when people start trying to smartass me with the following two comments:

1.) “Minzy cannot sing, she can only dance [and usually insert some reference about ‘humping’ here]”

No no no no no no. There’s a reason her voice is my favorite in 2NE1 – please don’t judge her just after watching an episode of Strong Heart or something like that.

2.) “CL cannot sing, she only shouts”

*facepalms again* Ok, neither CL nor Minzy’s singing will fit everyone’s tastes, but to flat out reject that they can sing is like saying Taeyeon can’t use vibrato (saw that in some AKP thread and cracked up so bad XD).

You absolutely are not required to love 2NE1 at all. However, denying that Minzy and CL can’t sing is just…it just makes me scratch my head. Next time just say you don’t like their style/timbre/something more sensible, please and thank you.

And to spread my Liyin love, here’s her performance at SM Town.

There’s a reason why some guy said “Wow…” at 3:41, ya know. I’m not going to complain (here anyway) about how she only got two songs in the entire 6 hour concert, because I’m just so glad to see her again T__T

I remember when she used to be so nervous for her Timeless lives and would constantly slip up. She’s trained so hard since then – her old songs seem so effortless now, and she seems so much more confident. Can’t wait for some LA fancams.

Credit: 1. BigBangSHINeeWorld – nice name btw
2. choompichocolyn

Digesting 2NE1

So, the major points from yesterday’s YG announcement regarding 2NE1 are:

1. 2NE1 will be releasing their first full length album on Sept. 9th. It will feature 6 new tracks and 4 rehash solo pieces.

2. 2NE1 has recorded 10 songs in English under the direction of Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am and of course, Papa Teddy.

3. Will.I.Am will be helping 2NE1 make their U.S. debut, tentatively in 2011, but they will not stay long (so no Se7en repeat here).

4. 2NE1 will be debuting in Japan in early 2011 as well.

5. 2NE1 will have 3 title songs with full MVs from this album, and plan on promoting all three SIMULTANEOUSLY.

6. Lastly, I quote directly from the YGLadies translation, “Teddy is planning to leave the country to produce with other famous producers.” This means Teddy will likely be heading for bigger and better things in the states/Europe in the near future.

This news piece is a bombshell – no matter how many times YG has done it – for Taeyang, for Gummy, for Se7en – I will never get used to the company’s ways of dropping mindblowing announcements without any warning. And now I know better than to believe anything YG says – remember when he said Taeyang’s Solar album was supposed to be released in January? At least he got the J part right. It’s better off to just pray and expect stuff to drop from the sky -_-

So, most people are freaking out mostly about the promoting in the U.S. with Will.I.Am part, but honestly, it’s the least mindblowing part for me. YG has already made it clear that should promotions take place, it would not be for long, no doubt influenced from the previous hardships faced by Se7en, BoA, and the Wonder Girls and the seemingly unbreakable wall for Asian artists in the current American market.

What concerns/excites me the most is 1.) short term, the 3 song-promotions, and 2.) Teddy’s inevitable departure. Three songs will guarantee the crowd playing favorites and shunning at least one song, plus how are they going to promote this on shows, and without over exhausting the girls to boot? And as of right now Teddy is 2NE1’s main producer, and while it was predicable that YG would just be a phase in the probably long and successful career of this talented producer, 2NE1’s musical styles in the future will change. Kind of shocking to think that this might be the last of Teddy’s works with YG. Good luck to the girls!