Gain-unnie saranghaeyo

I’m sick. And I have a physics test Friday. THIS SPELLS IMPENDING DISASTER DDDDD:

Cr: milesedi2

OMG MY UNNIE WON INKIGAYO. As I was pulling my all nighter studying, I somehow enjoyed up jumping up and down and screaming with joy as Inkigayo announced the results. I have never been this excited about a music show before in my life.

Mad props to NegaNetwork + Loen for really impressing me with their stuff their artists have been putting out this year

Cr: KyuleeKPOPMV

Unlike 2NE1’s Go Away, with which I had major problems with the tacky acting and excessive DNW CGI, Gain kept this ten-minute business classy and professional – I bought the message the MV was trying to sell, and I bought it hard. I haven’t been so sad after a MV like this since watching 2AM’s I Was Wrong under extreme sleep-deprived conditions or the only SM masterpiece that was Zhang Liyin’s Timeless. This business better win MV of the Year please (and why was Can’t Nobody nominated in place of Go Away?).

 

Oh, and belated Happy Halloween!

Cr: SHINeeTimes2

My two favorite jailbaits performing on the same stage *o* And shush about the floor-humping, it’s a Michael Jackson move ok?

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

Mastermind: Beast

Beast just won their first Music Bank! 😀 I am beyond ecstatic, and serious kudos to them. They are a group full of talent, and their minialbum is selling well amidst heavy full albums out there from 2NE1 and SHINee.

Let’s talk about their new tracks. Automatically, Beast wins best album title of the year. Mastermind. It’s like Kpop finally stopped choosing cliche/nonsensical English phrases and decided to start reading Foucault. But of course, this seems to not have helped Beast’s Engrish as all as Kikwang still lovably confuses his verb tenses, but Omarion loves Beast, so we’ll forgive them for not being quite so perfect.

And I totally stole this from AA-Chan’s blog.
Cube’s got the aesthetics down pat – gorgeous cover.

Actually, if you have read my earliest posts, you’ll know that Beast really had to work to earn affection from me – I really hated Shock of the New Era for the longest time due to the combination of music style and Engrish. But there’s something I need clarify.

I love Cube as a company. CEO Hong is one of the most respectable men out there in the Korean entertainment industry – he has the business savvy and has worked with the best, as a previous high-up in JYPE. More importantly, he has one of the best understanding of the human psyche I’ve seen in a businessman – the man understands the pain, pride, uncertainty, and general psychology of the adolescent idol so well that he would probably be an excellent teacher or psychiatrist. He also has a very concrete sense of the type of music he wants to make, which is very much reflected in what his flagship groups, 4minute and Beast, perform (G.na’s stuff is a bit different). This is also Cube’s greatest musical weakness – there’s a lack of diversity.

As a listener you must make yourself mold to their music, when it really should be the other way around. Beast’s tunes have more or less stayed true to their debut style, usually heavy electrobeat dance tracks. Half the time their songs sound very generic and the formula becomes predictable: Doojoon/Dongwoon openers, Kikwang/Hyungseung the more technical verses, and Yoseob with occasional Hyunseung backup belting out the choruses, with a sprinkle of Junhyung’s rap. This would be an excellent formula if Beast were just another mediocre group. However, they’re not. Of active boy bands, Beast ranks at the top with SHINee (and Big Bang, whenever they comeback) as outstanding live performers. These boys can sing, dance, and if I were Cube I’d be giddy with joy just trying to get as many line-distribution combinations out of them as possible. Their choreo is, however, always tight and unique, which is what finally drew me into Beast. And if all else fails, PLEASE AT LEAST LET JUNHYUNG SING – his timbre is really rich.

Let’s run through their minialbum, shall we?

Mastermind – standard intro piece, thank goodness it doesn’t outshine the title track this time. I actually really liked the triplet

Soom – Something about this song just seems more sophisticated than Shock. Performed live, it doesn’t quite have the sharpness and complexity of Shock, but it makes up for it musically. I personally really enjoyed the direct integration of “breathe in breathe out” into the choreo – honestly, had they tried to be “creative,” it would’ve just looked tacky. And beginning circle dance? OMG. Once upon a time I had a dream that SHINee would promote Obsession and engage in some kind of epic circle dance/position shift a la Replay, but Beast were the ones to pick up on my brilliant suggestion, so +1000000 brownie points.

Tl;dr: I dig Dongwoon’s long note at the beginning (though the effect is ruined by the rapping), somehow the heartbeat slow start transitions logically into the techno verses and choruses, Yoseob is amazing at belting, I wish they’d let Dongwoon/Doojoon sing at slightly higher ranges/otherwise switch things up, but overall I’m enjoying this song WAY more than I had ever anticipated to. And pay attention to their choreo – there are lots of subtle details that make you appreciate their preparation even more and make Beast flow like one group instead of synchronized individual members. Kudos to Prepix!


Credit: beastofficial

V.I.U. – Please watch the end of the Soom practice video. I have no more comments. It’s a fun song, and Kikwang has a Junho-worthy booty. The song may be forever ruined and/or cherished.


Credit: hawoosin

Break Down – I don’t know why, but I feel like every group has released a song that sounds like this. Actually, scratch that, this sounds like a song taken straight from 4minute’s discography. I’m both happy and miffed at this. Since Beast has considerable vocal talent, they can turn a mediocre song into something enjoyable, and this semi-attempt at upbeat R&B is all too rare in Beast discography. Very generic but still enjoyable.

Clenching with a Tight Fist – Again, kind of generic, featuring Yoseob warbling over everyone else with an occasional Hyunseung appearance (who I just discovered holds back his voice quite a bit for vocal control – there’s talent untapped there). Attempts the angsty but doesn’t quite hit it, but the piano arrangement is lovely, their voices are good, and I nod along.

So congrats, Beast, on your first Mubank! May many more come your way.

Hyunseung you are so weird and adorable ❤

OngOng, this is too prection

2AM’s Seulong just tweeted a picture from the filming of MBC’s sports Chuseok special. This is simply too precious.

Jinwoon, Dongwoon, Jaejin, Mir, and Key, you guys are precious. ❤

Super excited for Jinwoon’s ab show because it’s kept so well hidden. Pissed that Hara is not here – I want to see her run a race again without falling to see how much ass she would kick how fast she actually is.

And I realized that I’ve posted so many new things today, mostly irrelevant little stuff 😄 This blog is turning into a random blabber blog. Since I have my first lovely organic chemistry midterm coming up, I’ll probably not update for 6 +/- 4 days. And life goes on, Djokovic is still my favorite, 2NE1 will make music shows this week fun. And I got into the scholarship program I interviewed for! :3 Thanks everyone.

Moral lessons

I really don’t like preaching, especially in our bubble known as Kpop–I prefer if others can discover mistakes and correct them on their own, as the end result is much more meaningful, and come on, Kpop is founded upon fanwars and hysterical fangirl/boying. However, there are some misunderstandings/points of hypocrisy that absolutely drive me nuts, so much so that I have resigned myself from attempting to explain on every forum I stalk, and instead will put my thoughts into my own post in hopes that others will maybe read and spread the knowledge.

As they say, pictures are worth a thousand words, so macros must have even higher inherent value. Here’s some excellent ones that will make the point across much easier than a written rant.

First, Taeyeon’s racist comment about calling Alicia Keys “pretty for a black person.” This apparently is a pretty big reason why a lot of people dislike SNSD, which is extremely unfortunate considering it is completely false. I am not a Sone, nor am I trying to make excuses for Taeyeon’s words. Rather, there’s NOTHING TO EXCUSE. She actually did nothing wrong because this was not what she said–I listened to the Chin Chin clip myself, and her words were very much distorted in translation thanks to some anti who even disabled comments on the YT video to prevent clarification.


^That about sums it up.

In Asian languages, ‘black’ translates directly into “African American” without negative connotations. No one uses the phrase “African-American” because it translates into something akin to a scientific name, which would be ridiculous to use in colloquial speech. I feel bad for Taeyeon because she really did nothing wrong here.

Next, let’s talk Key. Key from SHINee is known as a very blunt diva, and he will say what he thinks to your face. You actually have no idea how much I adore Key (I kept on doing his Ring Ding Dong ‘butterfly’ move and it was pissing off my friends), but I was a little offended when Nicole from Kara revealed that Key told her she was fat and asked “when are you doing on a diet?” in, I assume, typical Key fashion, which is to say very bluntly. I am more annoyed that people started commenting, “oh, but you know, they are like BEST FRIENDS, so it’s ok, and Nicole wasn’t really hurt, and I’d want a guy to tell me I’m fat too! (extreme lol at this, O RLY?).” I’d assume being friends would make this even more not ok–your friendship obligates you to at least word it a little nicer.

But that’s actually not my main issue.

Cause you know if it was actually Goo Hara who turned to Nicole and said, “bitch, why can’t your waist be 21 inches like mine,” she would not live to see daylight.

We had a saying like this in debate once: if a guy is rude, he’s just being assertive, but if a girl is rude, she’s being a bitch. I lament. I’m glad we’re all tolerating all the divaness of Key/Heechul/Kwon/others so well, but can we not flame the girls for being confident or critical?

Lastly, Kikwang’s blackface issue. If don’t know already, Kikwang from Beast dressed in blackface to play out a watermelon CF on the comedy show Hot Brothers, and international Kpoppers erupted in rage.

Personally, I have zero tolerance for racism. However, I am also a huge advocate for understanding–even if you vehemently disagree with the viewpoint of another, at least try to understand where its coming from. All this “omfg why is Korea/rest of Asia so far behind, I hate their racism” vs. “zomgbbqsauce Westerners just try to impress their opinions on everyone, imperialistic eggfarters” really gets us no where.

I actually found no need to write about the issue myself because I happened upon someone else’s entry that took the words right out of my mouth and made it 100x better. So if you are hating on Kikwang (and rather rightfully so, it’s not cool), please read it, and try to put down the pitchfork.

Cultural division exists on both sides–Westerners don’t understand Asian conservatism (what’s wrong with a teenage girl wearing a tanktop?), and Asian cultures don’t understand the Western lack of filial piety (why are some teens so disrespectful?), and I can make lots of pro/con points on both sides. Just know that the line drawn isn’t permanent. I apply a similar plea to the Key issue–Asian cultures are patriarchal because that’s how history turned out, and I accept that. I just hope fans living in more gender-equal nations won’t start to think this is an acceptable practice in their own countries. After all, acceptance breeds opinions, and opinions lead to action.

So do some research before flinging around the hate. You never have to accept someones words or actions, but you do have an obligation to try to understand it.

Let’s keep an open mind, and I’ll start blogging more lighthearted stuff :3

And I ‘borrowed’ all of these from random AKP forum threads–I don’t know who the original creators were, but I give them credit and a hardy pat on the back for their efforts.

But in 2010, New > Old

So I just wrote about how 2010 = 2009 in terms of ‘quality of songs’ (you know we don’t listen to Kpop for quality). However, 2010 really should’ve been bigger than 2009.

As I look back at who came back in 2010, I’m utterly amazed that Kpop is NOT exploding in sheer awesomeness right now. So many big name, legendary artists emerged from the woodworks after spending years AWOL, and your standard top-of-the-pack groups almost all came back, and the sheer anticipation was on the verge of nuclear holocaust. But then, what happened?

Wonder Girls came back! Finally, the first ‘current generation’ girl group to reach superstardom returns from the U.S.! But 2 Different Tears was a hot mess of overanticipation of something better than TellSoNo, short promotion time, wtfbbq only a single?!?, and Sunmi’s departure.

U-Go-Hyori, the queen bee herself! It’s been 2 years! I actually thought Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was pretty good, but the plagiarism thing completely tanked her.

Rain! Hot abs ninja assassin looked to shock all with something better than Rainism. But he really should’ve put out a full album, because Love Song was just meh for me at least. The sales were ok, but not explosive like Rainism.

Gummy! The soul-voice of YG had been gone since FOREVER, and suddenly she emerges with her Loveless minialbum. Actually, I loved it. But sadly, idols are all the hype these days, and poor Gummy didn’t get the popular reception she really should have received (come on, flower boy Kim Hyunjoong was even in the freaking mv, what more strings was she supposed to pull?!?). The sales were actually ok, but it could and should have been bigger. My Gummy bias 😛

Se7en. Legend. Passion. Returns from the U.S. Again, should have had a full album, and despite his brilliant live performances (Better Together was actually a decent song), his sales are bad, and his fanbase, very weakened.

And the trump card, even BoA returned after 5 FREAKING YEARS. It’s way to early to see her album sales, but to me, that album was extremely disappointing. I think I’m not alone in noticing her music deteriorating in style over the years–honestly, BoA had edgy songs, cool dance moves and music videos, but Hurricane Venus was so dull compared to say, Girls on Top, and I personally attribute it too overwork–Japan and especially the U.S. just drained her. Sometimes I wish artists would just stay in Korea like Hyori–she knows where her base is at and sticks to it, and that’s why she’s the “Nation’s Fairy.”

And to list other hype/disappointments, After School’s Bang! was so meh compared to Because of You, 2pm’s Without U just wasn’t up to par with what 2pm can dish out, Son Dambi barely made an impact with Queen, 4minute had pretty bad sales, f(x) got gypped out of an award, 2NE1 and Big Bang are MIA (yes yes I know BB is in Japan), Seo Taiji got beaten by Jay Park, etc. etc.

Why? Primarily, the fans’ expectation of come backs better than the best works of the artists’ careers was simply too unrealistic. Even if the songs were pretty good, it wasn’t better, so fans were disappointed. I know I was somewhat disappointed.

However, I have been surprised by handfuls of acts this year, and now I think about it, they all came from groups who never had overwhelming success previously or were new acts. 2AM’s Can’t Let You Go Even if I Die/I Did Wrong back-to-back wowed both the charts and myself (it was one of those hits where you’re like, oh, yeah that song was good but never gave it too much thought, then looked back and realized, holy crap, their minialbum did really well), Kara finally had a bit hit with Lupin without choosing the wrong title song, CN Blue’s Loner indirectly lured me on the path of full Kpop obsession, Beast finally overcame their ‘reject group’ label with Shock, miss A again proved to me rookies were worth paying attention to (then Girl’s Day quickly disproved that, oh man I should really stop hating on them, Control was actually really good), and most recently SHINee finally made my summer spectacular with the best album of the year. The fact that I feel more excited about Secret’s comeback than I felt about BoA’s just confirms the new/newish groups are the ones creating the drive in 2010—old names simply aren’t performing on par.

And people are getting overly annoyed that so many new groups are debuting this year. While I will probably put up subsequent posts that mirror the public opinion, I can’t help but feel that, well, it’s always been this way. New groups announce debuts. The crowd groans and rolls their eyes. If their debut sucks they get bashed mercilessly. If they were ok they still get bashed mercilessly. You get the idea. I was rummaging through some old news tidbits and stumbled upon some written about Davichi during their debut–omg Kang Minkyung isn’t an ulzzang, stick to R&B, 8282 sucks, and most hilariously, they need singing lessons zomg. Personally I think Davichi can sing quite well, tyvm, and if you put them next to the idol world, wow, give them a Nobel Peace Prize for actually having talent now please. Hopefully you get the idea–as Seo In Young said recently, “Anyone can debut. The important part comes after.” All new groups will get crap dumped in their face, but they should consider it a weird, cultish welcome. Should they pass the initiation, they will have lots of diehard fans willing to put their lives on the line to defend them and buy their cds, posters, socks, and whatever product their company puts out to milk the fans for all their won.