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.

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.

Predictions for the rest of 2010

So with 2010 more than half-ways behind us, I decided to make a little prediction on who’s coming back when.
Red = comeback confirmed, Purple = my guess only

August is going to be a fun month, with Se7en, SHINee, and BoA all actively promoting. I think this will be better than the Rain-Hyori-2pm clash during May (especially since I believe the August contenders are musically a little more standout at this point). T-ara is confirmed for an album (full album? But my prayers are never answered that well…) in September/October. Rainbow will be back September, hopefully with much improvement from Gossip Girl. Both Kahi and Gain have solo activities lined up for September, ironic that it’s yet another Pledis/NegaNetwork clash after Son Dambi/Narsha.

For my predictions, I see a 50/50 chance of 2NE1–rumors are they are already working on choreo/album, but for some reason I don’t feel a comeback. But they have to. So either they’ll come out early, say September or early October at the latest, or not at all.

Will the Wonder Girls return to Korea? Their summer was hella hectic, but I feel 2DT was too rushed and didn’t really make an impact. If they have plans, it’ll not be until 2011. Similarly, I think 2pm is going to be back either really late 2010 or early 2011. However, I feel the 2AM boys will be back in October/November. They only have one mini-album under their belts since debut, so a full album is due.

4minute is done for the year, especially with Japan promotions. MBLAQ is probably also done, but a late 2010 comeback is remotely possible. I feel BEAST will be back in November. They’ve more or less wrapped up overseas promotions and it’s been a while since Shock of the New Era.

I don’t predict anything from the Soshi girls in 2010 since I think they’re the only group preparing to enter Japan seriously (meaning long-term), but SM might have changed strategies after DBSK/BoA, so a late-year mini-album is possible. Big Bang seems to still be promoting in Japan, with their new single Beautiful Hangover soon to be released, so I don’t think we’ll see them until 2011. But do remember T.O.P. was working on an album before he started filming Into the Fire, so expect that to drop late 2010/early 2011 before any Big Bang comebacks.

Kara is sticking around in Japan for only about a month, so I predict they may pop out a mini-album in December (a third album would be nice, too). Some sixth sense (that does not see dead people, tyvm) tells me Brown Eyed Girls will be back in action in December. SIGN was so long ago. UKISS, too, has been missing, since Man Man Hani, so they might return in November/December. After School won’t return as a full group until their last subunit promotes, so it’s 2011 for them. f(x) needs a late year mini-album turnaround, but I just feel SM is semi-giving up.

The New Year will be interesting indeed. By that time, maybe miss A will release a second mini-album! Talk about time and progression–rookies don’t stay rookies for long, do they? Let’s check back on this in 2011 and see how many I got right.

Where to watch subbed WGM and other stuff

So I’m a huge sucker for the MBC show We Got Married, and if you haven’t heard of it before, essentially two Korean celebrities join in a pretend marriage and have to live with each other and do all kinds of missions, creating endless opportunities for hilarity. And whenever the couple starts “skinship” (aka begin holding hands -__-) we the audience giggle and gasp like little elementary schoolers at a magic show.

Most recently the show has been taken over by idols ever after the Adam Couple of Gain and Jo Kwon helped revive season 2 from near death. Now 2 other couples, of SNSD’s Seohyun and CN Blue’s Jung Yonghwa and 2pm’s Nichkhun and f(x)’s Victoria have also entered WGM for an 100% idol-loving couplefest.

It took me forever to locate all the YouTube channels that sub each couple, so I thought I’d at least share what I’ve gathered.

Adams (Gain-Jo Kwon):
snjeung1 has the quickest subs I know of, and has since started hardsubbing so you can download the subs easier. She also subs other BEG related goodies like Heroes.
Kkaplinesubs has, I think, the nicest, most complete translations, plus they upload on Dailymotion so the videos are less likely to be removed! They release slower than most groups, but the product is nice.
And of course, T2ssubs’s WGM channel of lovely 2OneDay subs all your OneDay related needs.

Yongseo (Seohyun-Yonghwa)
Yukiandjudy amaze me with their speed of translating. I am in awe–within 24 hours of live broadcast, they’d be done.
Rundevilrunsubs is a nice project that provides slightly more complete subs.

Khuntoria (Victoria-Nichkhun)
T2ssubs releases Khuntoria before Adam, so this is the fastest access to subbed Khuntoria episodes.
Affxtion (f(x)’s international forum) has also started subbing (and I think they are still doing Invincible Youth), though you need to be a registered member of the forum with 30+ posts to download (YouTube kept on removing their videos).

Keep in mind YouTube channels are constantly banned and new channels are made, so keep updated through their Twitter and I’ll try to update this page should anything change.

What’s Trending: define Jailbait

I like to stream Mucore and Inkigayo because they are on the weekends for me and show at hours that are reasonable for me. The chat community during streaming is a lot more ‘casual’ than fancafes or blog/news sites, and the majority of chatters are foreign, mostly from the US, Europe, and South Asia (you can tell from the occasional tagalong and even Italian). I find this watering hole, interestingly enough, a fun and probably somewhat accurate measuring stick of what foreigners think about songs and what’s trending. So I’ll start a weekly What’s Trending corner, just for fun. I love crass humor.

1. I found this so hilariously random. Jailbait is defined by Urban Dictionary as “an attractive underaged girl who you’d like to bang. But if you get caught banging her you’ll go to jail, so she’s the bait that lures you into the jail cell, hence the term jailbait.” So who’s the jailbait? Whenever Sulli, our MC of Mubank, appears on screen, the chatters go crazy. Jailbait #1. IU, who is 17, is hitting it off with Seulong in Nagging, and she’s apparently hot jailbait.

2. Sistar’s Push Push gets relatively dismissive/negative comments. I lol at whoever came up with the name “the birthing song” XD. Infinite’s Come Back Again is positively received, though streamers are starting to get bored (pink suits twice, and one sharp eyed streamer noted the socks with sandals costuming last week…). This is interesting since in Korea Sistar is doing quite well (and just won rookie of the month) while Infinite is lagging behind. Magic Girl by Orange Caramel is simply hated. But everyone hums along when no one is looking.

3. And of course, I forgot new group miss A’s Suzy Bae. Jail bait #3. XD