January 17, 2013 § 2 Comments
One of the reasons that I haven’t been writing anything here for quite some time is that, well… I just moved to Tokyo, and am going to stay here until August at least.
While I am definitely physically closer to the kpop industry operations, as well as in a totally different way than in Sweden often encountering kpop and hallyu in my daily life, I am not mentally as close to it as I usually am. I am busy exploring a very new, very physical world, and I’m having, living, an adventure. My need for escapism looks different, and my head filled with too much other stuff to also harbor a lot of kpop love and worries.
In either case, I went to Shin-Okubo (Tokyo’s Koreatown) today to have lunch with a friend. The streets were filled with hangeul, and the to me so familiar faces of various kpop idols watched me as I passed. For lunch, I had dolsot bibimbap, a really really tasty one, and awesome banchan, and the background music included Dal Shabet’s “있기 없기” and Orange Caramel’s “Lipstick”, and I felt so homely, so familiar, and yet so far away.
October 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
I just got home from beer-drinking at a bar and as usual I’m sitting down with my computer in the darkness. We spent the evening out talking about pop culture, South Korean and Western, stuff that we have recently seen or rewatched, Among my closest friends there is a huge interest in pop culture in general. To be both entertained and to make an analysis of it… Is there anything better? So much to do and so much to watch in front of me. Shinhwa Broadcast, favourite parts with Key from Raising Idols, Running man and Masterchef… Brilliant life.
For not a very long time now, I have been feeling like a grown up. This is interesting because this has also, finally, given me the confidence to decide what is important and fun to do. This evening, with beer and pop culture is very much one of those things, and I don’t care if the people at the next table thought that our conversation was weird or shallow. Because really, that is what most people think when it comes to pop culture, even if there are a hundred truths about everything in society to be told from it. Even if it gives you all the joy in the world.
To be a fan of K-pop as a grown up is also fun. In many situations you can realate to what the idols are going through, but with a bit of perspective, and as a grown up you also have the advantage of having money to spend and deciding on your own. These are very good things, especially when you want to go to a K-pop club in Stockholm, travel to another country for a concert or order random CDs (a few of these did just recently happen). And ok so also, I just found some pics of my apartment the day after the K-pop club(guess where that evening started and ended).
The Future is Idol -L
May 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
Yesterday I was at a party with focus on learning coreography for kpop songs. I worked quite hard with songs I really love and perhaps one of them will be recorded. I also became quite drunk and completly forgot the time, thus very tired today.
These are the one’s I worked on:
but also this one:
So much fun! And now a littel bit hungover.
/The Future is Idol
February 6, 2012 § 3 Comments
February 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
I had not more then recently discovered 2PM as Jaebeom was forced to leave the group(the reasons were both logical and a bit hazy). As he now stands in front of us as Jay Park this part of his career feels very distant. The fact that he was once the leader of one of the rising Korean boy bands feels… strange. Jay Park is in no way a favourite of mine, the comment way back on his myspace rings in my head from time to time. Besides he is trying to hard to be street, less of an idol. Boring. But the fact is, he is doing a great job being that idol the more he tries not to. Anyway, the tracks he has released so far as a solo artist has been amazingly consistant, I really like most of them. Here is the latest one, Know Your Name:
/The Future is Idol
February 4, 2012 § Leave a comment
Yesterday I sat down with friends to discuss our fandom, or rather they wanted to make sort of an interview with me to chat about my view on it for a project they are working on. I am on my third year of Kpop fandom and there is nothing pointing towards an end of it. To talk about these things, the obsessions, love, pain and everything that lies in it, sets my mind to spin. Everyone around me knows that the Korean pop culture is at the center of my life and most certainly also of my heart. Yesterday, I was trying to explain some of the reasons for falling so hard for Kpop. The awsomeness of the current South Korean pop scene is of course a main reason. The high quality and the gigantic proportions of the scene is another. But not doing the fandom on my own is an extremely important reason. Not being in love alone.
/The Future is Idol
December 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
It’s been a while since I wrote something here. And though I can’t pinpoint down one exact reason, it’s nonetheless time for me to try to sort out yet another thing about kpop and me. Even this text has been lying around for ages, waiting to be published. I really haven’t said everything that I want to say about this yet, so I just might make this the first part of a longer text.
Warning for sensitive readers: This will be embarrassing, especially if you know me.
Some weeks ago, I became a buddy student for a Korean exchange student at my college. Once when we were out on a walk, she asked me what made me want to go to Seoul, and what I liked about Korea (I’m not using the name “Korea” because I don’t know the difference between South and North Korea, but because that is the word she used and, oddly enough, most people seem to use to talk about South Korea). I get really uncomfortable when people ask me direct questions about myself (this is probably part culture clash with Swedish small talk customs, part personality) so I went on a long tirade about how Korean culture has slowly sneaked into my life via movies (namedropping Kim Ki Duk), horror movies, urbanization and political theories, people around me, and food – and then, at last, I mentioned kpop, at which my buddy student shone up and started asking me about which bands I knew and so on. But for some reason, I felt the need to press how kpop didn’t “mean” the same thing here as it probably does in Asia, and then went on an extremely embarrassing, confused ramble on South East Asian mainstream culture being an important part of western indie culture, et cetera. At this point, I was ready to sink into the ground with shame.
This is something that I do a lot.
When I asked myself why, I first thought that it had something to do with mainstream culture and indie culture. But I don’t feel the same need to point out that I know that a Britney Spears song that I love is mainstream, and I have a Kylie Minogue poster on my wall. I’ve seen numbers of queer dykes go crazy to Lady Gaga songs, as well as one of my main kpop biases dress up and do parodies on the very same Lady Gaga without her very non-asianness being a problem. So what’s the big deal?
Is one of the reasons the power relations between western culture and the east? Where the Anglo-Saxon culture imperialism has ruled for such a long time that it has become a kind of popcultural norm. At the same time, it’s something vulgar. Taken to its point, if the opposite of normal vulgarity is specialized vulgarity, wouldn’t that be fetishism? Although an interest in specialized fine arts is just refined taste. So: If interest in western (read: American, or at least Anglo-Saxon) pop culture is normal, interest in eastern pop culture is, for a westerner, fetishism. At least unless it is taken into a context of indie culture, which makes it refined taste again.
And who wants to be a pervert?
December 3, 2011 § 3 Comments
GD&TOP are about to release their debut track in Japan. And it’s the same story all over. Beautiful album jacket photos of two talented and gorgeous men, and another boring MV with lots of girls clinging all over them through out the entire thing. Cars, boats and girls, all the toys you need to make you look like a masculine player. This is not uniqe for these guys, but I really wish that they could just let all of that go. No more playboy jewelry, but the tiresome attitude against women remains.
Shape up for fuck sake.
/The Future is Idol
November 6, 2011 § 9 Comments
The wrong song, the wrong MV
After watching the new Wonder Girls MV Be My Baby a couple of times I have decided that this blog is not the right place to give it any room, I simply do not like it. Maybe later, maybe not.
Instead, lets focus on the songs on their new album I like after listening to it just a couple of times this late evening in Stockholm. Wrong choice of single anyone?:
G.N.O. (girls night out)
What do you think about all of this? Am I just being mean?
/so disappointed – The Future is Idol
October 18, 2011 § 2 Comments
I have only watched the newly released “The Boys” MV about twenty times, so you can’t really be a hundred percent sure that I’m telling the truth just yet. But this time around, I’m floored by So Nyuh Shi Dae. The almost complete failure from this summer with the MV for japanese track “Bad Girl” is forgotten with this.
This is an explosive, mysterius, dead serious, and absolutely gorgeous comeback to the korean market(and to the world) that leaves me with a smirk on my face. But I have a feeling that not everyone will approve.
The concept of this MV is somewhat of a mystery to me though. But I guess that it is a concept in line with the concept photos released over the last couple of weeks, in which the women of SNSD are posing as fairytale-like, romantic figures. At the same time, they are putting on a really fierce show in this MV, that is not at all in line with compliant fairytale figures. I have never seen these women so cool ever before and there is a grown up appeal to this, that was chosen just in the nick of time.
SNSD are the ultimate fantasy for more then one person out there and there is something in this concept that is absolutely playing with that fact. Emphasizing the fantasy and perhaps also pointing it out by going from long romantic gowns to short minimalistic dresses. I don’t think that they deliberately want to question the fantasy they were created to fullfill as a group, but it is interesting to give this “fantasy concept” a second thought.
The set is classical Kpop style. Abstract futuristic diamond like patterns and shapes in grey, white and black. Not so much fun and nothing new, but beautiful and just what I wanted/needed from this group. I read somewhere that someone thought it looked both hasty and cheap but I believe, quite the contrary that this is a very well chosen and expensive set. The members look dazzling and every piece of clothing is gorgeous. They must have worked hard as hell to pull off the english version(look below for english MV), since not only the american members, but all of them have an almost perfect english.
Something I will never ever be able to appriciate though, are the thin, thin bodies of the members. Do not try to pull me the shit with asian women being smaller then others. Seriously, some of them look less then healthy, their company is really pushing it with the diets.
The track itself? No, it is not as catchy as some of their previous ones and it is certainly not cute(thank god). To include rap in a track by a group that has got nothing to do with the genre itself is a very dangerous thing to do, and it only works once in a while. I am on the other hand on of those people who kind of like it now and then.
When the male idol groups bring in a rap in their tracks I am almost always embarassed, when the girl groups try it I almost always like it a better. The girl groups often make it. Maybe because I have less an idea of how a female rapper should look and act, and far to many boring, dusty ideas of how male rappers should. Maybe because I am male myself. Or maybe just because the girl groups outshine the male ones in this matter.
So Nyuh Shi Dae are anything but rappers, but at the same time, they are not trying to prove that they are. Just emphasizing the lyrics by speaking them out clearly. Kind of like Super Junior did it in “Superman”, their least embarassing rap so far but the longest. Also, have this girl group ever had so few children-like voices in one of their songs as this one has?
There is a beat going through THE BOYS that is heavier then most things in this genre at the moment and that brings me the greatest joy. And after listening to it a couple of times, I am quite sure that this is by far one of their better releases up to this point. As a hit song? I really don’t know at all, but as an anthem for a new So Nyuh Shi Dae it works more then quite well.
I do not understand how T-ara or Wonder Girls ever could outperform this in their upcoming comebacks.
/The Future is Idol – Floored is the word.