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?