January 5, 2012 § 3 Comments
There have been far to few fanboy moments with SHINee so far at this blog. I’m really happy to see this one.
0:04 – Oh! It’s Taemin! He’s so frickin good-looking!
0:07 – Jonghyun!!!
0:24 – Onew is handsome!
1:56 – Key is so frickin handsome!
2:05 – Man they’re handsome!
Thank you Elin for showing it to me!
/The Future is Idol
January 5, 2012 § 3 Comments
This is the strangest of times for fans of Super Junior. As an ELF, a fan of this group, 2011 has come to an end with a notion of the future for our beloved boyband.
Because even though you love to see them perform, show up at varietys and watch behind the stage footage of them, as has been possible again since their return in the second part of 2011, we all know what is about to happen. The largest boyband on earth(13 members+2) have started to disolve, and this time there is really no going back.
Super Junior made their appearence quite late in my life, but was an instant hit. Sorry Sorry had just recently been released that year and I got stuck after the first viewing of the MV. 13 members in the same group. Doing that dance. Who can not fall for something as epic?
The impact that this MV had on me back then, and many many others all over the world can hardly be overestimated. The choreography and the catch-phrase refrain is known to far many more people then just the average kpop lover. I believe that I, in some ways have been a part of an historical era of pop culture, kpop and Hallyu, in which Super Junior plays an important part.
When they were formed in 2005 by SM Entertainment the idea was not for them to last at all, atleast not with the same members as in the beginning.
Leeteuk, the leader of Super Junior reminded us of this well known fact once again on an episode of SBS Strong Heart as he explained that SuJu was put together as a project group to last only for 3 months, kick start the careers of SM trainees and then reform with new members, over and over.
But this never became the reality, as there were to much invested in this group, and to many people had gained interest in them. Super Junior became an official group, adding it’s last and 13th member Kyuhyun and closing the door for trainees next in line. Such as Henry Lau and ZhouMi, who instead became members of mandarin promotional sub group Super Junior M.
The years with Super Junior can, if you want to, be looked up on as a drama, with a plot better then any soap opera there is, including severe car accidents, member losses, epic success and fanservice to die for. Leeteuk performs as the organized and (mostly) polite leader, Shindong as the funny(fat) guy, Siwon as Prince Charming, Kim Keechul as… himself. Every member fills a role or a space, it doesn’t have to be the same space every time and since they are so many, someone can be missing from a fan meet, a concert or a showcase without it being the end of the world. Brilliant.
One of the saddest parts of this boy band theatre is perhaps Henry Lau, the member of Super Junior M that was included playing violin on Super Juniors Don’t Don, but couldn’t make it in to the actual group as a full and 14th member, since the fans protested wildly. Threatening for example to buy enough shares of the company to keep future members out of the group.
Yes I have lost myself completely in this group, over and over. Not in every member, but in many enough to have no need for any other pop cultural input for long periods of time. And since there are so many of them, you can find a new Super Junior favourite with time if you need to.
Super Junior Full House, Super Junior mini drama, Super Junior exploring the human body, Intimate note… A long list of varietys that shaped me as a fanboy, made me laugh my head off and hide of embarrassment. For the first time in my life I fully understood that it was ok to love something that was not European, not in english and nothing else then main stream pop culture. Kind of a liberation of someone who was hiding inside of me. But with the help of two friends and this group, I was finally able to be that person.
Shortly after the release of Sorry Sorry there was one member missing on stage while performing. It was reported that Kibum was not to take part in the promotions for that album, but rather focusing on his acting career. And since back in 2009, he has not yet returned, but is still an official member, included when counting.
Hangeng, the only Chinese member within the 13 left the group in the beginning of 2010 by suing SM Entertainment, the company that created and owns everything Super Junior ever have done and ever will do. Hangeng felt treated unjust and wanted to get out of the 13 year contract that down to every detail controlled his life.
Not much later, Kangin also left after scandals with bar fighting and performing a hit and run while drunk. He was not kicked out of the group though, just kept away for two years mandatory militar service. It was a weird period of the fandom, as I did not really like Kangin at all, but still desperately wanted the group to keep togheter. It felt like a great loss when the epic 13 became 10.
On the third of august 2011, they released Mr.Simple, one of their best tracks and MVs ever. While writing this post, the MV has passed 32 039 583 views on YouTube.
And then a couple of weeks later the bomb dropped, as second oldest member Kim Heechul, born in 83, informed that he would enlist in the army by September 1. Every one knew that it would happen sooner or later, but I believe that most people thought it would be later, in 2012. Not in less then two weeks. Also, this is no random member of SuJu, this is the main reason I got stuck in this idol industry in the first place. The reason so many did. This beautiful man that did exactly what he wanted to and did not seem to care what others thought of him, moved the boundaries of how to perform on and off stage and made people fall in love.
He was also part of the first fanfic-couple that ever caught my attention. The passion and drama of SiChul (Siwon and Heechul both of Super Junior) can never be forgotten. I’m still not sure if they ever where for real or not… (SiChul is for real!)
Seven years has passed since it all began for SuJu and there is really no given ending, but at the same time, the insecurity and lack of active members will surely tear on us ELFs.
When Superman, simultaneously promoted with Mr.Simple, was released it was with an MV that can not only be viewed as a gift to their loving fans, but also as a lament and closing act to an era of Super Junior:
They will keep promoting as an 8 member group for now, Siwon preoccupied with acting at the moment, but soon their leader Leeteuk have to enlist in the army, and then Yesung, and then…
It will just go on and on and on. Love, agony, laughter and pain, Super Junior Love.
/Ever-Lasting-Friends at The Future is Idol, Stockholm, Sweden.
January 3, 2012 § 1 Comment
On the last day of 2011 I met up with my very close friend Elin who has been living in South Korea for a big part of 2011 with another friend of us. She gave me a present that still, a couple of days later makes me smile like a stupid person. Out of her suitcase she pulled the Yesung version(Yesung happens to be my favourite) of Mr.Simple and a Mr.Simple bag to put it in. This is a present that almost outshines everything I got for Christmas, I’ve longed for this LP-sized cd for a very long time now. Now I’m just waiting for the other four versions that the same friends are shipping by boat from Korea to Sweden with the rest of their belongings…
/The blood in my veins – The Future is Idol
December 31, 2011 § 2 Comments
Kpop beyond my imagination.
Trying to remember how and with what 2011 started. As time goes by I clearly mix it all up in a big blend and 2011 has been a year with just so many different thoughts and and jesus christ, so many new tracks, looks and idols. Who were they all?
As 2011 dawned up on us all, Dong Bang Shin Ki was on everyones mind and I was heartbroken because of this. What would happen? But I must say that I let them be quite soon, as the memory of them faded with the help of almost everything else. I really do love the magic that was DBSK, but I did not bear with it any more, even though I listen to Empty by JYJ on a regular basis. Maybe it is to painful and I try to save myself, maybe I’m not that big of a fan… And soon enough I found myself lost in another kpop break-up drama, as idol group U-kiss was bereaved two or at least one of it’s most important members. And I discovered again after being through the DBSK-hell during the autumn that Kpop for real had buried itself deep in my heart. Alexander of U-kiss and his future kind of scarred me during the spring of 2011. Kpop gives me scar tissue.
Unexpected and more unexpected
This track is the one i listened to over and over again the spring of 2011, who would have guessed? But it is truly an amazing track. The world turmoiled as I had to give Hyung Jun credits.
To my big surprise, the group that I did not understand at all to begin with turned out to be one of my most appriciated groups of this past year. The sub-group of After School that I had such a hard time accepting from the beginning kept it’s concept but changed the costumes for a “maturer” look and with Bangkok City, Shanghai Romance and most lately Funny Hunny they became one of my great joys. They went from hell, to being just Orange Caramel. sadly I must reprimand myself on this one. As they lost the crazy outfits they did not exactly put anything else on. Am I really just another one of those people…
anything goes, as long as it’s got just a little hint of sex?
Top of the year
As the summer came closer, the notion of a Super Junior comeback also emerged within their fans. They had to do it and they had to do it big time. The release of Mr Simple is for me the peak of the year, not that everything afterwards was bad, not at all. Just that this was my biggest anticipation of the year. When it later was revealed that Heechul was about to leave for the army, I was heartbroken once again. The pain that followed is not easy to describe and it felt like a break up. What the hell, my feelings, really… Kim Heechuls army enlistment marked the end of an era for me and many others, he is just to good to be true.
Top of the year could also be described as going to Seoul to visit your best friends, attend music programs and buy records in proper store. Yes, these things are top of the year.
Mr Simple, a track I’m not getting tired of.
Where I had my thoughts and do not fully understand.
Ok so really, AA, the new boyband, someone gave them a coreography for a girl group for their first MV. WHY? I really really like it, but can not understand how they were thinking. Most boybands want to go for the masculine charm, not the feminine beauty.
Below the two people I probably spent most time thinking of during 2011. Really, this year I fell hard, in love.
Besides all this, The very blog I write in and the new friendship with Mis, must be considered as something truly amazing from the year 2011.
Happy New Year!
/The Future is Idol
December 30, 2011 § 2 Comments
What can I say? So many unexpected things have happened this year, both good and bad. Lots of stuff has happened in kpopverse as well, and I think other people are more suited for summing it all up than I am. This list doesn’t even mention a lot of stuff that has happened that I know have been extremely important for the k-pop scene as a whole, like DBSK’s return as a duo or the SM Town show in Paris. But I am going to pick a couple of things that have made an impression on me this year, should someone ever ask me what I’ll remember it by, k-popwise.
So! First things first.
Korean song of the year:
Despite the title, I can’t really say that this song was objectively the best song released this year. It’s not beautiful, the vocals are mostly auto tuned, and I guess a lot of people would say the entire sound is annoying. But for me it became something of an anthem. I danced to it in clubs in Seoul as well as in a washing room in Stockholm, I listened to it while riding my bike through the forest, through open landscapes, through the city and around campus. When all was grey, this gave me the kick to keep going.
Also, the video sure is glorious.
K-pop music video aesthetics of the year:
I loved this video so much. The colours remind me of the English TV show , if anyone knows it – the cold pastels and dreamy tones. Even people who didn’t like the song still loved the video. Also, in so many ways: INFINITE <3! And how come their videos have all been so good this year? This is still my favourite, though, and the song is pretty good as well. Nothing’s sober…
K-pop news of the year:
For me, it turned out to be the fact that Kim Heechul was entering the army. But though I did cry like a child in pain when the news reached me, I can’t help but wonder if this won’t actually do him good. He is one of the most curious people I’ve heard of, and I just don’t understand what of what he shows that’s him, and what is not, and what he himself thinks is him even if it isn’t. Fame, himself, SME, his image – I can’t tell if he loves it, hates it, or both. I have absolutely no idea what’s actually going on with him.
But I can guess, and my guess is that taking some time off the spotlight was exactly what he needed. As much as I miss him, I’m glad I won’t have to think as hard about why he acts like he does and if I should actually laugh at his jokes. I hope some time off the spotlight will help him find a more real security.
Drama of the year:
I know this blog isn’t really about dramas, but I sure do love watching them and think that has had a great impact on my view of Korean culture. So I put this here anyways. And I say it’s. Also: hnnng Lee Minho. I was once promised that I’d get to trade Alexander Skarsgård for Lee Minho. One day, I’ll make it happen.
Word of the year:
A picture I’ve contemplated this year, without talking to anyone about it:
For me, personally:
I had kept some track on Korean contemporary culture before, and it started growing as an interest for me during last year. But 2011 was the year I got serious. I started learning more Korean than just the hangul alphabet and plunged deep enough into Korean pop culture to feel the need to question my interest in it – but also to start trying to get a grip on other parts of the culture as well.
I made friends with whom I shared this interest, most notable of all the owner of this blog, and as a consequence of my intense curiosity, I spent the summer in Seoul. And there, I got to know new people from all over the world, some of them interested in k-pop, some of them not. I even got myself a couple of really good friends. All and all, I’m really glad I actually did go, and I think it gave me some new perspectives.
On another, more serious note: So much has happened this year and I can honestly say that I have worked really hard, on some levels harder than ever before. But when it has all been way too much to handle, k-pop has cheered me up, distracted me or been something for me to project my own frustration on. And it has brought me experiences in a way I had never expected a couple of years ago.
Happy New Year, everyone
/Mis – at The Future is Idol
December 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
The Kpop Christmas-craze is never really doing it for me.
The best groups turns into the worst (DBSK) and you might start to hate your favourite idols for a short little while. However, sometimes someone do actually make it beyond the total embarrassment and delivers something ok.
This clip below is not of an entire song, it starts when Key of SHINee is about to sing his part in Last Christmas from the SMTown Winter album. He sounds so incredibly good and this, my friends is what has kept me warm this Sunday before christmas. Stockholm is trying to adjust into the holiday mood and the rain is mixed with heavy snow. Two days left for us with work and studies. Then rest. Our Kpop Christmas will continue through out the week, we will try to get a grip on this year of 2011, and we will be doing it to the sound of Key doing it for us all.
“A crowded room, friends with tired eyes. I’m hiding from you, And your soul of ice. My god I thought you were someone to rely on. Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on.”
/The Future is Idol