December 31, 2012 § 4 Comments
Three girl groups are fighting over being my big surprise of 2012.
Wonder Girls is a group that I never cared much for and every new release after 2008 has been a big disappointment (did not know they existed back then though). THEN, Like This, their epic Korean comeback of 2012 happend, a track that blew me off my feet and have been one of my most listened to during the year. I know I’m not the only one responding this way. So great. But they are not my biggest surprise of the year.
Dal Shabet is another group that never got my attention before, I’ve had a hard time coping with the young and more then anything, cute groups of K-pop, Dal Shabet has indeed been one of these groups. I’ve had a quick listen and never done it again. But somewhere along the way by accident pressed Fire It Up a release from the beginning of 2012. It’s no typical Dal Shabet track, but who the hell cares, it’s just awesome. Then not longa ago the released Have/Don’t Have, in to MV versions, this one is the awesome version. Dal Shabet is neither my biggest surprise of the year though.
I have actually seen Rania perform live once in Seoul, or perhaps twice. The tracks they released in the beginning, like Dr Feelgood, never really got to me. But they were of course never bad though and I know that Mis has been a fan for a long time. They had an image that I found interesting but not much more then that. But when they released Style in September 2012, everything changed. A very new style actually, maybe not so fun for their ppld fans perhaps, but this time they really got to me. Not as many members, individual cool clothing and an epic track. It soon mad it’s way into every playlist I made and is climbing to the top in my Itunes library.
Rania is my big and happy surprise of 2012.
Check out the previous End of the year, K-pop 2012 posts here: The List, Live Performance, Things That Should Not Be Forgotten/Queer of the year and Top Three Search Enginge Terms.
The Future is Idol – L
December 31, 2012 § 1 Comment
The Top Three among search engine terms to find our blog has been interesting indeed. Summarizing 2012, and all top three being favourite topics of mine. As follows:
1. Super Junior
2. Seo In Guk plastic surgery
3. SHINee Key gay
We might post the complete search engine term list later on, with comments.
Check out our other End of the year, K-pop 2012 summaries by pressing here: The List, Live Performance and Things that should not be forgotten/Queer of the year.
The Future is Idol – L
December 31, 2012 § 3 Comments
The writers of this blog are unsure of many things in life, but the term queer is embraced by them. The right to not choose side, when it comes to love, gender or how you want to live your life, of this human right we are very sure.
The subject of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi- and transsexual) in connection to K-pop is not an easy one to write about. Or rather, it is easy if you turn to fanfic and fanservice and that is of course ever so important. But, there are no real life homosexuals in K-pop. That’s just a matter of a fact. None that we really know of that is. But since at least every tenth person on the planet is estimated to be gay and even more to be bisexual WE KNOW THAT THEY ARE OUT THERE. South Korea is not a very allowing society, when it comes to these questions, and have not been for a very long time even if it perhaps is on it’s way of changing. Almost every K-drama have a gay character or at least a really queer twist to the story. Answer me 1997 was the huge hit of the year with one of it’s main characters being a gay man and his lovelife being described in a very interesting and rather respectful way.
When is comes to the idols I still do not understand what would happen if one would be openly gay. It’s impossible for me to understand how South Korea and the idol industry works and how it would be dealt with. A complete disaster or ok? Probably the first.
So what do you do meanwhile? You just keep looking. Some idols are known for having a very queer persona, breaking the traditional roles of men and women, Amber of f(x)(in the picture above) being one and Key of SHINee another. Jo Kwon the leader of 2AM is also one of these people, famous for his queer persona. He had his solo debut the summer of 2012 with I’m Da One a not so fun track that I cared little about. BUT included in the promotions of I’m Da One he also performed a track named Animal, and this is a completely different story. There is no music video, but most of the live performances from tv shows are of course in HD so the feeling is quite the same. He is an incredible dancer, and the background dancers likewise. He is dressed in an androgynous outfit covered with feathers and he is dancing in killer-heels. Man or woman? No one should or did care the least and this is rather amazing. Very queer indeed. The performance was shown on prime time tv, but I feel that it did not get the recognition or space it deserves.
Jo Kwon and his Animal is a K-pop moment from 2012 that I believe should not be forgotten and is also my awesome queer of the year.
The Future is Idol – L
December 31, 2012 § 3 Comments
The meaning of the term Live Performance should be understood for what it is. A live performance of course does not have to be something you have experienced live, but rather a recording of a live performance seen on YouTube. For most of the international K-pop fanbase it has up until quite recently been impossible (or almost, depending on if you have the guts or/and the money to travel to South Korea) to see your idols live. But as YouTube and internet have been exploding over the last few years, the South Korean music industry is not that far away, even if you live in the other side of the globe. Where I want to get with this is that this moment, live performance of 2012 just as well could have been something seen on YouTube, not experienced by me irl. It could have been something like this, Key of SHINee doing Lady Gaga songs Hair and Judas as his solo performances in Japan. One of the most epic live performances in every category 2012.
On the other hand, these last few years, perhaps the last two years, K-pop and Hallyu have spread enormously and now it’s not completely unusual for K-pop groups to actually hold concerts in Europe. And if they do come to Europe, Paris seems to be a popular goal, and so, that is were Super Junior held their European Super Show 4 concert.
I went to Paris with my friend Johanna, Paris is less then a two hour flight away from Stockholm so the journey itself is not that big a deal. We lived at a hostel very close to the concert arena and the weekend was a complete success with Super Show as the highlight of course. I remember how we were walking in the park area surrounding the arena the hours before the concert started and watching other fans as they were watching us while gathering to enter the arena. That evening, to see almost all of them so very close performing all of my favourite songs and running around the arena like the crazy people they are, I will never forget that evening.
Super Junior was the reason I got in to K-pop from the beginning and since then, the thought of once seeing them perform live have been present in my mind. While writing this evening I had to search the blog a bit and I ended up reading the posts I wrote about Paris and is still watching clips from Super Show and suddenly a few tears started dripping. So many emotions conserved from back then and from this years, for ever greatful for Johanna for going there with me that time. Thank you Johanna.
This was truly an epic moment in my fandom, more important then the music shows I saw while visiting Elin and Johanna in Seoul in the summer of 2011, even if that also was a dream coming true.
Live Performance of 2012 is Super Junior, Super Show 4 in Paris.
Check out the previous End of the year, K-pop 2012, The List. 80 tracks from 2012 that you have to have heard. All K-pop of course.
The Future is Idol – L
December 29, 2012 § 6 Comments
I have been away. In thought and body caught up with the life outside. The writing and the blog left behind with many other things. Listening and fanboying constantly though. As the year is coming to a close I want to share some thoughts of the crazy K-pop year 2012 and see it as a return to writing about the love of my life. K-pop. I won’t make a list of the best tracks of the year because I don’t work that way. (can’t decide etc.) But as a first post I want to share what was listened to and then for a couple of days I will try to give you some hints of what I really liked in K-pop during 2012.
I spent last weekend and also a few hours almost every day this week working on a list of tracks I like or atleast listened to and were released in 2012. It’s a messy compilation of genres, old groups and new ones, some expected, some not so, not all of them are brilliant but of course worth listening to a second time. NOT EVERYTHING IS INCLUDED. This equals K-pop as the love affair it is.
So, here is K-pop 2012, 80 tracks, not in any other specific order then how I put them in my Itunes library to make a nice mix. At the bottom of the post there’s a link to the list on YouTube.
The tracks from 2012 that you have to hear.
Only One – BoA
Imma New Thang(Intro) – U-Kiss
What Is Love(Korean Version) – Exo-K
Sexy, Free & Single – Super Junior
Catch Me – TVXQ/DBSK
Note – SHINee
Time To Go – U-Kiss
I Don’t Need a Man – Miss A
Machine – Exo-K
Have/Don’t Have – Dal Shabet
Style – Rania
We Are a Bit Different – EvoL
Bubble Bath – Orange Caramel
Nu, Establish, Style, Tempo – Nu’est
Face – Nu’est
Be Ma Girl – Teen Top
Crayon – G-Dragon
Oh! My God – Girls Day
Know Your Name (feat Dok2) – Jay Park
Sherlock – SHINee
Like This – Wonder Girls
MAMA – Exo-K
Dripping Tears – Son Dam Bi
Anymore – Seo In Young
Time’s Up – Miss A
Shine – Kim Sunggyu
Lipstick – Orange Caramel
Stop Girl – U-Kiss
Animal – Jo Kwon
I love You – 2NE1
Baby Good Night – B1A4
Beautiful – Park Jung Min
History – Exo-K
Electric Shock – f(x)
Emergency Call – Son Dam Bi
One Of a Kind – G-Dragon
NalinA – Block B
To You – Teen Top
Two Moons – Exo-K
Love Is Energy – Chi Chi
Lol – Block B
Up and Down (feat Dok2) – Jay Park
Hypnotize – Andamiro
걸어 본다 (Tried To Walk) – B1A4
Volume Up – Miss A
Rock Ur Body – VIXX
Let’s Dance – Seo In Young
Get Your Swag On – Tony & Smash
You Know Me – Tasty
Fantastic Baby – BigBang
Touch – Miss A
SPY – Super Junior
Musiche – Crayzyno
Sexy Love T-ara
Like Money (feat Akon) -Wonder Girls
Doradora – U-Kiss
Bad Boy – 100%
Bloom – Ga In
Nillili Mambo – Block B
Tarantallegra – Xiah Junsu
Flashback – After School
Bad Boy – Big Bang
The Chaser – Infinite
I Love You (feat Dynamic Duo) – Jay Park
Fire It Up – Dal Shabet
In The Air – B1A4
Te Amo – B1A4
Stranger – SHINee
Clap (feat Tiger JK & Yoon Mi Rae) – Jay Park
Ice Cream – Hyuna Kim
Maxstep – Younique Unit
Humanoids – TVXQ/DBSK
Love Style – Boyfriend
Baby i’m Sorry – B1A4
Wasted (feat Bizzy) – Jay Park
Day By Day – T-ara
The Shadow – BoA
Party(XXO) – GLAM
Get On The Floor – 4minute
If you want to LISTEN to the tracks, press here to get to our YouTube channel.
The Future is Idol – L
October 24, 2012 § 2 Comments
I’m Swedish, born and raised, still living in this northern part of Europe with it’s chilly climate and welfare state. I’m a man who just turned 30, a teacher and more important for now – I’m kind of a fanboy. In a K-pop kind of sense that is. Key(of SHINee) is so obviously my bias and I sometimes find it hard to understand how this works. What is it about that man/idol that keeps me captivated? Don’t know. Do I want to know?
Earlier this evening, Mis sent me the Key-gif to the left. Attached were the words: “Thought he was inserting snus from the beginning.” (Snus = Swedish snuff) Snus is the most macho kind of tobacco there is in Sweden and the layers of Key perhaps using that kind tobacco is mind blowing, the Swedish fanboy I am.
Key is in the fandom rather portrayed in a feminine kind of way then in a macho. His interest in clothing and the quirky personality his got makes this version of him understandable and a classic gay characteristic, which also is a common way to describe him. SHINee Key gay is by the way one of the highest ranking search terms at this blog. This is perhaps not for me the most exciting Key version I could think of. Rather, the wet dream of a fanboy like myself could be “Key doing “manly” stuff” and my reaction to this gif was instant and thrilled, even though both me and Mis could see that Key was probably not inserting snus after all…
Important to point out is that I do not want to rank a manly version of Key higher then a more feminine one. But as the clichés of him and being gay is usually twisted towards the later one I always find it liberating and awesome when things comes along disturbing the cliché. It could be him being pshysically strong in an old episode of Maknae Rebellion or the picture of him with his unshaved moustache as seen in the picture below in the middle. Also, being a man/or manly AND being feminine is another great combo if thats what is prefered.
The Future is Idol – L
btw. Key doing “manly” stuff could of course also be the wet dream of a fangirl, even if it might be rare.
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
October 14, 2012 § 1 Comment
The other day a common friend (a psychology student) of The Future is Idol crew started talking about the lives we live inside our heads and the richness of that life – often, but not always, in contrast to the life we live on the outside. In that moment, Lars and I looked at each other and started laughing out loud, thinking the same thing.
I’ve said it before and I say it again: Kpop is an industry of dreams. Kpop deals in dreams, and dreams is what it sells. Something I find extremely interesting about it, is how it is not an industry based on selling dreams about the buyer, but about someone else. The clothing and make up industry sells dreams about yourself, the person you will become in those particular jeans or shoes or shades of eyeshadow. The furniture industry sells dreams about yourself, telling you that your inside is represented in your home. A lot of the technology industry is based on the want of the buyer to be cool, to have that awesome sound system or at least that hip new phone that everybody are talking about.
But kpop is about dreams about others. We might objectify our idols, and I know a lot of fanspazzing is downright dirty, giving explicit descriptions of what the fan would do were hir idol near, and of course we will fantasize about how it would be to share some kind of romantic vibes with our idols. But the vast majority of kpop fanfiction is about the idols with each other, as is a huge part of fanart. I personally believe that one of the reasons that so many straight fangirls ship their male idols together is that they want to see them in love, but without having to identify or compare with a female character in a world where, unfortunately, gender is expected to be one of the most major parts of one’s personality and the base of especially heterosexual interactions. I often find favorites among the idols I identify with, but have no interest in doing the things that idols do – I don’t want to dance, or sing, or participate in variety shows. It is not the possession of a skill that I want that make me idolize them, no matter how much I can enjoy seeing them perform it. I want to fantasize about them, about what they do, about what they think and who they love. When I buy their music, I’m not buying a dream about whom I could be. I buy a dream about whom they might be.
When I was a teenager, I loved a song called Happy People Never Fantasize. But I no longer think that’s true.
October 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’m always alarmed and worried when the meaning in words and actions are changed from politics to the conceptual level. This is what Miss A is heading towards using a banner with the words Independent Women and This Is For All The Independent Ladies, for their new promotional pictures. To make money out of a short promotional period on the very much so important issue of womens rights is indeed higly questionable. This is obviously so much of a marketing strategy that no one can be misstaken, but who knows, Miss A might turn out to be part of a newly born feminist movement in South Korea in the end…
Good idea or bad idea to use this concept? Does it make it better or worse that they look awesome in suits and other traditional “male” attires in the teaser MV?
The Future is Idol – L