September 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
There is not really that much to say about To the Beautiful You. It’s colorful and pretty and cheesy and I watch it just for fun. As the episodes have gone by, the drama has become pretty different from the Japanese versions, which is nice for me who’s pretty familiar with those. Choi Min Ho is hot when he’s in pain but his childish smile turns me off. Sulli is probably more awesome than the role lets her show (Biased? Who, me?) because let’s face it, the character Goo Jae Hee is pretty annoying. But she’s not so annoying I can’t like her. And yesterday when I went through some old pictures, I realized one of the reasons for that:
I really wish I had found a picture where I was dressed in my schoolboy outfit, including white shirt and tie. But even without the school uniform, I guess it’s not completely impossible to see some reasons for identification with Goo Jae Hee…
June 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
When discussing The Gayness in South Korea, the trouble distinguishing gays from straights often come up. To put it simply: The rules on who is considered gay-looking isn’t exactly the same all over the world. I brought an American friend to a mixed bar here in Stockholm, and she kept asking me who were gay or straight, a question that was even more complicated to answer because of how a lot of the people at that bar, including me, don’t identify as either. In any case, even the men that I do know identify as heterosexual seemed pretty gay (or at least “metrosexual”) to her because of how they dress, wear their hair, drink wine and giggle. Oh, also hug each other. On the other hand, the American men I have met have many of them struck me (yes, I actually noticed) as very dressed down. So the gap is less between the infamously gaydar-eluding Korean men’s style and Swedes than Americans, in general.
As mentioned in many previous blog posts, “Shinee Key gay” is a pretty common search term around here. And I’ve encountered many, many discussions on whether or not certain kpop celebs are non-straight, mostly based on their appearence and/or interests. Commonly mentioned in these discussions is “cultural” differences in sexual coding as mentioned above. Another argument might be the argumentors’ own experiences with flamboyant friends who are indeed gay, or who isn’t, thus proving you can be a male Gaga-loving fashionista and still be sexually and/or romantically interested exclusively in girls. (I am not even going into the complications of fan service here, ughh.)
But. While I am obviously aware of the differences above, and definitely personally wishing that the world was a complete gender anarchy where people frequently combined any interest with any gender expressions etc., heterosexuality usually does reward following the rules of gender conformity more than same-sex sexuality does. I know this because I myself have sometimes pulled my hair in frustration of how to avoid signaling monosexuality of any kind and exclude any of my target audiences, attraction-wise (usually resulting in confusion for everyone, to be honest). What I’m saying is this: to a certain extent we do choose what to signal, although this might be mighty tricky. And especially in the case of kpop-celebs who are also familiar with more “Western” kinds of thinking, I sometimes suspect that they consciously signal to their international audience what might pass the eyes of your average Korean. Someone who has a big interest in the “Western” world and is well-versed in English would have a bigger capability of telling that in some parts of the world, their way of acting or dressing would be interpreted as non-straight, while it is just seen as sexy, fashionable or humorous among most Koreans. Especially since a lot of at least the Western kpop fans do seem to have some sort of queerness going on in their lives. Whether or not this means that the rumoured-gay kpop celebs are actually expressing non-heterosexuality or if wearing a confusing “BORN THIS WAY”-tisha is just a very complicated kind of fanservice directed towards a tumblr-oriented international fandom… Who can tell? But I do know, that even if I’m personally not convinced that, say, tomboy-concept Amber of SME girlgroup f(x) is into girls, I am definitely convinced that she does know the question or whether or not she is, is discussed in the English speaking fandom. This applies to lots of Korean celebrities.
On the other hand, it could also work the other way around: A Korean-speaking, girly but girl-loving boy living in the US could maybe have a better chance with the ladies in a country where his love for wearing drag and dancing girl-group dances wouldn’t be immediately connected to homosexuality?
Yeah. Well. I wonder if we’ll ever know. And I’m actually not sure that I want to.
/Mis (who’s had such a long hiatus – I’m so sorry!)
August 1, 2011 § 4 Comments
So, I was planning to write this yesterday but lost myself in an out door museum here in Stockholm, pizza and fanfic reading with Elin. Waiting for the new MV by Super Junior i spent a lot of time with watching old MV teasers, mostly from SME groups like DBSK, SHINee, SNSD and of course Super Junior.
The teaser MVs are an entire genre on it’s own, some of them are absolutely fantastic, some of them not so much, but mostly incredibly gorgeous. DBSKs Mirotic had a series of teasers that were just clips of the MV itself and made the MV no surprise when it was released. On the other hand that is the best MV and the best song ever created.
The teasers has been a bit of a problem for me these past two years, since they are supposed to give you a hint of the new concept and the new single but sometimes just confuse you even more. I guess this is what they are supposed to do but still a pain. When SNSD were to release Run Devil Run they had the most gorgeous teaser ever, I was so excited and even though the song and MV turned out to be quite ok(but so lame really in comparison), it was a big disappointment after the incredible teaser. I’m still not really over it. The MV can sometimes lift a track you did not like from the beginning, this is the case with Hurricane Venus by Boa, NU Abo by f(x) and also I am The Best by 2NE1. Run Devil Run MV did not manage to do this.
The teaser of Run Devil Run and SHINees Lucifer teaser are probably my favourite ones all time, so incredibly beautifully produced and promising so much, as they very well should.
In the end I seem to prefer the teasers that don’t tell that much about the single itself even though it is frustrating when you have no clue at all what to expect. What will the Mr Simple MV look like?
I think the Mr Simple track itself is just as cool and Crazy Super Juniorlike as it should be, but with out the MV it is really hard to get the full picture of this comeback. Below are SuJus super clean teasers from the last couple of years:
Teaser No.1. Sorry Sorry 2009:
Teaser No.2. Bonamana 2010:
Teaser No.3. Mr Simple 2011:
Teaser No.4. Mr Simple 2011:
And finally, which teaser do you think is the better?
/The Future is Idol
August 1, 2011 § 2 Comments
OMG. I was just randomly looking through some sites and suddenly THERE IT WAS! SMENT just released some of the tracks from Super Juniors new album including title track and single Mr Simple. This is a track just in line with earlier releases Sorry Sorry and Bonamana, but with a harder beat. Waiting nervously for the MV but jesus christ! It is out! Don’t know if is the best song ever, BUT I F***KIN LOVE IT:
EpIc BOy bANd MomENT
/The Future is Idol
July 7, 2011 § 2 Comments
At the moment I’m sitting on a train bound for the country-side region of Sweden, north of Stockholm where I grew up. I will be away from Stockholm for at least three weeks and not have a constant internet access, I have to take the chance writing and posting now. I go up here quite often and usually it is a very much needed break from everything, this time as well.
Behind me lies my glorious birthday celebration in Stockholm and also, even more importantly, ten days of South Korea and Seoul.
I tried to write and post while being there, but did not know what to write. Just to much going through my head and too many things that I wanted to do instead.
I visited friends who have spent close to three months in Seoul and had the advantage of them showing me around which also made the trip even more intence.
What have I seen? Well, everything and nothing, to give you all a complete list is not my intention. I’ve seen idols performing at music programs, climbed the Namnsan Tower Hill, eaten food and been to Paris Baguette. It has been like taking part of a movie but extremely real. In a couple of posts I will try to give some thoughts from my trip and to explain what this experience felt like for me, my thoughts being more important then any places.
For almost two years I have longed to go there, to visit places that occupy my mind most of the time, even though they are on the other side of the world and I know so little of them. Now I have, and it has not been one moment of disappointment.
It has been a while since posting, but not because I’m getting tired of writing, just because of me being tired over all.
The picture shows my very own padlock at Namsan Tower, with a hint of Key and Dancing On Our Own added to it. In many ways the things most important to me during this trip.
/The Future is Idol
May 21, 2011 § 1 Comment
This is a fancam that Mis showed me the other day. Fanboys going crazy over HyunSeung from Beast. It quickly became a favourite and I watch it over and over again. It is just an epic fanboy moment. HyunSeung Hyung! HyunSeuuuung Hyuuung!
/The Future is Idol
May 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
So, this is not at all news created by me, but worth rewriting if the facts are true. 2NE1s Lonely proved to be a huge hit, and it is showing on YouTube. Daily Kpop News wrote in an artichle that Lonely was the most watched MV on YouTube all over the world. I wonder how they are counting, but taking a look at the stats belov the official version on YouTube tells us that the MV is watched in about the same amount all over the world, in Sweden as well. Apparently even here it was the most watched MV for the day. How is it possible? The darker green on the map proves that this MV is popular in every part of the world if not in every country, and that is really really cool. I sure as hell watched it a couple of times over these last days. Kpop uniting?
The Future is Idol
April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
I spent my Easter holidays with my family, but also with driving around in the country side near the place were I grew up a couple of hours north of Stockholm. Small winding roads over hills, down into valleys, and through small run down mining communities that are tucked away deep in the forests. And the forests are every where in this part of Sweden, it can make you feel small and lonely, but also, it at least makes me feel quite peaceful.
Playing on the stereo while driving is mostly, with no surprise, K-pop, old CDs I made over these last one and a half years. Depending on what music I actually had, what was new at the time and what I then enjoyed listening to. Since I almost never drive in Stockholm I always leave these CDs at my mothers house to listen to while being there and it is always fun to re-discover the music I listened to day and night during a specific period.
I don’t know when I put on a CD what will be on it since they are just stacked in a pile unmarked and forgotten since last listened. This time I discovered one in particular good brilliant mix by myself, starting off with ZE:As All Day Long. There is something special about driving around on your own, listening to music while the landscape is rushing by. Perhaps it is all the senses working togheter with hearing, seeing and also, the feeling of the motor and the car itself.
I don’t know if it is true, but it seems to me that these feelings while driving has grown the last two years since I can’t remember them from when I first got my driving license seven years ago. Maybe, just maybe the feeling is the result of me falling in love with music again, falling in love with K-pop.
/The Future is Idol
April 11, 2011 § 4 Comments
As the complete K-pop sucker I am, this is almost a bit embarassing, but in my Itunes library, C-pop actually rules over everything else, every other country or genre.
My first real encounters with east asian pop music also included some C-pop from Taiwan, thats how my friends got into K-pop and then influenced me, so it’s been quite easy to listen to pop music from the mandarin speaking scene as well, no musical barrier to tear down since I got it from the start. While Fahrenheit is more fun then good(except Silently of course) ex Super Junior member Hangengs solo album(yes I had to buy it) is more good then fun.
It felt a bit sad when Hangeng left Super Junior, but it was he who left, not kicked out by the company. He felt that he did not get to do the things he was capable of, and he felt right. When solo album Gengxin was released, I was kind of blown away by three of the tracks, My Logo, Queen and Moths to Flames/Fire, with a quite hard electronic beat. Hence, Moths to Flames/Fire is now not yet a year after its release the most played track in my Itunes Library, third most played is Queen, also by him and if I remember correctly, My Logo also have a high ranking.
This tells me two things, the first is that I really don’t care about lyrics when it comes down to main stream pop, since I don’t know more then perhaps five words of mandarin but still get something out of it. Regarding the korean lyrics I nowadays at least have a clue about the content. The second thing it tells me is that it’s not a genre I’m interested in, not everything mainstream from South Korea(K-pop) is ok and the same goes for Europe and America. I really appriciate a great pop tune, and at the moment, East Asia is number one in producing such things according to me.
If you want to hear more C-pop, I recommend this group that debuted not long ago. MISSter is probably the least expected concept there is. Or maybe not. Brilliant under any sircumstances.
I’m not a big fan of the vid to Moths to Flames, it is hm.. perhaps a bit to mainland chinese? in its aesthtics, but if you want to watch it, you can do it here its not bad, but I don’t get it.
Ok, so maybe Hangeng is at the very top, but out of the 25 top tunes, just three of them are c-pop. (The rest is K-pop of course)
/The Future is Idol
March 26, 2011 § 7 Comments
U-Kiss. Of course this post is going to be about U-Kiss. Nothing else in this Kpop world fit in my head at the moment since U-Kiss is back, marching on like there is no tomorow. 5th mini album Bran New KISS coming closer with pictures, teasers, bright colors, interviews AND TWO NEW MEMBERS. MV and full release any moment. How do they bare?
I mean, every group that goes through a separation has to come back sooner or later, but preferably, they do it later.
The new U-Kiss teaser was released on Thursday, I still haven’t seen it, I dont want to. And when the album photo, along with the list of songs included on the mini album was released, one of the most difficult things for me was to read the comments posted by fans. I do not understand, how can the fans seem to forget so fast? Most of the comments seen online are cheers for the group, supporting and loving words for new and old members, as if this was the only way to deal with the break up. Do the members not mean anything? Is it all just about the idea of a group, no matters who is carrying it?
When even the members of U-Kiss talk about the difficult time they went through lately, making it sound like they really don’t know how to deal with the situation, then, this is not the proper way for the fans to deal with either. Not for me, certainly not now.
I’m not in any way trying to say I am more loyal then others, but perhaps to my feelings. On the other hand, am I a fan of U-Kiss? Maybe this is my biggest problem in this issue, not really being a fan of U-Kiss, but rather some of the members…
Not more then a month passed since Alexander and Kibum was forced to leave the group, breaking hearts of fangirls and fanboys all over the world. NH Media expect fans to just go along, keep loving and supporting the group once loved. I can’t do this, I’m in no way feeling supportive at the moment. Anger, fear and sadness is what feels inside concerning U-Kiss, since U-Kiss is not U-Kiss with out Alexander and Kibum. Without Alexander…
I’m facing this comeback, not with numbness, but with a feeling of not being a part of it all.
L/The Future is Idol