May 10, 2014 § 3 Comments
It’s the birthday of one of my best friends. She was one of the first to introduce me to K-pop and for that I’m forever grateful. One day, now quite a few years ago, she posted a recently released MV on my Facebook wall, and I fell madly and deeply in love with it, the group in it and a lot of other things within the K-pop scene/world. This is the epic MV:
Since then we have experienced so much together, connected both to K-pop and to life in general. She is one of the smartest and coolest people I know. She is at the moment a resident in Seoul so I can’t be with her for this day of celebration. Elin, here’s another epic oldie for you:
Happy birthday and I love you! This changed everything.
The Future is Idol – Lars
August 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
Pictures are surfacing of Changmin and Kyuhyun reenacting their duet from SMTown LA, but with Taemin in drag instead of some white girl. YES. BEST FANSERVICE EVER!!!!!!!!
August 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
When I came home last night, I had decided to refrain from turning on my computer and just check my phone before going to bed. However, when I did so, I found that Elin over at Dancing on Our Own had sent a link to this tumblr post, asking Lars and me if we knew anything more about the photo.
Yes. That is Kim Heechul of Super Junior, a band under SM Entertainment, and Kim “Hero” Jaejoong of JYJ, currently in conflict with said company.
Naturally, I had to turn on the computer to go online and do some investigation work, and before long, I found this post saying it’s real and recent, taken sometime during the last year. I almost started crying.
I was already beyond thrilled when Heechul and Jaejoong started following each other on Twitter in April, and I wondered a lot about what was going on, why they could do this, how it had happened. I imagined them bumping into each other at some bar, slightly drunk, and just laughing at it all and deciding to follow each other on Twitter, starting right there on the spot. I have no idea if this is actually what happened, but what is Fandom if not daydreams and fantasies? In any case it reminded me of why Heechul is my original (though not at the moment most prominent) bias: The prettiness might have drawn me in, but what made me stay was his originality and courage beyond words, the personality that always keeps me guessing. Yes, the courage. How he continued to support Hangeng even after he left SME, and now appearently Jaejoong, even though Heechul himself has stayed in the company and even renewed his contract not that long ago. (And considering the well-known close friendship between Heechul and Yunho of DBSK, I can’t even begin to think about how this may affect all the YunJae shippers out there…)
I think what these kinds of acts and pictures do to me is that they give me hope that the idols actually are more than what they are made into, and that they can to a certain extent escape the hands of their companies. And if someone is to go against his company, it’s Kim Heechul.
I wonder if I’ll ever get wtf is going on in the Idol World. I don’t think so. But maybe some day it will become at least a little clearer to us at least what happened just now. Until then: Heechul and Jaejoong, stay strong!
August 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
Hey, I was so busy with my big birthday and being drunk that week early in July that I forgot to make it clear that I love this MV, nipples, colours, Kangin and all.
/The Future is Idol
April 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
There’s a feeling of circular movement as I stand in the audience on the evening of Super Show 4 at Zenith de Paris.
Most of the people present are not in any way fluent in Korean, some of them might not know a single word of the language, but as fans of this Kpop group we have worked hard to incorporate the music and lyrics of the Korean pop songs performed this evening into our lives. We are all able to sing a long to the lyrics and we almost know what they are about. Fans might do this out of love and passion, but it still is hard work doing it. To grasp the meaning of lyrics, jokes and meaning of everything going on the stage takes time. It’s fandom on a hell of a serious level.
Many of the fans has also added gestures, sounds to display emotions and words to every day life that in some ways could be described as Korean. My own way of expressing feelings, I must confess, sound like something out of a K-drama from time to time. And when I for the first time watched Super Juniors version of Song Gol Maes A Chance Encounter I started learning about, and burried myself in older Korean rock and pop music.
Super Junior on the other hand has also worked hard as hell, with assimilating western culture into their performances. And of course, why not. Even if Kpop is on the march and spreads over the globe it is but nothing in comparison with the pop cultural grip the western world still holds on the planet. There for, it is perfectly natural that most of the performances in Super Show has an aura of west surrounding it.
At the beginning of the concert, as the MV intro is shown, Super Junior grow wings, shoots out of water and flies in over a city landscape. Is it Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai or some other extremely cool and urban city in East Asia? No the city is of course New York, the symbol of western and all the worlds modern culture.
At one point all of the members comes in on stage dressed in costumes. Shindong as Britney Spears, Kyuhyun as Steve Jobs, Sungmin is Marilyn Monroe, Yesung Chuckie, Leeteuk Hulk Hogan, Donghae Charlie Chaplin, and so on. Parts of western pop culture used by Super Junior while performing all over Asia, and now also by doing so in Europe, stuffing it with a bit of new context . What is Charlie Chaplin really to the Super Junior members?
Every member also gets to do there own solo, and most of them are remakes of western global pop songs. Leeteuk, the leader of Super Junior plays a bit of Chopin but then moves on to a performance of SHE. Kyuhyun imitates Stevie Wonder and performs Isn’t she lovely. And I for one never really cared for Moves like Jagger before Ryeowook started doing this track as his solo performance at SS4.
The exchange of cultural understanding is almost laughable. How very strange and wonderful this world is.
/The Future is Idol
March 8, 2012 § 3 Comments
This picture is a part of the inside of Ryeowooks version of Mr.Simple. It might very well be the most perfect version of them all.
A couple of days ago two more copies of this album arrived to me from South Korea together with my fiends belongings after a very long wait. The Ryeowook and Heechul verisons arrived this time and two more are on their way. I wanted Ryeowooks because it’s one of the best photos and HeechuI… well, just because it’s him. I got the Yesung copy from the very same friend as a present this New Years.
Is Super Junior really the only thing this man(me) is thinking about? You may ask yourself now. And yes it is, for the time being.
Thank you Elin. 감사합니다!
/The Future is Idol
March 5, 2012 § 2 Comments
Yesterday, I was trying to explain fabrication and the concept of idols to a couple of friends. But some of this is impossible to try to explain to someone just like that, after dinner with come cognac and pear cake, and one of those things is Kim Heechul, his concept, his role, his person and exactly why I find him so intriguing. So I didn’t. But on my way home, I thought a lot about him: how important a part he has played in my growing interest in kpop, how I just get more confused the more I try to understand what the hell he’s actually up to, and exactly how unique his role is in kpopverse. The eternal exception to so many rules, he had a whole talking round on Strong Heart dedicated to the subject ”Because it is (/I am) Kim Heechul, it is okay”, meaning he can get away with stuff other people can’t simply because of who he are. I guess it is a persona with a great load of freedom, and pressure, to act controversially, sometimes to the point where it’s actually rather obnoxious. And some things are still taboo, of course.
No matter. I was heartbroken and relieved at the same time when he went to do his desk job military service, and at the same time that I’ve hoped the time away does him good, I’ve missed seeing him in action (and should go on a Heechul variety binge soon again sometime). But I also felt a small pang of idiotic guilt at how, during this time, my attention has steered towards other kpop people in his stead.
And then, as though an answer to my thoughts, twitter provides me with this.
So. Heening letting Hong Seok-cheon, pretty much South Koreas only openly gay man, tweet a picture of the two of them all cozy together at a wedding? I’m not sure exactly what his reasons are, but I most certainly apporove of this displayal of comfortableness. Every little step, etc. Also: How awesomely good-looking Heechul himself is in that picture.
What can I say? 우유빛깔 김희철! 사랑해요 김희철!
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