End of the year, K-pop 2012. Key of The Year
January 4, 2013 § 2 Comments
There is no idol that catches my attention like this man does, Key. Even when there is not room in my head for updates about him I still think about him, appriciative and concerned. I do not love everything he does and most of the time I’m actually a bit scared for what might come next. It’s like a love with little trust. I know he is a great singer and dancer but those are just the basics. But, many of the things that he does are awesome and I probably like him because he is so far from perfect in many situations. He is awkward and sometimes not so nice in a way that reminds me a bit of myself. On the other hand he is the most beautiful human being on the planet and his sense of fashion is always interesting and most of the time amazing.
I have some favourite moments from 2012 with Key, the picture above for instance from his and Minhos Cosmopolitan photo shoot in April 2012. In general, 2012 was a great year when it comes to photos of Key. His solo photo shoot for Dazed & Confused is my third place of the top three Key moments from 2012:
Exo, another SME-idol group made their debut in 2012 and Key was, as done before, used as a rapper on the track Two Moons. Key is not the most brilliant rapper in the world, but he is certainly not the worst either. He knows enough english and have a really good voice. I wonder who wrote his rap part though, the lyrics are a big LOL. This is my second favourite of Key moments from 2012, Keys part starts at 2:08:
The Key moment of the year placing first is the epic solo performance by Key at the Japanese concert tour from 2012. He has been performing a lot of great and funny tracks before as his solos, like Tik Tok by Kesha and Take a Bow by Rihanna. This time he took two tracks from the pop star he probably adore and love more then anyone else, Lady Gaga:
This performance is such a milestone. It created a happy roar through out the world of fangirls and fanboys. Like if all the pieces were finally put together correctly. Lady Gagas constant talk about everyones right to be allowed to be who ever they choose and the lyrics talk about freedom and rather queer attitude brings Key out to his very best as a peformer, idol and concept. I would prefer his versions to the original any time.
But what is he singing: wear an ear condom next time, or: wear your condom next time?
The Future is Idol -L
End of the year, K-pop 2012. My Guilty Pleasure
January 3, 2013 § Leave a comment
SS501 was one of the first K-pop groups I got to know about a couple of years ago. Though the styling, plastic surgery (the evolution of their faces is worthy a blog of it’s own) and choice of songs have been highly questionable within this group I still really like them and they released a couple of amazing and funny tracks through their active days. They are almost old school by now and it seems like ages ago they went on to different companies.
Park(Pak) Jung Min is the one member of SS501 I have spent most time thinking about through the years. This is a result of a friend giving me a Taiwanese pop magazine a couple of years ago with a lot of pictures of SS501, the reason it was so intriguing was that Jung Mins pervious and terrible nose job had been slightly corrected and he looked more like a human being then like Michael Jackson. That is, his nose grew a size for their comeback. The entire group had rather bizarre facial plastic through the years but Jung Mins nose was the biggest catastrophy of them all. It’s been fascinating watching Jung Mins nose getting a litel bit bigger for every comeback and that is a relief. Jung Min is really trying it hard for his solo releases and I believe there is something genuinly nice with his efforts. For his first solo release, Not Alone he included both a couple dressed in punk outfits and a a transvestite, maybe it’s all about showmanship, but that is more then most idols would. He also did a photo spread in ANAN magazine in 2011 which is daring for any idol. He tries really hard to stand out from the crowd.
Unfortunately the quality of his solo releases so far has been poor in my eyes. But as he released Beautiful in the fall of 2012 it at least gave the feeling of him being as happy as I have ever seen him. The teaser promised a bit to much I’m afraid since the track is quite silly, but it really looks like he is having a lot of fun. And I can’t stop watching him with a newer and bigger nose that almost looks natural and a track that is almost a success but not quite there yet. Not cool and not good but…
Beautiful by Park(Pak) Jung Min is my obvious guilty pleasure of 2012. Not that good but ever so sweet.
check out previous end of the year posts here
The Future is Idol – L
End of the year, K-pop 2012. Best Track of 2012
January 2, 2013 § 1 Comment
Mis knew it from the beginning of course, for Lars it took a bit longer to realize, but the important thing is that we now both know the truth about the best track of the year.
Orange Caramel released their Lipstick full-length album in September and Lipstick was a great single release, Orange Caramel tend to have great single releases, but Lipstick is not our favourite track of the year though. Which one is it?
Though the title may give you a hint of something light, cute and fun, this is not necessarily what it is. Not only at least. There is a slightly spooky feel to the meldoy and it is turning hypnotizing on you after a while. This combined with sweet voices and lyrics that tells the story about love that went bad, makes this track a complete success. There is usually something special happening when Orange Caramel takes the cute concept on, something intriguing if you like.
The track has been played over and over again by both of us and by others close by. For those, like Lars who counts everything carefully in his Itunes library, this track has achieved an all-kill on most played list EVER.
The first track on Orange Caramels full-length Lipstick album is called Bubble Bath and this is OUR best track of the year.
“Why is it still remaining here and there?
No matter how much I erase, you still remain
Like the rain, like the music, please flow out
All of your traces, please be washed away
Bubble by bubble, bubble bubble
You are still there like soap bubbles
Bubble by bubble, after you disappear
I will be clean from hateful you”
End of the year, K-pop 2012. The group that surprised me.
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
End of the year, K-pop 2012.Top three Search Engine Terms
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
End of the year, K-pop 2012. Things that should not be forgotten/ Queer of the year
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.
Don’t forget to check out our other and previous End of the year, K-pop 2012 summarizing articles.
The Future is Idol – L
End of the year, K-pop 2012. Live Performance.
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
End of the year, K-pop 2012. The List
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
What truly matters
November 19, 2012 § 2 Comments
Kpop has given me a lot of things. It has helped me through recovery from eating disorders. It has given me new, awesome friends. It has provided me with role-models when I have needed to push myself through heavy workloads in school. It has given me incentives to learn not one, but two new languages. It has given me friends all over the world and made me travel far away on my own in a way that I could never previously have imagined. All in all, it has given me a more beautiful outer world. But that is not why I’m in it.
Let me explain.
A common way of defending young nerds’ interest in low-status hobbies is saying that it will lead to something with higher status. Computer games will improve your English and problem solving skills. Manga will let you know “Asia”, which appearantly is the World of the Future. Vampires will give you a sense of community, although this might also be seen as something destructive. Technology will eventuelly make you rich – just look at Bill Gates!
I guess all of this might seem the only way to defend these things against sceptical parents and teachers and classmates, and to encourage children who are ashamed of liking them and feel that they should spend more time on sports, gossiping, or whatever is considered more appropriate for their gender and age. But even so, it is beside the point.
As for me, the indirect effects of kpop are doubtlessly nice to think about when I spend yet another evening doing seemingly pointless things. Scrolling through Tumblr instead of studying. Reading kceleb gossip instead of going out with friends. Missing Girls or whatever show that apparantly is currently what you’re supposed to watch because I’m busy watching kdrama. Especially as I haven’t had a real relationship in years, as that seems to be the true stamp of approval from Life Agency.
But seriously, that is not what matters. I have said this before, but I’ll say it again – if not else but because I have to remind myself of this every day. The true value is no language skill, no networking, no cross-cultural know-how or future work prospects. The true value cannot be described with terms as achievements or benefits. The point of it all is how it feels. It is about being instantly cheered up from playing that certain song and imagining the awesome video. It is, also, about losing breath and crumbling to pieces over an animated gif. About the excitement of finding the fancam for a performance you have been jealous of. About giving the pillow a beating to let out your embarressment. About getting all giggly just thinking about a certain idol. About the feeling of intense interest talking about them. About crying. It is about worries and joy and love. The other stuff is just there for us to point out when we are questioned.
Human After All
November 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
One of the things that interest me the most regarding idols is the building of a persona, the image, the fantasy. But I still like to think about how they all have a body temperature, almost exactly the same as mine. And each of them have a scent that I will probably never know.
But they do. All of them. Inescapably human bodied, no matter their image.