JJ Project, WINNER, Taeyang, and all my other favorites

Here are my latest discoveries that you need to know about if you don’t already:

Tomorrow, Today – JJ Project

JJ PROJECT IS LOVE, JJ PROJECT IS LIFE. Does anyone even say that anymore? I don’t care because JB and Jinyoung are musical gifts to this world (and the cutest BFFs). Listen to this. This is the soundtrack of my 20s. If you don’t understand Korean, you have to read the lyrics to get what I mean. I love this song so much and am so happy they came back this summer with Verse 2.

K, now listen to the live version where their vocals shine through like diaaamonds, whatever that means. Also, their fashion concept for this album is so simple – I love. Jinyoung in white shirts is *___* and Jaebum with that too-cute hairstyle.

If you thought Tomorrow, Today was the best thing since GOT7, you’re in for a treat because Verse 2 has 6 other great tracks. My favorites are On&On and Don’t Wanna Know but I can’t skip any tracks when I start from the first track. Well done, Jinyoung and JB. Now when can I meet you to tell you that?

Love me, Love me – WINNER (aka the soundtrack of your summer)

Winner, if you’ve been reading my tweets, has slayed 2017. Does anyone even still use ‘slay’? Is ‘bae’ still relevant? Because Winner is. I love how they are now listed as Jinu, Hoony, Mino, and Yoon. So fun and easy to remember for people who have trouble with Korean names.

This song is so catchy and even though I thought it resembles Really, Really, it’s more of a cousin song than a sister song if you know what I mean. Both amazing but different. Watch the video for the guys in short shorts (okay, just Seunghoon but you know what I mean). My bias is Seungyoon even though Mino is a cutie. Yoon-ie forevah will be scratched onto a padlock and chained to a fence in Korea.

This song is from the latest album ‘Our Twenty For’ and the other title track is Island which is so-so only for me. You might end up liking Island more since I’ve seen a lot of comments saying they prefer Island. If you like both songs, welcome to the Inner Circle fandom, please feel free to ask me about all things WINNER.

Because YG makes epic dance practice videos and this one is no different. Just think of it as a music video spinoff haha. The fashion concept for this comeback is questionable but hey, I’ll take it along with Yoon’s killer vocals (and smile).

Ko Ko Bop – EXO

I still haven’t found out what Ko Ko Bop means. I just know that this song is the song that brought me to EXO. Once I heard this song… I knew. I don’t think I can be considered an EXO-L yet but I do like Chen and think he doesn’t get enough screen time?? I looked up some of their old MVs and Lotto is another song I dig.

This song is so sick, as one of my Japanese friends would say. The Eve is also not bad.

White Night – Taeyang (sadly, not a full track)

My goodness, August has been saturated with comebacks and I LOVE THEM ALL. Get ready to be mesmerized by Taeyang’s vocals. You’re welcome. Taeyang brings his emotions into his songs like no other and you can just feel how much work he put in and how proud he is of this album.

Here’s the full album. I love track 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7. My sister has been loving Darling but I just can’t fully get behind it. Maybe in time I will? The only 2 songs I don’t really like are the two title tracks :/ If you’re wondering where I’ll be, I’ll just be putting coins into my piggybank so that I can attend a Taeyang concert. Feel free to contribute.

Sorry – The Rose

I discovered this by accident – just mere clicking around. Thank you, Youtube suggestions, because this song is amazing (those husky voices tho). Ever since I discovered Day6, I have been on the subconscious prowl for Korean bands who do their thing well. No rapping, no dancing, just pure vocal and musical skillz. The Rose is one of them – celebrate!! So far, they only have one song out because they just debuted but I look forward to their future music.

Rain – KNK

And here we have vocal and musical skillz + dancing skillz. Be still, my heart. You can watch the MV with emo scenes of the boys or you can watch this kickass umbrella choreography video instead. You’re welcome. This is one of my favorite dances yet (did you even see that part where the umbrellas came up as wipers during Seungjun’s part?). I love the dapper concept for this comeback, too. KNK is also hilarious and such a fun group. If you haven’t heard, they are all super tall, wow them legs. Jihun needs more lines, to be honest.

Where are you? – CLC

Wow, is this really me? Have I found some girl groups that I like? Apparently! This 80s vibe is to my taste and I like the video concept, not overly sweet nor overly sexy.

Friday Night – SONAMOO

I haven’t listened to this song too much but I like it for the most part. The sexy concept is okay, not too bad. I haven’t done much digging into the girl groups yet and they are still pretty new so I’ll wait a bit before getting to know the members and watching the interview videos.

All Night – Girls’ Generation

I know my sister has been on the GG train for a while but it didn’t happen for me until this year’s 10th anniversary comeback. I know the girls’ names and faces through news articles and a few interview videos. It’s also nice to watch videos and learn what their personalities are like. Usually with younger groups, the members are afraid to be themselves or don’t know how to be themselves yet so it’s a bit awkward/boring.

Easy Love – SF9

Here are our favorite boys. I almost forgot to include them in this list! SF9 is <3. This song from start to finish is our jam. Other noteworthy songs: Fanfare, Roar, Watch Out, and K.O.

If you thought one Taeyang was enough, you’re in for a shock because a second Taeyang exists and he’s the freakin’ vocal AND dance line in SF9. Also has fab hair, a killer smile, and a cute BFF relationship with Hwiyoung. I love Yoo Taeyang, that is all. Inseong is the other vocal line to watch out for. Can’t wait for their comeback so that I can see more of these boys.

Look at my Taeyang with blue glitter hair.

Edit: Ah, yes, I forgot one more group.

Plz Don’t Be Sad – Highlight

I can’t believe it took me so long to discover Highlight (formerly known as BEAST). I saw this song a lot on Youtube but I dismissed it until I watched Highlight on Weekly Idol. They were hilarious on Weekly Idol and their poor Random Play Dance section reminded me of Big Bang’s. I’ll have you know that I shamelessly know the chorus dance to this song and made sure people at the fried chicken restaurant we went to last week knew that LOL. Calling You is equally good so check that out too.

I’m really loving their music as Highlight. I’ve read the comments on their videos and it really does seem like they are happier as a group under their own label now. Yay for breaking free and achieving the things you want to without someone pressing you down! Does anyone else agree that Junhyung resembles Douchin from Chemistry..?

Fiction – BEAST

And yeah, BEAST has some good songs. This is my favorite. I should listen to more of the other songs.. I remember 12:30 and Good Luck and Gotta Go To Work being pretty good.

I have peppered this post with as much slang as I currently possess in my slang arsenal because that’s how enthusiastic I am about this post!!

Enjoy!!

Raine
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Still GOT7 week

I wanted to write about my week and tidbits on what has been happening on this end lately but I’ve calmed down a bit so I’ll turn this post into another GOT7 appreciation post. Hooray!

I love Jackson and JB but right now I love Jinyoung. He’s good-looking and I like his voice *_* He dresses well but I think he looks better dressed down… that’s just me though.

What about the others? Youngjae is so adorable, especially when he tries to mimic Mark or Jackson’s English. He’s like a sea otter, I have no idea why. BamBam seems like the mild type and he balances out the AmeriThaiKong (Mark, BamBam, Jackson) part of the group so well. Mark is unexpectedly quiet and easygoing, and it’s hard to tell that he’s the oldest.

It’s interesting to see every KPop group’s maknae (the youngest member) because you never know what kind of maknae they are until you watch their videos. Poor Yugyeom, the maknae, gets pranked too many times for their hidden camera episodes but I think he’s definitely got a bit of the evil maknae side haha.

I LOVE the mini episodes that they film for each album release. I’ve jumped here and there and I’m currently watching Real GOT7 season 2 but I’ve watched all the GOT7ing episodes. I tried to pace myself – 1 video on day 1, the rest of the videos on day 2. Pretty good, right?

Observations: these guys can eat A LOT. And they need to stop showing us all the delicious food they eat in all these episodes.

I love ‘A’ and the fact that this is the first GOT7 song my sister listened to.

You’ve probably seen enough ‘If You Do’ in the last post but I haven’t seen this one so here it is. This is eyeliner version.

Love the song and the video. Dorks.

So fun to see them relaxed/horsing around in their dorm (I think). I feel like the saying ‘boys will be boys’ fits this video.

The dance at the chorus and the baseball concept got me hooked.

Bonus:

GOT7 at a Korean BBQ where you can see firsthand the boys eating a lot! The first 1/3 of the video is Jinson (Jackson + Jinyoung) arguing over Jinyoung’s never-ending complaints about Jackson only taking BamBam out for meat lolol. But then they finally eat meat together here so hopefully all is well now.

And that is all. I’m craving Korean BBQ now.

Raine
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SHINee and GOT7 week (I realize that’s a lot of capitalization)

It’s only been ONE month since I fell head over heels for Big Bang (TAEYANG IS MY EVERYTHING). I have spent a lot of time listening to their MADE album from start to finish and even though I previously didn’t like Zutter, I have ended up listening to it anyway. There have been more discoveries lately so here’s a post about that.

But first, I have something to say. I read a blog (I think) where two people were ‘reviewing’ the members of Big Bang and they were absolutely tactless and ruthless in attacking TaeYang’s looks and character. It was painful to read, mostly because I felt sorry for the authors. I hope for their sake that their thinking matures and they see how unnecessarily mean they were.

Somehow that’s an awkward paragraph to transition from but I’m going to try my best to mention female groups in this paragraph. If you couldn’t tell, I’m the one who digs for male groups while my sister is all about the girl groups. She has been trying to get me to watch some videos but I think my problem with female groups is my preconceived ideas of what they have to offer. So it’s on me to get over that and just try watching their videos.

Anyway, I found this video below and that’s how I’m listening to most of Taeyang’s Rise album. I thought I only liked Stay With Me and Ringa Linga (please check out the dance practice video which is the most music-video-like dance practice video ever) but Taeyang’s live performances have won me ovvver.

Omg, the way Taeyang twists the mic stand at 0:52. Part of the basis for this post was writing about the small yet oddly significant things Taeyang does during his live performances. Like the way he likes to tuck the hem of his shirt very slightly into his jeans and his signature poses. In the words of a 21st century teenager, Stahp, I can’t even. His harmonization is always on point and can we just stop to appreciate his cute swag factor?

Taeyang can sing and even though his hair styles are always questionable, he’s got a heart of gold and is probably as sweet and humble as his members say he is.

So who’s first on the new favorites list? Shinee!!! It’s stylized as SHINee but let’s just go with non-capitalized in this post.

shinee-the-saem-eco-soul-bb-cream-2015

L to R: Onew, Taemin, Jonghyun, Minho, Key

Here is what we’ve been listening to/watching:

1 of 1 is off their newest album which is 90s-inspired. Their fashion is A+, also something I don’t think I could ever pull off but props to their stylists for letting them rock ugly turtlenecks, leather vests, and classic denim.

I’m surprised that we have become Shinee fans because when a friend said she loves them, I was like, yeah okay they’re not bad. The one who didn’t want to watch ‘View’ with me – cough my sister cough – is now the bigger fan. Shinee is fun to watch onstage but as a group, they’re not very close and don’t mesh well so their interviews can be dull and awkward. I find it a shame that they’re not close but I guess there are reasons for that?

Next up: GOT7. I’m the only one on the IGOT7 boat right now but I’m having so much fun. I watched them on various entertainment programs like Weekly Idol then I watched their interviews before I started listening to their music. I like their personalities, that’s why I ventured into their music.

got7-1

L to R: Yugyeom, JB, Jackson, Jinyoung, Mark, Bambam, Youngjae

ALSO CAN YOU SEE THE HAIR ON THEIR LEGS?!!!!! Never seen before (at least, for me) – body hair on male KPop idols. That’s what I wanna see.

JB comes across as a responsible but caring leader, like Teuk. The difference is JB can sing (sorry Teukie, you’re a wonderful DJ and MC with your silky voice but your singing is like umm, hahaha). YoungJae has a nice voice, too. There’s never a dull moment where Jackson is involved and the others seem decent. I think it’s great that they are a multinational group yet they function so well and seem close to one another.

Look at how dorky they are. I want to see Super Junior have a pajama dance party like this too. And just for extra measure, here is a video of them dancing to ‘If You Do’ at 2x speed on Weekly Idol:

Oh, and a fun fact I discovered today while looking up GOT7 member profiles is that only ONE of the members is older than me. That tickled me. Ahh, I can call them kids, right? Stay humble, kids.

As for BTS or Bangtan Boys (I had no idea they were the same), if you’ve been reading my tweets, I have dipped my toe in the water but I’m not convinced. I watched them on Weekly Idol out of curiosity and the member who stood out the most to me was Suga. Call it instinct or whatever you like; I can recognize my kind when I see them. And that is all I will say about this.

ENJOY!!! And yes, this blog has been taken over completely by Korean music fans.

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What working out means to me

Today marks my 14th day of working out (with breaks, of course). Actually it’s the 14th day for this month, not counting the number of days before this. It’s amazing to think that I have been working out for about 6 months already. I haven’t always been this way though.

As a kid, I would follow my mom and sister to the gym but I only used the treadmill, which formed my love for running. I know, what a shocker. I always came out last on the track field. I never participated in a sport in school, though I sometimes dreamed of joining the basketball club or soccer team. At the gym, I was always too embarrassed to join my mom and sister for their floor exercises because I was afraid of having bad posture and injuring myself.

I never thought I’d like working out, but now I do. I genuinely love working out. I freaking LOVE working out. I love it so much that one fine day during summer, I thought to myself, Maybe I should be a fitness instructor…

These days I’ve been trying more floor exercises, something I’ve always shied away from. I’ve been making a conscious effort not to focus on weight loss, so my current fitness goals are to master the roll-up (as much as I can) and master more planks!

I never thought I’d been saying this but I really kind of like planks. And now back to the title, which is what working out means to me:

Mindfulness, love, practice, confidence, fun, smiling, happiness, a lifestyle, lightness, agility, and finally, being STRONG.

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Super Junior AND Big Bang, not OR

I just came from looking up ‘Super Junior and Big Bang’. I was under the impression that groups from rival entertainment companies aren’t supposed to be pals but when I mentioned this to my sister, she was like, ‘why not?’

Funnily enough, I went to find a live performance of ‘Bang Bang Bang’ to convince my sister to like Big Bang and what else did I find? I found a video in which SeungRi is singing on KangIn’s lap and beside KangIn is YeSung. And my Teukie MC-ed for the event! In 2016!! That’s this year!! That made me very excited because I like when my favorite bands are friends with each other.

Naturally, that led me to look for more evidence that my now favorite Korean groups are less than rivals and more than friends. What my search led me to was forums with polls on whether Big Bang or Super Junior is better. Of course, people felt the need to include reasons for their choice, i.e. SJ is not even relevant, BB has more digital sales but SJ has more physical sales, BB has a bigger fan base. Mostly negatives about SJ. That made me upset.

Before discovering BB, I thought SJ was the most popular Korean group. 🙁 But apparently Big Bang was recently named best band, beating even Maroon 5, which I think is huge… And I understand that now because BB is a boundary breaker, a trend setter, a game changer, blah blah blah. You can’t deny their on-stage presence and the marks they’re making in the fashion and art world.

Does that mean BB is better than SJ? Here’s where I have a bone to pick. We can like something and not bash its competition. We can compare two things but there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer for some things. Some of the comments I saw were really angry and forceful. Unnecessary, I think.

For me, comparing BB and SJ is like comparing apples and oranges. Teukie and GD are the leaders but the way they act is so different. Teukie is the main speaker of the group while BB’s is Seungri, not GD. Teukie seems to have taken a parental figure role and does a good job of keeping everyone together while GD has more of a hands-free way of managing the group. You get the picture, right?

At the end of the day, each group does things differently and if it works for them – and it has – then good for them. Why must there be an absolute answer to who is better?

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Here’s a gif of ShinDong (SJ), DongHae (SJ), YeSung (SJ), and G Dragon (BB).

This post is also dedicated to Teukie. I know it’s weird to be saying something like this since I don’t know him personally but thank you, Teukie, for all that you do and please take care of yourself. Super Junior’s Kiss The Radio program ended today after 10 years which is very sad because it’s basically what Teukie has poured his life and soul into for 10 years.

To me, Teukie is one of the people who is the kind of person you just know you connect to even though you’ve never met in real life. He’s also the kind of person you want to protect because he takes on too many things and gives too much of himself to the people around him.

Anyway, here’s to less critical comparisons and leaders who deserve a hug of encouragement. Thanks for reading.

Raine
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Big Bang – no, not the scientific explanation

Falling in love with Korean music has been one of the many turning points I’ve had in recent years. There’s more variety in my playlist now and it’s a good thing. In the last week, I have discovered yet another band that I would have been uncomfortable admitting I had feelings for 10 years ago. Nope, not that person anymore.

The big reveal? Big Bang.

Big Bang - no, not the scientific explanation

Daesung, G-Dragon, T.O.P, Taeyang, Seungri

I feel like I should be shocked at myself but somehow I’m only surprised and tickled. Not ashamed, either.

I know Big Bang. After the explosion of K-Pop 10 years ago, Big Bang became one of the names I couldn’t miss in conversations, tweets, and whatnot. I ignored it all. I had no interest in Korean bands. I was also a judgmental teenager who didn’t quite know how to accept others who weren’t like her. I may cringe at the thought of my old self but I don’t hate myself for that; I can only be happy that I’ve become more open and accepting of others for who they are and what they like. It’s all in the process of becoming a better you and I don’t think it’s ever really too late to do that. Aaand I’m traipsing down the ‘digression’ path again.

Before this, I only knew Big Bang by name. I knew little else about what they had to offer. I had no idea the band comprises of 5 members or that G-Dragon is in the band or that their song ‘Fantastic Baby’ loved by my classmates and my sister’s classmates is by them or that they’re under YG, another famous South Korean entertainment company. I simply thought all popular K-Pop bands were under SM Entertainment and the less famous ones were not lol. Having stopped following mainstream news, I had no idea their latest songs hit #1 on so many charts either.

I recall my sister and I trying to watch one of their music videos a few years back. We couldn’t make it through the halfway point of the video before we closed the video. Some things are an acquired taste. Big Bang might just be one of them. Big Bang makes Super Junior members look like preppy mama’s boys (not necessarily in a bad way because beautiful DongHae… I mean… never mind). The only way I feel you would understand is if you Googled Big Bang…

A girl I call an acquaintance yet befriended on Facebook posted a clip of a Big Bang interview and they looked so oddly clean-cut that I couldn’t help playing the video. I played it without sound the first time, reading the captions and succeeding in being amused till the end. I scrolled down but found myself scrolling back up and turning the volume up.

I was fascinated by that video. Not all the members spoke but I concluded that they exude a certain charm. And yes, I was surprised to find out that G-Dragon, T.O.P, and Taeyang (whom I assumed was the same person as Taeyeon for years) are all Big Bang members (I knew them by name and vaguely looked at their pictures but never got around to reading the part that mentioned their ties to Big Bang)…

What did I do next? I did what felt most natural – I went to look up more of their interviews on Youtube. It did feel strange to be looking them up and voluntarily watching their videos but it ended up all good.

One evening was spent watching their interview on a popular Korean variety show, Happy Together. I was sold. I still didn’t know much about them but I knew that they have chemistry and personality. (Side note: I watched another band’s interview and they had very little chemistry and that was clearly reflected in their music too, ugh.) The member that stood out the most to me was G-Dragon. He wasn’t the big, scary punk with crazy hair that I had pictured in my head for years. He’s actually soft-spoken, easygoing, and polite. And he’s not even 30?!?! Um, what?

Oh, my misconceptions. T_T

Okay, then I Wikipedia-ed them, and watched a live performance of Bae Bae and didn’t completely hate it which is usually a good sign. Bang Bang Bang followed, then Loser, then even Fantastic Baby. Then I knew I’d gone too far down the Big Bang path. Oh well, here I am. I can recognize all five of them now – G-Dragon, Taeyang, T.O.P, Daesung, Seungri. Thank you very much. I don’t have a favorite but I do like Taeyang’s voice the most.

Their music is more diverse than I expected. I specifically want to point out their album MADE because I haven’t quite finished listening to the rest of their albums. The songs fuse R&B, rap, hip hop, and dance (and other genres but mostly these) so seamlessly that it almost seems like a genre of its own. Actually they’ve been constantly proving themselves to be a group who doesn’t stick any labels to themselves or limit themselves to just a handful of things. I like that. I guess you wouldn’t really call them a K-Pop group since they don’t lean towards the pop genre?

My mom and sister would most likely not would not imagine themselves going to a Big Bang concert but I’m quite sure they’ll be surprised at how much of a good time they’re having when they eventually follow me to one. ROTFLTTM (roll on the floor laughing to the moon).

I’m sorry this post was all over the place – I tried really hard to get my point across while combining some history. I’m going to go watch their MADE tour on Youtube now because I really like their MADE album. Bye.

Pretend this is tiny font: I hope my sister will like at least one song of theirs so that we can karaoke and talk about G-Dragon together ahaha.

Raine
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What I like think of while working out

So if you’re like me and you suddenly realize that working out is fun and important in your life, you might wonder if you’re doing things right. One thing to make sure that you are doing things right is to be mindful. And to be mindful is to be fully aware of what you are doing. Be 100% with what you are doing. No thinking about what’s for dinner, no thinking about why the lady in the video is wearing red pants, no thinking about anything except the fact that you are working out.

If you really focus on working out, I think it’ll definitely have a great effect on what you’re aiming to achieve whether it’s health, weight loss or just some fun. Keep in mind I’m no expert and these are tips that work for me and not everyone.

  1. Keep your eyes on the goal. What is it that you want to get from working out? Fun? Muscles? Energy? Think about it. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s always good to have some goals, long-term or not. If we don’t know why we’re doing something, it’s easy to give up because of the lack of commitment. Someone recently gave me a pretty dress so I have absolutely no reason to not have a goal (lol). While I’m working out, I like to be all “Hey, don’t you want to buy a new pair of jeans!? You don’t want to look good in that shirt? What about fantastic arms?” It’s a fun bickering session, basically, but remember not to be too harsh on yourself!
  2. Posture! Very important to prevent injuries. I watched a video of how two women lost some weight and it had a lot to do with their posture. They looked so much better after losing the slouch. I’ve always been guilty of slouching so I’ve always kind of hated doing structured workouts that required me to stand or balance in a certain way. But! working out has helped me to take notice of my posture all around the clock and it has also reduced the tiredness I feel when sitting up straight.
  3. Muscles/fat. What kind of muscles do you want to build? Or how much fat do you want to lose? When I’m doing weights, I like to think about my arms and the muscles that are working. If I don’t think about them, I might just end up putting too little or too much strength in my moves and using momentum to guide what should be deliberate movements. I know I used to strain my legs too much while carrying weights. There was some soreness in my arms the next day but on that same day I worked out, I felt like I hadn’t done a lot because I was thinking of something else. I highly recommend watching any workout video for the first time with sound because sometimes the person in the video will tell you what muscles you should be feeling.
  4. Fun! If the workout doesn’t suit you, find something that does. Even better, start out with something fun like dancing and the rest of your workout will go by in a flash. For the past few months, I’ve been guilty of being angry while working out. Working out is my outlet for negative emotions but inserting those negative emotions have made my workouts quite unpleasant. Maybe it helped me finish more reps, but lots of people talk to me when I’m working out so I’m trying to make an effort these days to stop being the nastiest person on earth. And yes, doing some kind of freestyle dancing after your warmups helps to set an awesome mood!!

I originally named this post “What you should think of while working out” but it sounded wrong because it felt like I was demanding people to do something that they may or may not do, so I changed it so people wouldn’t misunderstand that I’m some expert. Better to sound self-centered than to have people read the title and be all, Lady, don’t tell me what to do!! (lol)

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