Good afternoon, February

I realize that it’s been two full months since I’ve blogged here. My ‘I’m busy and uninspired’ excuse is pretty stale but it’s the only one I have. But whatevs because I found these golden videos and I need to share.

My Home – GOT7 is pretty much the best discovery of last week. And this 360 degree video?? It blew my mind! I can spin the screen and look at ALL my lovelies?! Technology is so winning right now. Important observations: JB being all cool (swoon), JinYoung handsome-ing all day every day, YoungJae dancing/floating in his oversized sweater, Mark singing the bridge, Jackson being Jackson, and the maknaes being maknaes.

And in case you’re like me and can’t get enough of JinYoung being hyper and dancing on the road, this video is for you.

Other GOT7 songs that were previously not on our playlist but are now: Feels Good, She’s a Monster, Dreamin’, Mayday, Hey.

You Were Beautiful – Day6

JYP is really killing it at bringing good, new voices onto the music scene. We were video-surfing the other day and came across this video. This is not your typical Kpop group, by the way. These guys can sing AND play instruments. I definitely want to see more of them this year.

And in other news, my sister is loving TaeYang more than I expected. LOL.

That’s all I have. See you when I run out of excuses not to blog here.

Raine
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An ambitious friend

I was asking a friend how her violin lessons were going and she said that she learned how to play Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. She said that she surfs websites like http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ when she’s not practicing. I learned that she was interested in learning how to play a guitar and was looking into that. I wish I were that ambitious but these days all I’ve been doing is checking out stuff at Amazon.

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Shawol forever

I take back what I said about Shinee not being close as a group. I have watched enough of their interactions to say that they are, undoubtedly, close. And yes, I have a favorite. Taemin forever because I’m secretly still 16 at heart. And turtlenecks on Taemin forever.

Other members: Proud mama JongHyun when talking about/watching Taemin perform, kind-hearted flaming charisma Minho, dork tofu leader Onew, and fierce dancer/fashionista + say-it-like-it-is Key. I will go to a SHINee World concert after I go to my first Super Show whenever that may be lol.

Here are some of my favorite songs:

Don’t Let Me Go – SHINee

Favorite song right now. I’ve been listening to this a lot.

Feel Good and 1 of 1 – SHINee

Winter Wonderland – SHINee

Your Number – SHINee

The song that started it all. This is one of the first few SHINee videos that I watched and thought, ‘this is pretty good’.

Enjoy their fab dancing, especially Key’s.

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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On the topic of K-pop girl groups

The thing I like about our connection – us as the bloggers and you as the reader – is how quickly we acquaint you with our interests. It’s amusing to me, horrifying to you maybe, but it has always been this way since the day this blog was born. If you’ve been keeping up or if you need a refresher, we recently got into K-pop. You might have seen a few hints here and there, which led to the ultimate reveal that inspired several more posts.

To start off my HeeChul ramble (because HeeChul is best known for his girl group mania that is not too far off from my own), I started off my K-pop adventures with one girl group and that spawned a musical expansion into other girl groups. From the vibrant stage outfits to the outrageous hairstyles and hair colors to the catchy and modern songs to the impressive and effortless dancing, K-pop was so darned appealing that I couldn’t help falling into the spell that captured the hearts of other young people all over the world.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I was initially hesitant about getting into male groups because I didn’t want to feel weirder than I already was if I were to, let’s say, fall for some cute K-pop dude with thick eyeliner, blue contact lenses, bleached blond hair and flawless foundation on his face (of course my worries were not uncalled for and that’s the truth now, HAHA), so I listened mostly to girl groups. I even have ‘biases’ a.k.a favorite members for each group. I’ll go ahead and introduce them to you now:

aoa

Choa, Chanmi, Hyejeong, Seolhyun, Yuna, Jimin, Mina

1. AoA

Having glimpsed the word ‘AoA’ on a friend’s Twitter update before a long flight, I found myself listening to my first ever K-pop album, Like A Cat. I was hooked after the first listen and danced all the way until touchdown in California. It was no surprise that I was curious to see who these girls were. Song after song, I was impressed and completely captivated by the dances and fashion. It didn’t help that there were so many dance practices out there. This is random but I wanna know what hair products the members use and what I can do to get hairstyles like that.

Favorite member: ChoA. Favorite song and dance: Like A Cat (Fun fact: I listened to this song more than 100 times within the first month I discovered it).

mamamoo

MoonByul, WheeIn, Solar, Hwasa

2. Mamamoo

After much dabbling, I discovered a group that did not fit the mainstream girlish or sexy image that the K-pop scene was overflowing with. When I think of Mamamoo, I always think Christina Aguilera. Strong vocals, jazzy music, and fabulous dance moves. While I’m not a fan of the rapping in their songs, I’m a big fan of their energized performances. They always look like they’re totally into their dancing. They also seem to have genuine camaraderie, which is evident in their on-stage interactions.

Favorite member: WheeIn. Favorite song and dance: Piano Man. Special mention: Mr. Ambiguous.

iu3. IU

It took me a while but I warmed up to IU’s music after listening to her latest album, Chat-shire. She has a whimsical and girlish style and very unique voice, and her music is what I would describe as ‘fairytale’ genre. That’s not even a genre but if you listen to her songs, you’ll see why. I think she pulls off simple and casual fashion very well, nothing too bright and bold yet nothing too plain and boring, and it really suits her image.

Favorite song and dance: Twenty-three. Special mention: Glasses.

dal-shabet

Subin, Ah Young, Serri, Woohee

4. Dalshabet

They had a few controversies with their dance moves previously, but I think they are doing pretty well now. I was first introduced to the genre ‘jazz swing’ through one of the songs, and now every time I see any song that has ‘swing’ in it, I catch onto it and devour all that musical goodness.

Favorite member: WooHee. Favorite song: Someone Like U (love their suit jackets). Favorite dance: Have, Don’t Have (The crazy fashion and makeup describes everything I love about K-pop styles). Special mention: Ya Heart (their latest song and so good!!)

apink5. APink

I was searching for 80s-inspired K-pop songs and found APink! I love the music in all their songs and I also love their girly image. They recently released a new song and the maturity is obvious in their dancing and fashion. Fun fact: This is the first girl group my sister has actually listened to more than twice.

Favorite member: Eunji. Favorite song: Only One.

girls-generation

Yuri, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Yoona, Taeyeon, Sooyoung, Tiffany, Seohyun

6. Girls’ Generation

What would this list be without the female counterparts of Super Junior, right? I initially wasn’t a big fan of theirs. Gee was my first ever K-pop video in school which I quickly forgot about. Like SJ, everyone around me talked about them but I didn’t really think too hard about who they were. I actually heard their songs in Daiso this summer and somehow recognized Taeyeon’s voice even though I probably only listened to one of her songs. I just knew she had a strong voice and sorta guessed it was her? Anyway, their songs made me want to dance badly and dancing is a good thing so that’s how I ended up liking their songs.

Favorite song: Galaxy Supernova. Favorite dance: Mr. Taxi (my summer workout jam!!). Special mention: Mr Mr. I don’t have a favorite member but…

I watched several of Taeyeon‘s videos during summer and kinda liked her song called ‘I’, came back to that song after summer, ended up watching more of her videos, and falling for her other song ‘Why’, which introduced me to another genre known as ‘house’ or ‘tropical house’ that is apparently all the rage now (where, though? The radios are congested with mainstream pop?).

Favorite song: Good Thing. Favorite dance: Why (When I think of the dance, I think of the word ‘contemporary’, I don’t know why but I love the dance at the second verse and especially when the male dancers lift the female dancers up and they do that cool kicking thing that suits the song so well; you can tell this is my favorite of all favorites because I’ve become super wordy).

Well, that’s all I have to say about girl groups. I feel like their music has really diversified my taste. When I first started listening to K-pop, I felt really special because the songs were totally unlike the Japanese and English songs I like. It has really opened my mind to a lot of genres and, musically, I really love that.

But wait…

I have a surprise on this list?!

shinee

Jonghyun, Taemin, Minho, Onew, Key

SHINee is my latest male group muse. It was unexpected but it’s great! Another name I’ve been hearing for years yet did not think too much about. I actually thought they were Japanese before this (check out Jonghyun’s Ring Ding Dong era hair). My sister and I tried to watch their videos but I was having a mini K-pop burnout where pretty much everything I listened to sounded the same. Then I was at a point where I was looking for new music and saw that SHINee was having a comeback and somehow I had a sixth sense that I would like their new song. And I did!

I’m finally understanding what a SHINee trend is because I’m totally in love with their fashion sense!! If I were a guy, I’d be making fashion choices based on these guys’ casual and colorful styles. I don’t have a favorite member as of now but Key seems cool and I really really like Onew’s voice.

Favorite song: 1 of 1. Favorite dance: View. Special mention: So Amazing.

It’s been so hard to choose between all the songs and dances because I really love all of them and I’d love to share all of them with you. And I’m sorry, not sorry that this post totally gave away my taste in fashion. I’m working towards being more carefree about my own opinions but that’s a story for another day.

As I’m proof-reading this post, I realize that I have a thing for main vocalists and that most of the songs I’ve mentioned I’ve spammed the repeat button for days and weeks. That means I’m recommending good songs, guys!! I hope I helped someone find new music, if not I’m just pleased that I managed to write about something I like.

Happy weekend, everyone!

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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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