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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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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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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