Archive for the ‘thinking out loud’ Category

Stress levels

Nothing substantial to post here except:








Freedom is so close yet so far away.


Shameless plugging

Gahee dancing to Beyonce’s “Telephone” and “Diva”

I like to post this clip on whatever platform I can just because it’s the Queen, y’all.

I’m always really in awe of the dancers in Kpop who have a wealth of stage experience and just have it in their bodies to be that good. And ironically–or not–they’re usually not the best singers. I’m talking about the idols in Kpop who are naturally gifted with movement, those who are dancers not because it’s been forced into them through training. (Hyoyeon and Hangeng come to mind.) But in the Kpop biz, things are so confined. Why does someone like Gahee who’s so good at dancing have to sing in order to “make it” into an idol group, aka have a shot of being nationally recognized? And then conversely, why do singers like Brian or Hwanhee have to add a dance number into their songs just so that they’re not a “traditional” ballad singer, who are pretty much economically irrelevant in the business?

It’s almost like there is no place for people who are just “dancers.” They don’t get to be “famous” in the way famous rolls in Korea, with the variety shows and the shiny CF offers. And while there is a bigger market for people who are just skilled singers, compared to the wealth that idol groups get to cash in for their companies, how much do people like Park Hyo Shin or post-G.O.D. Kim Tae Woo earn?? Take Baek Ji Young. I think she’s had a fairly decent ballad-singing career, but she got a huuuuge spike in popularity (and sales) over the summer because of her collaboration with Taecyeon — not only because he’s a bankable idol, but because the dance element made the song relevant to the mainstream.

My point is that it sucks to want to be a star in Kpop. You train to sing and dance and then you debut, and inevitably there are people who slam you for not having enough skill. But why do you have to possess that skill anyway? Why isn’t there a market to sell the thing that you are good at?

Questions, questions.

It’s cold

It was windy today. Windy and cold.

The more I work and the more I come in contact with “the real world,” the more I stress myself out. I keep imposing impossible deadlines on myself that shouldn’t exist at all. Nobody is expecting these things of me and I have to allow myself a learning curve. It’s not like those I admire didn’t go through a similar learning curve before they got to be where they are today. Stop making things impossible for yourself.

Another completely unrelated thing is that I take very little pictures of myself. And very little pictures get taken of me. I just don’t hang around a lot of photo people, what can I say? I take a ton of pictures of everyone else but that’s what I am, the person behind the camera and that’s where I’m most comfortable. Some people are meant to be in front of the camera. Whether they shine in front of it, or they just happen to have friends who like to photograph them, they’re just meant to constantly be in front of the camera even if it’s not their desire to be. Funny how things work out.

Stuff I listened to this year; aka, music of 2009

Time for an end-of-year post. In addition to the music post, which I also did last year, I’ll also be doing a drama post because…I watched a lot of dramas :Db

Favorite albums of the year:

Eternal Morning’s “Soundtrack to a Lost Film” – This album was released in 2007, but I’ve only gotten around to loving it this year. The pieces make me feel like I’m wandering around, submerged under water. Everything looks illuminated, but hazy too, so I don’t know what I’m looking at, yet I want to keep looking. This album makes me feel a jumble of things, but most importantly, it makes me wish I could set every single song to moving image so as to truly make it a soundtrack.

Kanye West’s “808 and Heartbreak” – I like this album better than anything he’s ever done. Yeah, it’s a mystery to me too. But the short of it is that I’ve always been wary of Kanye West because he samples SO much and this album is 80% refreshing and new. “Love Lockdown” is one of my favorite songs ever.

Super Junior’s “Sorry, Sorry” – I basically talk about this album ad nauseum in the rest of my favorite song review, so read the ramble after the jump!

The Bird and the Bee’s “Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future” – Delightful new find of the year. Their sounds are really whimsical and I love the lead singer’s voice because it sounds so clear. If The Bird and the Bee’s music were a person, it’d be a person who’s good at pushing away pangs of disappointment and loneliness when he/she has to deal with the rest of society. But hey, being sad is still being sad, and I feel the album does dip into more melancholy territory in the second half.

Epik High’s “Map the Soul” – Tablo’s writing never strikes me as pretentious even though I can see how it can come across like that to other people. He’s very sharp with his words and his music (as well as Epik High’s music) reflects that aspect of him, along with the qualities he admires in other musicians.

This is “Cipher” from the album.

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I will NEVER forget the atmosphere in Irving Plaza when Tablo jumped on stage to sing this first line. I can see is so clearly in my head: Beatbox DG does about 5 minutes of beat boxing and then he signals the start of the “Cipher” performance and the crowd goes crazy. Tablo speaks into the mic from backstage and the cheers get even louder. We were all anticipating, but even that is not enough to describe the mood of the audience. Even watching fancams now, my heart still pounds in anticipation of Tablo jumping on stage and whipping the audience with water as he raps his first line.

Favorite songs of the year:

Read the rest of this entry »

“Say hi to forever”

It’s easy to not know and not care until eternity and permanence settles over someone, and a presence just dissipates before anyone can grab a hold of it. I’m taking this very badly because it’s a fucking shame we had to lose such a bright individual. I’m obsessed with the under-representation of Asian models in the fashion industry and I’ve always been so proud that Daul Kim is out there doing what she does by being exactly who she is. It is, of course, in no way a responsibility for any individual to have to personally shoulder the burden of representing their race in whatever business, but it’s always been reassuring for me to know that someone as talented, bright, and intelligent as Daul is working and excelling in an industry that often ignores and marginalizes those who don’t fit the industry-prescribed norm. In that sense, she’s irreplaceable.

May you rest in peace, Daul Kim.