Sunday, 10 November 2013
Saturday, 9 November 2013
Idol of Idols Justin Bieber Visits Koreaby Kang Soo Jin(email@example.com) | Oct 11, 2013
The world-famous pop star Justin Bieber held his first Korean concert in the evening of October 10 at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul. The audience numbered over 8000, many of them girl fans whose shrieks of delight continued all throughout the concert. The popular Korean artist G-Dragon of Big Bang also appeared on-stage as a guest.
Other K-pop stars showed up, as well, as fans of Justin. They included Super Junior, Girl’s Generation, Miss A, 2NE1, Wonder Girls, 2AM, and Teen Top.
Before the concert, Justin tweeted, “Show day in Korea. I got some surprises.” This appeared to refer to a performance of his new song “Heartbreaker”.
Justin arrived at the Arena 40 minutes late; the concert was scheduled to begin at 2000 (GMT+9). He slowly came down the stairs on-stage, dressed fashionably in all-white calf-length jacket, T-shirt, pants, and sneakers. On top of all this he had on black sunglasses.
First up was the hit song “All Around The World”. The audience stirred at the gay rhythm of the electronic dance music. When Justin shouted “Jump!” at the climax, they did just that.
Following this, he tossed his jacket away and sang “Take You”, and the quieter rhythm and blues song “Catching Feelings”.
In the middle of it all there was a short video introducing Justin’s rise to stardom. He became famous on YouTube at just 14 before he followed Stevie Wonder’s lead in becoming the youngest singer to top a Billboard chart.
As aforementioned, G-Dragon was a special guest, appearing to sing “Crayon”. Actually there were some hopes that Psy would show up, since they were labelmates through their mutual manager Scooter Braun’s School Boy Records. He didn’t show up, but instead Psy’s Korean labelmate G-Dragon took his place.
As the two-hour-long concert wound down, the audience screamed for an encore, and Justin sang his best hit songs “Boyfriend” and “Baby”. And so, regrettably, Justin Bieber’s first Korean concert ended.
Justin made some tweets on what he thought of the concert after it ended. He wrote, “Korea that was amazing. Thank u for the love. Shout out to my friend @IBGDRGN for coming out on stage tonight. They went crazy.”
(All photos except the last, courtesy of Access Entertainment)
[SPECIAL FEATURE] Qualmless Idols, On Their Way to be A-dols?by Park Hyo-Jae(firstname.lastname@example.org) | Sep 26, 2013
Aged idols = Adult idols = A-dols
Aged idols, also known as the adult idols (A-dols) has recently been gaining much popularity. Idols who once competed with cuteness may have aged, but now, the fact that they are A-dols isn’t something to hide but it is used as a material for publicity. A-dols can boast their experience and sexiness, which also means more opportunities to expand their fan base.
“We are quite ripe”
The 4-member girl group Brown Eyed Girls who enraptured their fans with the song “Abracadabra” and the ‘arrogance dance,’ doesn’t hide the fact that they have been in the music scene for 8 years, safe to say, the longest-living girl group. Not only do they boldly display sexy concepts on stage, their qualmless high rated talks on entertainment programs easily creates a stir. On the cable channel tvN’s Taxi aired on Sept 16, when MCs asked, “What is Brown Eyed Girls’ deadily weapon?” member Narsha replied, “We are quite ripe.” Then, near the end of the program, Brown Eyed Girls and the two MCs, Kim Gura and Hong Eun Hee went to a club in Itaewon in Seoul to dance.
Besides the fans, junior singers also look up to A-dols as role-models. At an interview with the Kyunghyang Shinmun, the girl group Apink said, “We want to be a group that grows old with our fans, like Shinhwa.” Male vocal trio Honey-G who debuted recently through the audition program Superstar K4 also said, “Group Shinhwa, who’ve come this far without any changes in members, is our role model.”
The 6-member male group Shinhwa celebrated their 15th anniversary this year since their debut in March 1998. They released their 11th studio album The Classic and completed the Asia tour from Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan. Shinhwa is the only case for a dance idol group to be active for 15 years still intact with its original members.
Young idol singers are emphasizing their ‘adulthood’
Perhaps ‘A-dol’s competitive edge has been recognized. Young idol singers are emphasizing their ‘adulthood’ more and more. They try out sexy concepts and emphasize their maturity. Former Wonder Girls member Sunmi is such a case. She came back as a solo dance singer after 3 years and 7 months, attempting an image that reminds us of singer Park Ji Yoon’s famous song, “Seonginsik” (“Coming of Age Ceremony”). On stage, she dances barefoot, wearing a bodysuit that almost appears as an undergarment revealing her legs in the most sensual way. Her solo debut title “24 Hours” sings, “24 hours is not enough. When I touch you and you touch me…” When you think of the lively and cute Wonder Girls, Sunmi’s transformation is unconventional.
Recently, making appearances on talk shows and on programs intended for adult viewers are a kind of a coming-of-age ceremony to the idols. The cable channel tvN’s adult comedy program SNL Korea has become a passageway to become an A-dol. For instance, the girl group 4Minute made an appearance with a sexy and comical concept, while Seungri of Big Bang presented adult humor on SNL Korea.
Entertainment management agency Sidus HQ where Park Jaebum, one of the fixed member of SNL Korea, is associated with, has even put the rookie girl group 2eyes as one of the crew as well.
On MBC talk show Radio Star, aired on Sept 4, Kang Ji-young of the girl group Kara, confessed to having watched an x-rated movie when she was still under age. She said, “I watched it alone at home, then with my family, and even with my friends.” When MCs mentioned the x-rated Korean movie My PS Partner she replied, “That’s not that erotic isn’t it?” and laughed in embarrassment.
Park Hyunsik of the boy group Children of Empire, a.k.a ZE:A, is showing a process of becoming a man through MBC’s reality-variety show A Real Man. He has been appealing his manly image by making hard efforts to adapt to various military environments without any complaint. Through the show, he caused quite a stir and raised his as well as his groups awareness in Korea.
He also appeared on the cable channel tvN’s Taxi on Sept 23. When he was asked who his ideal woman was, he immediately replied, “Amanda Seyfried is Perfect! Charming and perfect! did you see her singing and playing guitar? It’s to die for!”
”Sexy code has become a trend on its own”
The changes in fandom, the broadcast environment, etc., were considered as possible reasons to why the adult image has become such an emphasis to idols.
Kim Sun Hwa, the head of the public relations at Sidus HQ, commented, “Sexy code has become a trend on its own. In the past, public in general felt uncomfortable towards idols using adult humor or sexy concepts, but now it’s at a point where such things are acceptable to some degree.”
The decrease in the influence of the record industry and the music program with the introduction of cable channels, is one reason why the constraint on expressions have weakened. Choi Chang Hyuk, the managing director of Sidus HQ stated, “Mysterious concept doesn’t work anymore. This isn’t the era where hundred thousands to millions of albums are sold. The more the people know about us and like us, the better it is for us.”
On the other hand, there are concerns of sensationalism becoming too dominant. Ryu Jae Hyun, the manager of the agency Star Empire where ZE:A is associated with said, “Perhaps idols come out with unconventional and provocative concepts because there are not much to show on variety programs.”
“the by-product of excessive competition”
Lee Dae Hwa, the music critic stated, “It’s become harder to expect distinguished music, because the album industry has transformed into producing digital singles from producing albums.” He added, “As the circulation cycle of trends shortens, the impression that emphasizing unconventional concept is the best way to survive seem to be strong.” He also pointed out that this trend is the by-product of excessive competition in the music industry.
[Special Feature] Song Hits when Dance Hits?by Park Hyo-Jae(email@example.com) | Sep 20, 2013
Idol group’s code for success has changed.
A ‘hook song,’ song with short chorus with repetitive melody, is not enough, but the choreography needs to make an imprint on the public.
The wind of dance that has been calm for a while since Wonder Girls’ “Tell Me,” is blowing again. In fact, it started when Kara’s hip dance made a sensational hit in the summer of 2009 from their song, “Mister.” In the same year, Brown Eyed Girls continued the heat with the ‘arrogance dance’ from “Abracadabra,” which this year received attention again when Psy borrowed the move for “Gentleman.”
Choreography of idol groups has been much more diverse in recent years. T-ara lead the retro dance fever with hustle and disco from “Roly Poly” and “Lovey Dovey,” while After School performed high technique pole dance in “First Love.” Rookie girl group Wassup grabbed attention by grafting twerking, an African-American street dance, into their choreography. Twerking or a ‘hip shaking dance,’ is a type of dancing in which the dancer, shakes one’s hips in an up-and-down bouncing motion. Wassup’s music video as well as their practice clip was quite a topic on You Tube when it was released.
Boy group Teen Top adopted ‘free step,’ a b-boy dance where you move your feet ceaselessly, in their newest track “Rocking.” A formal Wonder Girls member Sunmi combined modern dance moves in her new solo single, “24 Hours.”
As such, it appears that the focus of popular music is expanding from ‘listening’ to ‘performing.’ There’s an analysis that the means of embracing music has been changed since the development of video-sharing website You Tube or SNS, etc. Han Dongyoon, a public music critic, commented, “There are many video clips that copy idol group’s dance, to the point that there’s ‘K-pop cover dance,’ which is almost a kind of a genre overseas.”
Such flow is in mesh with Idol group’s preference to retro disco music or electronic dance music. Han added, “Idols usually perform dance music. They have tendency to perform difficult choreography to appeal to the public by differentiating them from other singers.”
Entertainment agencies grapple with creating distinguished choreography as much as producing good music. Thus attempts to differentiate from standard idol dance routines of perfectly angled choreography can be visible. Baek Soo-Won, public relations manager of TOP Media, agency for Teen Top, stated, “Characteristic of Teen Top’s performance, also known as the levitation dance, is the ‘busy’ choreography that offers no time to rest. We thought that a flashy foot movement of free step would make a different impression than other idol’s ‘knife-like’ perfectly angled choreography.”
Orange Caramel, a unit from After School steer passed the knife-like dance routine by creating a new character. Their strong point is the concept that suggests characters from animations through comic hand motions and exaggerated face expressions.
“There are many video clips that copy idol group’s dance, to the point that there’s ‘K-pop cover dance,’ which is almost a kind of a genre overseas.”
Public’s eye-level heightened with more variety of dance moves. Bae YoonJung, the leader of Yama & Hot Chicks choreographers said, “You can’t compete with just point choreography that makes certain motions stand.” Choi Sun Hee, the leader of Switch choreographers, and who designed Wassup’s choreography said, “Not only point choreography, but the routine needs to fit with the whole flow of the song naturally. It is also important to define the group’s characteristics.” The two selected choreography from EXOs “Wolf,” which projected a tree, and Teen Tops free steps, as one of the best choreography with high degree of perfection.
However, emphasizing differentiation can cause side effects, such as injuries and suggestiveness of sexuality. It took 7 months for After School members to learn basic pole dance techniques. And it was common for them to have bruises on their thighs and legs. Public relations director Woo Young-Seung from their agency Pledis said, “The members went through a lot and it took a long time to create the choreography. There was also a lot of pressure because After School was known as the performer group from showing marching band, tap dance, etc. since their debut.”
Sexually suggestive content is also an old controversial issue to solve. For example, pole dance has a strong impression of being an American strip dancers dance in Korea, which is why there were disputes of right and wrong when After School first presented it.
Particularly, twerking has been regarded as a degrading dance that’s sexually provocative in America. There was a case where dozens of students were suspended from high school for creating a clip of them twerking in San Diego.
On this, Bae YoonJung commented, “There’s a tendency to perceive dances sexually when you spread your legs or shake your bottoms even just a little bit. But if that’s the case you can’t express dance freely. I hope people see dance as a form of a genre.” Regarding Wassup for attempting twerking she said, “I believe that the attempt itself is meaningful because it’s difficult to make the bounce happen with a physically different structured body from the African-Americans.”
Thursday, 7 November 2013
Trouble Maker showcase their live singing ability on Cultwo Show, check out their performance below
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
2AM member Jo Kwon revealed that Sun's daughter looks like her mother, especially when it comes to her wide forehead.
On the November 6th broadcast of KBS Cool FM's "Jo Jung Chi and Ha Rim's 2 O'clock Show," Jo Kwon appeared as a guest and stated, "Sunye's daughter has the same wide forehead as her mother."
On the show Jo Kwon said, "Sun recently gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She's pretty." When asked who the baby resembles, he answered, "I think she has her mother's wide forehead. She resembles all the pretty parts of her face."
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He continued, "Sun decided to go with a homebirth, and gave birth to a healthy daughter. She's very healthy and currently doing very well."
Wonder Girls member Sun married a Korean-American missionary named James Park. She gave birth to their lovely daughter on October 17th in Canada, where she is currently living with her husband.
Photo credit: Sun's Twitter
Kpop brainwashing songs? Don't be scared. Kpop brainwash songs are going to turn you into a political assassin or change your faith or religion. Kpop brainwash songs are songs that have a line that repeats so many times that the melody gets stuck in your head.
Brainwashing songs were introduced in 2009, when Korean pop girl group Kara released their hit "Wanna." They were an extension of the "hook" song.
At the time, Kara explained "It's not a certain word repeating, but rather, it's a sentence repeating which makes the song sound more monotonous. But as the song goes on, as opposed to the lyric, the melody will change. They try to come up with new dance routine for every performance in order to enhance the addictive lyrics."
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In Kara's hit "Wanna," the phrase "It's you I love" is repeated more than 30 times to enhance its "ultimate addictiveness."
4Minute's "Mirror Mirror" is absolutely Mesmerizing
FX's Rum Pum Pum Pum will have you dancing along like you have no choice.
You will love The Wonder Girls more than money in "Like Money"
Girls' Generation's Galaxy Supernova will blast you into outer space.
Special Mention: While it is not exactly a brainwash song because Andamiro is not singing a phrase, in her breakthrough hit, "Hypnotize," she sings the word hypnotize 41 times. If you don't think that's enough to brainwash someone into loving a song, why was it such a big dance hit?