Bolbbalgan4

Watching “Weekly idol” is a great way to get to know new… well, idols :).
Bolbbalgan4 is a duo, a great duo of two slightly awkward, young women who really know how to write songs and perform them.
Woo Ji-yoon plays the guitar and bass guitar, she also raps and sings back-vocals while Ahn Ji-young provides the main ones.
The studio version and the live ones that I’ve heard are really good and they are not signed to one of the big companies so good for them for making it.
I must say that a little part of my affection for these two, derives from the fact that they do not dance.
As much as watching your idols dance on stage when singing is fun and cool, it is also very hard for the singer.
For me, it spoils part of the fun of listening, since you can never know if the show could have been better, had the singer been standing in one spot instead of dancing.
Other than that, I don’t know how to dance so it makes me really relate to these two and love them ever better for it :D.

Here’s the horribly cute video of “Tell me you love me”.
My absolute favorite part of this song, is the modulation that comes strangely and surprisingly enough at the end of the song.

Here is a live performance of the same song.

Posted in 2017, B, Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Kang Dae-sung or Daesung or D-Lite (Big bang)

When I was in high-school, I had a classmate who was always smiling.
I’ve met her again, about two years ago in a class reunion and when I’ve told her that I remember her always laughing, she said:”If only you knew how much pain was behind my smile.”

When I first started watching “Big bang” interviews, I thought that Daesung was ugly.
I’ve watched the documentary which was made before their debut and Daesung was this thin kid with bad skin and a high voice.
He seemed to be very timid and introvert and he told a story about his dad that made me think that he had a very hard time at home.
Smiling means “I am friendly and mean no harm. Please love me.” but it also means “There is nothing wrong, see? I am smiling so all is well.”
The fact that he was always smiling, to the point where he freaked out G-dragon and made T.O.P annoyed, gave me the impression that he was used to hiding his feeling from others and dealing with his problems on his own.

This feeling was confirmed after I’ve watched other videos and interviews with the group, in which they’ve admitted that although Daesung is someone that is a good listener and they can speak with him about eberything, they know him the least.

What’s more, the narrator of the “Big bang” documentary, had no problem with telling the audience that YG’s employees used to refer to Daesung as the ugly kid.
I don’t know what kind of self esteem Daesung had at that point but I’m sure that it wasn’t much fun, knowing that people thought of him as ugly.
On the other hand though, the narrator also said that right from the beginning, Daesung was the most popular member of the group among the fan girls.
My guess is that it was his smile.
Daesung said on “Come to play” that he was told that he was chosen to be a YG trainee because of his smile but I find that hard to believe, considering his great voice and his dancing talent.

I watched other shows and interviews and as time passed, I found that Daesung was one of these rare people who becomes really attractive with time, without changing anything about his facial features.
In my family, we call these kind of people – The beautiful uglies.
These are people who might not have perfect features but they have this magic and charm that makes them irresistible when you watch them.
They become beautiful and attractive.

What makes Daesung so attractive?
He has a great voice, he’s a great dancer, he knows how to play the drums and that makes him really cool, singing while drumming is not as easy as he makes it look.
He is a really funny guy and a brilliant comic, I would love to see him acting in a movie or a series (I’m just about to start watching “What’s up”, so stay tuned for the review :)).
Apart from all of these, he has no problem laughing at his own expense, which I adore.
As T.O.P mentioned in an early video, Daesung likes to read and I am a librarian so yes, he gets extra points for expanding his mind :* .
Last but not least, I love him dearly because from what I’ve seen, he is the only member of “Big bang” who didn’t do anything to him face, surgically wise.
You can argue but it’s obvious that Seungri, Taeyang, T.O.P and G-dragon had different noses when they were younger.
It’s also obvious that although they don’t look so different from what they’ve looked like before, they still look much better.
Daesung looks almost the same as he did in the debut videos with one big difference though, he has a killer body now.
He didn’t fix his nose or his teeth, he took good care of his skin so it looks smooth and amazing now and he worked out.

I know that he had problem with his voice and was plagued by stage fright because of it.
I know that after his accident, he locked himself in his dorm room and didn’t want to see anyone. He admitted that he thought of ending his life.
G-dragon said that Daesung is the kind of person who will never take the credit when things go well but will always blame himself when things go badly, Taeyang said that Deasung is wise beyond his years, T.O.P said that Daesung is very smart, Seungri said that Daesung is like a grandmother, always worrying and taking care of group members.

I don’t know what Daesung thinks of himself but I suspect that he is still his worst critic.
It’s obvious that he is a very hard worker but when he talks of his skills he always makes them seem less than they are, saying that he can’t really dance and that his voice is humble and weak.

Hi there Daesung, you are a great dancer, you have an amazing voice, your drumming kicks ass.
You are smart, so smart that you are the only one of Big bang who doesn’t have an account on any of the social platforms and so you save yoursel from the idiocy of some people, who can’t control their desires and their tongues.
(In a recent interview to Anan Magazine, Daesung said that he did open an Instagram account at one point, just out of curiosity but never really used it because he finds little interest in experiencing life through the lens of a camera instead of looking at the real thing.
If this isn’t a smart way of living, I don’t know what is.)
You are so very funny, you can’t really learn that kind of funny… even if you claim that you’ve learned it from T.O.P.
You are not a copycat, you are the original thing with all your wrong and all of your rights.
You are beautiful, really and truly and as time goes by, you just get handsomer.

Here is Daesung, singing a 2NE1 song called “Ugly”.
I like this version because it takes courage to sing such a song when you were once considered to be the ugly kid of your group and perhaps, you still feels this way from time to time and also, this gives Daesung the chance to sing Rock and he is really good at it.

 

I added this because, well, because Daesung seems to be not only a great singer and performer but also a good support system to people, another good example (although on a different level, since these people are best friends and group mates) the way Daesung takes care of T.O.P.
Dara wanted to learn to drum, YG objected (Pfff, really. What’s up with him?) but Deasung supported and encouraged her to try.

For me, by the way, trying to stop someone from discovering his talents because… what? She is a woman, looks delicate and it can “hurt her image”? is a sign of narrow mindedness, so boo to you on this, YG.
From @daesungfishh

Daesung’s interview on Anan magazine  as translated and posted on Twitter by Marie

A snippet from Daesung’s interview with Bijin Hyakka, April 2017 edition, as translated by Twitter’s @mshinju (Marie) and scanned by Twitter’s @daefight (DaeFight_姜大声大发站) .

The full interview

DaesungPart

Daesung’s message to Big bang’s fans on the group’s 10th anniversary, as translated by Twitter’s mshinju and posted by FaceBook’s VIP Universe

Posted in 2017, Music | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Fans and the idol’s right for privacy

Fans are a fascinating subject that I intend to write more about and it’s taking me a very long time, because there are all kinds of fans and also because I have no intention to hurt anyone but I also get so angry about people who probably fancy themselves to be really devoted fans and great lovers of someone, when in fact, it is only their selfish needs that they think about.
We can start off again with T.O.P, frankly because I’ve been following his Instagram account and was exposed to quite a few fans who have lost the fine line between being a fan and being rude and shameless.

Let us begin a few months ago, when T.O.P has posted a black image with a crying smiley and a plea to some fans to please stop ringing his doorbell at night because it frightens him so.
Now, ringing someones doorbell and running away, is something that kids do, so my first assumption was that these were silly fan girls who have lost their minds and thought that bothering their favorite singer in the middle of the night is a fun thing to do.
I’m pretty sure that they didn’t mean any harm but there are fans all over the world who are obsessive and dangerous and you can never know what they will do. How are you supposed to distinguish these fans from the regular ones and assume that the ones ringing your doorbell are up to no harm?
Plus, if someone was to ring your doorbell in the middle of the night, what would you think as you stumble out of bed in your pajama and run to the door, half asleep?
“Oh, these are my cute fans, who want to see me just for a second because they love me so”? or “Oh my god, who can it be at this time of night? I hope that nothing has happened to my mother/father/sister/nephew/friends.”

If this were a one time thing, then I guess that he wouldn’t have bothered but since this went on and on, he has decided to write about it and beg them to stop.
Alas, there are fans who do not know the limit and think that because they buy CDs and show tickets, they own their idol and so they can do as they please with him and he is supposed to accept it with love.

After this has happened, I saw an old post about GD, who was stalked by some fans at his house and was so frightened, that he fell down.
My guess is that these fans, thought that it was really funny and cute and perhaps even managed to snap a few photos of him.

One day after T.O.P’s plea, Gd’s private Instagram account was hacked into and fans actually shared his private photos.
Fans… perhaps ‘fans’ is not the right word anymore?
After than, there was much talk about privacy and the right that these idols have to it and the need to respect it on-line and in RL.
Quite a few fan Instagram accounts, have announced that they were not going to share GD’s private photos and there was a hunt after the ones who did.
Not all fans are alike, some of them really respect and love their idols but some think of themselves as fans but think only of themselves.

T.O.P has enlisted to the army on the 9th, he posted many images of himself before, to please his fans and say goodbye and then after he has chosen to enlist secretly, without fans nor media activities before, he said that he wants his enlistment to be low-key and quiet and so he asks the fans understanding even if he goes without saying goodbye.
That very same night, when I checked my Instagram account, I was greeted by a photo of fans and at least one camer crew, waiting for T.O.P at the training military base.

I went to bed angry and then got up to images and videos of lonely T.O.P, all wrapped up in a long coat, the hood pulled over his face, walking all alone.

This was not a documentation of someone who wants to meet other people but of someone who wants to have his privacy, just as he has asked.

I well remember this moment of saying goodbye and getting on the bus, as one of the saddest and scariest moments of my life. I was an unknown 18 year old girl.
I really don’t want to know what went through T.O.P’s mind in these moments.
You are going towards the unknown, you are surrounded by strangers, you are famous and you really don’t want to stand out more than you already do and if you are shy, sensitive, used to having you own space and someone picks on you because of these fans… I really would rather not think about it.

You really don’t want anyone to take your photo at this moment. You did ask for them not to be there and let you go in peace.
They did not respect your wishes.
For some reason, respecting your wish and privacy, wasn’t as important as getting a snapshot of you, saluting.
For some reason, flying huge helium balloons over a military base, was very important.

These idols work so hard, they go through so much for their fans. They really try to please them by doing fan service and having fan meetings, in which they have all kinds of silly games and wear all kinds of silly clothes.
When they think that they have offended someone, they apologize.
They have cameras, following them everywhere, documenting every step that they take and they are trying to always be kind to their fans, even when the fans are pushy and rude.
Where on earth, other than Asia, do fans get this kind of attention and treatment?
After being treated so kindly, they couldn’t even respect his wish and just had to be there with their balloons and cameras.
I will not even go into the fact that flying anything over a military base is a bad, bad idea.

Today, I even got to see one of these women, saying that they left everything in order when they left. As if it even matters.
Had he wanted, he could have said goodbye, there would be many fans there and also media but he wanted to enlist secretly.
So yes, he did ask you not to be there and he did it so nicely but since you wanted to “show support”, you didn’t care about what he has asked you for because, frankly, he didn’t want any fans there but obviously, since he knows you so well, he wouldn’t mind if YOU were there.
Let’s face it, you wanted to be there so that you will have photos to share with the people on your fan page. You wanted to be the one who will update other people as to how it was and then people might think that you are really lucky to be there and you will feel good about having such a close imaginary relationship with your idol.
For shame. what were these disrespectful women thinking? What’s for sure is that they weren’t thinking of T.O.P at all.

Saying all this, there are also great fans.
Fans who will not spread photos of T.O.P as he didn’t want to be seen, fans who miss him and not because they can’t leave comments on his posts, in hope of getting noticed, fans who respect his privacy.

T.O.P fans are facing criticism for their senseless gifts

T.O.P and Kim Junsu enlist

T.O.P warns fans not to ring his doorbell at night

Fans stalk GD at his house

Posted in 2017, Reflexions | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

T.O.P and the army

In Two more days, T.O.P will return to being Choi Seung-hyun again and enlist to the army.
I will say a few words about this because what I see online, regarding this, makes me unhappy.

T.O.P is the first one of his group to enlist so his enlistment marks the first of Four other enlistments and the end of “Big bang” performances as a group for a few years.
It’s really a big, big thing for a group like “Big bang”, who has millions of fans all over the world and has been so active and famous and of course, it’s a big deal for the fans.
The other members will be busy for a while with their solo careers, there are Three new CDs due from Taeyang, GD and Seungri, and Daesung is to perform in Japan.
From this year on, each member of Big bang will enlist to the army when his time comes.

As one who has served Two years in the army, in an army group, I can say that enlisting is not great fun but it’s not a big tragedy either, especially if you know what you are going to do as a soldier.
I enlisted when I was 18, T.O.P is 30.
There is a huge difference between a carefree 18 year old, who has just finished high-school and has no responsibilities and a guy who has a blooming career and millions of fans.
He has his routine that has been going on for years and years and now, he has to give it up.
Change is scary, especially as you get older, and with the tension between South and North Korea, it’s logical to be worried and afraid.
It’s also logical that if he walks around the streets of Seoul as a cop, he will get some attention that might make his service a bit more difficult than the other cops.
He might be worried about what will happen when he comes back, since fans love can be fickle, although there are so many fans who love him and will be waiting for him.
He is also obviously emotional these days.
So what am I angry about?
I’m angry about the people who treat him like a poor baby who is just about to break down.
I am angry at the fans who love him so much but don’t give him one ounce of credit for being a grownup, who will do his duty and do it well.
He is 30 years old, he has managed his affairs very well, he is very smart and capable and there is no doubt that he might get lonely and even sad or scared because he is only human, but he will manage.
He is not going to the ends of the world, he is going to be in Seoul and so, I’m sure that he will have at least few opportunities to see group members, friends and family. He will not be all alone.
Since T.O.P will be busy with training and doing his job, the people who will suffer most are the people waiting for him and not him, so please, stop the pity fest.

Other than this, I really cringed when I read people getting excited over the photos and videos of him crying during a show.
It’s not amusing, it’s not tragic either. He is emotional, just let him be.

People have said that since he has a history of depression, it’s evident that he will be depressed over enlisting and I say, if he is depressed, you are only making it worst by harping on an on about it and weeping on his Instagram page.
If he is depressed, he needs your love and support, not your constant reminders of what is soon to be.
Encourage him, don’t make him feel like this is the end of the world.

T.O.P has decided to enlist privately, without greeting the fans or media.
I think that considering the way fans are reacting to his enlistment, it’s a very wise choice and who needs all of these cameras in his face?
For once he will be where cameras are not allowed, such a relief.
I’m pretty sure that there will be fans waiting for him all the same, because fans do as they please.
I will miss this unique individual for the time that he will not post and will wait for his return.
Be safe, wonderful T.O.P, my ears will miss your special voice.

The Nonsan training camp winter schedule

T.O.P’s army enlistment, service and discharge schedule

Posted in 2017, Reflexions | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

I am Sam or A-i Em Saem (2007)

Jang Yi-san is a geeky, a bit slow, timide and full of good intentions school teacher at the problematic classroom 8.
Shin So-yi is an art teacher at the same school.
She likes Yi-san and he likes her but since they are both rather timide and slow, it takes forever for them to manage a date.
Yoo Eun-byul is the daughter of Yoo Jae-gon, the head of a gangster organization.
Despite her father’s wishes that she gets a good education, studying is not her first, second or third priority and she drives all of her private tutors away.
Eun-byul has had it with her private tutors who suck up to her, she wishes that there was someone who will not treat her nicely just because of her father.
Enters Yi-san, who is taking a walk with So-yi one evening and wants to show her how much he cares about today’s youth.
The couple bumps into Eun-byul, as she sits on a park bench after having a fight with her father and leaving the house in anger.
She is holding a cigarette butt that she’s found on the ground so Yi-san thinks that she is going to smoke it.
He tells her off and also warns her against staying alone outside at such a late hour.
Eun-byul asks him to walk her home (since it’s late and so dangerous outside) and then asks him for some money.
Yi-san assumes that she is a runaway and tries to help her out.
When she returns home, she tells her father that she has decided to study again.
The next day, Yi-san returns home after a long and tiring day and discovers to his dismay, that all of his stuff is gone.
He is then being escorted to Eun-byul’s house by Jae-gon’s, and there, he is being forced to let her be a student in his class and become her live-in tutor in exchange for one million dollars that he will be payed once Eun-byul graduates.
He is being told that if he doesn’t teach her properly or treats her badly, he will die.
Since it’s a matter of life or death, he really has no choice but to agree.
Other than having to live with his student, he also teacher her in his classroom when she becomes a student in his school.
While Eun-byul’s develops a crush on her teacher, her father wants her to get married to Kim Woo-jin, his right-hand man, who has known her ever since she was a kid and is in love with her.
Chae Moo-shin is a quiet student, from a poor home with an alcoholic father.
He has become a legend after beating up 30 troublesome students from a rival school and is known to be violent when being hit.
Despite his tough and somewhat unstable and crazy image and his involvement in fights and shady business, Moo-shin has a gentle side and he helps and protects his friend and classmate Han Tae-sung.
After Eun-byul slaps Moo-sin and after he saves her from the gang that he fought with and won, he starts liking her.
Min Sa-kang has a sick brother and she has to work to support herself, since her mother doesn’t have much money.
She is a tough kid who, studies hard, in hope of having a better future for herself and her family.
Sa-kang likes Moo-shin but suspects that he likes Eun-byul.
Despite their different backgrounds, Eun-byul and Sa-kang become friends.
Heo Mo-se is the principal’s son, all the girls are in love with him but he has his eye on Eun-byul.
Yi-san is too awkward to make his move on So-yi and misses every chance when his new, strange and uncomfortable arrangement with Eul-bul gets in the way and he has to lie and miss dates.
Ji Sun-Hoo is the new, hunky school doctor who is interested in So-yi.
He was once part of a boy group but a mysterious accident, made it impossible for him to continue in his idol career.
Sun-hoo is always there to advice and comfort So-yi as she gets disappointed time and again and becomes distrustful of Yi-san.
So-yi’s introduces Yi-san to her domineering father but after Yi-san has to help Moo-shin pay off a debt, and is forced (by Eun-byul) to use all of his savings to do so, he has no money left to buy a house and provide for his future wife.
Things get more and more complicated as suspicious students start to investigate about the teacher and his student relationship, mobsters try to hurt Eun-byul and Jae-gon decides to marry Eun-byul off to Mr Kim and send her to study in the states.

The main problem with this series is that the idea is a good one – a teacher who is forced to live with his student because of her gangster dad. Sounds like lots of fun, right?
Well, other than the fact that it takes forever and a day for anything interesting to happen, when something finally happens, it is not worth the wait.
The teacher is very slow, I don’t know who accepted him as a teacher. He can’t possibly handle a class of wild teenagers.
He lies and lies when he can easily just trust the woman that he loves and tell her the truth.
This could have prevented so many misunderstandings. I mean, you don’t live with your student because you want to but because you were forced to and you fear for your life.
So-yi must be a really trusting woman, up to the point of stupidity.
Taking your boyfriends word when when he breaks off date after date is one thing but when he introduces you to his father, who is only about ten years older than he is, is another thing altogether.
Is she blind?
Introducing someone who disappoints you so many times, to your parents is a strange decision.
Moo-shin could have been a great character but he hardly gets any lines and it’s unclear why he has decided to like Eun-byul.
As for the gangster’s child, she wanted someone who will not suck up to her out of fear and is then busy, trying to change him and turn him into someone who will suck up to her.
The whole thing is very badly written. Just for example:
Sa-kang and Moo-shin have a clever plan to help Yi-san and Eun-byul meet but if Yi-san’s visit and race around the house was so spontaneous, how did Sa-kang and Moo-shin manage to be there at the right time, to fool everyone?
How and when did Mrs Hong decide to betray her employers trust and help Eun-byul ran away with her teacher and how did Sa-Kang and Moo-shin know about it?
Such a plan can work, only if everyone involved, knows about it ahead of time.
They say that a pistol that appears in the first act, fires in the third one but alas, despite the knowledge that Sun-hoo had a nasty “accident” that ended his career as a member of a boy-band and despite the fact that he told So-yi that he has received a phone call from the person who did it, who was perhaps a member of his boy-band, we don’t hear anything else about it, so why is it even part of the story?
What’s the point of telling us a useless detail about a character? It didn’t make me feel closer to him, it didn’t make him seem real, he didn’t get to sing or perform (apart from one, tiny bit) and the “accident” was made to be so mysterious that the audience must think that this mystery will be solved at the end, but it’s not.
The whole complication between Moo-shin and the police detective and the way in which it was solved, was really silly.
In short, this was a very slow torture.
I have nothing against Yang Dong-geun, he played his part well but sadly, he talks so slowly and so lazily that it made it almost impossible for me to watch the series.
I thought that perhaps, he was speaking this way because of the part and started watching another series of his, just to discover that this is indeed the way he naturally speaks.
No offence, perhaps it’s just me but it was hard to bare after a while.
I’ve watched this show because I wanted to see T.O.P’s debut series but he had such a tiny part and spent most of the time being silent and brooding.
Lee Min-ho was amusing and I was surprised and sad to see that Park Chae-kyung, who plays Sa-kang, didn’t take any acting jobs since 2007.
Favorite moment 1 – Moo-shin gives Eun-byul one his earrings.
Favorite moment 2 – Yi-san and Kim Woo-jin have to sleep together in the living room.
Favorite moment 3 – The students make a touching surprise for their absent Saem.

Posted in 2007 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Puberty: between winter and spring or Spring to winter or 사춘기 : 겨울과 봄 사이

This is a short musical movie, release by AKMU in January 2017, to promote their full album Spring Vol. 2.
The film shows an imaginary scenario in which the brother and sister fight and decide to part ways.
Chan-hyuk decides to shoot a new music video with the first person who passes by and is captured in the lens of his camera and Su-hyun wanders off and finds a handsome boy that she thinks that she likes.
The movies has snippets of their new album and is just sweet and funny but also a bit scary and weird.
Chan-hyuk is to enlist to the army right after AKMU’s comeback, I’m sure that Su-hyun will have no problem finding people to sing with but I will miss these two until they get back together again.

Here is the link to the short movie, I’m only posting it here because the movie was uploaded to AKMU’s official YouTube channel.
Watch the movie, buy the CD, they are a wonderful duo.

Posted in 2017, W | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trick & True

A panel of celeb guests sit and watch as acts are being performed for them on stage, by magicians or scientists.
They have to guess if what they see are magic tricks or a scientific principle.
Once guessed, the right answer is being revealed, as well as an explanation behind the principle or magic trick.
It’s a great show for kids and adults alike.

Posted in 2016, T | Tagged , | Leave a comment