Category Archives: Music

The Emperors Have Returned!

SHINHWA IS BACK, BITCHES!!

And that shall count for a post.

Advertisements

Kim Hyunjoong’s Lucky Guy

My fangirl tendency for Hyunjoong is interesting. I LOVE to diss him. Not in the playful fangirly way like I diss Seunggi’s whackjob of a wardrobe, or Jung Ilwoo’s hair, or Shinhwa’s….behaviour. But Hyunjoong, sometimes I just love hating on him. Partly it’s because of his career choices that I don’t agree with, but I think it’s partly because he’s so unapologetic about them as well. Secretly, I appreciate that about him, but it also makes me, as a fan, easier to diss the hell out of him.

In all honesty, I don’t follow Hyunjoong as studiously as I used to. After Playful Kiss bombed so badly, I just fell off the loop for a bit. He took a few months break as well, only doing appearances here and there and worked on his first solo album since SS501 parted ways. Even when his solo album, Break Down, came out, I didn’t really get into it more than noting that he looked really and especially HOT for the comeback. I took a look at his MV and hated it so, whatever.

But when I saw his new look for the newest solo album, Lucky, I was floored. And I think this is the first time in a long time that I genuinely love his career move, and not ironically like I usually do.

I mean, look at THAT expression! And the suit! The necklace, the douche rings!!

With Lucky Guy, I just dig this concept so much. The MV is SOOOO campy and thus a lot of fun. I was watching it for the first time, and it just cracked me up. It’s got a entertaining story and looks great visually, but man, the dance routine and Hyunjoong’s outfits were fabulous, in every sense of the word. He’s got a collection of Vegas suits, red mismatched suit, fun stripes, animal prints, you name it.

Most of all though, I LOVE his attitude for this concept. No more brooding tough guy a la Break Down, here comes the flirty joker who loves to ‘shake it, shake it’. It’s almost like watching a trot performance, complete with a naughty wink on top.

It does help that Lucky Guy is actually a good song as well. It’s catchy and has such a different sound than anything Hyunjoong or SS501 had ever done in the past. The other songs in his Lucky album are nice as well. I would say “U” definitely borrows some melodies and beats from Bruno Mars, but this is the song I really want to see Hyunjoong live in. It’s cute and showcases his vocal well, without being too heavy. Smile is another one I like. It’s got you bobbing your head and tapping your finger.

Apparently Hyunjoong will have another album early next year and a drama on his list as well. His acting skills aside, I would actually like to see Hyunjoong play a sunnier character. His recent roles have been a)dull sunbae and b)unfeeling asshole. Why can’t he have a fun role for a change? He certainly pulled it off in Lucky Guy, who knows, he might actually do wonders with the right character. Here’s hoping!

Because Shinhwa is PRECIOUS!

So, a while ago Dreamy told me to do a little Shinhwa pimp post. I considered doing video post but was too lazy to do it. So I just decided to do a little moving picture post cos they’re easier and I already have lots on my Shinhwa folder.

Disclaimer: these are NOT made by me. I found all of them online.

Commence SPAM! Sorry, but I won’t put these under a cut. Cos Shinhwa is too preshyuussss.

Eric

Minwoo

Dongwan

Hyesung

Junjin

Andy

Random


Hwangbo’s New Single: I’m Still Beautiful

I was going to make a post of this yesterday, but I ended up being too pumped up for Eric’s return last night. But I just want to post this today.

Hwangbo came out with a new single on Friday in Korea titled I’m Still Beautiful. I was keeping an eye on it and was really excited to see the music video being released along with the single. Can I just say I’m SO happy that she didn’t go with the current trend of heavy autotuning? I was sort of expecting that cos everyone does it these days, but it’s really nice to see a ballad from Hwangbo. While she’s not a really strong singer, I love that she’s experimenting with different types of music everytime she releases a song.

She did Pop RnB with her first album Lady in Black (which I LOVE!!), then of course the tectonic Get Hot, the euro trance Arisong, and now the slower track I’m Still Beautiful. Get Hot and Arisong are two catchy numbers, but you could barely hear her real voice. This time, not only the song is really catchy (definitely more catchy than Mature, which admittedly I thought was a little bland) but you actually hear her voice.

The fact that the video is so beautiful is the icing on the cake. The video itself is really simple, it’s basically just Hwangbo erasing her make up and putting them again. But I don’t know why, it’s just so compelling, Hwangbo’s facial expressions makes me transfixed till the end. I’ve embedded the video below if you want to see the MV. Hope she’s doing rounds of promotions soon! Can’t wait to see her out and about.

Hot Potato Seesaw Concert

Undoubtedly the hottest news of Kim C this week is the fact that he’s leaving the show 1 Night 2 Days after 3 years to focus on his music and his career. This is a really brave decision considering that 1N2D is the hottest show at the moment and has been for a while now. Kim C himself has admitted that variety shows is rewarding financially and not only that, through the show, he and his band became more known to the public. Even if people don’t know Hot Potato, chances are they know Kim C, that quiet member on that famous show.

I did not hear any rumour of Kim C leaving which is why when I read the news, it was doubly shocking. The thing is, he is the one member whose appearance outside 1N2D is the rarest. With Kang Hodong, Eun Jiwon, MC Mong, Lee Sugeun, and Kim Jongmin, they all have at least one other show aside from 1N2D. And Lee Seunggi, dude is EVERYWHERE. But Kim C? Other than 1N2D (and previously Invincible Baseball), he comes out pretty much once in a blue moon, during promotion time. Currently, he is also doing a stage play called Sanai Watanabe, but most of us international fans are not privy to that.

All I kept thinking is how can we see Kim C in the future without this weekly dose of appearance? I realize that given Kim C’s reason of leaving is to further himself in music, this is a pretty selfish thought. But I’m sure many Kim C fans think that way. And to be critical here, I wonder, how would Hot Potato fare without the constant exposure of Kim C through the show? When Confession was first played in 1N2D, I read messages that asked who is the singer of that song. Without 1N2D as one medium of promotion, how will Hot Potato do?

Coincidentally, Hot Potato was having its Seesaw concert right this weekend. It seems like a good opportunity to hear confirmation from the person himself. But I wasn’t sure if he would even broach the subject. Plus, even if he did, there’s no guarantee I can understand. Language barrier sucks. And man, the first thing I saw when I got to the concert hall was a bouquet from the 1N2D team.

Anyways, the concert was held in Samsung Hall of Ehwa University. Compared to the venue LIG Arthall for the Indie Series concert, this is a bigger place. But still, by big I mean around 400-500 people. Too bad they didn’t give out the concert rundown like last time because I honestly can’t remember the order of the songs or even ALL the songs sung. The concert was packed and last time I checked tickets were sold out. What remains the same is the proportion of gender attending the concert. I can say, it was probably 90% female that Kim C actually singled out the few men in the audience to sing Confession.

The concert started around 6 with a little video from Seesaw MV and the band actually dressed up for the occasion! They all came out wearing suits. Even the mohawk drummer (always my favourite) put on a white ensemble which was mostly hidden behind his drum sets. He’s got an amazing energy, this guy.

If you’ve listened to Seesaw, you know that the majority of the album consists of instrumental numbers. And amazingly, they brought along a team of string players to cater to the sound. They even start with an instrumental, W Theme, if I’m not mistaken, with Go Bumjoon playing the melodies.

Because I can’t quite give chronological song performances, I’m just gonna put up the songs that I THINK were played.

In no particular order:

  • 4th album: (basically the first 6 songs in the album) 따르릉, 도마뱀 (Lizard), 비 눈물 (Rain Tears), 생각 (Thought), 수학이 좋다 (I Like Math), and 소라를 줍는 여정 (Journey to Pick up Shells).
  • Seesaw album: Seesaw Main Theme, W Theme, 고백 (Confession), 빈방 (Empty Room), and Seesaw.
  • 2nd album: 맛좀 봐라, *maybe* 풋사과 (Green Apple), 아이러니 (Irony), 잡담 (Gossip/Chat), 서울 기러기, Bless Me.
  • 3rd album: 봄바람 따라간 여인 (Lovers Who Follow the Spring Wind), 좌절금지 (Frustration is Forbidden), 청춘 (Youth).

Some of the highlight performances are:

  • Journey to Pick up Shells, simply because this is one of my favourite Hot Potato songs. This is the first singing song they played, which was a little baffling actually cause this is a somber and slower song, definitely not one to up your energy. But nevertheless, it started strong IMO because I just love this song, hehe.
  • Confession, I’m surprised at the amount of popularity this song manages to garner. It’s not SNSD popularity of course, but for such a low profile band, this is pretty huge. But it’s a fantastic song to start with! Audience sang along to Confession together and this is the moment that I stopped feeling bad about his exit from 1N2D because Kim C looked really happy. His love for music is obvious and if he leaves to do what he loves, then I’m glad.
  • Remember I said about the band wearing suits? Well, halfway the concert, Kim C took off his suit (in private, mind you) and changed to a little white Tee. The Tee he actually wore to the Indie Series concert (unless dude has multiple stocks of that Tee). So in the end, he performed in just Tee and pants, as per usual, lol.
  • To be honest, I couldn’t understand most of the talk time. Kim C did not specifically talk about 1N2D, but he did mention that he wants to always make music with Hot Potato and that they have a long way from here, or something like that. I wish I recorded this so someone can translate it.
  • It’s so funny to witness fangirlism in a Hot Potato concert. Yes, you read right, Mr Casanova’s got admirers. I was sitting next to 3 girls who were so…responsive, lol. When everyone else was clapping, these girls were clapping AND dancing in their seats. They were giggling when Kim C came out and when everyone started standing up (nearing the end), these girls were shakin it and jumpin up and down.
  • 맛좀 봐라 seems to be Hot Potato’s favourite Encore song because it gives Kim C a reason to get wild on stage, hahaha. Despite his gentle  image on 1N2D, I think Mong is right. Kim C’s the wildest of em all. Rocker dad and all.


This concert was a lot of fun. Kim C’s talk sessions really reflect himself. Singers usually keep the talks upbeat and full of encouragement. But Kim C’s talks are quiet, sometimes awkward, and retrospective because he really does take his time to think before speaking. The room would just fall silent as audience waits for Kim C to form his words.

And Kim C is bashful whenever someone yells out praises like ‘You’re so cool’ or ‘You’re so handsome’. But he doesn’t say thank you to those, but he would playfully reply with stuff like ‘You guys are such fools’. But the recent appearance of Hot Potato in Yoo Heeyeol’s Sketchbook and the latest 1N2D episode prove otherwise because he basically concludes that he’s NOT bad looking at all, lols.

The atmosphere was so different than Indie Series concert. I heard that the Indie concert was sort of shoved in their way so I guess they were just performing because they had to. But in this concert, the energy felt so different. Kim C seemed to be wearing his happy pants (and I believe dude was chugging down beer on stage too, lols); he smiled a lot and engaged the audience more. I’m sorry for the choppy write up, and I can’t say any more than: It was an awesome show!!

Hot Potato’s Indie Series Concert

Unfortunately no picture. At all.

Wish I can take pictures of Sir Casanova Milky Skin, but alas, it was really not possible for me.

I learned about the concert around late last month when I started fiddling around with Korean fan cafes. You would not believe how crushed I was when I learned the concert was sold out. Hot Potato is perhaps one of my favourites Korean musicians and whose song I have on constant repeat in my Ipod. I like all singer-members in 1 Night 2 Days, but music wise, I gravitate toward Kim C/Hot Potato’s music the most. So, a Hot Potato’s concert was on my list even before I got here.

I visited the ticketing website more than 10 times a day hoping that a seat might suddenly pop up out of cancellation. On a lucky midnight (my ticket even says the ordering time 00:35 lol), I saw about 15 seats opened up. I couldn’t care less if I was placed on the back of the 2nd floor seating, I just had to get a seat!

So imagine my euphoria when I saw there were empty seats on the front and 2nd row!! OMG, man, seriously, I thought I was gonna die from spazzing too much. So I picked a center seat on the 2nd row and couldn’t sleep that night because I was grinning ear to ear.

Learning from the mistakes I made when attending SS501 concert, I did my due dilligence before the concert. It’s true that I am more familiar with Hot Potato’s songs, but I still couldn’t recognize individual songs and put a title on them. So I got myself memorizing the titles of the songs and stuff. It’s so ironic that when I got to the concert, we were given the rundown of what songs the band would perform. LOL. So my Name That Hot Potato Songs game wasn’t necessary after all.

This concert serves as a complete contrast to the SS501 concert I attended before. Whereas Persona was held in a venue that seats probably 20,000 people, Hot Potato’s concert seats around 200 people. What a difference, huh? Upon entering the venue, I was actually struck at just how small it is. There was no stage, basically the band performed on the floor. There was no fence separating the artists and the audience. Sir Casanova Milky Skin was at most five meters away from my seat (I can vouch for his milky skin now). It was only slightly bigger than the venue of Jung Ilwoo’s Beautiful Sunday play. Persona was full of yelling fangirls, and even tho the overwhelming majority of Hot Potato’s audience was also female, the vocal expressions were definitely much much tamer.

But anyways, the concert started on time at 8. Kim C and Go Bumjoon came out decked in simple white T and jeans with sneakers. The rest of his bands (a young looking cutie who manned the keyboard, the drummer with mohawk and pink T, and electric guitarist with glasses) also came out similarly simple. Kim C was so awkward, man. When he came out, we cheered, and it was so cute because Kim C literally went all bashful, lol, with that embarrassed grin. He was stuttering about something before starting on the first song, 풋사과 (Green Apple?) out of their 2nd album, New Turn (LOVE this album, btw!).

Can I just say, flawless vocal? Damn, Kim C live is something everyone’s gotta listen to. I would have preferred if they started with a more popular song, but it was a good warm up song.

The 2nd song was 도마뱀 (Lizard) from The journey of cultivating a potato field, 4th album. Great electric guitar piece here. And Kim C’s voice was so clear and dreamy, man..

Without stopping, the band launched into 봄바람 따라간 여인 (Lovers Who Follow the Spring Wind) from 3rd album, Yearly Diary. Love the husky element of vocal of this song. Another great electric guitar company.

If my memory serves me right, after this is a little intermezzo and talk time. Once again, say it with me, language barrier SUCKS! This is what I gathered. He talked about how they came to be one of the Indie Series Concert participant. He also stressed that Hot Potato is not an indie band and explained his reasonings. None of which I could understand. Sigh…

But anyways, the band’s 4th song is only one of the two songs out of their newest album Seesaw. The song is called 고백 (Confession). I have a hard time putting words to say about this song without butchering everything. It’s lovely, but it’s so much more than that. It moves your heart, it makes you smile, but it also strangely makes you feel blue. This was a great performance for a great song.

After Confession was 수학이 좋다 (Math is Good????) from 4th album. I swear to god, I specifically looked for the lyrics of this song to see what the song was about. LOL, I still don’t quite understand after running them through Google Translator.

The next song is one of my favourite Hot Potato songs, 소라를 줍는 여정 (Journey to Pick up Shells). There must be a deeper explanation behind this song, but the first thing that came to my mind was whether Kim C was documenting the hardship he went through to pick up ark shells in Beolgyo with the 1N2D crew? Nevertheless, I love this song a lot and this was the song I immediately looked for upon getting the rundown of the concert number.

After this was U-turn. Nothing eventful here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice song, but I would’ve preferred something more exciting like 몰라, 정말 몰라 (No Clue) or 빈방 (Empty Room). Next up is 잡담 (Gossip/Chat?). Again, a song I would have changed if I had a say. Both of these songs are from the 2nd album.

This next song is the song that introduced me to Hot Potato in the first place, 청춘 (Youth). Heard this when Kim C guested on the show Taxi and as they say about unforgettable first love, this song remains one of the most memorable songs. This song is basically only carried by Go Bumjoon’s bass, guitars, and Kim C’s vocal. A performance full of serenity.

The 10th song was the only one I wasn’t familiar with. It’s called 오늘 난 뭐했나 (What Did I Do) from their 1st album. Sir Casanova Milky Skin was SICK in this performance. He started with his trademark husky voice and then rose and rose and rose until it was an almost held-back scream and then he finished the song softly. I barely blinked, you could see the veins on Kim C’s neck standing up as his face got redder and redder. You don’t need fancy backdrop and fanservice, great singing and devotion to music is all you need.

Thankfully, after this song was a really relaxing song called 생각 (Thought) from 4th album. A good chunk of the songs performed are from the 4th album, which is great because I love that album.

Next up is the main song from the new album and shares the name with it, 시소 (Seesaw). The only thing I remember from this performance was the fact that Kim C didn’t have his guitar while he was singing and continued to move his arms around. Instead of focusing to the song, I wondered how pretty his hands were and how fair his skin was, hence the Milky Skin campaign here.

After this was a song everyone should know, 비 눈물 (Rain Tears). For some strange reason, the band, who was mostly quiet and serious the entire concert was full of smiles. I love the drummer with mohawk who was so expressive and looked like he had a helluva fun, which was great to see.

Following Rain Tears was 따르릉 (no idea what this means), the 1st song on the 4th album that’s uber catchy, and 좌절금지 (which means Frustration is Forbidden??) out of the 3rd album. These two songs were the climax of the concert before Hot Potato closed with a more low profile Bless Me from 2nd album.

And the concert was over.

But no, cause there’s ENCORE! The band came out for the obligatory encore with 맛좀 봐라 from 2nd album. Whereas Kim C had been mostly composed during the concert, he let loose with this song. He jumped up and down and twirled around that I got scaref he would get tripped off by the microphone’s cable. But Master Kim proved he’s a pro because he maneuvered his way around the cable nicely.

And why I focused on the cable is beyond me.

——————————————————————–

Kim C posted a few tweets prior to the concert, which he brought up during the concert. He made notes that he was still very nervous and awkward in front of strangers so even when doing performance like this, it was slightly uncomfortable for him to face the audience. Which is why he tweeted that everyone should have a glass or two (of that social lubrication known as alcohol) before the show so the show could be less awkward and more enjoyable. It was a great show nonetheless. I liked the small venue, you feel more emotionally involved in the performance.

The concert was a low profile event yet because it was so, it was really enjoyable. Plus, my killer seat was all sorts of wonderful.The only sucky thing is that there was so little chance to take pictures. Because the place was so small, the snippy ushers easily caught us and they would demand to see your pictures and delete them right away. Heck, they even interrogated a girl on the front row because she thought the girl had been taking pictures. And keep in mind that the band is barely 3 meters away from the front seat. Geez, woman!

Bae Doona, who starred in the movie Seesaw, came to see the show. And I believe there was a girl from Kim C’s team in the 2nd Viewer’s trip who came as well.

I was hoping to get an autograph or something and tried to loiter around the concert venue to catch the band. When I was on my way out, Kim C opened the exit door nearby, obviously on his way out as well, but upon seeing there were people, he went back in right away. A shame, I wanted to chase him down to sign my CD, but my lefty brain told me to get the hell home and finished the damn homework.

Hot Potato will be having a concert on May 15 and is performing on May 21st for the Greenplugged event. Awesomeness!!

Don’t Judge Me….

but I am so addicted to Kara’s new song Lupin.

I’m loving their new all black gothic look. So chic and sophisticated with darker colour. I think the song itself is not especially amazing on the vocal side, in fact I think vocal wise, it’s so lacking. But it is sooooo damn catchy. The first time I listened to it, I didn’t think of much. I thought it was okay. But after hearing the song several more times, it got better.

Definitely, the choreography is its strongest point. It’s got some crazy contagious dance moves and arrangements. What I like about the dance moves is that they’re really high energy and fast paced. The girls must be great athletes to be bouncing up and down like that.

I think I don’t need to go into expensive aerobic classes. I’ll just need lots of hours practicing this routine.