Tag Archives: K-pop

New Year’s Eve thinky thoughts

2014

With a little less than 5 hours left in 2013 for me, I feel the need to reflect for a moment or two.

This has been an interesting year. The first half was uncomfortable for me. I felt isolated a lot, both at home and at work. Ahh… work… yeah… Work made me really unhappy a lot of the time. Not as unhappy as my first year managing the training team, cuz that was disastrously stressful, but it definitely wasn’t making me feel fulfilled. Or useful. And I think that feeling seeped into my non-work life as well.

Fortunately, I  have some good friends near and far (especially my KDKP fam) who helped prop me up when I needed some extra TLC. And I had Kpop. Roll your eyes if you want. Shake your head and judge me as a weirdo and crazy fangirl if you need to, but the truth is, Kpop is my happy place, and has been for a few years now. It’s my escape from all manner of stressful emotions: whether I feel sad, angry, frustrated, worthless, overwhelmed… whatever negative emotion I feel, if I immerse myself in Kpop for a while, that feeling dissipates. I don’t know why it works that way for me, but I’m not gonna question it.

Kpop also played a part in my decision to quit my job and move to Korea to teach English. It wasn’t the REASON I came to Korea to teach – my interest in Korean culture goes beyond pop culture, and my desire to teach English overseas goes back many years – but the idea that living in Korea could mean more opportunities to see Kpop shows, and specifically to see JYJ live in their own country, gave me the courage to cast aside my fear of rejection and ignore the large part of my brain that kept screaming “No, you don’t like change! Change is scary! Change is bad! Don’t do that!!!”

So, despite 2013’s rocky first half, today I sit here on New Year’s Eve happier and more content than I’ve been on any NYE in recent memory. I love my job to the point that I didn’t mind working until 4:40 today, because it meant hanging out with my rural school students watching Star Wars, decorating cupcakes to look like Princess Leia, having battles with lightsabres made of animal balloons and laughing my butt off on more than one occasion. I’m going on about 4 hours of sleep, because yesterday, I booked it to the bus terminal after school, hopped on a bus to Seoul, met my friend at the subway and headed to Jamsil Sports Complex to see Junsu (yes, JUNSU!!!) in concert. Afterward, we stayed up talking until way too late, then I woke up a good 2 hours before sunrise, hopped on the subway, headed to the bus terminal, then got on a bus back home to Chungju so I could get washed up and ready for my afternoon at school running English Camp. Yet, despite being tired, I’m happy. And I’m going to head upstairs to one of the other English teacher’s apartments where a bunch of us are going to enjoy a Mexican themed evening filled with games, yummy food, sangria, and, I’m sure lots and lots of laughs. Yeah, not a bad way to welcome in 2014. 🙂

Happy New Year, everyone! If 2013 was good to you, I hope that trend continues. If it’s a year you’re happy to see the end of, I hope 2014 is much more to your liking.

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Kim Jaejoong is a Rock Star

I want to start off this post by saying I love, love, LOVE MTVK for airing an interview with Kim Jaejoong. It is so rare for us JYJ fangirls to see our boys on any sort of broadcast outside their own YouTube channel, so it makes me over-the-top giddy when I do.

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(Sorry, WordPress doesn’t like MTVK’s embed code, so the best I can do is insert an image and link it to the MTVK page…)

Jaejoong released his first solo mini-album, entitled “I” on January 17th.  He also released a video for “Mine” the album’s lead single. I wasn’t sure what I thought of it at first, but I was also sick and cranky at the time, but after a couple of views, I started to like it. Now, I love it. It’s a solid track and the MV supports the lyrics well. Here, check it out for yourself:

So different than what he’s done in the past, but at the same time, so completely and utterly Jaejoong. I think his voice suits the rock genre, and I get the feeling that he enjoyed the change of pace.  I also love that he was brave enough to step outside the pop idol box and do something unexpected and different. He didn’t stay within his performance comfort zone, and I respect him for that.

I love the entire album and strongly recommend that if you like this song, you should absolutely buy the album. I got my copy from Kpopmart.com, who are super fast at shipping stuff out, and they even send you pictures of your order packed in the shipment box, when they send out your confirmation. YesAsia.com is also a great, reliable source for any Kpop purchases, but not quite as quick with delivery as Kpopmart. Or, if you prefer to do it digitally, it’s also available on iTunes.

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Jaejoong on MTVK

Woohoo! MTVK will be airing an exclusive interview with Jaejoong. They posted a teaser today and my oh my is Jaejoong ever sexy when speaking English. The image below links to the video on MTVK because WordPress doesn’t seem to like MTVK’s embed code…

Kim Jaejoong on MTVK

JYJ: a group worth falling in love with

Junsu, Jaejoong & Yoochun

Junsu, Jaejoong and Yoochun, the 3 members of JYJ

If you’ve read my about page or scanned through earlier posts, you’ve probably figured out that I’m a bit of a JYJ fan. And within JYJ, Junsu is my favourite of the trio. He is the perfect combination of ridiculously adorable, dorky and sexy as all getout. His voice is unequalled, not only within the Korean music industry but worldwide. Seriously, the boy gives me goosebumps when he belts out a tune. He’s also a phenomenal dancer and the ultimate showman. I was fortunate enough to catch his show in New York City on August 30 of this year and he rocked my world from the moment he stepped onto the stage. I still get a fluttery feeling in my tummy when I think about that show. I’m not gonna lie; I was so overwhelmed by the experience, that I found myself unable to contain my tears by the time he sang his final encore song, Fallen Leaves, which he wrote, composed and arranged himself.

Junsu, Jaejoong and Yoochun are all incredibly talented and passionate performers who deserve to be in the spotlight, yet because of an ongoing dispute with their former management company, they are banned from all broadcast stations and have a hard time finding venues in which to hold events. This article in the Asia Sentinel does an excellent job of explaining the situation, so please take a few moments to read it. Perhaps if enough people know about the situation, some sort of solution will be found.

And if you’d like to check out JYJ and Junsu’s music, visit their YouTube page, and then, because I know you’ll love them, here’s where you can buy their albums.

Kim Junsu was at the 32nd National Para Games, but not on TV :(

Junsu performed at the 32nd National Para Games opening ceremony, but somehow it didn’t appear on TV as expected. This is such a frustrating thing for his fans and for him, but I have to say that I’m super proud of Junsu, because he handled it with class, grace and dignity.

Read more about it in the link below the image.

Junsu's tweets and selca

Junsu’s Twitter response

NEWS] 121009 JYJ’s Kim Junsu Treated Unfairly at the 32nd National Para Games Opening?.

After working with Junsu on Uncommitted, Bruce “Automatic” Vanderveer tweeted some highly complimentary things about him Bruce “Automatic” Vanderveer has also previously worked with singers such as Christina Aguilera, The Wanted, Leona Lewis and more.

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This news made me EXTREMELY HAPPY tonight. Junsuuuuuuu~! ❤ ❤ ❤

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Kim Junsu is bringing his music magic to the Americas and Europe.

On July 16, C-Jes Entertainment revealed Kim Junsu would be touring North America, South America and Europe in a world tour with plans to stop at two or three cities per continent.

The agency shared, “From the beginning we targeted not only Korea but also Asia with Kim Junsu’s solo album and aimed for abroad with the music video. We are in the middle of a successful Asia tour but have continued to receive an outpouring of requests from the Americas and other places abroad and we have thus decided to embark on a world tour.”

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The agency also added plans for a new album saying, “With the world tour we are currently preparing a repackaged album. This new album will include an English single targeting the world and its music video will be produced in the U.S…

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JYJ Acoustic Performance on MTVK in 2010

 

Preamble: How I got sucked in to the wonderful world of K-pop…

I have a friend who is a huge fan of JYJ, the Korean pop group formed by the 3 members of Dong Bang Shin Ki (DBSK) who severed ties with their management company SM Entertainment back in 2009 due to unfair contract terms. I was familiar with DBSK for a few years, having been introduced to them via their Mirotic video. Although I had no interest in K-pop at the time, I really liked that song, and the video… Well what can I say, the video consisted of 5 hot guys dancing really well…

Anyway, although Mirotic had been on my playlist since I first saw the video, I didn’t venture any further into the world of K-pop until I was dragged in, kicking and screaming, by my friend Lisa. I had read a number of her blog entries about JYJ, and admired their good looks in the pictures she posted, but I didn’t really have time to fall into a new fandom, so I resisted checking out their music or their videos for the longest time.  After all, they were K-pop, and I was trying to learn Japanese, so I wanted to stick with Arashi, and perhaps check out some more J-pop. I allowed myself to get distracted enough from my Japanese pop culture consumption (which was, of course, meant to help expose me to everyday Japanese and therefore improve my studies… >.>) when I started watching Korean dramas from time to time. What can I say, Lee Min Ho is just too adorable to resist. But there was NO WAY I was going to start listening to K-pop and get further distracted.

“Oh, but they also sing in Japanese, and have a ton of Japanes songs with DBSK too,” said the evil enabler, Lisa. And, like a fool, I checked out the links she sent me.

BEST. DECISION. EVER! WOW! I loved their music. I loved JYJ and DBSK (beyond just Mirotic). I was hooked.

Fast forward to now, and I’m so firmly ensconced in K-pop love that, last night, I just booked a flight to New York in the fall because Big Bang is playing at the Prudential Center on November 9th, even though concert tickets haven’t gone onsale yet. And I will most certainly be booking another flight to NYC when JYJ return there eventually. (Soon please!) I’ve fallen for a number of Korean pop groups since I giving in to thesiren sound of K-pop, but JYJ and DBSK are still my favourites!

Anyway, that was my long-winded introduction to some JYJ awesomeness that I want to share. These are a couple of acoustic performances they did as part of a secret show for an intimate audience that was filmed for MTV Korea back in 2010. Check ’em out. They’re awesome!

Empty:

JYJ Empty AcousticBe My Girl:

JYJ Be My Girl Acoustic

I love what Junsu does toward the end of Empty when he’s singing “Your heart is empty, empty empty-di-di-di-di-di-di,” and I am completely in love with the acoustic version of Be My Girl. Heavenly.

 

Ebay will be the death of me

I’m a bit of a walking contradiction. I love to buy things, yet I absolutely abhor shopping malls. I’m not sure when it happened, because I was a total mall rat just like every other suburban teen in the GTA, but somehow, somewhere along the way, I began to hate malls with a passion. I also don’t particularly like the hassle of shopping for clothing, except for shoes, but even then, I prefer to go to shoe stores that are outside of malls so that I don’t have to experience the torture of being inside one. Same thing with anything else I need/want to buy. If I can get it somewhere else, I’m totally there.

It is for this exact reason that the ability to shop online is both a godsend and pure, unadulterated evil for me. You see, I really, really like to buy things, and when you partner that up with my fangirlish tendencies, havoc will ensue. Take this weekend, for example: I purchased 4, yes, 4 JYJ CDs; a JYJ cell phone charm; 2 JYJ pillow cases; a JYJ wall calendar; and a new case (miraculously not JYJ) for my iPhone. Did I need all that stuff? Well, I did need the case, as mine has broken, and a new case does dictate the need for a new cell phone charm. But the CDs? Maaaaybe kind of, sort of, but, not really. I already have most of the songs on the CDs I bought, but the reason I say ‘sort of’ is that I’m a firm believer in supporting the artists I love by buying their products and going to their concerts. So even if I download something for free, eventually I will buy it, or buy enough of their other products to restore my musical karmic balance. Also, the CDs come with posters and photo books, so, there’s another reason to buy them. But again, not enough to dictate need, really.

The calendar was completely frivolous, since I already have two calendars at home – one of them from another fandom: Bleach – yet I absolutely had to have the JYJ one. (Really, I was thiiiiiis close to buying it back in November, but I changed my mind, so really, all I’m doing is changing my mind back again.) And let’s not even discuss the pillow cases, because frivolous is not a frivolous enough word to describe that particular purchase. But OMG they’re so adorable! Ahem. Yeah. Frivolous to the Nth degree.

Anyway, this is just a long-winded way for me to document the fact that I really need to stay away from eBay. And YesAsia.com, and J-list, and all the other e-commerce sites that suck me in so efficiently. Truly I do, because I’m supposed to be saving money for Japan, not buying things that I can probably get cheaper there anyway!

On the up side, I have been a good girl when it comes to concerts. I’ve made a rule that I’m not allowed to buy concert tickets for any band/artist I’ve seen before, though what I’m actually aiming for is to spend no money on any band unless JYJ return to North America like the rumours say they will. Now that I’ve written that down, I think it means I’m obligated to adhere to it…

Ugh, wish me luck!