I raved about Itaewon Class on my last post, even though I hadn’t watched the last 3 episodes yet. We have one more episode to go! It’s easy to binge watch alone but not when it’s a family affair. We have to all be free. And prepping for our long 9-nights camping trip took over. Now that we’re back, we’ll be finishing the last episode soon.
Until my very final review, I wanted to share this great interview from DKDKTV. Danny Kim interviews the one and only Chris Lyon, one of the main characters from the series. Lyon plays Kim Toni. And I LOOOOVED Toni! We all did. His story is bittersweet but his smile and positive attitude is so infectious you want to both protect and be at awe with this character.
Lyon explains he didn’t come to South Korea to become an actor, though, which is surprising because he seems to be a natural. He’s honest about some of the racism he experienced in South Korea, and yet he seems to love the country and his friends there – despite some of the negative experiences he’s faced.
Anyway, I enjoyed this interview. Lyon seems like a really down to earth and charismatic person.
We’ve been spending some of our free time before bed watching Itaewon Class. We’re so addicted to this show. For one, it is not like a typical k-drama. I’m all for the fun tropes normally displayed by k-dramas but it’s refreshing to see one with diverse characters focusing on leadership and teamwork… with a dash of revenge and corporate sabotage, as well as yummy food, of course.
Since my last post ended with two teasers – SuperM and ONEUS – I’ll definitely start with both releases because I’m all smiles for them!
Yes, I know. SuperM’s 100, like Jopping, is not deep. And that’s okay because I’m really just looking for a fun, energetic, visually stunning music video. I gotta say, I do like 100 better. While I haven’t gotten into line distribution I’m happy to see Lucas and TEN getting more screen time thank you very much. They only happen to be two of my faves from SuperM (all respects to Taemin and Baekhyun for their stunning vocals of course).
I’m also excited we’re getting this preview of their first full album, Super One, which will contain 15 tracks (including 100). Drop date will be September 25, 2020.
Not only was I pleasantly surprised with ONEUS’ TO BE OR NOT TO BE, the video concept was gorgeous. The song has some angst – my favorite part comes at the moment leading up to the chorus. The rest of the song flows well from verse to chorus, from chorus to rap. I look forward to diving more into ONEUS’ music.
Finally – Dreamcatcher! They stayed true to their rock style with BOCA. Do I like it more than Scream? I don’t think so – it’s enjoyable and I”m happy to see them pushing more music out, but I didn’t get attached to this song from the get-go. Still, there’s a possibility it will grow on me.
Next up, I hope to share some of the fun and comedic k-pop videos which have been occupying my spare time. Stay safe, people!
And BTS does it again – breaking the most views in 24 hours for music videos, DYNAMITE explodes this weekend! They also broke 100 million views sometime mid weekend and the video is not far off from the 200 million mark.
This is their first all-English song, which they mentioned in one of their many streamed American interviews, was a great challenge for the group. It didn’t sound like it, though. They did a great job with pronunciation. They also expressed they wanted to give the world some hope and upbeat mood with DYNAMITE, so I gather this was not planned prior to the pandemic. In other words, while they prepare for another album to be released end of the year, they put together this amazing single just for us.
And it’s definitely amazing! Will this be my favorite BTS song? I don’t believe it will be. It’s a great song and I think it has top charts potential, as well as more playtime on the radio. It is a great summer, upbeat song to get up and just dance to. And they added some retro beats including that disco feel.
My personal taste has always been more of BTS’ harder and edgier sounds. Or a very emotional ballad. But I will enjoy DYNAMITE in years to come even though it won’t make it to my top 10 BTS tracks.
Now, about this music video – when it dropped midnight my time last Friday, I played it three times in a row because I could not get over how extra they were! I mean, damn! I never liked the 70’s style but BTS makes it look GOOD! At 2:38 I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. I laughed because they really pulled off the disco-era look! Taehyung gave off that cheesy, slick and what should be also the greasy look. Yet it came off both sexy and fun. ALL AT THE SAME TIME! What the hell, Taehyung?
And speaking of the 70’s look, that part really reminded me of That 70’s Show – Taeyhung is Hyde, Jin is Eric and Jimin is Fez.
I have to give props for Jimin and Taehyung’s amazing vocals in this – both really stood out for me and also complimented each other.
Not only did we get this great video, BigHit just dropped the B-side music video as well…
This B side looks like the scenes that did not make it into the original music video, along with some bloopers and just BTS having fun. What more could we ask for?
As our city enters phase 3, we finally had a chance to host a very small family, dinner party, within our social bubble. It was great timing as my dad turned 86.
We love hosting and spoiling our guests. Nothing gives us more pleasure than to ensure they are well fed with a pre-planned menu. I took this as an opportunity to do some pandemic tutorials – flower arrangement and creating a proper charcuterie board.
I had been doing the charcuterie board all wrong before. I used to just throw together all my favorite cheese and cured meats, then organized them in rows or groups by types of food on the board. This time, I got creative and ensured the board look like it was exploding with food. I also hadn’t realized the importance of the accompanying tastes – something tart, something sweet. I had a lot of fun and while we also provided fresh Maritime lobsters as the main course, the board was the superstar of the evening.
I have been promising my daughter I would give ATEEZ a chance. The timing was perfect with their recent comeback.
INCEPTION, their comeback song, is exactly the style I love so much. The beginning starts with I’m in love… and it builds and moves from there. I wouldn’t say it’s a happy love song. It’s perhaps a one-sided love at first site, and then seeking this person out from there on. To be honest, I would say it’s more an obsession rather than true love.
I downloaded their comeback album, FEVER, and while I still have not fully given it 100% of my attention, I know enough, for me at least, ATEEZ will be a group in which I like some of their songs. As for the rest, I won’t ever hate their music but their style includes too much of the trap-inspired genre for me to enjoy. INCEPTION works for me because it’s not far from my other two favorite ATEEZ songs, Promise and Answer. These songs have more melody, less edge yet maintain high energy.
Once again, my favorite k-pop girl group, (G)I-DLE, has come out with another amazing single, DUMBI DUMBI! This time, unlike their last two comebacks, LION and Oh my god, we find a more lighter and fun song. I not only love this summer-vibe track, but it shows how diverse these ladies can be.
There are a couple of comebacks I’m also looking forward to…
SuperM’s 100 drop August 14th 1PM KST. I’m not expecting a lot but I am still excited. SuperM’s Jopping was a lot of fun – but that’s how I see SuperM. They are a fun and energetic group. I don’t expect anything deep.
ONEUS’ TO BE OR NOT TO BE drops August 18th 6PM KST. I’m not normally a follower of ONEUS but this teaser really caught my attention. I look forward to being introduced to this group!
It’s been almost a month since I last posted. To be honest, the day-in and day-out life of the pandemic is now starting to take its toll on me. Boredom. I’ve started to feel a lack of motivation so I’ve been spending the past week or so quietly reflecting on what I can do improve my quality of life in a minimal way.
Currently, a specific goal I’m honing in on, which is something I’ve been working on in stages since last December, is bring my awareness to the present moment. Through the pandemic, I’ve found now more than ever, it’s incredibly important to exercise the awareness of where my mind drifts and where I need it to exist. If I think too far ahead into the future, I tend to create worse-case scenarios (which are cases most likely will never happen). It then robs me of the time I need to spend in the present moment – it takes away my concentration which also means it takes away the peace which resides in me.
Meditation and yoga has been a large part of my training. Not only do I practice meditation during yoga but while doing other things such as our hikes, a walk in the park, while taking a bath or even when cutting fruits or vegetables. The process is to just dive into what I am doing rather than worrying what I need to get down during any given task. The silver lining is taking the most mundane activity into a peaceful and relaxing state of well being.
The next step is to be able to break down negative feedback and criticism – realize what it is, what it means to me and either take action or file away as being unimportant. The main goal is to not allow criticism to turn into a self-defeating mantra, which it often has for me. I start thinking, I’m not good enough for this task, I’m stupid, I’m worthless to the team, etc.
My journey to my self-discovery, therefore continues…
I know I said the last time, ATEEZ was up next. Sadly, however, and to my daughter’s disappointment, I have allowed myself to be distracted with more k-pop from other groups! And it appears to be another round of female groups/artists again! What can I say? Girl-power has been hitting hard for me these past two months. Which is a huge deal. When I started my journey into k-pop, I had such a hard time finding an all-female group or solo artist I could stan (that hadn’t already been disbanded).
I will be the first to admit I know nothing about the artist, HYO. I will also admit the song drew my attention because it features Soyeon, lead of (G)I-DLE and my female k-pop bias. All I can say is that it didn’t take more then the first two lines and I knew I really liked this song. I’m glad to have given it a try!
I’ve been loving this IU song from the beginning. I hadn’t realized she was going to be the voice of the theme song to BigHit’s k-pop audition show, I-LAND. I haven’t watched this elimination-type talent series though I know BigHit had been holding auditions for awhile to land the group of trainee applicants to air within what I can only see as this crazy-ass building situated somewhere in ‘no-where’ land and well, it all just screams money! I might watch it – for international fans, you can watch it on VIKI for free. I’m a bit cautious of these types of shows. While I normally trust BigHit, I find regardless of the intent, the show still ends up exploiting the applicants to some degree.
I’ve been watching GFRIEND from afar ever since BigHit acquired them through last year’s mergers. My preference in music does not fall within the styles of GFRIEND, however, I was curious to see how their marketing might accelerate under BigHit. I wasn’t at all disappointed and quite pleased with a much higher level of marketing from their first comeback under the BigHit label. Now, with their second comeback for their mini-EP Songs of the Sirens, I found myself downloading their entire album.
GFRIEND’s title track, APPLE, is a refreshing and renewed sound for the group. I don’t know the full story behind this release – were they allowed more creativity and say of their voice and artistry? Did BigHit see a need to put more edge into their music? Regardless of what the back-end strategy is, I see it as a huge plus for GFRIEND and am very happy to have rediscovered them in a grander light!