BTS (방탄소년단) ‘Dynamite’ Official MV… times TWO!

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?

K-Pop and Quarantine Life – pt. 3

More Quarantine K-Pop Posts

I’m starting this update off with sad news. Yesterday, in my inbox, I received the dreaded email from Ticketmaster… 2020 (G)I-DLE WORLD TOUR ‘I-LAND : WHO AM I’ Has Been Canceled.

The cancelled concert would have had great music, too!

I wasn’t completely surprised. Out of all the k-pop concerts we had lined ourselves up to go see (as with others, tickets were bought well before the pandemic), this was the first to be postponed. And I knew it was the most likely to be cancelled.

For one, the venue was at a nightclub down by the waterfront with standing room only. It wasn’t a large venue (not small, but the area for the concert was reduced to be around the stage and middle-main bar. Last I checked, tickets were not sold out either.

With the first postponement announcement, ticket holders were given the option to get a refund within 30 days. Not having reserved seating, my theory is some decided to get their money back in hopes of purchasing tickets again when a new date has been announced. I personally didn’t want a refund and decided to just wait and see. I understand, however, some people needed cash-flow. Especially as jobs were being temporarily on either lay-off of furloughs. It’s been tough for the economy.

Finally, this was (G)I-DLE’s first world tour. And this isn’t the best way to start it. My hopes for them and their fans, is after this is over, and I pray it will be over enough for concerts to be brought back, they can plan their first world tour. Bigger and better! They deserve it.

BTS, as always, have been busy. Even without a comeback, they seem to have an endless amount of ways to show ARMY they are still very much present. This past weekend, YouTube streamed a virtual graduation, Dear Class of 2020, for all those across the world who are not able to graduate with their class (in the physical sense). We heard about BTS being on this – the same program as The Obama’s – a month or so ago. But I didn’t realize how much time slot they were given. It wasn’t small at all.

The commencement speech, above, allowed each member to speak. To be honest, I thought it would be mainly Namjoon for a few minutes. In the end, it was over 12 minutes long and each member had quite a lot of wisdom to share, drawing on their own experience both past and present. Once again, I felt BTS honed in on their bare honesty while being true to young people – especially those who may be struggling about finding their own path.

The performance was very well done. I couldn’t help but to noticed it was the closing performance as well, slotting not one, not two but three songs! I wasn’t surprised they did Boy With Luv and Mikrokosmos but Spring Day? A bittersweet song which I felt spoke to ARMY. Due to the pandemic and the postponement of their tour, I felt they really were sending out a message through Spring Day.

Oh man – another comeback just nailing it! I may be talking about WayV’s comeback and first ever full album, Awaken the World for awhile.

You know how you watch the comeback trailers and music video teasers… many do a great job in hyping up the comeback but it doesn’t mean in the end, the actual song will do it for you.

Then there are certain teasers when you just know you will love the song! This is one of them.

Each member had their own teaser as well as their title track MV, Turn Back Time – you can find them on WayV’s YouTube channel.

I’ve yet to fully listen to their whole album but what I’ve heard so far, I’ve liked. This is another group I surely hope will go on a world tour. They are quite young so there’s hope they will have enough popularity after the pandemic is over. Fingers crossed!

More Quarantine K-Pop Posts

More Top Run BTS! VLive Webisodes

I wrote about my favorite Top 5 RUN BTS webisodes awhile back. I had planned to follow-up with some good runner-up episodes! However, it’s been awhile since I created the last list and ARMY has been graced with so many new episodes since.

In fact, BTS just celebrated their 100th Run BTS! episode! That is amazing…

5. Run BTS! 2019 – EP. 65

This is the last of three parts known as BTS School. The first two parts can be found from the respective links: EP..63 and EP.64

I selected this part mainly for the final debate section. Poor J-Hope and Jungkook had to defend their rights to enjoy chocolate chip mint ice cream against the opposing team, which was made up of Jin, RM, Jimin and V. And the whole debate went from 0 to 100.

What started off as, “I like chocolate chip mint ice cream” vs. “The minty taste reminds me of toothpaste” went quickly to “The world should just get rid of this flavor all together!” vs. “Why? Why can’t you just leave those who like it in peace???”

It’s ridiculous. But perhaps it’s because I feel the same way about all-dressed chips. I think it’s a sin.

4. Run BTS! 2019 – EP.87 & EP.88

There’s nothing like closing off a public location at night and letting BTS run loose as they look for hidden foam letters while trying to tag their targets with stickers on each other’s back. With all of them knowing each other so well, it’s entertaining enough to see who can figure out who is after them. And who is the mastery of deceit.

I won’t give away any spoilers but… lets just say Jimin was not pleased with the results. And Jungkook is the worse liar in the world (a BigHit staff commentary added into the sub titles – savage!)

3. Run BTS! 2020 – EP.99

BTS as florists for the day. Perhaps one of my favorite types of Run BTS! is when they invite a guest to lead a worship. Whether it’s making pottery or becoming baristas, you can be sure BTS will put their natural humor and flair to even the most boring lesson (though none of the workshops have been boring – I’ve actually thought they were pretty educational!)

I chose this recent episode where BTS learn the delicate art of creating beautiful bouquets, head pieces and boutonnieres (except for Jin – who clearly was the clown of the class). Not only was I impressed with each member’s finesse of how they added their own personal touches and style to their master piece, but the interaction with the bashful instructor alone was a must for my top-5:

Bonus:

BTS certainly knows how to charm a person! And Taeyhung is just the best. I can almost hear the thoughts going through is head… Oh! A floriest! How cool! He seems nice and I certainly do love flowers… So hi, do you want to be friends?’

2. Run BTS! 2019 – EP.76

This is actually the 3rd of 3 parts – EP.74 and EP.75. It is also known as the BTS Dorm skit where they write, produce and film a comical skit representing their earlier days as debut BTS in their first dorm.

Honestly, the whole 3 parts should be watched but for the time being I am pointing out the 3rd of this trilogy as the final skit, in it’s full production, is shown in the second half of episode 76.

One thing to note, aside from all of them playing themselves in this short drama, they also had off-stage roles:

V – Director

RM – Mental Care Expert

J-Hope – Stylist

Suga – Snacks Provider

Jungkook – The Slate

Jimin – Standby and Timer

Jin – Props

This might have been behind the scenes but I loved this particular interaction between RM and Jin:

1. Run BTS! 2020 – EP.102 & EP.103

Finally, I have to give it up for the latest 2-part episode – Avatar Chef and Cook-off Contest!

Once again, BTS hits the kitchen to improve their cooking skills (an obvious fan favorite theme as they’ve returned to this activity many times). This time, I’m impressed with spin on their classic concept. Choosing the best chefs from Bangtan, Jin and Yoongi (without a doubt) as the team lead, neither of them were allowed to cook themselves. Instead, they had their two team members wear ear pieces to feed instructions to. The rest, including the head chefs, were in another room, behind stage from the kitchen, watching and laughing at their team mates.

To throw another challenge, J-Hope – MC and judge – could say ‘switch members’ at any point where the mic feeds instructions to the other team member. Here’s the ultimate catch. The person whose ear piece is active receives the instructions but isn’t allowed to follow through on said instructions. Rather, they then tell the other sous-chef what the head chef wants them to do and it is THAT person who takes action.

Team Jin – V and Jungkok

Team Suga – RM and Jimin

Each team had to make two dishes within 40 minutes.

How chaotic, intense and yes, so very funny! I definitely will not spoil who the winner is but I will add it was pretty dicey on both teams!

I think Suga is right about that!

There was a slight disagreement as to who was the better cook (or worse cook) between RM and V before Jungkook went to retrieve V and drag him to the opposite side of scene. I admit that is a tough one but let me remind everyone how proud RM was of his pasta dish he made for dinner once. So proud he posted it on Weverse:

He didn’t even saute the garlic though… It’s completely raw.

BTS Title Tracks – My Ranking

Well this wasn’t easy. Mainly because trying to find a correct list of title tracks of all BTS’ 7 years of activities proved more challenging than I expected. Many of the lists kept on including Mic Drop Remix which from what I gather, was not a title track, though I honestly feel it should have been. And did any of their Japanese albums have title tracks? I don’t know.

I’m actually still uncertain if my list below is correct! So let me know if you see any errors – whether a track shouldn’t be on the list or if I am missing one. Basically I’m unsure of DOPE and War of Hormone. Some places also listed Forever Young. Normally Title Track is the same name as the Album Title. But in k-pop world, this rule does not seem to apply. I thought each album has just 1 title track and normally it’s the one in all caps. But this doesn’t seem to be the case in the earlier years of BTS.

Secondly, it’s not easy to figure out what my favorite top BTS Title Tracks are. Especially as I started to get into the top five. My fave can change over a certain period of time. Plus, doing this right after a comeback is difficult – the latest Title Track easily wins out because it’s new and it’s just in my head. But sticking with my gut instincts and knowing the type of songs which will stay on my favorite list in years to come, here we go! (And I’ve linked each of their official music videos)

  1. ON
  2. FIRE
  3. Blood Sweat & Tears
  4. Run
  5. Spring Day
  6. N.O.
  7. FAKE LOVE
  8. IDOL
  9. Boy With Luv
  10. No More Dream
  11. DOPE
  12. Boy In Luv
  13. Danger
  14. War of Hormone
  15. DNA
  16. I NEED U
  17. Not Today

Dad’s Musings on K-Pop pt. 2 – It’s all about the *ZAP*!

It’s a weird and crazy world at the moment. Each day brings uncertainty – each day brings more chaos. And the isolation has just begun for many – it’s only been 1 week.

So, fortunately, I did get together with my parents for dinner a couple of weeks before all this madness erupted.

My dad had recorded the BTS performance of ON on the Jimmy Fallon show. He saved it so we could watch on his larger HD screen.

These days, my parent have been even more impressed than before with BTS (recall the time my dad said the reason BTS are better is because they have *ZAP*). A part of it is, as my dad explained, he related to them more as they grow and mature.

I thought about this and I completely understand where he’s coming from. Had I discovered BTS during their debut years, I still would have loved their music. However, being the age I’m at, I would need the more mature and evolving BTS we see in the past couple of years to really connect with them. This isn’t at all to say they weren’t relatable several years ago. They all (or we all) have elements as we grow and journey through our lives others can relate to regardless of age difference. As a whole, however, everyone is just at different stages of their lives – and this perhaps is what separates debut BTS and current BTS for me.

Anyway, my dad started to explain why BTS was so successful.

Okay. Lets just pause here for a bit.

Because this is me we’re talking about. I’m definitely an ARMY. And as any ARMY would know, explaining BTS’ success is pretty deep. But something we all know very well. Like, if I were to teach a course about BTS’s path to success, I could probably break down the lessons into units and cover an entire semester at University. It would be a social-cultural course called “The BTS Effect.” Available for 2nd year sociology, cultural-anthropology and social economics students.

Of course, I didn’t say any of this to my dad. Rather, I sat there and heard him out. Simply because I really enjoyed having these types of conversations with him. You know, the kind of conversations that are not too serious and yet both entertaining and interesting at the same time.

I did however, play devils advocate. After we watched BTS’ Grand Central Station comeback stage, I tried to find other k-pop groups’ live performances to illustrate there are a lot of other talented k-pop groups out there aside from BTS.

The only problem? After watching a performance such as BTS’ ON, many of those groups fell short. My dad sat there and said, “See? They just don’t have that same level of professionalism as BTS.”

I couldn’t argue. I’ve seen, now, my share of k-pop acts live yet none of them could even come close to BTS’ live stage. You can take any k-pop group with high energy who are completely in-sync and in tune with their singing and dancing and compare it to one of BTS’ weak performances… and yet somehow BTS still comes out on top.

Why? I don’t fully understand it myself. I would have to say, at least from my own experience, BTS, as RM once told TXT as a word of advice, “destroys the stage” with each performance, There is a rock-star like quality. Even when they are not performing in a choreography sequence, they expel this level of energy I have yet to see in any other artist – k-pop or not.

Regardless, I had a great time bonding with my father that evening. And was pleasantly surprised both my parents were starting to know who was who in BTS!

Plus, I’m guessing that their bias is Jin. They kept on saying how handsome he is! My mom is 80… my dad is 85. It’s just so cute! 🙂