K-Pop and Quarantine Life – pt. 3

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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!

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K-Pop and Quarantine Life – pt. 2

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I’m going into week 13 with my work-from-home quarantine life. Here in Canada, our movement to re-open has been much slower and more cautious. We’re doing it in phases. We’re doing it in mini-phases, actually. And returning to the office hasn’t been determined as far as any firm dates. Our city has asked businesses to keep those who can work from home at home until the end of the summer. As I said – it’s a slow process. So in the meantime, nothing has changed much in my personal life. Other than going out for groceries or walking the dog, I’m pretty much home and finding ways to live a simple life. The hiking trails have now opened so we do go hiking on weekends when weather permits. Otherwise I continue to live each day with gratitude, reminding myself that whatever I’m going through, there are so many people having a much tougher time.

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I posted my first quarantine-k-pop update here. Below are some highlights from the last two weeks:

The return of Agust D! And with a stunning music video to boot! Daewitcha blew my mind away. The song production itself grabbed my attention, however, I really have to give it all to the music video. Min Yoongi did an amazing job playing the duo-role of evil emperor and assassin. I was very impressed with his sword-dance moves.

Side note – Jin and Jungkook as background actors was hilarious! I loved how they participated in the video! I admit, I didn’t even notice when they appeared even though I noticed the scene. Thanks to ARMY for pointing them out!

TXT introduces their second music video, PUMA from the same comeback album, The Dream Catcher: ETERNITY, which showcased their title track, Can’t You See Me? I love this song. I think so far, it’s my favorite track on the album so when I discovered they released a video for it, I welcomed it with open arms. I must say, BigHit didn’t waste their time moving from the young and innocent look to the dark and badass look, did they? Kids… this is a very different TXT from their debut. Just a heads up!

I think BLINKS, including myself, have been feeling the starve-effect of Blackpink’s comeback delay. Which had been delayed after being delayed, and then delayed again.

I mean come on! Blackpink is a hot group. And even when they do have a comeback, we are teased with at most, four new songs. Their comeback is now scheduled for September, though we are promised a full album with releases occurring the start of July through to September’s comeback.

Anyway, when I learned they would be featured in Lady Gaga’s new album, I was pretty psyched. I saw this as a great opportunity for all artists involved.

Sour Candy came out and at the beginning, I loved it! I still do, but after listening to it for a week, I’m a little disappointed. I felt it was a bit underwhelming. The song starts off well, moving towards Lady Gaga’s part. And to give her credit, you hear all four members of Blackpink for the first half of the song. But that’s it… the song is just two and a half minutes long. It doesn’t build. It doesn’t get to what I felt was going to come – a great bridge with a peak in energy. In the end, it just continued as such until it just… ends.

Overall I still like the song but it’s a bit of a tease as well, leaving the listener wanting more.

That’s it for now. Continue staying safe everyone!

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K-Pop and Quarantine Life

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Honestly, as we’re going into our tenth week in lock down (and for myself, working from home). you would think I would have more time to dive deeper into k-pop.

Nope. Two and half months have passed and I don’t feel that I actually have more time on my hands. I have most definitely saved 1.5+hrs commute every day to and from work on my workdays. That time is now used for doing more yoga, Pilates, walking the dog and doing some organizing and de-cluttering. I suppose not going out much has also allowed us to prep our own meals more often than before. When you think about it, all those things do take up a lot of free time outside of work. I’m grateful to be this busy – it’s been cleansing for my soul as we have moved towards living a more simple and minimalist lifestyle.

I do, however, still try to keep up with k-pop whether it’s a new release or an older song I’ve stumbled upon. Here are three recent highlights:

UI eight (Produced and Featuring SUGA)

eight really hit the right mood for me. And maybe for many of us as we face this world on pause. It’s a clean, flowing and beautiful melody, accompanied perfectly by IU’s voice. A bonus of Suga delivering the rap bridge, as well.

TXT Can’t You See Me?

I’ve really been looking forward to this comeback since BigHit started dropping the teasers. This is the more mature TXT I have been waiting for as it falls in line with my type of taste. They still keep an air of lightness to their beat and sound, though, which I respect as it’s who they are. This is probably on the edge of angst for TXT.

Oh My Girl! CLOSER

This song came out in 2015 but I really do love it. The sound is almost fantasy-like. It goes well for a mellow spring day. There’s a sense of hope which I feel when I listen to this song. Perhaps this is just the right type of song for my rainy spring day here.

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Not-So Daily Kpop Challenge (and not in 2019) – Part XIV

[30 Day K-Pop Challenge 2019]

Question #29: A k-pop song you never get tired of

I chose FIRE by BTS the last time. And I’m not going to lie. I still listen to it almost daily! Along with many other BTS songs, both old and new. I was very tempted to choose ON.

But I’m not sure if that’s fair. I mean, it just came out! Though, after MIC Drop Remix came out, I claimed I would never get tired of it, and it’s true. I haven’t!

So I’m going to pick a non-BTS song because I think for me, that would be more challenging. I would like to see if my prediction will be true a year or more down the road.

Lets see if I still love TXT’s Runaway next year. This came out a few months ago and I still love it!

I decided to post one of their live stage performances rather than the original music video. I have really enjoyed watching TXT grow and come out of their shell in such a short period of time. With each stage performance they seem to get just a little bit more confident and it’s been a pleasure to see this growth.

[Here’s my original answers from the first time I did this challenge]

Not-So Daily Kpop Challenge 2019 – Part IV

[30 Day K-Pop Challenge 2019]

Question #8: K-pop song you know all the words to

Ha ha! Um… my answer hasn’t changed much. I have learned very little Korean since I started my love for k-pop. I think if I had the time I could learn the words to some of my favorite songs. But alas, when it comes to using my free-time to learn another language, I’m currently trying to just improve my Mandarin speaking skills (I’ve been watching a lot of C-Dramas on Netflix while trying to not read the subtitles).

Having said that, the other day while listening to Boy In Luv by BTS, I caught myself singing along to most of the lyrics! That surprised me. I suppose it was bound to happen so I thought that was pretty cool. I don’t know the full lyrics, though. And I’d have to sing along with it – as I can’t sing it on my own.

Question #9: Favorite k-pop performance

Well… there’s been a lot of phenomenal live performances. With BTS’ fast-growth not just in Asia but by international standards, they really have been given more and more stage time at the various main Asian music award shows. The MMAs 2019 gave them a total of 37 minutes allowing BTS to really show their artistry. And because they ended with Dionysus, this is currently my favorite live k-pop performance.

Some other honorable mentions:

BTS’ 2019 Golden Disk Awards performance of FAKE LOVE stood out due to the symbolic intro. Many k-pop fans, especially ARMY, understand the meaning behind their marionette puppets intro. Which was a subtle message at a huge k-pop industry award show. Idols face such harsh control by the industry and fans alike, they often lose who they truly are (at an age they are supposed to be finding themselves – alas that is another topic for another time).

BTS’ performance of IDOL at the 2018 MMAs showed a beautiful mix of contemporary and cultural dance as the intro. I love it when they do this! Plus we witnessed female performers which is a huge move for a male k-pop group to do (i.e. too many jealous fans).

Sunmi ft. Taemin’s Gashina performance was iconic! And damn sexy. I always love watching Sunmi live, though. Her facial expressions are point on. She’s stunning and certainly a queen.

AOA’s cover of MAMAMOO’s Egotistic remix must be mentioned. The performance was stellar but I loved how they brought out the drag queens in the end. AOA danced in tailored suits along with the drag queens and brought the house down!

I’m simply very happy for and proud of TXT for winning New Artist of the Year at the MMA 2019. Their extended New Rule and Run Away performance was a great show for such a rookie group. BTS supported them throughout the show, with a big stand-up applause and cheer from their seniors when they were announced for the win.

Congrats also go out to BTS for being the first to win all 4 Daesang categories at an end of the year Asian Award Show!

[Here’s my original answers from the first time I did this challenge.]