Friday, January 29, 2016

[ADMIN] Big industry moves and a little blog update!

Just checking in to mention a few things.

2014 was a chaotic/sad year in Kpop related news. Industry problems with lawsuits, corruption, and abuse being far more prominent than the usual. 2015 felt timid and quiet by comparison. Companies seemed to be testing the waters for experimentation in sound and methods of distribution... and folks who are a bit more tapped into the business side were taking note of behind-the-scenes deals gathering steam. Some of this is now becoming public.

I'm personally fascinated to see how this all unfolds.
MoonROK has a good article focused on the plans SM Entertainment has announced:

Why Lee Soo Man’s New Cultural Technology is the Smartest and the Scariest Thing to Ever Happen in K-pop

Mainly that they will release a single with an MV every week for the year. Pretty wild.
YG had kind of a mini version of this with Big Bang last year. Hard to say what kind of impact this will have. Certainly we'll be witnessing a play between quality/quantity along the way.

For the bigger picture, it's an example of an industry shifting under the weight of new technologies, digital, streaming, and trying to find a path forward into the future.

As for the blog, I've begun to implementing some genre tags. It's something I had considered doing from the beginning, but I thought I'd be bogging myself down. With a few years under my belt, I feel like it will be super helpful. I'll gradually try to backlog, but that will be slow-going. It's hard to predict how this will go, but I'll probably tag these weekly "Station" releases SM is doing in a special way to keep track of them.


[MV] EIA - Spoon Me

Sunday, January 17, 2016

[MV] Park Yoochun - How Much Love Do You Have In Your Wallet?

Official channel link

Commence ugly sobbing.

JYJ fans will appreciate the deeper meaning of this one.
Yoochun has been open about coming from a broken family, mostly raised by his mother. There was some longstanding issues with his father that were never fully reconciled. His father passed away unexpectedly in 2012 due to illness and ever since Yoochun has been processing their past and the nature of their relationship. For JYJ, he wrote the stong 'Dad, You There?' around that time.
During a ment at the end of 2014, Yoochun mentioned that ten years ago, he had given his father a 10.000 yen bill. Recently he had a dream that he saw his father's wallet and the money was still there... and he realized he had been wrong about something in the past... likely the nature of what that had meant to his father.

Yoochun is currently doing public service in the military.
Junsu said he joked this would be his first and last solo album ever. Lol.
Very like Yoochun to put out an album when he has no obligation to perform/promote it. XD

[MV] Teen Top - Warning Sign

Odd rhythm syncopation. A bit more cohesive towards the end. Interesting.
04 04

[MV] Stellar - Sting

Holy fragmentation, batman!
73 00

A 360 version was released as well. Link here.
At least I'm not forced to look at just body parts in this one. Lol.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

[MV] Woo Yeon Soo - Dawn Star

[MV] Yoon Jong Shin (feat. Tablo) - The First

So sick!

[MV] Jung Yong Hwa, Sunwoo Jung A - Hello

[REMIX] SHIMMixes - Best of 2015 K-Pop Mega Mash-up

They get better every year!

[MV] Baechigi (feat. YeoEun) - Walkak

[MV] V.O.S - The only one for me

[MV] NiiHwa (feat. As One) - Say Yes

Gentle warning for strobing/flashing lights.

[MV] Joonil Jung (feat. BewhY) - Plastic

Saturday, January 9, 2016

[ADMIN] On Kpop MVs and a 2016 proposal...

In the last five years or so there has been a distinctive up-tick in a certain way music videos are shot. It's a trend that I find troubling, so I'm planning to keep an eye on it this year.

This trend is related to the way the bodies of women are shown through the camera lens. It's sometimes called 'fragmentation' or 'dismemberment', where body parts are focused on in a cropped way, without the face or eyes being present. The idea is that this dehumanizes and objectifies body parts. A close-up shot of breast cleavage is disconnected from the actual person to which the breasts belong. They could be attached to anyone. And this removes the possibility for the attached person to assert their agency over their own body and to be seen as a unique individual. It's closely related to 'commodification', where stuff that shouldn't be seen as a commodity is presented as a commodity or product to be traded/bought/sold... like a human. Read more for further explanation and the tally I'll be keeping for 2016.
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Monday, January 4, 2016

[MV] FREE STYLE (feat. XOXO) - Cold Hands

[MV] J.Slow (feat. Freelow) - Kids These Days

04 00

[MV] Lee Hyun Woo (feat. Louie of Geeks) - Your Face


Official channel link

I'll count this as a solo debut for the actor, Hyun Woo.

[MV] Dalshabet - Someone Like U

Official channel link

Easily the best thing they've done imo.
Looks like we'll have more 80s throwback sound into 2016!

[MV] CocoSori - Dark Circle


Very similar sound to Orange Caramel.

[MV] Gary (feat. Gaeko) - Lonely Night

[MV] Seo Ye Ahn - Permeate

[MV] Rooftop House Studio (feat. Ben) - Whatever

Friday, January 1, 2016

[PLAYLIST] KPOPPY's Best Of 2015 : The Eclectic Mix

A re-cap of my general guidelines.
  • Only songs with MVs
  • Synergy: The video and song amplify each other
  • Innovation or anything that feels fresh
  • We embrace weird here
  • No OSTs
  • And when push comes to shove... personal taste trumps...
2015 was a hell of a year. Last year, I tended to favor material off the beaten path. This year, the mainstream seemed to have a weird little fire under its butt. Lots of bold moves, different sound, and bucking trends that have been the norm for years. This made for many difficult playlist-crafting sessions along the way. And even now there are at least twenty songs that I could easily switch out, so we'll include some honorable mentions at the end.

I'll quickly mention a few trends I noticed. Black and white. So much greyscale in MVs this year. Not just frequency, but mostly paired with songs I loved. I started a playlist early in the year and kept it going.

Another trend brought me great joy. Girl groups in flats! For a long time female idols have been wearing high-heels as the standard. This led to choreography being mostly the stereotypically hyper-feminized style of burlesque/go-go/cabaret/vogue dance... as they were styles born out of wearing such shoes. It's a fundamentally different kind of limited movement and posture. Sometimes watching dudes dance in heels illustrates this best. It's not the gender, it's the shoes, and the cultural associations we connect with them.

But there has been a slew of ladies wearing sneakers, flats, or going barefoot. Lots of the new girl groups have had much freer, more energetic, and aerobic choreography because of this, which is awesome. myB, Lovelyz, Gfriend, Red Velvet, Oh My Girl, CLC, April, and Gain among others, all kept their heels on the ground and gave high-energy performances as a result. 
Huge thumbs-up from me.

My top 30 eclectic mix. The order is purely chronological.