summer k year review

 

The She Was Pretty drama was pretty all right, huh? But who knew that the lead actor, Seojoon could croon a tune too?

Seojoon sings an OST for the Hwarang drama

Sure, we all knew that Hyungsik, who plays the prince in the Hwarang drama with him could already sing, cuz he had started off as a singer with the group Z:EA (pronounced as “zay-a”).

Hyungsik

So both lead actors are not only in the drama, but also both sing the OST songs for the drama too. With gifted peepo like this…oy, I shoulda taken those free knitting classes offered at the library…

Hyungsik and Seojoon in Hwarang

 

As I was watching TV with my Mom one day years ago, we saw a popular actor get on the stage and start singing.

me: “Whoa! He can sing too?!”

the Mom: “Of course. They have to know how to act, to sing, and to dance well… They have to learn to do all of that if they want to succeed in the entertainment business.”

I looked at her stunned, scratching my head. Sheesh. Who knew ya had to learn all ‘o dat? Yowzers.

the Mom: “Like Rain. He can do all of that.”

This is where I had let out my over-exaggerated sigh, then tilted my head back in a diagonal semi-swoon, and gave out an ultra-rollin’ of my eyes, ’til both of my eyeballs were about to fall outta their sockets. Oy-yoy-yoy! Rain again?! Rain this, Rain that. Oy, some buddy gimme a break.

Nickhun, the Thai singer of 2PM often shares about how he had decided to become a Kpop singer because his Mom loved Rain so much. That was the similar case for BamBam (of GOT 7; their song below) and his Mom too.

A few years ago, an Aunt of mine told me about how she had gone to one of Rain’s concerts in Korea. I said in shocked disbelief, “You went to Korea just to go to his concert?!” She nodded her head, and told me that she had gone together with her daughter, who was in her early 30s at the time.

I’m sorry, but I just can’t fathom going to a Rain concert. Okay, then again, any concert. Cuz remember when the sis had asked me if I wanted to go to a Kpop concert that was held here in Los Angeles a few years ago? When she had asked me, I answered her without a half-second thought, “Heck no!” And this be my reason why, which my family members all know too well:

Any event being held where there’s gonna be quite a distance for me to look for the neareest porta-potty or bathroom is a capital NO for me. Because of my over-active bladder, my whole world revolves around where the closest toilet is. So unless I’m required to attend a concert or some other kind of major public gathering for some reason, I ain’t goin’ to no concert voluntarily.

It had really cracked me up major one day, when the sis had handed me a magazine. It was folded to a page with an advertisement on it. As she pointed to the ad, she said to me with a serious face, “That’s you.” The ad was about some kind of over-active bladder medication and the person was sitting on the toilet. A message was printed around the person that said something about that person having missed another major family event because he was stuck having to be in the bathroom again.

Goodness, I had always imagined that my face may one day end up in a dictionary for being the oddest, most disoriented, non-Math-understanding Asian chick with the poorest memory and cooking ever. But who knew I’d also possibly be in a magazine too, for my having to go to my most-frequented joint?

If the sis can’t find me when she needs me to do sumthin’ for her, she’d automatically head to where she knows I’d be: in the bathroom. She stands in front of the door, bangs on it, and hollers out to me, “Are you on your throne again?!”

Back to yackin’ ’bout Rain. About 10 years ago, I woulda never thought that Rain was known outside of Korea. But maybe that was cuz I didn’t have no cable TV or Internet. (You betcha I had my crayons, Hello Kitty coloring book, acrylic crayons, and watercolor paints.) It was the sis (my personal K-news reporter; the other being the Mom) who had told me about Rain being on TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People Who Shape Our World” in 2006. Then he had won again the following year, and had beaten Stephen Colbert again, by 100,000 votes this time.

As I have mentioned before, in my personal opinion, I don’t consider Rain to be a “singer”, really. Sure, he’s all right as an actor. But do I think he can sing? Um… Me thinks he just kinda sings on stage. But mostly, he just breathes hard on his mic.  Deep breathing sounds, then some words, then more breathing comin’ through the mic.  But even so, his dance numbers have become quite iconic, with many young Kpop dancers imitating him through the years. And especially after his having gotten married earlier this year, and having made a comeback album also (mo’ heavy breathin’ comin’ through to a stage near you!), his dance choreography for his “Rainism” song seems to be repeated more and more frequently this year.

The thing about it is, the group who are considered to have best-imitated his “Rainism” dance is the one who are already right now thought to be the best of them all: BTS, or also known as the Bangtan Boys.  Last week, it was on the K-entertainment news about how BTS had been on last month’s TIME magazine as “one of the most influential people on the Internet”.

Like the sis, I’m always trying to root for the underdogs.  But oy, they sure be hard to see underneath this super-popular BTS group.  But one really can’t knock ’em at all.  Cuz they really have been having such great hits, back to back.  And there are 3 things that seem to help a biggie bunch to make ’em get to where they are:

1. They have the best dance choreographer(s), who make quite unique dances for their songs (although some be like ultra-aerobic, to-the-Level-10 workouts).

2. They have the best music video directors.  More on this topic below.

3. They have the best hairstylists ever.

Those of y’all who’ve known me for years, know that I used to love to dye my hair red-toned, back in the day. I’ve always just loved red-colored hair. Whether it was Burgundy, Cherry, Strawberry Blonde, or Deep Eggplant, I loved to color my hair all of those tones.  So there are 2 haircolors that I’ve been nuts about that the fellas in this group have had. Check out the red-colored hair that Jimin has for their “Dope” song.

(It’s a wonder to me why they had titled this song as such, when the word they are actually saying is “Chuh-ruh”. So they shoulda titled it as “Churro”, at least, is my thinkin’.  Woulda been more easier to remember, cuz who don’t dig churros, right?)

This song resonates for the public cuz the concept of the song has to do with their being simple, everyday Joes (or Park, Lees, and Kims, rather).  So their outfits when they perform for this song have been police, military, and business office uniforms.

 

 

Going back to #2, in regards to their having great directors for their music videos. Kpop music videos have been criticized for years that they’re too similar, in that the groups are always in some kind of room. Whether it’s a colorful room, a dark room, a parking lot-like room, the singers are criticized to have always been recorded in a room-ish-like room. So whenever a group records their music videos to be outdoors somewhere, it receives alotta positive feedback. “It’s a relief from those rooms!”, fans would share on their social medias. Even though TVXQ had a very popular music video with some CG in it, even they too, had fallen in the “room trap” music video. (Remember TVXQ, the group which the Mom and her friends love cuz them boys’ song has got “power”?)

So when BTS had come out with the music video for their song called “Save Me”, it was like whoa whoa whoa! Hold da horses, yo! Park yo cars and bicycles, and step aside, cuz what is this?! There was no more perfectly hairsprayed hairstyles. No fancy outfits, sports outfits, CG, or cool anything. These guys were now not only OUTdoors, but were also just out there on some muddy unknown field. Talk about a difference. Woulda certainly saved ’em some dough on the set cost for reals too. Check it out, a new kind of music video for the Kpop scene, their fresh and simple MV.

 

 

How they looked at the final recording.

 

How they looked during practice in the rain and gloomy weather that day.

 

The last coupla seasons, it was like a battle for the most rampage-like fastest and most-tiring dance choreographies and songs between the Kpop groups. But recently, it’s more like the Battle of the Ballads. And although GOT 7 had a smooth number for their song “If You Do” (below), it was BTS’s “Spring Day” that had won the hearts of Kpop fans ’round the world. When BTS had a concert in Brazil, their “Spring Day” song had played prior to their coming onto the stage to begin their concert.  But surprisingly to even the group, the Brazilian fans were able to sing along to the song in Korean, as the music video for it played on the stage screen.

I was gonna mention two of their haircolors, remember? Besides the red one that Jimin had in the previous video above, check out this absolutely rich pink tone that he has for their “Spring Day” song. Now have you ever seen such a soft-like healthy hair that was pink before?  Usually, when it comes to folks who have pink-colored hair, they seem to look dried-out and like Kool Aid-colored hair.  But look how healthy this group’s hairstylists had made Jimin’s pink hair to be!  It just make me wanna holler out like that little girl did in The Minions movie, “It’s so FLUFFY!”  So I’m determined to have my hair be a lovely pink like his one day.  Cuz as y’all know, I’m a nutter-butter when it comes to the color pink.  Even fo my hair.  Yeah!

 

One of the things that mighta helped BTS get more popular was because V (yep, pronounced just like the letter) had also acted in the Hwarang drama.  He’s the one with the rich red-colored hair in their “Save Me” music video.

V of BTS

 

V in Hwarang

v

 

 

More on the Bangtan Boys in the fire and spring post.

More on GOT 7 in the got 7 returns post.

 

 

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