QRIMOLE episode 16: Park You

It’s a new month which means another episode of QRIMOLE!  Read on for the last collection of answers to random questions from readers for 2017!

I just noticed that I would always yawn at every Red Velvet songs that I listened. Even if the song is considered to be a “red” release. How can that happen?

Someone probably gave you a thing that was red and velvet to sleep with as a child, so you have yawns by association.

Dear oppar, I’ve started college this year, but I absolutely hate it. Not because of what I’m studying (I would still enjoy it like the first weeks if I could)- it’s because of where I’m staying: the dormitory. I mean, I like my dormmate, she is a nice person but she has a really active social life. She likes partying and drinking, you know, the usual uni stuff which I don’t particularly enjoy. I was okay with this at first, but then everytime I come to our room, there are people I don’t know sitting in the room, using my stuff, even the bathroom. (These people have their actual dorm rooms, too.) Yesterday was the final straw for me: I had an exam and a paper to submit yesterday, but because her drunk friends barged in and didn’t left until 3 a.m, I failed both of them. I really care about my grades, I even followed everything you said in your uni post 🙂 And yes, I may be fairly introverted but I enjoy other things like playing drums and co-hosting a radio show in our uniradio but now everthing in my life is crumbling and I can’t get enough sleep in days. And on top of that, everyone who’s in my mate’s circle kinda outcasts me because I look ‘serious’ and ‘no fun’. Whatever, I’m just so sad. This was not what I expected to happen. Wish I could do anything about this but my parents don’t allow me to rent a flat outside of the school. I’m considering studying abroad right now, but I’m not really sure about it. What should I do?

Your dorm mate and her drunk friends aren’t responsible for your success or failure, you are.  So start taking control of the situation.  Have you even raised this as an issue?  Maybe it’s time that you did.  I’m sure a little bit of compromise would work just fine.  Negotiate and see if you can both agree to certain times when she can turn the place into Partytown and certain times when she can’t (i.e night before exams papers due etc).  Also agree on the consequences for breaking the agreement, so she can’t backslide!  Failing all of this, find another location to study, or maybe find a friend of yours to crash for the night who is more into studying than partying, for those times when she gets blind drunk and forgets the “agreement”.

I have two questions for the Fearless Leader. Have you been impressed with the work of any new production or songwriters in k-pop? Who should we keeping an eye on and why?

Secondly, I know you don’t watch a lot of TV but was curious to your thoughts on the zillion different superhero films and shows out there. Is it worth paying attention to any of it, or is it all roughly the same kind of relatively paint-by-numbers stuff?

I don’t really keep close track of who writes what song, only if I like the song.  That’s because songwriters write “to commission” – they don’t just write what the hell they want, they’re asked to give a certain group a specific sound.  So the best songwriter can write total crap sometimes, it happens.  I wouldn’t even know who writes half the shit I like.  However some information about one or two composers might work its way into my end of year lists, we’ll see.

I don’t watch superhero stuff at all.  I don’t even see the fascination with it.  The person at the checkout who spends 8 hours a day packing groceries and still manages to smile at the end of it when I come through there 5 minutes before closing time to buy condoms is more heroic to me than some fictional dickhead who wears his underpants on the outside.

Would you say all of k-pop is pastiche or just most of it? Songs like “Abracadabra” and “Red Light” seem more unique to me, but the fuck do I know, really…

Pretty much all of it, or so close to all of it that it might as well be all of it.  “Red Light” is probably an exception, but then maybe I’m just not familiar with what they’re copying.

KPOPALYPSE
ARE BOY GROUPS LESS BITCHY
TO
EACH
OTHER
OFF- SCREEN
COMPARED TO GIRL GROUPS? are they more chill?i ask this because
of my personal experience in school-
the
boys are more chill
and the girls are fucking maniacs
please answer this question oppa succ succ
saranghae

I have no idea.  My guess is as good as yours.  However knowing about how guys vs girls tend to communicate I’d say that the girls get more bitchy and backstabby forming cliques and the boys are more straight-up and as a result get into more fights.

Are the dancers on the background dancers exploited too?(u kno like we’ll let you perform if you do this for us)

It’s the music industry.  Everybody is exploited somehow.

BTS going on Ellen, Jimmy Kimmel, AMAs etc and doing the remix with Steve Aoki, how long ago would this have to be planned and scheduled? Would it have happened after they released their new singles? Also, do you think this international exposure they’re getting is transient? Sort of like Wonder Girls (and Psy sort of)… Also will this actually benefit Kpop as a whole despite the language barrier?

Most stuff like this gets planned months ahead.  There’s usually nothing quick about it because the logistics involved aren’t particularly easy.  I have no idea how well BTS will do in the long run but they’re a better bet for “k-pop representatives” than Psy was.  Psy was seen mainly as a novelty act, whereas BTS take themselves fairly seriously as most k-pop groups tend to do.  This means it will be harder for BTS to get anywhere but it also means that whatever strides they do make are more likely to carry k-pop as a whole with them to some degree.

From what you’ve seen, how common is corporate espionage in the music industry? It seems like it would be really useful to know the release schedules and plans of your competition, especially for pop companies, but likely expensive to buy informants who work for your competitors. (plus illegal, but I don’t know if they would care about that).

I was thinking about this because I feel like SM may have moved the release of “Peek-a-Boo” to avoid “Likey” late in the production, since the themes of the video are better for either August or Halloween. That would make me believe companies don’t know each-other’s schedules very well. Of course, it probably had been pushed back for normal reasons, or that was the expected release date, and I’m over-thinking this.

Corporate espionage isn’t really much of a thing in the music business, and the reason why is that there’s so many unknowns when it comes to what makes a hit song or a hit group.  It’s not like with car companies where there’s very strict criteria for what people look for in a car, and the car with the best power/comfort/fuel efficiency/features will have a clear advantage, so therefore car companies internally act like the fucking Freemasons with trying to keep everything secret and keeping the competition from not finding out about their shit.  With pop groups and pop songs, there’s a general feel of what works, but there’s also the possibility for a really different thing that nobody expected also working just as well (think about Bolbbalgan4’s recent success, for example), and there’s also the possibility of something that looks good on paper not resonating with the public for unknown reasons.  Therefore “knowledge of the enemy” isn’t as valuable when it’s such a crap-shoot, there’s no value in knowing the competition’s plan when there’s no way to objectively assess who has the better plan, if anything companies are better off being open about their plans to build anticipation.  If nothing else, it’s true that companies do tend to move their release schedules around to strategically compete with each other sometimes, but even that can sometimes backfire in unexpected ways and there’s no strict reliable formula for what works and what doesn’t.

Statistically, by far the most common reason why a new release gets pushed back is that video, box art or concept art isn’t ready.  In other words, nothing to do with the music, or the competition.

Do you have any idea as to what idols do in between comebacks?Also, how is it that they’re able to own pets, when they’re ironically being treated like animals?

They probably just train fitness a lot and keep in shape.  Also they would practice what they already know so it’s natural to them so they don’t forget how to do it and also so when they have to learn the next thing they don’t get it mixed up with the old stuff.  I have no idea about the pets thing, something tells me that younger or lesser-known idols just have pets for show on reality TV or whatever, but I don’t really know, my guess is once again probably as good as yours.

Esteemed male senior, I need your gifts of information gathering and clairvoyance to find out what and where the hell is that circular ruined building that’s been in every other kpop video recently (Kim Lip’s ”Eclipse”, VIXX’s ”The Closer”, Stray Kids’ ”Hellevator”, and I’m sure there’s more). Not even the second page of Google is of any use with this!

Thank you for the work you do here btw, it literally saved me from going down the kpop fandom drain.

Good question, I don’t know.  I’m going to pass this one over to caonimas.  The same sets tend to crop up a lot in k-pop videos and the reason why is because there really isn’t that many good architecturally-impressive locations in such a small highly-populated country to shoot videos, that are also freely available for video directors to use.

Why do almost all kpop songs have rap part in it? Some of rap bridge in many kpop songs kinda ruined the flow of the song (because of bad delivery or rap don’t really fit the song). It isn’t like idols write their own rap break anyway soo why it’s still there?? Only to accomodate members who can’t sing or there are some cultural reason behind it?

I think that it’s so songs can achieve roughly-equal-ish line distribution (which fans like) without having to put pressure on all members to learn a singing part in a hurry.  There may also be cultural factors, I feel like Korea doesn’t have quite the huge cultural distinction between rap music and rock/pop that the USA does.  I think Korea sees it as just two different ways of vocalising whereas in the USA rap music and rock music both come with a great deal of very different extra cultural baggage.

Why do some idol groups have consistently shit songs – even when another group under the same label doesn’t? Why not use whoever produces the songs for the better group to produce songs for the shit group as well, instead of having another shit producer for said shit group? (Ex: Teen Top, who have been consistently shitty for years, are *somehow* labelmates with 100%, who are arguably one of the most consistently good boy groups in kpop. Why not use 100%’s producer for both groups?) Sorry about the long-winded/stupid question.

The reason for it is that songwriters are told to write certain things, and the plan might be to write differently for two different groups.  After all what’s the point of even having two different boy groups on the one agency’s roster if they both sound the same?  So the agency will instruct the songwriter who is writing songs for both groups “here’s the sound I want for group x, but for group y I want this other sound”, and maybe the songwriter is better at writing sound x than he is at writing sound y.

Have you ever bought merchandise from a K-pop group? (Not albums)

Yes.  I had a limited-edition Jiyeon shirt which I gave away to a radio listener recently.  I have a few items like that but not many, I buy them mainly to give to my radio listeners in competitions.

Hello Oppar!

You so help fully explained R&B, but could you clue me in as to what Alternative is about? I’ve heard it’s for ‘music that doesn’t fit into other genres’ but I’ve always thought it was ‘pop music without the pop title.’

Thanks for your time!

Answer here.

kpopalypse u must gather the determination to do another haiku song review just like how eunjung had the determination to shove that rice cake in hwayoung’s mouth

I will write Haiku / with all the skill of Hwasnake / faking a hurt leg

kpopalypse you haven’t been posting articles frequently, why are you being like this?  If this goes on, i might have to say bye bye to you.Just like how apple is a, t is for target, and you should set a target for a greater number of articles per week.You drive me crazy when you don’t post articles, yayaya i get it you’re busy but still!Have you forgotten about us?Or maybe you have some other problem in your life?What’s wrong?Don’t lie to us.Number 9.That is, on average, the number of days between each article you write.I remember the days we were blessed with bunny- style articles, now you make me go round and round, and roly-poly when I don’t see a new article.Now I know you probably think I don’t understand you and your busy life, but don’t lose your temper so quickly oppar, just remember your fandom.What’s our name?THE CAONIMAS!Damn, this was so crazy to write.

Here’s a chart of the frequency of Kpopalypse articles over 2017 so far:

Actually number 9 is not the posting frequency but actually the amount of posts I made in November, as demonstrated above.  I’m in pain that you would lie and make such false allegations.  However it is true that the posting has slowed down slightly, it’s not anywhere near as slow as like the first time I started blogging, just a little less frequency than normal.  The reason for it is that I’m spending a lot of time writing up end-of-year reviews so that they’re ready when the time comes.  Unfortunately Kpopalypse doesn’t get paid (much) for blogging and so I have to do a lot of work day and night, and my work picks up heavily and gets so crazy just before the Christmas period.  I’ll be working day by day all through December and am not going to get any holiday until January, but because I know the feeling of disappointment when there are no posts, I have to prepare posts in advance.  You can look forward to lots of posts soon though, hopefully you find some time to love them as well as time to listen 2 my end of year favourites which are coming soon.  Don’t leave!

I’m too lazy to log in my wordpress account. This is for the r&b article.

Our preference in music outside kpop somehow kinda different (I’m a sucker of r&b while kinda allergic of heavy metal), but this is such an interesting post. Thanks oppar!!
Btw, it’s interesting that African American music’s influence on our current music is very huge. Like almost every pop songs, whatever its language, has r&b influence on it, rappers and jazz bands from many countries, etc.

It’s true that African-American influence on western popular music styles is huge, I’d in fact go even further than that and say that African influence (not necessarily African-American) is the biggest influence on all popular music globally.

Listen to this hilarious interview with industrial musician Boyd Rice on some racist cable TV show.  The clueless KKK show hosts (and seemingly also the idiot who put the video up on YouTube, judging by the captions) have no idea that Boyd is taking the piss out of them.  He actually gets them at 3:00 to admit on air that white people haven’t created any original genres of music in hundreds of years!  Whether that’s strictly true or not could be debated but it’s certainly more of a truth than it is a lie plus a pretty funny statement to get the head of the KKK to agree to in public on his own TV show!

Do you think that the latest Monsta X music video, Dramarama (i probably didn’t spell it right, what a stupid name) has dog-whistle messages in it for gay people?I saw an unboxing on the album, and they even had photocards of two of the boys from the group together.

Also, do you know any music videos in k-pop that has gay subtext in it?

I’m not really seeing it, but then I could be a bit oblivious to it, being not sensitive to the “whistle”…

If you want to see a k-pop video clearly aimed at the gay market, try Nature Of Man:

Dear Oppar, I’m not a social person, with people who aren’t my friends I end up talking nonsense or sometimes I ignore them ’cause I feel really nervous. One of my ex-friends told me once that boys really dislike me (idk if is about my weird personality or because beauty standards), so I tried my best to be more nice. Since I’m a senior, we had kinda like a end of the year party, I ended up drunk and saying who were the boys that I liked and blah blah blah. Today was my last day of school and my one guy who isn’t exactly my friend asked for a pic, the thing is that a lot guys were kinda laughing (and the guy who I told everyone when I was drunk that I found him really cute), so I tried to say no, but I don’t know how I accepted. One of my friends asked me why did he wanted to take a picture with me, and that’s when I realized that he was making fun of me, like trying to be the cool guy with a picture of the ugly hated girl, after that some things made sense to my, like why some people avoid me or why some of them tend to laugh when I had to go in front of the class. I don’t know why they hate me so much?, I try to be nice or at least not interact with them so they don’t have to spread rumors. Why do boys hate me? is because i’m weird? or because i’m fat? or because I talk funny? I just don’t know, I only want to cry.

It’s hard to answer that without knowing you.  However, I guarantee you this – more people hate me than you!  As someone who is uniquely hated by thousands of people who have never met me, I can tell you that it’s pointless trying to figure out why people hate you, but know that if you remain true to yourself then you will find your element.  Don’t “try to be more nice” so boys like you, that’s a waste of time, there’s nothing to be gained from a lot of people liking you, and there’s no purpose trying to please people who hate you anyway, they’ll never be happy, just like I know that my haters will never be happy with what I write, so I will never write to please them.  Just be true to yourself and behave in accordance with your moral principles, and if other people dislike you then so be it, if you carry along this path then you will eventually meet people who appreciate you, and if that takes time then it’s fine because there’s no point wasting your valuable time on people who are less than what you deserve.

Thoughts on It G Ma?

Answered here.

You constantly mention a “post T-ara” world in regards to scandals. Could you elaborate on that and why netizens no longer have the power they once did?

T-ara had a hiatus of only a few weeks after a scandal in 2012 that was considered one of the biggest k-pop had ever had.  Then they came back with “Sexy Love” which was a huge, massive monster hit, right when they were “despised” and “over”.  Thousands of people echoed cries of “disband” but T-ara never did, because they couldn’t – they were under contract, after all, plus they as a group employed dozens of other people behind the scenes (who Hwayoung was bullying, by the way – something rarely discussed even now), all of whom would have lost their jobs.  The netizen demands were impossible to meet.  By being so hardline about a situation for which there was no clear proof and settling for nothing less than an impossible outcome, netizens placed themselves on the ideological fringes and consigned their own rhetoric to irrelevancy.  Meanwhile T-ara were still active and remain so at the time of writing, and the core audience that they built globally were galvanised partly because of the obviously unfair scandal, meaning they are now more successful than ever.  T-ara proved that it was possible for a female idol to have a viable career regardless of any and all negative media and netizen opinion.

If you want to see the effect of this on someone else, see the scandals with Ivy pre-2012 versus the scandals with IU, post-2012.  Ivy took years out of her career to “reflect” only to come back and find out that netizens still hadn’t forgiven her and she might as well have kept her career active the whole time.  When IU also had big controversies, she learned from T-ara (remember she’s good friends with Jiyeon), buckled up, shrugged her shoulders and kept making music with the understanding “I’ll always be hated by some”.  Who is more successful today as a result.  The entire paradigm has now shifted.  Korean pop is now starting to resemble western pop in this respect, which is definitely a good thing as far as both artists and music fans are concerned.

Psalm 100:1
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.”

Seven verses say that (including the verse above). The focus is on being joyful, not on making music. There are no verses that say ‘make joyful music’. The closest verses say to use musical instruments, but doesn’t say to make music.

1 Chronicles 16:42
“And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God. And the sons of Jeduthun were porters.”

2 Chronciles 5:13
“It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;”

I guess this is in reference to my R&B post where I pose the question that maybe the reason why gospel is so shit is that maybe there’s something in the Bible about masturbating vocally.  Unsurprisingly, the results seems like they could be interpreted in many ways, but then so can Kpopalypse blog, so I’m okay with this.

Here’s a Yeaji interview, since you included her song in your Oct. 30 weekly round-up. You didn’t like her song, but I thought you might enjoy this interview.

Yeah the song was dull, but thanks for the interview.  I agree that less-than-obvious lyrics can be a good thing, it allows the listener to put their own experiences and thoughts into the lyrics.  Doesn’t save her song from being boring though.

Hi oppar. Fellow caonima here~~~
I know you’re really not into vocalwanking but what’s make a vocalist considered as technically good vocalist? Is it the ability to do high note, wide range, stability, or something else?
Also, why pop music in general (kpop included) rarely into singers with lower/unusual singing tone? And why there are high note in almost every pop song ever? Is it for vocalwanking, showing how emotional their song are, or something else?
Thanks and have a nice summer~~~

The first question is answered here.

Pop music doesn’t tend to favour singers with low voices, because the main market for pop music is girls with high voices who have trouble singing along to a low-voiced singer.  That’s not to say people with low voices don’t exist in pop but they’re definitely a minority.

Hi oppa. When are you going to write us a fic about MBLAQ having to audition for The Unit?

It will have to wait until after my fic about underwear-stealing fangirls on crack flying to the moon.

What’s so great about Trout Mask Replica? I watched a video about how significant it is in music history and apparently how every aspiring composer and songwriter should hear it and know about it. I didn’t get it. Is it some avant-garde shit that only music academicians can appreciate or what?

I guess it was a very avant-garde rock album that sounded like nothing else at the time, and still sounds like little else today.  There was stuff that sounded a little like this in the classical avant-garde “modernist” scene as well as “free jazz” but not really from rock bands at the time.  So you could say that it’s a forerunner to a lot of more recent popular avant-garde music.  I remember being interested in hearing it after reading about the interesting creation process in The Real Frank Zappa Book, but Zappa made it sound in the book a lot more interesting than what it actually is, musically.  I’m probably a rare person who is in the “meh” camp with Trout Mask Replica, I like the experimentation and I understand the concepts and structure in it but I don’t think the musical result is there, for something with a similar feel but more musically compelling I’d recommend Philosophy Of The World by The Shaggs which I think has similar ideas (if by accident) and comes from a similar naive place but the absence of free jazz influence makes it a much better record.

Hi! can you caption first photo from this article?

Oh my god, that’s a fantastic photo.  Yes I can, but not now.  I promise I’ll get to it, it’s too good not to use.

HOW DARE YOU SHOW NO RESPECT FOR YOUR MOTHER I DEMAND THAT YOU WRITE A BORAM POSITIVE POST SO AS TO NOT BRING SHAME UPON YOUR FAMILY

(side note:I know you say you stan individuals more than groups, but do you really not feel emotional attachment to t-ara whatsoever?)

I’ll probably do a post about my mother at some point.  It’s not really k-pop related by I’m sure some people would be interested anyway.

I guess I sum up my feelings about T-ara here.  If you want to know where emotional attachment to a group is the strongest, it’s for the groups that I’m actually in (and were in).  After being on the inside of so many groups, and playing so many shows from the excellent to the terrible, and dealt with so many issues therein, emotional attachment to someone else’s group seems silly.  Sure I like it when my favourite groups make music and when they break up it’s a bummer but it’s not something I lose sleep over.

You seem to be pretty open to dishing out life advice if you can, so I was hoping you could maybe shed some light on my situation.
I know you’ve been into music since you were young and you’ve pursued it and managed to make a living out of it. Do you have any advice for someone who’s flitting from degree to degree and is undecided on what they want from life? I’m on my last rope and I’ll honestly take anything.
The internet has a lot of different things to say but seeing as how I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now, it seemed like a better idea to ask a stranger who writes about kpop and boobs what-
Anyways, hope your day is going well and if you can’t answer this it’s all cool. Your blog is fantastic, even just for the entertainment if not the music selection and the occasional educational post.
Thanks !

If I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do with my life, and I had a choice of any University degree, personally I’d pick the one that I’d enjoy the most.  I wouldn’t worry about a career at the end of it.  I know that sounds odd, but if you pick the thing with a guaranteed income but soul-crushing drudgery you’re going to find it hard to motivate yourself to get through the coursework, and then even harder to go into the workforce and actually do the thing the degree qualifies you for, you’re consigning yourself to a life of misery.  Money is important, but any degree is still useful and makes you more employable than no degree.  Just the fact that you’re capable of finishing a degree is an impressive thing as far as most employers go, and some occupations specifically require a degree but don’t care what type (teaching English in Korea is a good example, in Australia you need a degree for it but it doesn’t matter what the qualification is in, I could go there and teach English with my music degree if I wanted).

Hi Kpopalypse Oppar,

I’m sure you’ve heard about the sexual abuse scandal going on in Hollywood right now. Recently I realised that the kpop industry would have the exact same problem, and I can’t stop thinking about it.
I think it would be worse in kpop because:
– Sexism is more prevalent in Korea
-Stigma around sex is bigger in Korea
-The kpop industry is just really shitty in general
I’m sure there are male victims too. Many victims would be children.
Do you think there’s any chance of someone speaking up about it? (I would place my bets on Sorn, because she gives zero fucks)
Thanks!

I guarantee you that k-pop has the same problem.  The music business is such a murky organised-crime-laden industry to begin with, and so much of organised crime in Korea is directly linked to prostitution, it’s not hard to put two and two together.  Both adult and child prostitution of idol trainees is absolutely happening as well as other sex-service work.  Casting couches are absolutely a thing.  Korea’s culture where women are rarely believed means that a Rose McGowan/Harvey Weinstein style situation spearheading a wave of allegations sweeping up many different people is unlikely, however.  There will continue to be isolated instances like with Open World Entertainment where people are caught doing the wrong thing, but I don’t think it’s going to play out quite like the Hollywood situation.

i just got an idea for a post:you should check out the fanfics on archive of our own/asianfanfics/fanfiction.net/wattpad and then write your own on those websites.Since gay ships are the most popular on there, you should write only about straight pairings just to troll them.Preferably baekhyun x taeyeon, kai x krystal, iu x eunhyuk…the possibilities of pissing them off are endless.

I don’t mind people writing fanfics, I’ve got nothing against a good bit of literary porn, why the hell not.  It’s when people think their ships are reality and start beating other people over the head who disagree, then I have an issue.  I might write something related to this one day.

Out of all the k-pop albums you have, which one has the best pictures? 😉

Probably IU’s “Last Fantasy” although I should get my hands on “Flower Bookmark 2” just for the photobook, I bet that’s worth a fap.

Any T-ara fan or avid Photoshop student also needs to have T-ara’s “Paris & Swiss” photobook, don’t go past that one.  You’ll thank me.

How much does an idol earn from CFs and commercials, or is it their company that’s getting most of the profit?

Depends on the contract.  I can’t generalise about this.

Hello kpopalypse! I’m a long time reader of your blog and I’ve enjoyed it for years and it usually cheers me up when I’m feeling down/like shit/nothing at all, which used to happen a lot because my ADHD and depression ruled over my life until this year.

This year I’m tackling my mental health problems with medication and physical activity, actually getting shit done in college, became a whore (fuck working my ass out and not having time for myself at all for pennies at the end of the month – I actually feel stupid for not doing it sooner) and kpop has consistently been shit so I’ve been gradually distancing myself from it and your blog, which makes me kinda sad. Context being given, I want to ask you the following things:

1) do you think kpop being shit for the last year or so actually motivated me to get something done?

2) why is EVERYONE releasing shit this year? even groups who used to be pretty consistent and who are not trend-hopping can’t seem to put out a good song to save their lives.

3) when I became a whore I tried charging more the uglier/older/more disgusting the person booking me is but I’ve now realised the more ugly and fucked up someone is, the more likely it is they can’t pay much. What charging system do you recommend?

4) how was your week?

  1.  It might have helped!
  2. Not sure.  There have been some standouts for me though, you’ll find out what they are at the end of this month!
  3. In Australia a coal miner risking their life and health to dig into the crust of the earth earns a lot more than someone working a retail checkout, and that’s the way it should be, higher risk should translate to higher reward.  The more time and effort you have to personally expend to do your job, and the more risk and responsibility you undertake, the more you should be paid.  This applies to any profession.  So I think it depends on what the client wants, and what the perceived risk as well as the perceived effort of fulfilling that activity for the client might be.
  4. I’m good!  Very busy though.  Glad my blog has helped you.  I’ll continue to post enough tangenital ravings so that even if you stop becoming a k-pop fan completely, you’ll probably still get something out of reading.  Many people who read my writing are not k-pop fans at all, especially in Australia where the blog’s dry sense of humour is more widely understood and so people tend to read it just for the writing style alone, as opposed to overseas where most people misinterpret the humour as “edgy” for some weird reason.

Could you ever see less heavily processed vocals being used in kpop? Maybe not on a title track because that would throw off the balance of the universe, but maybe on a b side? No? Just wishful thinking? I thought so.

I would like to clarify that I meant like the over processing that makes a person sound like a robot, not like standard compression or slight autotune that makes the vocal shine a bit. Okay fuck it, Twice. I’m talking about Twice.

The vocal processing on Twice is really absolutely no different to the vocal processing on any big k-pop group.  I don’t know why people single out Twice so much, other than that they’re the biggest k-pop girl group right now so I guess they get the lion’s share the attention for aspects of k-pop that are in fact common across most groups.  If that “big group” wasn’t Twice but was Pristin or CLC or DIA or whoever, this same conversation would be about them.

You’re lucky that you’re a k-pop fan now and not in 2010, when hard Autotune was everywhere and on everything.  The “robot voice” stuff has noticeably decreased since those days, but will probably always be with us in some form.  You can’t put the genie back into the bottle.

Hello Kpopalypse oppar.

On December my school is going to put a stand in “salón del cómic” as usual and this year I’m going to participate and (try to) sell stickers and postcards.


“Salón del cómic” it’s a event where you can buy things related withe comics; you can see comics (some of them are very old and some are new), and a lot of mangas and merchandising related to that. And/Or you can participate and do activities that are held like contest of karaoke (only j-pop and k-pop in their respectives languajes), cosplay, fast drawing, videogames…

So we are going to do fanarts about videogames, comics, cartoons… but in my class, including me, 3 persons are going to do fanarts about kpop. I know they are going to do stickers of BTS, Seventeen and Exo. And one of my themes is Twice because
1. I wana earn money if I can and I’m sure a lot of people knows this group (I literally searched about kpop but with results in my country and they pooped)
2. From TT (I think) to Likely i like them (if you quit that japanese song they released recently).
3. I wanted to do a different group (again, profit in mind).
My other themes are not related to kpop so I’m going to write it.

Finally, my question:
Is it going to help these groups (for example, they get more known in my country and they do a concert where it’s more probably for them to see money) at all or we are only caonimas that are only going to earn money from them like their companies?

If I did merchandising of a group less known like… A.Daily, Dorothy, VAV… and more nugus… It would be different? Or not at all? Maybe I could do a little of (free) advertisement for them ?

I think that’s all. I’m sorry because it’s too long TT.TT and I don’t know if I expressed correctly…

*Sigh* I need to study and do some work.Oh! I didn’t ask… so “How are you?”.

Now I think I don’t forget anything… Bye! Have a nice day!

I’m good!

A nugu would definitely benefit from your actions more than Twice, who honestly don’t need your help.  However if it’s total unknowns there’s a real risk of people just not giving a shit.  You’ll probably make more money from Twice!  I think you should do Twice, just to contrast the others.  I think if you do it well you’ll clean up.

I was reading through your kpop genre post again and it made me think about some of the genres you included. The closest kpop example you had for metal was a Kara song, but now we have Dreamcatcher who have released multiple metal-inspired songs. Dreamcatcher also released the drum and bass inspired Sleep-walking, which I’d say is more similar to the genre than the songs used as examples. For dream pop/shoegaze, Loona Odd Eye Circle recently released Loonatic, and I’m almost certain that this is the first time an idol group experiments with this genre. There’s also (pop) punk, which has been done before so this is nothing new but Ponytail by Twice is a tad less sugary than the Girls Generation song. Now, on to my actual question: Do you think this may be a sign that kpop groups will start experimenting with more, for the lack of a better word, “alternative” genres in the future? (By alternative I mean rock, metal, punk and any of the many sub genres, and I know drum & bass is not “alternative” at all.) Or is it just wishful thinking by me who is sick of tropical house, R&B, and ballads?

I agree with your observations about the genre post.  Part of what made the Golden Age of k-pop more interesting than k-pop before then, is that once k-pop caught up a little to western trends, more genre experimentation happened.  I think this will continue in the future, there’s always going to be annoying trends, but there’s also always going to be someone looking for that “different” angle, which tends to happen when the existing trend starts to really wear down and just before a new trend takes hold.  Expect 2018 to be slightly more interesting.

Hi Kpopalypse!
I‘m looking for some advice.
When I find a song that I like I tend to constantly listen to it and then get tired of it. That’s stupid of me ofc, but I have a really hard time finding songs that I enjoy in general, so there’s not exactly much I could listen to instead. I can’t even say what genres I like (small bits and pieces from different styles) and listening to whole albums (whatever artist) is too exhausting because I’ll find one song at most that I like.
Your blog and the weekly roundup help because the odd song here or there is appealing to me – yet I’ll play these songs on repeat because there’s no alternative and then they’re ruined for a very long time.
Should I force myself not to listen to the few songs I like repeatedly by not listening to any music at all or do you have advice how I can find more music I enjoy with my lacking determination levels?
I’ll fondly await your reply!

Actually my brother told me many years ago that he would ration his listening of favourite songs so he wouldn’t get sick of them.  I didn’t do this at the time so I got sick of many songs quickly, I should have followed his example!  I do tend to ration my listening now quite a lot but that’s mainly due to time constraints.  As for finding new music, you’ll notice that most roundups and song reviews have links here and there to things like musical influences, you could try clicking on them and see where they lead…

Hi, sensei. Just wasn’t sure if you had seen this particular video: This Photos Shows Kpop Skirts Are Only Getting Shorter (TOO MUCH?)

No I hadn’t, and now I wish I never did.  The video is typical clickbait bullshit (obvious enough by the title), it’s just a collection of random girls with skirts of various random lengths that are all fairly short.  Short skirts are nothing new in k-pop, and there’s no evidence in this post that skirts have gotten shorter over time.  Please don’t send me boring shit like this.

1.What is your response to people who call you a pedophile for stanning Kyla?
2.Who is the bustiest in Pristin after Kyla?I think it’s Rena, but I could be wrong.

  1.  They are wrong, I’m stanning Kyla for the same reason that I stan all “no reason” sidebar girls.  It’s not a sexual thing whatsoever.  Amazing that I have to spell this out for people, but I guess some k-pop fans are pretty dumb.
  2.  I have no idea, maybe I will analyse this issue one day but I’ll probably wait a couple years so I have a chance of actually telling the Pristin girls apart in a line-up first.

1.It seems like you don’t like labels in politics, so I’ll ask you this instead: Whose policies do you agree with more, Trump or Hillary’s?
2.If you like Ben Shapiro ways of expressing himself you should check out Lauren Southern and Roaming Millennial’s speeches.
(ps you should move to Singapore, we have an app here called Carousell, and the kpop albums are sold for $5 for one)

  1.  Honestly I thought they were both pretty shit.  If I was American and had to choose between those two, I’m still unsure to this day who I would have picked.  While the large majority of Trump’s domestic policies within America seem like just total nonsense designed to appease the lowest common denominator of idiot, and Trump himself is clearly an egocentric douchebag (at best) the silver lining is that he’s willing to be on better terms with Russia, and you have to live outside of North America to understand how big a deal that is.  As someone who grew up in the cold war where we were worried about nuclear war being imminent, better US/Russia relations is a huge relief and a better situation for the whole planet.  Of course the current Russia is no angel but they’re here to stay just like the USA is, and America’s adversarial approach toward Russia for its own sake has caused a lot of problems in many parts of the world.  Hillary on the other hand is dangerous on foreign policy, without an Obama to hold her back she would have started some shit with Russia over the Syria situation for sure within months of gaining office and we’d all be deep in WWIII by now without a doubt.  Hillary probably domestically might have been a little bit better than Trump on policy (you never know for sure until they get in, and this after all is the woman who said that it’s important to have “one policy position in public and another one in private” so who knows what madness she really had in store), but as far as overseas goes she is someone with a long track record of consistently making absolutely the worst foreign policy decisions and should never be allowed to run anything more important than a bake sale.
  2. I’m already aware of these two but I don’t follow them closely.  They both talk at about half Ben Shapiro’s speed so I lose patience with their v-logs despite the fact that they’re prettier than him (Roaming > | Lauren | >>>> Ben) .  I do enjoy some of Lauren’s street interviews though, I give her full marks for trolling.

Hey, do you have any recommendations for kpop blogs, similar to yours or AJ? I realy enjoy reading about kpop, but I don’t wanna get into blogs that take themselves to seriously. Something with a sense of humour.

Thx for you time,

A northern hemisphere previledged caonima who wishes she would stop getting the EU cookies warning everytime I use my phone ffs

Well, Anti Kpop-Fangirl is back, kind of.  Of course I knew it would be, AKF is one of those serial social network flip-floppers who has “quit Twitter” a bunch of times and then returned a few weeks later so when he said he was closing down the AKF site I knew that it wasn’t going to be dormant for long and the fire would eventually return.  Right now it’s just him and HanYeSeulFag and maybe even Zaku soon (maybe, I didn’t say anything though) but none of them are posting a lot yet.  I’m holding out for lots of political incorrectness and amusing blog wars with Asian Junkie (do it, you faggot bitches), I hope they don’t disappoint and step up the posting frequency from the current once per solar eclipse of Hani’s ass.  For anyone wondering, I wish them all the best and will definitely enjoy any new content they post but no I won’t be joining them again, my time writing for other sites is over forever unless someone offers a well-paid gig (and it’d have to be a pretty goddamn amazing offer for me to say yes because my time is limited as fuck).

Kpopalypse, how exactly can we identify a ballad? I initially thought that for a song to be considered a ballad, it would have to be necessarily slow with strings and shit. But then I saw your golden age list and you’d mentioned that Bom’s You & I was a ballad, and that thing is mainly electronic.

I dug deeper into this “electronic ballads” thing and I’ve even seen people stating that TITANIUM by David Guetta and Sia was a ballad…

I mean, this is a fucking great song, one of the only western mainstream pop songs I actually really enjoyed this decade. But how the fuck is Titanium a ballad? Why is “You & I” a ballad? WHAT THE FUCK IS A BALLAD ANYWAY? Help me, oppar.

The instruments don’t matter.  A ballad can be strings or electronic, or neither (i.e a piano ballad).  What matters is the tempo.  When I say tempo we’re talking about two things:

1. BPM (beats per minute)

2. The rate of melodic fluctuation.

“Titanium” is definitely not a ballad, the BPM is too quick, so whoever said that it was, smack them.  However BPM isn’t the whole story, as “It G Ma” has funeral-tempo BPM like all trap rubbish and definitely isn’t a ballad, it can’t be as there’s no melody to it at all.  Bom’s “You And I” and SoReal’s “My Heart Says” are what I call “mid-paced ballads” – the beat is a little quicker than typical ballad tempo but the melodic lines move slowly in the way that ballad melodies usually do.  It’s the combination of slow-or-at-least-not-too-quick BPMs and slow-moving melodies that define a ballad.

When you reviewed Signal Twice You said that after some horrible rapsomething It got better.But on Youtube theres a diffrently arranged version,But it doesn’t sound as good as the original .Oppa solve this mystery

It’s not a mystery, in fact you’ve just answered the question yourself!  Twice’s “Signal” certainly pissed off a lot of people by scooping some award for whatever at MAMAs 2017 and it’s probably about time for my regular “awards ceremonies are shit” reminder post anyway so if you’re still confused I’m planning to go into detail about this soon.

Black Suit by SuJu will stun you away.What do you think of the song Growing Pains by D&E? Genuinely curious.

I just realised that I don’t think I’ve covered this song.  Or have I?  I honestly don’t remember.  Anyway please remind me about any missed k-pop songs through the year when I do solicitations for the “clearing house” posts, this will be in a week or two (no suggestions just yet, please – save them for now).  There were several questions like this about songs I’ve missed out throughout 2017, don’t worry, as long as it’s a feature track you’ll get your chance to see a shitty one-sentence Kpopalypse non-review.

But Twice Likey has no melody? Even the instrumentals lack the proper beat/melody ?

It appears that you don’t likey likely “Likey”.  That’s fine, but to say it has no melody is an objectively false statement.  Perhaps you are confused as to the correct definition of what constitutes a melody.

Oppar!! I got a boy SNSD also have the same arrangement as Oh! why u no likey

Arrangement is important but it isn’t everything.  You can arrange poop in a pretty pile but it will still smell.  IGAB is discussed in more detail here.

Are you still going to cover Keith Ape in your round ups and worst of lists? Everything he has released is garbage but I’m unsure if he still qualifies as a “kpop” artist

I have before, so I can do again, although I’m not sure how much more I’ve got to say about a person who basically just releases the same mumbling bullshit over and over.  I define “k-pop” fairly loosely.

Hi,
I’m a 22 years old French guy and I’m just trying to figure out something with your help (if you want).
The thing is, I went into Kpop in 2015 (with a clip from Girls’ Generation) and never got rid of it, I’m quite fascinated with this universe (idols, MVs, comebacks, disbands, shows, etc etc) but I can’t share it with anyone. All of my friends aren’t listening to this kind of stuff, actually they’re judging me quite violently for my taste of music. My family couldn’t care less and I’m really not into all the Internet talks (even though I’m asking you this question on a blog after reading all your articles). The only person I could spend a good time with this mutual passion/interest is my 11 year old German cousin (which I don’t see much).
I don’t know if you can be of any help but have you any tips for me? This loneliness in a time-consuming hobby is quite difficult to bear.
Thanks! (and sorry, my English is really poor, I’m working on it, hope I’m understandable).

Well, you’ve got one more person that you regularly talk to about k-pop than I have.  I guess I’m in your shoes too.  The thing is, I’m okay with it.  I’ve always felt comfortable with my own company and doing my own thing.  Right now while I’m typing this, my girlfriend is in the other room watching something on her laptop, I don’t even know what the fuck it is.  She doesn’t give any fucks about k-pop, and why should she, it’s not her thing, I wouldn’t expect her to like it, she has her own things that she likes.  I live my life for myself and have my interests because they interest me, it’s not specifically for other people.  If other people want to talk about it then that’s fine, great, I’m happy to share, but I don’t sit here and assume anyone else should give a fuck about what goes on inside my own head.

I must say you’re quite tolerant to put up with k-pop though, what with all that Frenchface going on.  You must be a saint.

You always talk about how the k-pop industry almost never creates poorly mastered tracks these days. Have you noticed clipping in any title tracks released in the past couple years?

I recently bought a pair of studio monitors for my main listening rig, and they have revealed some harsh sounding artifacts in a couple of songs I bought (e.g.: KNK – Back Again, JYP – Fire). Wondering if you have experienced the same.

Honestly no.  I’m sure it happens just like clipping sometimes creeps into western songs when the mastering studios are really trying to push digital zero and aren’t paying careful attention to levels.  Even though I work with audio I’m not an audiophile and when I listen to music for enjoyment I don’t give that much of a crap about the mixing and mastering as long as it’s serviceable enough so everything is balanced right and sounds basically okay plus the song is good.  I don’t audiofag in the way that vocal fans vocalfag.

I know it will be a month from now, but anyway: for the person who asked about dance mistakes in MVs, the Red Velvet one isn’t even noticeable, and then I remember Michael Jackson’s Beat it, where by the end of the MV and all the cast is dancing the same moves, there’s one guy in the front line that trips a bit over himself, looks around to check the other people and tries to follow them again. THAT one is pretty noticeable but still got to the final version, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This is in reference to the previous Qrimole and isn’t really even a question so I don’t know what it’s doing here.  You could have just commented on that post a month ago, silly.

Oppar, is it true that Red Velvet have the best discography in New kpop generation line up? Or is it just a myth made by red velvet fans just because they have f(x) as their sister? I listen to their ice cream cake and rookie album and I’m not impressed. And I tried to listen to Twice’s page two album, I like it more than red velvet’s. But maybe it’s just because of my untrained ears. What do you think about this?

Nothing to do with ear training, it’s more about your brain and what you like more.  There’s no right or wrong answer.  Apart from a couple of good songs I’ve been less than impressed with Red Velvet overall.  Twice started off terrible but they’ve improved lately and I like their songs this year.  That’s just me though.

Would it matter A LOT if I fuck up my grades in uni but still graduate just with a lower graduate?

Nope.  I’m sure there’s a couple exceptions in specialised fields, but from my experience employers only care if you completed the degree at all, and barely care about how well you did.

Oppar!!!
1. I know you rarely check kpop albums because most of them aren’t worth it, but are there any kpop album you like? Like the album has great title track and good b-sides. For a biased EXO fan like me, i like newer exo albums because beside i’m an EXO trash, their b-sides suit my taste.
2. Any songs from unit groups from variety shows (like Produce 101 and Unnies) that you like? Some of the songs are great.
3. Can you make a post about EDM and Kpop?
4. It’s widely known that you hate tropical shithouse with burning passion, but is there are any of those songs that you actually like?
5. Any possibility of you liking a kballad or any songs that you think musically uninteresting if you actually understand Korean? Like i think many kballads and coffeehouses are meh but i may would end up liking it if it’s sung in my native language because i actually understand and can relate to the lyric.

Thanks oppar!!!

  1. Discussed here.
  2. Not yet, no.  Unless I’ve forgotten one I liked.
  3. EDM just means “electronic dance music” which is about 90% of upbeat k-pop.  It’s a meaningless term that is too non-specific to be even worth discussing.
  4. Yes, discussed here.
  5. No, definitely not.  Language doesn’t really make a big difference to me, I’m more interested in the sound of the music than what words are actually being sung.  Good lyrics don’t hurt, but can’t make me like a song that is shit musically.  Bad lyrics can be annoying but if the music is good I’ll still like the song despite the awful lyrics.  They’re not a deal-breaker/maker.  Having said that as a general rule I like a Korean pop song less when I know what they are singing, because most k-pop lyrics are rubbish cheesy bullshit and having the song in a language I can’t understand is therefore actually a benefit.  I’ll leave you with a rare example of some good lyrics in k-pop, be sure to turn YouTube subtitles on if you’re not proficient in Korean.

That’s all for Qrimole for this month!  If you have questions that you’d like to see answered in the next episode of Qrimole, which will appear sometime in January, please ask them below in the Qrimole question box, or if no box appears below due to your browser being a dogturd, use the clickable Qri in the sidebar!  Stay safe, caonimas!

5 thoughts on “QRIMOLE episode 16: Park You

  1. “even groups who used to be pretty consistent and who are not trend-hopping can’t seem to put out a good song to save their lives.”
    Maybe there are only so many good songs possible, the usa gave us most of them, now kpop is scraping the barrel for the rest? Like book titles; most of the good ones have been used, so it becomes harder to create a good new one?
    Call it “Tom’s Theory.”

  2. About the location of those videos, I did not think it would take as much screwing around to find as it did. I recall that your comments filter blocks URLs so lets try this, its the most detailed description and quite frankly the only one with a google earth view:

    loonaverse dot aminoapps dot com
    page/blog/points-of-interest-loopd-tv-kimlip/R0EQ_nzHwu1aB8wmGE6m6mBEnGEWWrwVbr

    TL;DR closed school in Gimcheon

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