QRIMOLE – October 2018

It’s time once again for reader questions, with Kpopalypse’s question and answer series, Qrimole!

I think the chords in Power Up’s post-chorus ‘ba banana’ part are Eb Cm B Db Eb. What would this be in roman numerals/functional harmony?

Correct chords!  It’s a messy progression to put in functional harmony terms, but the way that makes the most sense to me is I-vi-bVI-bVII-I.  I suppose if I were to try and match it closer to your letters it would be I-vi-#V-bVII-I to match the V with the Bb but for some reason functional harmony labeling isn’t big on sharps to denote a raised root, and harmony in general also isn’t huge about mixing sharps and flats within the one designated key, probably just because it makes notated music harder to read.  The reason why we’re running into these problems is that the song has both elements of major and minor in the same pattern.  I’m not talking about stuff like minor key chords in a major key song or vice versa (which is normal), but that the overarching major key tonality isn’t adhered to, nor is it “modulated” out in any way that would make sense from a traditional music theory perspective (or none that isn’t clumsy-ass to write out anyway).  Major key songs in classical music wouldn’t go B(well, Cb)-Db-Eb because those are Eb minor key chords, it’d be C D Eb for a song in Eb major.  However if it was a minor key song, it wouldn’t be going from Eb to Cm, because that’s a I-vi which is very much the realm of major key songwriting.  So it’s a progression that is fairly unique to just pop music – a classical or jazz songwriter would be inclined to insert something to make it a smoother “modulation”, they wouldn’t just go to those chords directly.  “Power Up” doesn’t really follow the tonal rules of functional harmony in a way that looks neat on paper.

If you could write and produce a song(with complete artistic freedom without company limitation) for any group(besides T-ara you piece of horse shit) who would it be and why?
What kind of song would you write? Genre/theme wise?

I think I’d write a song for BTS that would be nothing but farts.  It might inspire their fans to exhibit greater hygiene.  Also people would buy it and stan for it hardcore because it’s BTS.

Kpopalypse oppar,
Does it bother you when kpoppies butcher English lyrics? (for example, 1:17 – 1:32 in this song : )

Thanks,
A faithful cao ni ma

I think that if that sort of shit bothered me wildly I would have given up on k-pop around 2011.

I’m a very big fan of Oasis and it recently dawned on me that the infamous brother feud between Noel and Liam might be for publicity reasons. Do you think this is a possibility even though they’re actual siblings and the entire extended Gallagher family is involved?

I very much doubt it’s for publicity reasons.  I remember Oasis at the height of their fame and they sure as hell didn’t need the publicity.  They probably just really are cunts.

Have you listened to the entire 4 Walls album? I know the title track is weak, but I genuinely loved some of the b-sides (namely X and Traveller).

Still haven’t got around to it but I listened to those two songs and didn’t really like them.  f(x) do have a track record of good album tracks though.

Do you have certain expectations or preference towards a certain company when it comes to music like you are with groups like Loona and t-ara ? Like would it be more likely for you to like an SM song,a YG song or give it a few more listens if u don’t like it just because it’s from that specific company?? Do you have any kind of prejudice towards any of them before they even release the song?

Not really.  I mean, I kind of know what is typical “YG sound” or “SM sound” to some degree but it doesn’t mean the song is going to be good or bad necessarily.  Also I’ve been thrown enough curveballs to know that there’s no guarantee that a particular next comeback is going to sound a certain way.  I’m sure people probably think I’m biased against YG in particular but it may surprise those people to know that the first ever #1 favourite on a Kpopalypse list, Rania’s “Style” in 2012, was a YG production.

How are you, caonima? (everytime I try to say this word in my mind I just can’t, my heart)

I’m more happy that you didn’t include Nam Woo Hyun’s comeback solo in your round ups. It’s ballad, and your comment would be “this boring sh*t again”. But there’s also a part of me that wants to read your snarky remark below his mv in the round up. Huhu like how can you miss that song and not the other ballad songs? Or just don’t include these ballad songs anyway, why do you still put them in your roundups???
(just salty you missed it pfffffft)

And also excited for the upcoming Kpopalypse – AustralianSana posts!! You two are some of the reasons why I’m not in the delusional/irrational side of Kpop fandom. (A little bit salty too for AustralianSana for not being InfinitelySy anymore cuz Hoya left, you should’ve just named yourself InfinitelyHy hmmmmp, good thing your back up accounts are still infinitelysy)

Okay this is all for today, Kpopalypse (I still don’t get your real name, give me more determination I guess hahaha pfffft)(Or do I really want to know your real name, I think I read John or Jack somewhere huh)

With roundup, sometimes songs slip through the net.  It’s impossible to cover everything.  Also sometimes I encounter a song like that and think “nope, just can’t be bothered”.  Writing the same thing over and over about k-pop’s terrible ballads does get a bit boring.  That’s why my end-of-year list reviews tend to go on a lot of wild tangents, if I stick to pure music criticism there simply isn’t that much to say.  Also occasionally a ballad song is good, granted that’s a very rare event but I still like to check.

I’m looking forward to doing more posts with AustralianSana!

My real name isn’t that hard to find, anyone can find it just by going to the Facebook page for the radio show.  I dunno why people think I have a secret identity.  The funniest shit of all is when people “dox” me with information that is right there on my Facebook page in public for everybody to see, that actually happened on Reddit/kpop a few times.

Hi kpopalypse, i am new to this kpop thing. I am lowkey stanning Loona for like 3 or 4 months via Twitter. This fanboying/fangirling environment is too shocking for me, its like they compete on everything from casual polling to award nominations. I think this is literally fandom wars. Their information-gathering skill is crazy, it is kinda overwhelming for me.
From what i understand, this environment is suitable to gain so much profit for the kpop groups itself, but do you think this kind of stanning environment is healthy for the fans?
Not trying to be rude, this circumstances make them kinda worse than weaboo.

I think it could be an issue.  I recommend that you take this test to assess your mental health after this prolonged fandom exposure.

Ive been into korean shit (mainly k-variety, then kpop) for 4 years but still cant read or speak korea. How’s your progress so far?

I only ever wanted to know enough to be able to figure out group names from looking at the Hangul, and I can now do that most of the time, so I’m good.  I have no desire to go to Korea.  Sure, more language knowledge wouldn’t hurt, but it’s not something I’m pursuing.

[A bunch of questions about various musical projects of my own]

Some of these questions were actually really good, but I won’t answer any of them for reasons very clearly outlined here, here and also here.

oppar, can you recommend me some slower kpop songs that don’t completely suck?

This question gets asked a lot, and the answer is here.

When doing your weekly or yearly song reviews, have you ever written that you liked a song you actually hated, or viceversa, just for the sake of fucking around with people?
I know the standard answer is “no”, BUT I know you have a penchant for trolling others, and I know you know you have a lot of followers who take your tastes as the absolute truth, even when you tell them not to.
Lately I see more and more people in the kpop sphere saying things like “kpopalypse liked this, so it’s good” or “wow a tropical house/yolotrap song, kpopalypse is going to hate it”, and I feel like we’re due for some trolling in this regard.

All of my opinions of the songs are actually my real opinions of the songs, at the time that I heard them.

However my opinions of songs can change over time.  I’m finding myself becoming surprised about certain songs that have grown on me recently.

As I’ve often said, I really don’t like it when people use my music taste as some sort of validation, but then there are so many people doing that and I can’t really stop them, all I can say is “that’s kinda missing the point, learn to think for yourself”.

RIOT games, the maker of league of legends also put out a lot of music based on the game. Have if you listened to any of them?

I find the songs for those things a bit cheesy.  They’re always reaching for some kind of “epic badass” feel but to me League is all about beating the opponent while wearing a onesie and turning enemies into plushies.

What are your top ten favorite books?

I don’t know, never thought about it.  Most of what I read is non-fiction (I know that would seem weird to regular readers but it’s true).

If a song is really bad and annoying, but still gets stuck in your head, does it make it actually better as a song? Because it’s achieving its goal of making people remember it, there has to be something it’s doing right… But on the other hand the plague is also catchy

Yeah I think that if a song is bad and gets stuck in your head then it mustn’t have actually been that bad if your brain actually wants to replay it to you all the time.  I don’t tend to experience catchiness with songs that I dislike.  Others may differ.

Dear Kpopalypse,
I have a dumbass problem;
Im someone who is incredibly passionate about the music they love, and when I met my boyfriend it was honestly one of the things that attracted me to him, the fact that he felt the same towards the music he loved! We had so many interesting conversations regarding music and anything related to it but recently, he has been giving me a hard time because “I don’t appreciate the bands that he resonates with” because I told him that I tried listening to Radiohead and Swans albums he reccomended and found them boring … Every single time I tried to give him a reasoning for why I don’t like a certain album but somehow when it comes to his favorite albums he doesn’t accept criticism and retorts with “Well I tried listening to some of your kpop shit” and honestly when he said that I felt a bit hurt. I thought we were having a respectful and nice discussion about our favorite music but the fact that he ”forced himself to” check it out made me feel bad… How do I discuss this with him?
Thanks for reading my complaint. Hope u have a nice day!

Confronting him directly is probably not going to help.  You can tell him about my relationship if you want, tell him that the most assholish k-pop blogger in the Southern Hemisphere is coming up to 9 years with his current girlfriend and she thinks k-pop is fucking shit.  That’s fine though, I don’t exactly subject her to my music by force so it doesn’t matter really.  It’s really not necessary to share music taste with a partner, if anything it just leads to even more arguing about the merits of certain artists or whatever, it’s better that you’re poles apart and just accept that fact.  If he can’t accept a bit of separation here then it might be a red flag that he might get controlling or insecure about other things down the line.  Also, anyone expecting another person to like Swans on the first listen (or even the tenth) is pretty fucking hopeful, he might want to consider more realistic expectations (and I say this as a big fan of certain Swans albums).

Thanks for answering my question on the auto-tune and IU/Tiffany stuff.

You don’t have to include this in your next QRIMOLE batch, but, man, I would love to see you do some kind of IU and Tiffany vocal breakdown. And not in, what you call, a “vocalfaggot” way.

In your response, you say, “I just think that IU sounds better overall and has pieces in her repertoire that put her voice in a better light, and that it’s a fairly common opinion across the board with k-pop fans that IU sounds better as a result of that, and that anyone who disagrees is probably a Sone with a serious Tiffany boner.”

Perhaps. However, while I liked some of SNSD’s songs, I was agnostic on Tiffany (at best). It wasn’t until reading various comment sections in AJ or other places where I kinda noticed the trend. It made me check out more B-side and TTS stuff, so, inadvertently it kinda made me more of a fan (is that second level k-pop hipsterism…backlash to the backlash?). Also, I like IU’s voice a lot, so I think this one can be analyzed on the merits and not dismissed because LOL SONE.

What are those pieces in IU’s repertoire that put her voice in a better light? To my ears, she has a higher range (showcased on that incredible DREEEEAM part), but there isn’t anything else jumping out at me that screams “definitively better vocalist.” Even then, I’m not entirely sure of the merits of including range as a criterion.

Can their vocal skills be deconstructed? What kind of criteria do you use? How are those defined? Or do you inevitably end up running down the rabbit hole like the rest of the vocal analyzer wankers that you so gloriously mock at every turn?

After a certain level of competence, most of your writing has suggested to me that what’s good is mostly subjective. It seems I may be mistaken, however.

Anyway, always love hearing your opinion. Have a good day, oppa!

What’s good is entirely subjective, and this includes things like “assessing vocal technique” at any level beyond the most absolutely practical concerns (i.e “can a person sing for as long as is required during a concert”, the answer to which is always “yes” in k-pop because they mime at least 50% of it).  This is why I treat the ideology of vocalfaggots with such disdain, even in cases when they may be “technically correct” they miss the bigger picture that “correct technique” is 100% a cultural determination outside of purely pragmatic aspects.  As a defense to this, vocalfaggots tend to artificially inflate what constitutes “pragmatism” so it also includes their shitty opinions (which is what this post is all about).

So if you like Tiffany better, than that’s fine really.  Her voice may appeal more to you which is great, and the rest just doesn’t matter.  However I would say that generally speaking IU is considered to be better.  Once again by people using a bunch of criteria that doesn’t matter.  My comment that started all this is trying to get across in a humorous manner the idea that IU > Tiffany is a more widely held opinion than Tiffany > IU (for whatever reason), and therefore someone who believes Tiffany > IU is probably more likely to be a Sone than someone using (supposedly) “objective” criteria.

Lately I’ve been messing around with pop music and trying to deconstruct my favorite songs. Right now I’m having a huge problem with figuring out all the layering that happens in pop music. I’m used to playing rock where all you have to worry about is vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. Trying to layer synths is a whole new world to me. Can you give me some advice?

It might be worth watching some studio footage that shows electronic musicians at work and how they build up layers, there’s lots of stuff online.  If you’d like a k-pop example and haven’t already seen the below video (I’ve linked it before) you might find it helpful just to see how producers build up a sound to create a whole picture.

Do you like any Davichi songs? Or are they CSJH tier (musically of course)

Not really on their own, but their songs with T-ara are pretty good.

I’m really upset because I think I might have herpes. (not sure if their system picks up that word). If I do, the symptoms are really, really mild (no pain, just a couple red bumps).. It could just be folliculitis. I feel like I should get tested but I’m scared of what the result might be. After researching, I don’t think it’s a big deal. But having to tell future partners seems impossible. 90% of people don’t even know they have it.. argh. I almost don’t want to know. 😦 Apparently you have to specifically ask to be tested for it. I guess I’m just scared. The symptoms could easily be nothing. (just a few painless red “pimple” like bumps vaguely in that area). Nobody told me they had anything either. Do you have any advice or anything that might be able to help in this situation?  I just feel like it would ruin my life. It’s mostly asymptomatic (if I do actually have it, the symptoms are barely visible. I didn’t even get sick).. but it comes with such a huge stigma. I can almost understand why someone would act ignorant or neglect to mention it. 😦 argh..  I just wanted to ask because I’m pretty young and I trust your judgement on most things. You also live in australia. I’ve never had an std test. I plan on trying to go to a GP tomorrow to get checked..

Firstly, use Qrimole for anything big, not ask.fm.  I know you gotta wait a month for the answer, but you’ll evade ask.fm’s dumb censorship plus you won’t have to break up your question into five bits to get it under the character length.

So herpes is pretty common, and by common, I mean that most of the population already has it.  If you’re reasonably active sexually and have had partners in the double digits, then you almost certainly have it, but you don’t need to have even had sex to get it.  For all I know, I have it – many people who have it don’t have symptoms and thus don’t know that they’re spreading it.  It’s definitely not going to ruin your life.  It’s also only contagious during an outbreak, so I wouldn’t even bother to mention it to a partner unless you’re actually experiencing an outbreak, because if you’re not, there’s no risk to them.  Also, the first outbreak is the worst, after that it kind of “settles down” after a while and only flares up occasionally.  It’s the biggest “not that big of a fucking deal” STD of them all which is why most people don’t really give any fucks.  Ask any fangirl if they’d still kiss their favourite BTS member if they had a cold sore and they’d invariably say “guess I’d just skip straight to the blowjob”.

Going to the doctor to get tested for STDs is a good idea anyway, everyone who has an active sex life and has fucked more than one person lately should do that, especially if you’ve engaged in any high-risk activity.  Nothing to be embarrassed about, doctors talk to people about this type of shit all the time, and I’ve been tested a few times, I’ve always come up clean but it’s better to know than not know.  However herpes should be the least of your concerns when going to get tested – pretty much all other STDs are worse.

Hi Kpopalypse, I am a female college student who is having some issues.

Here is the backstory. Growing up I always disliked that I had a bit of a belly. It didn’t bother me too much and I was/am a healthy weight, so I stayed roughly the same (I grew up and gained weight that way but it was proportionately the same). However, my last year of high school, I decided to shed some pounds in prep for my freshman 15. The idea is when college students have freedom to eat whatever they want, they will gain 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms). So, by calorie counting, I went from 120 pounds (54.4 kilograms) in September 2017 to 100 pounds (45.4 kilograms) in September 2018. For some perspective, I am 5 feet (1.52 meters) tall. End of backstory.

Now that I have lost weight, I have no idea how much I am supposed to eat anymore. I am anxious about overeating. I tell myself it’s okay to eat some more because if I lose more weight I could become underweight. At the same time though I feel obligated to eat less and am afraid to gain weight. It is starting to get to the point that I feel tired from what I think is low iron and blood sugar, yet I still think about calorie counts. The food at school also sucks, so I eat less because I hate the food. On top of that, I notice people are treating me differently since I’ve lost weight. Guys are paying more attention to me and I’ve noticed it. Even some creep guy in my chem class (a different problem entirely) followed me all the way to my history of jazz culture class (that class is also a different problem entirely). It is not like I just turned into a pretty girl now! I am still me! How can I relax now that life has changed so much and all because I decided to eat smaller meals?

Since weight loss is a topic closely related to kpop, I thought it might be relevant to bring it up to you. I know you’re not a dietician or a psychologist, but I just need someone to be straight up with me/give me some advice/rationalize me out of this toxic mindset. I just want to be healthy.

PS To clarify, kpop is not the reason why I lost weight. I do not want to be like kpop idols. If anything, your blog has potentially helped me avoid dangerous methods of weight loss.

Say it louder for the people who think I’m a misogynist, thanks!

It’s hard for me to relate to your predicament, partly because I’m not female so I don’t really know what it’s like to have this kind of effect on people, and partly because I’m someone who gives absolutely no fucks about what people think of me anyway – for all I know people do react to me something like what they do to you and I’m just not picking up on it because it doesn’t matter to me.  So my advice probably isn’t going to be very good, sorry about that.  However I think having already gone through the experience of people not really caring so much about you should make the sudden increase in interest easier to handle.  I think going the other way would be a lot harder.  Or maybe it wouldn’t, maybe that extra attention is a pain the ass and it’s nice to have that burden lifted. Fuck, I dunno really.  See, I told you.

The best thing that I could probably say is that you should focus on the things that you have direct influence over.  You can’t (directly) control how people are going to react when they see you, what food your school has, or how much your class sucks.  However you can control your diet, your nutrition levels and your inner well-being.  Rather than thinking about how much you’re supposed to eat, perhaps starting thinking about what you want to eat, because I think your body is trying to tell you something.  Obviously it’s possible to go too far in the other direction, but denying your body what it wants is also a dangerous route.  It’s more important to get your vitamin/mineral levels to a good level than it is to be under a certain weight range.  Also, variety helps.  You’re actually supposed to enjoy eating, so make sure that you do.  If you’re paranoid about reverting to old habits then start slow.  Maybe pick one day a week (might I suggest Friday) and make that “fuck it, I’ll eat whatever my body craves” day, then go back to your usual routine the rest of the week, just to see if the different attitude to food enhances your life, or not.  It might be good, you might start giving less of a fuck (which is the ultimate goal here).  Or, it might be unpleasant, in which case stop doing it and try something else.  Most of all you want to practice self-care, whatever that means to you – don’t worry about others.  Also listen to Bikini Kill (seriously, it will help).

Seeing your latest survey result about which occluplanid suits their best needs, I knew it would be Chuu. However, I was fooled seeing your description on Yeojin’s Kiss Later, which almost made it onto the honourable mention, even though your short review may somehow say it otherwise from before. To quote it from the week ‘Kiss Later’:
”For each aegyo move you see here about 157 people probably died, so make sure you enjoy it so their lives weren’t wasted.”
My first thought about it would be like, “yeah, he hates it and must be Loona’s worst”

But after seeing your survey review: ”yeah, I was wrong”

Did you really like the song when it released, or did you r mind change its view now that LOONA’s about to hit big?

I liked it.  In fact it’s grown on me even more over time but I still liked it when it came out, although there are other Loona songs that I like more (most of which made it into the top 30).  My original review doesn’t actually give an opinion on the music, it’s just commenting on Blockberry being part of Ilkwang Group which is a completely separate issue.  I don’t always give my opinion of a song in the roundups, if I can find something that I think is more interesting to say then I’ll put that there instead.  A large part of the purpose of the commentary is to help people realise that my opinions are unimportant, after all.  Likewise, I don’t care about public opinion of Loona.

Where do you find the amazing sites you use for the ‘no reason’ sidebar?

Various places, nowhere specific.  A lot of them are actually anonymous submissions, so I have to credit my readers with having a good eye for sites!

So I think that with the whole Hyuna-E’Dawn thing, fans, their unnecessary outrage and entitlement, and Korean culture is at the center of the problem. But from a more professional/ business perspective, was the way Cube handled the whole situation lame? Like MBK supported T-ara because the group is a business investment. And Hyuna is Cube’s biggest source of money. Also a lot of jobs depend on both so it’s not like they’re firing just two people. Wouldn’t a company generally just do the “stay low until it blows over” instead?

Overall I think fans worry far too much about the business side of things.  The purpose of my business posts isn’t to get people obsessed about the details of it and comparing companies and talking about who is best or what business decisions were the right ones to make, it’s more just as a way of cautioning people who are thinking of entering the business themselves that it’s not all that it appears and that you’d better be careful.  The whole trend of people who are k-pop fans with no insider perspective whatsoever evaluating k-pop business decisions is really silly to me, because there’s a whole inner world of stuff happening that you can’t possibly judge from the outside.  The decisions of some of these companies seem insane (dumping Hyuna?  Gotta be kidding, right?) but sometimes they are made after the companies assess a whole ton of information that we simply can’t see.  That doesn’t mean that the decisions were necessarily “right”, companies make bad decisions all the time – but they’re often weighing up a bunch of factors that are unknown to the outsider, as well as the more obvious stuff.

why do lots of people hate Radiohead

I don’t know.  I can think of worse groups.

something you would like to wear?

These are great!  However I’m not sure if they’re my style.  They certainly don’t look like they’d fit my feet.

Oppar, what is your least favorite loona track (title track or b-side, doesn’t matter)? Excluding those two shitty christmas songs of course

Probably Vivi’s “Everyday I Need You“, a song so poor that it didn’t even make it to roundup despite being Loona.  Although I’m sure there are even worse songs on their albums that I haven’t heard yet.

Recently I went to see Zico on his world tour. Insanely good performance, I enjoyed every minute of his show! One week later (and a couple doctor visits later), one of my ears turns out to be damaged and I have tinnitus on both sides (30db loss at the highest frequencies). My doctors don’t know if it’s fixable, maybe, maybe not. I’m just gonna wait it out untill everything is healed and see how bad the permanent damage will turn out to be. Stupid thing is it happened despite actually wearing concert plugs and not being an overconfident moron. I’m new to this whole life without silence thing and I’m still getting used to the new hearing sensations. I hope I’ll get used to it and soon! Lastly, how do you prevent hearing damage as an artist yourself? And, is it just korea not fucking around with loud noise or do I just never hear about kpop idols with damage/tinnitus?

I’ve never actually heard of someone getting permanent tinnitus from just one concert.  It’s theoretically possible but really rare.  Were you standing right up with your ear to the PA speaker or something?  Or maybe you had a screaming fangirl right in your ear.  I’ve been to hundreds of shows and I still have fairly typical hearing for someone at my advanced-as-fuck age.  Also, concerts these days are actually quieter than they used to be when I was a teenager due to advances in sub-bass technology that exploits the ear’s uneven response to make music seem louder than it really is.  So I guess it must be the fangirls.  Note that when people lose their hearing they lose the highest frequencies first, and this happens to everybody over time.

The reason why you don’t hear about Korean artists getting tinnitus is that it’s something that usually takes a few years of repeated exposure to develop and most idols don’t have very long careers that would cause huge amounts of damage.

I’m a needy and insecure asshole, so I’m going to ask you 2 questions instead of one:

1. Do your “super Boram ESP powers” predict that K-pop will become more or less internationally successful in the 2020s?

2. Aside from Blackpink and, to a lesser extent, Red Velvet, which other active Korean girl group(s) do you think could potentially become successful outside of Asia?

  1. More, or it will stay as it is now.  It won’t be less.
  2. Twice, Loona, Gfriend all have as much chance as Blackpink does, but do their agencies really want to push them that way… maybe, maybe not

If you’re afraid of missing an underrated K-Pop song for your roundups, follow this Instagram account!

I already follow a few things similar to this but I’ll leave this here for the benefit of caonimas.

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of accounts now that try to reverse “white-washing” in photos of idols. Can you do a post about these and why that’s kind of impossible to do, sort of like your “MR Removed” post?

I’m not even aware of this.  In fact I don’t even know what you mean by “white-washing”, do you mean overexposed lenses?  I also wouldn’t know if it’s possible or not, my professional background is in audio, not Photoshop.  You’d be better off asking a pro graphic designer to make a post about this.

One time in 2015-ish you said that CLC has a Dani and a Sohee. Which members were you referring to?

I don’t remember.  Probably neither of them were Sorn therefore it doesn’t matter.

Hello! I recently discovered your blog through AsianJunkie (I can’t really parse through the relationship between you two, but it’s not really any of my business). It’s been a fun ride reading through posts, so thanks for that, definitely made me feel slightly less lonely today. It’s been a weird transition moving into this sort of scene, as a Korean who’s never really been into Kpop before Loona dragged me kicking and screaming down what I like to call the “stan hole”. It’s sort of put my identity in this weird flux state where I feel like an outsider to my own culture, having never really bought too much into Korean culture (I basically agree with your criticisms about over-enforced hierarchy and an ultra-conservative focus on outward appearance). This combined with the facts that I’m in my second year of college abroad now, away from home, I failed to make any really close friends during freshman year, and that I’ve never had a solid goal to focus on in my life outside of the short term is doing all sorts of screwed up things to me mentally, so in my never-ending quest to foist my problems on as many people as possible who may or may not care, I’d appreciate your perspective on this topic. Not sure how much experience you’d have with this specific sort of thing, but you’ve got more life experience than me and I know you’ll be blunt and telling me I’m being melodramatic and bitchy if I am. Sorry that went on a bit long. Another secondary question if the first one might be too heavy or long-winded; I’ve been wanting to start a blog myself for the longest time, but I always seem to lose motivation even though I’m writing about things I should love. How do you keep doing it so regularly and with so much productivity? Even if you don’t end up answering, thanks for reading.

My relationship with Asian Junkie is that for a while I was an author on his site.  Then I stopped writing.  It’s a good site overall, certainly not really a news site but it’s still the pick of the bunch of everything out there k-pop news related just because everything else out there is so bad by design.  I like to give Asian Junkie lots of shit because it’s funny and he totally deserves it, but deep down I think everyone knows that I love him really and it’s just a typical Australian-style bromance.

My upbringing plus years of T-ara stanning taught me how to have high determination levels, so when I start something I don’t quit easily.  The fact that I don’t really care about public opinion or fame allows me to just keep doing whatever I want as long as I enjoy it.  I did a radio show that hardly anybody listened to for 15 years because I wanted to.  I’ve been in many musical projects over decades, all of which got nowhere commercially, because I felt like doing it and it made me happy or fulfilled to do those things.  I imagine that there will one day come a time where I don’t enjoy k-pop blogging, and at that time, I might stop – but I don’t see that in the future because so far k-pop blogging has been very enjoyable, it’s the gift that keeps on giving (other people a hard time).

Oppar,

what is your LOONA bias list?

thonkz

Answered here.

how should I deal with people that I am physically attracted to but are insufferable cunts irl?

I asked my girlfriend this one.  She said “use your eyes but not your ears.  Have a perv but don’t engage in conversation with them because they’ll just reinforce that they’re idiots and that will make them even less attractive.”

Can you explain why you think that new April song is the song of the century? I don’t want to wait for your end of year list.

I don’t want to wait either, but I also don’t want to spoiler my end of year list, so you’re just gonna have to wait and so am I.

So I read the other day that fans who are a part of a fanclub spend tons and tons of money to 1) be a part of the fanclub and 2) in general to buy merch, albums etc. I did not know this. So does this lead to Kpop companies treating fans more like “customers” who are buying products? Like in the West, I don’t think fans necessarily have to buy a shit ton of stuff directly other than the album. It’s generally touring, fame/ views -> endorsements and album sales that generate money. Also does the fact that they are spending so much make fans so entitled in Korea? I cannot comprehend even now, the extreme reaction to all the (lame) dating “scandals”.

Companies don’t really make that much from hardcore fans.  Those type of fans are “being used” but as a means to an end – getting the amount of notoriety up that’s needed to attract the attention of advertisers, which is where the real money is.

This video kind of showed how those horrible remixes are created:

It is where 4 music producers try their luck in making a “better” song from a one minute sample. I’m pretty sure it’s cancer for you already.

Yes it is.  I couldn’t even watch.  Everyone do not click on the video and have a happy life.

I have proof that LOONA belongs to gays

Aside from the obvious gay message of “Heart Attack”, Loona’s songwriters are careful not to specify gender a lot of the time, and I’m sure that’s completely deliberate.  Kpopalypse supports this pro-faggotry message.

Have you learned any Korean words from listening to Kpop? I know a few just because they’re used so much but I was wondering if you had.

A few here and there, not from any effort to do so, but after a while of listening to pop music you tend to hear the same things all the time, because most pop lyrics are fairly generic and reuse the same themes over and over.

Hey kpopalypse, the Loona fanfic was genius. Are you going to make more interactive fanfics like this in the future?

A lot of readers really liked it.  I’m thinking that I might do one of these interactive fanfictions every Halloween.  Maybe more often, but I don’t want to do them too often as they are exceptionally time-consuming to create.

someone just forced me to listen to the entirety of cherry blossom ending on 1x, then 0.5x, then 0.25x speed. how do I regain the will to live oppar

Try this, it will help (maybe).

Do you any song from the competition named the Eurovision Song Contest? I recently got into the show, even though it is a yearly one, but some songs from this year were good (for me, don’t judge me, rank SSS+ critic).

The Eurovision song contest is huge in Australia, so huge that we’re actually now allowed to enter artists in the competition despite being nowhere near Europe.  However I don’t personally follow it – like pretty much anything that is music but isn’t k-pop these days I don’t really have the time to investigate it.  Hell, I don’t even have time to listen to half the k-pop stuff that I’d like to!

Sometimes people say that it’s impossible to fit rap verses in notes, e.g. when they’re doing 8-bit versions of songs and thus they’d have to transpose rap verses in a DAW.

How is this possible? I thought that basically every sound (except maybe sounds that are not “voiced”, in the linguistic sense) could be placed on the scale; if not exactly on a note, somewhere inbetween two notes, since the scale is more or less a spectrum of tones. Am I wrong?

(I probably made several mistakes in music theory terminology, but I hope I was able to explain the question decently)

You’re correct and the people making the 8-bit versions are just either ignorant or making excuses.  All vocal sounds have a pitch, regardless of whether those sounds are singing or speech.  (The only sound that doesn’t have a pitch is “white noise” because it’s literally a completely tonally even blast of frequencies across the entire audible spectrum.)  It’s definitely possible to ballpark the pitch of rapping to the nearest tone/semitone even if the rappers themselves didn’t deliberately aim for a specific pitch when they recorded their lines.  However trying to get those pitches right is actually a really difficult listening and transcribing exercise for a lot of people, so that’s why they don’t bother.  It’s a lot easier to transcribe sung pitches than anything rapped (unless it’s totally monotone).  The other reason why people often don’t do it is because often the result doesn’t actually sound that good once you break it down to just pitch and nothing else.

1. Are you still believing robots won’t take away entertainers jobs from them in the future?
This video had just been uploaded a week ago and already has more views than most of Loona’s MVs!

2. Twice dating’s ban has been lifted. With the stupid fans’ suffering as main objective, who you think that should be announced as a personal fuckstick for them, and specifically what girl should be paired with said person?

3. If you had the interest and general approval to smack someone in the behind in the kpop scene (CEO’s, websites admins and others included) in order to better educate them into more productive human beings, who would it be, and why?

4. Wouldn’t you like to make a list of the weirdest k-pop songs that you ever listened?

5. In your opinion, why in the last 3 years all the world has suddenly turned more conservative? Can’t fags have the right to be treated as the fags that think they are normal?

Have a nice November!

  1. Chuu still has more moving parts.
  2. I don’t care about this really.  Fans will get upset over literally anything anyway.  There’s no need to force it.
  3. Johnny Noh.
  4. Not really, no.  I care about if songs are good or not.  I don’t care about how weird they are, only if that weirdness (if it exists) translates into quality music (sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t).
  5. Progressives have made a huge mistake by dropping the ball on “freedom of speech”.  By bullying/silencing people with unpopular opinions, that’s alienated a lot of people who occupy the vast middle-ground who may have previously leaned progressive.  Because progressives have acted so stupidly about this, now conservatives have picked up freedom of speech and are running with it, giving them a lot of moral high-ground that they don’t deserve.  For progressive thought to take center stage again they have to stop trying to shut people down and re-embrace the idea of “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”.  A lot of this has to do with the Internet.  Thirty years ago the only progressive people you heard from were the smart, mature ones who were the only ones with media access, but these days any 13 year old kid or batshit-insane extremist can post stuff without really understanding it deeply and make people think that he or she is representative of progressive thought in general, and it’s the most immature and anger-inducing of those voices in any political debate that the Internet by its very design tends to amplify the loudest, because everyone’s always looking for the other side’s “most extreme example” to laugh at and share.  Not sure what the solution is but I don’t think the problem is going to go away soon.

Please do the long overdue line/screentime/center/bullshit distribution post so these dumb af stans can stop obsessing over quality and fairness and shit

Planning on it but I don’t want it to read like a boring “you fans all suck” rant.  Thinking about ways to discuss this that are more educational.  I have a few ideas about it so watch this space I guess.

I was listening to late-80 songs e i found this gem: Turn It Into Love by Kylie Minogue, personally a really good song.

Then, in the correlated videos i found a song called with the same title sang by an Japanese idol duo called Wink.

I discovered that, apart from a bit different background music, is the same song.
How all this process is possible? For the japanese cover and for transform it to an official song by this group, the lable buy the rights of Kylie’s song?
Similar case is with the Nature debut song that originarly it’s japanese song.

PS: What do you think about these songs musically and which do you prefer between this two version?

It’s okay but nothing that great, that circle-of-fifths style pop song is all over both early k-pop and j-pop.  I prefer Wink’s version only because I dislike the electronic layering that SAW used on Kylie’s voice in her early days, Kylie and SAW were simply a bad fit.  Still it’s probably Kylie’s best track from that era.

People do cover versions of other people’s songs all the time, across all genres, styles and countries.  I don’t see what the big deal is here or why you think this is substantially different to any other cover situation that might happen between say two western artists.  Yes the covering artist does technically have to get permission, although really nugu artists generally don’t bother as it’s unlikely that the original artist will object anyway, because the original artist still gets royalties when the covering artist performs their song.  Sometimes the rights to the song will be sold but that’s actually relatively rare in situations where the original song was a hit – why sell the rights to something that makes money, it’s not necessary to sell songwriting rights for someone else to do a version of your song.

Would you say that Loona is the first group you’ve stanned *as a group* since T-ara? Also, if Loona stopped producing good songs, would you stop stanning them, or are you in too deep? Finally, are Loona yyxy and Way’s Girls in competition for control of the k-pop underworld, or have they joined forces?

I actually wouldn’t say that I stan Loona or T-ara.  I mean Loona have some amazing songs but they also have trash like the song I mentioned a few questions ago and another one a few questions below.  Same with T-ara who have great songs and also some of the worst k-pop ever created.  I guess it depends how you define “stan”.  What I would say is that T-ara are an important conceptual continuity marker for the blog and were chosen because of the ridiculously manufactured “bullying” scandal which revealed the astonishing ineptitude of k-pop fans to use their brains and was partially what drove me to write a blog in the first place, especially one that doesn’t always hand you the answers but tries to inspire a little “teach a man to fish” style critical thought here and there.  Loona are also developing into good continuity material because aside from their music there’s some great conceptual points within Loona’s material, which (as I’ve covered) don’t really have a “grand meaning” of the type that Loona fans are desperately searching for, but certainly have some appealing mindfuckery elements that can be appropriated easily into the kind of writing that I do.  That would probably still exist even if they started making lots of crap music all of a sudden.  If you want to talk about someone who I actually stan try UZA (bandcamp HERE, you gays and lesbians all better buy it).

What are your best K-pop trivia questions?

I don’t know, I don’t concern myself with trivia really.  I could probably write trivia questions about my own blog if people wanted.

Are you going to say anything about the East Light?

Sucks to be them.  Their situation is maybe only slightly more extreme than normal for boy groups.

I think Mina speaks English with a New Zealand accent. Is this right?

Is it Australian? I’ve seen rumors that she’s fluent in English but doesn’t use it because she has a habit of casually calling people cunts.

and

People are saying that Mina sounds Australian in this teaser. Personally I don’t really hear it, but I thought I’d ask an actual Australian.

Doesn’t sound Australian to me either.  Sure she drawls her speech just a touch probably due to slight lack of fluency, and I can see why people might mistake that for an Australian accent, but the giveaway is the word “got” which is absolutely pronounced the American way.  She just seems to have that Amero-Asian accent that most idols with reasonably good English skills seem to have, because they’re usually tutored in English by Americans.  (And yes when Australians teach English to Koreans we make sure we teach it in the Australian accent!)

you probably think these songs are pretty shit and I might be wasting your time but I wanna know your opinions on these :C

Correct! and…

I don’t think this is much of song, but I am really digging the Girl’s Generation Genie style outfits. Maybe worth helping get them a few extra views? (current count 13,977)

Keep those links handy folks.  Nearer to the end of the year I’ll give people the chance to nominate any songs from 2018 that I missed during the year for last-minute review time.

Hi!
I was laying in bed at 11pm, trying to sleep, when I suddenly had a thought. I remember in one of your articles (maybe the cao ni ma survey?), you said that “when LOONA does eventually make a shit song, which type of shit song will it be?” and the options were SM power ballad, tropical shithouse etc. etc. However I can tell you that they’ve already fucked up in the music department.
I’ve been reading your reviews of LOONA songs on the weekly releases articles and concluded that you disliked/were disappointed with six songs: Everyday I Need You, Around You, My Sunday/My Melody (counting these as one song because they are legit the fucking same), Sonatine, Let Me In and One And Only.
Because of these statistics, I have concluded that you will absolutely hate this song. Or you might not. Who am I to judge? I personally like this song.

Rain 51db

I forgot this existed and yes it’s pretty fucking bad.  Not significantly worse than any other Korean pop ballad mind you, because they’re almost all this trash.  However back when this came out they didn’t quite have the momentum that they do now.  I’m sure they’ll fuck up soon, all groups do from time to time.

Hi oppar!

In case you haven’t seen it already, this is a video of Haseul singing opera. Enjoy ❤

Can’t see fucking shit, for all I know this could be anyone.  Sounds like ass anyway.  Opera is for vocalfaggots only.

1. why do you have so much trust in jyp as producer and business man?

2. do you have the same trust in yg?

3. who is a better business man yg, jyp or lsm?

4. which of the big 3 has the best products (idols) and why?

5. do aussi idols have a special place in your heart?

1. Answered here

2. I trust YG to be YG, if you know what I mean

3. No idea, sure JYP is doing really well right now but how much of that is luck I dunno

4. Read my favourites lists and you tell me

5. Not really but they get more interview privileges should they choose to exercise them (hint hint)

Hey kpopalypse,

do you have any recommendations for weird / so shit they’re good kpop songs or mvs?
After I was self-conscious for a long time for my “lacking music taste” I embraced the side in me that likes the weird kpop stuff and because they make me laugh a lot my life is now better. (Thanks for recommending to not care about what others think).

You already made me aware of a bunch of stuff that I’ve come to like – such as UV, Hyangni, Norazo and Mommy Son. Regardless, what weird / so shit they’re good kpop stuff comes to your mind?

I don’t really believe in “bad meaning good” ideology in a big way.  Ultimately if I like something then it’s good and if I don’t then it’s bad.  If something is “bad but I like it” then that actually means it’s just good.  As previously mentioned I also don’t care about weirdness or lack thereof, but I think you already know about the best examples that come to my mind anyway.  Stay tuned I guess and I’ll try to introduce you to more!

Who writes k-pop fandom names? Please give your most far-out answer.

You.

Will there ever be kpopalypse merch?

Unlikely unless I reach The Great Satan levels of popularity, which I doubt.

Do you still watch TV shows? I noticed that you’ve been done with it.

Generally not, I find them hard to get into and I don’t have time to commit to an entire series.

Hi oppar!
I have bad news 😦

A lot of people are saying that the girl in this video looks like Dana from SM’s worst mistake,
CSJH The Grace.
Which hints at them getting a comeback, or Dana having a solo career.
FML.

Yeah that’s her.  I recognise that cancer music at the end.  Don’t worry.  We’ll survive Trump and we’ll survive this too.

I was thinking that the whole year i acted like a crazy fan (as in your tweet) about exo’s comeback, but now that they are finally coming back on 2nd, I’m worried about the actual music. I’d rather see them disband than release another Lotto.

Also, why don’t you stream in a costume for halloween?

Judging from the reactions I get on Twitter, I think my natural appearance looks scarier than any costume!

what the hell does MRS stand for i read it somewhere here and didn’t understand the sentence at all and for some reason it’s bugging the shit out of me

See The Kpopalypse Lexicon for the meaning of any confusing terms used in any Kpopalypse content.

What to do when your country is so dumb that elects a corrupt fascist fuck to remove corrupt scum of the governement? (P.S: he loves guns and will let anyone wield one)

Buy a vest.

You’ve probably done more than any other blogger to expose and critique the dark side of the k-pop industry (rampant physical/emotional abuse of idols, deranged netizen cyberbullying, pedo-friendly concepts, etc). I often feel guilty that by supporting my favorite groups, I’m also indirectly funding this dark side. For instance, I couldn’t disapprove more of the way that Cube handled the Hyuna/E’Dawn “scandal,” but I also love (G)I-dle and want to continue to support them. Do you ever feel similarly conflicted? Or do you see your blog as a counterbalance to the dark side (e.g. by helping readers learn not to jump to conclusions about “problematic” idols)?

I wouldn’t worry.  Where these companies make the big money isn’t from your dollar.  That’s why sites like K2NBlog and Hulkpop are allowed to exist – because the labels don’t make their money that way anyway.  At any one time, there’s maybe half a dozen k-pop groups – maximum – who get significant income from music sales.  Companies would try to shut down pirate blog sites in a hot minute if they actually made a real dent in the agencies’ bottom line, but K2NBlog has been going for nine years – the whole of the Hallyu wave, pretty much – with no issues, and will probably go for nine more as long as someone doesn’t fuck things up internally by not paying hosting fees or whatever.

I’ve always felt that the best way I could help people struggling in the world of k-pop isn’t to boycott sales or anything like that, but rather to have open dialogues with artists and talk about issues and information that k-pop agencies would really rather not ever get out there, and mix that up with snarky, cunty content and my crap sense of humour so I can enjoy writing it enough and perhaps even life’s assholes like me will maybe get drawn to it long enough to read some of it.  Some of my posts are just beyond stupid, but if that helps people as a stepping stone to discover some of the other stuff in the blog then I’m fine with that.  Also uptight prissy fans could use a little loosening up, so sometimes annoying them a bit is a good thing.  If that means people think I’m the devil then that’s fine, I don’t live to be liked by the majority and I don’t mind offending people.  I think that my writing is kind of a counterbalance – the world of idol pop tries to appear as pure and moralistic on the surface as possible, to hide how shitty it is underneath.  Whereas I’m happy to appear like a complete cunt on the surface, and maybe deep down I am a little bit of that too (or perhaps even a lot), but there’s actually more genuine moral concern over the welfare of both idols and k-pop fans in my writing than in anything actually happening within the Korean pop industry or Korean pop media right now.  That’s why I spend hours of my time writing long explanatory blogs for free on a site with no advertising and even more hours simply just answering questions on ask.fm and in posts like these for people who are wondering about various things in life, some k-pop related, others not so much.


That’s all for this month’s QRIMOLE!  This series will return in a special Christmas edition next month, in the meantime be sure to practice OH&S compliance!  Kpopalypse loves all of you!

Oh, and do you have a question that you’d like to see answered in the next episode of QRIMOLE?  If so, use the question box below, or if no box appears, click the Qri on the sidebar to open the box as a separate webpage!  Kpopalypse will return!

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