QRIMOLE – New Year 2019

It’s time for the first Qrimole of 2019!  Let’s take a look at reader questions for Kpopalypse!

Before we get started with this edition of Qrimole, just a quick notification that the prettifying of Kpopalypse blog has begun!  Meli Bunnara aka Qridoodles, the amazing artist responsible for the Qrimole header, has brought her unique touch to the Kpopalypse header image!

Meli Bunnara’s social networks are below, if you want to make a business enquiry, or just bow down before the master of k-pop chibi art, get on them:

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On with the first questions and answers for the new year!

Two weird questions:
1) Would you like to create your own K-Pop group and write/compose songs for them?
2) I think a cool thing to do in your blog would be a series where you take songs with production-related flaws (such as bad chord progression) and fix them by re-writing them and playing the edited result with your guitar. What do you think about it?

  1.  I’d do it if I had the money, but I’d need Blockberry levels of money.  There’d be no point taking out loans and going in half-assed, given what I’d be competing with, if I couldn’t make product at that crazy high-end Loona level, there would be no point.  Also I’d want to have enough starting capital and a secure financial base to work from so that I wouldn’t feel compelled to slave-drive the performers like every other agency does.  My girls would get three square meals a day and lots of rest, and drivers would stick to the speed limit!
  2. Technically, a bad chord-progression isn’t a production-related flaw, it’s a songwriting-related flaw.  I might look at some of this type of thing as a song-by-song basis on livestreams if I’m asked, but I wouldn’t do a blog series about it, because I would see that as giving my own opinion of the song too much importance.

What do you think of this song?

She’s blowing up in Spain and everybody’s talking about how genius this song and her album ‘El mal querer’ is but I personally don’t see it (even though I do like the album). Maybe you could enlighten me if you do see how it’s in any way innovative or interesting. Thanks in advance 🙂

It’s actually only the rhythm that is interesting to me, the rest of the song is pretty awful.  To break it down, the rhythm track plays in a cycle of 12 beats that’s divided like this (with V being a strong beat and – being a beat that is de-emphasised):

V – – V – – – V V – V –

That’s completely unlike any other pop song I’ve heard ever.  Maybe there’s some Spanish regional folk music that does a rhythm like that, I don’t know, I’m not knowledgeable enough about that part of the world to know, but I suspect it might be the case and it sounds like the kind of rhythm one would specifically use castanets to play.  However this is still light years away from anything in pop music that I’ve ever heard.  Of course, that doesn’t necessarily translate to either “good” or “bad”.

Last time you talked a bit about San E’s Feminist, so I wanted to ask if you actually believe his explanation about how the song doesn’t express his own opinion, but opinion of a character he created for this song. It seems a bit fishy to me. There was that situation in Korea when two women were beaten up because of their ‘feminist’ looks, but then there was some confusion if they were just victims or if they started it. San E posted on Instagram a video that suggested that they were to blame, for which he received praise mostly from men, and shortly after he relased Feminist with lyrics (seemingly?) catering to those men. That looks pretty opportunistic. Only after some shows where he was supposed to perform said he’s not longer invited and it started being clear that the opinion of both feminists and antifeminists was against him he relased that long explanation about how he was actually just pretending. Even that guy whose video you linked says it’s hard to tell if he’s speaking as that character or as himself. I also remember the other times when he mentioned feminism in his rap, in Yezi’s Mad Dog and Hyoyeon’s Wannabe – what an awful song btw – and tbh what he says in those songs does seem like something that that kind of guy from Feminist would say. Was it also acting? The only thing that prevents me from immediately writing off his explanation as just trying to save face and not lose more gigs is that line about serving in the army that turned off his previous backers. I mean, it’s so perfectly aimed shot in his own foot that you have to doubt if it’s possible to have so little self-awarness. Maybe he was hoping everybody will focus on ‘Right, I have to serve!’ instead of ‘Wait, HE doesn’t even have to’, but… I don’t know. So what do you think? Was he backtracking after the backlash or was he actually misunderstood?

I covered this a lot in the last Qrimole.  I think that yes he was speaking in character.  What’s less clear is how much of that character’s opinion he actually buys into, I mean the commonsense guess would be “not a lot, or why even bother doing the song”, but people don’t always make intelligent choices!  Remember that it’s the people who try to seem the most moral on the surface who usually have the darkest secrets, and clearly San E wants to appear on the “right side”, whether he actually is or not.  It’s not coincidental, people who display lots of moralism in public are often doing it as some kind of psychological atonement for their own failings.  Maybe there’s some of that going on with San E and I wouldn’t be surprised if something around that came out in the future.  This is what I meant in the last Qrimole when I said that while yes I believe he’s playing a character in that song, I think there’s still some hypocrisy in San E’s rap.

It’s possible that San E’s views on feminism might also be evolving and changing, and if he wasn’t hostile to women’s rights before, I’d say he might have become more so now after the backlash against him, because why wouldn’t he.  It’s almost universal that when people get shamed, witch-hunted or “cancelled in public” for being problematic, they tend to become even more extreme as a result, not less.  After all what’s the point of trying to ingratiate yourself to a sector of the community that already have “cancelled” you?  They’ve already made up their mind, so winning them over is impossible – so instead you make friends with the only people who are still talking to you – the bigots.  This is why I think “cancel culture” is a huge problem – it actually enables radical extremism and bigotry to foster and flourish.  If you actually, really, genuinely want to make society a better place, instead of just paying lip service to it online and shutting out everyone who you disagree with, you need to have more of the attitude of this guy (watch until the end):

Would you rather abolish all the tropical house songs or shitty ballads from kpop?

I don’t think I can choose.  It’s okay though because I need stuff to write about and if we still have a flood of this shit in 2019 it’ll make the year-end list absolute fire.

Hey man, hope you’re doing good.

So why do I start to like songs more as time goes on? Is it nostalgia or repeated listenings? Any song I like, I really like as time goes on. Any song I don’t like becomes bearable. I was listening to Red Velevt’s Rookie and was thinking, ” Ah good times. Remember when I used to hate this song? Doesn’t sound so bad now. In fact I think I might just…NO WAIT wtf am I doing? This song is shit and always has been.”

This is an exaggeration because nothing could make me like that song but this happens to me a lot.

I honestly think there’s something in brain chemistry where we prefer the comfort of things that we’ve heard before, and we like new stuff too but only in small doses.  I also think that the more unusual something is, the longer it takes to like, if it’s something that you’re eventually going to like.  Perhaps there’s something about how it’s harder for the brain to create new synaptic pathways in response to new stimuli or something, I’m sure neuroscientists are working on understanding this because I sure don’t.  I listen to songs a lot before deciding where to place them in year-end lists for this reason.

I can’t shake the feeling that the rhythm of the vocals in this song invokes doo-wop/barbershop music. Is there something to this or am I a wannabe Kpopalypse who’s only pretending to know something about music?

You might be onto something here, but I think you’ve got the wrong era.  The rhythms and vocal phrasing specifically reminded me of late-60s Motown sound, such as The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back“, just a slowed-down version thereof.  I mean it’s not very similar but there’s certainly a common thread in the way the harmonies and phrasing are written.  Doo-wop era was more 1950s and was pretty much dead by the time Motown was in full swing.

This will probably get buried, but I have to write this anyway. This isn’t a question at all, but I just wanna let you know that reading everything on your website (and AJ’s too, but this message isn’t for them so fuck off) for almost a year now has changed me into a better person and a better music fan. I don’t always agree with you and your opinions and sometimes you even piss me off, but your exceptional qualities, like your dark and crude humor for example, your no-fucks-given personality, and the unique way you write…always make up for it! I think it’s probably our differences (age, gender, race, nationality, upbringing) that make us think differently, but they’re your opinions and I will respect them because I do think that you’re a good person and a good writer…and I’ve never once thought of you to be bad at all! I don’t know you personally and I never will because I’m some dumbass American teenage girl and you’re Australian, but I appreciate having you and this fucking masterpiece of a website in my life! I do have you bookmarked on my phone after all! I always look forward to reading what you have to say, even if I don’t always agree with it again lol, and I always get sad when I click on your website and there’s nothing new for me to read! Please write more because I love it all so much, but also take care of yourself and do whatever you want you know? Because it’s your life and you don’t really owe me anything. Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful life and lots of happiness and joy and a GREAT NEW YEAR/CHRISTMAS/KWANZA/HANUKKAH/ORGY PARTY or whatever the fuck you celebrate! BECAUSE YOU ARE AWESOME AND YOU DESERVE IT!!! YOU SON OF A BITCH!!! NOW GO OUT THERE AND FUCK SHIT UP! SARANGHAEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!<3~~~~~~<3 ???

Hey thanks for reading!  Glad you’re enjoying the site.  I don’t expect all or even most readers to see eye-to-eye with everything that I write, and if they did I would wonder if there would be any point at all if I was just telling people things that they already knew.  I really appreciate it when readers overcome cultural barriers to read the writing and still get something out of it, because of course nobody is forcing anyone to read any of my crap, everyone who comes here does so voluntarily.  I actually think Americans have a harder time with this than most, because if you’re American you’re the dominant culture on the English-speaking Internet so seeing different cultural perspectives is probably rarer and more challenging than if you’re from some other country where you’re kind of more used to the way you feel about things sometimes hardly ever being represented by others.  So thanks for sticking with it.  I think being an American teenage girl right now would be tough in a lot of ways, so I hope you’re doing well and I’m happy that my blog is bringing you happiness.

One of the more highly rated comments on this video is about how the song plays an E whatever but then doesn’t play it again until the very end, making it feel so satisfying. The comments below it have an argument about that’s actually happening. Explain for this cao ni ma pls?

I looked for the comment you’re referring to but I couldn’t find it, it must’ve scrolled down a fair way since you read it.  But I took a look at this piece.  The first time the E appears in the left hand is in the first chord (with the thumb), but then it doesn’t appear again until 0:27 (with the little finger), and notably that first chord is a first inversion (or a 6/3 chord) with the E at the top rather than the bass, which is a less “strong” sound due to the root not being on the bottom, grounding the harmony.  The melody is even more evasive – the first time the E appears in the right hand is at 1:04 and even then it’s kind of an “extra” note that is quickly moved on from.  Chopin is avoiding the E in the melody deliberately to prevent the feeling of “resolution”, he’s deliberately creating a sense of unease by denying the payoff that the brain expect.  Especially look at 1:20, where the E is specifically dodged around by the right hand – Chopin, that trolling fuck.  So when you finally get that E near the end of the piece it’s like “ahhhh, the payoff, finally, I can stop feeling so uncomfortable”.

I really like the visual presentation in this video, by the way.  Good for analysis.

Hi oppar! Have you heard of Flash Flood Darlings? He’s a nugu electronica artist along the same lines as Aseul and the moodier Uza tracks. His work is great! I’m putting this here because he edges a little bit out of Nugu Alert territory but his songs are fucking notable. He also didn’t release a music video or real feature track this year, or I would’ve linked it to the survey. I know one of those is an OST but worry not, it’s not a dirge-y ballad and more similar to Aseul’s “New Pop” era songs. The second one takes a minute to get going but the chorus and the textures in general are absolutely gold. I’m sorry if this boring, but it’s less of “what do you think” question and me just blatantly shelling for my fave. If you listened to him I’d be so happy tbh, I just want more people to be aware of how good this dude’s music is so that maybe he releases more stuff. Flash Flood Darlings also seemed like the kind of R&B-free, synth-tastic indie content you’ve liked in the past, so here you go.

P.S. Fun fact: FFD was an openly gay artist in Korea years before either MRSHLL or Holland! That’s unimportant to his music but funny considering the hype around both of those two.

Thanks for this!  I didn’t mind the songs, I preferred the first one.  I don’t have much to add that you haven’t already said but I’ll just leave this here to plug your faves for you.

Hi Kpopalypse, this question isn’t really about kpop but more about Australia.
iKON had some tour dates in Australia recently and they visited Featherdale Animal Park:

At 03:17 there’s a koala pacing in a small enclosure with nowhere to hide from the loud visitors. It reminded me of how horrible some zoos used to be when I was a small kid with tiny cages and distressed animals pacing all day long.
I’ve never been to Australia but I thought it would be the kind of country that has high standards for animal welfare. Is this place an anomaly?
On a side note I had a good laugh when Chanwoo was standing at the kangaroo exhibit at 04:04 because according to the official YG profile he is 6′ tall.

That Koala is okay, because he has a tree.  Koalas spend a ton of time in trees, give a Koala tree and they’re happy.  The tree here looks like it’s been modified to make it easier for the koala to climb.  Mind you this is a zoo in urban Sydney and Sydney is pretty crowded so there’s probably not a lot of room for the enclosures and things seem a bit packet together.  The koalas who live in the wild in the areas near my brother’s house probably have a more relaxed life, but with more hazards though as they get hit by cars occasionally, Australian native animals don’t have good “vehicle-sense” across the board so you really have to look out for them when traveling at speed.

Thoughts? On one hand, I think he’s being a bit uptight about people changing the melody, on the other hand, he calls out vocalfaggotry which is nice

This video would have been a really good introduction to the problem with vocalfaggotry, if he didn’t pick that particular song.  Sure, anyone can sing anything however they want, but if you’re doing it for public consumption as opposed to a vocal exercise in your room then yes, it pays to be a bit mindful of the reasons why the song was written that way in the first place, so you’re accurately conveying the song’s message, unless of course, the intent is to deliberately shit on that message, in which case, do whatever.  However, it all falls apart in these examples because Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is a very poor example song to demonstrate this.  The creator of this video is ignoring the practical consideration that it’s actually not an easy song to sing if you have a limited vocal range as Leonard Cohen goes quite deep on the original, which means that some of the singers here are shifting the ending an octave higher not for showing-off purpose but simply because they don’t have the voice to actually hit Leonard Cohen’s low notes.  There’s nothing wrong with that and singers change things to make them easier to sing all the time.  The guy is really being a bit precious here.  To really demonstrate vocalfaggotry in action you need to get a song that is quite easy to sing in its original incarnation, a song that anybody can do, and then see how different vocalists tackle that.

This chord progression feels so bad to my ears that got me intrigued. Can you please tell me what it is and if it’s common in some music genre or even in k-pop?
Have a nice Réveillon!

Yeah this song got on my worst of 2018 list for a reason.  It’s impossible for me to identify the chords due to the way the track is mixed.  It sounds like a two part harmony of that bell sound, which of course over the static bass means that it’s a triad (of a sort).  However as the bassline doesn’t move and the rest of it can’t be cleanly heard as it’s pushed into the background of the mix, the effect is less of “changing chords” and more of “a modulating noise” over the beat, so it’s just relegated to sound effects basically, like what people do when they build hip-hop tracks out of noises.

Hello! I have a question that I’m going to attempt to keep quick and to the point.

So everyone that’s been into Kpop for more than a year or so probably knows about the T-ara situation, and *should* know that a lot of the “evidence” used to present them as bullies were fabricated. Also that Hwayoung and her sister used the entire situation to their advantage, obviously not caring about rather they were ruining careers or not. The people who’ve been into Kpop since 2012 and before witnessed the public outrage against T-ara, their damaged reputation, as well as their blacklisting. Keep in mind, they didn’t lose everything, but for a group of their status at the time they took a big loss. While T-ara have recovered, the scandal is something that’s always attached to them no matter what, and that’s honestly depressing. It’s often quite interesting to think of how even bigger they would have been without the scandal.

In last years 2017 Favorites List you said that if Twice is the SNSD in terms of relevance, then Loona is the new T-ara in terms of musical quality, and I agree. I’m a fan of T-ara and SNSD (huge fans of both back when they were releasing music regularly). And I’m a huge Twice and Loona fan, with Loona being my fave as they’re just amazing to me in terms of music quality and entertainment. I honestly worry what will happen to them if they have a T-ara level scandal. A part of me would like to think that we as K-pop fans have progressed past reacting the same as we did in 2012; but then again, while I don’t visit Netizenbuzz whenever I’m linked to the site (or archived articles lol) it honestly makes me lose hope.

Honestly what do you think would happen to Loona if they were to get in a similar situation to T-ara? Do you think they’d receive the same amount of insane witch-hunting or do you think people will be wiser before they make judgement? Do you think they’d lose brand deals and take severe hits to their careers? I don’t want this to happen to Loona but big girl groups seem to never go unscathed.

T-ara’s scandal was a perfect storm of unfortunate factors and it blew up because MBK (then CCM) had a CEO who had a very old-school management style and he didn’t understand the implications of the evolving technology around his business and therefore didn’t react quickly enough to the issue.  The same CEO was balancing the need to protect Hwasnake (family interests) vs T-ara (business interests), vs his own poor reputation over previous incidences, and so he tried to appear as a “nice guy” and tread a diplomatic middle-path in order to please everyone.  This actually prevented the truth from getting out for years, because to clear T-ara’s name he had to pick a side.  Other companies have learned from his mistake, and that old-school management style is now pretty well dead in k-pop anyway, so for that reason I don’t think we’ll ever see another situation like what happened to T-ara.  Probably the closest we’ll ever get is stuff like the Lovelyz Jisoo scandal, which is a good example of how a “developing T-ara-like situation” would be handled by any given agency these days.  I’m not that concerned about Blockberry, they’ve so far proven to be very sensitive to “fan management” issues.  That’s not to say Loona members won’t get into trouble eventually (what k-pop group doesn’t) but I would expect Blockberry to manage it in the manner than a Big 3 label would.

Hi oppar! So I’ve watched this new Queen movie and I really liked it. No, I’m not going to pretend like “I’m a huge fan of Queen” (like every other people after watching a biopic) but I really want to discover their other, more “underrated” songs. Do you have any song suggestions for me?

My favourite Queen album is “Queen II“.  Not to be confused with “Queen Greatest Hits II”, “Queen II” is their second album from 1974 and sees Queen with one foot in progressive rock and the other in pop music, which I think actually worked really well for them.  Every track on that album is great.  The other great Queen album is “A Kind Of Magic” which is actually an OST for the film “Highlander” but don’t let that put you off.  So I’d start with those two albums if you want to look at Queen album tracks.  Mind you the Greatest Hits compilations are probably a better place to start if you’re unfamiliar with Queen, period, and it’s really eye-opening just how many hit songs they had, because unlike most other so-called hits compilations pretty much every song on both of those albums was successful.  The worst Queen album is definitely “Hot Space”, you can’t go too far wrong with most of the others.

1. I often hear that idols are even skinnier in real life than on camera. But then people back this up with video and photographic evidence. What confuses me is that though the idols do look skinnier in said evidence, they are still being portrayed through a lens. How am I supposed to rely on these photos and videos depicting their real body size when the evidence is taken with the exact same media that makes them look supposedly bigger? I wonder about the distance between the idol and the camera having an effect, but sometimes the typical idol portrayal and the realistic/scary skinny portrayal seem to be taken from the same distance. Perhaps the difference is in the lens being used? I appreciate any insight you have to offer.

The next two questions pertain to specific songs.

2. First song is Red Velvet’s “Body Talk”. I put a time stamp at 27 seconds to skip over the instrumental intro and go straight to the first verse. Whenever I try to find the time signature of the verse, I seem to get mixed up. As far as I can tell, it does not exactly fit a standard 4/4 time. When the chorus starts at 1:03, it sounds like 4/4 straight through. But the verse is throwing me for a loop. Is there a different time signature, or do I need more determination in acquiring my music skills?

3. The second song is IU’s “Bad Day”. I like to use your song structure guide to break down songs by myself, but this one has left me a bit confused on what is going on. My attempt:

0:00-1:00 verse
1:00-1:43 pre-chorus
1:44-1:58 riff?
1:59-2:27 pre-chorus again
2:28 -2:55 bridge? but it also has a build like a pre-chorus
2:56-3:29 chorus
3:30-end verse

Thanks!

  1. Short answer is – you can’t.  The natural illusion effect of the camera will be in play anyway.  However aspects like the lens used, the type of clothes used etc also do make a difference, also the effect of lighting and makeup is huge.  There’s a lot of science to it and it’s best not to make assumptions.  Hence why “Kpopalypse fashion class” is a whole series!
  2. The song is definitely in 4/4 for both the verse and chorus.  It doesn’t change tempo at all.  What’s tricking you is that there’s a quick bar of 2/4 inserted just before the song hits the chorus.  This happens at about 1:03 and it’s telegraphed by that whooshing electronic buildup noise.
  3. You interpretation is as valid as any other, as it’s a bit of a weird song.  I’d actually say that 1:44 is kind of a tease of the chorus at 2:56, you’ll find that if you play or sing the melody/harmony at 1:44 over what’s happening at 2:56, it fits.  I’d probably also call 0:00 to 0:31 the intro and 3:30 onward the outro.  A lot of this is perception though, there’s more than one way to interpret a song like this which doesn’t really follow standard forms.

I noticed that you really like a lot of Sweetune’s work (understandably so – it’s amazing), but that you’ve never been a fan of Boyfriend’s music despite them having Sweetune producing it. Is there anything specific that makes their work with Boyfriend subpar, especially given that you’ve liked a lot of their songs for Kara, Infinite, Stellar, Snuper, 100%, TST, etc.?

Just Boyfriend haven’t got lucky, I guess.  I can’t point to anything else specifically, and there’s no reason why Boyfriend couldn’t release the song of 2019 tomorrow.

How do you obtain audios for your radio show? How do artists get paid for you playing their songs on your show?

I obtain my music the same way most people get it, although I do actually get sent quite a lot of stuff for free.  Part of being a DJ is that people know that I can’t play their track if you don’t have it, so it’s obviously in their best interests to make sure that I do have it.  Therefore I get artists emailing with promotional copies a lot.  Sometimes listeners also send me things that they would like to hear.

All radio stations pay royalties for the songs they play on air, and this is administered by national performing rights organisations (APRA in Australia, KOMCA in South Korea) who make sure that the artists get paid (as long as those artists’ works are registered with those organisations, which they almost always are).  This link has more information on how the process actually works.

Hi Kpopalypse,

This is not really a question but I just wanted to drop it in: but the other day I stumbled across a YouTube review of one of my favorite albums. The reviewer call it “corny,” “bland,” and “uninspired” and for some reason it really upset me. I consider myself ok about enjoying music for myself but this reviewer, even though he went through the whole “this is just my opinion spiel,” was trying so hard to “subjectively” explain his opinion when every point he made sounded so stupid to me and he was taking himself so seriously (it was damn 9min video–I couldn’t even finish it all), he just pissed me off.

But it also made me really grateful for your kind of transparency you have about not even caring about the reviews you put out. You know your opinion shouldn’t matter so at least you make it entertaining, and that helps me at least with learning how not to care so much either. So thanks

Best,
a happy reader

p.s. My bias is making a comeback soon and I’m really looking foreword to the shitty puns you’re going to make about his title track

It’s all good.  I do shoot for entertainment (of myself) first and foremost when writing anything at all.  Don’t worry so much about negative reviews.  Opinions are like assholes – everyone has one, and everyone thinks theirs is important!

I’m not good enough to find this cumbia beat in the k-pop I listen to. Are there k-pop tracks you can think of off the top of your head that uses this beat?

No.  Not to say there aren’t any.  Probably the closest I’ve heard a k-pop artist come to this sound off the top of my head is SNSD’s “Lil’ Touch”, which isn’t quite the same, but is certainly a bit similar.  Maybe there are better examples than this that I’m forgetting.

This thread was asked on your favourite fansite, r/kpop:

Was wondering what your response would be?
“So a lot of people argue that k-pop isn’t a music genre, but rather just the description foreigners use to describe popular Korean music or “idol music”, which I tend to agree with. However something strange happened to me a couple days ago that made me a little more sceptic. Since we’re coming to the end of the year Spotify has released their “2018 wrapped” thing along with providing everyone, or me at least, with a Playlist made by Spotify called “tastebreakers”. I put it on and went back to browsing reddit, when the song “no jam by Soul One, featuring Evo” came on, and before a single word was said, I could just tell that is was a Korean song based on the way the very first part of song was sung. Have you guys ever noticed this, and what are your thoughts? Found it kinda interesting.”

Actually the thing that clues me into it is not the singing but the chord progression.  The third chord in the progression of three is unexpectedly major and I find that’s a common k-pop songwriting quirk where they’ll resolve to a major chord after already having established a minor feel.  I have no idea why this is.

Care to address this in your next V Files?

I’ve heard a lot of people mention head and chest voice before and I honestly had no idea of the difference between either until I watched this video. I’m curious to know whether k-pop fans know the difference as well.

I probably won’t.  The purpose of The V Files isn’t to educate people in vocal techniques (lord knows there’s far too much of that faggotry going around already), it’s to alert people to when vocalfags are stepping over the line with their daft “this is relevant to k-pop, honest!” technique obsessions.  Since falsetto is something which is used quite frequently in k-pop, and which has an audible difference on the final result of tracks that is meaningful, the vocal theorists actually mostly get their information about this technique correct, so I have nothing to really add.

Hey kpopalypse, I need advice with dealing with a shitty flatmate. In short, she (I’m going to call her Su) won’t move out anytime soon, I can’t move out because money and this will have to go on for at least 2 more years.

[I’m a broke student, live with my mother and she decided to take Su in to split the rent. My mother adores Su.
Right now I’m doing 2 bachelor’s degrees and have little time for work / I’m saving money to do my master in Korean Studies in SK. So moving out is not feasible in the near future.]

Now what makes me ask you for advice: I’m an introverted cowardly fuck with low self esteem who sucks at human interactions and is passive aggressive – I would love to be an asshole who gives no fucks but shit, I don’t know how and whether it would improve my situation.

I perceive Su as shitty because she regularly oversteps the rules we agreed upon for living together (her excuse, “I pay half of the rent, this is my home, chill out and just clean the dirty stuff I didn’t feel like cleaning”) and she often lashes out at me for unjustified stuff in my opinion (e.g.: I shouldn’t speak to her in the morning; no washing my clothes when she’s around; no entering the kitchen when she’s cooking [but the only access to my tiny room is through the kitchen…]).
Lots of little unimportant things that add up and make me angry / sad / helpless. She’s affluent, 15 years my senior and a pain to live with. I have zero hope that I could change her in any way – so what can I do to at least feel better for myself? How can I survive without becoming a doormat?

Thanks a lot.

If I were you I’d talk to your mother about it and do it ASAP, before any big confrontation hits.  Is she aware of the issues?  I’m sure she adores Su but she’s also your mother, you’ve got the flesh-and-blood card at the end of the day.  Don’t approach her in a “kick the bitch out” kind of way, more of a “I want to live together with her happily but there’s problems that need addressing” kind of way.  If you’re nice about it and approach it from a calm, non-critical “genuine concern” perspective your mother may respond reasonably.

Ultimately, either continue to be a doormat, or don’t.  I know which one I’d choose!  Not being a doormat doesn’t mean starting a fight, it just means sticking up for yourself.  You say you’re shitty at human interactions, well situations like this where you’re forced to interact in sticky situations where you’d rather not, is exactly how you get better at them.  You should relish an opportunity like this because it’s good “life practice” and if you navigate it well you’ll be able to find yourself in a position of more power plus you’ll get to work some of that underdeveloped social muscle.

Please watch the following Vlive (it’s under 4 minutes long, so hopefully it won’t put you to sleep, although they’re trying pretty hard)  I knew this story, but there were many people who haven’t heard it before and didn’t know the ending, so reddit thread was kind of funny for this one. It struck me how it could be a fitting metaphor for idol industry: you think you’re watching something pretty and innocent, but actually all dreams are just illusions and kids suffer without anyone willing to help them, Merry Christmas 🙂 But seriously, why did they pick this one, do you think they actually had some point to make or just went ‘whatever, Andersen sounds christmasy, just read it’? Also, is the last girl a) a psychopath b) being ironic c) trying to brighten the mood d) too tired to understand what she’s reading (I think she’s from Twice, so that could be it)?

A lot of old folk tales, nursery rhymes, children’s stories etc are actually really macabre.  This story is pretty normal, and honestly it’s pretty grim right from the start.  I think the girl at the end was just doing what she was told.  They’re told to be bright and smile for the camera all the time, so that’s what they do.  Nothing more to it than that.

Hi Kpopalypse,
I just wanted to ask you about a common ‘criticism’ of Twice’s songs being ‘childish’ or ‘kindergarden music’. While it doesn’t bug me, I see it come up quite often and I don’t really understand why some people might think this (apart from the twice-antis).
Is there really something in their songs that make people think like this? I could only come up with the fact that in some of their songs, they do chant, like in the bridge of Yes or Yes which I guess it sounds childish but is there anything musically that might make people think it’s childish?
Anyways, thanks and hope you have a good day.

Nothing in the music itself.  It’s the chanting which sounds a bit like kids’ chanting, which gives people that impression.  It’s no doubt on purpose, to make people recall the fun they had as children participating in songs and games.  It probably doesn’t have that effect on everyone but I reckon that’s the idea behind it.

Are there any idol rappers that are actually good? and if so, do you have any favorites?

It is impossible to assess the rapping qualities of idol rappers.  More info here.

Why haven’t you reviewed anything by DPR LIVE?

Just never got around to it, but they’re pretty awful so everyone should probably be grateful.  Roundups are never “complete”, that’s impossible.

Are you looking forward to SSNI-388, out on Jan 19th: “Mikami Yua’s female molester torture. Continuous ejaculation – 16 shots. Forced ejaculation techniques that drain tied up men?

Given that Honey Popcorn has had a line-up change, I need to do a recap of some of the more recent drama productions by all three girls.  However I think I’ll wait until this one comes out before I make that post, as it sounds like the kind of thespian masterpiece that will really showcase Yua’s acting skills.

Hey kpopalypse!

So, I just wanted to let you know while reading your 2018 honorable/dishonorable list, I saw that AOA’s Bingle Bangle was on the dishonorable list and then I remembered that Bing Bing was #21 on the 2017 worst list, so I guess Bingle Bangle is one of their worst but not THE worst song of theirs? I mean Bingle Bangle was shit, but Bing Bing was worse, so does that mean any AOA song with a “bing” in the title automatically means it’s shit?

I think less “bing” in AOA songs is probably a good idea.  Let’s err on the side of caution.

Have you recieved any donations through your “stan Loona” game? If not, I think the fandom should definitely support you! (If I wasn’t broke af, I would :D)

I’ve had some new Patreon subscribers lately (thank you all!) but I don’t know if that was related specifically to the game or not.  Certainly nobody has donated through the itch.io site but then I’d rather people use Patreon anyway because it’s easier for me to keep track of.

Hey just curious what’s ur opinion on stans writing smut (sexual scenarios) about underaged idols (under the korean legal age) such nct’s subunit nct dream or the minors in loona? I chanced upon one of such “nsfw” accounts on twitter writing smut fanfiction, and they had a response against the hate against them, which was that the minors aren’t innocent children like their company makes them out to be (?) And that as long as they didn’t interact with the official accounts of the idols and the idols are above 18 it could be okay. This kind of confuses me as i think they’re just basing it off their own country (most likely america’s) legal age, when in korea u have to be several years older than that. Anyway I just wanted to know your thoughts on this situation! I really enjoy your insight on this blog! Thank you 🙂

On the one hand, it definitely seems creepy and certainly not like any stuff that I’d ever want to read.  On the other hand, if someone has those inclinations I think it’s better for them to write or read a story about it and get their creepiness out of their system that way rather than it being pent up and boiling over and then they go out and actually endanger people in real life.  If all every pedophile ever did was roleplay stories with other adults and they and their friends never actually put anyone in danger, it wouldn’t make me like them any more, I’d still think they were creeps and wouldn’t want anything to do with them, but at least it would neutralise the potential threat and make their activity “safe”.  There’s enough actual pedophiles committing real crimes out there, tearing apart families and causing massive amounts of harm, people should focus on that if they really care about this issue, not on someone writing dumb fantasy NCT fanfics or whatever.  Let’s concentrate on policing reality instead of policing fantasy.

Hey Kpopalypse, since you will likely not read it before, I wish you happy holidays and a happy new year. I’m writing you, because K/DA’s Popstars is my favourite song nowadays – and you were pretty spot on with your text, about people who like it. I would be very thankful for your advice.

Two months ago my boyfriend broke up with me at the height of a project for a competition that I was leading and where he was the creative master mind behind it. It was really messy in itself, since he did it while we were together in this AirBnB with the whole team for the competition and I basically lost myself already the weeks prior where I noticed him getting distant, cold and him criticizing me in front of the whole team. While he was nice, funny to others, hugged them let their heads lean on his shoulders, comforted them, he was annoyed at me. I was depressed, low confidence and in tears for the whole course of the competition, and I can say that it was traumatizing since I couldn’t keep myself together but everyone was happy and celebrating this competition and our successes – which I was happy about too, but I don’t think anyone bought it. He wanted to stay friends with me, but I just couldn’t – because I was so confused and hurt. So I asked him to not contact me. The things that he said still haunt me – me being dishonest, like a subserviant housewife, I changed, he changed and so on..he was pretty emotional about it too. And I know there is some truth in it because I know that the team was also unhappy with me – I was constantly stressed for handling family, friends multiple projects and I think I lost my authenticity. In this competition I felt that I had to prove myself somewhat, since I noticed them loosing respect for me (because I failed at organizing critical stuff) and when it came to important decisions I was not sure about my opinions, or was not qucik enough to voice them, so when someone voiced them before me I was like “yeah thought so too”,”I had the same idea” and I think sometimes I confused their ideas with mine…and I feel like a total sellout now. Now I had a break up, burn out and everything, and that girl that he was close to the couple weeks before he broke up with me took over. She’s everything that I’m not – authentic, herself and can say shit without being unsympathetic. I don’t know how to get out of this and regain the trust and respect of everyone, my authenticity. We are still meeting and I’m a crying, anxious mess and can’t deal with social situations the same as I used to. I can’t even think of opinions, because opinions show my personality and I feel like I don’t have one right now since I don’t want to get set on one potentially bad one. And I just so much miss him, I have forgiven myself for most of the stuff that I did but I have troubles getting angry at the stuff that he did, although everyone agrees that I should, but at the same time, everyone adores him and misses him and is in constant contact with him. And I feel like I lost a very important part of myself too a future that I imagined with him.

How do I regain the respect or trust? I’m also afraid of losing my personality, my visions, creativity, trust. Just completely loosing myself. He is coming back January and I will have to work together with him in the same building. What if he still has that negative mindset about me? How do I deal with my feelings and hopes for him? The fear that I will never find someone as fascinating as him? What should I do? Thanks for reading through this if you made it. I know how pathetic I sound.

Don’t even sweat the trust and respect of other people.  That’s not anything that you can control directly anyway.  It doesn’t matter what you do in life, how much you succeed or fail, there are some people who will give their respect and trust to you, and others who never will.  This part isn’t up to you, so let go of it.  What you can control however, is regaining your own self-respect, and also your trust in yourself.

Self-respect comes from knowing that you have value as a person and the ability to contribute to something (either something involving others, or perhaps not).  If you don’t feel that value then funnel your energies into working on your own abilities to do practical things, and you’ll find value there, you’ll have something to feel good about.  Once you have proven to yourself (not others, they don’t matter) that you are a capable person then your self-respect will improve.  The trust will then return as well, because you’ll be able to trust in yourself that you’re able to achieve the things you want, because you’ve already proven to yourself that you can. Then the validation of others will mean a lot less to you.  Sure, it’s nice to get that validation, but you won’t need it anymore.  The guy (and others) will start mattering less too.  Trust me, there are other good guys out there (plus a lot of bad ones) and just like it’s nice to eat chocolate ice-cream, it’s nice to have someone nice in your life.  But you’ll be able to get by alright without it, until such a time as you find the right one.  I’d say “trust me”, but don’t trust me – trust you.

Hi Kpopalypse! I’m a new fan of your site but an totally digging your articles, POV, and the smack you lay down on kpop. My question for you is this: in a post I can’t find anymore you indicated a general distaste for jpop. I was wondering if this opinion extends to songs like “Fukyouwoan” by Keyakizaki46. I found them because of the shafting LOOΠΔ got at the MAMAs and their music seems quite interesting, especially in light of their lyrics vs standard Japanese societal norms. I’m liking a bunch of their stuff, including “Silent Majority” and “Futari Saison” as well as some others which I’m too lazy to copy the kanji for right now. What are your thoughts on this weighty matter?

Stan LOOΠΔ!

I don’t care about j-pop.  Japanese do make some good music, but pop isn’t it.  The further away from pop music, the better Japanese sound.

[some questions about album tracks that weren’t very interesting]

These album tracks are not very interesting.  Read more here.

hey kpopalypse, i’m a senior in high school and i’m not really sure if i’ll be okay (by okay i mean like financially stable with good friends and shit) in the future or after i graduate because i haven’t really achieved anything groundbreaking other than some academic awards i wish i didn’t hold on too so much. as an adult, do u think i’ll be ok

Yes.

Dear Kpopalypse oppar,
I am in a problem caused by my own stupidity.
Kpop has taken over my life. I am a year 12 student who is supposed to study to get the grades they need to attend the uni they want but I spend most of my time communicating in kpop fandoms. The problem is, I know I shouldn’t be that active since most fandoms are pure hot trash but the friends I’ve made in those communities make it so hard to leave. I am utterly obsessed and have barely of a social life in real life.
My second problem is closely related to the first I’d say, by consequence. My irl uni friends came over but I noticed I can barely talk to people that aren’t my closest friend anymore. I’ve become so shy and so awkward, so inept at communicating. Communication that isn’t online used to be a strength of mine but I’ve become a shy and awkward person instead.
So these are my issues… I suppose…
Dear Kpopalypse pls give me a piece of advice on 1) how to stop myself from spending so much time online and 2) pls gimme advice on how to communicate with others irl without getting anxiety and shaking and being awkward…
As I’m writing this it’s actually the second day of Christmas and I promised myself I’d go see two friends I haven’t seen in a long time so please wish me good luck but also hand over some advice for us anxious peeps over here. Have a lovely day!

Why not actually use your online obsession as a way to meet and organise with people?  I know people who are obsessed with k-pop, but they don’t just sit at home on the Internet, their interest in k-pop motivates them to be social with friends, to go out and organise meets with friends who like the style, some of them even put on their own social events!  You used to be able to be more social so you can do it again, you just need to give yourself a good enough reason to, and you will.

Also try to get good grades in year 12, it’s like the one solitary year of school that actually means something.

Hello dear oppa! I am aware of your teach-a-man-to-fish ethos, but I read your song structures post again, and I’ve got some questions (oh no). Please bear with me; I’ll try to be sort of interesting.

1) For Sistar’s “How Dare You” you mention that the chorus only plays twice, with everything in the middle being either verse/prechorus/bridge. The bit that you’ve marked as pre-chorus doesn’t really sound like a pre-chorus to me. The phrasing seems pretty fleshed out and complete in itself, not like it’s leading up to something. And it’s pretty catchy all on it’s own too! So, my question is, why isn’t this bit a “chorus” but the “Keep our head up, cuz we’re mighty sistar” part is? What’s the distinction there?

2) There’s a thing I’ve noticed in kpop where the chorus will sort of be split into two parts, and the second part of the chorus will play at the beginning and be cut off before the bridge, so the structure is like:
Intro (maybe) – Chorus bit 2 – Verse – Chorus bit 1 – Chorus bit 2 – Verse – Chorus bit 1 – Bridge – Chorus bit 1 – Chorus bit 2. Right now this weird “lop off half your chorus but then play it at the beginning of the song” practice is common enough that I’m convinced it’s a Thing, but I’m not really sure what to call it. It makes sense from a pop standpoint because the “second chorus bit” I’m talking about it usually really hooky, while the “first bit” is more fleshed out. It happens in Twice’s “Likey“, Momoland’s “BAAM” and “Bboom Bboom“, Stray Kids’ “My Pace,” Snuper’s “Star of Stars,” TST’s “Love Story” and somewhat less obviously as slightly modified intros in Gugudan’s Chococo/Uni.T’s No More. Sometimes there is no bookend but the chorus is still two parts with the second getting chopped off around the bridge, like in JBJ’s “My Flower” or Weki Meki’s “Crush.” I could go on w/examples but my point is that this is a pattern, and I’m not sure what to call it? Is this legitimate observation or…?

3) What the fuck is happening in iKon’s Killing Me? It’s got that bit that starts and ends the song and shows up like four times – so it has to be important. Then there’s the instrumental drop, which would be pretty standard for a boy group song in 2018, except right after the bridge… PLOT TWIST: the riff gets a new vocal line thrown over it. I’m not really sure what this is, and it’s been bugging me. My current version of the structure is roughly:
1. 0:06 – Chorus A, 0:22 – Verse 1, 0:37 – Pre-Chorus, 0:51 – Chorus A, 1:07 – Riff, 1:23 – Verse 2, 1:39 – Pre- Chorus, 1:53 – Chorus A, 2:08 – Riff, 2:23 – Bridge, 2:39 – Riff+Chorus B, 3:09 – Outro (shortened Chorus A). I think this is probably wrong in some way, but I also don’t know how else to notate it. If u help me I’ll never ask a boring question after this qrimole ever again

3) except right now, when I ask this boring question: I didn’t get this from your song structures post (I play classical piano), but do you think SHINee’s awful “Ring Ding Dong” could be in rondo structure? Trust me, I am no rondofag – I am in fact the opposite of a rondofag; I am a dedicated rondo hater. RDD has so many different sections w/such little coherence, except for the fact that it always eventually returns to that terrible “Baby~~~~~~” melody that starts off the song . It’s kind of random to the point that it reminded me of the “I was too lazy to write a theme and develop it properly so here’s some random crap” rondo form, which is perhaps the most shit classical music structure to exist. Am I valid?

4) back to your song structure post, one of the timestamps on OMG’s Closer is wrong; you have the bridge marked at 3:02, but the rap doesn’t start until 3:09! Also the section you have marked as Outro (Chorus) at 3:26 uses a shortened version of the melody used in the a capella breakdown, but which is never seen in any of the previous choruses.

5) In past qrimoles and surveys I’ve complained about competitive trampoline, trying to be a perfect student, and mental health and DUDE!! I got into one of the top 5 unis in the USA!! Making my life a veritable shitstain for a few years fuckin paid off man, and I’m telling everyone about it, even internet strangers. Also my coach apologized to me for being a dickface, and I think even though I’ve been super sick I’m still probably gonna get my elite gymnast qualification! Of course the doctors still don’t know what’s wrong with me (LOL) and I’m still depressed, but overall shit is going better and your advice has been really helpful; thanks a lot oppar. I’m a lot less insecure about myself nowadays!

  1.  The other parts of the song just don’t sound “chorusey” enough to my ear compared to that start/ending.  The literal meaning of the word “chorus” is a group of vocalists singing together, and this technique tends to get deployed in choruses.  Agreed that this is subjective and there’s nothing strictly wrong with your interpretation, it’s just not how I look at it.
  2. I think if you go through some old 1960s Beatles tracks from their pop phase you’ll hear the same thing, where the song is introed by a snatch of the chorus, a “tease” of the full chorus that happens later.  It’s not uncommon in pop music, as you’ve found.  Much more unusual in other styles (although it does happen).
  3. iKon – no “one right answer” but I would interpret as: 0:06 = intro (chorus).  0:22 = verse.  0:39 = pre-chorus.  0:51 = chorus.  1:08 = riff.  1:23 = Verse 2. 1:39 = pre-chorus.  1:53 = chorus.  2:08 = Riff. 2:23 = Breakdown.  2:39 = Riff+Bridge.  3:09 = Outro (chorus).  I answered this in the hope that you do keep your promise and don’t ask me any more questions about song arrangements, you clearly have the skills to figure these things out on your own anyway!  Answer 4 is clear evidence of this.  SHINee – I’m going to go with it just being a really badly written pop song.  Occam’s Razor and all that.
  4. This is all true, I think I was just getting tired when I wrote that part of the post.  Or maybe I was staring at Yooa too much.  Might fix this later.  Thanks for the pickup!
  5. Glad it worked out – congratulations!  I know you could do it.  But of course, according to Reddit/kpop I’m “mean and cynical”.

I will try to be quick. So I am a guy. I was talking to some guy I met on tinder, he studied at the college I go so we kept seeing each other quite frequently. And then I started to like him. One day he asks me out (on a date I think) to meet his friends at a party. When the party was almost over we were alone somewhere and he started to grab my butt. Really hard. So i did the same. A few seconds later I slaped his face and said “you naughty!!”(or “you nasty!!!” orsomethig like that) and laughed a little. The other day he stopped talking to me and said a lot of shit about me on twitter, which made me really mad but ok. A few days later i apologized and we never talked again. So my question, am I weird for slaping him in the face? Like, a said it to my friends and they stood by my side and said I did nothing wrong so I want some outside opinion.

I dunno, I definitely wouldn’t slap my girlfriend in the face, not even as a joke.  Some people are into that though but I guess maybe he’s not one of them, it’s the sort of think you’d want to check with someone whether they liked it instead of just assuming!  It’s hard to say if you did the wrong thing or not when I have no idea what exactly it is he said about you after.  If you still wanted to do something with him I’d approach him about it very apologetically and low-key promise him that you weren’t going to hit him again first… unless he asked nicely.

Hi! So I really like songs like After School Blue’s “Wonder Boy” and Year 7 Class 1’s “Oppa Virus” But what is it about these songs that are so good, musically?

They’re both pop songs with heavy orchestration and fairly complicated harmonic shifts for a pop song.  Most pop songs are four or five chords maximum.  “More complicated” doesn’t always mean “better” but it is definitely the main common factor between those two songs, the combination of the harmony plus the general full-sounding strings and extremely zealous brightness of mood.

Hey Kpopalypse, I got 2 questions to ask you?
First, what is your thought on the channels KBUZZ (the person who runs the Kvids account that made the lazy Jennie video) since they’re notorious for spreading negativity and starting fan wars?

Second, in the scenario that Spunkmop were to debut, would you consider Abby Lee Miller from dance moms as their in house choreographer?
Thanks and Happy New Years to you

  1. KBUZZ looks like an autobot YouTube channel, where a computer AI makes all the content using a script that data-scrapes news articles for text and photos and then assembles it generically.  If this channel is actually trolling people then I admire whoever put it together for their ability to achieve maximum possible butthurt with the smallest degree of human effort.
  2. I’m not familiar enough with this show to know whether it would be a good or bad thing, but I’d rather give a non-celebrity the opportunity.

Hello oppar,

This is something I’ve been wondering about and have been meaning to ask you. Obviously you don’t have any “inside” knowledge when it comes to idols, but I think you enough substantial knowledge of how it (the industry) all works to give a logical enough answer. So, as you well know, Korea isn’t all that progressive when it comes to all things LGBT+, but that still doesn’t stop gay/bi/trans koreans from existing, right. And the music industry is sort of its own culture itself, separate from the culture that encapsulates it. My question is: out of all the currently active idols right now (let’s say it’s somewhere around 1000) what percentage (or number) would you say fall on the lgbt spectrum?

Probably about the same percentage that fall into that bracket pretty much anywhere in the world.  All the evidence points to gayness being biologically determined, it isn’t socially learned.  I can’t remember what the statistical variance actually is, I think it’s about a 1:8 ratio, so about 12.5%.  Yes this means that any group of a decent size is likely to have a gay member in them, I’m sure there’s tons of LGBTIQXYZABC in the closet in many people’s favourite groups… and probably not the ones you think.

Hi Kpopalypse, and happy holidays to you, your girlfriend and your cat!

I’m a huge fan of your writing, especially your fan fictions. The dry humor, the surreal situations and the plot twists at the end are more entertaining than Yua Mikami’s feature films. Plus I get to learn new words and constructs, since I wasn’t born in an English-speaking country, which is something that Yua Mikami can’t teach me.

However, I’m also pretty dumb: sometimes I have to mull over a something to really get it. There’s an ending in particular that has been bugging me for a while: the plot twist at the end of Suzy’s Cuts (that I urge all those who haven’t read it to do so). Can you explain it briefly?

Yes.

This is the fucking shit that ask.fm deletes for being inappropriate according to their terms and conditions, there’s nothing bad about this gif, why are they such philistines?

Good question.  Perhaps you should ask them.

Are there Christmas Songs that you like? If yes, please share the song title (& singer if possible)

Just go through my Christmas lists (just search for Christmas in the search bar, they all come up), you’ll see that there’s a rare few that I liked.

Oppar my guitarist friend keeps making fun of my air guitar. She says stuff like “Why are you sweep-picking and strumming at the same time?” How can I air guitar better?

The first step is to buy the right air guitar.  I suggest purchasing here.

Coldplay are sometimes labelled “alternative/indie/soft rock for people who hate alternative/indie/soft rock”. (I would also argue that they are “Radiohead for people who hate Radiohead”). The Black Eyed Peas are basically “hip hop for people who hate hip hop”. And I’m sure you’re well aware that Metallica’s Black Album is pretty much the poster child for “heavy metal for people who hate heavy metal”.

My question to you is, do you think BLACKPINK could be considered “K-pop for people who hate K-pop” or, more specifically, “a Korean girl group for people who hate Korean girl groups”?

Let me put it this way. Here in Canada, very few people seem to know about Twice or Red Velvet. And yet, for some reason, EVERYONE seems to know Blackpink. “Bad Boy” is Red Velvet’s most popular song here, but even that song’s success was dwarfed by “As If It’s Your Last“, “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du“, and Jennie’s “Solo“. Even some of my own friends and family, who couldn’t give 2 shits about K-pop, love Blackpink.

I think there’s some truth to that perception, I’d say it’s the very modern, very westernised production that makes Blackpink have a bit more crossover with western pop fans, than say something like Gfriend which is more of a retro-for-k-pop sort of sound.  Also the visual package is very well done and also a little more similar to western artists.

What song had to be pushed off the top 30 when “Milkshake” came out? And what place would “Heart Attack” have taken if it had made the 2017 list?

And in a more important question… the biggest surprise in this year’s list was “Always with You” at #4, so I went back the the roundup and all you said about it at the time was “This is what happens when Julee Cruise takes a ride in Kavinsky’s Ferrari.”

I understand that with popular songs like “Time for the Moon Night” you’re cagey about your opinion just to fuck with people, which is fun, but why do so with songs like this one from less-known artists? Presumably a few people would’ve checked it out a lot earlier if you’d said something vaguely positive at the time.

One of the honourable mentions got pushed out of the 30 to accomodate “Milkshake” obviously but I can’t remember which one.  Either HeyGirls or Sugar Tint.  “Heart Attack” would have performed about the same, either just scraping in or being an Honourable.

As for Aseul: the thing is, that description is a huge compliment to me, and anyone who bothered to check those artists would have had a pretty good feeling about where Aseul would end up in my lists.  I didn’t even think I was being that cagey.  Julee Cruise is fucking awesome, or at least at her “Twin Peaks” peak.  If you want to see some fucked up shit, watch this live concert, the whole thing.  Preferably loud with the lights off.

Also Kavinsky is great.  Here he is with a collaboration where he’s at his most pop, but his general sound is all over my “best of” tracks this year.

I suppose it’s fair that some people wouldn’t have known that, but if you’re worried about Aseul missing out on promo, don’t be.  My end-of-year lists always are a huge spike in traffic from the site (several thousands per hour, mostly not linked from anywhere in particular but just people searching for the list on search engines and finding it), far more people read those than the weekly roundups.

How did you start the radio show? Were you approached by the station, or did you pitch it to them?

I pitched it to them.  The radio show predates the blog, and started in April 2012, although I was a DJ long before than and had been DJing at the station since 1997.  Crazily, staff were quite welcome to the idea and it was approved quickly!  Note that this was pre-PSY’s global breakthrough.  Who knows what they would have said if I tried to pitch the same show in September 2012!

i know i’m super late but did you listen to any of The UNIT’s songs ? hope this can make it in the next “Kpopalypse 2018 roundup clearing house” or at least you can find something that you might like 🙂

I deleted your Spotify links because I won’t link to there.  Spotify is trash and they pay artists peanuts, they can get fucked.  I did have a listen to the Unit stuff but apart from “No More” I wasn’t impressed.

Do you like any C-Pop?

None that I’ve heard so far.  Maybe I will one day.

Is it unethical to enjoy dating idols being exposed? What do you think about dispatch in general?

I think what’s unethical is the industry having dating bans in the first place and insisting that idols keep everything under wraps to maintain some idiotic fantasy image for depressed incel fans to buy into.  I don’t “enjoy” people’s private lives being exposed (because I don’t give a fuck about what people do privately, so the exposure of that holds no interest), but I think it throws a light on an important problem which is the industry not allowing young adults to be themselves and to try to mold them into some kind of sexually conservative bullcrap ideal, all while selling the idea of their sexiness to the consumer at the same time.  It’s intensely hypocritical and creepy.

I don’t care about Dispatch any more or less than any other paparazzi journalists.  So in other words, I don’t give a fuck about it.  Gossip genuinely doesn’t interest me whatsoever, this is one of the really big differences between my own site and Asian Junkie.  The only time I cover these things is to make some kind of larger point about something else, I don’t care what people do, it’s their own business.  I’m glad he covers it because someone reasonably sensible has to I suppose and I’d rather that person not be me.

In the posts about why you don’t make more music theory posts, you often cite needing to teach everyone basic music theory so that they can understand what the fuck you’re saying without needing an education in music. Have you thought of just making a quick index of music theory terms and ideas similar to the kpopalypse lexicon? Sure it would suck to do at the time, but it would save you time when writing music theory posts (because you would need to explain less) and still provide your musically illiterate readers (like myself) with an explanation so that they can understand you.

I could do this, but there are tons of other online materials that also do this.  So I’m think a better idea is to do a series on it, then I’ve got more leeway to write it my own way.  It’s a project for this year.

this isn’t a question but i was one of (if not the only) people/person who suggested haseul as the sidebar girl and i just noticed today that’s she’s the sidebar girl! i was so happy (like i almost screamed but it’s late here lol) but then i started to wonder why? is it because she got barely, if any at all, lines in loona’s debut song? is it becauss yg was a cunt (like always) to her and told her she was useless to the group? is it because she’s considered “ugly” by kpop standards (even though in my honest opinion she is one of the prettiest girls in kpop right now)? is it because she had really nice boobs during hi high promotions? is it because of the awkward interaction between her and yves in one of the loona tvs? is it because gowon told her that she was too loud? is it because she’s virtually nonexistent in the favorite mv? is it because of the “haseul’s curse” orbit inside joke? is it because she didn’t get double eyelid surgery? is it because she (probably) thinks aegyo is complete bullshit? please answer oppar and thank you for such a great kpop site :^) – a faithful reader since 2015

(also i know i said “this isn’t a question” at the beginning but it ended up becoming a question sorry)

Fancy asking the reason for the “no reason” sidebar girl.  But I’ll tell you that it’s partly the YG thing, partly her striking appearance, and partly for no reason.


That’s all for QRIMOLE!  This series will return in a month, in the meantime be sure to look both ways before crossing a Chuu with a sword!  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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