QRIMOLE – July 2020

It’s time for QRIMOLE!  Read on as Kpopalypse tackles more reader questions!

You’ve praised several songs by now for being ABBA-like. What’s the deal with that? What do you like about that group/that sound and why does Australia in general seem to have a thing for ABBA?

I don’t know why, or what forces willed it, but ABBA were absolutely huge in Australia and had constant hits here, they were on Beatles/Madonna/Michael Jackson-tier fame for a good number of years when they were active.  Some popular Australian films have also strengthened the association between ABBA and Australian culture.  Clearly to be Australian is to be at least familiar with ABBA.  As a patriotic Australian who is representing Australia to the k-pop loving world is it therefore my duty to stan k-pop artists who display clear ABBA influence in their songs.

It’s difficult to quantify what constitutes ABBA influence in a k-pop song, but it’s something that’s very obvious to the Australian ear – like an orgasm, it’s hard to put the feeling into words, but when it happens to you, you definitely know it.  A future post will probably go into detail, because the answer is actually quite detailed and worthy of such a post.

Sometime ago I read this article about how the music genres are slowly dying and it got me thinking a lot. Do believe this is actually true or this is just the birth of new fusion genres?

Billie Eilish makes pop music.  Lil Nas X makes pop music.  That’s their genre.  Gosh, that was difficult!  Yes, modern pop music is going through some changes, as it fucking should, I mean that’s how music evolves, but a genre is nothing more or less than where you would file something in a music store so people can find it when they shop.  Would you file Billie Eilish in the heavy metal section?  No, you’d file her in pop.  This is basic shit.  This article is just fucking with you, they obviously needed something to write about that appeals to their demographic so “Gen Z is destroying music!” sounds cool to their readers and makes a neat headline that people click on, I guess.

How can this music have 400 million views? Like what the fuck that shit even has to be so famous? I can’t understand!

Here’s how it happens.

  • A song gets released
  • Some people like it and share it
  • A lot more people don’t like it but share it anyway, with comments like “how can this music have so many views?”
  • It gets more views, making the above two points even more likely
  • Repeat

It’s called the “Rebecca Black” effect.  For every person who clicked like on her song “Friday“, eight people clicked dislike, but crucially, still shared the video anyway.  Sure, they shared it as a thing to mock and complain about, but sharing is still sharing.  The 88% of dislikers actively helped the song get noticed by the 12% of likers.  So the answer to how that song got so many views, is because you made it happen, by linking the song in a question-and-answer series on a popular k-pop blog where some people are going to click the link and probably dislike the song but quite possibly also like it, and either way, probably share it again.

After you began making music, when did you decide to start sharing it with the world and performing it? When did you think your music was acceptable enough to think “people would want to hear this”? I feel that idols that get into songwriting get stuck before this part of music-making due to their companies rejecting a fuckton of their songs.

Because I was young and dumb and completely self-absorbed with no social skills to speak of plus no designs on commercial success, I thought that the world was ready to hear my music immediately once I began making it.  Knowing however that nobody would agree with me, I didn’t bother trying to get signed so I just started my own label straight out of high school and immediately started releasing my own music and music of my friends.  While that was probably the wrong decision and my name is now on a whole bunch of shitty albums as a result, I still have no regrets and think that it’s better for me to have gone down that path than to have been an uber-perfectionist and spent my entire adult life in my basement trying to make the perfect track for 20 years.  Also those albums I released did help me get into university (discussed further below).

Hey oppar, how are kpopalypse’s girlfriend and kpopalypse’s cat doing? And kpopalypse? Hope you’re all doing well.
So, I’ve been in a really happy and healthy relationship for 8 months now. We’ve been friends for 4 years, since the beginning of high school, and dated for about two months starting in the end of our last year of school, but ended breaking up because I was still kinda confused about my sexuality. We kept being friends, then in mid-2019 we had a fallout and stopped talking for a month or so. It was a really painful time for me in which I had an actual mental breakdown. We started talking again and started dating in november. Everything is going really well, except for the fact that I’m terribly afraid of us breaking up again or even of something happening to him. I really can’t imagine living without him. Sounds dramatic, but it’s true. I don’t relate to anyone as well as I do with him, I have few friends and pratically no close friends. It’s just really hard for me to really feel this connection to someone, I don’t know why. All my plans for the future include him, I miss him if we stay away from each other for a week. And I’m really afraid of this, I don’t really know what to do to be less dependent from him. I do think we’ll be together for a long time, but it’s not healthy and it scares me. Help?

I think you’re worrying too much about it.  Fear of getting hurt is more likely to get you hurt than the actual thing you’re afraid of, because you’ll start self-sabotaging.  You should forget negative thoughts and proceed with confidence.  All things end eventually but you’ll regret not living for the moment if you don’t actually do it and then for whatever reason it does end.

Hi Oppar,

I’d like to seek your all powerful wisdom on a matter I am facing. I was in a long term relationship with a really wonderful girl for 5 years, but unfortunately stuff happened and we broke up last year.

After the initial shock of the break up, fast forward to this year, now I’m feeling ready to find a new girlfriend again and learn from the mistakes of my previous relationship. I guess my question is since I haven’t been in the dating scene and am gonna go back to trying the dating scene again, what’s the best way to go about doing that?

One of my challenges is that I happen to be 31, and I will admit I am somewhat inexperienced at dating because she was my first serious relationship. And with the simp memes prevalent it seems dating is more challenging than before. The other thing is that I was told by a friend of mine that now that I am 31, I am going to be involved with dating a different age group of women. I’m worried I won’t find any women in my group who would fit my preferences and have some similar interests as me and like me back. I am a huge weeb who plays a shit ton of video games, plays in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate tournaments fairly regularly (Not now but back last year before the Pandemic happened), and love Kpop, memes and shitposts, so I’m worried nobody my age range would also like video games and Kpop and shitposts and memes, etc. (Though I do have a good full time job too)

I guess, do you think its okay to be honest with the girls I will be meeting as I go back out dating? (Not exactly now because of the pandemic of course, but once it’s safer to go back out)

Or should I try to hide the stuff I like?

Thanks in advance Oppar!

PS: My future girlfriend better fucking Stan LOONA, thats important.

You’ve got the wrong attitude to this.  Firstly, don’t hide the shit you like.  You’re allowed to be you, and a good partner will like you for you – they will be supportive of you and what you do whether or not they agree or even like what your hobbies and interests are.  This however cuts both ways – don’t expect your next girlfriend to be into the shit you’re into.  For example, my girlfriend does not give one solitary fuck about k-pop.  Readers might expect that at least my girlfriend my stan Loona but no.  She does not give a fuck, and I do not give a fuck that she does not give a fuck.  However she does give a fuck that I don’t give a fuck that she doesn’t give a fuck.  In other words, if you want acceptance you have to also be accepting, and confidence to follow your own path is an attractive thing.  The real values that make or break a relationship are personality types, lifestyle and long-term life goals – not common interests.

So what I’m getting from you saying that you shouldn’t exactly ‘do what you love’ is: If I stick with an office job I’m simply good at but am not that crazy about, and do my passion in my spare time, then years after, the output I’ve come up with as a passion project has reached its intended audience and becomes successful, therefore pushing me to make it the full-time job, wouldn’t I eventually tire of my passion because it will be all I’m focusing on henceforth? Does a director both love and hate what they do when they shoot a movie for years and have little to no other sources of income and/or other interests that they partake in or indulge?

and

Do you play music on gigs/tours that you absolutely hate but you do it still cos it pays? I just had a talk with my dad about it, he said he hated prog rock with a passion because all the bands he’s session-ing for plays are 12 minutes boring nonsense and it makes him go insane but it did pay for my education so he stuck with it even when he hated every moment of it lol

Dealing with boredom, playing things you’re not passionate about, and having the entire gig lose its “shine” after a while are essential and rarely-discussed parts of being a working musician.  Even if you’re in a band where you’re making the music that you enjoy, there’s still going to be some songs that you like more than others, and some songs you can’t stand to play after a while, but other people might like them.  Do you think some members of Girls’ Generation got sick of singing “Gee“?  Sure they did.  Imagine singing the same song for ten years or more, and even worse, having to pretend to be ultra-perky and happy every time you do it.  At some point every music career is just a career, it’s a job, and all jobs have things you might not want to do from time to time.  Sure, at the end of the day you may stick with it because it’s what you love, but even people who love being parents hate changing nappies and being woken up at 3am by screaming and vomiting.

Have you seen this video?

It came up when I searched up Sea of Moonlight and it made me laugh after reading your plagiarism articles, seems like the type of thing I would’ve fallen for before finding your blog.

Yeah he’s wrong.  He’s comparing Sea Of Moonlight to Take On Me, which are very similar for sure, and then conflating that with the Vanilla Ice/Queen case, where a sample was used.  The difference is obvious – Sea Of Moonlight’s riff is melodically not the same as a-Ha’s.  Also there isn’t eh issue of mechanical copyright becauase a sam p oh fuck i’m so bored talking about this shit yet again brb kms

Mr. Kpopalypse oppar-san, have you ever seen some Music Video funnier than this one? I mean, never seen someone so chill about her own image as a pop singer / rapper.

I don’t know, I didn’t think this video was much of anything really.  I mean, most musicians are pretty chill.

Is covid19 a divine retribution for how kpop has been sucking dicks for 6-7 months now ? And if so, who is God’s bias ?

I think based on the world events of the last few months, maybe god stans Little PSY.

I know you hate doing this type of stuff and id never ask you to do it but can you please deconstruct this song for me because the 2nd half of the song makes me want to keep coming back to it and i dont know why.

For a j-shit?  No way.  I barely even have the energy to “deconstruct” k-pop let alone a song from “the country that can’t write pop music to save themselves”.

You probably like it because the vocals remain static while the harmony moves – essentially pedal-point.  A lot of people misunderstood my previous writing about pedal-point and how it works so I’ll probably go into this in a music theory post someday – but I sure as fuck won’t use a j-shit song to do it.

My brother hanged himself yesterday and I have no idea how to get through this. I’m so mad at him for leaving my mom like this, she’s completely devastated. My brother and I were never close, in fact he was a huge asshole towards me but I keep thinking about how he must have felt in the moments leading up to his suicide and it haunts me at night. I feel like the only way I can cope is by pushing it aside, continuing life normally and hoping that it goes away. I’ve avoided reading the coroners report or finding out the location where he hanged himself because it would only hurt me more than it already has. Tomorrow, his body will be in a funeral home and I’ve refused to go because I don’t wanna see my brother dead, I can’t even handle going into his room now.

When a partner of mine did the same thing I had to go into her house and help clean out all her personal items.  I also went to the funeral, with her parents – we were the only ones present (at the deceased’s request).  I was asked if I wanted to open the coffin to say the “last goodbye” but I declined, I wanted to have my last memory of my partner (which was very fresh at that point) to be when she was alive.  Years later I went to another funeral, this time for a friend, a well-known musician, and that was open casket – the body in the coffin looked so small and didn’t really seem to represent in any way this person who was very larger-than-life when he was alive.  Rationally I knew it was him but it was hard to process it.  It made me glad that I declined the request to look at my partner’s corpse, and made me feel like it wouldn’t have given me any closure anyway.  This made me feel bad though, because for me not seeing her dead body was a choice, but her family didn’t have that choice, yet they gave me that option.  What I’m trying to say here is that while complete denial and pushing everything aside isn’t healthy (because you’ll have to deal with the reality eventually), everybody deals with grief differently when it’s so close to home and if you have the opportunity to process things slowly then you should take it if that’s what you feel will help you get through it.  You’ve already got plenty to process because dealing with this stuff is exceptionally hard, so whatever you have the option of doing for self-care is probably wise.

Hello kpopalypse. This is the girl who sent in the army organic stream question btw. Loved the response.

this might seem incoherent, so I apologize in advance.
A bit of context. You probably don’t know or care (smart!) about this, but recently a fairly well-known youtuber/twitch streamer was outed as a groomer and just a massive creep, sending dms and inappropriate messages to underaged girls, lying and so on. It was obviously very shocking to a lot of people, because he seemed to be a very kind guy–almost a father figure–and seemed to be woke (lmao) on all the right issues. Like many other of his viewers. I had watched his content for a long time, like for 8 years, without any awareness of this. The majority of his “fanbase”, like me, started out watching him as young teens and preteens and are now young adults. This whole situation has been very jarring because I also realized I could have been one if his victims. so I’m honestly wondering why I should trust you with anything–not that I think you’re a pedophile, but I mean various other things that could be “wrong”. I think I already know the answer to this question and I don’t like it, but can I trust anyone on the internet??

I’m not in the loop about who this person is or what they did.

Well yeah you know the answer, right?  People get betrayed and abused by other people close to them in real life all the time, including their own family members who they’ve known all their lives – so how can you trust someone on the Internet who you don’t even know apart from their public image?  You shouldn’t trust anyone with anything.  Yes, that includes me – I help people on these posts but I never ask to be “liked” and part of the reason why I put myself forward as an “asshole” and don’t try to convince people that I’m the “nicest person ever” is because I’m trying to tell people what you already rationally know – that anyone on the Internet is just some person and not worth emotional investment because you can’t get a complete picture of someone from the parts they choose to show.  I’d rather people think of me as a piece of shit who might sometimes have good writing anyway (or not), than some kind of altruistic fucking angel of virtue that neither I nor anybody else has any hope of living up to.  I could go on a whole rant about “gosh, I would never do [thing x] like [person y] did” but what would be the point, I don’t care what anybody thinks and people will believe whatever they fucking want anyway.  It’s the people who are the most eager to convince you of their virtue who are most often the dirtiest, in my experience.

Hi Kpopalypse-oppar!

I’m a longtime lurking reader, and while our music tastes don’t always match, it’s been great watching you fight stupidity in K-Pop. Reading you had encouraged me to be a lot more critical of the bullshit fandoms make people do, though this quarantine I decided to install one of the voting apps that make you watch ads and play mobile games for hearts because I have nothing better to do lmao

You’ve repeatedly said that K-Pop is very superficial, and I agree 100%. However, I read something about APRIL’s Jinsol calling out the fans (?) that keep posting a fancam of her in really skimpy clothes on Instagram. On one hand, I think that the K-Pop industry by design is made for people that want to spam fancams of skimpy girls, and as celebrities, they should expect their image (not just their body: their personality, their relationships) to be “objectified” in stuff like fanfics. On the other hand, as a girl, I can sympathize because I’ve been catcalled when I was wearing a T-shirt and pants zzz. Does it make sense for her to do this?

Also, what are your thoughts on fansite culture? I’m an Orbit (but proud So What anti), and there was recently some drama about fansites. I’m not on stan Twitter at all, and I don’t really fancy having pics of LOONA on my timeline at all times, so it’s strange to see them touted as some sort of necessity by companies and Korean-based fans themselves.

Thanks again oppar! Hope my questions made sense and nobody doxxes me for saying some potentially non-PC stuff. Stay safe!

One thing that I mentioned in my dog-whistle posts is that the groups themselves are probably not very aware of what’s going on and how they’re being presented.  This has been borne out as fact since those posts came out – for instance, the girl from Stellar who did the infamous “milk-drinking scene” had no idea how she was being presented in the final product of “Marionette”.

In the context of the video above, this claim seems ludicrous, but it makes complete sense when you consider the environment in which music videos are shot and how they are edited.  On one level the Stellar girls “knew what they were doing” in the sense of presenting a sexy concept, but they didn’t really know how everything they were doing was going to be used and perceived.  Objectification is seen by some performers as something positive that they embrace, by others as a “necessary evil” in order to navigate the world of entertainment, and there are others who don’t even see it at all, because they are in denial, or they’re being kept away from seeing the bigger picture and putting all the pieces together.  If Stellar are naive, imagine how much more naive April could be.

Part of the issue here is that the small aspects of physicality that transfix fans are very much normalised from within the entertainment sphere.  Everybody who works with April’s Jinsoul in a professional context gets to see her in all sorts of clothes every day, so if they see a bit more leg than usual or something it’s not meaningful, it’s just another Tuesday.  Those are the people she’s constantly exposed to – not the outside perception.  So for her to then see fans freaking out about small aspects of skin exposure that absolutely nobody gives a shit about within her own private universe, I’m sure that feels very weird, like those people are exceptional creeps.  Perhaps they are.  However they’re also responding in exactly the ways that the people behind April want them to respond – the same people who themselves would never respond that way.  Successful drug dealers don’t get high off their own supply.

I don’t visit fansites enough (or at all, really) or know enough about fansite culture to comment meaningfully on your other question.  I’m certainly not in the loop on whatever the latest Orbit drama is.

You might have gotten quite a few questions about this so feel free to ignore mine if someone else has worded it better/sent it in first, but what do you think about songwriter Tiffany Red calling out SM Entertainment for not paying out royalties for writing NCT’s Boss?

I empathize with her a lot – I’ve done some vocal recordings here and there, 2 of which went on to be recorded by famous singers into megahits in my country, and I’ve also felt the pain of making pennies for something that minted a fortune in royalties – but then again, I didn’t participate in composing the song at all so that feeling disappears fast in a cloud of reasoning.

Honestly I think she confused YouTube views for actual financial payouts? NCT as a whole never really chart so why would she get any money at all from a song that peaks on like #150 on Melon? 100m Youtube views don’t mean much because ad revenue from that, if any, will probably go to SM first since they produced the MV.

Also she’s not the sole writer of the song, sharing credits with like 50 other people tends to reduce the slice of pie you’ll get – and when the pie is from a low-charting group, she’d be lucky to get so much as a sniff of said pie.

If she wanted to be paid well maybe she should have written for Exo, Taeyeon or Red Velvet instead since they get more streams. It makes no sense to drag race and human rights into her singing a shitty contract, I mean even Taylor Swift got fucked over by her company and she’s a rich white woman

Like with all of these situations, it all comes down to what kind of deal was struck.  There’s usually two ways these type of deals go down if you’re a songwriter:

  1. Upfront money for your song, but no royalties
  2. Royalties for your song, but no upfront moeny

If you’re writing for a known artist or a big label you’re better off with option 2 but you’re more likely to be offered option 1 by the label themselves because of that fact.  Whereas if you’re writing for an unknown who definitely isn’t going to break it, you’re better off with option 1 and pocketing the upfront money (and pray the song doesn’t become a huge worldwide hit) but whoever you’re writing for is less like to be able to afford any upfront fees so they’ll probably go with option 2. 

Definitely not a race issue.  All music contracts are both black and white.

Does this BGM exhibit pedal-point harmony (on 0:30 specifically)?
Warning: High volume!

No.

Are they singing out of tune? Something about the vocals feels off.

Not out of tune.  It’s almost certainly subtly Autotuned to fix any pitching errors, as is almost every single k-pop song recorded since this came out until the present day.  The real reason why it sounds odd to you is because the vocals are recorded unusually “dry” for a pop song, in other words with very little vocal processing compared to most songs.  It sounds weird because it’s actually a lot closer to natural unprocessed voice than what you’re used to hearing in pop music.

Top 5 Hong Jin Young songs?

Don’t ask lazy questions like this that anybody can answer, just go through my yearly lists, I’m sure you’ll find five Hong Jin Young songs there.  However “Love Battery” might always be her most iconic.

Out of curiosity, which 90s Seattle grunge band is/was your favourite: Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, or Soundgarden? Or do/did you hate them all?

I listened to all of them back in the day, and have seen all of them live except Pearl Jam.  Clearly the best group out of the above is Tad.

But if I have to assess the material of the others: Alice In Chains really only have one good song which is “Would?”, Soundgarden had a whole decent album with BadMotorFinger but nothing much of worth before or after.  Pearl Jam were good for first three albums before I lost interest.  Nirvana were good for two albums but “In Utero” was rubbish, and universally panned at the time until Kurt died and then everyone suddenly pretended that they loved it all along.

Hi Oppar, hope you and your loved ones are all happy and healthy. I’m currently being confused by my own taste in music. I normally instantly dislike songs without choruses, choruses that have drops instead, and choruses that slow down after a build up in the verses etc (Taeyeon’s I got love, G-IDLE’s Oh My God) those songs make me feel like I’m being musically blue balled. Following that logic I originally hadn’t liked any of ATEEZ’s title tracks except for Wave. Having recently gone through all their albums (listening to whole albums while working is how I survive the boredom) all those songs have suddenly really grown on me. I still don’t like Pirate King and Aurora, but I’m now jamming along to Hala Hala, Wonderland and Say my name despite that slow down in the chorus for all of them.

I looked through your past round ups and the bias list’s reviews to see if there was something I was hearing but not noticing in the music to explain this change, but the only bit of information I could gather was that the songs are all very anthem-like. Is the lack of stand out tracks in 2020 making me lower standards or am I just meta-witnessing a switch in my preferences here o_o

Going through my roundups to try and gain any sort of intelligent music analysis is always a mistake, I just write the first total bullshit that springs into my head, honestly.  Really though “anthem-like” is probably zeroing in in an accurate preference that you have, and I guess that’s something that a lot of k-pop songs aim for, to be “that big arena singalong song”.  It’s quite possible also for tastes to change.  The first time I heard N.W.A, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Swans I didn’t like any of it but I gradually grew to like it all a lot more.

Hello kpopalypse, i hope you’re doing good.

I know my question may sound odd but i think small nuances could make a significant difference. “Do you think the fact that big hit and mnet/cj ent are buying more and more parts of the south korean entertainment can lead to a homogenization that could eventually lead to something with no value, similar to what happened to the super heroes and disney? “.

Of course i’m aware producers can work with different groups and even different companies, also the fact that kpop is often based in old western songs, but many of those are pretty good songs and the modern production or different voice timbres can give the song a little “twist” to make it his/her own. Im saying this because im honestly surprised that IU released two pretty bad songs, taking into consideration “her standard” and also seventeen latest single or even the last bts tracks, i know they have never been like super good, but god these last releases have been incredibly flavorless and deprived of any emotion or personality, im genuinely concerned this huge company can start destroying kpop little by little the same way they are doing with IU or seventeen. I would love to hear your opinion about it, thanks

I don’t think that the business structure and the quality of songs are all that related to each other, because songs still come from songwriters, not from a business model.  You can buy out all the labels you want, at the end of the day people are still going to want to hear a song that they like regardless of where it comes from.  There’s also no clear correlation between the size of a label, the amount of branches they have, and the music quality or homogenisation thereof.  Sure, a bigger label might be more likely to do something that fits the prevailing mood rather than something experimental, but that same bigger label might also have the capital to take a chance on something that really isn’t like anything else at all.  SM released “Gee” but they also released “Red Light”.  Warner Brothers released songs from Madonna but they also released Mr Bungle’s first album.

I usually check out the week’s new kpop via your monday posts, but the new later update time means it’s never up when I check in the morning with the rest of my update checklist sites. It’s a marginal annoyance having to remember to come back later in the day, I could just check a day later but then it’ll annoy me that it’s not on the right day as it’s updating about 6 hours later than I check. Thank you for the new minor annoyance in my life.

You’ll get used to it.  I moved the roundup back because as it’s no longer tied to a radio show, I can now wait for all the Monday night new releases, which is usually when the most interesting stuff comes out, rather than having to force readers to wait a week.

Hi Kpopalypse,

I’ve been following your blog for a while now! My favorite posts of yours are the interviews you put out.

I submitted a question to your QRIMOLE before, maybe 6 or so months ago, regarding interview training and, if I remember correctly, you mentioned that you received it from a broadcasting station in Australia.

Is that system still around today? If not, how are current interviewees trained?

Thank you very much!

I don’t know how they do it now because it’s been a long time since I received my training and I’m not really in the loop with the training side of things.  I believe that it still goes on, I know that the radio station did run a course recently but whether it was linked to a national broadcaster or not like it was when I did it, I couldn’t tell you.  However I’d be perfectly qualified to give the same training, and I will, in a future post (but not soon).

Why is it hard to imagine kpop idols being old? Is it because their image carefully crafted to represent “youth” of all sorts?
I’ve been in Korea for a couple of times and interacted with locals. Some of Koreans are really do look like “these girls from commercials”, however there is noticeable waterline between “young” generation and older “grandmas”/”grandpas”. Last ones looks, behaves and speaks way different than Korea, that goes to export.
I’m interested to see how most of idols of my age (like IU, Apink etc) will look like 30 years later. And yes, the only person of Kpop I could easily imagine as “Korean grandma” is Bomi from Apink.

This question really completely answers itself so I don’t really have anything to add to it, but putting it here because I think the topic is interesting.  The idol system is so new that there really aren’t any “old” idols, even the ones from the first generation don’t look that old.  Check out this video of Young Turks Club which juxtaposes footage from 1996 with 2015.  Like almost all idols, they look better these days!

Hey Kpopalypse 哥哥! Same person here who compared you a bit to bill burr a week or so back (i have virtually zero sense of time now), if you remember haha. Based off your twitter etc you’re super busy rn, I hope by the time this gets posted your workload might’ve lightened up? If you don’t mind let us know in your replies how you’re doing LOL. But yeah, I wanted to ask you a bit about dealing with stress and rejection and anticipation, if that makes sense…

So I’m applying to undergrad in the next few months, and I’m starting my application essays and all that jazz now because it takes time to revise and rewrite them. I’m applying as a biology or biochem major depending on the school, and on my list there’s a uni that’s fucking amazing for medical research, JHU (for any fellow high schoolers out there!!), I love its campus and heavily academic vibe, but it happens to have a 9% acceptance rate. wtf. So I’m definitely heavily leaning towards applying early decision to this school (meaning you apply on 11/1 and get your decision by 12/10, normally you apply in january next year and get your decision by april. u can only do this for one school), which boosts the acceptance rate to 28%. But, this also includes most of the sport people who, what, know how to throw a ball really well?? Not to mention the applicant pool might be more competitive because this school was everyone’s first choice. My general stats and extracurricular activities are already a fair bit lower than the average accepted student there, but I digress.

I guess I’m really constantly anxious about the college application process right now, even though logically I know 100% that I’ll get in at least *somewhere* that I’ll be fine with and enjoy attending. I really like that one school though, and know that if I get rejected early decision I’ll be absolutely completely fucking crushed. I’ve been rejected from other programs and clubs before, and hate the icky feelings of inferiority that plague me afterwards. On the other hand, if I get accepted I’ll be crying and sobbing and ecstatic for a month straight so happy, to be honest. I don’t want to be so emotionally influenced by a fucking institution, but coming from a competitive area where college admissions are regarded as the culmination of us students’ entire lives, it’s hard for me to do that. I don’t know. I don’t know how to verbalize the simultaneous fear and nervousness and excitement and idk,, just weird feeling I have about this whole process. I really don’t want to put this one school, or any school at all, on so much of a pedestal. When I try to write my application essays, there’s just this overhanging feeling of “what if you’re rejected, stop being so confident and cocky, the one person you know who was accepted was a fucking god and you’re nowhere near their level”, and I get a sinking feeling in my gut. College admissions, esp for private schools, can often be a crapshoot, depending on what the school’s looking for, so I logically know I have a chance. I just want to be able to keep my head down and write my essays and study for the standardized tests I have left to take. So I suppose my questions are that, in the case of rejection how do you keep your head held high and move forward, in the case of acceptance how do you stay humble, and the main issue rn: how do you ignore feelings of anxiousness regarding a particular event in the future, and just keep your head held down and work up to that point? how can i stop myself from even subconsciously idealizing this one school, which is very difficult to get into? and, as you’ve attended college yourself, do you have any advice for a current applicant? Hope you have a great day kpopalypse!

I’m still motherfucking busy as fuck.  Good, but busy.

I went to university and got into what I wanted to do through a really weird way.  Firstly, I did the mature-age test, as I didn’t come straight from school, I’d been both employed and self-employed for a few years straight out of school first.  The mature-age test was honestly really easy as piss, I think I was in the top 6% so that means I was going to get in to something without any trouble.  I knew I wanted to do music but I wasn’t sure how.  At first I thought I’d go through a Bachelor Of Arts and do music as a subject, but as soon as I found out I had to read Jane Eyre I bailed on that shit.  Then I decided to do an audition to get in as a guitar student, but the guitar intake at the uni was actually very small, even less than the 9% you’re dealing with, and since I had to play classical but I was someone who mainly did rock music and a variety of stuff, I wasn’t anywhere near as good as other auditioners who specialised in only classical.  Fortunately for me, I had the foresight to mention that I was more of a songwriter than a song player, and they referred me to the composition teachers to see if I’d fit in there, at that point I’d already released multiple albums on my own record label so I already had effectively a “folio of work” which was a far more impressive “audition piece” than my fairly average classical guitar playing – so I ended up getting in that way, through the composition course, which turned out to be the most creative and interesting of all the curriculum anyway.

What I’m trying to illustrate with this example is that when something happens that isn’t what you had planned, or is a rejection, it’s really doing you a favour.  If I did get through on the classical guitar audition I probably would have been miserable practicing shit classical guitar tunes for years.  I’ve been rejected by a lot of women over the years because of my refusal to have children, the rejections sucked but if I didn’t go through that I wouldn’t be with my current awesome girlfriend who hates kids even more than I do.  Rejections are a natural part of life and they’re a good thing, they streamline down your options often in a really good way.  Just roll with it and don’t take it as a personal attack on yourself, but as a way to gain knowledge and streamline the path forward. 

Hi Kpopalypse,

If you really want to do an interview with Kaachi, then maybe you should directly PM them on Instagram when the group still exists 😛 But I also have a feeling that if the girls did some research on your blog, they might just tell you “go fuck yourself you sexist Nazi pedophile” or something to that effect, and promptly block you XD Speaking of which, did people really called you a Nazi? I mean, if you’re a Nazi, then Hitler is probably be rolling in his grave.

When I first watched the trailer of “More & More” on YouTube, I already knew it would a disaster, even worse than “The best thing I ever did”. (Right now I’m thinking maybe JYP was trying to find out what is the maxima of Twice fandom’s tolerance when it comes to terrible songs.) After I’m done with the song, I want to ask its songwriters (BIBI and J. Y. Park, according to Wikipedia): which church did you two attend?*

Back to my roasting on Twice. Actually, Amazon Rekognition correctly deduced Jeongyeon is a girl, and what I said last month is just a joke 🙂 Nevertheless, those algorithms are never really that accurate when it comes to Asians, with Tzuyu is the only member it can correctly identify. Hell, it even misidentified one of the Korean members as a random Japanese actress 🤣 While my roasting might sound a bit low-key when compared to your blog, I have no doubt plenty of ONCEs would shove a tactical nuclear weapon in my ass and detonate it for what I said – just try to imagine how would most Sana fans react when I compared her to Harvey Weinstein XD

Regarding k-pop fans who don’t realize k-pop is more engineering than art** (I don’t like the term “artificial”, it’s not that accurate), I think it’s more accurate to say they’re perfectly aware of such facts, but cannot admit it (at least in public), because if they ever admit what they saw were carefully designed and optimized to their target audience, it would cause them to turn away from k-pop forever, which is something they’re so addicted to.

There’s one thing I think it’s worth pointing out in your interview with Kim Nayoon. In the interview, she recalled her rather…… unpleasant experience with her psychiatrist. As someone who visited psychiatrists for almost 20 years, I’m confident to say one of the reasons of her psychiatrist’s indifferent and unhelpful attitude is because he has a lot of similar cases to deal with, and she’s hardly the worst. (Psychiatrists within the public health care system are almost always overworked and under-supported.)

If she really wants that level of personal care, her only option is the private practice ones – assuming such thing exists in South Korea. But a fair word of warning: private practice psychiatrists are outrageously expensive. I still remembered a couple years ago, I visited my former psychiatrists in Hong Kong (who recently left the public health care system and started her private practice) as a former patient and friend. Believe it or not, she charged over HKD$1000 (that’s around AUD$180) per hour – and that doesn’t include any prescriptions.

So yeah, if she wants someone to talk to, she has to pay for it. As cynical and cold-blooded as it sounds, that’s how the world operates.

On a side note, on your FAQ your said you did a degree in music and audio engineering respectively. I am kinda curious did you managed to get any transfer credits from your music degree to the audio engineering program? I previously did a 3-year diploma in Computer Programming and Analysis (though I finished it in a bit over 2 years, including a 8 month co-op), but when I applied to a Computer Science program at an university, I got so little transfer credits, I effectively have to spend at least 3 more years to finish my degree 😦 Also, can you put post-nominal like RPEng on your business card?

* In Hong Kong internet culture, “Which church did you attend” is the worst insult you can throw at a songwriter, since most Cantonese christian songs are directly translated from its Mandarin version without taking the linguistic difference between Cantonese and Mandarin into the equation, causing the lyrics to not match with the melody (the fact that both Cantonese and Mandarin are tonal languages only makes the matter worse), and end up sounding more like reading out an essay than singing. Speaking of which, does English christian songs have the same problem?

** That also explain why most k-pop agencies care very little about their artist’s well-being. Because ultimately, they’re just one of the many components of an engineered system, which means they’re all expendable. Also a fun fact: Asian management style, to put it more bluntly, is to exploit their employees as much as the labor law permits.

I did actually reach out to Kaachi in exactly the manner you suggested, plus others, and got no response.  I think they’re afraid of me.

Yeah roasts – I dunno.  I feel so weird about it, it’s so culturally against the grain of what I’m about.  It’s sort of like people doing what Australians do all the time, but just occasionally as a kind of “event”.  I don’t specifically “roast” anybody, I’m just a cunt, so cunty stuff comes out of my mouth sometimes.  It’s a whole different vibe.  I can’t explain it very well.

K-pop is both engineering and art, it’s literally “engineered art”.  It’s not objectively suddenly “not art” just because it’s manufactured.  Andy Warhol settled the argument on that one.  You could argue more accurately that it’s “lower quality art” due to the process, and while that’s subjective there’s an argument there for it, but to say that it’s “less art” – not really.  It’s still objectively created by an “artist”.

Yeah psychs are expensive as fuck, I’m well aware.  Still not as expensive as a pack of headache tables in the USA though.

I did my audio engineering degree first and the University degree later, I didn’t get any transfer of anything because they were two very separate academic institutions that don’t really recognise each other’s qualifications.  The disdain that most classical musicians and audio technicians have for each other is a solid wall.

I’ll remember that Hong Kong insult, thank you!  I love learning stuff like that.

Thanks for your weekly roundup! I enjoy reading it a lot yet tend to forget the few tracks I liked. Hence, I made a playlist for myself. I wanted the playlist to consist of only decent songs so I came up with two criteria: 1. I won’t give the songs you point out for bad songwriting a chance. I don’t want to torment my ears. 2. After I listen, I have to personally like it. I started doing so in April and the playlist currently consists of 11 songs. It’s a lot less than I expected.

It makes me question if it were better for some songs to never be released instead. What do producers/music labels/entertainment companies consider before releasing a song (in general)? I’ve heard some Kpop fans say “this song sounds like it was made for Group A, tossed down to Group B, only to be released by Group C”. Is that even possible?

If I were you I wouldn’t necessarily write off anything that I hate.  Just because I have the balls to state my own opinions where others don’t, doesn’t mean that you can’t have completely different opinions.

What do producers/music labels/entertainment companies consider before releasing a song:

  • are people going to buy this
  • no really, will they buy it
  • will this be a hit
  • will this get on the charts
  • will we make money
  • gosh we could use some money
  • will enough people like this for it to make money
  • will we recoup our costs on this
  • will this be popular enough for us to make enough money to do another one

Etc.  You may notice a pattern forming.

Yes if songwriters get a song rejected from someone they will often try with someone else.  Another good reason (relevant to question before) to not be discouraged by rejection.  Also sometimes someone will pick up a song but then business plans change, or music fashion changes, and the song doesn’t fit anymore, or maybe the group disbands, or maybe 500 other things.  A lot of things can happen that can stop a deal from progressing in expected ways.  Like, a lot.  Too many to list.

hey oppar,

I don’t know if you’re an only child but lately I’ve been feeling disconnected with my family and i feel like its my fault sometimes, but they also let me do my thing. Like my childhood was them spoiling me and letting me do what I want (as long as I get good grades) and I feel like I should’ve been grateful but then, I don’t really feel a bond with them.
also my sister and I don’t talk anymore and I’m not sure if I should repair the relationship. we were fighting over Cheez Its and then after that, we stopped talking for a year and a half. It was actually more than that bc she was always giving me
a t t i t u d e
but now it’s been so long and I feel conflicted. I told myself she should apologize first and she didn’t so it’s been months. but at the same time, she’s kinda annoying and never listens to me when im ranting. One time I was crying about how i was being treated and she just like stared at me and didnt say anything. BITCH. anyways, this one moment I’ll never forget was when I was talking about killing myself – I was implying it and she legit said “Do whatever you want” and left. I asked her the next morning to play outside and now we pretend it didn’t happen. Even when im peeing, i think about that moment
Anyways, when my brother left for college, I had a kpop dance party alone in my basement. Then I sat on the floor and cried. Oppar if you’ve never had siblings, be glad.
I know you have the unfortunate role of a therapist with these qrimoles but I genuinely don’t know what do. What do. But if I’m ever as old as you and still not talking to them, then I at least know it’s for very good reason or there’s something wrong with me. Thanks ooppa loompa for listening

Cheers,
T h e

b r o k e n
O n e ~ ~ ~

(p.s.the other day I was crying because you were so old, and I thought you were going to die anytime soon. But then I realized you have a job and if u were that old, u wouldve been in retirement and quit this blog. So now im thoroughly quenched.

Anyways, I sincerely hope u have a good year and thrive sister. After all, it’s the year of the rat. MEOW)

Repair the relationship with your sister.  Just do it out of rational self-interest.  It’s a fucking no-brainer, man.  Trust me life is more interesting when you actually have a family you can talk to, even if they just talk shit most of the time they’re still your family.

I have a brother.  We used to fight sometimes when we were young but once I hit like about 10 years old we NEVER fought EVER and we still never do.  I think that was because our interests became fairly divergent and we didn’t really get in each other’s way so much because of that.  It’s hard to fight when you literally have nothing to fight over.

Cats meow, not rats.  No fake news here, please.  But stay well.

I’ve been meaning to ask you this question for a while but I only remember to ask right after you posted another qrimole so I’m always like “nah I’m gonna wait till the end of the month” but I end up forgetting and not asking at all lol

now I’ve realized that waiting for a month to have an answer is way better than waiting for several months/not getting an answer at all so kudos to myself for coming here at the beginning of the month and asking I guess


How often do you check k-pop content that’s not related to music? Things like fancams, mv makings, loona TV etc is it only when caonimas send you things, or maybe it’s more like whenever you realize something is getting attention you go and check it out for yourself?

Do you actively search for specific groups’ non-music-related content (mostly for eye-candy purposes, I suppose)? If yes, from which groups?

I’m curious because since you present yourself as someone who mostly cares about kpop for the music, it’s surprising how you always seem to have all kinds of kpop content when it comes in handy. Also sometimes I stumble upon a video in which a girl you like looks cute and I want to send it to you but I’m not sure if you actually give a shit about these things or not.

The way I find all those non-music k-pop videos that tend to feature at the end of roundups:

  • They sometimes come up in my YouTube “what’s related” and “recommended”
  • Readers send the videos to me

I very rarely have to go looking for anything at all these days.  It’s great.  As soon as literally anything happens in k-pop, I’ve got like half a dozen people telling me.  Right now I just found out literally while writing this answer that Mina from AOA blamed AOA’s Jimin for bullying her, and Mina also self-harmed.  I didn’t go looking for this information – it found me.  You might as well send me videos of k-pop girls if you want to – everybody else does!

In rare circumstances I’ll go looking for a specific thing that’s k-pop but isn’t music but something else.  Usually this is because there’s a post I’m writing that’s directly relevant to it.  Sometimes it’s eye candy stuff, more commonly it’s other stuff like a certain appearance that I want to use in a different context, or discussions about certain things etc.  I’m open to all sorts of stuff but I don’t spend very much time seeking any of it out.

hello kpopalypse! I’ll get the cheesy stuff out of the way first: thank you so much for your blog! for a person who started listening to kpop when they were very young (middle school!) and naive your blog has honestly really helped me navigate the world of kpop a lot better. I have tendencies towards anxiety and the no-nonsense approach you take to things is very refreshing.

I have a few questions: I’ve gotten into a girl group recently that has a lot of international and lgbt fans. there are a lot of articles that analyze fanservice between male idols and how it keeps the female fans engaged, horny, whatever, but very little about fanservice between female idols. I guess what I’m asking is, when female idols do fanservicey things , ie pocky game, complementing the members bodies, etc. should it be taken as something done for the camera, for their fans, or a sign of the members actually being close? If it is fanservice, and the members aren’t comfortable doing it, why do they keep doing it?

You’ve also mentioned before that idols are acting for the most part all the time. Does that include more “intimate” settings like vlives? How can you tell?


This second part of the question I’m not sure you can answer fully but: for gay women who see this “gay fan service” why on earth do they percieve it as positive representation? there are shit tons of videos about “x girl group being gay for 30 minutes” or whatever and a whole bunch of people who seem very excited by it. as a bisexual woman, almost all of it seems uncomfortable and pandering. although i guess i find all of those “gay moments” videos to be weird….

When idols are in front of the camera, regardless of context (stage, stream, “behind the scenes” footage), and whether male or female – they know it, so they act differently.  They realise at that moment that they are “on” so they have to be “switched on” and “performing” in the acceptable ways.  This is almost always the case, because these are the moments that they have prepared for, this is what their training is for, to be an idol.  It’s like when you’re in a class with a strict teacher who you also respect, versus when that teacher leaves the room.  When that teacher is there, you’re not being “fake” or “any less you” but you’re very conscious of what you say and do because you know that you’re being assessed, and that this assessment matters.  When the teacher isn’t there, then you breath a sigh of relief (at least internally) and you can “loosen up” – you’re still just as “you” as you were before, but you just have less restrictions and you don’t have to worry so much, you can be less self-conscious.  That’s the best way I can think of to explain the difference.

I can’t really speak for gay women but I’ve always interpreted the “gay fan service” as “wishful thinking”.  If you’re gay, nobody’s really throwing you much of a bone in k-pop as far as fantasy material goes, so you naturally make your own if you’re that way inclined.  Yeah it is kind of weird, but the complete lack of any female gayness in k-pop on an official level is weirder.

This is a very old article about music copyright laws defending Napster’s right to distribute music without the consent of the original producers and distributor. Now we are 20 years later so the market has changed and the common people are more used to use streaming services instad of illegaly download the music they like. So I want to ask you: do you agree with the points made in there? Isn’t it right to say one of the reasons Kpop made it big is because kpop agencies don’t give a shit about protecting their music, ending up in them earning even way more money as a result of the expansion of people who listen to their stuff? Also a lot of singers are way more rich nowadays than the average singers were 30 years ago, so I don’t think the internet has really damaged their incomes. Tell me if I’m wrong tho

A lot of that article was redundant even when it was written, because regardless of what they or anyone thinks, music piracy is going to happen anyway.  South Korea found out about this very quickly – as the country with the highest-speed Internet, they were the first to lose the profitability of their music industry completely almost overnight.  This caused companies to reconfigure into “entertainment branding” where they’re selling the person, and not the product.  Further reading here and you can also watch this video:

Singers generally are not more rich however.  The ones who were rich anyway are now on average more rich, but everyone else is actually a lot poorer.  Effectively the “middle class” of musicians has shrunk dramatically.  People are now either making nowhere near enough to survive, or making very large sums – with very few “comfortably getting by” people in between.

Lovelyz always doing something as same as their previous comeback but somehow I always accept their songs easily, while Gfriend also doing the same but why I already bored to their attempt to revive same song structure ever and ever?

whycantwehaveboth.gif

Good day oppar, why Sugar Free always makes me want to dance even though the song melody sounds really repetitive? Do I really like pop song that much?

Yes.

Hi oppar, is it true that streaming service doesn’t allow the artists to make much revenue than selling their albums/songs in iTunes? I always think it’s not convenient at all because I don’t like to think I can’t listen a song freely as possible like now with Spotify/Apple Music

Yes.  Streaming services fuck artists in the ass.  There’s a lot of reading material about this, search and you will find.  If you like artists buy their shit on iTunes, Bandcamp or whatever.  Or buy a t-shirt or other merch.  Streaming gives them nothing.

Hi oppar, I was dreaming of Gfriend is in my living room and speaking English with me. I sat and try to make a conversation with Yuju, but she giggling then answering “You don’t get it, do you?” while SinB and Yerin laugh, like mocking me. Then I started to think that the only nice girl in this group is Umji but she wasn’t there, so I stuck, kinda humiliated and embarrassed. Then I woke up and can’t listen to Gfriend’s songs without thinking how scary they are. What should I do?

Fap.

Check out the next minute or so of this video (it’s the Nizi project a show after which JYP will form a Japanese girl group).
Isn’t that amazing teaching idols to lie to the camera? It is such a weird moment if viewed as anything else.

Sorry, your video got deleted off YouTube before publishing time.  If you can find from another source I’d like to see it however.

What do you think of 90s/early 00s boy/girl bands (Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Spice Girls etc.)? How do they compare to kpop?

They are total shit.  Yes obviously the template for Korean idol pop was created here but the difference in quality on all levels is astounding.  As thuddingly awful as recent turkeys like “Zimzalabim” and “Mango” are, I’d take them over the Backstreet Boys’ entire catalog.

I’d like to know your opinion on lossless and lossy codecs when it comes to music. Do you think flac should become the standard instead of mp3?

I don’t really care.  If I want to listen to good quality I’ll listen to the original CD or .wav – if I don’t care so much about quality but just for casual listening, I’ll rip the song to an mp3 player or something.  I don’t see any need for the FLAC half-way house.  Sure it’s pretty much CD quality for half the file size, but these days the amount of data that a 44.1KHz .wav takes up is minimal given that hard drives are now being sold in terrabytes.  Also FLACs that go above the 44.1KHz sample rate are a wank because they undervalue the utility of modern AD/DA conversion, I wrote about this before in the AOA quiz post and linked to an article that explains why CD is actually better audio quality than 96k and 256k FLAC but it got deleted which is a shame, hopefully I can find it again at some point.

What do you think of Vocaloid, Utau etc.? Are such softwares death or rebirth of music?

Neither.  It’s just another instrument.

What are your favourite anime songs?

I don’t listen to j-shit pops, what makes you think I listen to anime songs.

Do you think kpop will become as accepted as other music genres or are Americans that much of cunts to make it never happen?

What you really meant to ask was “Do you think kpop will become as accepted as other music genres in America or are Americans that much of cunts to make it never happen?”  The fact is that in many places around the world k-pop is already accepted, but you think it isn’t accepted just because it isn’t accepted in America.  Americans, your country really isn’t all that important (and if it still is hanging onto some importance, don’t worry Trump will fix that for you shortly).  Honestly I don’t know or care about whether k-pop is accepted over there.

What is is exactly that you dislike about Bigbang & 2ne1’s music post-2012?

Too much sonic trend-following, not enough focus on good melodies.  Dubstep and trap really did YG’s sound a lot of harm for many years.

Hi Kpopalypse! I’d like to know if you have any guilty pleasure songs?

Also, who do you think is the best western pop star right now and who is the worst?

I don’t feel guilt about my pleasures.

I don’t follow western pop enough to know who is best and worst right now, I already have my hands full following k-pop.  There seems to be a real race for the bottom in western music.

Which version of this song is better in your opinion?

I couldn’t listen to more than two seconds of either.

Hi Oppar. I feel like absolute shit, I’ve just been accepted into my dream college and I know I should be elated, but instead I’ve been crying all day. I think I might have OCD (not the cleaning stuff, the kind where you’re convinced you’re a pedophile or a serial killer or you’ll destroy someone’s life if you don’t do this and that) and I’m getting an assessment for my related anxiety attacks in three months. I’ve already waited almost half a year and I don’t know how to handle it alone, I really am scared of telling anyone about what I’m experiencing (“Hi, I can’t sleep at night because I’m scared I’m secretly an incestuous rapist neo nazi despite none of that rationally being true” isn’t exactly a thing you can tell your mom over dinner, I’d say). In addition to this, I’m really afraid someone will find out about this and I’ll get expelled from college and shunned by society and go to jail or something. How do I hold on for three more months when something else is wrong with me every day?

I, Kpopalypse, officially hereby declare in public on this popular k-pop blog, that you are probably not a Nazi pedophile rapist.  There, hopefully that made you feel better.  However if that wasn’t enough for you, coming clean about your OCD to your family (at least one parent) is definitely a good thing to be doing.  You don’t have to go into the deep specifics about how you think you buried dead children under your parents’ house although you really didn’t, just a generalised chat about having OCD and overactive imagination with bad thoughts might help.  Your parents probably do care about you and could help point you in the right direction in terms of getting help with that stuff.  Also, so could your college – a lot of college campuses are very woke these days especially where mental health is concerned, a lot of them have on-site counsellors that you can see for free if you’re having issues etc. so use your college orienteering wisely and get to know what support is available to you.  A lot of people attending college are pretty mentally fucked in one way or another so don’t worry you’ll be in good company.

Hi, as someone who got into kpop from listening to far less polished uk girl groups as a kid, I’m curious as to what you think of this song and its structure, since it still stands out to me years later as a weird pop song that somehow works (ignoring the really shit dancing). Thanks!

That was so painful for me to listen to that I had a hard time even sitting through it just once to ascertain the structure.  I think the first part is the worst (as well as when it goes back to that first part later), the other sections are relatively listenable but damn, I’m glad this song completely passed me by when it came out.  I’d love it if I never heard this song again.

Why do so many Kpop songs have the same name?
it doesn’t seem to be a problem in Chinese pop or that much of a problem in english music industry

some examples

the latest one being Butterfly by WJSN, Loona just had a comeback with a song called Buterfly and i’m sure there are other songs called that prior
are Korean songwriters just that crap at naming songs?

Yes.

Also it could be the case that the people doing the song-naming might not know a whole lot of English words.

Mind you, there’s a hell of a lot of English songs with the same name too.

1. In the last Qrimole someone mentioned your non-kpop playlist. Where can I find that and your other playlists?
2. Do you listen to any western rap from the last decade and if so, can you recommend some songs?

  1. Here’s the playlist.  This was created by a reader, not by me, so it’s definitely not “complete” or even “accurate” but it’s still a good collection of songs that I generally like.
  2. Yes.  Just listen to the whole new RA The Rugged Man album.  Most underrated rapper in the last two decades.

Hi oppar, do we really can distinguish who’s who only just listen to a song? Many line distribution videos dropped just minutes after the song/album release and they seems to confident enough to determine’s who’s who. I mean, I listened to Loona since predebut days and I can’t even distinguish them

The funny thing is, that they get it wrong even more than you might think.  Just because someone is singing to a song in the video doesn’t mean that’s actually their voice, often it’s the voice of someone else.  Sometimes, it’s someone else who is not even in the fucking group.  Further reading here.  If you are having trouble telling k-pop vocalists apart, that’s actually your common sense kicking in and realising something is wrong.  

Sunmi’s Warning is the best kpop album in 2019. Do u agree?

I wouldn’t know, haven’t listened to every k-pop album released in 2019 so I can judge them all accurately.  Like, I don’t have enough time for that man.  Especially not these days.  Go to The Bias List for that, he does that sort of crazy shit.  A far braver man than me!

What do you think of Minseo’s Is Who?

Here you go.

Typing “Minseo – Is Who” (with the quotation marks intact) into my site’s search bar would have taken you to the relevant roundup.  My site’s search bar is actually really powerfully optimised and I’m surprised readers don’t use it more.  I should do a whole blog post on how to use that fucking search bar, seriously you guys could use it because you are struggling.

Hi, how are you? I have two separate rants, so I suppose I’m just looking for a different opinion on them.

1) Something that’s been frustrating me a lot lately is the idea that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle/choices, you hate them. I’ve experienced this a lot, being someone that holds quite a few “unacceptable/bigoted” views, from a social standpoint. In society today, I feel like I can’t uphold my moral views (which come primarily from being Roman Catholic) without being seen as a hateful, ignorant person – while I do want my views to evolve and become “better”, in a sense, I also don’t want to let go of them so that some random person can feel that I “support” them. This idea could go inversely as well – I have a lot of friends who don’t have the same faith as me, and don’t agree with some of the things I do/say, and I still feel that they love me (in a platonic sense) and enjoy my company. I might not agree with some of the things they do, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to hate them/cast them out. My whole point is, just because I don’t agree with/support a certain view or choice of yours doesn’t mean I hate you. You do not have to support something everyone does to be a good presence/a loving friend to them.

2) I strongly dislike how polarizing everything has become, in terms of views, opinions, political alignment, and the like. As someone who lives in America, where political polarization is rampant and you’re either left or right and there’s no in between, I feel like the constant pressure to “pick a side” has made a lot of people really toxic and also very hive-minded. I feel like there’s no way every single Democrat, for example, holds the same views on every single issue, but that’s certainly the way it’s presented from a media standpoint. It seems like both sides have their positives and their negatives, and I can’t bring myself to pick and choose (granted, I am pretty young, so I do still have a lot of time to choose, if I ever can, which I’m not sure I will). Now, obviously a lot of people get their political views from their parents (I’m certainly no exception), but do you think people started to just pick a political side because of societal pressure, (for example, you can only have a candidate you voted for win if you’ve picked the strong Democrat or strong Republican candidate) or because they genuinely agree with and hold the views that are the pillars of these parties?

I know that was super long, but I’m hoping I can maybe get some different viewpoints on these ideas. I love your blog and thoroughly enjoy it – please keep doing what you’re doing. Cheers!

Really, your two separate rants are the same issue, which is that tolerance is decreasing generally.  To be honest, in wider society I feel like tolerance isn’t decreasing, but if you’re reasonably online it certainly seems like it is.  However my interactions with people in real life haven’t changed much over the years in terms of this.  The problem is a manifestation of political narrative being manipulated by a bunch of really naive people, and then being manipulated again by outside forces, and pushing everything to the edges.  For instance, there’s no rational way possible that everybody in America who is pro-gun is also anti-universal healthcare.  I mean, you need some fucking universal healthcare over there to treat those bullet wounds you guys keep giving each other.  If someone pointed a gun at me in the USA I’d be more scared about surviving and seeing the medical bill than about dying. 

If you’re Catholic or anywhere leaning towards that direction of theology then you’ve already proven your extreme tolerance anyway just by bothering to read this pile of satanic trash blog that I write and actually asking a question in QRIMOLE so the goat lord here can answer it.  Gold star tolerance, honestly.  Tolerance is important.  As a degenerate I might think that guys fucking each other in the ass is great and should happen as often as the natural mood of the ass-fucking population dictates, however you may disagree due to your strong religious feelings that generally prohibit that type of activity (at least openly ahem cough ahem).  We could still be friends though (and I’m not saying you specifically feel this way, although you might, but this is just an example to illustrate the point).  It’s only a problem when these things enter the political sphere and someone tries to ban ass-fucking, or, tries to make it mandatory to fuck an ass to get a drivers licence or something.  The reason why these things are a hot-button issue and you might be branded a bigot etc is because the former is more likely to happen than the latter, people who like dick in the ass do get cock-blocked by religious types a lot, and in places where this feeling is strong people still routinely get put to death for accepting sperm in the butthole.  Disapproval is fine, it’s when that disapproval enforces a lifestyle change, there is an issue.  What we need is more religious people to say “I don’t approve of that – but, I’m not going to try and fuck with that other person’s life, and likewise I expect the same in return”.  I think that all society really needs to get along is for the guy who likes ass-fucking and the guy who really doesn’t can shake hands and say “we may disagree about the dicks in the buttholes but I would still duo with you in League Of Legends and promise not to int or tilt”.  I don’t expect people to conform to my (lack of) moral standards, and I don’t think anyone else should expect conformance to theirs either, as long as people can treat each other reasonably and aren’t hurting others, who cares if the fucking dick is going in the pussy, or somewhere else?  Anyway I hope that was helpful, and that these views assisted you with understanding and maybe broadening your own worldview.

You probably get a lot of these type of questions, but what do you think of this song? Considering how many of your posts I’ve read over the past couple of years, I have a good feeling this’ll be right up your alley.

Yes I do and these type of questions are super boring.  However I’m glad you put this one here because I actually like this, it’s not bad.  I mean I hate hate hate her vocal tone, but the song is good so it makes up.

I remember seeing your name subscribing to Hachubby somewhere. How will you handle her upcoming kpop attempt? Too big for nugu I guess and not really a new release

Who?  Sorry I don’t know who this is.

Hi Mr Kpopalypse! I don’t know your stance on these kind of things but I’m kind of desperate for someone to rant to so I’ll take the chance of you telling me to shut up and stop being cringe in your question box. Here’s the situation: Ever since puberty I’ve been struggling with my gender identity. I’ve then identified back and forth as nonbinary, questioning and trans since I was, like, 14, although I just kept that to myself because I was a really quiet kid in a conservative area. Now I’m 18 and I came out as trans at the beginning of the year to live “more authentically” and all that jazz and people have been surprisingly accepting (except my religious parents who get mad whenever they “find out” before they pretend they never did, rinse and repeat), I know some people think it’s dumb but at least they don’t say it to my face, so, like, whatever. Thing is, I kind of don’t vibe with my chosen name now and I want to change it again, but I know people think that’s super annoying. In addition to this, I realized I probably won’t ever fit in with actual people of my “chosen” (for lack of a better word) gender and that I kind of enjoy dressing up and passing as male AND female, which kind of freaks me out. I’ve always been pretty androgynous in both body and mind, but I’m terrified of being a faker, hurting the trans community, being considered unlovable and weird or being ostracized for supposedly being cringy and attention-seeking. I really just wish I would’ve been born the other sex, but I think I act too stereotypically like my actual sex in mannerisms and how I speak and I don’t know if hormone therapy will have the desired effects anyway. I’m about to see a psychiatrist for other issues, but I hope I can bring this up as well and maybe get actual support from someone who knows their shit. I don’t know! I’m just really upset about all this being so complicated when everyone else seems to literally not have this weird fucking problem at all. I really want to be taken seriously as a person, but I don’t know if people will always just think of me as some sort of clown or freak. Is this, like, normal?

I think the whole focus on “gender identity” is a really big red herring and actually quite harmful to someone in your situation who is obviously struggling with it all, because while it works for many, in your case it possibly creates more problems than it solves.  It’s like saying “here’s some boxes, YOU MUST PICK ONE OR YOU ARE NOTHING”.  This is probably one reason why trans suicide rates are so high, there’s still the pressure to “fit in” somehow.  Some people try to get around this problem by creating more boxes, and having 28 or 56 genders or whatever, but I think that just increases the confusion, and once you pick a box how do you know it’s right?  What happens if you change?  Might you fit in several?  I think it’s far healthier to just throw the fucking boxes out and say “I am who I am (even if I’m still figuring it out), I like what I like (even if I’m still figuring that part out too), whatever I call myself is my own business, whatever you call me doesn’t matter because it doesn’t change me”.  Internet discourse even among the “woke” still requires a rigid adherence to rules, people will want to categorise you, or insist that you do it, but what if you really don’t know?  Honestly, I think it’s okay to not know, and I also think it’s okay to experiment with ideas and concepts and so forth.  You’re going to get hate anyway just because of being on the trans scale somewhere, and you’re always in a sense going to feel somewhat of an “outsider”, but that’s okay – I’ve always been an outsider too in many respects and it’s not such a bad place to be, to be on the outside of everyone’s social spectrum, looking in and thinking to yourself “well, I’m glad I don’t feel like I have to do THAT shit”.  It’s your life and you have to live it for yourself, living your own life and doing the things that you want to do, that’s what defines you, not a label.  I think “identity” isn’t the sum of who you are, it’s just a convenient labeling system that we use – which is great if the shoe fits, but if it’s not convenient, don’t use it, until you find something that works for you.  Or maybe you never will – that’s okay too.

turbofolk is actually just yugoslav folk infused with pop music. when it’s done right it’s incredibly fun. as a rule of thumb i do not trust anyone from the european southeast who can’t enjoy a bit of aca lukas or lepa brena every now and then.
the problem with turbofolk is that it originates from god’s little personal hell region, the balkan peninsula, and like literally every single thing to come out of the balkans awful AWFUL war politics have corrupted the whole thing from inside out, transforming the public’s perception of the genre dramatically. while not every turbofolk song is evil war politics written by genocidal maniacs (most of it is just about alcohol and sex and breakups and sex and crime and sex) if a song openly promotes evil war politics and was written by genocidal maniacs it’s almost certainly turbofolk.
probably doesn’t help that arguably the most famous turbofolk singer of all time, ceca, was married to a war criminal. stay classy, serbia.
check your not-from-the-balkans privilege, everyone. never forget vukovar/jasenovac/srebrenica/whatever the next inevitable, completely pointless and brutal genocide is going to be called.
the more you know.
actually never mind that. the less you know about this place the better.

Noted, reposted here for educational purposes.

is this plagiarism [links to some j-shit or whatever removed]

Sorry I don’t care, nor should you.  I hate writing about plagiarism, and I hate j-shits, asking about both in one question is like crossing the streams in Ghostbusters.  You just don’t do it.

Hello! I recently enjoyed watching a video that showed clips that would discern Twice’s drinking habits. I’m not usually one to nitpick idols’ private lives, but I found it very entertaining to know that Momo is the group’s biggest drinker, and that Sana has similar tastes in wine to me. Is this creepy fan behavior? (Also, shoutout to the kpopalypse lesbian community. I don’t know why you have gathered so many lesbians oppar but I’m not complaining.)

Maybe it’s creepy alcoholic behaviour.  Do you need to go to a meeting?  Will you go if we stop the group confession every 15 minutes to play Twice songs?

The fact that I’m a problematic asshole who uses tHe F sLuR yet I have a large following of LGBTIQUASFDIUGHBNW readers just goes to show that a lot of non-straight people are very intelligent and have open minds, they can see past the superficial aspects.

Watched this. My initial thoughts were, “Jesus, that’s a dogwhistle concept if I’ve ever seen a dogwhistle concept. How did their company make something that’s more pedobait than April’s Dream Candy? Why hasn’t IZ*ONE received the hate April got for their song? I remember when April debuted people online were like ‘I can’t believe their company made them do that’ while the reaction to this has been ‘Look at my ethereal, elegant queens’.” I guess that producer wasn’t lying when he said the Produce 101 series is just “healthy porn”.

Just wanted to know your thoughts on this.

I still think “Dream Candy” is more extreme just because of the age of the performers, it really hits like a fucking brick how creepy it is.  However I didn’t see too many people besides me openly saying anything about it.  But yeah IZ*ONE is definitely aimed at least in part at the same kind of tastes, that group has an overwhelmingly majority male fanbase and it’s party for those kind of reasons.

Hello! I want to ask if you have a favorite K-pop song that utilizes good instrumental more than vocals? Sometimes, I get a little annoyed when groups use a shit ton of adlibs on good instrumentals. Most k-ballads try to do it but it ends up being a drag and feel like you’re falling into a void of boring-ness, waiting for vocals that end up even more boring too. Thanks!

I think you could randomly throw a dart a a list of my 100 favourite songs of the 2010s and wherever it landed would probably be a song that fit the description of what you’re trying to find.  Unless of course you hit Berry Good’s “Angel“… any other song would be fine for you.

So little is going on in my life due to covid that I unironically got excited about a new birdbath arriving yesterday because I got to assemble it. I’m pretty sure my cat has more things going on in her life than I do right now. My hobbies mostly involve equipment I don’t have in my home/garden, I can’t visit my allotment for more than an hour a day. Every knitting project is pointless in this infernal heat, who wants a hat in June? Currently watching my garden slowly wilt in the early heatwave and boiling to death sadly. Please send words of encouragement to get me through this trying time.
Hope you’re having a better one!

We need a pic of the cat with the birdbath to assess if it mrcs.

Thoughts on the AOA situation?

Should be no surprise to anybody who regularly reads my writing.  We know that this sort of thing happens in almost every group.  The k-pop environment pits members in groups against each other in direct competition for attention and work so there’s rarely any camaraderie.  Yes they have to “be nice” to each other but behind the scenes it’s another story.  Now that we all know the truth about AOA that (regardless of who in the group you believe) there was some serious friction there, go back and look at some of their appearances on variety shows. 

If you’re watching this and looking for “signs of trouble” you’re missing the point completely.  The point isn’t that the mask sometimes slips, it’s how well they actually keep it maintained.  Whether you can see any cracks at the seams or not, the fact is that they smile and act cute just like all the other groups smile and act cute, right?  It’s well-played enough that nobody knew that there was a big problem, and look at how it’s now exploded.  Now think about the other groups that you love, including ones where we’re getting a sense that yes there might be a problem behind the scenes.  Imagine how much pressure there is in BTS or Twice, for everyone to keep it together and work together and deal with this enormous pressure to be perfect in everything you do, yet still also exist in a really cutthroat environment where you know that your team is actively working to further themselves ahead of you.  I’m not interested in taking sides with Mina vs Jimin (who I see both as victims in their own way, certainly both clearly have mental health issues due to their time in AOA), but what I am interested in doing is saying to people that there are many Minas and Jimins, and that it’s the forces of the industry itself and the way these groups are set up that actually fosters and encourages those toxic dynamics.  Not saying it happens in every case, but you can bet it happens in a hell of a lot of them.  To survive in k-pop you need to be mentally strong, and very aware of everything that is happening, it really is a business that chews people up and spits them out.  That’s why I take time out to interview the few survivors who are willing to openly talk to me about the various underlying issues in the business.  I’m not saying simply “don’t do it”, because it’s not my place to make that kind of decision for anyone, but rather “understand the nature of the system when making decisions”.  Hopefully Kpopalypse blog allows you all to increase your understanding!


That’s all for QRIMOLE!  This series will return in a month, in the meantime don’t forget to check if Goo Hara’s ex is in jail!

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!

12 thoughts on “QRIMOLE – July 2020

  1. Hey, to the person who talked about their OCD — I’ve been through it too. I know how painful it is to not be able to talk to anyone because you’re ashamed or scared. If you want someone to talk to pls contact me on twitter @videosdebichin

  2. I generally enjoy your blog, Kpopalypse, but I can’t help but think that you might have a double standard here. The fact that you’re “not interested in taking sides” suggests that you’re willing to give Jimin the benefit of the doubt, and yet you never gave Hwayoung that benefit despite the fact that there was much less evidence (prior to 2017) to suggest that she did something truly bad. If Mina (who you clearly never gave a damn about) had driven Jimin (your AOA bias, alongside Choa) to slit her wrist, can you honestly say that you still wouldn’t pick a side? Would you still blame the “forces of the industry itself” and not Mina?

    • When I say I’m “not interested in taking sides”, that doesn’t mean that I have no opinion, just that I don’t think my opinion on it (or anyone else’s) is interesting. Yeah I think Jimin did it, but so what. The least interesting, least relevant conversation one can have about idol bullying is “is person x guilty and should we hate them”. The most interesting, most relevant conversation once can have about idol bullying is “how and why does this happen, and how can it be avoided”. I’m not trying to exonerate Jimin, I’m trying to redirect people’s attention to the real issue behind what’s happening.

        • It’s because from a business standpoint, it’s much better for FNC to just ignore ignore ignore and refuse to provide a statement or official apology. Otherwise, with an official statement regarding a bullying issue, they’re basically admitting to bullying Mina/allowing Mina to be bullied behind the scenes. If FNC puts anything out there, it will be heavily scrutinized and turned back on them (even if it is an offical, heartfelt apology), so that’s why they’re staying quiet unless they are forced (by a legal standpoint) to issue a press release. The best thing they can do right now is to just ignore the situation and hope everyone else also ignores and forgets it.

        • @kitekitekitekite
          That’s not my question though. FNC didn’t need to make official statement. Just stopped Jimin from continue bullying when Mina reported it years ago. Wonder what’s so difficult to stop Jimin? T-ara scandal was fake but still blew up, so what’s made FNC think that the real bullying scandal wont blew up?

        • I can’t reply to your second comment (I’m assuming number of replies are limited): “That’s not my question though. FNC didn’t need to make official statement. Just stopped Jimin from continue bullying when Mina reported it years ago. Wonder what’s so difficult to stop Jimin? T-ara scandal was fake but still blew up, so what’s made FNC think that the real bullying scandal wont blew up?”

          Bullying is so common in entertainment and art industries. As someone who comes from theatre and art (which isn’t even entertainment so competition isn’t as cut throat), toxic cultures are mostly the norm. That’s one aspect to it (which I won’t go into reasons for but I know this blog mentions them many times). The second is that FNC has literally no need to stop any kind of bullying. The point is they don’t want to… not that they are finding it difficult to do it. Why employ people to work on group issues, group dynamics, implement strategies and trainers and spend all that extra time and effort to create a “healthy” environment when a toxic environment with survival of the fittest will require minimum resources and time on their part. I’m not saying all companies and production houses are like that… but sorting out these things takes time and money and business driven companies could not give two shits if something cheaper can do the work (i.e Idols learn choreo, sing, perform, appear on variety, generate money etc). Also so many of the conditions that companies (rather the industry but that’s hard to separate) enforce on their talents are downright toxic and unhealthy by itself. Asking idols to go down to 40 kgs in 5 days, no sleep for a week to attend back to back schedules, putting up with stalker fans for the money they send in…. so much of it is difficult to enforce by “requests” and “dialogues”. I doubt any of these executives want to give any kind of power to idols because that would make it harder to make them become underweight and other things to generate money.

          It’s so important to hold these companies accountable. Imagine the same scenario happening in a corporate (not sure about Korea though) you’d have lawsuits flying left, right and center. Which is also a primary reason why corporates do all the employee training, group sessions, hire trainers etc. Also of course rehiring is way more expensive than retaining employees. You don’t have that problem of idols leaving the company by the hordes if a company is toxic. Plus “rehiring” an idol is fairly easy since there are so many to fill in that space. Point is, money is the basic driver behind all this and as long as it works well in generating that, no one’s going to bother changing it.

          Thank you for coming to my TED talk lol. Sorry about the long comment.

  3. In my experience, people take behavioral cues from the people in power around them. Bullying doesn’t exist in a vacuum. I would wager there was a culture of abuse at FNC and either Jimin fell in line or else felt free to act on her worse impulses (depending on how much you believe in nature vs. nurture). In any case, Mina describing how miserable she was would have been impossible to notice. When her father was terminally ill, the company’s decision was she had to work through it, which is pretty shitty. They left another girl in her early twenties to handle a despondent girl. FNC failed both of them.

Leave a reply, cao ni ma

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.