QRIMOLE – February 2021

It’s time for QRIMOLE!  Let’s take a look at reader questions for Kpopalypse!

Dear oppar,

I am amazed by this Sowon thingie because she and her groupmates spent years of total isolation before having their own personal Insta accounts and phone, hence making me wonder if overseeing your artist uploads (although this sounds too much) should be enforced . But, what strikes me first is there was a girl group Keyakizaka46 that wore Secret Service uniform-like costume and we heard about BTS costumes as well.

I wonder how they perceive the Nazi or Western things at all because in the middle of “she should’ve known”, this is something that certainly will happened again and they, as much as fans expected them to, never seem to care much about philosophy and history behind names or logos. And do you think it’s always wise to confront her or agency?

Thank you so much

and

Hello Oppa

I don’t know if this is too late for the January qrimole and it’s ok if it is. But I’m too annoyed and I have to say this somewhere.

So the whole Sowon thing has JUST blownup. I get most of my kpop news from Reddit (because I couldn’t be arsed to find to keep track who is releasing music when on my own)… Initially I didn’t really care… I love GFriend’s recent release and so discovered their older singles… But like I don’t care about what they do. I will admit I was amused (or maybe gobsmacked) that someone could do something so STUPID. But that was really it. Kpop fans on the other hand….. One comment was like “This is the darkest even in history how could no one know about the holocaust!!!” And I was so fucking pissed reading that. Darkest event in history? Does your world only exist in the West? What about the famine that happened in my country because of the British and killed millions of people? What about the Armenian genocide? What about millions of Muslims being killed right now in China? These people don’t give a fucking shit about Jews they literally just want to be as “woke” as possible. The outrage does not even match the horrible cultural faux pas by an idol who probably doesn’t even have the fucking time to read cultural history because she has to kill her body over not eating, and dancing all damn day for YOUR pleasure, sit the fuck down.

Sorry I didn’t mean to yell at you oppa I’m just so tired of cancel culture (in general, not just in kpop or on Reddit). I’m pretty left leaning but I absolutely hate how this is just a way of getting some dopamine rush over cancelling someone.

and

[insert a million other questions about Sowon here which all were really the same questions]

I guess I’ll have to write that “positive post” for Sowon, I think she’s earned it, and it seems like a lot of you could use it.  It’ll probably address all of this stuff.

I’m about the same age as AustralianSana (shoutout to her for being awesome) which means I always find it hilarious when people hate you for having the kpop opinions that you do. I’m a bisexual woman and last year I caught feelings for a younger lesbian, long story short we became friends by bonding over feminism and loving hot women in kpop. She is a hardcore Mamamoo stan but we actually often discussed how shit their music is, and I’ve def plagiarized for those conversations a few talking points from your roundups and reviews of how shit their music is, i.e. in the end we just talked about how hot the members are. Anyways I tried to be lowkey about my feelings for her because she was not on the same page, still nursing the hurt from a nasty breakup and made clear to me a few times during 2020 that she wasn’t ready for dating yet.

I really thought it was never gonna happen between us and was happy to just be a friend, but then she messaged me last night as I had your Twitch stream playing on background and I guess we are seeing each other now, or trying to, in light of the really bad COVID numbers we continue to have. It was a pretty sick coincidence and I’m still laughing about it. I just hope she will not attempt to change my mind about Mamamoo’s music but if she wants to watch their concert videos on repeat when I’m over at hers, who am I to say no?

I’ve read your blog for long enough that I don’t feel weird sending long personal updates about this, since I feel like your caonima energy and presence really helped to jump start a potential relationship for me somehow. Now, stan Twitter can try to cancel my progressive LGBTQ woman membership card if they want, but I’m still team caonima.

Just to reiterate what you always tell the young readers, Graze grass, enjoy the sunshine and be patient like a caonima. I’m almost 30 and this is the first time in my life when I simultaneously have a well-paid interesting job lined up to start soon and a romantic interest who reciprocates my interest in them. If your teenage and early 20s years are a slog to get through, good, that means better times are yet to come for the better part of your adulthood. Keep your head down and work smart. Figure out what opportunities you want, doesn’t matter if they seem impossibly distant to you now, start taking whatever small steps available to you to get closer to those opportunities, keep at that and let time do the rest. Anyways do pray for me that I won’t over-listen to Mamamoo so much so that I begin to think they are good. I am so fucking jealous that you can go outside and do normal social things with your girlfriend.

Well if you do start liking Mamamoo’s music, you shouldn’t feel bad – you’re allowed to have opinions on music that are your own!  I don’t think people should attach any importance to how I subjectively experience music, part of why I write roundup so lazily is precisely because you shouldn’t care.  Glad my energy somehow transferred over to you kicking it off with your love interest though, that’s definitely a good thing.  Maybe you can use COVID to your advantage and work out a way to isolate together.. I mean it’s not your fault if you’re trapped in the same house and lockdown means you shouldn’t be going outside, right?

Agreed on the last bit.  Good things and good opportunities will come along if you want them and just bide your time and work on having fun and self-improvement.

So I dunno if you didn’t already know (I think you already do), but a whole sub on reddit known as r/wallstreetbets or something basically sabotaged the stock market by mass-shorting stocks for GameStop, rendering a couple of billionaires to declare bankruptcy. And some members of that sub are already looking for other companies to short stocks from to screw over more billionaire elites.

Through these actions, the redditors pretty much revealed to everyone that the “free market” is not actually free after all and only favors (or at least intended to favor) the top 1% only. What do you think the repercusions of these actions will be in context of the class divide in general?

I don’t think much is going to change.  Powerful people losing a bunch of money isn’t something that is going to be allowed to continue to happen idly.  Something will be put in place to stop this, the hedge fund money will be protected somehow, and things will get back to “semi-normal” maybe with a few permanent (good) differences, but nothing too radical.  Americans like to talk about freedom and rights but you’re really only as free as your government is allowing you to be, with as much rights as your government allows you to have.  You don’t really have “rights”, you have privileges that can be rescinded at any time.  It works the same in any country.

Please judge this song

No.  Just have confidence in your own taste.  Stop looking to others for validation.

Hi oppar. I want to ask how can use write so well. Despite all the cursed and swear words your posts are still better written than when I try to write an essay for school

Writing well isn’t a matter of what words you use, but how you use them.  I used to read a ton from a very young age so that probably helped my writing.  My #1 advice to anyone learning to write is read, read, read.  As you’re reading try to actively absorb things like sentence structure, word usage, context etc.  You don’t need to study grammar formally, but some kind of innate understanding of how to build sentences, paragraphs and arguments will help you a lot, and you can absorb that by reading voraciously and analytically.  As far as swearing goes, swear words are like verbal weapons, but you don’t always need to fight.  However sometimes it’s appropriate!  Being a good writer I feel is sometimes about learning when to bring out the weapons and in what context.

What are the best tracks off of the Wonder Girls’s Reboot album?

idk haven’t listened to it in years, not going to again just to answer this.  Why not listen to it yourself and then you can tell me?

Hello… I am the one who sent a full essay on … [tons of stuff deleted at this person’s request] … I hope your cat is doing well.

I see your issues with study and your issues with finding friends as two aspects of the same issue.  I think your real enemy is not study or lack of friends, but negative thought patterns.  You mentioned how you can’t find friends while simultaneously listing off a whole bunch of “small victories” that you’ve already had in this area, and you probably listed these without even realising how much of a win most of them were.  Hell, you even nearly got laid by accident but stopped yourself, once again, because you had negative self-thoughts about proceeding (“I’m not sorted out enough for that”).  It’s not that different with the even longer thing you wrote about study.  If all the techniques you’ve tried (and good on you for trying a whole bunch and being proactive about this, exactly what you should be doing, hardly the behaviour of a “procrastinator”) are equally bad that means they’re also all equally good, which means it doesn’t matter which one you use, which means you’ve got the freedom to choose whichever one fits into your lifestyle the best.  Trust me, nobody is great at studying, we all suck at it and forget half the shit, you’re not going to wake up after studying and remember everything, it doesn’t really work like that.  You are talking yourself down massively.  You’re actually winning at life in quite a few ways already – you’re studying stuff and getting through, you’re meeting people and trying a different bunch of social things… the only thing you need to fix is how you’re looking at it.  I see a pretty successful person actually.

Hello kpopalyse

the other day i was watching a youtube video where the guy kinda explained the use of the melodic minor scale and the fact that is a rather unusual scale on pop or rock music, most commonly used in jazz or classical pieces so my questions is (i hope this is not so big of an inconvenience, just if you can remember an example). Can you recall any kpop song that uses the melodic minor example either in the melodies or the harmonies? Thank you

If you were curious, this is the video

Off the top of my head I’ll say that I think T-ara probably use it in a bunch of their early stuff.  I haven’t checked but a lot of those early songs definitely sound like they’re going sharp on the way up and flat on the way down like the melodic/harmonic minor scale does.  The sharp 7th note in “Cry Cry” at 1:08 definitely doesn’t sound like it’s hit on the descending run just before it, for example.

Similar things happen in the bassline for Stray Kids’ “Back Door”.  The bassnote that goes up at 2:18, when that line goes back down at 2:22 it’s a semitone below which is the minor style movement, so that’s a melodic/harmonic minor scale type of idea.

Remember that melodic minor and harmonic minor are in fact the same scale, melodic minor just extends the same concept to the 6th as well as the 7th, but it’s the same type of thing, and whether the actual melody incorporates that is less about “scale” and more about “usage”.  This is something that a lot of people miss when they modally analyse certain k-pop songs for example, the context of usage takes precedence over the scale, because the scale is a tool to understand the usage, the usage isn’t a tool to interpret the scale, that’s like putting the cart before the horse.  Sorry if this isn’t very clear, a future more advanced music theory post will probably discuss.

I was experimenting with a DAW and made a backing track, certainly isn’t polished but I felt proud of myself after making it. I tried to make something in the vein of the more rap focused kpop tracks like Crazy or Trippin. My question would be, based on your experience in the music industry, how sustainable is a job in said industry (specifically as a songwriter)?
I also tried to link the song, I know it isn’t polished and kinda shit but would appreciate feedback (also kindly ignore the alias, I made the account with my friends and made it purposefully dumb

I won’t link the track here, because you should never share demo material in public, but the main problem is everything is “room sound”, it sounds like your instruments are all being recorded with the mics far away, everything sounds kind of dull as a result instead of crisp.  Also try to do less – less detail, less instruments – don’t crowd everything out with instruments, you need some room in there for vocals to go on top of all that.  The sounds in something like “Trippin'” are designed to seem random and haphazard to enhance the feel of the song but they really are not at all, everything is actually very structured and repetitive.  If you want to make a rap-focused track then copy rap production style by copy-pasting a lot, that will help.

Songwriting work is good when you can get it, but it’s not reliable income.  You can make a lot of money in a really short time, and then have weeks or months of nothing at all.  The few who make a sustainable living usually do it by managing to plug themselves into a stream of steady clients, that’s difficult to do and takes time to build a portfolio and reputation.

recently my friend and i were being petty over an argument and i spammed him with links to puss by jimin because of it. he wasn’t pleased by the music and blocked me for an entire day, why did he not repent and turn to the eyes of the kpop

I guess he was too much of a freakin’ puss

Hi Oppar, I live in Brazil which means my life probably won’t go back to normal in a long, long time because I have a stupid incompetent retarded dicksucking cunthole of a president who sucks donkey cock and doesn’t wan’t to vaccinate people or really just do his fucking job in any capacity and I’m just so fucking hopeless y’know, I’ve been quarantined for a fucking year now because I have lung problems and I’m afraid of leaving my house and just fucking dying and killing my entire obese, diabetic family along with me and at this point I’ve considered suicide so many times because it just feels so pointless to live like this, my depression has gotten so much worse after a slight improvement in 2019 and idk man… You’re a generally optimistic person so maybe you can give me a slimmer of hope I guess

Are you seriously gonna die and leave the world and leave us all with Bolsonaro?  Come on man, get it together.  You gotta outlive that dude.  If good people check out of the world because bad people run it, then all that the other good people are left with is the bad people.  That’s how the world gets worse.  So get your shit together and buckle up for the ride.  Your country needs people like you to continue to exist now more than ever, because you’re a vote against that idiot.  In my experience people like him don’t really have much staying power because they piss off too many others, most people don’t actually want radicals of any type in power, they want normalcy and the ability to get on with their lives un-fucked-with.  All Biden had to do to beat Trump was look like the normal person standing next to an asshole.  Bolsonaro won’t last, but YOU had better.

Is it normal for me to feel bad that I can’t feel happy all the time? lol
Like
I stan Chuu like everyone else, but it makes me feel a bit bad when people praise how positive and energetic she is all the time and how that makes her cute and loveable and I can’t be like that no matter how much I try because of depression and other issues I have 😦

I don’t act anything like Chuu either, I’m super-introverted but I’m still positive about life.  Extreme extroversion isn’t the same thing as positivity, don’t confuse them.  The good news for you is that opposite personality types tend to attract – most of my girlfriends have been the crazy Chuu type, because I’m actually a really mellow and (contrary to popular belief) non-loud, non-aggressive dude so there’s a nice counterbalance there that makes the relationship work.  So that means that while you’ll never BE Chuu you might end up WITH a Chuu.  Look forward to that.

so so so tired of comparing myself to other people from physical attractiveness to achievements to productiveness to popularity to how “likeable” they are, it’s fucking ruining my life. makes me hate myself and feel like a failure and a worthless human being and want to hurt myself out of frustration, and i just don’t know how to stop without completely isolating myself from everyone ever idk lol help 🙃

Are these questions all the same person?  Holy fuck if you are sick of comparing yourself to others why not just stop doing it?  I know that’s easier said than done, right?  But the first and best thing you can do is distance yourself from all the media that’s giving you bad vibes.  That actually includes k-idol stuff – you’ll never look like those people, hell, even THEY don’t even look like that without the right lighting, camera angles and injections, they’re all a bag of insecurities just like you are, read my interviews with any of them to see how mentally damaged they can get during that process.  Also if you have friends who make you feel like shit, they’re probably not your friends, so distance yourself from them and get new friends who value you for you.  You gotta start looking inward at yourself and working on that which is within.  When I go to the gym I lift lighter weights and have less muscles than almost everyone there, my gym is full of super-fit people, firefighters, mixed martial artists, bodybuilders etc and they’re all super ripped… but I don’t compare.  They’re on their journey, I’m on mine.

Yo, so I wrote to you about liking a guy, and whether I should just tell him straight-out (or something along those lines). I told him cuz I’m impatient, and he gave me between a no and a maybe. Took it as a no, hit the apps, and have been actively dating since then. Obvs stung a bit for a little while, but he and I are fine, and I was able to get back out on the market without feeling like I missed out on something with potential. btw, I’m also in a place where it’s safe to be actively dating, so I’m not being some kind of dumbass and spreading Coid.

Thanks! Very much hope you read this one before making any kind of response to the other. If not, shit I can do about it now.

Cool, glad that worked out!  A no is often just as good as a yes because then you know you can cross someone off your list of options, and that then opens up other options.  Keep in mind I have no idea which question in this huge mess of questions is actually yours, so I might have already answered that shit below somewhere.

1. What exactly defines the “new 80s” sound that has become so popular recently? To my musically illiterate brain, all the tracks you have described as new 80s do sound very “retro” to me but otherwise, I can’t really tell if a certain song is new 80s or not. Is the new 80s sound simply defined by the kind of sounds/synths used or is it more complex than that? Would something like JYP’s When We Disco be considered new 80s?

Here’s a list of ‘new 80s’ k-pop tracks that you’ve recommended in your annual lists. Are there any great new 80s tracks that are not on this list and are there any tracks here that aren’t new 80s? I understand that genres don’t really mean much in the end but as someone who can’t really differentiate between genres that well, I wanna learn.

Gfriend – Mago
Twice – I Can’t Stop Me
Everglow – La Di Da
Aseul – Always with You
Eyedi – & New
Sori – Initial S

2. Do you have any methodology when it comes to research (academic or for interviews)? Personally, all I do is just type stuff into Google or Google Scholar and just start reading from there. Am I being inefficient or is this just how it is?
3. Thank you for recommending IU’s really great Modern Times album on your site. I recently found out that IU has another almost identical album called “Modern Times ? Epilogue” which is basically the Modern Times album with 2 additional tracks: Friday and Crayon. How do these two tracks hold up compared to the other tracks on the original album? I remember you mentioning that the tracks in the original album were all basically different sub-genres of jazz (the good ones at least) and I was wondering if this is still the case for these 2 tracks (and sorry for the boring “does this mrs” question)
4. What makes a good/hard hitting rap beat in your opinion? I feel like the only reason I listen to rap music is because of the beat/instrumental and I pay almost no attention to the lyricism (which feels kind of sacrilegious to be honest). I’ve been obsessed to tracks like Mobb Deep’s Shook Ones Pt II and Survival of the Fittest recently. I understand that it’s probably a topic too complex to answer in a Qrimole but are there any “defining” features to a good beat?
5. You’ve mentioned before that you dislike oversinging like ad-libs or scat singing because they add nothing, have no real musical purpose and only serve to distract the listener from the song. Would you say that the same is true for Queen’s Somebody to Love? It’s one of my favourite Queen songs but I noticed that Freddie sort of “sings over” the song starting at 4:14. Would you consider this oversinging or does it serve some “musical purpose”? Apologies if I misunderstood what you meant by oversinging in songs.
6. Almost 1 year ago, I sent you an unofficial “Kpopalypse best songs from each artist” list via one of your Qrimoles. I think you replied that such a list would be quite hard to maintain. Well, my lazy ass didn’t do much in 2020 BUT I was able to keep up with most of the weekly round ups as they came out. So here’s the updated list for my fellow caonimas! (Some artists/acts have multiple songs list not because they are all equally amazing or anything like that but because I couldn’t tell which tracks you (Kpopalypse) liked the most. And perhaps you don’t really know either haha)

1TYM – Hot
2NE1 – Hate You
2PM – A.D.T.O.Y
4minute – Heart To Heart
4ten – Why
6band – Love Is Like Glass
015B & Jang Jane – Camellia Flower
100% – Bad Boy
912 Crew – Roller Skate
A-Daily – Chu
A.C.E – Callin’
A.KOR – And Go / Always
After School Blue – Wonder Boy
After School Red – Into The Night Sky
After School – Bang! / Flashback / Heaven
Ailee – I’ll Show You
Akdong Musician (AKMU) – Happening / Dinosaur
Alice Vicious – Luna
Amber & Luna – Heartbeat (ft. Ferry Corsten, Kago Pengchi)
Amber Liu – Other People
AOA – Heart Attack
Apink – Dumhdurum / %% (Eung Eung)
April – Oh! My Mistake
Artlover – Heart Of Stone
Aseul – Always With You
Astro – Always Us
ATEEZ – Say My Name
B.A.P – Warrior
B.I.G – 1,2,3
Baby V.O.X Re.V – Never Say Goodbye
Badkiz – Ear Attack
Baek A – Time Slip
Band 88 – Riff-Raff
Bandgirin – Beautiful Days
BeatWin – Your Girl
Berry Good – Angel
BESTie – Love Options
BewhY – Gottasadae
BigBang – Monster
Blackpink – Lovesick Girls
Blanc7 – Drama
Block B Bastarz – Zero For Conduct
Block B – Nalina
Bloomy – Because Of You
BoA – No. 1
Bolbbalgan4 (BOL4) – Fix Me
Bonusbaby – If I Become An Adult
Boyhood – Retro Love
BOYS24 – E
Broken Fingers – My Blood Vessel Filled With Your Scent (ft. Hwayang)
Brown Eyed Girls – Oasis
BTS (Bangtan Boys) – War Of Hormone
Bubble X – Follow
Busters – Pinky Promise
Cacophony – Comme Un Poisson Dans Le Ciel
Chaboom – Lord Of The Flies
Changbin – Streetlight (ft. Bang Chan)
Chanyeol & Punch – Stay With Me
Cherry Bullet – Hands Up
Chillin Homie – Wassup (ft. Eptend)
Chohyun – Last Summer
Choi Sam – Taboo
Cityboy From Seoul – Gossip Maker
CLC – To The Sky
CL – Post Up
Coremagazine – Hymn
Crash – Machines Of Silence
Cravity – Ohh Ahh
Crayon Pop – 1,2,3,4
Cross Gene – Noona You
CSVC – No Mercy
D-Unit – Talk To My Face
D.Holic – Chewy
Dakyung Jung – Love Light
Dalparan – Lies (ft. E-Pak Sa)
Dal Shabet – Have/Have Not
Davichi – Beside Me
Day6 – Time Of Our Life / Shoot Me
Delight – Hate You
Dialogue, DJ Tiz – Yeah
DIA – Mr. Potter
Dorothy – Purple Lips
Dreamcatcher – Scream
Dreamnote – Hakuna Matata
Drunken Tiger – Yet / 8:45 Heaven
Duoxini – Sin Of Society
Dynamic Duo – J.O.T.S (ft. Nafla)
E.via – Hey! (Can I Rap?)
eAeon – Mad Tea Party (ft. Swervy)
Echae En Route – Night Drive
Elris – We, First
ENOi – Cheeky
Epik High – Born Hater
Eunjung – Desire
Everglow – La Di Da
EvoL – Get Up
EXID – I Love You
EXO-SC – On Me
EXO – Power
Eyedi – & New
E’Last – Swear
f(x) – Hot Summer
F-ve Dolls – Can You Love Me?
Fanatics-Flavor – Milkshake
Favorite – It’s Mine
Fiestar – Mirror
Four Ladies – Move
Fromis_9 – Love Bomb
G-Dragon – Crooked
G-reyish – Candy
Gain & Minseo – Imi Oneun Sori (The Sound Of You Coming)
Gangkiz – Mama
Gfriend – Mago
Ghost9 – Flying At Night
Girls Girls – Girls Girls
Girls’ Generation – Chocolate Love
Girl’s Day – Don’t Forget Me
Glam – In Front Of The Mirror
Global Icon – Beatles
Golden Child – One (Lucid Dream)
Gong – OB (ft. Bossagong, Chaboom)
Goofy – The Rule Of The Game
Got7 – Stop Stop It
Great Guys – Last Men
GroovyRoom – Palette (ft. pH-1)
Guckkasten – Hunt / Pulse
Gugudan – A Girl Like Me
Gwangjil Jo – Acrobat
Gyujin – Sign Me! (ft. Lil Asian)
H3ather Sun – Super Single Magician
Ha Dong Geun – Honey Song
Haee – Subway
Ha Minwoo – Let Me Love U (ft. Lee Youngji)
Han Baek – No Matter
Han Damhee – Life Is
Han See In – Border
Hello Venus – I’m Ill
Henry – Fantastic / Trap
Hexagonal Water – Adduddu
HeyGirls – Follow Me
Hint – Tang Tang Tang
History – Dreamer (ft. IU) / Might Just Die / Queen
Hi Suhyun – I’m Different (ft. Bobby)
Hizy – Yoo-Hoo!
Holland – I’m So Afraid
Honey Popcorn – De-aeseohsta
Hong Jin Young – Boogie Man / Love Tonight
Huta – With Melody
Hwasa – LMM
Hyangni – Hot Sauce
Hyomin – Sketch
Hyo – Badster
Hyukoh – Wanli (万里)
Hyuna – Ice Cream
Hyun Young – Sister’s Dream
iKon – Killing Me
Im Chang Jung – Open The Door
Im Dai – You’re Not Me
Imlay – Asteroid (ft. Yangyang)
IN2IT – Run Away
Infinite – The Chaser
Iron – System
Itzy – Wannabe
IU – Love of B
IZ – Final Kiss
IZ*ONE – Sequence
J.Y. Park & Sunmi – When We Disco
Jackson Wang – 100 Ways
Jambinai – Sun. Tears. Red.
Jang Moonbok – Red
Jang Nara – Sweet Dream
JBJ95 – Spark
Jerastar – The Dreams In Dreams
Jimin – Puss (ft. Iron)
Jiyeon – Never Ever (1 min 1 second)
Jung In – UUU
Jungwoo Kim – City Of Lights
Jun Hyo Seong – Find Me (ft. D. Action)
Jun Jin – Wow Wow Wow (ft. Eric)
Junoflo – Bonez
K-Tigers Zero – Side Kick
K-Tigers – Hero
K-Trance – Hey Hey
K.A.R.D – Rumor
K.will – Please Don’t
KARA – Wanna
Katie – Remember
Keembo – Scene
Kid Milli – Why Do Fuckbois Hang Out On The Net
Kim Heejin – I Can’t Forget You
Kim Sawol – Bloody Wolf
Kim Soo Chan – You & Me
Kim Wan Sun – The Dance In Rhythm
Kooki – Choae
Koyote, Linda G – Delete
L.A Galbi – Burn The Ribs
LaBoum – Sugar Sugar
Ladies Code – Hate You
Lady Jane – Just 2 Days
Lana – Take The Wheel
LC9 – MaMa Beat (ft. Gain)
Lee Hi – Rose
Lee Jung Hyun – V
Lee Suhyun (AKMU) – Alien
Lim Ha Ram – Secret Crush
Lim Haram – Secret Crush
Lim Kim – All Right
Lizzy – Not An Easy Girl
Long:D – Spacedog (ft. Summer Soul)
Loona (Solos) – New (Yves)
Loona Odd Eye Circle – Loonatic
Loona yyxy – love4eva (ft. Grimes)
Loona 1/3 – Love & Live
Loona – Star
Lovelyz – Ah-Choo
Love X Stereo – All Over Again / Call My Name
Lucente – Your Difference
Luluz – How About Me?
Luna & Jambinai – From The Place That Is To Be Erased
M.O.A – Run For Your Dream
M.O.N.T – Anti-Hero
Macho King – Credit Utopia
Maka’Maka – Burning Power
Mamamoo – Piano Man / Destiny
MASC – Run To You
MBK Project – Don’t Forget Me
MC Sniper – Pine Tree, Pine Tree, Lush Pine Tree
Melody Day – #LoveMe
Minseo – Is Who
Minu – Like Shoes Under The Curtain
Minx – Love Shake
miss A – Touch
Mister T – Better Man
Mommy Son – Star Song (ft. Eugene Park)
Momoland – Wonderful Love
Monsta X – You Can’t Hold My Heart
Musky – Secret Of My Heart
MVP – Take It
N.Flying – Awesome
N.O.M – I’m not But
N.Tic – Once Again
Nada – Trippin’
Nature – Allegro Cantabile / Dream About U
NCT 127 – Cherry Bomb
NCT U – Misfit
Nightoff – As Always As We Are
Nine Muses – Gun
Numori – Cheer
Nu’est – Face
Oh Hayoung – Don’t Make Me Laugh
Oh My Girl – Secret Garden
Oneus – Valkyrie
Onewe – End Of Spring
ONF – Complete
Ong Seong Wu – Gravity
Oohyo – Butter Chicken
Orange Caramel – Magic Girl
Papaya – Listen To Me [Later on remade and improved on by Oh My Girl]
Park Bom – You & I
Park Chaoreum – Time After Time
Pentagon – Shine
Peur Kim – Manyo Maash
Pink Fantasy – Fantasy
PK – Mask Play
Platform Stereo – Whale
Playback – Playback
Pocket Girls – Bbang Bbang
Postino – Our Cloud
Primary – Don’t Be Shy (ft. Choa, Iron)
Pritz – Sorasora
Psy – Right Now
Purfles – 1,2,3 / Bad Girl
Rainbow – Black Swan
Rania – Style
Red Velvet – Rookie / Russian Roulette
Road Boyz – Show Me Bang Bang
Rocket Punch – Bouncy
Rockit Girl – Little Cat
Romeo – Lovesick
Roots – king (ft. Blasé)
S#arp – 100 Days Of Prayer
S.I.S – I’ve Got A Feeling
S2 – Honeya
Sand Pebbles – What Should I Do [Later on remade and improved on by T-ara]
Sandy – Teen Swag
Saturday – Mmook Jji Bba
Secret – Shy Boy
Seenroot – Paradise
Selin – Sweet Breeze
Seo Taiji – Ultramania
Seungri – Gotta Talk To You
Seven O’clock – Searchlight
SF9 – Now or Never / Mama Mia / Easy Love
Shannon Williams – Why Why
Sha Sha – What The Heck
SHINee – Lucifer
Shin Jung Huun And The Men – Beautiful Rivers And Mountains
Side-B – B Classic
Sistar – I Like That
Sixbomb – Hiccup Hiccup / Wait Ten Years, Baby
Sixth Sense – Feel Me
Skilleto – Get High
Sleepy – Rise (ft. Chaboom) / Trouble (ft. Bang Yongguk)
Slowstones – Slowstones
Smells & Reno – Nothing
Snuper – Platonic Love
So Chan Wee – Tears
Solar – Spit It Out
Soma – Pray
Sonamoo – I (Knew It)
SoReal – My Heart Says
Sori – Initial S
Spectrum – Showtime / What Do I Do
SPEED – It’s Over
Spica – Russian Roulette
StayC – So Bad
Stellar – Vibrato
Stray Kids – Side Effects
Sugardonut – Imagine, Close Your Eyes
Sugar Tint – Heart Ppyong
Sujin – Shadow
Summer Soul – A.I
Sunmi – Pporappippam
Sunny Hill – Pray
Super Junior – Sorry Sorry
Swervy – Art Gang Money (ft. Reddy)
T-ara – One & One / Roly Poly
Tae Jin-Ah – I Love You Darling
Taemin – Criminal
TaeTiSeo – Holler
Taeyeon – Four Seasons
Tahiti – Oppa, You’re Mine
Target – Beautiful
Teen Top – Love Is
Ten to Ten – Favorite
Texas Karaoke – Texas Man
The Boyz – Clover
The FunCity – It Will Be Fun
The Night of Seokyo – Diving (ft. BiNi)
The Seeya – Tell Me
Tiffany – I Just Wanna Dance
Tiny-G – Miss You
To-day – Secret
Tren-D – Candy Boy
Trouble Maker – Now
Truly – Rosera Amadeus
TST (TopSecret) – Love Story
Turboy – Flower (ft. Turboy Friends)
TVXQ – Hot Hot Hot
Tweety – Bad Boy
Twice – Knock Knock
Twofive – What Is At The End Of The Universe?
Two X – Ring Ma Bell
TXT – Run Away
U-KISS – Believe
UNI.T – No More
UN – Wave
UV & Shindong – Marry Man
Uza – S.O.S
Venus – Turn Signal
Verivery – Connect
Very Very Good Life – Dance
Vincent – Burn It All
Vitamin – Now I know
VIXX – Eternity
Wassup – Wa$$up
Weki Meki – Crush
WJSN (Cosmic Girls) – Butterfly / Boogie Up
WJSN Chocome – Hmph!
Wonder Girls – Nobody
Wonho – Losing You
Woo!ah! – Woo!ah!
Woo Yerin – Girl
Woo – Job (ft. Tiger JK & Qim Isle)
Year 7 Class 1 – Oppa Virus
Yery Band – Romeo Mannequin
Yezi – Anck Su Namum
Yoona & Lee Sang Soon – To You
Youha – Island
Younha – Winter Flower (ft. RM)
Yoyomi – Hong Kong Express
Yu Chae Young – Emotion
Zico – Bermuda Triangle (ft. Crush, Dean) / Veni Vidi Vici (ft. DJ Wegun)

good lord i have no life

The poor readers are going to have forgotten what question 1 is by now and are going to get RSI from all that scrolling up and down past that big-ass list to relate your questions to my answers.  Here we go anyway:

  1. “New 80s” (or whatever) – not entirely sure.  It’s not really a proper genre or anything, just something I’ve noticed where pop groups are dropping a lot of very classic 80s synth noises plus having a big focus on melody first and fast, punchy beats instead of slow trap slop plus dumb yelling and screeching.  I’d put Fanatics-Flavor’s “Milkshake” in there too, it doesn’t LOOK the part by any means but it sure sounds it.
  2. How do I research – dpends what’s being researched.  For my k-pop writing obviously the Internet is the only viable tool – the style moves so fast that anything in printed form is out of date before it even gets published.  For other more historical things, university libraries are nice and underrated.  You don’t have to be a student to just roll up at a university library and start reading shit.
  3. I thought the extra tracks on the Epilogue version of “Modern Times” were trash.  The album is in my opinion a better album without them.  “Bonus tracks” usually aren’t, they usually didn’t make the cut for the original album for a damn good reason, but if an album is a hit obviously there’s a big temptation for the company to repackage with the bonus tracks and milk it some more.
  4. You’re right, this is far too deep for Qrimole.  It’s partly a matter of texture (using proper meaty drum sounds, not wimpy machine trash), partly a matter of rhythmic placement (which beats of the bar are emphasised and how), and partly what else they choose to put with the beat besides the actual drums (what is the bassline doing, is it a decent bass sound, are there any ambient effects, or samples, or some attempt at a harmony instrument of some kind etc).  I might post more about it in the music theory series at some point, or maybe elsewhere.  However it sounds like you at least intuitively understand what I’m talking about anyway on some level.
  5. “Oversinging” in the sense that I’m talking about it, isn’t the same thing as “overdubbing” i.e having a second (or third, or tenth) vocal layer.  I mean, you can oversing just fine on the main vocal track without adding a second one.  Good example of that would be for me Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” – there’s no vocal layers, just one annoying-as-piss far-too-overpresent vocal that is doing way more than it needs to, just because Whitney probably likes showing off.  Having said that I really don’t like that particular part of the Queen song that you’ve highlighted, but not really for that reason – the part he’s doing makes a lot of sense in context, I guess “Somebody To Love” is just not one of my favourite Queen songs in general.
  6. You are insane.  Still I hope that readers do find this useful! 

You often mention how kpop artists known for vocal ability (Ailee, Sistar, Mamamoo etc.) are not as immensely skilled as the general public tends to consider them. Who are some musicians (kpop or non-kpop) who you consider vocally skilled? You’ve mentioned a preference for Bom in the past because her voice is very distinct, but I mean in terms of being an expert with one’s own instrument.

Sorry if this question sounds pretentious.

John Tardy.  Completely consistent vocals, never skips or wavers on a single note, excellent microphone technique – flawless, really.  If anyone doesn’t believe this is expert level, try doing his style for a 50 minute concert and see how you go by the end of it.

What do you think of western pop’s retro trend? (Physical, Blinding Lights, etc)

Already answered here, with k-pop examples.

What makes The Weeknd’s good “new 80s” songs slightly less impressive musically than K-pop’s best takes on it last year? I don’t hear any flaws.

Better melodic choice, and generally a denser approach to constructing melody.  It fails more often than not, but it works when it works.  Mind you there’s not much in it, if “Blinding Lights” was a k-pop song it would have made the top 30 somewhere.  Maybe not top 10 though.

People have been divided over the news of iron’s death, some expressing sadness and grief whereas others(including iron’s girlfriend) saying good riddance. Do you think it’s ok for people to laugh at someone’s death even if the guy was a dick his whole life?

I don’t know about laughter, but I might certainly feel a sense of relief, after all at least he’s not hurting anyone any more.  Having said that I knew a guy who hurt a lot of people and even threatened my life once (he was deadly serious too) and when he died quite recently of natural causes I was still bummed out about it.  Not in an “I’m gonna cry” kind of way but more in a “I wish he lived long enough to wake up to himself and learn to be a better person” kind of way.  I think it’s possible to feel “good riddance” type emotions and also feel grief at the same time.  The Internet always wants to put people in “good person/bad person” boxes and have a “cancel list” and all the rest of it but real life is a lot more complex than that, most of the people pushing cancel culture haven’t actually lived much of real life themselves to even know how to process grief properly, even for someone they love, let alone someone who might have issues.  Everything seems morally simplistic and obvious from behind a screen, but it really isn’t.

Last year SM put out their annual SMtown concert for free and this year dreamcatcher’s company also decided to make their come back showcase(more like a mini concert) for free. Do you think this is a wise business decision? Also what are your thoughts on the new dreamcatcher song?

Yeah it’s smart because it’s the brand attachment that makes the money, not the concert tickets.  A fan hooked in by a free concert will probably end up spending more than that on the group in the long term.  Go to my roundup series for my opinions on any new songs.

Hello Oppar,

Can you demonstrate/provide some ideas on how to tackle the solo @ 2:38 for Dreamcatcher – Endless Night?

Here’s a version I’ve worked out:

Although it’s note-for-note as far as I can tell, this is pretty tiring on the 1st and 3rd fingers, and the 2nd to last phrase keeps tripping me up even at 80% speed. Maybe you have some other fretting ideas, or I just need to git gud. Anyways, TIA!

Your transcription is note-perfect, but that’s a really hard way to play that lead.  As you’ve identified, it’s tough with just two fingers doing almost all of the work.  If I were tackling it, I’d spread it out into more of a scalar pattern so I could share the load among my fingers more and get them all involved.  Maybe something like this:

In this tab I’ve marked each group of six, and then the two groups of four at the end, all with asterisks where they start, so you can easily see how it correlates to your own tab.  You could play around with variations of this, you might not like all of my fingerings and that’s fine, but in general I think this type of idea works a lot better, where you’re mostly keeping everything in the same region, rather than having to shift two very hard-working fingers up and up and up.  Try it and see how you go.  You might find a combination of ideas from my tab and your own transcription works best for you.

Hi, Kpopalypse! I have something interesting for you!

Have you ever heard of the most mysterious song on the internet?

The title of this song, the people who wrote and performed it, and its date of composition and place of origin have never been undeniably identified. There’s more info in description of the video.

Some more information, facts and links here, if you’re interested.

Recently Billy Knight from Statues In Motion/Astrodot Billy claimed the song.

Do you think he’s saying the truth?

Also, this makes me wonder how many songs like this are out there somewhere, forgotten by their creators, covered in dust literally and metaphorically?

Seems legit actually.  Certainly sounds enough like his other output, and there’s enough credible detail in his story that makes sense.

There are tons of forgotten songs though, not sure why people thought this one was oh so special.  Literally thousands every year.  People are making songs all the time, and 95% of them never even get released properly.

In the Weekly Roundup, you sometimes discussed a bunch of random stuffs and didn’t write your personal opinion about the song. Normally, you say that “can someone shut up the girl” or something similar if you dislike the song. However, at the YooA’s Bon Voyage review, for example, you talked about the cultural appropriation debate (which is something I am grateful about). From my personal observation, this had happened several times (not many) to other songs as well.

Do you actually like or dislike the song in these particular cases? Or is it the neutral feelings elicited by most BTS and Seventeen songs?

Most of the time in roundup when I rave on about something completely unrelated and don’t even mention the music at all, it’s for a fairly obvious reason – the music just didn’t demand that much attention.  There are exceptions probably, but most of the time that’s the case.  Roundup is literally just the first thing that comes into my head most of the time, I put no thought into it.  So if I don’t comment about the music, it usually meant that for some reason I watched the thing and the music didn’t even manage to make it to the forefront of my mind.  That usually means a bland, average song, not necessarily thuddingly awful but certainly nothing all that good.

Why does Linkin Park suck musically?

Nickelback for people who wear their baseball caps back to front.

Recently, ITZY released English versions of their songs and along with it a music video for Not Shy made with Zepeto, some 3d animated avatar thing. Any guesses as to how much money changed hands, and in what direction, for JYP and Zepeto to agree to do this thing?

My initial gut instinct was that Zepeto would have paid JYP, but thinking about it more, now I’m not so sure. But I don’t know a damn thing about what goes into deals like this. Maybe you don’t either, but maybe at least your guess can be more educated than mine?

Zepeto’s value proposition to JYP is probably along the lines of “you get a music video and don’t have to hire any of the staff needed to shoot a music video, all you have to do is have the girls come in to do a motion capture and compensate us for the time and effort required to create their avatars and the scenes and rendering the animation” whereas JYP’s value proposition to Zepeto is pretty much just “some people watching the music video (5 million views in 5 days as of this writing) might get more interested in Zepeto as a result”

Their BATNAs are respectively “we can find someone else to promote Zepeto for us” and “we don’t need a music video, we can just do a lyric video or no video at all”, so I don’t think either of them was desperate to do business with the other and would have gotten arm twisted into a bad deal.

You already have a blog post about how much it costs to make a music video, so perhaps this question is an interesting twist to it. Unless I’m way off base, this Zepeto music video would have cost a lot less than a traditional one, but I wonder how that affects what goes into the deal between the companies.

The general rule with any type of endorsement thing, whatever it may be, is that the lesser-known entity pays the greater-known entity the money, in exchange for the brand value.  However if we’re talking about two really big brands, there might have been no direct money changing hands in the form of fees, but rather a mutual deal signed that splits profits in certain ways.  It can get really complicated.  My guess is ultimately as good as anyone’s, but given the tier that JYP and Zepeto sit at, I’d say that some kind of mutual deal is probably what happened, rather than a flat “we’ll pay you x amount of money to do the thing” from one party to the other.

Hi Kpopalypse,

Actually, “satirist/critic/polemicist” would be enough and adding “cunt” at the end is pointless, because it undermines your credibility. (Granted, you need to be a somewhat asshole in order to be a satirist, critic or polemicist, but not all assholes are satirists, critics or polemicists.)

I also have a couple more recommendations:
– List all your credentials – whether it’s your BMus (Hons.) plus your post-graduate education in Music, your audio engineering education, or your previous experiences as a band member, just list them all. All of this can help you to establish credibility.
– Write more about the broader critical concerns you have about the k-pop industry, fandom behavior, the rights of idols and representation etc – or at the very least, provide a easily-accessible list of articles where you wrote about the aforementioned topics as counterexamples – so new readers will not misidentify you as a misogynistic cunt equipped with active camouflage. Let’s be honest here: if a new reader is reading your blog and he or she is looking at all the objectification/fap/boobs posts you wrote, you really can’t blame him or her to misidentify you as a misogynistic cunt who sexualize the girls to the point of you’re no longer recognize them as humans, because the prima facie evidences *do* suggest that. (Of course not all objectification are dehumanization, but almost all forms of dehumanization involve objectification, and the line between the two is quite blurred.)
– Make it abundantly clear that your criticisms are not personal, but strictly professional.
– Try to give people you don’t like the benefit of doubt. Yes, some ARMYs are very toxic, and that fellow who said he/she would go after those who don’t like a certain BTS song might mean every word of it, but if you don’t have enough evidences to prove your statement beyond a reasonable doubt, then *maybe* you should just give him/her the benefit of doubt and take that as a failed attempt at humor. If you don’t give them the benefit of doubt, then they have no reasons to give you the benefit of doubt either.
– Be a skeptic, rather than a cynic. Cynicism isn’t healthy, but skepticism is.

Seriously, you can’t blame those Reddit mods for banning your contents – with your reputation, they have no choice but to ban it, or a lot people are going to yell at them. (To put it more bluntly, sharing anything produced by you to any online k-pop community is like showing “God Is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens to a group of religious fundamentalists.) If you’re just as famous as Christopher Hitchens, they will have to tolerate your existence, but you’re not, so they can ban you without any hesitation.

As a side note, I’m not sure if Jeff is ignoring you, or he comes to the conclusion that Billboard K-Town doesn’t need a devil’s advocate……

Hmmm… “satirist/critic/polemicist”… while true, it doesn’t read funny enough.  Also it sounds like I give too much of a fuck about how I’m perceived, “cunt” or no “cunt” at the end.  I did think of something to change my Twitter bio to though.

I like your suggestions but they all take a bit of the fun out of writing.  I don’t want to throw around my qualifications too much, that will just add more fuel to the fire of people who think I’m touting my opinion of music as “important” and it just makes me feel like those snobby assholes at my music uni.  Adding boring disclaimers and links to everything so people can get to the “good stuff” (or the “not good stuff”), nah fuck it.  Let them hate me, the smart ones will work it out, fuck the rest, they’ll either figure it out eventually or they won’t.  People are going to screencap and share all the “naughty bits” anyway.  I don’t want to soften the blow too much, then it just starts reading like fucking Seoulbeats or something.  I’ve got nothing specifically against that site, but there’s already one Seoulbeats, the world surely doesn’t need another.  I guess being vilified and misunderstood is the price I have to pay and yeah it’s annoying but it’s less annoying than compromising on my content to “fit in” (and then probably still getting hated anyway, meaning it would all be for nothing).

If I really wanted to improve my public image the one thing I could probably do is remove the “today’s top posts” in the sidebar because that always shows the boobs stuff and that’s how I get branded as “the boobs guy” even though I write like two boobs posts per year and 100 per year about music.  However I’ve left it up there for years, and I’ve left it up there for a damn good reason, which is the same reason I have the search terms bot.  It’s other people who are clicking on these things, not me – it’s not the posts that I like the most, it’s the posts that you, the reader like the most!  Everyone wants to pretend that they’re the wokest of the woke, but it’s not nobody getting me thousands of clicks per day on all the objectification stuff and like two clicks per year on all the posts about how to write good songs, which is what people pretend to care about instead.

Jeff ignored me but someone who I assume works with him or knows him had words to the effect of “you think we have the money for this?  We barely have jobs of our own…” – which to me just implies a lack of imagination, which then suggests to me that Billboard isn’t a good fit.  Oh well, I tried, just for you!

is there anywhere i can hear some of your old music online? all i can find is your myspace (none of the embedded song players play music anymore), or physical CDs archived in the SA library

I deliberately do not promote any of my current or former music as part of my k-pop writing and never will mention or discuss it.  Nothing to do with fear of doxxing (my real details are a Google search away) or any sense of shame (after all this is Kpopalypse you’re talking about here, shame what is that), but rather, I know that readers who come here are here for k-pop content and not a self-promotion bait-and-switch.  I don’t mind discussing tangenital stuff, like songwriting, music theory, non-k-pop questions like in this post, even posts like the ones about getting through University, or surviving bullying – but pushing my own music?  Absolutely not, I draw a line there.  That’s one of the things I always really disliked about MRJKPOP back when he was a popular YouTuber – while he did actually have some good content, he’d often use his own personal songs to demonstrate concepts and push his own music onto his fans who were really just there to see him react to the new SHINee song or whatever.  That shit always raised a red flag to me, I always thought it was really unfair on his audience to do that and I’ve always decided that I was never going to go out like that.

Are there any YouTube channels you despise as much as CinemaSins? I found it very interesting to watch the rants about that channel as I’m neutral when it comes to CinemaSins.

I’m sure there are plenty, but I don’t actively go searching for content that I hate!  I know that seems strange given roundup, but remember when I do roundup I’m actually looking for good songs.

1. What causes idols to react like this?
I’m assuming that there’s additional stress and sadness that comes from being an idol that lead to him crying on a vlive, but do the parasocial relationships effect idols too? Like I feel some of them are too concerned about their fans. This guy, in his vlive, was like “I want to express how much I love my fans but sometimes I feel like it’s not enough” (rough summary).

2. As I write this it’s been about a year from when one of my my old schoolmates from elementary/middle passed away from a drug overdose. I wasn’t close to him but I saw him around sometimes since we lived in the same neighborhood and we had a few interactions. I was surprised by how sad I was at his funeral, like I couldn’t stop crying. Even worse for me was the next day at school when I told people what happened. One of my friends told me, “Yeah anon he was a serious druggie like what did you expect?” I’m probably naive, but I felt gutted after he that. I didn’t feel he deserved to die, even if he was making stupid decisions. Like a life is a life, right? I was horrified that one of my friends could be that cold towards a dude who hadn’t really done anything wrong.
I don’t want to attach a sob story without a proper question, so: you’ve said before that the music industry is brimming with drugs; have you had friends/acquaintances pass away? How did you deal with it? And why are people so stigmatized against drug users like they’re bad people?

  1. Idols I’ve interviewed have talked about the effect of being brainwashed when you’re in the idol system.  They feel the brunt of the non-reality just like we do, but from the other end.  Combine that with the added effect of the lack of freedom and the environment they’re in – it’s a wonder so few of them go insane.  I would be concerned about their mental health.
  2. I’ve known many people who have died from drug overdoses, some accidental, but mostly not.  Yeah it’s not easy to deal with, most of all I find it frustrating because the people who I’ve lost this way have generally been pretty cool people who I was close to.  Fortunately being the music industry the stigma against drug users isn’t as strong, but it’s there whenever you talk to people who are outside the system.  I think media has a lot to do with it – everybody hates drug users until it’s their son or daughter doing them, then it all changes.

I have a somewhat involved question about your opinion of k-pop’s Golden Age vs. the present day:

From your weekly roundups and year-end lists, I get the sense that truly great k-pop songs are more likely to come from artists and groups on established labels. That makes sense to me, since the big labels can hire the most skilled teams of songwriters and producers. Your roundups always have lots of shitty ballads, coffee-shop music, hip-hop, etc., most of which come from total nugus whom you probably wouldn’t know about if readers or the YouTube algorithm didn’t suggest them.

Presumably, you’d define the Golden Age as a period when the average k-pop song was of a higher caliber than it has been at any time since. However, I’m guessing that your sample size today is much larger, because you have access to so many obscure artists. If you were aware of all the nugu songs that the Golden Age produced, might you rate it less highly on average? Put another (more concrete) way, if you counted out the nugus and compared only the k-pop songs from the bigger labels/artists from the Golden Age and today (say, mid-2020 to now), is it possible that there wouldn’t actually be much difference in average quality? Or would the Golden Age still win?

P.S. I had a dream last night that you released your 2021 favorites list at the end of January because you were so convinced k-pop couldn’t possibly get any better this year.

I guess this is an impossible question to answer.  It would be good to explore the nugus from back then in more depth to see if your theory is correct, but the sad fact is that very nugu artists from back then are actually really hard to find now, as a lot of the content just drops off to radar so completely within a very short space of time, so it would be impossible to do this.  The promotional machines move so fast that tracing the tracks from years ago is incredibly hard to do.  I’m glad I started investigating nugus when I did, but it would have been even better if someone was doing it before me – sadly, I don’t think anybody cared – nobody writing English-speaking content anyway.

Mr. oppar, this music is really strange to me.

The first chorus (0:34) feels very nice to my ears, specially the “crystalline” thing that plays in the back, but in the second one (1:34) suddenly it seems like an pure auditory abuse! What puzzles me the most is that I can’t even know why I feel that!
Maybe you know the reason?
Also, I don’t know if you already knew, but that is a line of glasses made specially for people that have color-blindness, assisting them to see colors that they normally can’t. On the website, one can select a type of glass first or do the color-blindness test before to make sure to not buy the wrong type.
My wish was to buy and send one for you, but I don’t really know your type of, and I am far from being a rich iljin caonima, so all that I can do is suggest it to you.
If you ever consider to make an reaction to the product on your stream, you maybe want to know that the results can be quite emotive for the user. Don’t know if it’s veridical or just a well-made marketing strategy from the company.
The link is here:

The TXT song – in the second part they’ve overdubbed an extra layer of plink plink on top of the plink plink that’s already there.  It doesn’t harmonise that well with the first layer as it’s louder but also less interesting, the simplicity of it might be turning you off.  Mind you I think the whole song sucks honestly but if I can pinpoint what’s bugging you I think that would be it.

I’ve heard of these glasses but it seemed like a lot of money to lay down for something that may not work.  I did the colour blind test anyway but I won’t publish the results as I don’t want anybody buying me the glasses the site recommended (the specs recommended by the site were $349 and $229 – ouch).  That’s a lot of money for something that may not work.  The reason why I’ve been very sketpical about this shit working is that whenever I select the correct colourblind mode in a computer game that supports colour blindness options, the results are always, without fail, NOT better looking.  I always just end up switching it back.  If I were to wear glasses (and I do, just not on stream because I don’t have any problem seeing at computer-screen-range) I’d rather just have sharper vision in general rather than prettier colours.

Heyo Kpopalypse. I’m applying to college (well, technically already applied) this year, but pretty badly flunked my first semester senior year lol. Failed my first two classes in maths and sciences, whereas for all the three years beforehand I had all A’s with some scattered B’s.

I sent a letter of extenuating circumstances to all the schools I applied to, since I got diagnosed with ADHD and had to deal with a really heavy family event over quarantine. Learning online is also absolute dogshit and combined with all my studying/non-studying tendencies (which I now know are because of ADHD), it’s been a few of my worst months ever. I can’t even get medicated until college/when I turn 18/when I move out because my mom is ridiculously anti-medication and has some horribly bullshit beliefs Ritalin will turn me into a junkie.

At any rate, I know consciously that I have really good financial and educational options by attending community college and transferring instead of straight-up going to a 4-year, but I still can’t help but feel like shit all the time. It’s like I held on to the ball for 3 years straight, and dropped it at the worst possible moment. I hope colleges are understanding but also don’t really care and don’t expect anything, because they’re only fucking out to get our money and snag a future elon musk or tim cook for the brand rep anyways.

Do you have any advice for how to feel less bad about this situation I guess? There’s no overbearing parental pressure, since my parents are fine with me going to community college as long as I transfer. I’m also trying to read a book on ADHD and schedule stuff in a way that’ll help me get stuff done too. Honestly, I’m kind of lost and just trying calendars/planners/random tips from Reddit in the hope I’ll be able to get shit done. Apologies this wasn’t much of a question lol, but like… any words of advice from someone who already took a non-traditional path might be helpful.

I think you’re thinking about it all too much.  Not point worrying about what might’ve been.  Take the above question – would my early lists have been better if I had more nugu awareness at the time?  Yeah, maybe I missed out on some really cool gems that are now lost in time.  But we’ll never know, and maybe I didn’t.  Also, what if I close another path besides music for academia, I’d surely have more money now, right?  Could I have picked anything less profitable?  But – on the other hand, if I picked something like Engineering, would I have made money but been full of regret that I didn’t pursue my passion?  Maybe this transfer thing might be a good thing, maybe the new college will actually suit you better.  At some point you just gotta accept things and go with the flow – you can’t control everything and you can’t turn back the clock.  Just look forward to the next thing, make the best choices available to you and do what you can, let go of the other stuff, all the “what ifs” are a waste of your time that should be spent in the present.

Hi kpopalypse, I’m so sorry for probably using the wrong way to send you this but i have a suggestion for random bonus video of the week If there’s a better way to send you these things please share 🙂

Email is best (click “about” at the top of the site).  Curious Cat may also work – or it might backfire.  Warning: I am 0% likely to include a video that isn’t k-pop related or have at least some vague Korean or k-pop connection.  Generally though, the picks are called random for a reason and very very rarely do I use other people’s suggestions.

Hello kpopalypse dude. I need some advice. Sorry for how lengthy this is going to be but it’s late night/early morning right now where I live and there’s been a snow storm going on for the past few days and apparently the part of the country I live in is affected by it the most so I’m kinda bored to be honest.

So basically, I’ve had depression for approximately the last 6 six years. It started when … [a shitload of details deleted]

Whatever, give me your opinion, please? Sorry for my poor english, I failed the last two english courses I took.

I’m not a mental health expert, and it seems to me like that might be what you need.  I think depression can be situational, but you know when you’re really depressed because you’ll be miserable even when your life is actually really good and there’s no reason for it.  My first step would be to see a (good) doctor, and explore your options there.  That happened to me and fortunately my fix was quick and easy (vitamin deficiency) but I was probably just lucky.  You might end up needing a psychologist or psychiatrist, or maybe you just need some people to really talk to properly about this stuff.  Do you have anyone who you’re properly talking to at the moment?  It’s nice that you can unload onto me but the thing is that if you don’t have that kind of person in your real life who you can tell everything to, it’s going to make things so much harder.  Crazy as it sounds you might want to talk to your parents about this stuff in the same kind of detail that you’ve told me, perhaps pick the most sympathetic one and see how it goes.  Parents may not always “get” you but if they’re any decent at parenting they do love you and will care if you’re going through hard times.  Good luck.

Okay, sir, I know that there are at least two groups as far as kpop is considered whose music is totally unable to move you in any way – BTS (with the honourable exception of War of Hormone and the dishonourable exception of Life Goes On), and Seventeen (with no exceptions, honourable or dishonourable). How would you take a BTS or a Seventeen song, and change it musically so that you like it? If you could, of course. If not, then, what is it about War of Hormone that is so appealing?

Throw it away and write something completely new, I would think!

War Of Hormone works because of the guitar riffs and that they put some harmony behind those riffs as well.  Plus the beat.

Sorry about the upcoming rant, I have nowhere to get this out.

I’m really fucking angry all the time and I don’t know what to do. I’m known by most people around me to not be an angry person, I don’t raise my voice or say rash things most of the time and if I’m angry I usually tend to cry because I don’t know how else to take it out. But these days I’m angrier than ever and I don’t know what to do. I’m home with my family all the time because of COVID, my mom is annoying as fuck working from cause she hates her job and decides to take it out on everything around her when muted and my dad speaks like an incarnate of Trump. They’ve been pretty abusive my whole life and prevented from me from doing a lot of normal things but at least before COVID I could sneak out or just stay out for a long time but I’m stuck in my room all day doing online uni while hearing my mom yell about her job and my dad being a deadbeat. I hate my parents whatever, but all this anger I never let out at them.

They make me out to be the worst child ever just because they want to evoke a reaction out of me but I never give them the reaction so it makes them more mad and then they call me selfish because they think if I’m not getting upset at what they’re saying I’m just sociopathic and have no feelings but it’s because they just want an excuse to hit me if I speak back. So I never give a reaction to these idiots but even when everything is normal I feel irritated just to hear their voice or have them breathe near me and now I get pissed off when my siblings are near me too even though I have nothing against them I just really can’t stand anyone anymore.

The problem is over the course of this year my thoughts have gotten increasingly violent. I have fantasies about choking my mom and beating up my dad and I feel like I would be really happy if my dad got into a car crash the next day and never came back. I know these thoughts are wrong, I’ve barely ever yelled back in my life but I feel as if every day it gets even worse and I’m afraid I’ll snap one day. I mean I don’t think I’ll literally **** my parents but I might do something incredibly rash. I just don’t know how to deal with my anger, this is the first time I’m ever admitting this stuff. Therapy is nearly inaccessible right now and the therapy rules are so fucked up around here that if I admitted this I think they’d call the cops on me. I don’t want my girlfriend or best friend to think I’m crazy or get scared of me so I don’t tell them either. I want a punching bag but if I ever purchased one it would make my parents mad because they think I should never have a reason to be angry. To be honest if this ever gets the best of me I’ll probably end up taking it out on myself rather than them but whatever, I just don’t want to deal with any of this anymore with no end in sight.

Sorry about that just had to get it out. Maybe you can just recommend some nice angry music for me to listen to if you have any and that’ll help me out :p

That’s one of the things that sucks about COVID – enforced isolation.  It’s really increasing the domestic violence rate in a lot of places.

I can’t relate as I really don’t get angry.  But things that I know work for people who do have a temper:

  • punching bag is a great idea but if you’re not allowed to have one you can improvise with pillows and other soft shit that won’t break your hands until you can finally get out of the house and get that gym membership, any other exercise you can do in your room also works, youtube “home workouts” there’s a lot of stuff out there now cos everyone is locked down
  • this album, also this one, maybe this, I dunno, could link several more…
  • learn a fucking instrument and how to write songs, with the lockdown on now is a great time,  it’s a great creative outlet for anger, many friends of mine started bands this way for exactly this reason

See how you go with those, those three things got a lot of people I know through some tough times.

So ever since the YG scandals in 2019, Korean public hasn’t been too kind to idols with many boycotting idols completely. Some of the groups are also old so public lost interest in them. Basically only groups that are performing well in Korean charts right now are BTS, Blackpink and Oh My Girl. OMG could be the next Momoland for all we know. Even Itzy and Aspea are not coming anywhere near the success that their senior groups recieved. Maybe charting like BP, old Twice is too much to ask for but new groups aren’t even reaching charting of Girls Day/AOA at their peak. Boy groups are faring worse than girls because best performing one (TXT) charts at 90’s for one week. Treasure/Enhyphen( BTS’S labelmates) chart in 800’s. My question how are these groups going to survive because cfs for girl groups are related to how well they chart and due to Covid touring/ fansigns are shut down so there is no oppurtunity for them to make any money. So are groups going to disband frequently and will Korea stop producing idols?

The idol system isn’t going anywhere, but the popularity of idols within Korea is always overestimated by international fans.  Yes, the shit is definitely very popular but it’s not the only thing that’s popular, that would be like saying the only pop that’s popular in America is Justin Bieber while ignoring that there is Megan Thee Stallion or whoever.  There just isn’t enough room for multiple k-pop idols to be super dominant on the charts, and never will be.  That’s why Korean business looks so much to international markets now – the real market is now global.

Hi kpopalypse oppa!

I hope you are well 💃🏻

So a few weeks back, some song was released (I don’t remember which one); I saw in your roundup that you said well here’s an example of the retro (or 80s) throwback done poorly. I don’t remember which song it was…. nor did I hear it back then. But I’ve been listening to Youha’s abittipsy NONSTOP and for a moment I was like shit this trend is the best thing to have happened to kpop. Anyway long story short, do you remember which shitty song that was? Or any recent kpop song doing the 80s retro thing where it ends up poorly? Would appreciate a reference, thanks!

Nope, can’t remember.  Probably actively tried to forget actually!  Someone else can dig through the roundups until they find it and hopefully put it in the comments for you!

I’d like to be the kind of person who’s able to listen to a song and be like “okay that’s a 1 5 4 1 progression’ but after a couple years of off-and-on trying I still find myself completely unable to hear chord progressions in songs. When listening to piano I’m unable to follow even the first step of “listen for the bass note”- the chord just sounds like one big sound to me, I don’t understand how people distinguish individual notes. When listening to something like a kpop song, forget it- I can’t even figure out which instrument is supposed to be playing the chords. According to the NIDCD’s self-diagnostic test, I’m not actually tone deaf, so I’ve got at least that going for me? I’m 24, received literally absolutely no music training when I was younger (went to a school that didn’t incorporate music into its curriculum at all), and I’m wondering if I’m just past the age where I can train my ear to hear these things. So far I’ve tried a couple of different ear-training apps, but have plateaued on them all, and tried learning songs by ear but gave up when I kept getting everything wildly wrong with no sense of progress. I also know a decent amount of music theory, specifically how keys are constructed, the difference between the different modes, how chords are built on a scale, and their different qualities (major, minor, diminished, etc). I just haven’t been able to translate book knowledge into something my ear actually hears. Do you have any advice? (Even if that advice is just “yes give up and find a different hobby”, that’s still helpful!)

and

How do you listen to songs and break down all the pieces? When I read your roundups and end of year lists it can be hard to follow exactly what you’re getting at because I don’t hear it. A good example is Loona’s new songs. I can break down So What pretty easily because the mix seems pretty hollow, but I can’t get anywhere with Star because the mix seems so full. How do you sit down and listen to a song in such a way that you can hear the individual elements as opposed to hearing it all together as a single mass of sound?

It’s not the be all and end all, to be able to do that – remember that most musicians can’t!  I know that I can do it easily and sometimes I think that’s just normal, but it’s really not, my bandmates remind me of that from time to time, they like to call me a “robot” and shit llike that – and these dudes in these bands I’m in are people who have been playing for decades!  This sort of active listening can be trained but it’s a skill that takes a LOT of practice and probably a really good teacher to sit with you and correlate it all and coach you just specifically in that.  I’d drop a music theory post on it but it’s something that’s almost impossible to teach by text anyway.  Maybe you should join the weekly livestreams and just hit me up with listening questions, I don’t mind talking music theory on livestream.  Can’t promise miracles though, it does seem to be really hard for almost everybody so my main advice is don’t feel bad or discouraged like you shouldn’t be doing music or whatever, because 99% of musicians I’ve met are just like you in this respect.

Hi Oppar. Since this question is not Kpop related so if you want you can skip this then it’s alright (but I still want to ask because I’m curious). So I have read your post on the ask.fm and you said that you don’t like anime in general because they are generally suck in writing (both in plot and character portrayal, especially female ones), which makes me curious that whether you find good (or at least decent) writing, whether it’s the plot or character writing or character portrayals, in films/books/… (other types of media outside anime)? I’m also curious about your meaning behind “misogynistic portrayals in anime” (here I swear I’m not trying to be passive aggressive) because you are probably the only one I have ever met commented like that towards those anime (the classic ones you mentioned in the answer). Most people I met always said that the female portrayals in those anime are good and well-written, and while I don’t think those female characters are that good but I don’t think it’s necessarily misogynistic either (as I think the writing of both male and female characters are not that different from each other). So I got curious what aspects make you think the writing is misogynistic? I apologize in advance if my way of writing is confusing

I would need a whole entire spot of its own to tackle misogyny in anime, it’s thesis-worthy stuff.  But very quickly dot points:

  • female characters are screechy and annoying
  • like SERIOUSLY screechy and annoying harpies that go OFF about the tiniest shit, super stereotypical “nagging woman”, “she’s so crazy” stuff
  • or just like little lost babes in the woods who can’t function without “strong male” guidance
  • or generally otherwise depicted as irrational and stupid, completely ruled by emotion etc but ThAnK GoD ThErEs A SenSiblE GuY AroUnD to knock some sense into her
  • oh, also materialistic and superficial as fuck
  • also always getting involved with guys for insipid reasons that wouldn’t work in reality outside some asshole living in a sexist society’s head
  • don’t forget the rape
  • but even when they’re not showing rape a lot of the courtship borders on sexual assault in the same way classic Hollywood used to in the 1950s
  • hentai actually has better portrayals of sexuality because even though it’s equally classy-sexy at least it’s designated “fantasy” and not trying to push itself as some kind of honest characterisation or art or whatever fuck shit

That’s just off the top of my head there’s tons more.  Anyway this isn’t animepopalypse so I’ll thank all readers not to ask me follow up questions cheers.

Hi! Kpop fan here. Just found your site a week or so ago and plowed through the content…good stuff! I enjoy your humor and writing style, and it’s nice to see someone actually put some effort into deconstructing the actual music of Kpop now and then.

First off: you’re absolutely right about America’s relevance, we’re falling apart at the seams and are the laughing stock of the world, at least for anyone who gives a shit enough to even bother to laugh…makes me think of those YA dystopias like The Hunger Games that never really mention other countries, I figure the point is the rest of the world is like, “screw those guys, let them just destroy themselves with their bullshit” and it seems eerily likely now.

Anyway, to my point: I’ve been listening to kpop for several years now, and I actually credit it for helping pull me out of a deep depression after my mother passed. I always was a huge metal and industrial fan and really found that most of the lyrics were so depressing that I couldn’t listen to them anymore. With kpop, the songs that I mainly listen to are high energy, sound positive regardless of what the lyrics actually are (which I honestly 99% of the time don’t give a shit about anyway, since it’s typical pop nonsense) and a lot of the videos are a pleasure to watch.

I’ll go ahead if asked (rarely am) and say “oh, I’m a Once,” or “I’m an Elvis,” but I really can’t stand the fandoms, since they’re as toxic, if not more so, than the anti-fandoms. (Which should not even be a thing, I will never grasp how someone can bother to put so much energy into actively hating something.)

You’ve wrote on this before, and about separating the music from the rest of it. Question is, do you think it’s possible, or even healthy, to try and have a middle ground? I follow the news, I have my biases, I watch the stupid “cute” videos that exist only to pander to fans, etc. But at the end of the day, I like to think I do so because it’s fun, not because it’s reality in any sense of the word. I think the marketing for kpop is genius, but that it can be mentally devastating on the people it targets that actually buy into it.

Thanks!

Yeah I think that’s a perfectly healthy way to engage with it.  I think AustralianSana falls into this category – she enjoys and likes fan content, she’s also smart enough to know that the world of fan content isn’t “the real reality”.  A lot of my writing is engaging with fan content too, it’s just keeping it at arms length.  Part of the way I write about idols is all about snapping people out of that mode where they buy so heavily into the fantasy.  Stuff like characterising Olivia Hye as a jerk or Chuu as a serial killer is part of that, because no label would do that, and it’s not like I’m trying to insult them, I’m just saying “well, if you’re going to bend reality this way, I’ll try bending it that way”…

Hi Kpopalypse! Started reading your blog again after about a year of getting distracted by other shit, but I just wanted to use use this very late opportunity to thank you for introducing me to Ghost! I fell for their music really hard and was able to go see them in concert shortly before the pandemic and it was a BLASTTTTT. I went alone and they had me going fucking apeshit over every song. By far the most fun/zany/sexy(?) concert I’ve ever been to. Cool costumes, cool music, cool guitar solos, cool crowd, etc.. Would recommend to anyone reading! Did you like Mary on a Cross? I sure did!! Their best performance on the set list!
Alright signing off for now! I guess I just wanted to share my enjoyment because it’s been over a year and I still think about that concert sometimes and listen to their music all the time…XOXO!

Cheers!

Kpopalypse oppar, how should I cope with having very different political views from all my friends and knowing they would all hate and not speak to me if they knew what they were? I won’t tell them because I’m not that stupid but I hate lying and find the whole situation really depressing.

No need to lie.  Personally I’d just let it all out, but then I’m an asshole maybe I dunno.  You don’t know how they’d react really if you’ve never seen it happen.  Or just could just try and be subtle and see what happens.  Try taking a position which is just a little bit away from theirs just to see how they handle it.  Or tell them in advance you’re playing “devil’s advocate”.  That’ll give you a good idea about whether you can go full 180 on them, and it’s often the best way to get people to see things differently anyway, rather than going into full combat mode.

I really want to quit my job due to its insane hours (the industry culture norm) and meager pay, which is known to be really difficult to negotiate for a raise. Above all, I don’t feel inspired doing this work – every project has me high-strung, anxiously procrastinating until the last second, then delivering the bare minimum (which is somehow still considered acceptable enough that I haven’t been reprimanded so far?). All of which has slowly been crushing my mental well-being – I feel anxious, dragged down, and drained every day. However, I feel bad for my team and for my bosses, who are all quite nice people doing their best. Plus, this industry is what I’ve earned a degree in, and if I were to quit, I think it would limit my career advancement possibilities in the future.

I’m not worried about money if I were to quit this job, since I have a freelance gig in a different industry that pays almost 3x more (and this is only part-time), which I actually am really good at & feel excited doing. I’ve actually had to turn down a lot of freelance work offered since I’m too busy with the grueling day job. But this is a less prestigious field, and maybe won’t have the kind of long-term payoff or security of the other job.

I think it’s pretty clear that for my well-being and prosperity, I should ditch the day job and collect money while I can from the freelance job, but I’m really hesitant to do so… Because 1) I feel bad about letting down the people at this job, 2) I don’t even know what to say to quit – I guess I’m chicken this way, and 3) it might mean I have to reconsider my future career/work plan, and the great unknown is a very scary place to tread. Do you have any advice for me oppar?

You can mitigate 1. by giving notice.  If you give them two weeks notice then they can work out a plan to replace you more seamlessly.  2. is as simple as writing an email saying “this is my formal notice that I am quitting” because of reasons x y z etc, just be polite and thankful for your time at the company and it’ll probably be received well.  3. I can’t help you with, there’s no guarantees in life but hey you still have the old job on your resume so you could probably get another job in that field down the track with little issue if the new position tanked.  I think you should go for the new stuff though and see where it takes you, that’s what I’d do, I’d be writing that resignation letter faster than you can type “3x the pay plus I actually enjoy it a bit”.

Genuine question, hoping for some enlightenment, please don’t hate on me… Is it actually p3do if the people in question don’t really look young in particular??? Specifically, feeling attracted to hot people on Tiktok and then finding out they’re minors, which makes me feel creeped out, but doesn’t negate the fact that I find them attractive in the first place. I’m in mid twenties if this matters, and idk I’d say these people just look like how my peers look, give or take. But I’m worried that this is a slippery slope to pedo justification logic. Also it’s not like I’m looking to date a minor, no thanks I’m not about that life

The optical illusion generated by cameras tends to make people put on weight, and it also tends to artificially age them.  This isn’t idle speculation or made-up bullshit, the lens illusion is actually well known and it’s the real reason why so many glamour industries have gravitated towards stick-skinny beauty standards since the advent of television (before TV was widely in people’s homes, beauty standards were very different).  So what I’m saying, is that the people that you’re accidentally attracted to on TikTok, or in a k-pop music video for that matter, if you actually met them in real life you probably wouldn’t be that attracted to them anyway and you’d probably feel a bit creepy and strange for even thinking that way in the first place.  However there would also be many people in your shoes who have no intentions of breaking any laws and just genuinely oops up because they just can’t tell.  Just like (as I was saying in an earlier answer) grief is simplified and dumbified when perceived through a mediator, so is beauty and attractiveness.  I bet any money that if I actually met every single person on my bias list, I’d end up completely switching up the order… and if I started having conversations with them, I’d probably then switch it all up a second time.  Nobody should take evaluations of beauty online (yours, mine, TC Candler’s or anyone else’s) too seriously, it’s not really hard proof of anything really except who is gifted at working a camera (on both sides of the lens)…

Hi Kpopalypse Oppar,

I just saw #StopSexualizingWonho hashtag trended in Twitter. It’s probably after his latest selfie that makes people drool over him. Is it actually okay or not okay to objectify/sexualize idols? They live in a constant physical appearance pressure to “satisfy” the fans, hence actually they (or their company) are catering the fans’ needs to objectify them as something fans want, right? Or is it me that probably could not make a difference between objectification and sexualization?

Secondly, this sexualization also reminds me of how often Kpop fandom culture associate the idols as gay or part of gay culture. At least on Twitter, when people telling certain member is “so gay” or has “gay moments” or the equivalent terms, I read the response and many supporting the comments as the fact, even though it is unclear. I know it’s just a joke, but isn’t labeling someone into certain sexual orientation also part of sexualization? If so, is probably Kpop fandom has this unspoken acceptable-not acceptable rule on sexualization scale? I know I’m probably sound really stupid, but I always think these things to be two face of the coin kind of issue.

Thank you

…so because of all this, as a fan and/or a “consumer of content”, the most rational way to engage with an “appearance of beauty”, whether that be Wonho, or Shindong, or IU, or whoever else, is as an object.  Objectification actually makes sense, because with the media blinders on that’s all you’re really getting, but let’s be clear, it’s not you or me who are doing the objectifying and sexualisation anyway – the k-pop industry is serving you ready-made “sexual entertainment objects”, we’re all just consumers on the receiving end, whether we want to be or not.  When I write a boobs list or an objectification post or fashion class or whatever else that focuses on appearances, I’m not really saying “I am objectifying person X”, what I’m really saying is “agency Y is objectifying person X – what sort of object did they create, what are they actually doing?”  That’s where the critical aspect comes in.  Applying that to your questions, all concepts of “the audience sexualising the members” are null and void.  If we want to talk about real sexualisation of idols, forget about yourself, Kpopalypse, Asian Junkie, r/kpopfap, that other reddit where they fap over their phone screens, some random Twitter people, fan culture, kinky fanfiction, even the news media – these people don’t matter, they are all just reacting.  Instead of focusing on the reaction to the image, what I’m saying is let’s focus on the people directing the image.  Let’s talk instead about video directors telling idols to slip into underwear for “test shots” and then using them in the final product without consent.  Let’s talk about talent scouts and CEOs at the big companies who have “an eye” for recruiting girls and boys as young teenagers because they can see the potential for them to turn into the nation’s new crush in five years time if they are trained in sexy dancing and same-sex fanservice while they’re still minors.  Let’s also talk about the smaller companies that exist as fronts for adult services, where the nugu music video is really just a glorified sex work resume.  Let’s talk about how people in entertainment are introduced to each other behind the scenes as “people who can help with your career” and what that might entail, and how prostitution in South Korea consists of 1.66% of GDP, five times the amount of BTS.  Let’s also talk about the complete power differential in all of this.  In the context of all that, nothing that you or I might say, or think, or write, about some idol’s public image will make any difference, the best we can probably do is just point out the very constructed nature of all of it, so people can appropriately distance themselves.  At your service.

I had this morbid fascination with earthquakes and tsunamis in 6th grade. I blame this on the fact that I live in one of the most earthquake prone states in US as well as having a lot of repressed anger lol.

I guess that would do it

What are your thoughts on this version of Nonstop?


It still has the post-chorus breakdown but at least it’s not trap anymore.

Not much of an improvement, but then it’s hard to judge as the backing band seems too soft, they don’t really get the balance right between the live band and the pre-recorded elements.

I just wanna commend you for having the patience to listen to so many horrendous ballads and acoustic fanfare. I probably would have long defenestrated myself off the 2nd floor of my house with how frustratingly meandering most of them seem to be if I were in your position.

Also thanks for being such a humorous and witty individual. Your material is a nice breath of fresh air from the faux-wokeness of much of the kpop interweb. Discovering your blog has made the latter half of my 2020 ever so slightly more interesting 🙂

Cheers!  Yes I do feel like a good defenestration from time to time, but the good songs keep me sane.

What do you think of BTS Parasites like Emma Stone,Matthew McCounaghey,John Cena and Billie Eilish.

I don’t know exactly what you mean by this.  I guess I don’t follow the clownery of popular culture enough.

I’ve just been diagnosed with ADHD (inattentive, impulsive AND hyperactive types) a month away from turning 20, and at the same time that it explains a lot and now I know it’s not my fault and that I’m not just lazy and weird, it also has kind of (exaggeratedly) felt like a death sentence. I now know that it’s something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life, it being the single thing that has caused most of my problems for my entire life. I’ve tried so hard over and over to adapt and try to be a “normal” and productive person all my life and it has just led to frustation and feeling useless and stupid, I’m discouraged and not really believing therapy will help me at all. I’m just feeling hopeless and heartbroken and I don’t know what to make of this, some advice from a third party that’s not my parents who are pretty fucking tactless about this stuff would be nice.

Hey diagnosis is good, it’s a good first step – now you know what you’re dealing with.  The thing with mental health conditions is that they can be managed.  It’s not a question of curing but rather realising your limitations and working out how to function, with support.  Millions of people do it, it’s very possible and you would be amazed how many people suffer mental health conditions and are still able to have very functional lives.  It’s certainly not the grim sentence it was many years ago, there are a lot of people going through this.  Try reaching out to some support groups for advice (also this response goes to the person above with depression who wrote me the huge long thing that I edited, by the way).

Oppar, since you seem like an elder who has lived a lot and intensely, do you have any suggestion of activities to do for people who are already bored of the quarantine? I’ve been doing the same things every single day and I am already tired and need to do something different and refreshing.

Learn. An. Instrument.  Already know one?  Learn a completely different one.  I picked up an erhu (Chinese violin) a while back but I can’t really play it yet, if I was under harsh lockdown I would probably break that out and learn some erhu Smoke On The Water.

ok so you’ve answered several questions about people asking you/taking your advice. but how do you feel about people taking advice from… idols? recently one favorite of mine said something that really struck with me: about sticking with a job for a while because you need to learn something out of it before deciding whether it’s a path worth going through or not, and also to forge your own way and take others’ advice without losing your sense of true self. do you think it’s delulu-ish of me to take what an idol says to heart, just because I interpret some of his advice as things he personally went through (and IMO best sort of advice is given by people who have had experience in a thing) doesn’t mean he’s a super wise person… this just devolved into ranting. TL;DR when idols say stuff that is important, do you discard it as it being written by some intern or would you think on it?

Well everyone has opinions and perspectives and sometimes an outsider’s perspective can be helpful, no matter who it is.  Obviously an idol isn’t going to have an intimate knowledge of your life, but they might at least have some empathy and some thoughts about it.  I’d just be wary of taking it as either the gospel truth OR complete rubbish just because of where it’s coming from.  Treat it the same as if a random stranger you never knew gave you advice (like me, perhaps).  You’d remember it, but would you act on it, well that would depend on what they said and how it applied to you.

I was reading your old reviews and in a positive review about Speed’s song “Pain the love of heart” you commented that Brave Brothers made a much less interesting twin version for Teen Top “To You”. I would like to understand why you think this, whether it is a technical issue or just your taste.

I just think the melody they used in the SPEED song is a bit more interesting and less repetitive.  Other than that there’s really not much difference between them!

How do I stop being so emotionally dependent on someone? I have a boyfriend with whom I have a very healthy and stable relationship with, we never fight, we know and understand eachother deeply and have a lot of fun together and we intend to be together for a long time. But what makes the relationship wonderful is at the same time what fucking scares me to no end, because I’m pretty sure I’d really end up killing myself if something were to happen and we weren’t together anymore. I have several mini anxiety attacks a day imagining vivid scenarios where he died or was permanently impaired or something. I had undiagnosed ADHD until my twenties and that led to me being pretty lost and hopeless with regards to my future. I don’t have plans for myself or my career, I don’t really know what I like doing or what I’m good at because I abandoned so many things, I suck at mantaining close friendships, I have a ton of self-esteem problems, etc… that leads to me only really seeing a future for myself where I’m together with him, and that’s really scary, because I truly hope it happens, but what if it doesn’t?

That doesn’t sound super-healthy to me, I think you’re right to be concerned.  I think the way to feel less co-dependent on someone else is to explore more of what’s within you.  I’m not suggesting break up or something, but what I do think is try to broaden your horizons in some other kind of way, so that way all your eggs aren’t in one basket (him).  It might be reaching out to a new friendship group, or forming a new hobby or interest, or something else.  Something that you can definitely pursue on your own, that has no involvement of him and that he wouldn’t be into anyway whether he knew about it or not (so he doesn’t feel tempted to “crash the party”, which would defeat the purpose).  I’ve never really felt the way you do in this situation, but if I did, that’s what I’d try.

Writing this from January 7th, with Biden’s electoral win recognized by the Congress amidst all that immigrant-haters complete mess of riot. I expect that American Civil War II didn’t started yet when you read this, oppar!
I was educated in a family that passed VERY idealistic view and values. Because of that, it’s kinda hard to me to read people’s intentions.
Could you, with all the adequate privacy needed, share some story of someone that you knew that used morally questionable sexual tactics to ascend in their career, please?
It’s honestly difficult to find reliable stories in the middle of so much gossip in real life, and even worse on the internet. And that’s so far away from things that I would ever do myself that I can’t even imagine what a more “usual” person would ever really do to reap some benefit to himself/herself.
If possible, I would want to request you to not share a story of someone that actually is a sex worker, but from the people that would be more conflicted with the idea of having sex for interest but did it anyways.
Have an awesome month!

I can but I won’t, as even with privacy controls it wouldn’t be appropriate.  At the time of writing the USA is still together so I hope you’re okay and didn’t get stampeded by Proud Boys or whatever.

Recently I have had feelings for a guy I know, and have confessed this to nobody but my therapist. I want to tell my family and friends so they can help me process things, but (as above) I am also a guy, which means admitting my feelings would also means coming out as an LGBTQABCXYZ etc., and considering my father leans farther to the right politically and the general stigma at my school against such folks, might not be good for me. Should I confess, or just keep things to myself for now? I am planning on confessing my feelings to him soon, so it is also possible people may also find out naturally. Thank you Kpopalypse hyung, and best wishes

This probably sounds like crazy tactics but I think the best person to talk this through with at least in the first instance might be the guy you have feelings for.  Assuming it’s safe to do so and he’s not actually a raging homophobe in disguise, I assume you’ve already “background checked” him to some extent here.  It’d be a really good way to breach the topic, by the time you get to the end of your “how do I come out dilemma”, you’ll probably be able to tell just by his reactions and suggestions whether he’s actually into you or not, which will them make you surer about what the next step should be.  On top of that, he might also have some really good advice, as if he’s gay as well I’m sure he’s been through similar situations.

do you have any tips on giving good blowjobs? also is there something i should know about having sex for the first time (as a female)?

Blowjobs:

  • Although they call it a “blow job” you don’t actually blow
  • They also call it “sucking dick” but you don’t actually need to suck
  • Not all guys like it the same, tell him you take direction
  • If you’ve ever seen Belle Delphine suck a dick – not like that.  Nobody likes it like that.  Try Yua Mikami in SSNI-802 as a good starting point.

Sex in general:

  • Condoms actually work pretty well if you folllow the instructions, just keep fingernails away from them.
  • Most first times (for men or women) are actually kind of crap.  Mine certainly was.  Failure is okay, nobody is expert first try.
  • A sense of humour is good, it can help make things less tense if there are nerves.  Just don’t laugh AT people.
  • Communication helps a lot, don’t underestimate the value of it.  If you don’t tell him, he won’t know!
  • Porn stars are sexual athletes, you don’t need to try and compete with that.  Stick to the basics until you get confident.

“. . . k-pop really needs a female figure to break through who defies all the current norms, but who is also just so big anyway that nobody can really ignore her, to really get the tide moving. Someone like a Madonna figure – she really changed the way a lot of westerners looked at female performers, and really pissed off a lot of people while doing so. While I’m not a fan of most of Madonna’s music, the power that she held was unequivocally healthy and changed a lot of things. K-pop needs that kind of moment, but the closest they have to that right now is someone like IU who isn’t radical enough yet to really change the game (although she’d like to).”

This was interesting to read. I read your interview with Kim Nayoon and agreed strongly with her take on this, as well as your continuation of the thought in January’s QRIMOLE. The conclusion, though, about IU potentially being that one person to break through made me pause. After years as someone that keeps decently updated on what happens in kpop, I don’t see that in IU. And there’s nothing wrong with us seeing that differently, it was a good moment for reflection and increased interest in what led to you and I having very different people in mind completely. As a woman who doesn’t fit into Korea’s standards in any way, nothing about IU makes waves to me. She fits in quite well, actually. If anything, among the options as of now, the members of Mamamoo have the most potential to do that, especially Moonbyul (her quest for genderless music and style of dress) and Hwasa. Mamamoo is very well known and Hwasa’s fame is at an all-time high, growing each day with everything she does and touches becoming a hot topic. They’ve received a lot of backlash for doing things that actually push the needle a bit and get conversations going around what women “can(not)” and “should (not)” wear, what feminism in South Korea is and is not, femininity and masculinity, etc. There is also growing sentiment among some Korean women about them being viewed as “empowering” idols for women and girls.

I know you’re not much a fan of their music (their producer-CEO needs to give it up and stop holding damn near all of their title tracks hostage, all their in-house producers, really), but they are, and have been, making waves in terms of shaking the table while maintaining status as a fairly well respected and widely recognized group.

That wasn’t much of a question. Apologies. Didn’t want to sit on that and just move on without saying something. I have more to say, especially about Irene being the example used during the Kim Nayoon interview and the factors at play that possibly contributed to THAT being top of mind (as opposed to the activity and backlash of self-identified and -proclaimed Korean feminists towards certain female idols these past two years), but this is long enough already. Happy New Year and best of luck with everything.

Cheers!  Yeah I agree Mamamoo members could be in with a shot, they certainly have the star power to some degree plus the popularity with females.  I guess we’ll see how far they can push it.  I’m not super optimistic about it but you never know. 

Is it okay to be a little bit gay? Like not homosexual but homisexual.

It’s okay to be any level of gay, from Siwon fanservice gay to Holland actually-gay gay, to full Chuu beyond-gay gay, to not-at-all-gay gosh-I-am-so-straight-probably you-can-trust-me Eunha gay.

Do you have a favorite BoA song?

Only one of them has ever gotten on a kpopalypse favourites list.  Research is your friend.

so obviously idols are locked into ridiculously long and harsh contracts – I’m guessing this also includes percentages they receive from the company and ect. correct? So with the length of the contracts does this mean that the terms (percentages, what you can/can’t do ect.) is locked in place for the whole term? This question mainly comes from the discussion around disbanding groups and why/why not a company and idol company would continue. I feel like I don’t see a lot of discussion about the contracts themselves and what changes renewal involves. My impression is that idols are making these contracts when they are still trainees and have no bargaining power whatsoever; while say 7-8 years down the track they now have fame, a fandom and overall more bargaining power with the company, and as such the company decides, “okay I’ve squeezed enough amount out of this deal, I’m done with it now and don’t want to bother with their demands for higher pay” – is this correct? I think it makes sense for a group like sistar for instance, who they probably could’ve gotten a bit more out of but don’t want to deal with the idols trying to insist for a better deal and circumstances so they decide to disband them instead. I think contracts are still a bit of a mystery in regards to what they actually involve (probably to do with NDAs?) and I feel like you might have a bit of insight into that. So is this a factor as to why companies might decide to bin a group when contracts come to their expiration time?

Discussed in detail here and also here.

not much to ask but are you thinking of making a new segment this year? maybe something like once a month you take a popular group and talk about their problems or good and bad music or whtever

Not this type of segment, no.  I have a few ideas swimming around but a lot of content that I do is serialised already (like QRIMOLE for instance).  I don’t want to overload myself with constant “series” that I might not be able to keep up with.  I barely have time to do what I already do, even on my current reduced posting schedule, so I have to be very careful about what I commit to.

You’ve mentioned many times that your blog is controversial and I’ve also seen people hating on it a lot on sites such as reddit. Even as someone who enjoys some of your posts, I find myself getting irritated often. It’s usually easy to get over, but I’m kind of dumbfounded that it happens so often, even when I’m expecting it. I also know what kind of stuff causes it, but that doesn’t help. Have you noticed this kind of positive/negative mix in your readers, or is it usually a case of people only loving it or hating it?

I’m also curious as to what value you see in music, if any, aside from it being pleasurable to listen to. Personally, I don’t really listen to music as a primary activity. It is always the backing track to something such as reading or a dance. Just listening to music and actually paying attention to the details of it is such a strange experience for me.

My final question is why do you have so much trouble telling the red velvet members apart? I’m not sure if you are joking about that, but assuming you aren’t, they are fairly easy to tell apart. The only time I had trouble doing so was when I first got into kpop and that was when I had trouble telling east asian people apart in general. Once I started trying it was a fairly simple process. The reason I’m asking this question is because I don’t understand why they seem especially difficult for you compared to any of the groups that you don’t have trouble with.

Mixed reactions – yes I get those a lot.  Some people really like the humor but don’t care about k-pop, so they’ll grudgingly sit through music reviews etc to get to the jokes or the bits where I talk about idol personality or whatever.  Some on the other hand like k-pop but really dislike the humour yet tolerate it because I’m also giving information.  Then there’s people who like some types of humour but think I go “too far” with other types.  Then there’s also those who like it when I’m really stirring the pot and throwing shit out there that people can’t stand, but hate it when I get a bit more sincere and talk about real stuff, or don’t like it when I have an opinion which is more in line with what would be perceived as “politically correct” or whatever.  The ultimate lesson for me is that it’s impossible to please all tastes – so it’s just best that I write to please myself.  How other peopl feel about it is up to them.

To me music is always the most important thing.  More so than lyrics, for sure.  Also more so than any other narrative content.  In a movie I’ll actively listen to the soundtrack while the film is playing, and really good music can actually help me like a film more sometimes.  I apprecaite that this is different to how a lot of people feel, but just like they can’t help how they perceive music in relation to other things, neither can I.  I can only write from my own perspective on it.

Red Velvet – it’s gotten a little bit easier to tell them apart as they’ve gotten older and their faces have each developed somewhat more character, but I still struggle occasionally – for real.  For instance when I wrote my most recent fanfiction I didn’t actually realise that I was describing Seulgi’s red and black outfit in “Zimzalabim” instead of Irene’s, but I left the mistake in because it’s funnier, having the fuck-up in there ties into what I’ve always said previously about Red Velvet obviously!

Hi! I think someone might’ve asked this before but why are most kpop fans girls?
or more generally, why do girls tend to like pop while boys like metal/rock?

I did my own research and found this article about empathizers vs systemizers music taste:

So I think I answered my own question, but what are your thoughts on it?

Interesting, but I think a lot more research would be needed.  Broadly the observations here may be true for the majority, but clearly there are many people who don’t fit into the narrow boxes defined in that article, so the question then becomes – are the conclusions really worth much given the relatively high percentage of outliers.  Also it doesn’t make exact enough distinctions between music styles.  For instance, a higher percentage of women in my experience like Cradle Of Filth or The Misfits or Sisters Of Mercy than say Iron Maiden or The Clash or Van Halen, so it’s clear that not all “intense music” is equal, and that the “level of intensity” might not always correlate to gender preference.

How similar are the choruses of Aespa’s Black Mamba and this Itzy b-side called Cherry(can’t confirm if you’ve heard it)? Considering the groups who released these songs are both under giant companies, I have a hard time trying to figure out how I haven’t seen anyone point out the similarities. Either I’m tone deaf or no one has talked about this.

It’s definitely the same vocal inflection in the chorus, and both songs are fairly similar generally, they’re certainly going for the same general feel.  There aren’t too many similarities beyond this however – the real meat of the songs is quite different, they’re just similar in superficial ways.  I mean, most pop songs are similar to most other pop songs anyway, that’s quite normal, so two songs registering as “doing the same kind of thing” really isn’t something that’s notable or commented on by many because this sort of things really happens quite a lot.  For the record I don’t like either song at all but I like Aespa’s song better.

I’m someone who’s followed your blog for a while now but haven’t gotten the nerve to ask you on QRIMOLE because I’m shy AF online and offline. Still, I’ve really enjoyed reading your answers to others’ personal problems since you treated all these people with respect. Welp, I’ve finally decided to ask.

I grew up in a pretty conservative home (devout church-goers with the community that that entails). One of my family’s friends outside of that church community had a daughter my age, and we grew up together. I’m a guy, and our families have often made jokes at our expense about getting together at some point. However, we did have very similar interests, and she was the closest girl I had known for the longest time. Simply put, I’ve had a crush on her for a while now, which didn’t help with the jokes.

Fast-forward to young adult years. Because she went to an all-female intensely competitive private school for middle and high school, we’ve grown apart. I still like her but haven’t kept up with everything that’s going on in her life since every time I visit, she’s swamped with work, and I don’t want to bother her. By this point, I haven’t really seen her personally for two years. All of a sudden, my mother drops the bombshell; my friend’s a transgender who’s been taking hormone therapy for a while now. My mother’s scandalized, of course, but I’m just shocked. In retrospect, it should’ve been obvious. My friend’s always had more “masculine” interests and few “feminine” interests outside those thrust upon by parents (boxing, other sports, unisex clothing, etc.), and she/he has always hated being treated as a girl. It’s just that I never understood her/his struggles because I never had an issue with my gender identity despite having mostly feminine interests, and I always justified her disgust by believing that she/he merely hated being treated like a child, which is true since her/his parents plans almost all of her life (hence the private school).

Now, I don’t know how to feel about all this. I’ve never felt any physical attraction to men, so I’m pretty sure I’m heterosexual, though I have gotten somewhat intimate with other men before and didn’t mind. That’s been bothering me a bit. The bigger issue is that I feel like I don’t understand my friend since I’ve misunderstood something so important to him/her. I really want to ask about why he/she feels that way, but I know that some things just can’t be controlled. I really wanted to ask online about this but didn’t want to come across as a bigot. Because of my background, I just haven’t ever encountered anything else like this in the past. Do you have any advice with how to deal with all this? My friend’s gotten a girlfriend, and he/she’s physically changed extensively due to the hormone therapy. It feels awkward whenever we meet up to chat, and it’s such a sensitive topic that I know he/she doesn’t feel comfortable talking about because of the previous backlash from our parents.

Forgive me for the long post and pronouns. I’m really confused about how to approach all this. I mean no offense to those of the LGBTQ community. I honestly feel literally like the Why are you gay? meme.

Glad you got up the courage – don’t be shy!

Probably the most important advice I can give you on this is – if you’re going to talk to her/him – do it in person.  If you try and navigate this online it’ll be too difficult and you’ll probably end up putting your foot in it somehow.  I find that it’s a lot easier to talk about these things in person because people can sense your empathy in a real live conversation so even if you might fuck up with the pronouns or whatever they’re still “get” where you’re coming from, whereas if you slip up online you’re much more likely to attract nitpicking etc, there’s more of an emotional barrier and a barrier to understanding.  Maybe just don’t be pushy but say that if they want to chat about anything you’re cool with it.

As for your own sexuality – you’ll figure that out.  It doesn’t have be an either/or proposition anyway, it’s a pretty rare guy who has never had any non-hetero thoughts for instance – guys like that do exist but they’re a lot less common than typical male culture would have you believe…

why do you think Korean producers and companies choose to use trap and edm for more “hardcore” and dark concepts for boy groups rather than rock/metal? Block B and BAP are two groups that comes to my mind when I think of male groups with a strong image and coincidentally are the two that used the most guitars in their songs. I also don’t understand how sm creates an experimental group like NCT and their “experimental” catalog are just terrible songs influenced by hip hop and r&b that mumble rappers are always doing.

I think it’s just a trend right now, that’s all.  Give it some time, the trend will change, they always do.  Boy music now is slightly different to boy music from ten years ago and in ten years time it’ll be different again.

Let’s say it’s 2025 and Twice just sold, let’s say 400K with their latest album and JYP’s newest girlgroup only sold 250K after being around for let’s say, one year. Do you think JYP would be keen on keeping Twice on as a group and still giving them comebacks because they couldn’t replicate their success with a new girlgroup, or do you think they’d put all their resources into the new girlgroup anyway?

and

Over the years you’ve mentioned that for kpop artists to receive any kind of tangible profit, the product has to be quite successful. I was wondering, just how successful do you mean? Kpop has expanded in the last few years, if we take for e.g. album sales, the most 2NE1 ever sold for one album is 168K, KARA 106K and f(x) 107K (Source: Gaon chart). These were the top selling girlgroups apart from SNSD who were outliers (but SNSD’s sales still pale in comparison to today’s top girl groups). Nowadays even mid tier groups like Loona, Dreamcatcher and WJSN can sell 100K per album.This would mean that it’s not as rare anymore for idols to get profits, right? How much do you think an average 5 member group would have to sell to walk away with profit, and how much do you think they’d have to sell to actually be able to pay the idols?

Success for k-pop groups does not equal album sales.  Sure, good album sales are certainly nice, but that’s not the primary objective for a k-pop group since about the year 2000, and that’s not where the big money comes in.  More information in the marketing posts I linked a few questions above.

Hello Kpopalypse-hyung. My family are practicing Christians/Catholics/whatever they call God-fearing people nowadays, and I have recently found that I do not believe in religious bullshittery. I want to tell them that I don’t fuck with Christianity (in a much nicer and formal way mind you), but I am also quite young, to the point that I financially depend on my parents and cannot move out/get a job where I live. How should I go about telling them my changed beliefs?

Just be straight up with them, but in a gentle way.  Rather than “I don’t believe in this crap” try “I think I’m losing my faith”.  What are they gonna do, kick you out of their house?  Maybe they’ll try talking you back into it, but if you play the part of the person who is “really trying to believe but just can’t” that’ll go down well with their values and give you the image of a cooperative offspring while still also making it clear that you don’t actually believe in any of that bullshit.  Honestly that’s how I felt when I was about eight years old and figured out it was all crap – of course I wanted to believe in Christianity, who wouldn’t?  It makes the world so simple, all you gotta do is follow the instructions in the book and you get to heaven, and heaven sounds great.  The idea of just rotting in the ground when you die and life being over and that’s all there is, is not a pleasant thought in comparison.  I get the strong emotional pull that people have when it comes to believing in religion.  However I can’t lie to myself to that level.

Could you please explain to me what the newest Blackpink songs have in common with metal songs?

Worthy of a post all its own, but in short: they’re built on modal scales and riffs that heavy metal uses a lot more than pop does (“Lovesick Girls” exempt from this).

Why can’t people just block and move on? My friends keep getting into shit with an unfunny, but obvious troll, basically because this troll thinks a certain indie singer would be doing better under a major label. (Would he? I don’t know, and the way my friends keep being so reactionary really makes me not care.) I don’t get why they don’t have the ability to block and not go off every time.

Me neither.  This is a question for your friends, not me.  I guess this troll is really good at their job.  Maybe I should take notes.

Hey Kpopalypse, I’ve been reading your blog (and thus QRIMOLES) for quite some years now. I am a psychologist, and I would like to say you’re doing a surprisingly good job at giving out sensible and safe advice to your readers who come with emotionally loaded questions. Every QRIMOLE again I hold my heart when I read the questions of the readers seeking out advice, and I feel very relieved you never give outrageously bad advice that can harm the readers. So thank you for handling these questions so responsibly.

I do feel like some readers ask you questions about psychology that are hard to answer if you lack sufficient background knowledge, for example the question about a bipolar woman ending up in bad relationships: A more indepth explanation here. I would recommend your readers to look up the educational videos of this woman if they have any general questions about psychology and psychiatry.

My own general advice to the readers is: learn to communicate with your peers, people. If you don’t know how to support a friend/partner, or if something is bothering you about them just fucking tell them it’s not rocket science. If they don’t know themself how they want to be supported then leave it the fuck be. You’re not their therapist, you’re not a mind reader and neither are they. They can’t fucking magically smell if you’re bothered by their behaviour. If talking doesn’t fix it, put your own sanity first, feel free to take that however you want. Thank u for listening to my ted talk.

Thanks.  Oh man, I’m totally not qualified for half the stuff I receive on a personal level.  I’m not a mental health professional, but I am an old cunt who has lived a lot and done a lot of shit, so I just try to come at it from the perspective of what worked for me, or what I’ve seen work for others.  I also have a ton of freinds with mental health issues and I see them go through it, so most questions that I get around this I can usually draw on an example that I’ve actually seen work (or not work).  I try to help people in my limited way but I do urge those with serious problems, who are considering self-harm, to seek appropriate medical/psychological advice.

1. are there ant r&b songs that you actually enjoy? can be korean or not.
2. once you said that you’re a bjork fan. could you tell which of her songs/albums you like the most? i know only like one or two of her songs and i didn’t like them, but maybe i listened to the wrong ones.

  1. yes
  2. First three albums are probably the most accessible, “Homogenic” the best.  More recent stuff is very out-there.  Still good, but a harder listen, check it out if you like weirder stuff.  However may favourite Bjork stuff is actually her pre-solo group Sugarcubes, plus the group KUKL that she had before Sugarcubes.

When I watch an idol dance practice video, I can hear the squeaking of their shoes, some thumping noises and even their heavy breathing. How come we don’t hear any of these sounds during live stages?

I’ll give you one guess.

Hello Kpopalypse (I love that name)
I have been reading your articles on and off since about 2012 and I love your content. Your honesty is reassuring. Considering all the hate I’ve seen towards you in other parts of the internet I have to ask, How much of that hate do you see? and How do you deal with it personally? Having been in the kpopsphere, myself, since late 2010 I know how hard it can be to be an opinionated kpop fan who doesn’t care to cater to the masses of internet trash that call themselves kpop (and or music) fans. So what is your coping mechanism, or rather, how do you brush it off?

and

I became a huge fan of your blog after you helped me from completely turning into a crazy brainless fandom zombie. Who knew that all I needed was for some random dude online to tell me that I’m a dumb cunt and my favorite group isn’t that special. Thanks for that!
My question: How do you deal with haters? Does it affect you knowing that there are probably legions fandoms after you?

I cope with great ease honestly.  I don’t give a shit about some dickheads online.  Try having people come to your radio station while you’re on air, with weapons, wanting to start shit because of something they heard over the airwaves that you said that they misinterpreted.  Or, try getting death threats from people you personally know, who not only know who you are, your phone number, and where you live, but know exactly what you’re going to be doing in 24 hours time and have made it clear that they will definitely be there to meet you.  After dealing with real-world stuff like that, anything else doesn’t touch the sides of my concern.  What are these fandom losers gonna do, come to my house?  They should try it and see how they go.  Make me lose my job?  My bosses already read this site and laugh.  Bully me off the internet?  How aegyo.  I would have been gone already years ago if these clowns had the slightest chance of getting rid of me.  Thanks for your support!

Hey kpopalypse, this sounds terrible and I’m glad you can be anonymous in these.

How do you deal with dating someone who’s much dumber than you? I’m not that smart, but I’ve never been with someone until now that didn’t get such obvious stuff, context, subtlety etc. I’m not inexperienced, I’m not expecting mind reading but it’s immensely frustrating when a problem arises and it just doesn’t go in, however I phrase what the issue is.

I don’t want to patronise him, or make him feel worse for not getting it but at the same time I need to be able to talk about things that he doesn’t or I don’t like and have us understand each other. You’re older than me, and probably have more experience of dating similar people. Any advice?

Honestly I could never maintain a relationship with someone that I thought was really stupid (even if I was wrong and in fact I was the stupid one) – it would just frustrate me.  I would personally just give it up as a lost cause and try to find someone more on my level.  Body differences comapred to my preference, difference in personal interests, difference in taste, diverging political opinions – things like that, I can tolerate.  But two big deal breakers for me are incompatible personalities, and incompatible intelligence levels.  Fine for a quick fling maybe but certainly nothing more than that, no matter how highly they may score in any other areas.  No matter how great the sex is or how much of it you have, you’re still going to be talking to your partner more than you’re going to be doing anything else with them, so if they don’t cut it in that area, I honestly think it’s a lost cause.  Your mileage may vary on this, but that’s how I’ve always felt about it.

How do you feel about nct songs? I would love for you to listen to their interludes from their recent albums.

Some good, some not.  My best and worst lists have more, they’ve occasionally appeared in both.  Listening to album interludes is not gonna happen.

Met a guy on the apps at the beginning of 2020 who’d just moved back to his home country, after living a long time in my home country. I (she) was definitely more aggressive about it than him, but he was always down to hang , and we get along super well. Very similar nerdy/secret hipster approaches to music/culture, easily make each other laugh, and have two shared languages. Met his sister. Was so subtly rejected that it took me a month to realize what had happened.

Started dating other people, was feeling chill about being friends. Hung out with his sister more over the summer, she left the country in the fall, right after he’d quit his job. Then suddenly over the past month or so he’s been reaching out more than ever. He only took the initiative maybe twice in the first 6 months we knew each other, now it’s multiple times a week, and we’ve been hanging fairly regularly. He’s super indecisive/slow-moving, so I think maybe he’s finally (correctly) realizing I’m the shit, but does he even know yet?

My feelings have started coming back now that we’re hanging one-on-one again, but my plan is to wait for like, 6 months of consistent hangs/me having feelings to say something. I liked him from the get-go, but I’m also in touch with my feelings in general, and I don’t really want egg on my face a second time if I bring something up too early. I’ll pursue something else if it comes up, but I usually have to be actively searching for that to happen. I’m adorable af, but I’m fat for where I live, and I’m rarely pursued by real-life acquaintances.

Thoughts? Should I bring something up or just let it play out, since he’s probably not gonna be into anything until he’s independently realized he wants it? Typing this I realize I probably have it handled, but I have crush feelings and have cleaning to procrastinate.

BTW, appreciated the top songs of 2020 lists, there really are some bangers from 2020. I’ve been listening to much less pop recently, but have realized I should still sink my teeth in occasionally. Oh, and check out 羅大佑 (Lo Ta-yu), especially “鹿港小鎮” or “火車”. I don’t know if it’s completely up your alley, but he’s the first older Taiwanese artist I’ve really dug, and think he has some interesting sounds.

He’s probably into you or he wouldn’t be spending all that time with you.  Just go for it, don’t waste six months or he’ll have given up and moved on by then.

Which Genshin Impact character do you use most?

Noelle for melee, Amber for range or if I need pyro, Lisa and Sucrose for when I get overwhelmed and need area effects to nuke a whole mob.  However I still can’t fucking play properly due to no mouse Y axis invert so fuck Genshin Impact, I load it up once a week just to see if they’ve finally added this feature, so far we’re up to patch 1.2 and it’s still not in there, clearly MiHoYo have rocks in their head.

Hey oppar, I’ll try to keep it short and simple, I live in a third world shithole, don’t have the money for therapy or medication to deal with mental health issues (was diagnosed ages ago, but can’t afford consistent therapy or pills), and work a crappy job where my boss treats me like a dog because it’s the only place that would hire me, I’m going to be in this situation probably for the next decade as I slowly get a degree, stop being sick etc, I get it, life sucks, I’ve accepted it and I’m doing what I can so it will suck less in the future.

My question is, any tips for staying sane while dealing with a shitty situation over extended periods of time? Its too tempting to off myself even if dreamcatcher puts out fun music and your blog makes me chuckle.

Stay healthy.

Start a punk band.  Or any band.  That’s what so many people in your shoes have done.  It’ll give you a reason to look forward to the next day and it’ll help you get through life until you have resources to tackle the bigger problems like your mental health.

What exactly is involved in the process of good music production that makes it so expensive?

Excellent question that requires an entire post to answer.  Briefly:

  • Personnel with proven skill to operate equipment come at a premium
  • Studio time is expensive
  • If you don’t want to rent a studio, buying your own gear is just as expensive
  • Specialised environments (acoustic treated rooms) are verrrrry expensive
  • Co-ordinating a multi-member music combo is logistically tricky and comes with associated hidden “management” cost

There’s a whole post in this.  Remind me to make it one day.

Dear Kpopalypse sir,

This isn’t really a question, but more of a thank you, from me. Let me start by saying that I disagree with a lot of what you say. Hell, I disagree with pretty much everything you say! But I’ve always been drawn to your blog, and I’ve always quite enjoyed reading it. I enjoy your sense of humour, and I think you’re extremely well-written (possibly the best person who can write in second-person prose I’ve ever read). I admire your dedication and hard work towards the blog, and how you’ve run it efficiently for so many years (I really could never). You’re amazing, sir, and I’d really like you to keep going for as long as possible, and to keep doing what you love.

Yours faithfully,
A Caonima

Cheers, thank you!  I always find it funny how people often preface their praise for me with all sorts of hilarious caveats, but it’s okay.  Whatever gets you through the day, I support it, and I definitely have a lot of respect for the readers who specifically don’t agree with a lot of what I write about.  Thinking for yourself, rather than just agreeing with everything, is kind of the point, because if you can do that with my content then you should also be able to do that with all the other way more harmful content out there, like all the parroted k-pop press releases, and shitty netizen articles, and idiotic puff pieces that almost everyone else puts out.  Thanks for reading and you can expect my postings to continue!


That’s all for this month’s QRIMOLE!  This series will return next month!  In the meantime don’t forget to email genshin_cs@mihoyo.com and complain about the lack of mouse Y axis invert in Genshin Impact!  Seriously we gotta keep hounding these people.  Someone drive a truck up to their building Blackpink-fan style.

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!

One thought on “QRIMOLE – February 2021

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