QRIMOLE – November 2021

It’s time for QRIMOLE!  Let’s check out some questions for Kpopalypse!

I’m not someone who tends to think cultural appropriation is a real issue; in fact, I think a lot of people use the term as a sort of performative activism so that they don’t have to discuss the real issues regarding racism. However, this “city pop” thing honestly does kind of annoy me. Like you’ve mentioned before, the music is literally disco but in Japanese (or Korean). If there ever was a real issue of cultural appropriation, it would be an entire country’s music industry taking a genre of music, changing the language, slapping a new label on it, and claiming that they invented it. Since you have a lot of experience in the music industry, could you offer some sort of explanation as to how Japan not only got away with this, but they still to this day have people raving about the genius of city pop as if its not 99% black music with maybe 1% traditional Japanese influence?

Well I don’t think it’s any different to idol pop, which is just rebadged western pop.  I’m not sure if the “City Pop” claims of “invention” or whatever are even coming from Japan anyway, I doubt it, I always thought it was bored western music critics and social networking music nerds looking for the next trend who created that (fraudulent) term.  I could be wrong of course, I will admit I don’t even follow that sort of stuff to even know the answer.  Ultimately, this is a question for Jpopalypse, and I am not he.

oppar I hope you haven’t wasted any time responding to the qrimole with the long distance relationship and increasingly distant girlfriend (hopefully this doesn’t apply to several caonimas sending in qrimoles because otherwise we are all having a bad time this month) because she just broke up with me. It was nice to write in though and I hope you have a pleasant day. If you have already written something I’m sorry for wasting your time, hopefully your advice can be of use to other caonimas

I tend to work through my questions in reverse chronological order (ish) for precisely this reason!  So I won’t post your original question, but know that if someone is getting increasingly distant in a relationship that is already long-distance, that’s definitely a sign they’re having second thoughts, or have found something closer to home.  People who care about each other generally put in the work and don’t have continually weirdly convenient excuses why they can’t.

Here are some objectification survey stats for the women in the “overall attractiveness category.” I analyzed everyone who appeared in the ranking at least once from 2016-2021.

Top 10 scorers (based on average ranking of every time they’ve appeared; not number of times appeared):
1. Seolhyun – AOA 6.33
2. Tzuyu – Twice 6.50
3. Irene – Red Velvet 7.83
4. Momo – Twice 8.00
5. Choa – AOA 8.20
6. Hyosung – Secret 8.67
7. Sana – Twice 10.00
8. Yura – Girl’s Day 11.33
9. Jennie – Blackpink 11.60
10. Mina – Twice 11.67

Women who have appeared in every ranking so far from 2016-2021:
Irene, IU, Joy, Mina (Twice), Momo, Nana, Sana, Seolhyun, Seulgi, Sulli, Tzuyu

“One away from a perfect streak” club (AKA appeared every year 2016-2021 except one year):
Choa, Hwasa, Jennie, Jihyo, Taeyeon, Yooa

One-off members (people who appeared in only one year for 2017-2020, not including a tail end year because it might ahve been the tail end or start of their popularity):
Chaeyeon (Dia), Luna (f(x)), Mijoo (Lovelyz), Mina (AOA), Soojin (G-Idle), Sunmi (solo), Wheein (Mamamoo), Yoona (SNSD)

And here is a graph to the placements over the years (not everyone).

Closer to “0” on the y-axis indicates better placement, as 1 is the most attractive and 40 is the least.

Most notable feature to me was the perfect 5 parallel line segments near the bottom right to show the top 5 were the same between 2020-2021.

I might make ones for boobs/legs/butts/men, but it’d take a while so this is all for now.

Wow, this is cool, thanks!  Leaving this here for caonimas to ponder.

Are there any korean signers that have some story in their lyrics? Kinda tired of meaningless songs.
Closest English-languaged singer is Jens Lekman.

Most songs have a meaning of some sort.  It’s just that it’s not always obvious.  For instance Twice’s “Likey” is probably one of the most meaningful songs written about the idol experience and idol engagement with their audience, even though it doesn’t seem like it at first listen (have covered in previous QRIMOLEs).  I would say it’s almost certainly a “more meaningful” song than Leonard Cohen’s awful “Hallelujah” with it’s written-while-taking-a-shit lyrics, and that song is always held up as some sort of high tier “meaningful” work of art or something.  I mean, if you have to start talking about your own chordal structure in your lyrics to your own song, you’re fresh out of ideas.

What is the best ABBA song?

All Australians must agree that it’s Dancing Queen or their citizenship is revoked.

So, today this MV was released:

Have you ever before felt the want like someone’s artistic work because of the message even when you hate the execution of the art?
Do you think such a unpleasureble music like that can actually harm the inclusivity agenda more than help it?
Besides playing this music, do you know another methods to torture conservative people that pushes their hate agenda on everyone?

I don’t know, I think musically it’s probably the right move to get their message across to the most people because Koreans actually seem to love this kind of bland R&B crap, the entire Korean charts is just this type of thing and ballads for the most part.  Maybe they could have slowed it down and made it even more boring just to maximise the crossover appeal.  It seems like the polar opposite strategy to something like Pussy Riot where the music is WAY out there and definitely not going to go over well with most people, and the entire package is completely uncompromising.  Lioness here have very unthreatening music (remember my R&B hatred is not the norm in Korea), can sing a bit (Koreans love that), don’t have any gay fanservice in the video beyond a bit of mincing around, and don’t even show their faces for most of it (for obvious reasons).  I’m not sure which strategy is more effective in promoting gay acceptance, I’d actually like to see some studies done on this.  Perhaps if Korea had a Pussy Riot style group (that I debuted, so let’s call them SPUNKMOP) then that might help because people would look at Lioness and go “well, I don’t mind these gay people, they’re not like that awful SPUNKMOP group”.  Something something Overton window.

I left a question in QRIMOLE letting you know about Fu Yaning’s excellent cao ni ma energy a couple of months ago and am very pleased to see the Fu Yaning content that has made it into your recent roundups.
I decided to watch Girls Planet for a joke and accidently ended up with Yaning at the very top of my kpop bias list (after being into kpop for 8.5 years mind) and now mnet have shipped her back to China I can’t help but feel that kpop will suffer a great loss without someone who possesses her level of unbotheredness.
As we know, China isn’t exactly embracing idol culture currently, and we also know that Korea hates Yaning for various reasons – so my question is do you think there will be any chance for her to continue pissing off kpop stans by having activities in the public eye or will she just go on simply existing in China and merely reflecting on all the good she has brought to the kpop world?
Either way, I promise to inform you if she does do anything vaguely interesting in the future, however small that chance might be.

Yeah, I have no idea.  My guess is as good as yours, but I’m inclined to think that if she had a shot like that and didn’t make the grade for whatever reason, it might be seen as a bit fruitless to give it a second go.  Mind you she’s also actually good friends with the CLC member that Mnet tried to pretend she had an issue with via the usual deceptive editing that they do on these shows to try and build narrative drama, so who knows, that could perhaps be a doorway back into something.  Guess we’ll find out.  Keep in touch if you hear of anything relevant!

Hi Kpopalypse,

I’m sorry if you have been asked about this before. Why would Kpop producers think they need to shift the beat and genre every 10 seconds? I came across NCT127’s Favorite yesterday and thinking how great this song if they opt for straightforward verses and chorus like a normal song, since I love the chorus part. It’s also what refrain me from following boy groups (and many girl groups) due to crazy amount of everything happened in 3 minutes-ish. Is this sort of a trend originated from somewhere? Or is it a music style that already proven effective to be successful (like Aespa)?

Thanks for the answer, have a good day!

I think it’s just that in such a hyper-competitive realm, people change things up to try and stick out.  Of course if everyone is constantly changing up stuff, the trend will then go in the other direction, because then NOT doing that stuff will be the way to stick out.  It’s just the normal ebb and flow of music fashion, the pendulum swings one way, and then the other.  Just be patient and things will eventually change again.

Since I was a kid I wanted to have bulging defined muscles but never had the T-ARA’s determination levels to suck it up and do my thing till I finally obtained my objective.
The worst about that I always believed in my stupid excuses. “Oh, I can’t cook”, “but I don’t have money to buy healthy food” (kinda true, though), “I don’t have time to exercise” and other shit like that.
Oppar, how can I rise my strength of will to finally achieve that? Please help this lazy caonima!

Fast food is more expensive than learning to cook healthy food.  Like, hugely more expensive.  I started learning to cook healthy food when I moved out of home and I didn’t do it for health, I did it to save money because I realised I couldn’t afford anything!  Mind you it’s okay to have junk occasionally, just not… every day.  Treat yourself just balance it and don’t go crazy.

The way to exercise is to schedule it in and stick to the schedule.  For over a year I went to the gym 3 times a week without fail.  (I’ve had to drop it to one day a week because I recently injured myself a bit, but only because I’m an old man whose joints get stressed easily, this shouldn’t be such an issue with yourself.)  COVID was actually a big motivator, knowing that the gym could get closed at any moment so I’d better do my exercises while I can.  I’ll never be Wonho tier and that’s fine, not really trying to be that anyway (plus my gf doesn’t like the buff type) but I’ve managed to lose a bit of weight, get just a little toned up and generally feel a lot younger physically, I don’t want to be one of these old cunts who groans whenever they have to walk up stairs or whatever in 20 years.  I feel better now than I did 15 years ago and that’s really the biggest reward from doing it.  But if getting toned is your goal, regularity and consistency of gym, plus doing the right exercises and keeping the junk food down to a dull roar, that will do it, it just takes time.  If you go to gym and do weights and cardio for an hour three times a week, you will get more fit, simple as that, almost in spite of what else you might be doing.

Is the section from around 1:45 at this song polyrhythm? It just sounds so off to me rhythmically I thought it might be

I love Lolita Storm, definitely the most underrated and overlooked of the 90s “digital hardcore” acts.  No that’s not really polyrhythm, it’s two different vocal sections with different rhythms but the same tempo and rhythmic pulse, being laid over the top of each other.  The effect is definitely disorienting and messy-sounding (on purpose), but this isn’t really what polyrhythm is.

Thoughts on 5dolls’s (first lineup) song, “Wait Right There?” It sounds to my ear kind of like jazzy rock, and I wanna be genre-corrected.

Absolutely not a jazz song or “jazzy” by any stretch.  I’d just call it pop.  I’d barely even be able to call it rock music due to the predominance of keyboards through most of it.

Disappointed but not surprised at the Korean (6) to Japanese (2) & Chinese (1) ratio of the final Girls planet 999 lineup. Msnake legally rigged it with the 50% korean and 50% international voting thing. My mistake for watching too cuz now I’m mourning my fav Chinese trainees with the most caonima energy, and that one Japanese trainee named Yurina who looks a bit like Vivi from Loona. I was surprised she didn’t make it too since she was ranked 1 and 2 for past rounds. Also the final group name, Kep1er, is probably one of the worst group names I ever seen. They better be given some decent songs like Shoot! to make up for it.
I will now be remembering my Chinese picks who probably won’t ever become a kpop (you can just skim past it):
– The Twins, Liang Jiao & Liang Qiao, for performing WJSN Chocome’s Hmph! and exposing the show’s terrible living and working conditions along with the lack of translators.
– Chen Hsin Wei, for calling the host ugly and setting up black out curtains around her bed so the creepy cameras don’t film her sleeping. (I’m afraid to know what they’ll do with all that dorm footage)
– Fu Yaning & Su Ruiqi, for facing “racism” accusations when the real racists were mnet themselves.
– Wen zhe, whose straightforward personality stood out to me the most, and having a hilarious sense of humor.
– Huang Xing Qiao, for being the slowest learner but always smiling or laughing when the mentors point out her mistakes.
– Cai Bing, wasn’t my pick but faced the most evil editing by mnet who depicted her as a bossy ass bitch, resulting in her being kicked out of the top 9 and eliminated before the final round.

You are correct that your mistake was watching the show at all.  That’s why I created this post to give you and others all the important highlights and save you the trouble.  Although there is music in them, these shows are not about music, or even about finding the best people for the group.  You are being manipulated just as much as the performers are.  Next time a show like this arises, do the right thing and skip it.

What do you think of people wanting Mnet to rig the votes for GP999 because their fave won’t get into the lineup after there was a massive scandal for rigging

I don’t think about Girls Planet 999, and neither should you.

More AustralianSana, please! (Or if there’s an AustralianSanapopalypse please direct me to it)

We’ve been trying to do a podcast but our schedules haven’t been matching up, we’re both extremely busy.  Coming soon, I hope!

what exactly do you like about alizee’s album gourmandises? i looked at it after seeing your q&a and thought it was cool too, especially the more pop leaning moi lolita, gourmandises, and to an extent l’alize and jbg, but i haven’t quite figured out what draws me to it so much besides the pretty instrumental textures.

The things that usually make a pop song great – melody and harmony writing.  The first Alizee album is as well-written in this respect as T-ara’s Absolute First Album, it’s easy to see why Alizee was so huge in France when she debuted.

In your experience, are small boobs more sensitive than big ones?

As far as I can tell, sensitivity and size don’t have any correlation.  I’ve definitely met women with differing sensitivity levels, but size never seemed to have anything to do with it.  Men also have different sensitivity levels!

This will be the dumbest question you’ve ever received.

So, my best friend gave me a funko pop figurine for my birthday. I love this person to bits and I also like the character, but the figurine itself is ugly as sin. Those vacant, beady eyes scared the shit out of me, it’s like this little lump of plastic was staring into my soul. I shoved the little fucker into the depths of my wardrobe under a bunch of clothes so I wouldn’t have to look at it.
I have no idea what to do with it. Although I’m not a hoarder I find it hard to get rid of unnecessary stuff. I’d also feel pretty guilty, because my friend spent money on me and I appreciate the gesture. Should I buy paints and somehow customize it so it’s more pleasant to look at? Should I sell it in secret? Or should I do something else entirely? Please help, oppar.

Just keep it around in your cupboard and don’t touch it.  Then in a decade or two when those things are a collectors item, Ebay it.

Hi Kpopalypse~ I love reading your blog especially the kpop roundups section and recent movie reviews ~~!

[a bunch of stuff deleted at this person’s request]

And this has got me wondering why is sex such a powerful tool of shame especially for women? Like when Baek Ji Young’s sex tape was revealed she had to disappear from the limelight for some time like she did something so wrong when it was all filmed illegally and everything regarding that situation was done without her consent. But would like to know your thoughts on it too hahaha if you want to share.

[more stuff deleted]

And with that just wanna say thank you for reading till here. Thank you for providing this ‘outlet’. Take care and stay safe!

“Sex = shame” is more of a thing in conservative societies.  In western culture the blame would be squarely on the person taking the illegal footage, and that’s where I would also put it.  In Asian cultures, the blame seems to shift a little because of cultural factors.  I’m very anti any type of shaming, and I wish that there was no shame around this type of thing.  I’m probably even more anti-shaming than the average westerner, as I don’t even think the prostitutes who work the streets near my shopping centre should be ashamed of what they do, which would probably be a minority opinion in my neighbourhood.

Maybe relevant: there are some loopholes for people who were to find themselves in situations that carry great shame.  For instance T-ara’s Jiyeon had a situation where underage semi-nude photos of her were leaked.  However people when underage don’t look the same when they’re older, and the label used plausible deniability to get around that – “that’s not her, just someone who looks like her”.  I haven’t seen the pics (and have no desire to) so I don’t know how true or false that is, but I know I would personally struggle to see the resemblance between how a person looks now and how they look in an old photo, regardless of the age they were in either photo.  Whether the photos of her were really her or not, the incident certainly didn’t hurt Jiyeon’s career, even after the whole of the country found out about it.

Also, supposedly “shameful” things happen to a lot of people.  Did you know that precisely 0.1% of the entire female population of Japan has appeared in JAV at some point, the highest per-capita percentage of pornstars in the world?  That’s around 62000 people.  In a culture where for women “sex = shame”, how does this happen where so many people willingly participate in adult entertainment?  The answer is partly that it pays better in Japan than other places, but also that due to the sheer volume of JAV coming out, the chances of any one person being remembered if they do a porn just once or twice are slim.  So plenty of people do it, and then go on to just lead regular lives doing other things, having a career or whatever. 

Just some stuff for you to think about, hopefully it’s helpful.

I recently watched the video for AKB48 Heavy Rotation after it being mentioned on your blog, and like most j-shit I wasn’t really amused; the melodies were cloying, and the only thing of note was the unabashed lack of dog whistle (all the 14 year olds literally got nighties and straight undergarments so the uncle fans didn’t have to imagine anything). I moved on and listened to some better music to cleanse my ears, Roly Poly specifically, and something in my brain I think was somehow imbalanced because as I listened to the first verse melody, I suddenly imagined it in the same vocal meter as Heavy Rotation; the same stretched out meter in the chorus waa applied to the song, and now all I could think of was that shit song (and made me think that Roly Poly was shit too). This pattern has continued for songs seemingly randomly throughout my week, and has made things difficult for me. How can I remove this curse of constantly remembering a j-shit song at the worst possible moment in a song’s duration? Thank you!

Don’t listen to j-shits, folks.  You could end up with a dilemma like this reader.  I’m sorry to say that there is no cure.  Don’t do j-shit.  Not even once.  J-shit is no fun.  J-shit endangers the life and happiness of millions.  It must stop.  We appeal in particular to the youth of today.  Stop the madness!  There are better things in life

Do you think PR relationships exist in kpop? Specifically relationship that cover up that one/both of them are not so heterosexual like in the old Hollywood system. No one wants to admit or even discuss this and everyone who believes it is dismissed as delusional because people think that a dating scandal is so huge that no company would risk an idol losing fans just for PR. But a straight scandal would definently be better than some idol getting too suspicious or involved in too many not so hetero rumors. Others dismiss this because they claim that the kpop industry is different than the western industry but honestly, when it comes to evolution, the kpop industry is still run like 1930s Hollywood. Some couple reveals are seriously strange, you see two grainy pics of them and then they never interact or acknowledge each other ever again. Sometimes you don’t even need pictures for people to believe. Also the way companies issue statements on these things rather then the idols themselves is also kind of telling that they control whatever narrative they want.

While there definitely are a lot of parallels one can draw between k-pop and the old Hollywood system, there’s a fundamental difference in how they treat relationships – in old Hollywood, straight relationships between actors were always considered an acceptable part of the business, whereas in k-pop straight relationships are not (as) accepted.  In k-pop there’s too much to lose by even admitting to a straight relationship if they don’t have to.  When companies admit to these things it’s usually because they’ve been backed into a corner by circumstance (either the media holding all the cards, or an imminent obvious pregnancy, or an idol just going “fuck it” and spilling the beans) and have no choice.  So willingly admitting to a straight relationship that was faked for the purpose of covering up a gay one would be kind of like admitting to a fake bank robbery to cover up a real murder.  The label is still going to “do time” anyway, so what’s the point.

How long until companies to make the SWF backup dancers girls have some musical career/put a single out to capitalize on their popularity?

Sorry, I don’t understand this question.

not really a question, just informing you that there is a horror movie about a kpop group called White: melody of the curse

Not really an answer, but you may be interested in this post

I was reading your lexicon and I found you wanted to receive postcards by mail. Have you got any?

Yes, a few.  Thanks to the people who send these things in!  However I’m sadly yet to receive any toilet paper.

do you think instituting legal ramifications for not receiving the COVID vaccine (or just having a vaccine mandate) falls too heavily on the line of restricting freedom than looking out for public welfare? i know one QRIMOLE you went over that there isn’t necessarily a problem between two contrasting social groups (for example, religious and non religious folks) if the law doesn’t either make a certain religion mandatory or oppresses all religious people, but i wanted to see if you had any strong opinions on the subject considering vaccination is arguably a different kind of issue than topics like religious rights, etc.

Vaccine mandates are great.  Freedom is nice, but not dying in a pandemic or spreading the disease to others who might die is a lot nicer.  I’m all for freedom though – if you don’t want the help of modern medical science, and think that your favourite political pundit or rock star who is anti-vax knows better than a bunch of people in white coats who spent half their lives studying disease control and have a PhD in it, then fine – your choice, exercise your freedom against “big pharma”.  BUT – keep it consistent.  Don’t come crying to the hospital when you get cancer, or heart disease, or a broken leg, or whatever else, and want the miracle of modern medical science that you “don’t believe in” to suddenly save your dumb ass.  Just stay home and be sick there, don’t take up a hospital bed that someone else who is more grateful than you can use, and don’t go to the chemist or have a home doctor visit either.  Everyone who participated in anti-vax protests should be made to sign a waiver saying that they will refuse all medical treatment if they ever get sick from anything, ever.

what is your pfp of? in the comments, it looks like a reddish picture of a girl with plaits and a hat, but when i click on the picture it’s extremely pixelated

T-ara’s Jiyeon from “Jeon Won Diary”, singing “mind your own business”.

if the person who mentioned losing weight from migraine medication sees this: is the medication topiramate? just out of interest

Be careful.  I don’t want a bunch of caonimas going on topiramate-inspired crash-dieting thanks.

how is SM still recording losses despite their groups selling millions & millions of albums & fans paying money to watch virtual concerts? Does Lee Soo Man’s embezzlement run that deep?

It must be all the pixels that go into those Aespa avatars.  I think the CGI makers are charging a high rate per polygon per second, given how little we see of them.  I think those girls are breaking the bank!

A few questions about cats…

1. Are there any K-pop music videos that DON’T mrcs?

2. I know you’re not a cat whisperer, but are there any K-pop songs that you love but your cat can’t seem to stand? Anything you’re nervous about listening to because you know that your cat might get pissed off and scratch your bald Australian head?

  1. Yes – the videos without cats in them.
  2. My cat will tolerate any song as long as food is also involved.

I got a good chuckle out of this:

Looks at them try to justify that the pretty girls are roasted more than the pretty boys for a reason that isn’t just ‘we’re not into girls so they add nothing for us’.

You’re far more plugged into the concerns of these people than I am if you’re even noticing what they write.  There’s lots of double-standards with k-pop fans, the sexism against women is very real.

A close friend of mine has recently been drifting away from my and some others’ social group. I’ve had history with him and so have the others, and we’ve always been a bit less talkative with each other, but it was comfortable being the way we were because we had so many shared experiences and a mutual respect for each other. Now, in the game club we play in together (pretty much our only source of contact), he talks with other people because he’s eased out of his shell more easily than me, whereas I’ve retained my reserved nature for the sake of keeping standards for who I want my friends to be (probably not these people). I’ve initiated two separate conversations over the course of a year to try and repair things, and possibly get us to connect more, and he’s always so earnest and positive in this and other one-on-one social settings, but in application he just asks me how my day was and fucks around with the other bitches immediately afterwards. I’m pretty much just a chore for him at this point (compounded by his lack of emotiveness compared to me always wanting to reach out and alleviate things), and people I’ve talked to pretty much have said I’ve done my part and I should move on, but it feels so unsatisfying that apparently I’ve done all I’ve could, that events that have happened under a year ago are as much history as SNSD’s nine member lineup, and kpopalypse-seongsaengnim’s youth.
Speaking of youth, you (Kpopalypse oppar) appear to have lived and endured a very storied past of people and experience (probably how your advice is helpful to dumb folks like me). Do you have any advice on moving on from old friends, or any way you handled it before? Danke!

Fancy asking me this, I’m the most antisocial cunt in the world.  I routinely don’t talk to people I know for months or years at a time.  It’s nothing personal against them, often they’re great people – I just have severe issues with socialising.  My partner actually mentioned to me recently that I could be on the autism spectrum and I never really thought about that before, but given the way I relate to people in a social context, I actually wouldn’t be surprised, because it fits.  It’s funny though because my music career basically forces me to be in social environments that I otherwise wouldn’t probably ever bother with, so I’ve ended up with this really colourful social life anyway.  I guess what I’m saying is that I feel massively unqualified to really answer your question, because I’m the sort of person who would just drift away from friendships “just because” without any real explanation, it really would be a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”.  These things are complicated, because people are complicated, there’s often a lot going on that you don’t see.  I would be hesitant to read too much into it or overanalyse, just take the good times for what they are and move on.  Maybe you’ll experience more with this person, or maybe not, but I would try to look at it as a net positive.

Once I was looking at your top 100 list of the last decade for kpop and noticed your description of Miss A’s Touch as something to improve people’s lives. As I’m a lone cunt without a partner just yet, I resolved to play it the next time I wanted to fap. So next time I did, and upon setting up required ‘materials’, I go into my music library and play Touch, and getting right to it I accidentally played Anda’s Touch instead. I didn’t want to break rhythm so I kept going, and it was possibly one of the best cums of my life, even better than when I actually played Miss A’s song. Does listening to Anda’s Touch while gooning and baiting, and achievng positive results, make me a crazy person?

Probably, although I guess I can see how the repetitive rhythms of that song might match with some of your own rhythms.  I would still pick miss A over it for sexiness on all possible levels by a factor of 1000 to 1 though.

i just want to say that i’ve been reading your blog since i was in high school and i find it intriguing how my tastes have changed and how much good music you’ve put me onto, and also taught me about. i saw a video recently about “turning off the television” in reference to people who turn up the volume of their televisions when they hear their family members being abused, usually the parent of a child, and how we’re all holding in this universal scream. do you think it’s possible that things might change if we really turn off the television and stop ignoring people’s pain and the people who scream the loudest? i think even if we’re all fucked in the end, if we stop listening to the sound of our own voices and allow ourselves to feel and take in the pain of others, we can help each other out. i live in america and am regularly disturbed by the complete and utter disregard and mockery made of the pain of indigenous and black folks in this country. i wonder often if it’s too late for us, and i really can’t give a clear answer because i know from experience that just about anyone can change, the question is will they?

The thing about a “universal scream” is that it’s universal.  Most people really want the same things in life, to be safe, to feel valued, to feel like they can contribute to the future of themselves and the people they care about.  Under the surface we’re really not all that different, problem arise more because of some of society’s imposed rules and norms, rather than the nature of people.  I have no direct experience with the situation on the ground in America with race relations, but I think that if people search for similarities of the human condition rather than points of difference, that’s the way to go for a better society.  I think it can be done, probably quite quickly if people limit their Internet use.

have you ever seen the youtube channel [channel name deleted for the good of humanity]? i try to stay off that side of the kpop world in general, but inevitably videos like these opinion pieces will be recommended to me. if nothing more, i think channels like it are an interesting study on the human brain after being diluted, soaked in piss, and cummed on by the kpop industry. the delusion is truly like nothing i’ve ever seen before.

I don’t watch YouTube channels where it’s just someone ranting their opinion about a thing, whether I agree with it or not.  I don’t really care about it, it’s boring.  Just like I wouldn’t expect anybody else to care about my opinion either.  The only reason why I give opinions in this series is because I’m asked to, when I’m writing my own things I try to keep it funny and entertaining rather than just “here is what I think about x”.  I don’t expect people to care about opinion alone, if they do they can ask me here, but I’m not going to make an entire video about one fucking opinion, or watch one for that matter.  Don’t watch this trash, and in time YouTube will probably recommend it less and less.  Keep your online life healthy and clean by taking out the garbage.

I have a question about performing live. A friend of mine is in a band that is getting booked at small venues again (this is a relatively new endeavor for her that, of course, was interrupted by COVID). In one place they performed recently, the stage was hollow underneath, which caused a lot of weird humming and vibration. The guy who ran the place fixed their mikes so that the audience couldn’t hear it, but it was a real pain for the band because they couldn’t hear themselves play!

I was wondering if there’s some kind of fix for the band members in that situation–a type of earplug you would recommend or the like. They’d like to play that venue again, and in all honesty, they’re in a tech-bro part of the country where they can pretty much expect to be dealing with venues that put a ton of effort into their microphone/speaker system and zero effort into having a stage that doesn’t act like a drum head.

Most stages, are not completely solid blocks but are hollow or constructed from hollow parts, either because there’s an orchestra pit under there, or a backstage area underneath, or the stage is on a riser of some kind.  In the Blackpink documentary I reviewed, you get a good look under their live arena stages – they’re also hollow!  Live acoustics is a complicated area.  My number one thing though would be to say that if there’s any possible way to do so, get the monitor wedges off the stage floor, and if the speaker system is also on the stage floor, try and float that as well, or put it off to the side or in the audience area or something.  Feedback and vibration will definitely decrease if you physically uncouple the performance area and the PA system.  Once again, impossible to be more specific without at least seeing photographs, or ideally being at the venue in question, but this is the first thing I would look at to try and solve a problem like this.

Did you have any favorite video games when you were growing up? If so, what were they?

I loved computer games when I was a teenager because it was an escape from the shittiness of several other aspects of being a teenager, which I definitely wasn’t coping well with at the time.  As a result I gravitated more towards games that had a high degree of immersion, especially anything in first-person perspective 3D.  However the computer games of that era weren’t very good at displaying 3D so not many developers dared to go down this path and I had few options.  My favourites in the Commodore 64 days were Elite and Mercenary, because they both had huge 3D worlds that you could really get into, Mercenary was the best because even though it was punishingly cruel (with bastard tricks like innocent-looking rooms that you could enter but not exit) it was also the first truly open-world 3D game that simulated an entire planet where you could do anything you wanted, having both 3D immersion AND total freedom in the world was great and felt revolutionary at the time, even though the world was incredibly featureless by today’s standard.  Later 3D games like Wolfenstein and Doom I was fascinated with but they kind of passed me by because I had an Amiga machine instead that couldn’t run that stuff, the best I had was the Alien Breed 3D games, and other Amiga “Doom clones”, all of which were relatively janky and ugly compared to Doom’s very clean texture-mapping.  I ended up playing actual Doom for the first time many years after the hype around it had expired.

What is it about Key’s Yellow Tape that reminds me of 90s pop? The chorus sounds like something from Savage Garden.

There’s nothing specifically 90s about the actual sounds being used, what’s making you think of Savage Garden is the melody note-choice in the chorus which is slightly similar to one of their songs with the way it ascends.  I think.  It’s kind of hard for me to answer because I really do try to avoid listening to Savage Garden whenever possible, just for mental health reasons.

Hi kpopalypse, I have some questions about your cat!

What’s the name of your cat and how do you manage the hair shedding of that fluffball? Have you ever attempted to give your cat a bath and if so how did it end? Asking because her fur seems so clean and because she seems to be quite aloof whenever you film her 🙂

My cat’s name is Stiglitz (after Hugo Stiglitz from Inglorious Basterds).

I manage the hair shedding using a grooming tool called the “Furminator”.  Expensive but definitely worth the money!  I’ve groomed her on livestream before, if you’re watching ask me to do this.  Lots of fluff.

I don’t give her baths.  Cats generally hate being bathed, if you groom them they will keep themselves clean.  She’s an indoor cat so she doesn’t really get that dirty anyway.  You don’t really need to wash cats at all as long as you keep their living areas clean, unless they do something very extreme like roll in mud or tip over a can of paint on themselves.

I’m watching squid game right now since it’s hyped up so much, even though I was kinda spoiled on who dies and stuff, it’s still pretty interesting so far. The whole concept reminds me of your old halloween fanfics. [some stuff deleted because I haven’t seen it and would rather not know the concept ahead of time]
By the time you read this you’d probably have a new fanfic out so looking forward to that. Do you have other fanfics in the works or will it solely be for Halloween since you’re probably busy all the time?

My Halloween interactive fanfic is now out so please enjoy it!

I tend to put more storytelling effort into the fictions that are not interactive, but just normal stories.  Given the topics I tend to write about, pretty much any of my fanfictions would probably qualify as a Halloween fanfiction!  I always have ideas for fanfictions, I tend to write the story outlines almost completely “in my head” before actually typing them out, when I type them out that’s when I fill in all the details.  The “in my head” process can take a very long time, but the turning it into a story part is very quick, two days usually.  Given that it’s content that isn’t up the alley of every reader I tend to just take my time with the ideas, I don’t put something out there until I’m happy with it.

Hey kp-nim. Back a few months ago I asked for your input on joining a team for a dreaded sport (which I enjoy) for a close friend, even if the coach was a cunt. I didn’t drop it because of the optimist buried underneath the 57 layers of general anxieties that make up me, in spite of your advice, and turns out, choices.
Now I’m stuck with a non-friend uninterested in my bullshit and generally a negative environment full of annoying, pubescent teenagers stuck up their own asses that are aggressively shoved in my face even when I keep to myself. They won’t even admit they chronically shove shit up their asses even though they’re gayer than my closeted faggot ass! Faced with all this I practically have an episode every practice even though there have only been about 3, where I relapse on thoughts of self harm and force myself to vomit so I have an excuse to take breaks and cry in the bathroom whenever I make too many mistakes.
I’m sorry I write so much ranty bullshit, but at the very least I have a question for you. Should I leave the team and lose my parents a couple thousand in investment, and myself a tiny bulletpoint on a uni application? Or should I just suck it up and take shit as it comes (turns out I have a licensed therapist for a reason)? I appreciate your determination to assist caonimas everywhere, and October’s first roundup taught me a more valuable life lesson than anything from the first 10 years of my life, so thank you kpopalypse!

I’d drop it for sure.  Without a second thought.  I mean it’s making you miserable, so why even do it, your mental health has to come first.  Don’t sweat the expense from your parents, they’re used to spending money on you with mixed results, because that’s what happens when you have a child, you don’t necessarily know what’s going to work and what won’t so you just put money into various things and hope for the best.  Trust me Universities don’t give a shit if you do sport or not unless you’re studying a specifically sport-related field.  This is possibly the easiest QRIMOLE question to answer that I’ve ever had.

favorite year(s) of kpop music? maybe because it had several epic releases or bc it had good (a) trend(s) going on

If we’re talking k-pop, here.

If we’re talking pop in general, I have no idea actually.  Growing up I was more into heavy metal.  Best year of heavy metal was around 1990 before Metallica’s “Black Album” made everyone think that the best idea was to go slow and not thrash but instead do pop songs with a metal veneer.  Snore.

Am I the only one that misses this era of pop so much? Like I know it’s just a fuckin trance beat with a feminine vocal put on top but something about the rough production style and fun of it I feel is what makes it so nostalgic and pleasant. Most modern reinterpretations of this types of songs are too polished for me ngl, what do you think? Hope you enjoy them nontheless and vibe to the nostalgia like I do 🙂

This is not really a question, is it.  However just know that the answer to any question that begins with “Am I the only one..” is always “YES.  You are the only one.  You are alone, in the void.  The fabric of time and space has collapsed in on itself and given way to entropy.  All existence is meaningless.  All matter is cancelled by antimatter, resulting in a state of pure nothingness, stretching into eternity.  However if there was any hope, any dim shard of light, that could possibly result in the formation of a new consciousness, a new being that could absorb the lessons of the past and forge a new destiny for the universe, it probably wouldn’t like your music taste.” 

1. It’s only my impression or the male vocals in k-pop have lost their already small distinctiveness lately?
I mean, 10 years ago we had somewhat different vocal timbres in boy groups like Bigbang’s Taeyang and Daesung, BTOB’s Hyunsik, SHINee’s Onew, Taemin and Jonghyun, EXO’s D.O. and etc. , all of them with quite freedom to show different aspects of their voices on the songs, with or without a lot of sound effects as support.
My point is, is that really a “problem” with the less vocal timbre variance of the newer groups, like nowadays the norm is to have produce a song with vocals easily replaceable voices, or is more related to a different aproach in melodies, composition and music writing in general? Or maybe I’m just turning myself into a caonima who can’t like new shit?

2. About a month ago this weid fetish-like thing was suggested to me on YT. I watched it till the end and judged it as ridiculous and unfunny. But some days later, I recalled the maniacal laughter in my mind while I was doing an unrelated activity and decided to watch the video again. To my astonishment, at that time I found it slightly delightful… And nowadays, when I am feeling down from my life, I watch the video (occasionally) and it lift my spirits in a really strange way (non-sexual, sadly)! What the fuck is that? Is that the same thing that happens with the brain when we listen to Suhyun singing A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-Alien on that fucking repetitive chorus?

I wish you a wonderful November, Cunt-oppar!

Cut this part if you feel like it: now it seems like the police of your country can delete your data in your devices and shit. I don’t know if that’s the case, but maybe you may want to retain your sensible shit about that sneaky major korean entertainment label somewhere else now. Yes, I still want to know more details about it someday, lol ##

  1. I don’t really know, I don’t keep track of vocal timbres and things like that, because I just don’t care about it all that much.  I mean I guess I don’t really notice the presence of anyone with a voice like T.O.P these days, but that’s about all.  In my opinion way, way, WAY too much importance is placed on vocals in pop music.  The best pop music songs are great songs regardless of who sings them, or even if nobody is singing them and the melodies are played instrumentally instead.  I understand why people place importance on vocals (people tend to like “the human element” and there’s nothing more “human sounding” that a human making human noises) but from a music appreciation perspective I couldn’t give one solitary fuck.  I’ve read comments about me along the lines of “he likes x particular type of voice” – no, actually I don’t care.  At all.  As long as it’s not pissingly annoying.
  2. I don’t know why you think the video is a fetish-like thing, I just thought it was someone pointing out that a character has over-exaggerated laughter by stitching all the laughter scenes together.  Kind of like that video that isaymyeolchigr did where he stitched all AOA Jimin’s “heys” together.

Bonus answer – I’m not concerned.  The cops where I live have only heard of “Gangnam Style”.

Recently, a friend was gushing over some song and wanted me to check it out. I did and I thought it sucked ass so I just told them “sorry, I couldn’t get past the 20th second”. They proceded to tell me I have 0 taste and that the music I listen to is just screeching and noisy banging (I listen to metal and prog rock a lot). I actually lol’d but I also got a little bit hurt. So how do I stop myself from getting butthurt about people shitting on my music taste, oppar?

Reading my roundups should help, that’s a large part of why I write them the way I do.  You’re supposed to read them and go “well actually I don’t give a fuck about what this asshole thinks” and that’s actually a very positive self-affirming thought for a reader to have.

Are you looking forward to T-ara’s (Qri, Eunjung, Hyomin, Jiyeon) comeback? Also how did you find Qri’s Suri Suri?

I don’t look forward to any comebacks ever.  I wait until the FULL thing is out, whatever it is, and THEN I decide whether I’m excited or not.  Anything else is caving into manipulation.

“Suri Suri” isn’t eligible even for roundup due to having no video but the song’s pretty awful anyway.  You know I’m being honest about this because if there’s anyone with a reason to be biased towards it, it’s me, I mean, I could have had the perfect QRIMOLE theme song right here!  Sadly there is no way I can get behind it.

Hello kpopalypse sir, I hope you’re having a good month. My question is this: I am profoundly deaf. I can still listen to music, but it hurts so much that I know I’ll never be able to listen to Dreamcatcher the way God LeezOllounder intended. I’m grateful for the hearing I do have left (10% left ear, about 70% right ear) but how do I build a bridge and get over the fact that yes, I am deaf, and I’m going to miss out on a lot of things in music?

That’s a really good question, I don’t know.  Maybe it’s a bit like how I’m colour-blind and red really tricks my eye so I can’t appreciate girls in slinky red dresses enough to fap.  Everyone always talks about how red is the “most sexual” or “most exciting” colour but I can barely even see red things.  I could be missing out on a lot of potential faps here.  I will just have to do the best I can with what I can.  So all I can say is be very very careful to preserve what little hearing you do still have for as long as you can.  Also remember that people who lose one sense tend to have their other senses heightened to compensate, so you can probably see the red dress even better than a normal person let alone someone like me.  So there’s still something to be thankful for.

Hello Oppar. Relationship advice question:

I keep having thoughts about my ex. Whenever I’m with my current partner I think of him. Which is really bad because my ex was a bad boyfriend. He left me alone on christmas and new years, and spent it with his friends instead of anytime with me. I only saw him every 2-3 months AND HE LIVED IN THE SAME CITy AS ME. He was also kind of a pussy and always blamed everything on how he worked so much. And only said I love you like thrice. Now as you can see, not a good boyfriend. And he broke up with me a day after I set my kitchen on fire.

So these thoughts I have about him, are actually messed up. I keep thinking about how attractive he is (even though I haven’t seen his face in 11 months). When I’m in the bedroom with my current partner I feel like I see his face sometimes. One time I had a nightmare about him too. A nightmare about him neglecting me. He also wore this earing sometimes, that I was infatuated with. Whenever I see a man with earrings now I am drawn to him. Or how he wore a dress shirt tucked into his pants, it was very attractive, and made me even buy a dress shirt for my current boyfriend.

I almost cried last week, 9 months after the relationship ended, about him not being my boyfriend anymore.

Why do I still think of him all the time? Why am I obsessed with him? Is it because I can’t stop thinking about “what couldve been”?

I’ve had similar thoughts about people who I know definitely weren’t right for me.  Like hard drugs, some people are just hard to quit even though you know they’re bad for you.  Stick to your guns though – at the end of the day, your emotions can be whatever they are but your rational mind always has the final choice.  So make the choice that values yourself the most and in time the feelings will fade (not gonna lie, this won’t happen quickly).  So that’s what I think.  Also next time I promise to wait at least a week after your set your kitchen on fire to break it off.

There’s a recent trend of fans gifting idols custom in-ear monitors for live performances, which I guess is a more considered gesture than merely showering them with the usual five different designer handbags, but since you have experience working with various audio equipment, do you think this is actually a practical idea in reality? I have a mental image of some poor backstage TV staffer having to tear up a load of technical notes minutes before the show just so that Linda from DICKSQUAD can appease her Chinese fan bar by wearing the gold-plated, jewel-encrusted monitor they bought her for her birthday for a three-minute song. Are idols expected to provide their own equipment anyway, or is this creating a load of unnecessary work behind the scenes?

As a performer, I would absolutely not blindly trust any random audio equipment that a fan gives me.  Fans will obviously give something custom designed and pretty, but the gear designed to be pretty is often also junk where prettiness is prioritised over effectiveness.  If you’ve ever bought a pair of “merch headphones” or whatever (raises hand), you’ll know what I’m talking about.  I’d keep the fan gift on a shelf somewhere and use my own damn in-ears which are probably decently expensive and actually can be trusted to work and not fail halfway during a set.  I suspect most k-pop performers would feel the same way about it.

any horror game recommendations? (if you like to play them)

I find most of these type of games just stupid, because they rely on jump-scares which is lame.  Boo hiss.

I would recommend Receiver 2 though – an honestly amazing game, scary as shit, even though it doesn’t seem like a horror game on the surface, it most definitely is.  It might interest a lot of American caonimas, as it’s an FPS where each moving part of the gun is separately modeled with a ton of realism.  So if you want to reload a gun you don’t just press R to reload like in most games, you press a key to eject the magazine, another one to put the magazine in your pocket, another one to get a new magazine out of your pocket, another one to put the magazine in, another to chamber the round, then another to see if the round you just chambered actually did chamber properly (because guns can jam) etc etc.  You also have to manually manage your bullet supply and physically put each bullet in your magazine separately, but of course you need two hands for that so you have to holster your gun first, and so on.  This might seem silly, but it’s a game mechanic that really works, because when the shit hits the fan, it increases the panic factor about ten times, because it’s really really hard to remember what to do under pressure.  So inevitably you just start running away from threats and shitting your pants in fear as you try to remember what key it is to half-cock the hammer to extract stuck bullet casings from a single-action revolver.  It’s genius really and so much more horror value than any jump-scare.

The other horror game I’ve been playing recently is The Forest.  Once again there’s no real cheap jump-scare type content in it, and most of the gameplay is actually really peaceful – but when the shit goes down, it really goes down.  It’ll make you jump for the right reasons.  Highly recommended.

What’s your opinion on hanging up posters of kpop idols on the wall (or in extent any idol)? I personally find it creepy and a bit shameful because I don’t know these people even if I like their music or idol persona, and I hate the idea of putting people on a pedestral like that. It just feels like it reinforces a parasocial asymmetrical relationship I really don’t want to be a part of. However my friends reacted bloody shocked when I told them that, so I wonder if my opinion is that outlandish?

I had a few posters up in my rooms when I was younger, of various bands, I just did it because I liked those artists and I thought they had cool looking posters.  It certainly wasn’t anything to do with idolisation and so forth.  I mean if it was an artist I liked but I didn’t think the poster looked cool I wouldn’t put it up, the main objective was just a cool-looking room.  Maybe some people do it for other reasons, I’m sure they do, but whatever.  Yeah it might be a bit parasocial in some cases but it’s probably one of the least harmful types of parasocial activity that someone can do concerning their idols, to be honest.

This was probably asked but do you have any opinion or reason as to why k-pop fans are so adamant on holding idols accountable whenever they lip sync a racist word like nigga/nigger when all they did is lip sync the word. I don’t think that necessarily makes them racist or need to be “educated”, also what makes it weird is that most if not all of these people aren’t even black to begin with? Maybe I’m in the wrong and I don’t know what to think of it because I’ll probably be cancelled or something.

I don’t generally give much of a shit because I don’t really sing along to other people’s songs to begin with, and especially not rap songs, so it hardly affects me.  I wouldn’t sing along to ANY word in a rap song!  However I think that if rappers want an international audience and to be popular, then they have two options: either don’t sing the words you don’t want other people singing along to, or, sing those words and expect that if the song gets popular outside of their neck of the woods and their specific cultural context, others will sing along, not necessarily knowing or caring about that original context.  Any other expectation is frankly ridiculous, and most artists with any sense know this.  The following relevant from 5:30 and especially so from 8:20:

What Lil Herb is saying is – context is important, and the context of enjoying a song by a black performer is completely different to the context of having a problem with someone’s skin colour.  So we know the entire argument of using racial slurs in songs has zero to do with actually preventing racism, and everything to do with language policing and wokescolding, and people wanting to “feel special” and “superior” by insisting others “need education”.  It’s all surface-level performative bullshit that’s really just a cover for their own racism and creepy obsession with skin colour and segregation.  Wokescolders secretly love it that racism exists, because appearing to fight against it validates them.

Hello oppar! Hope you’ve been doing well. I have two questions:

1. I said some dumb shit in the past and not only do I feel guilty for believing it in the first place, but I’m worried people will attempt to throw it at my face forever and accuse me of “flip-flopping”. What is the minimum time limit to accept someone has changed their mind on something (this is also relevant to how k-pop fans handle apologies I guess)? How should I handle it in case someone confronts me about it? How do I improve at trusting my own judgement?

2. In this video, the main argument is that true freedom is the one defined by your inability to pursue vices, thus the freedom to follow the best version of yourself, as opposed to the typical notion of being able to do whatever you want. It’s true that one’s freedom necessarily has to stop at someone else’s infringement of it (hence why actions like murder and rape are crimes), but where is the line defined? How can one determine what is merely a “vice” or a “crime”? How does one define “freedom”?

  1. We all make mistakes and believe incorrect things.  I know that I certainly have!  I would just say “so what” honestly.  If people don’t like it who gives a shit, it is what it is, we are not perfect people.  Everyone needs to stop expecting that.  Give humans the space to be human, everyone on this planet is still growing and learning, and who knows maybe you were right the first time anyway.  Minimum time limit to change one’s mind?  247 zeptoseconds seems fair.
  2. This type of conversation only really makes sense in a country like the USA where the idea of “freedom” is very heavily idealised beyond reason.  This guy who made the video is clearly a Christian conservative or similar (you can tell this just by his godawful horrid slide selection even with the sound off) who is trying to make conservative values seem more appealing by saying “well, freedom really means the freedom to be conservative, and gosh we all love freedom, so be conservative because that’s where more freedom is”.  However the obsession with “freedom” is a curiously American thing, people in other countries don’t give quite as much of a fuck and wouldn’t respond to this carrot he’s dangling to try and get you to sign onto his creepy no-fap no-porn bullshit.  That’s not to say the concept of freedom is completely unimportant, it might even be very important, but it’s definitely not considered the “all-time #1 most important value” the way it is in the USA.  Honestly I couldn’t give a shit whether fapping or not fapping, or doing drugs or not doing drugs, or whatever else that I may or may not want to do, constitutes “more freedom” or not, this type question isn’t even a factor in why I might do something, or not.  Likewise I don’t worry about something is a “vice” or not either because that’s just another label that doesn’t mean a whole lot really, and I only worry about if something is a “crime” if there’s a reasonably realistic chance of it being an actual crime and of upsetting the police over it, which I really don’t like doing.  I have my own internal moral compass which doesn’t relate to any of this arcane controlling bullshit he’s talking about and I judge my actions and statements based on what I think is the right thing to do, not what some fuckwits did thousands of years ago that this guy thinks is so relevant.  He’s a clown and he wants everyone to join the circus.  He even uses the word “normies” unironically in some of his other videos – watch out for people like that, they do not have your best interests at heart.

In your opinion who had the better halloween 2021 costume, Shindong or Wonho?

 

I’m kind of bored of Harley Quinn cosplay to be honest, so while these are both very good, I think Shindong wins this round.

Ok so I think I’m finally figuring out this “pedal-point” blah blah thing you always blabber about, so how about these songs?

It’s not me always talking about it, it’s you guys always asking me about it!  I haven’t written about this in years!

It’s on the list for the music theory series to expand on this a little more.  I’ll get there when I get there, until then enough with the “is this song pedal point” questions.

if a newbie to k-pop asks you what one girl group and one boy group album you can recommend to them to start their k-pop listening, which albums will you recommend?

Kind of answered already here.  Because there’s no male artists I’d add BigBang’s “Still Alive” to the list.

which heavy metal group and k-pop group would make for the most interesting and best song collaboration and why?

It’s hard to say because you never really know how two different groups are going to collaborate exactly.  There’s the “I’ll do one half of the song, you do the other half, then we stitch it together” style of collaboration, there’s the “everyone in the same studio let’s jam” collaboration, there’s the “record your thing and then I’ll do a thing on top of it later” collaboration etc.  Then there’s all the dynamics of the groups, how do they get along and correspond (or not) and who decides who gets to be front and centre and who gets to be in the background a bit (because not everyone gets to be the lead player).  There’s so many factors that you could get the two best groups in the world and get them to do a thing together and the result could be the biggest bucket of shit anyway.  I’d really just have my favourite groups release two separate songs than do some collab that may or may not work, then I get twice the songs and they’re more likely to be individually at least okay.

I know that wasn’t the answer you were looking for so let’s just say Cannibal Corpse and G-reyish and call a timeout.

oppar will you ever do in-depth “how-to” as part of your music theory series? like, how to write a k-pop girl group/boy group song, how to write a ballad that does not suck, etc etc

and will you ever consider writing posts about how to enter/navigate through the music industry? thanks!

My music theory series endeavours to answer the first question.  However it’s a very complex area so it has to be answered bit-by-bit in an infinity-part series, because despite the stereotype pop music is actually shockingly difficult to write well, and is always changing.  Every single post of the music theory series is answering one small facet of this question.

My best advice for how to enter the music industry is “don’t”, but you could read here for more information.  It’s a bit dated but it still applies.

do you think writing a girl group song is easier than a boy group song? this year boy groups seemed to have really hit their stride but the standard of quality has always been girl group music.

like for example, take bang sihyuk, he can’t write for shit for his boy groups, but he’s written absolute girl group bangers like t-ara’s “one&one”, gfriend’s “mago” and “labyrinth”, glam’s “in front of the mirror” and so much more.

I don’t think either are easier or harder, I think that songwriters just put less effort into the boy stuff because there’s a presumption that the fans will buy it anyway, whereas with girl groups I think it might be more of a labour of love in some cases, they really want the song to sound good so they can justify looking at the girls over and over.  “I’m just so addicted to the song, man…”

I just want to say that reading your articles give me refreshing feelings and ideas as what you think is very different to what most people I’ve met before judged what is good music.

Back then I always heard people claim how music from indie artists are automatically superior to music from idols or Kpop in general (of course to these people Kpop just mostly consists of idol groups) because it’s likely that the indie artists write their own songs, but you are not hesitant to call out songs you don’t like shit, regarding it’s from idols or from indie artists (also in your Roundup post on 1/11 I was surprised when you said different doesn’t always translate into good, it usually means complete boredom, and that exactly my feeling when I heard songs from indie artists as most of their songs are just ballad). Or back then when I was first scrolling through your best songs list, I was surprised that almost all songs on your list were very easy to listen, when most of what I heard from people is how the more complex and weirder the songs are, the better. On the same note, I also heard how people consider songs from idols/artists with better singing skill is always better than those with weaker singing skills (or you normally say, “vocal-faggots”), even when the songs are super boring (back then I thought maybe I have shit ear or something because I was unable to absorb the beauty of the singer’s vocal skills lol). I also was impressed when you would prefer a one-trick-pony artists/idol groups but have good songs (like GFriends, as you said their songs are not too different from each other) than idols who experiment but have miss more than hit because I almost always heard how people judge the latter kind of groups as superior to the former simply because they are more experimental and how if I replay the songs long enough, I would start to love the song (I’ve tried but can’t like Wolf or Growl by EXO…).

Thank you for reading my thought. Have a nice day.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter whether a song is an idol song or an “indie” song, someone still had to write it.  Maybe the singer is the same person as the songwriter, or maybe the singer just sung it and the songwriter is some stuffy nerdy dude holed up in some basement somewhere, or working in a shiny office.  Which isn’t a value judgement – maybe those “indie” artists don’t write music in shiny offices, but do other work in shiny offices to support their music career (statistically very likely actually).  Even a song written by a computer AI still needed someone to write the AI to be able to write the song.  What does any of it matter?  A song is a song is a song.

A good song is hard to create – but it’s easier to create when you’re using some kind of existing template to create it.  Even easier again when you’re using a template that has been known to work well previously.  For the same reason that when designing a car, it helps to look at other car designs first and borrow or at least “be inspired by” their designs, rather than to try and invent everything yourself completely from scratch.  So songs that fit existing formats, and that repeat a proven model of success, are more likely to also give a good result, than someone just winging it with some new wild ideas they think might work but that haven’t really been proven.  Having said that, sometimes the person with the wild crazy-ass idea of building their own car (or song) from scratch while disregarding what others have tried, or deliberately going in a different direction, might just come up with a genius invention like no other, that pushes everything forward and blows people right the fuck away.  Experimentation is higher risk/higher reward, which is why large corporations making pop music tend to not like it as their main mode of operation.  That’s not to say idol pop takes no risks at all, but a big k-pop company would usually rather minimise their risk most of the time, and put out something very daring only very occasionally when they can afford to do so, after having the balanced the books and made sure that if the risky project is a disaster, they can absorb the loss.  Whereas someone smaller might be more inclined to take risks just because they might have less to lose in the first instance – if you’re just responsible to yourself, and you don’t have to pay utilities on a 6 storey building with 80 employees, there’s less pressure to perform.  If your song sucks it’s no big deal – just make another one and try again, nobody’s going to lose their job over it.  At the end of the day once again, none of this matters – a song is a song is a song.  But it should give you some insight into why “indie” artists tend to do less well – because they can afford to.

Aren’t some kpop fans are hypocrite? They act like they care about the environment and blame the corporation for polluting the environment, wasting electricity while they themselves did the exact same thing. For example, bulk buying albums, urging people to keep streaming and so on.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate corporations too for what they’re doing but I think kpop fans should shut their mouth if they gonna do the exact same thing.

It’s impossible to not harm the environment in some way, just by being a human living on this earth.  The issues of the environment are a big deal not because of what we’re doing, but because there’s so many people doing it.  That doesn’t mean people don’t care though and saying to everyone “switch off your devices if you care so much then” – we all know that is not going to happen.  There are ways to make packages sustainably, and electricity can also be supplied sustainably – the electricity that supplies Kpopalypse HQ is carbon neutral and very environment.  So I would say hold off on judging people for being hypocrites, because we probably all are in some way.

I’m no psychiartist, but I’ve worked in the music business for a long time, so I’ve seen a lot of psychiatry in action, and I’ve watched a lot of people get treated and been with them on their up-and-down journeys.  I’ve learned that when it comes to people with any acronyms ending in D, is that those are not conditions for which there is a “cure”, rather they are conditions that need to be “managed”, and on top of this the drugs often need to be carefully curated, for instance some types of drugs can stop working after a while so then they need to be switched over etc.  So her just giving up on the drugs cold turkey, assuming she’s made this decision completely of her own free will and not at the advice of a trained professional, is a potential danger.  [edit]  You wouldn’t expect someone with a torn shoulder blade do a gymnastics competition without any issues, and likewise you wouldn’t expect someone with a mental health condition that wasn’t being treated to form healthy long-lasting relationships or friendships that were free of drama and heartache (even when they ARE being treated, this isn’t always an easy road).

Maybe there’s still time for this one so, here we have Twice girls in secretary-like outfits. It seems that you are a big sucker for that type of garment-concept so I’m interested to know how would be your ranking? Also want to know the motives that made you choose a design as the best and the worst too, because I personally could get the job done with all of them.
Sorry about my poor grammar, I’m not an Anglo-bitch (sadly).

Yes, excellent look here for all of them.

Nayeon probably comes off the best here, Jihyo the worst with that awkward hunched-over position (JYP afraid of her assets dominating, obviously).  Jeongyeon sadly too zoomed-in to really assess properly, no doubt also a deliberate decision because she’s gained weight and k-pop agencies are pathetically afraid of anything that looks like curves.  Nobody looks “bad” though, this is kind of a hard look to get wrong.

thoughts (on the comic, not the fan whose account it is)

It’s hit and miss for me.  The first panel is the best one.  Yeah sure, the guy who wrote this is being deliberately mocking and clearly has no love for k-pop in general, but that’s fine – there’s no law saying he has to like it.  Anyway I’ve got to admit that he has some points.  He’s highlighting the real problem of mental health in the k-pop business, as well as the hypocrisy of fans who don’t see how they feed into and directly enable a working culture of abuse.  (No wonder those same fans are trying to shut him down, clearly their outrage has nothing to do with “mocking Jonghyun” and everything to do with how they don’t like seeing their own reflection so closely.)  The next two panels are weaker as the jokes and the social observations both aren’t as sharp, or as accurate, it just sort of comes off as a k-pop hater’s rant, and that’s boring.  Overall this isn’t something I’d share on social media as I think some of the shots he takes are just kind of cheap and lame (“they all look the same” please, what doesn’t all look the same if you’re not a fan of it), but it did get a small chuckle in some parts, and he sure knows his audience.  Anyone sharing this because they didn’t like it certainly got baited.  The fact a hater bothered to translated it into English so they could share it with more people – oh boy, he sure has them wrapped around his little finger doesn’t he.

I’m a 4th year university student studying astronomy. This semester, assignment marks have been great but the two midterms I’ve written so far did not go well (the first one I feel like I just wasn’t totally focused. Seriously worst midterm I’ve written, likely bombed it. The second wasn’t that hard but I made 1 dumb calculation error for a question worth 25% that messed up everything in my full answer). I’m no stranger to midterm/test hiccups, but I thought I grew to handle this stuff being a 4th year student. Ironically it is b/c I’m in 4th year that I’m even more (presently) defeated by these two incidents. My grades have only increased since 1st year to 3rd year and were very good in 3rd year, but I’m now uncertain about my 4th year grades and I fear what people handling graduate school applications will see is good progress from 1st-3rd year, but a dip in 4th year (I plan to apply to grad school next year). I’ve worked hard to bring up my cumulative gpa from 1st to 3rd year (3.25 to 3.55 on a 4.0 scale, even including the useless non physics/math/astro courses which actually bring down my cgpa), so to have a dip in 4th year would be devastating.

Historically in my life, everything has seemed to work out eventually within the realm of academics. Looking back at any past experiences I’ve had in which I’ve felt anxious about academics (low test/exam grades, walking out of a test/exam without confidence, realizing I made mistakes on a test/exam after having written it, etc.), I recognize my worry was completely unnecessary given the eventual not-bad-outcomes. I am still thinking about whether the situation I’m in rn is any different from my past experiences (i.e will things eventually work out?)…at the moment, I’m leaning more towards the thought that it is different.

Am I unnecessarily catastrophizing my situation? Am I putting unnecessary stress onto myself for the remaining assessments for those two courses? How can I shake off this defeated and anxious feeling I have? I know I have to pick myself back up and just move foward, but given how busy I am it is especially difficult. This concern sounds trivial even when I read it but i can’t help but feel like it’s not, if that makes sense. When something like this happens in the present time, it’s been hard for me to see the bigger picture. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading, Love the blog (and the cat) btw

Yes, you are unnecessarily catastrophising your situation.  But you knew this, the real question is how do you stop doing it.  Firstly, this guide may help.  Secondly, you already have part of the answer because you have a track record of getting through it despite your concerns.  The real solution is focus on the here and now.  There no point worrying about the past (I did bad midterms, uh oh) or the future (what if I can’t do postgrad, uh oh).  Just think about each day “what can I do, today, preferably right now, to improve my chances of the outcome I want”, and then do that thing.  Then repeat each day.  When I’m learning a big guitar piece I don’t look at the whole thing and go “oh no I could never do that”, what I do is break it down into fragments I can easily digest.  “Today, I’m going to get really really good at these seven notes”.  “Today I’m going to try and do this part here, and then stick it onto the seven notes that I learned yesterday” and so on.  It’s almost like the things I do on this website.  I taught myself how to write computer games for k-pop fans with a similar step-by-step process.  So just proceed like that.  Before you know it, you might have a website that’s been running for nine years with a bunch of cunty writing in it that people can’t help but hate-read.  Or, a university degree.  Whichever you prefer, but the latter is probably more useful and will make you richer and more likeable at parties.


That’s all for this month’s QRIMOLE!  This series will return next month!  In the meantime remember to watch out for fandumbs!

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!

Leave a reply, cao ni ma

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

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