QRIMOLE – July 2022

It’s time for QRIMOLE, the monthly series where readers ask Kpopalypse questions!  Let’s take a look at the questions for this month!

My boyfriend’s mom just leave youtube on autoplay for her elderly mother. She usually puts on BTS, then it ends up being totally retarded korean music. So yeah my bf’s 90 year old Lola is just asleep listening to korean ballads and BTS all day. Everytime I go downstairs theres just some random shit playing. This was what i just watched:

WHY is this shit so terrible? First of all, WHO THE FUCK IS HENRY? I know Ailee, but not this man. Its not like i can search him up on google, theres a million fucking people named Henry. Its not like i can search “Henry Kpop” hes not even a kpopper he plays the violin.

Now onto the music. Im a musical dumbass, so i wont explain this well. But like…. why is the music hes playing so terrible? When he plays the lyrics on the violin its just terrible. And this song to begin with is so fucking bland, and they basically turn it into a romantic duet ballad, which sucks cock. God maybe I DONT wanna be a kpop idol, cause once my fifteen minutes of fame are up I’m gonna be stuck making shitty ballads on a rooftop. And the lyrics too are so cringe…”I took my chick up to the north”…Sorry dude, your chicks fucking dead. No one can make it past the border alive without bribing the northern spies. Defecting ain’t easy. And then they change “weed” for “swag”. Like i Know JB used to say swag all the time, but jesus christ man its 2022, you sound like Vanilla Ice.

But yeah… my question.. is what are the musical terms you’d use, to describe why this sounds bad. Bad melody? Not matching harmony?

I spat my fucking drink out at the first sentence!  Holy fucking shit NEVER EVER EVER leave YouTube on autoplay for any member of your family!  (I know it’s not you specifically doing this, but this still needs pointing out.)  Especially someone who might not be tech-savvy enough to turn the fucking thing off or adjust it accordingly, like very young children, or the elderly.  This practically counts as psychological abuse.  To be clear, I’m not talking about bad music here, but at any moment YouTube could just throw some random shit in the mix and then you’ll be thrown down the algorithm into wherever it wants to take you, usually somewhere extremely fucking toxic.  Turn your back for ten minutes and your gran is suddenly trapped watching some ultra-conservative nutjob pundit with no clue about anything feeding her all sorts of shitty sub-Murdoch ideas about lizard men taking over the world with pizza or whatever, now that’s a fate I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  YouTube algo LOVES toxic content that farms outrage clicks to the moon, fortunately you’ve only been watching music so right now it just goes from bad music to even worse music, so you’ve dodged a bullet here, but it’s a dangerous game especially if one day someone who uses the TV decides to diversify their watching habits.

So back in the old days of k-pop there was a group called Super Junior, and much like NCT these days, Super Junior had various subunits including a Chinese version called Super Junior M (M for “Mandarin” I guess, or maybe M for “might get shat on by Kpopalypse one day”) that had a slightly (but not completely) different line-up featuring some of the big-ticket Korean stars of the main group (such as LGBT icon Siwon) and also some Chinese members to help the group translate better to the local audience it was aimed at.  Henry was one of those members who was only in the Chinese version of Super Junior, and he also was a violinist, something SM made a bit of a thing about because violin playing is kind of a big deal in China, see “Fantastic”, actually a really good song, with the violin being hilariously given the “SM cyber box” treatment: 

Man, imagine Pledis did something like this with E-Young, I’ll forever weep for the cool guitar virtuoso k-pop hybrid concept we missed out on.  Anyway Henry actually had a couple decent songs as a solo artist but of course it didn’t last because nothing in k-pop ever does and now he’s past his use-by as a young idol so he gets to grind out horrible ballads with Ailee to bore us to death.  The reason why the ballad with Ailee sucks, besides it just being boring generally as ballads are, is that the melody is heavily improvised with Ailee and Henry both going into warble-land on their various instruments, sometimes even at the same time.  They’re using the ballad template to show off how well they can play/sing and they’re doing this a lot, and it’s pretty much trashing the melody of the song.  Which is fine as it’s not a good song anyway so no great loss I suppose. 

Hello Oppar,
I have an online friend who’s a grown man and a kpop fan. He’s at that stage where he thinks his fav idols are pure, angelic, and must not date other men no matter how old they are. How can I help his delusional ass?

Playing him Shannon Williams’ video where she talks about her boyfriend cheating with a KARD member might help!

Ignore the deliberately inaccurate clickbait title, and make him watch all of it as it gets more interesting as it goes on, especially from 2:25.  Basically what she’s saying is that k-pop idols HAVE to keep their dating secret from fans, and because of this, k-pop idols are used to dating being something that happens in secret in general.  This naturally lends itself to infidelity because the “secrecy infrastructure” for cheating is already there, so fucking whoever is even more tempting than it would otherwise be.  So basically, all your idols are fucking.  Why wouldn’t they be.  Think about it, if you were a young teen/twentysomething who was stupidly attractive because you had to be because it was your job to be this hypothetically perfect person that everyone adores, and you’re surrounded by a bunch of other people who are also these immaculate “perfect people”, AND of course you’re all generally fairly horny because that’s pretty normal for people of that age, AND on top of that everyone’s super-used to secrecy… yeah, your idols are fucking.  Guaranteed.    

Hey oppar, you’ve probably been asked this plenty of times, but do you have any favorite kpop deep cuts? I want to know about some super obscure music you’ve enjoyed, since I haven’t been reading your blog for too long.

I sure have.  K-pop’s best song, you’re welcome.

Generally I don’t bother with albums though.  K-pop is a genre where the album tracks are junk, and they’re junk for a reason.  More info here.

Is writing fx-heavy song like KARA’s “In the Game” really different to average k-pop ballad in terms of difficulty or not?

I don’t know what you mean by “fx-heavy” exactly.  Also I don’t know what you mean by difficulty?  Are you talking about how hard it is to write a song like this?  Or how hard it is to sing?  Or how hard it is to get it on the charts?  I don’t even know.

So this is a B-side track for Dreamcatcher’s latest album.

On a scale of 0 to 100, how disappointed are you that this isn’t the title track that we all deserved but didn’t get?

It’s actually quite good so I’ll say ΔMi−1 = −αΣn=1NDi[n] [Σj∈C[i]Fji[n − 1] + Boram[n−1]].

I wouldn’t stress just yet as they have six months to pop out a shitty “live” video that isn’t or something.  Dreamcatcher do have a habit of doing just that, so let’s be patient.

Just found this IG account analyzing kpop faces for plastic surgery. Maybe you’ll find it interesting?

Yep, this is cool, thank you!  The person with this account clearly knows what they’re talking about.  Obviously some of the stuff they’re writing is fairly speculative, but they admit this so that’s fine (“here’s what I think” vs “this is definitely what has happened”).  Accounts like this should exist.  I’m always in favour of discussing the elephant in the room.

hi there!
I get the sense that you really like BOP BOP! by Viviz due to how much you’ve seemed to vouch for them on your articles. (or maybe it’s me projecting because I absolutely love the song)

seeing as how I don’t want to wait until 2030 when you’re listing out the best k-pop songs of the 2020s on your deathbed from old age or something to get a clear answer to this, which do you think is the better song, BOP BOP! or GFRIEND’s MAGO?

Not answering this now because it’ll start a trend of endless questions like this which are completely redundant as the answers will obviously come with time anyway.  You’ll only need to wait for the end of this year to get your answer in a general sense, as the relative position of Mago vs Bop Bop should tell you broadly what I think.  I haven’t drafted or even thought about those lists yet, by the way.

Hi oppar, I am writing this because I’m at the lowest I’ve been in a while. I made a huge mistake at work on a project involving a client and several projects that were supposed to follow up after. I am dejected at my incompetence and afraid, because, while my co-workers didn’t berate me anymore than necessary, I’ve seen how they can switch up on people they deem necessary or dumb and I am terrified of getting this treatment. How can I get back into their good graces? How can I set this right? 😭 Thank you oppar for your time….

Rather than whipping yourself, which is pointless, just learn from your mistake.  How did it happen?  What factors led to it?  Everyone makes mistakes in life, I can assure you that I’ve made several.  The smart people aren’t the ones who don’t make mistakes because those people don’t exist, the smart people are the ones who learn the lessons from those mistakes and don’t repeat their errors.  I’d say “good luck” but it’s not about luck, just diligence in learning and applying lessons learned.

Hey oppar. So, it’s been a tough life in high school. Right now, I’m in the last year of high school, and, as usual, there’s a huge pressure to figure out what the fuck you wanna do with your life and shit like that. And honestly, I think I may be in rock bottom when it comes to mental health. Genuinely. I’ve been trying so hard to figure out shit like how to figure out your purpose in life, how to be happy, where does meaning come from, have been trying to fix my sleep, my diet… and honestly, it all just feels so overwhelming right now. When I think about my life in the future, I can’t help but feel hopeless and fearful for what’s to come, instead of optimistic, and I have no idea why. Everyone else seems like they’re thrilled to become more independent, to go out there and live life. But I don’t. I feel terribly stressed and fearful, as if life seems like too much to handle. But then, I feel like I’m being unfair to myself. I thought I was going to die in high school because of the huge course load, but I did just fine. Still though, I still feel like there’s something lacking in my life, and I’ve been trying so hard to do everything, all at once, to fill that gap. I’m just fucking overwhelmed right now and, as the cherry on top, I’ve had the thoughts of taking the easy way out, if yknow what I mean. I didn’t really actually *consider* it, but the simple act of it popping up in my mind made me scared that I might follow it on impulse. Holy fuck, life is so fucking hard right now, I can’t even fathom how to step in the right direction. Oppar, how did you deal with such complicated feelings in high school, if you even had these (feeling overwhelmed by life itself and the future that’s yet to come, feeling like you have too much on your plate to fix, etc)? And how can I start taking it easy, step by step, instead of putting so much pressure on myself to the point it’s taxing my mental health? Sorry if this is a bit out of your depth? I know that I probably *need* this shitty experience to grow in some way that I myself can’t see yet, but fucking hell, how can I manage this?

I think what I’m trying to say is that I feel so much pressure to have everything figured out, yet so scared of life outside of high school and what it may offer to me – good or bad. It’s been hard to maintain the hope I hold dear in myself and getting up over and over when it all feels so hazey and unknown. I know that suffering and shitty life experiences breed strength, character, and unexpected lessons, but how can I be sure I’ll have the strength to get back up when I’m knocked down? What if I’m too weak or emotional to handle life? I’ve honestly barely lived life outside of school, and God, I feel so incomplete and confused, yet I’ve been trying so hard to answer “is life worth living??” when I haven’t even experienced it that much. It all seems like too much right now, and I have no idea what to really do about it. Blergh. Life is complicated, and I’m not sure if I really want to solve it or not, yknow what I mean?

I feel like I answer a slight variation of this exact question every month.  I didn’t handle this part of my life very well either, and I certainly didn’t have any sensible realistic answers to “what the hell am I going to do with my life once I leave school”.  I didn’t really feel like I had a lot “on my plate” because I was basically lazy and just sort of cruised through school with vague pass marks while trying not to get bullied and generally being depressed, but I can relate to the feeling of confusion.  I just wanted to do music, but I had no idea how that was going to work or anything.  “How can I be sure that…” well, the short answer is, you can’t ever be sure of anything because life isn’t like that, but you just have to go with yourself and do your best to get through it anyway.  If you’re even asking these questions of yourself at all, it means that you have the sense of rationality to figure it out and muddle your way through until some answers come through.  This might seem weird but I would also STRONGLY recommend seeing a doctor and telling them how you feel about all of the above and not relying solely on Mr. Problematic K-pop Writer’s advice here.

Hey oppar bb boi ma sexy man #*~*#

[EDIT: lame racist hipster troll question removed]

2. You said we shouldn’t worry about groups disbanding because the songs they’d get would just be given to new groups. Well Lovelyz disbanded and I’m not hearing any Lovelyz type songs anymore. What gives?

[EDIT: lame homophobic hipster troll question removed]

Yeah I get troll questions like this from time to time, way more than you think.  Mostly I just delete them, but this one had a legitimately good question buried amongst the trash so I thought it was worth having here.

I’ve been trying to find information on songwriter OnePiece and what they’re doing now, but it’s actually difficult for me to do this because there’s also an anime or some bullshit called OnePiece and all my searches just come up with whatever that garbage is, I don’t even know.  However I’d say Lovelyz are an exception, most of the time when a k-pop group disband the songwriter doesn’t also fly the coop, but instead usually stick around on the roster or in the little black book and get re-hired for the label’s next projects.  I’m as disappointed as you are that this evidently hasn’t happened!

I see you say “Up” by Kep1er has Scottish Snaps. I watched a video on it and I can hear it in the verses. Do you know any other kpop songs with prominent Scottish Snaps? and do you think this tool sounds good? (is it a tool? lol)

Tons of them, and no generally it doesn’t.  If you want to blame someone for this sound being in k-pop, blaming Teddy for those nu-school Blackpink songs is probably accurate, as what the A-list groups will do the others will always eventually copy.

yo oppar. i’m a highschool student. couldn’t say that much besides most of the time, i tend to excel on classes. i’ve joined several interschool contests and never won any single of them. not even a placer. now i’ve noticed that eversince i was still in middle school, my teachers would always push me to do stuffs that would put me in severe distress just to force me in participating
these competitions so in exchange, they’d give me higher marks in classes. i feel like i was always been treated as a ‘teacher’s pet’ and i’m personally getting sick of it. i kinda loose hope that i’ll win the next interschool contest i’d join as i don’t think i’m really that ‘academically knowledgeable’ enough to compete with individuals from other schools. i’m pretty much aware of my capabilities and i wouldn’t do much if i’ll always stay in lane dragging around my academics. i’ve reached a total point where i’d finally accepted the limits of what i am capable of. apologies for being a bit dramatic but could you please give me an advice how can i tell them to refuse with their supposed “special treatment” without being rude?

also few questions to ask:

1. have you watched ‘everything everywhere all at once’?
2. why are kpop youtubers generally annoying (i don’t even watch their channel but at some point their contents always appear on my feed).

If you don’t want the extra credit, just say no to doing the extra tasks they’re pushing you into that are giving you the extra credit.  I dunno, this seems simple to me?  I guess it’s a problem with saying no at the time of the initial requests, but saying no is really easy, let CLC show you the way.

1. No.

2. The same reason all k-pop media sucks – they are in it for clicks and ad revenue.

do you think people are going to start showing more empathy towards americans in lieu of the recent shootings? i’m all for everything being able to be joked about but there’s really not much comedy material in a bunch of children brutally dying & the american police & government being too up their own asses with money, & yet i still see people treating these tragedies like it’s some reality show on social media for them to gawk at. why is it okay to make jokes about america but not other countries who are suffering ie: ukraine?

When people are making jokes about Americans regarding these things, the objective is usually not “to mock Americans”, it’s “to mock the American system”, to highlight a social issue that needs addressing.  Making a joke about something is a good way to bring attention to the underlying issues.  It doesn’t mean that they don’t have empathy for the people involved, in fact it’s that very empathy that often motivates them to make the joke.  It’s something that I do all the time.  Of course I’m ALSO misunderstood a great deal, and people think I’m just “mocking” when I make my jokes, but actually I’m almost always trying to get to a deeper issue.  Classic example is the jokes I make about Jonghyun – those offended a lot of people.  Sorry, but stiff fucking shit – I didn’t apologise then and I won’t apologise now.  Many fans thought I was making fun of him, for all the dumb fucks out there NO that isn’t it – what I’m doing is trying to draw attention to the fact that there’s something very rotten at the core of the whole Korean media system that ensures that tragic situations like Jonghyun’s will always continue to happen.  I’m not saying it’s “all SM’s fault” either, what I’m saying is that Korea has a shitty attitude in general to mental health concerns as well as concerns about people who are suffering, especially when they’re in the public eye (but also at other times), and it’s really hard for people in Jonghyun’s situation to get the help that they need.  I will keep reminding people of this, I don’t give a fuck who is offended by it, as someone who has lost several friends plus a partner to suicide it means a lot to me to keep bringing this up and beating you all over the head with it.

Having said that, maybe there are inappropriate jokes about American shootings too, I don’t know.  But I haven’t seen any.  All I’ve seen on my social media are jokes that use the American shooting incidents to cut to the heart of the incredible hypocrisy surrounding the way America deals with these events.  People who make those jokes aren’t making them because they don’t care, they’re making them because they DO care and want to see something done about the problem.  I disagree about it not being good comedy material – there is ALWAYS good comedy material in highlighting stupid people being stupid and their inaction costing lives, such people SHOULD have jokes made about them, as often as possible.

Hi kpop-oppar >.<
This is my 3rd time doing a question but my last request is to just delete and not answer my previous 2 rants bahaha. Me and that friend hung out today and I realized that I was just stressed from the idea of driving when I can drive just fine, and that it was my dad who planted the doubt in my mind. I grew up in a Christian household so my dad just thinks anybody who’s not Christian is prone to more badness and have ulterior motives or something. That’s probably why I hardly had any non-Christian friends growing up. Sorry you had to read all that and I’ll be happy if you didn’t put in the effort to answer it ^_^ have a nice day

Fortunately for me I tend to read my questions in reverse chronological order, so I actually spared myself all that reading.  Glad you worked it out!

I’m in the late stages of mixing the backings of a song I wrote, but have postponed singing vocals because I haven’t purchased an affordable microphone. It’s intended to call back to the golden age of Sweetune and their creative peak, and as such has a very “fixed” vocal meter and pattern (the closest example I could think of would be Infinite’s Be Mine). However, with the parameters of this vocal meter, I am struggling to write lyrics that don’t come across as “cringy” or dumb using the English language. If I learned Korean from childhood, something like “The Chaser” might sound extremely cringeworthy, but with the barrier of language I’m able to appreciate the songwriting for what it is uninhibited; writing the lyrics myself in my own language and attempting to make them sensible just reminds me even more of the hidden benefit of pop lyrics from linguistically separated countries. Do you have any tips on how to write rational sounding lyrics that convey emotions (possibly like Sweetune’s theme of a dramatic, unrequited love) but don’t necessarily stray too far in the direction of Emotional Rescue? Thanks!

It’s always better to write in a language that you’re actually fluent in, just so you don’t end up with wonky lines that make no sense.

If your lyrics are cringe, just write them anyway and don’t worry about it.  Most pop lyrics are cringe anyway, the bar isn’t exactly set high in this style.  You can always change them later if you think of something better.  A lot of songs that are submitted to labels just come with “placeholder” lyrics that don’t have a lot of thought put into them, and often those lyrics get rewritten anyway before release.  It’s hard to be more specific about this without seeing the lyrics in question.

I live in the USA. Fuck this country seriously. Medical insurance and college debt have already destroyed my chances of ever becoming financially independent unless my parents die and leave me with their life insurance (Isn’t that fucking morbid? People sure are “Pro-Life” here with their vitriolic hatred of government support and regulation of absurd markets.) Now, I can’t even be sure I’ll have control over my own body if I get pregnant through no fault of my own. Who knows what else they’ll take away from normal people who just want to live their lives? I really want to leave. Because my country’s a real dystopia, we can get taxed by our country even if we live outside it as long as we’re citizens. Hurray. Double taxation. For all that we pay in taxes, we sure don’t benefit much from it other than a bloated as fuck military complex that wastes a ton of money on projects that never bear fruit. Do you have any experience or advice for someone trying to get out of one’s country? Sorry that this isn’t really related to Kpop, but I really needed to rant, and I really do want some advice about what to do.

I didn’t know about the double tax thing, that explains why there are so few Americans living in Australia.

I’ve never had to escape my country before so I’m really out of my depth trying to help here.  It probably depends a bit on where you’re trying to go, as different countries have different rules for entry.  Perhaps someone else can help in the comments, but they would probably need to know where you’re thinking about going exactly.

Hey Kpopalypse!

So I’m an American (I can hear the “Boo Grrr Hiss” from anyone outside of the United States right now) and you already know this, but my country is total hot flaming garbage. They banned abortion rights for women yesterday (at the time of writing), and I’m currently in a state that has a “trigger law”, which means my rights as a woman get yoinked out of existence in July. That, combined with the assload of shootings our politicians either do nothing about, blame everything else (like doors), or just encourage (The National Rifle Association funds a lot of these assholes, and a lot of their money comes from foreign countries, namely Russia), has left me incredibly depressed. Like, I feel more despair than every Danganronpa game combined.

How do I stay sane in a country that seems like it’s heading further and further down a slippery slope to civil war and a theocracy? Do I start apocalypse prepping now? Do I molotov a politician’s house and get thrown into jail for life? Do I get married to a guy in another country? It feels as though everyone’s just ready to lie down and just accept the fact that actual terrorists have taken over the country (the Supreme Court namely, but the Senate is undemocratic in its existence too). I’m only 21 but it already feels as though my life is closing in on me due to some old people who hate everyone who’s not them. How do I find any semblance of joy in life (and not just kpop escapism or alcohol, I already tried both of those options). The only thing that makes me somewhat happy at this point is the thought of illegally driving pregnant women to states where abortion will still be legal (I won’t say what state I’m in due to legal reasons, Republicans are going to try and ban traveling to other states for abortions and I don’t want to have anything super incriminating, but thankfully there’s a bunch of states with legal abortions nearby my current location), but other then that, protesting (where in some states they made it legal to hit protesters with your car, like in Iowa) and voting for people who don’t suck feel like screaming into the void because of how this country hates protests (negative media coverage) and gerrymandering (which is redrawing lines in states to get more or less votes, this is incredibly illegal but nobody cracks down on it). Seriously, what the actual fuck can I do about anything? If I go on strike I could end up homeless, if I commit crime I’ll end up in jail, and domestic terrorism will get me investigated by the FBI. Unlike the rest of this shit country, I don’t necessarily want to sit by and do nothing.

Lots of distraught Americans in my inbox this month.  I’m sorry your country sucks.  If you are planning to stay in that country, make sure you vote.  Yeah sure it doesn’t make much of a difference, but 0.00000000001% of a say is still better than no say at all.

Not sure how a travel-to-abort ban would be enforceable in practice.  I guess Republicans will think of a way. 

Every country does gerrymandering, they do it from time to time in Australia also, usually by the ultra-corrupt “Liberal” party, who we just threw out of office.  Perhaps you should come here as we’re just finished with their nearly a decade of mismanagement which has devastated the poor and ripped the guts out of our economy.

You’re kind of the most knowledgeable person I know on music and acoustics in general, so I wanted to ask even though it’s not completely related. Does Active Noise Canceling help mitigate hearing loss from listening to things on headphones? At the very least, I’d imagine they should help encourage listening at a lower volume thanks to reducing background noise, but do they have any other benefits?

All headphones have the same potential to damage hearing depending on how loud you have them up, but not having to feel the need to crank your headphones ultra high in order to mask background noise might mean you use active noise cancelling headphones at a lower volume which will be marginally better.  Of course if you like your headphones loud as shit anyway, this won’t matter and you’ll damage your hearing no matter what! 

The one setting where active noise-cancelling headphones might actually help mitigate hearing loss from noises in the environment (but not from what you’re playing inside the headphones themselves) is if you’re using them in a space where there’s constant industrial noise at a certain stable, unchanging frequency, such as hum from a computer server room, air conditioning systems or other electrical machinery.  Being able to cancel out that kind of incoming stable signal might be able to mitigate the development of a ‘hearing notch’ at the certain frequency that the machine is emitting… as long as you’re not replacing that signal with an equally-or-greater damaging signal inside the headphones themselves.  I’ve never tested this personally but it would work in theory.

If you ever feel like you don’t hate the sportsball enough I’ll give you another reason. So, yesterday I was talking with a guy who played in the youth sector of one of the best football (“soccer” for the gun people) clubs in the world. The way he described his life in that period totally reminded me of the trainee system in kpop. Basically these 13-14yo kids after getting recruited move in the city of the football team, away from their families and all their life becomes football. They all live in a dorm, and all their days start with school, but they all go in “the team school”, near to the dorm, so all of the classmates are also the teammates, which is even worse than what happens in kpop since trainees at least have a chance to meet people from outside at school, after that there’s training, then they have dinner before going to sleep. Repeat every day. Almost no contact allowed with family, like his mom had to call the school to know if her son was still alive. After all of this, a very few of them become rich and famous, while the vast majority ends up playing in very small teams or find other jobs (just like idols debuting in nugu groups or being totally discarded at 20+yo without a career opportunity). I kinda wonder why people find it strange and unacceptable for kpop trainees and make a lot of noise about it but has always ignored how similar stuff happens under their nose (yeah, I get players at least suffer less shit and abuse than trainees but that’s the only difference). Stuff changes for better after you turn 18 and all I’ve described mostly happens in the top teams only while conditions in smaller teams are slightly better (but not really that different). This is not even a question and I don’t know if you have anything to say about it but I felt like writing this since a lot of people may not realise how many kids next to them go through something similar to the Korean idol system. I talked about football but similar stuff happens for other team or individual sports like gymnastics at high level. Cheers!

I think people just don’t know about the extent of it.  Also it’s probably the same attitude from the public as in any other “glamour occupation” – i.e “you’re doing what you love, this is your chance, you should be grateful” etc. and also it’s not like people don’t choose to go down that path.  Any hypercompetitive field where supply of willing performers far exceeds the amount of performers the industry can sustain in the marketplace, will always breed situations like this.  The problem I have with k-pop is that it resembles these sport situations in too many unhealthy ways.  While sometimes that means great results, there are ways to get equally great results outside the system, or within a reformed system that has regulation in favour of artists.

Hi kpopalypse,

Is JYPE profiting off climate change with the new “green project”?

I own 5 copies of Straykids Noeasy. 2 green 2 blue and 1 limited. God knows why, because its literally just the same fucking album same photobook same inclusions and shit but just a different colour. If your going to make 3 different types of an album that is the exact same fucking thing anyway despite the version just make 1 version. Or 2 if you want a limited.

If JYPE actually cared about the earth wouldn’t you think they’d stop making unnecessary versions of albums that are clearly just a cash grab because desperate and loyal fans will mass buy it anyway?

(It’s also ironic that I say that as I own them, but after being freed from the “buy everything your favs release because its exclusive and you just have to spend 50 dollars for a fucking piece of cardboard that wont benefit you at all excluding the 5 minutes of serotonin you’ll have once you first get and never again” dream I regret buying any kpop album.

I didn’t even know they had a “green” project but given that JYP belongs to some wacky cult and most of those people tend to believe in some “once we are saved we are guaranteed paradise and can do no wrong” nonsense, I wouldn’t trust a word they say about anything environment.  Or any k-pop company for that matter, you see quite a few of them now hopping on the NFT bandwagon and doing the “ra ra environment” thing at the same time, and the reason why this apparent contradiction seems completely logical to agencies is that both of those things make money (or at least they did, let’s hope that the NFT market keeps crashing until nothing is left).  Actions speak louder than words.  Only trust Chuu with your environments.

You might find this post helpful when deciding what to do with your extra Stray Kids albums.

Hi Fellow Australian, opinion on lettuce shortage

This is what happens when we have a climate and we don’t look after our environments.

It always amuses me how farmers vote for conservative Chuu-deniers so often – farmers are always going to be the first ones to be hit hard by a lack of environments.

As you can see, the month of may ended with some groups having members missing (in some cases thankfully temporarily). One such case: KINGDOM. Where do I begin? One of the members left the group, not a hiatus, he left citing personal reasons. You know which one. Guk Seung-jun, Chiwoo. Thankfully he had his turn in the spotlight (part 2). What really got me concerned: GF Ent said KINGDOM would promote as 6 from now on. This is bad for the concept because the whole story is centered on “7 kings of 7 kingdoms”. The Louis chapter (part 5) is around a month away or so, and something must be done to represent the character of Chiwoo. But how are they gonna do it without someone taking the spot? Have a backup dancer in a unique mask (à la Dreamcatcher Scream)?

My idea: have a new guy take the role as Chiwoo. The new guy might not give off the same vibe as the original Chiwoo, but it fills the gap, both in the group lineup and the story. I just thought of it the day after I heard the news. Then again, the whole KINGDOM plan will take 12 years, and the guys have to enlist (somebody gotta fill in for the story while they’re serving the country). Do you think this is a good solution? Am I smarter than an entire company? We shall see. Another perspective would surely help.

They’ll figure out something.  They don’t care that much anyway.  Nine Muses were only nine members for about 15 minutes during their entire career run, it didn’t stop them from doing the thing. The point of k-pop groups is to make money, for k-pop agencies, any other numbers besides the numbers of their bank balances ain’t nothing but a number.

Why are kpop fans so conservative when it comes to sexy concepts that involve women ?

A lot of them are brainwashed by the conservative societies that they live in which are ideologically sex-negative.  On top of that a lot of more progressive people have been fooled (by conservatives) into thinking that sexiness is somehow demeaning or degrading.  While there definitely ARE negative aspects to sexualisation depending on context (people being forced or pressured into certain roles etc), those negative aspects are entirely separate from the sexualisation itself and don’t have to be present.  You can be a star signed up to some shitty agency making next to zero money and having to do all sorts of stuff you’d rather not in order to pay the bills, or you can be a self-produced star who does everything by yourself and with your friends where you completely control the content you make and pocket nearly 100% of whatever you make.  Or you can be with an agency that doesn’t suck, pays you fairly and respects the boundaries you set.  This applies whether you’re an idol star, a porn star, a comedian, an opera singer, a ballet dancer or anyone else in the public eye.  Speaking of which, JAV of the month for June is DOA-020.

man ik i’m not supposed to put my whole livelihood into kpop groups but lunarsolar’s disbandment hit me HARD and i’m worried that when groups i actually stan like loona or cignature or brave girls finally croak i will NOT be prepared. any ideas on how to become emotionally distanced from my faves so i don’t go into mental collapse once they’re gone??

Read my writing, it will help.  Why do people think that I’m so nonchalant in roundups and review songs like I don’t really care.  That’s part of the training.  I’m teaching people how to create distance and be more sensible.

I’m curious about the accuracy of the “behind the scenes at the recording studio” footage we sometimes get from idol groups. For instance, this one from BVNDIT:  I know you’re probably not going to watch a 19-minute video of a group you dgaf about, but I thought I’d mention a couple of segments in particular. In 1:30-2:23, we see the leader, Yiyeon, recording while (I assume) the producers give her feedback. Do you think scenes like this one are scripted? And in 9:23-9:55, the main vocalist, Jungwoo, rehearses her part but sounds a little too stable for an off-the-cuff performance…or does she?

I guess my question is, does this seem like genuine behind-the-scenes footage (with the swearing and complaining removed, of course), or does it seem like totally scripted footage? Or a little of both?

Thanks for the timestamps.  There’s nothing fishy here, looks very legit.  If nothing else, the camera crew might have said to Jungwoo “do you want to practice that line a few more times so we can film it” but she would have been doing that anyway.  I would also expect a “main vocalist” to probably be the best singer, and there’s nothing all that radically challenging about the singing lines she’s doing anyway, so her more or less nailing them out of the gate doesn’t seem odd, remember she’s probably practiced them before a ton up until that point.  Everything I’m seeing here looks like totally normal studio stuff.  A future music theory post will probably cover the recording studio experience, from the perspective of a performer, in more detail, and this video will be useful for that, so thanks for the good find.

book recs? book rekmend?

Go to the search bar on this site, type “book review”.

Hello! how have you been? I tried to make this as brief as possible but I couldn’t. I’m sorry.

I’ve been struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts for more than a decade because of many reasons and traumatic events, and last year I had a particularly bad period but I managed to get back on track and I’m on therapy and slowly recovering, doing my best, etc.

You must be familiar with the term “anhedonia” and the inability to feel joy that makes you stop engaging on hobbies and basically any activity that used to make you feel good becomes a chore when you feel like this. I’ve been going through that stage since two years ago and completely stopped doing my art and practicing my skills which used to make me genuinely happy. I even stopped things like reading my books or watching films/concerts because they feel like chores despite me being genuinely excited to read and watch them, and not in an escapist way but in the way that engaging with these books and movies open new possibilities and worlds to me.

But it gets worse: two years ago I also completely lost the ability to enjoy music. I have a huge backlog of albums of all types of genres that I want to go through that I really honestly like and are from artists that I really honestly like too, but nowadays Kpop is the only genre I can sort of like and barely that because I remember I used to enjoy it even more. I also lost all interest in keeping up with new trends and when I listen to up and coming groups all around the world I find their music either extremely boring or simply incomprehensible.

Yes, I know people’s tastes change overtime and that it’s normal to not enjoy music you used to anymore. I know that a lot of releases nowadays just suck. This is not the case. I just don’t feel that spark of joy I felt whenever I listened to my fave songs and artists and it all happened so gradually I couldn’t even notice what my depression was doing to me until yesterday, when I ate an edible, turned off the lights and sat down to listen an album by my number one favorite artist that was released last year but I had been neglecting all this time. It was a nice experience and the weed and the enhanced ambience helped but I already very rarely consume weed and I sure as hell don’t want to get high everyday just to enjoy my fave artist, wtf.

And nothing else I find sparks that same joy anymore. I used to go to a park and run and sprint and generally just *live happily* while listening to my favorite songs or a cool new album from a band I liked or some minimal synth from a random german tape label in the 1980s. And if something sucked then I could still say “oh this album sucks” but I can’t even muster a positive or negative reaction to anything anymore. But I did like Wa Da Da and O.O, which means my depression is having a corrosive effect on my neurons and turning me into a vegetal. Soon I will only be able to react to stimuli like “h00k h00k, ay look at that moving eye sh00g sh00g”. I can feel myself starting to like Loona’s girlcrush cringe music more than their early sound and I find myself singing along to aespa’s Savage sometimes. This is bad.

So, Mr. Kpopalypse: Can you help me? How do I like music again?

And, I’m working towards retaking my art studies (my life goal has always been to become an artist) and surrounding myself with supportive people that are motivating me to do better, but I’d like to get some advice related to that. It sounds super silly when I say it, but how do I become an artist? If I have people pressuring me to do shit I do well (so I have no problem at like an office environment) but anything where I’m left on my own takes ages despite the million “just do it” self-care instagram posts I have consumed throughout the years.

Thank you so much for reading 🥺

I’ll keep my reply short – see a doctor immediately!  What you’re experiencing is not your fault and it’s also not normal.  You probably have undiagnosed depression or another mental health condition… but even if you don’t, you should get this checked out.

Hello Oppar, in your K-pop concert guide you say a good way to get tickets is to go through people you know and I’ve been reading you for ~8 years so I feel like we have a suitably strong one sided relationship, you think you can get me into an ITZY concert k thanks bye 😘 (also I’d love to see a fashion class on the rise of alternative clothing, shoes especially, in K-pop with the “girl crush”’concept)

I can’t even get myself into an Itzy concert as there’s no such concert in my area!  Blackpink have, true to their name, been the only girl group recently to have the courtesy to be “in my area” with one of their concerts.  Anyway once I can manage getting into an Itzy concert on my own, I’ll see what I can do about helping others.

I don’t even know what “alternative shoes” are.  Is that like wearing the left shoe on the right foot?  What counts as an ‘alternative shoe’?

Do you pay attention to the dance aspect of kpop and do you have a lot of appreciation for choreography

Not overly, it doesn’t mean much to me.  I’m a musician, I’m into music.  Yeah I do notice when a dance routine looks really impressive either from the point of view of looking really difficult to do or perhaps just having cool aesthetics, but it doesn’t change how I feel about the song, the group or anything else.  I can definitely appreciate it in the sense of having respect for people who train their bodies hard to achieve a physical result, or who can move their bodies in a way which matches music really well, but I don’t really know anything about dance and I wouldn’t know who is “good” or whatever.

Im resisting desperately to not just ask you to review ikons killing verse video because you probably get plenty of “oppar pls listen to *insert basic nugu music here*” already (and you’d probably just make another hiphop bobby doesnt shower joke with no real opinion on the songs to spite me) so:
i would like to hear a bit of ur opinion and some music theory stuffs that i probs wont understand on kpops take on the retro vibe. I feel that while kpop has had a mindnumbing fixation on some sort of retro disco fever recently, that i actually kinda like it in some songs such as ikons BUT YOU, the intro makes my brain go brr and everglows LA DI DA. basically your analysis on synth lines in kpop songwriting would be much appreciated as much as i may or may not choose to like ur answer. :3 thanks.

This is a little hard for me to answer with any precision as I’m not completely clear on what you’re asking. 

I’ll just pick up on the “retro disco fever” thing for now.  Neither Everglow or iKon’s songs have what I’d call a disco rhythm – disco is defined by the beat choice, and while disco definitely is trending in k-pop right now, neither of these songs are examples of it.  Probably the closest thing to both songs in the western popular music canon is 80’s style new wave/new romantic pop, but even that description falls short as that music didn’t quite sound like this either.  However it’s definitely the synth work that makes me draw those associations because they’re reaching for the kind of synth patches that were fashionable in 80s pop songs, even if they’re applying them very differently.  This sort of synth work is a hybrid style of 80s sonics and the benefits of modern production and sonic technology that allows the ideas to be applied differently.  For example, there are no 80s pop songs with synthesised sub-bass as deep as “LaDiDa” before the advent of CD, partly because in the 1980s subwoofers that could reproduce such bass satisfyingly weren’t in common use outside the audiophile community (so most listeners wouldn’t be able to hear the low frequencies that well), and partly because huge amounts of sub-bass recorded on vinyl can shake the needle so hard that it can easily slip right out of the playing groove.  It’s nostalgia for a sound that never actually existed.

I’ve noticed in recent years that vinyl has made a huge come back when it comes to buying physical music. I guess vinyl is supposed to have this kind of “warm” sound that digital music is missing. Do you believe that vinyl albums sound better or warmer? From my understanding most vinyl albums that come out these days are still made from digitally recorded music, not like the old days where they recorded vinyl albums from analogue tapes. So, is there any actual advantage to buying modern vinyl albums aside from the “cool” or nostalgic factor? Or are people just paying a premium for a resurgent trend?

Just a trend.  Vinyl being better sound quality is horseshit.

The “warm” sound is crap, not true at all, it’s just in people’s minds, similar pseudoscience to people who think the wood of an electric guitar makes a difference to the tone (it doesn’t).  Yes vinyl is analog but almost all vinyl these days comes from a digital master tape so the signal is already digital anyway before it even goes on the vinyl.  Also digital/analog converters in CD players these days are excellent and can outperform true analog performance even from top quality vinyl, because you have lower noise floor with no scratchines or dust from the needle movement, etc.  Also CD players are better at reproducing very low frequencies accurately and don’t need to be rolled off at 40Hz to stop the needle bouncing around like IU on your favourite oppar’s matress (see the question above).   More info here.

On the plus side, vinyl has fantastic packaging, we all love that big 12″ package (IU probably agrees).  That’s the real benefit – big art and liner notes/lyrics you can actually read without having to squint.

(I’ll probably regret sending this by the time the new episode is up, but I felt like getting it out of my chest anyway)

I did some sexting with a person on Instagram yesterday and took a screenshot of the only picture they sent me. Really bad, I know. I used to believe you only get a notification if you click on “View once” and not if you click on “Allow to replay” (they used the latter option) – but regardless, I know I shouldn’t have done that in any case. (But I didn’t share with anyone, I swear!)
After that one picture, I noticed they didn’t seem to be interested in sexting anymore. I thought “what if they got a notification of the screen and they’re implicitly telling me to fuck off?”, so I tested this with my second account by sending two random pictures, one with the Replay option and one with the View Once option.
I took a screenshot of both of them and got a notification in both cases, so I felt compelled to apologise to that person. But guess what? They didn’t get the notification lol. They certainly appreciated the honesty, though.
So now I feel like the dumbest person ever AND I feel like shit for doing something so bad and trashing my reputation. Not that we were super close or anything, but I’m just sad that their perception of me changed forever (albeit for good reason).
I’m not really expecting to find a way to fix this, because I’m aware I could easily become too pushy and thus get the opposite effect, but I always spend a good amount of time beating myself over my mistakes because I want to make a good impression on as many people as I can (even though I know it sounds contradictory after I admitted to taking a screenshot of a nude). It’s probably because I’ve been a victim of false rumours in my childhood so I always want to make sure everyone knows I am a good person despite my flaws and mistakes.
So this makes me think: how do you cope with guilt and regret? And how do you regain your self-esteem after realising you’ve done something bad?

Wait, since when is saving a sexting screenshot a bad thing?  I’ve never been one for sexting or sending nudes personally, but I thought the whole reason why people sent others their nudes is because they wanted those people to have their nudes?  What am I missing here?  Sure, sharing the saved screenshot without consent is a definite absolute no-no, but just keeping it for your personal use?  I really don’t see a problem as long as it’s stored safely where only you can access it.  As long as A. you didn’t share it and B. they didn’t send it to you with some sort of “you must delete this immediately after you see it” disclaimer, I don’t even see how you’ve done anything wrong.  I’ve never sent anybody my nudes, not even any of my partners, but if I was the kind of person who did like to do that sort of thing and then IU messaged me and told me that she’d kept my nude pic that I sent but she felt really bad about having kept it and just had to tell me this, I’d just say to her “hang on, why do you think I sent you the picture?  It wasn’t so you could just delete it straight away… do with the pic whatever you want just don’t put it on Instagram because I know how careless you can be about that sometimes”.  I’d actually be flattered that she even bothered to click ‘save’.  Also, did you know that most phone apps that deal in images store all those images in your phone automatically anyway, so even if you didn’t take a screenshot you’d still be guilty of this?  Just saying.

But assuming you did something actually unambiguously wrong, like raping a chicken, or starting a war, or watching content on Edward Avila’s YouTube channel, I’d just say – you can’t change your past, you can only learn from your errors and work to become a better person tomorrow.  None of us are perfect, even I used to visit k-pop forums sometimes, so don’t be too hard on yourself, just take whatever corrective actions are necessary and be the best person you can be.

Do you think women who follow radical feminism and misogynistic incel dudes are actually codependent on each other (without aware of that) and actually they are cut from the same cloth (both sides love to flaunt about how their biological sex makes them the superior creature)? At this point it seems like both side are exploiting the other side in order to raise their position and prove their superiority. If the other side doesn’t exist, how can they use that to whine about their powerlessness in life and the reason why they can’t get their things together is due to the opposite gender (while never initiate anything themselves to change what happens)

I’d certainly agree that if we’re talking about the extreme radical ends of both, they do have a symbiotic relationship, where their own collective outrage about the other side feeds their own extreme views.  However most people who follow either of these ideas aren’t on the extreme radical end.  Yes radical man-hating feminists do exist and I’ve met a few, but your average self-identifying feminist isn’t an extreme radical out to castrate men (regardless of how the Internet makes it seem) but just someone who wants women to be treated fairly and have equal access to opportunities.  I’ve also met plenty of guys who identify as various shades of MGTOW/incel and I expected them to be a bunch of craven misogynist woman-bashing dickbags, and some of them in fact are exactly this, but a lot of them are not and surprisingly actually share exactly the same concerns as a lot of the more moderate self-described feminists do (once again, regardless of how the Internet makes it seem).  Characterising everything as radical is in fact harmful, it’s better to find common ground not by comparing radical attributes but by finding ways to converse without shutting each other out.  In practice, this is much more successful offline than on, because online discourse tends to have a way of artificially amplifying the extremes.

Why does it feel so wrong when people are like ‘t-ara was never the same the bullying scandal ruined their careers oh what could have been’ when a) it’s technically true and b) it’s usually in service of a statement I agree with which is don’t be a confirmation bias fuckhead who goes along with internet witch-hunts with the ‘lest groups end up like T-ara’ tacked on and c) it’d make me feel better to be like ‘yes t-ara was totally destroyed by this but I stuck with them through it all also I stan the poor victims T-ara that means I’m more empathetic or whatever.’

The reason why the “T-ara were never the same” comments feel so wrong is because they ARE wrong, it’s one of the western k-pop Internet’s most pervasive lies, that fans spread to show what good people they were (“I supported them even at their lowest”) and haters also spread just to cast shade on the group in general.  To say that T-ara weren’t negatively affected in any way by their scandal in 2012 obviously rings false, just because it clearly upset the girls and robbed them of (symbolic and functionally meaningless) award show wins plus a couple drama roles, but to say that it “ruined their careers” or even changed their career trajectory in a meaningful way isn’t clearly demonstratable either.  “Sexy Love” was a massive hit all across Asia, including within Korea where it sold a million and a half copies, and this was in September 2012, right when the show-ponying performative hate for T-ara was at it’s absolute highest peak, if they were really that loathed it wouldn’t have even charted.  T-ara then went on to become absolutely massive first in Japan and then all across east Asia, “Number Nine” and “Sugar Free” firmly cemented their reputation as international superstars and they were one of the very few groups to survive without a performance ban during all the escalating political tensions between Korea, Japan and China during the 2010s simply because they were just that fucking huge and had such goodwill across Asia.  Of course they had their occasional flop song too but honestly I don’t think that “Jeon Won Diary” would have helped their cause, scandal or no scandal.  The scandal wasn’t “nothing” but in reality T-ara bounced back a lot quicker than hyped and when you look at the numbers that matter, it was just a small blip that barely even registered on their increasingly upward trajectory through the first half of the 2010s.  There’s no evidence that the scandal had any lasting effects beyond losing a few local endorsements around August 2012, and no evidence that they would have performed significantly better either within Korea or globally if the scandal didn’t exist, given that their performance was already top tier.  T-ara’s time at the top didn’t last forever, but no group ever does, and they had a very good run. 

It doesn’t look like you’re planning on watching Queendom. I guess that means you will have to rely on Caonimas to tell you that quite a few contestants would probably MRS for a future boob post inclusion. If you plan on writing another one, consider including Brave Girls as well as Dayoung from WJSN

Noted.  I generally don’t watch Korean TV idol competition shows regardless of content, because apart from the songs themselves it’s all bullshit content, manipulation and general cruelty.  People think my boobs posts are exploitative but if you want to see real exploitation that actually hurts people just turn on Korean idol TV competition shows.

I’ve had a sort of relationship with a guy that started a few months before the pandemic. We met through a mutual friend, simultaneously my most longtime acquaintance I remain in contact with and who changed so much from his previous childhood iterations my permanently changed perspective on our friendship motivated me to write an album’s worth of songs (an omen for my relationship with this new person if any). At the time being both half-Asian guys of similar upbringing interested in anime, video games, and with similar courseloads, there were many things we could relate to each other by, and with nothing to do over the pandemic, virtual calls with my friend group (and safe gatherings once restrictions allowed) pushed us together to being acquaintances. Although I knew he was kind of roped into interactions by my mutual friend (him being the most outgoing of us), he still had some level of enjoyment in hanging out with us, and my very reserved self soon took vested effort to know him by occasionally initiating text convos and such (radical I know). I placed him on a sort of pedestal, and subconsciously idolized everything about him; he was sociable, fun, and shared so many things with me, how could he ever be wrong, or anything but perfect? My mother and my therapist’s mutual distrust of him based on my descriptions, the disproportionate amount of mental energy I poured into caring about him was nothing, I suppose red flags in a rose-tinted world.
Regardless, with these interpersonal interactions building up over time, and my feelings gradually reaching breaking point upon his unexpected declaration of bisexuality in a shared groupchat, I set out to declare my feelings over phone call (a set aside, one-on-one interaction in my opinion a very awkward option between two teenagers not even taking in-person classes then), and received the definitive answer of no (he only feels attraction to femboys, an answer which seemed at the time manufactured by the world to spite me) with anime game music playing in the background of his phone reception (suiting my depressive mood if anything). At the de facto part two of our relations (antebellum my internal war of experiencing the dissonance between my strong investment in his wellbeing vs. the apparent lack of emotional connection in our relations), we remained talking over group calls until we returned to full in-person, mask optional learning. We remained talking at shared lunches, but nothing was the same; we didn’t talk nearly as much without my mutual “friend” as a catalyst, and when he ceased appearing at our location halfway through the year I thought nothing of it.
Now in the summer and somewhat past both of these phases, I just feel kind of sad. I’m aware I’m young, I’m probably just as overdramatic and overemotional as the next cunt, but realizing the two people I felt the strongest connection towards in my short life were just paper dolls I threw my emotions toward haphazardly has impacted me regardless of the weight these relationships really had. I just feel kind of used.
I suppose my two questions are, should I ask for further clarification and how do I start getting over this? I find the temptation looming of asking about why exactly we fell apart (when I feel I already know the answer, almost like when I confessed my feelings for him) looming, also the need for resolution of the above, but I always find myself repeating interactions and things over and over in my head, and I always find myself seeking advice when it comes to these kinds of emotions

Well if there’s a good time to be burned by relationships, I guess it’s during a pandemic where you can’t really consummate anything properly anyway.  I don’t think clarifying anything with him is going to help much or give you any closure really.  Being bisexual isn’t a deal-breaker (I’ve dated more bi women than straight women) but him being not attracted to you certainly is, so all conversation about it pretty much ends at that point.  That’s all the resolution you need really.  You’ll get over something old not when you get “closure” on the situation and have all the loose ends tied up (because in 99% of cases this is impossible), but when you’re sufficiently distracted by something new, plus enough time has passed to take the sting out of the equation.

When you use YouTube and are directed to some kind of political rhetoric, do you get any Matt Walsh ads? I genuinely don’t know whether the advertisements for his big-brain documentary that basically says “trans people are comparable to retarded kids pretending to be walruses, the refusal of these trans people (coincidentally also tricked into appearing under false pretences) to be interviewed in a video disparaging their very existence is completely indicative of my stance’s correctness, I care about ‘the Truth™’ unlike liberal fuckwads because I am a superior Catholic who lives in the moral echo chamber of my church’s basement” are solely an American phenomenon or not

Never heard of him, and although I’m curious I’m also too scared to go and look him up because I don’t want this guy in my “recommended for you” for the next six months.  Australia has a few wacky people like this too (who model themselves closely on the American versions) but most people don’t give a shit, as “outrage culture” in general here is seen as very unAustralian and very much the opposite of our “she’ll be right, mate” cultural norms.  While yes there are bigoted people in Australia and plenty of them, it’s simply not Australian to get so hot and bothered by something like this that you’d go and make YouTubes out of it, the people here who are doing it are mainly just pretending to be offended because it generates web traffic.

You’ve mentioned before on this blog that you have German ancestry on your father’s side and Chinese on your mother’s, and live in an area around many people of Asian descent. I wanted to ask, have you or someone you’ve met ever had insecurities about retaining partial Asian heritage but “passing white”? I myself have a Filipino mom and a white American dad, but I have always felt so detached from my Asian side that I feel like I’m being performative whenever my ethnicity comes up or I discuss having an Asian parent. I’ve sent questions in Qrimole before about this, but in my formative years I met a guy that nevertheless made me discover I was gay, and he himself was of my same half-white-half-Filipino parentage, but instead of my lanky white-boy appearance was short, had black hair, and a more tan complexion (regardless of what people think, identifiers that still massively impact people’s perceived reality of our parentage and how people might treat me compared to him). In passive conversation with this guy, he would casually say words like “yellow” in reference to race and talk about our combined experiences with our parents, and while I enjoyed his company and views on the experiences he would compare, I always felt some kind of disparity in myself that I somehow “wasn’t Asian enough” to bring them up myself. I would be interested to hear your opinion (if willing) as one of someone with a very different life and lacking any reservations on offending anyone

I mention my background here only because I get asked about it all the time.  Yes I’m aware that the people asking me are usually asking in bad faith and just collecting ammunition for their ad hominem attacks (because nobody on the Internet in 2022 bothers to argue using actual reason or logic, especially when the can use hot spicy racism instead) but since I don’t really care what anyone else thinks anyway or if they attack me or don’t, I’m happy to tell people.  People who’ve seen me know that I “pass as white” (although my mother didn’t) and certainly my upbringing is more typical of white Australia than Chinese Australia (although there certainly were a few Chinese quirks in the mix).  I don’t have any insecurity about it, in fact I find it funny.  I always enjoy it when some casually racist white guy around me says something bad about Chinese people while thinking they’re in “white company” because then I can casually mention “I’m Chinese, you know” and then I get watch them squirm uncomfortably and backtrack which is always hilarious.  It’s equally funny to criticise my Asian incel friend’s shit cooking and then cook better Chinese meals for him than he knows how to cook himself out of my mother’s recipes.  “But you’re white…” – “Actually I’m Chinese too, I just listened to women about how to cook rice and you didn’t”.  Is passing as white a privilege?  Of course it fucking is.  Just use it for good, not evil.

Good day! I’ve been wondering about this song here.

(I know it’s not K-pop related but it is related to music so I think this might interest you.)

I have a project regarding irregular time signatures in modern music, and there’s one I really like but couldn’t really figure out the exact marks of beats. Someone told me it’s a 5/4 but the 5 is halved for some reason, and I can hear that for a bit before losing that beat again. A website on finding BPMs, keys and time signatures stated the song is a 3/4, but I’m not too sure about that?

What do you think? Are either of them correct, or is there an exact time signature for this rather unique track?

There’s a few ways you could conceptualise this.  The pulse is basically:

1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 3

So that’s nine beats, or pulses or whatever.  This definitely isn’t 3/4, or at least not only 3/4. You could make an argument that the first six beats are 3/4 and then the final three beats are 3/8, and the song oscillates between the two time signatures every other bar.  Another way you could write it out is to say that the entire thing is 3/4 but that the song doubles in tempo each bar and then halves in tempo each bar after that.  Both of these options, while technically justifiable, are kind of too messy in practice though.  Musicians reading sheet music don’t like to read constantly changing time signatures or tempos every fucking bar, it’s annoying as piss.  The whole point of music theory is to make both playing and writing music easier in practice, after all.

It’s also definitely not 5/4, 5/4 actually makes even less sense than 3/4. For it to be 5/4 there’d have to be ten beats to the bar (10/8 = 5/4, more or less) but we have nine beats so we’re going to think about it as quarter notes then we’re really looking at four-and-a-half over four, not 5/4.  So it’s actually mathematically just wrong.

I’d characterise it as 9/8 personally, this isn’t the clearest way one could write it out, but I think it’s better than the other options.  9/8 usually is subdivided into three groups of three, whereas here the implied emphasis of the pulse is three groups of two and one group of three to make up the nine, which is kind of strange, but it’s the cleanest way to conceptualise it on paper.  Not ideal, but not awful – if I was doing sheet music, I’d just make the note stem groupings reflect this type of 2-2-2-3 subdivision and that should be clear enough for the performers.

Recently, I’ve took it upon myself to listen to Alizee’s full discography (thanks to this blog for allowing me to discover her first album), and I found certain similarities to a similar phenomenon in kpop that I wanted to ask about. Her first album Gourmandises was great, it totally drew me into her as an artist, but gradually declined from quality to the horrific album “Blonde”, filled with tactlessly written, Teenage-Dream-era-Katy-Perry-esque songs with emblematically gimmicky lyrics (the one about Mylene Farmer almost mocking the time when her songs were fresh and Laurent Boutonnat retained his creative spark). Although in an odd twist Blonde actually bombed relative to its quality and was criticized for its blandness, I couldn’t help but notice some similarities to Loona’s journey. Loona owed much of its early sound and eccentric lyrical themes to the writers of Monotree, but moving to a more trendy image with less skilled creative direction, have to a large extent soiled their early consistency in image and music.
I wanted to ask you, do you think this kind of change has really helped Loona’s viability in the k-pop market? Twice and Blackpink are the most popular k-pop girl groups out there (the latter especially with a strong international fanbase similar to Loona), and I always thought they owed their massive success in part to having a very consistent image and “style” of song (Twice do upbeat melodic numbers with simple dances and vague lyrics about love, Blackpink releases a copy of the trap-inspired D4 every year to great acclaim and have an “edgy empowerment image” that appeals strongly to teen sentiments of disencfranchisement) To me, Loona’s recent songs have simultaneously not appealed to what interested fans in the first place and also haven’t been strong enough to attract attention outside of who already knew about them. Many thanks seongsaengnim, here’s hoping you can assess the situation in a more removed way from any fan delusion I might have

I feel like you’ve already substantially answered your own question here.  Alizee’s first couple of albums were pretty much solely written by some French songwriter whose name I can’t remember right now and I can’t be fucked looking him up but he was pretty much the one responsible for putting her out there.  From there it’s been a gradual decline as Alizee has assumed more and more of her own control and/or used different songwriters but sadly the songwriting skills aren’t up to par, new Alizee stuff sadly isn’t worth bothering with.  It’s the same issue that plagues any k-pop artist when the songwriting teams they regularly work with start changing.  Of course sometimes they luck out and get a new crop of people who have a great song to give them, but just as often they bomb, but the worst thing that usually happens is they start writing more of the songs themselves, that almost always ends in disaster.  Just because someone is a great singer and performer doesn’t mean they’re also going to be a great songwriter, as the skillset is quite different.  Of course it doesn’t mean that they won’t be a great songwriter either, but there’s no more chance of a great singer being a great songwriter as there is of going into a grade school music theory class, grabbing some kid by the ear and marching them out of there and that person being a great songwriter.  Writing pop songs is actually difficult, an extremely misunderstood craft, and one that has no relationship to how good you are as a performer, a singer, or how likeable you are.  

how many cat make appearances in K-Pop?

Someone should do a list.  Anyone who has one please submit it here.

So Brave Girls is touring the US in July but it’s quite strange because there’s been literally no mention of it on the group or individual social media accounts; I only heard of it on Reddit. A fan did some digging around and it seems like the pattern is pretty similar for other US tours this promoter has done; no official posts from Golden Child or DKB (the latter also Brave Ent) and very minimal for Ravi’s Groovl1n (ugh that spelling) label tour.

As someone who allegedly knows things (I kid,) you got any idea why the fuck it would be this way?

Normally I’d say “this a red flag, the gig probably isn’t even real” as per my advice in this post, but if the promoter has an established pattern of doing this AND an established pattern of the gigs actually coming to fruition and being acceptable events, then I’d just chalk it up to promoter incompetence.  I suggest do your research here and find out how the other shows they’ve put on previously went down, if they happened or not, and if so, if they were well-run events on the day, because this will probably be a similar experience.

[EDIT: this concert has now appeared on Brave Girls’ official social media, so we can safely say that this is a legit concert]

Do you think it’s fair to say Kwangya is a much shittier Loonaverse?

If Loona is Fender, Kwangya is Squier.  Sometimes Squiers can be excellent but generally speaking if you had the extra money you’d buy a Fender.

what languages can you speak and how many if can’t list all of them

One, English.

I know a little bit of German here and there (from high school German lessons, NOT from my German father who refused to teach German to me or speak it in the house because in his opinion it was “a dead language”) but not enough to actually hold a conversation.

I probably know about as much Korean as any k-pop fan who doesn’t speak Korean knows, i.e I know “ottokae”, “saranghae”, “oppar”, “the fucking dick goes in the pussy” and that’s about it.

I’m starting to feel as though I’m too old for Kpop. What now? Most of my friends I’m friends with because of our common Kpop interests, and most of my spare time is spent contributing to the fandom with translations, commentary, reviews, analyses, etc. I love music and I love korean culture, and I still want to keep up with K-pop releases but I am so sick and tired of being subjected to the most heinous opinions from cultish teenagers despite not following anybody who likes/reblogs these tweets (goddamn Twitter algorithm!!!). You’re an old person, at least far older than me, and you stay engaged with K-pop despite your commonly reiterated disdain for fandom – how the fuck you do it?!? I love reviewing and critiquing things, especially when it’s in fields I care about/have an invested interest in, but I feel as though the state of fandom is completely paralysing me from actually enjoying any of it. But I feel as though I’ve sunk in too much time and money, and made it too much of my identity that I’m a kpop fan, especially as avid/autistically obsessed (not pejoratively, I’ve been told I’m like a Kpop rainman) as I am, it feels pretty impossible to pull away too. So it feels like I’m at an impasse – fandom too insufferable to stay involved in, but also too much of a part of me to cut away once and for all. Any advice on trying to get more balance and prioritse my mental wellbeing without having to ‘cold turkey’ one of my beloved interests?

Just keep following the music and cold turkey the fandom.  That’s what I’ve been doing for nearly a decade now.  I don’t engage with fandoms whatsoever unless they specifically reach out to me for such engagement, I just keep to my patch and if they want to come over to where I am they can do that, or if not that’s fine too.  I’m definitely interested in any serious enquiries from fandoms but those are fairly rare.  You’ll probably find that by separating the two your interest in the parts of k-pop that drew you into it in the first place is easier to maintain.  There’s more than one reason why I only follow 69 people on Twitter at any given moment.

how do u resist the urge to just… not spontaneously explode into a million tiny fleshy pieces.

With high determination levels, even this is possible.  Increase your determinations by listening to T-ara.  I hope all readers are having a good Global Netizen Stupidity Day and Sexy Love Backing Track Day Of Mourning.

Hewwo kpopalypse oppar, I have a burning question to ask you: as a fellow metal fan, do you like Unlucky Morpheus, my all time favourite metal group?!?!? Was very happy to see you mention Galneryus in one of your recent posts + Lovebites in an older one… and that gave me faith…. do not disappoint with your response oppar

Yes, they are cool.  Enjoy this bass cover that I did.

I’ve had to significantly slow down my production of bass covers simply because with lifted lockdowns my music industry work has picked up again and I’ve had to buy a shit-ton of new gear for gigging as well as learn a ton of extra music and I need to prioritise making some coin to pay for all these shenanigans.  I’ll get back to it though.

in yoochun trial the lawyer argued that most of the entertainment industry is involved in escort bars and prostitution services sf9 members were caught in the bar and one member had to apologize for almost taking his fan to dorms most idols are crap human beings anyways while sulli was hated for doing what idols do worse behind closed doors

That really isn’t a question but I hope you enjoyed the new Kpopalypse computer game which actually does touch on quite a lot of this stuff in between all the gay sex.

about the insider info back in 2016-17 a lot of ifans were sending nudes to khiphop rappers on ig there was a whole twitter thread with the rappers replying that nice and then not sending their own nudes when asked lol most ifans encounter have been in clubs with idols and khiphop rappers with rappers being more open to have sex than idols who tend to walk out immediately on reddit there was a concert manager for overseas that mentioned a lot of kpop idols do have sex with fangirls Lucas is an open example so is seo taeji in his us concert met Lee Jiah and married and later a massive drama anyways she is doing well as an actress,escorts and sponsorship just look at Han seohee pics with oppars and unnis and do the math honestly you should definitely call up Han seohee fans hate her but she is the only proper insider who does spit hard truth that ends careers

I’ve tried to reach out to Han Seo Hee on multiple occasions but haven’t had any luck yet.  People think I can just talk to whoever I want, but… if only!  Now that she’s in jail I think any further follow-up would be tricky, but if she wants to talk to me after she comes out she should definitely get in touch as I’d love to have that conversation.

Hello Mr. Kpopalypse, I’m fairly new to both Kpop in general and your site so I have a couple of questions.

1. Probably should have asked this last month because I’ll probably have made up my mind by the time I get an answer to this, but is it a good idea to pursue a degree in music (my lifelong passion) or a degree in business (something that I am basically guaranteed to get a job that actually pays money in + is what I’ve been studying my last 2 years in high school) and how likely is it to get a stable income with a degree in music, specifically composition?

2. To celebrate pride month which is probably already over, I see a lot of fandom wishful thinking and baiting from the idols/company about their faves being fruity but are there actually any cases of idols being openly gay while in the group? I’m aware SK is still quite conservative and it’s not like we ever see idols dating anyone, much less someone of the same sex but I still want to know if an idol has ever been out about being gay and how the fans responded.

3. I have recently discovered Gfriend (RIP) and find their music very good, but is it just me or does some of their songs sound kinda, idk how to put this, Japanese? Maybe I’m just a big racist but something about how specifically their earlier singles are composed just *sound* Japanese to me (obviously they’re not singing in Japanese and I don’t even listen to any Jpop beyond anime openings but idk how else to describe it).

4. Some of the Kpop I’ve been listening to released from the 2 years really remind me of Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia Album, specifically with the big boom in synth and disco in a lot of kpop. Hell, the instrumental from Twice’s “I Can’t Stop Me” sounds suspiciously close to Dua Lipa’s “Physical.” Have you heard any of the songs from that album to comment, and how much does western music influence what comes out of producers that work for Korean acts?

  1. A music composition degree gets you nothing, financially.  Zero employers will give a shit if you have a degree like that.  If a career isn’t a concern, do it anyway.  I did a music composition degree because I didn’t give a fuck about a “career” I just wanted to delve into music as much as I could, and I knew if I studied anything else I would be so fucking unmotivated that I wouldn’t even get a degere at all.  Any degree is better than none.
  2. There was H1-key’s Sitala, but aparently she wasn’t good enough for k-pop fans or something and has since left the group.
  3. You’ve been watching too much of that anime trash I think.
  4. I don’t listen to western pop albums, I don’t even have time to listen to k-pop albums, what makes people think I have time for this.

Hey kpopalypse. Maybe you get this a lot feel free to ignore if so but I’m thinking about starting a blog type website. Not music review, but I like the look and functionality of yours. Do you actually like using wordpress? Interested if you have any pros or cons that might not be immediately visible when im just doing preliminary fucking around with the editor, since youve been blogging a long time and all. Thanks

Insanely excited for you to read Shine/Bright btw. You gotta get your review out before the Krystal spin off

Pros of WordPress:

  • Easy to use (except the trash “block editor” ugh, stick to classic editor)
  • Solid under the hood, tech problems are rare
  • Lots of useful features even at the free tier
  • The free themes are decent, making a site looking pretty is fun and not difficult

Cons of WordPress:

  • The interface will push the hideous disgusting trash “block editor” on you constantly like a pedophile repeatedly trying to lure you into their van for free candy
  • There’s a difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org which the site itself doesn’t make crystal clear when you sign up, and once you do, you can’t switch
  • Higher-tier business plans are an absolute ripoff for what you get in return, plug-ins on .com locked behind a very unreasonable paywall
  • Mandatory ads unless you want to pay to remove them (I do because FUCK ads)
  • Interface is sneakily designed to bury some of the most useful features (like Classic editor and the wp-admin page)
  • Changes to the site tend to dumb it down more and more and/or make it clunkier rather than making it more powerful and friendly

As my livestream viewers know all too well, this dumb popup forcing the Block editor down your throat like a rapist will come up on WordPress EVERY time you save a page you’re working on, even if you weren’t using the Block editor at all.

I did review Bright, and the review is here.  I’m sure you’re already aware of this, just linking it in case others aren’t.

Hi oppar,

I’ve decided to join the influx of readers who frantically send you their exposition heavy 3 billion word inquiries because they realize it’s almost the end of the month and this would be a chain message nightmare on Retrosping.

I’d firstly just like to say happy end of queer fag sissy month!!!!! I can’t overstate my appreciation for the unwavering support and camaraderie you have provided the alphabet soup mafia over the many years of your blog’s existence. No matter how much the cyberbullying, morally egotistical, and culturally ignorant kpop stan monolith might suggest otherwise, I will forever consider you quintessential to the LGBT kpop fan canon.

Anyways onto the real query meat: As part of my passive consumption of your run of the mill idol fanservice media, one thing I frequently encounter are recountings of idol casting/scouting/recruitings from kpop agencies, more specifically with company recruiters. While often depicted with rose-tinted romanticism, I can’t help but find many of these casting retellings to have unsubtly sinister undertones. Apologies if you’ve discussed this before in an article from the year 6969696969699696696666699999, I couldn’t find any indication whilst abusing the search bar for 5 whole minutes but ya never know. I’ll try to give some arbitrary examples to illustrate what I mean, I won’t include sources because then you’ll be reading for 700 hours:

– As an elementary school student, EXO’s Sehun was persistently followed for 30 minutes by a supposed casting agent from SM, pressuring him to give his parents’ contact info and cajoling him to consider attending an audition.

– TXT’s Soobin applied for BigHit by sending in an email audition containing a video clip of him singing and an incorrect phone number. Apparently the peeps at kpop agency incorporated spent two months tracking him down in order to offer him a spot, even though their policy stated successful candidates would get a response within 1-2 weeks.

– Taehyun from TXT (another one from my fap fap fap fap fap group) was contacted by an unknown phone number as a pre teen, supposedly from a BigHit employee stating they had heard rumors of his unparalleled beauty. Said employee decided to track down his grade school to wait for him at the entrance gate, which in response Taehyun enlisted a classmate to speak on his behalf and obtain the proper contact information.

– TXT’s Beomgyu (Last guy for BTS’ hotter junior group I promise hehe) was street cast by an employee/agent person who suggested he come to Seoul for an audition, some 237 km/147 miles northwest of his residency in the city of Daegu. He initially rejected their offer, citing traveling inconveniences and exams he needed to take on the same day. The employee was more than happy to travel back to the capital, promising to come back to escort Beomgyu to an audition as soon as he was finished with testing obligations.

– NCT’s WinWin was randomly approached in China by a SM recruiting employee outside the dance academy he was attending, encouraging him to audition for their agency (the name of which they refused to disclose initially). Winwin allegedly purposely gave them an incorrect phone number out of wariness, prompting the same employee to track him down again to convince him they represented a reputable agency in South Korea.

So my question is how legitimate would you say any of these seemingly exaggerated retellings are? Fabricated press friendly fluff made to promote the illusory perception of “omg these idols were literally MEANT to be in a group stan talent and meritocracy very much real UwU”? Or is this simply an extension of entertainment agencies preying on the inherent naivety of bright eyed, easily impressionable children? While I can see the value in searching for potential stars in an environment where you can easily catch them off guard, I find it immensely difficult to comprehend the supposed persistence in pursuing uninterested subjects when there is an infinite abundance of individuals vying to get into such affluent companies. Perhaps this is me overreacting to a practice that is commonplace, but I’d appreciate the perspective of someone with exponentially more intimate knowledge of the inner machinations of the industrial complex.

Much parasocial affection,

A bored gay 19 year old guy with a limited understanding of the entertainment industry’s seedy underbelly

Kpopalypse supports all people who don’t “fit in” to regular society regardless of which category they’re in. 

From what I know about how lackeys from certain big k-pop companies operate, which is quite a lot more than I wish I knew ahem… these stories are probably all true.  Or if not 100% true then at least 70% true and maybe embellished a bit for flavour.  They all show a basic lack of respect for human decency and general predatory nature that I would expect from agency staff!  Remember that they’re generally only casting for training auditions in the first instance, not actual group membership, and when casting for auditions it’s generally better to have more options than less, so if you see a really good option, it makes sense in that context to pursue it just so you can throw them in the mix.  Keep in mind though that “street castings” are rare, this is not the way it’s normally done… but it does still happen from time to time.

long post incoming.
So I’m a 3rd year undergrad anthropology major. it’s kinda like history but studying current cultures, at least in my subdiscipline. I assume people don’t know what it is because 9 times out of 10 when people ask me what my major is and I say “anthropology” their eyes glaze over and they change the subject as soon as possible.

In my second year, I had an encounter with a professor that was a bit saddening. I was excited to take a class with this professor since he was the head for graduate studies, which in my utterly stupid brain meant he must really understand life and how I should advance in my career. As the class went on it was obvious he was pretty intelligent but he also seemed a bit…disconnected in a way the undergrad professors did not. Things came to a head at the end of the semester when I came to office hours and asked him for advice on my writing/career. I had written a paper about an article we were required to read. I had ripped into the paper because it was full of (imo) academic-ese that I found to be unnecessary for the topic. Not all anthro papers are full of “academic-ese”. This one was unusual in how extreme it was.
One thing I really didn’t like was the use of the word “bodies” instead of people, humans, etc. It was an article about Indian people using bamboo shoots so I felt it extremely odd.

I don’t know if you’ve read an anthropology paper at least deliberately in a few years, but the use of the word “bodies” is used commonly to describe how people become passive and acted upon by outside influences like colonization, war, etc. One of term I see is “racialized bodies”. Exciting, right?

Referencing this paper, my professor explained why anthropologists used this term and that I needed to be more open-minded going forward. I then thought about the irony of my professor telling me to be more open minded to referring to people as “bodies” when I could go across the street and find plenty of normal people who would also think that the article was nosegazey and find the whole thing to be an bizzare esp in the context of talking about how much a certain group of people like bamboo shoots.

When I saw the professor at that moment I felt a fear that at some point in my anthropology studies I’ll become like him. So much thinking and so little doing that even the suggestion that maybe referring to people as bodies is kinda weird. Like I think about these weird papers and then contrast it to the current reality of my country, where increasingly more and more people believe that Trump is going to save the US from pedo cabals and vaccines are giving people illness. Like people are so intellectually/mentally far away from this type of research and it’s like…I see my professor and he doesn’t get how cold and weird and isolating this would seem to the average person.

I hope this makes sense. I guess the question is how on earth is academia so distanced from reality? and is there any hope with me going forward with my major and not turning into another self-mastubatory researcher?

I’m familiar with the term and its context.  Academia has a sort of “language fashion” in much the same way it has “reference fashion”.  In some places Harvard style is “in”, in others it’s MLA style etc and these practices change over time.  Same with word usage in subdivisions of academia.  As certain ideas fall out of academic favour, so often do certain words and phrases associated with those ideas.  For instance, you can’t use the word “exotic” in anthropology any more, and you certainly can’t use the word “savage” because those are considered bygone phrases of a time when anthropology was more judgemental of other cultures rather than curious or fact-finding or [fill in the blank], never mind that there could be cases where those words indeed apply.  I wouldn’t worry about this affecting you long term, just learn the weird arbitrary rules, write the shit they want you to write the way they want you to write it, pass your course, then forget all that shit five seconds after you graduate just like everyone else does.

Hey oppar i have a question regarding gains tinkerbell. Can the forced acoustic guitar cuts hand played or they are just edited in the studio?

The acoustic guitar track here has been cut-pasted and noise-gated to hell, so there’s basically no ambience left.  This is a deliberate mixing decision to get a very sprightly, nimble sounding feel for the track to match the theme of the song.  While this part can be played by hand, and you can copy the cut-offs easily enough with palm mutes, it would be physically impossible to make it sound as “clean” as this, there would always be a bit of extra string noise hanging on or whatever.

1. is it normal not to have a role model while growing up? maybe it’s because i didn’t have access to much about celebs or pop culture until i was 7, but the whole concept of imitating and wanting to do what a celeb does has always seemed very alien. I’ve had celeb crushes, ofc, but I have a very difficult time understanding why…let’s say Suzy, for instance, would inspire what u wear, choose your makeup based on, etc. And aside from celebrities, there weren’t any fictional characters or even older figures irl looked up to.

2. Do you think AI idols — ie that thing from superkind will actually replace real idols in the future? to me it seems like even the idea of human interaction will always mean that idol groups will have to maintain some humanness to them

3. why in 4th gen are ggs starting to put out the same sort of brashy, anti-drop music associated with bgs?

4. what genre would you place this song in? i already know you think it’s boring, my apologies lol indie pop? I’m also wondering what exactly is going on with the instrumentals to make it sound so haunting in comparison to most electronic music. And finally, do you know of any other bands who have a similar spacey sound? I’ve been searching around for literal years atp trying to find another band that sounds like her to no avail.

  1. Yes.  People sometimes ask me who my role model is and I have no fucking idea.
  2. No, not completely.  The idols system is all about selling the person.  It’s hard to sell a person that doesn’t exist, except as a novelty.
  3. Just changing music fashion.  It will change again.
  4. Just pop.  “Indie” doesn’t really exist.  Read about why here.

How much do you think “behind the scenes” videos like this are scriptes and how much are true? I know for sure Nayeon isn’t going to be the one deciding what to wear and whats included in her albums. So just wondering what’s the point of even doing bts videos like this

Sorry but I couldn’t watch a whole half an hour of Nayeon doing the thing, I think that’d test even Josh’s tolerance.  People make this stuff because people lap it up, it’s part of building the “connection” to the idol.  One of the big reasons that BTS got so huge was because their company was great at making content like this.  Fans really do feel at least subconsciously like they ‘own’ idols and have a stake in their personalities and thoughts, so the more you pander to that, the more you hook people in.

Do you think there are moral/ethical differences in consuming K-pop songs and related products and choosing not to buy products manufactured with forced labour from other industries?

I suppose there are, if you want there to be.  Where the tipping point is will vary a lot from person to person I guess.  For me personally I don’t really care that much about where songs come from as long as they sound good.  Let’s be real, if you want to get fussy about the ethics of performers and the industry and allow that to influence what music you consume, just get all your k-pop albums, plus any western pop and classic rock albums you own from the last 120 years and just fuckin’ burn the lot of them in a huge bonfire, because there’s so much shady shit going on behind the scenes of all this stuff.  The one thing that blew me away the most about the T-ara scandal was that I was listening to metal and rap artists who have murdered people and everyone still listens to their music, yet the k-pop community was offended by a slightly harsh tweet or two?  What a bunch of pussies, all the k-pop fans who made a big deal out of that can get fucked. 

What is your opinion on how fetishes come about? I remember reading your ‘Number 46’ post and your take on how in control some people remain on their submission fantasies so I’m curious.

I think in some cases it’s a response to having only one kind of stimuli and craving the opposite, or a moral balancing act.  For example – in my life I’ve met several people, all female, who do dominatrix work.  It’s good work if you have the right temperament and can stomach it, because if you can build up a clientele it pays very well, also sex is not always involved in the top tier of this kind of work, often it’s just domination.  The clients of these women are, almost without exception, rich and powerful men – CEOs of corporations, judges, politicians, etc.  They spend their entire lives being powerful and having others take their orders, I think after a while some people just crave the opposite, as a way to lighten the moral burden, or as a release from having power, and the responsibility that comes with power.  Of course the “submission” is artificial (because it’s a paid-for custom-made service – the man is actually still in control) and that’s what’s alluded to in “Number 46“, because nobody wants to really lose all their power, because there’s a chance you might not get it back… but a temporary artificial release is probably better than none at all.

It’s also probably about unfulfilled desire in a lot of cases.  People like school uniforms because almost everyone had an unrequited crush on someone at school, people who like nurse uniforms are usually people who got injured a lot and had nurses take care of them, and so on.  Cheerleader uniform fetishes are much more common in countries with a big cheerleading culture, etc.

I’ve enjoyed singing casually since I was a kid, but have never received any formal training. When I attempt to hit high notes in kpop songs that are slightly out of my (probably alto) range, I noticed that when I sort of realize I can’t hit it, it does something kind of weird; my voice sort of “defaults” to resolving to the root of a minor pentatonic scale, essentially moving down until it hits a note that it wants to.
For some reason, the note I end at always sounds wrong, as if I modulated to an unrelated scale to the one I started, and sounds very reminiscent of a gospel or R&B improvised singer (I hold no vested interest in those genres and never listen to them by choice). Is there some kind of weird musical reason you can think of that could relate to psychology? Could it be some funky psychoacoustic measure, where my brain detects the pitch as too high and the sound as too unpleasant, and then autocorrects my singing to a pentatonic scale with less potentially dissonant intervals?

P.S. I recently entered this blog into the Hybrid Analysis website that checks for viruses or malicious activity on any file or URL you upload, and the public results came up as “Ambiguous” (threat level about 63/100). There’s probably a joke in there somewhere

What you’re describing is pretty normal for very experienced singers who have never had formal training, and probably shows that thanks to having been singing since you were young, you’ve built up some intuition in terms of tonality.  Some singers know all the music theory in the book, but most don’t – they just know when it sounds “right”, and after a lot of experience singing their brain memorises common pitch relationships that sound good against certain songs, and can usually find the nearest “correct” note to the one they can’t physically hit.  Formally training this ability would give you the power to select options here and to know what each option means, musically speaking.

I think a lot of people would agree that my threat level is ambiguous.  I like to keep it that way!

Hey, I just wanted to say that I am amazed by how nicely you reply to all those questions every month, even when the question does not make the person asking seem likeable at all. To me, reading QRIMOLE feels like voyeuring a school psychologist at work. Good job!

Thanks for reading! 

That’s all for this month’s QRIMOLE!  This series will return next month!  In the meantime remember to try not to have gay sex with Yves!

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!

2 thoughts on “QRIMOLE – July 2022

  1. onepiece is made up of four musicians. there isn’t much information about each individual member on the web, but wan9u does have an instagram (@wan9u) where he occasionally posts about what songs he is producing, if you want to see what he’s up to. Idk if Yoon Sang (the founder) is still involved because as far as i know he is working as a university professor atm

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