QRIMOLE – September 2022

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

What do you think is going on in P-Nation? With first Jessi then Hyuna and Dawn leaving the label. Is PSY and his team not managing them well? I guess that P-Nation is no as good as some people make it out to be.

At the end of the day a label is a business and any label is going to be beholden to the same business requirements as any other label.  Of course there are different ways of dealing with those requirements, but we shouldn’t kid ourselves that any record label that’s reached any decent size is anything other than a business in the first instance.  While Hyuna and Dawn being allowed to be in a relationship and still make music on P Nation is definitely nice and a step in the right direction for k-pop as a whole, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t other aspects of their deal with P Nation that might be negative.  K-pop fans, as a whole, have difficulty understanding nuance and the idea that “100% good” and “100% evil” are not really things that exist in reality.  Even your bias has things about them that you wouldn’t like, you’re just not aware of what those things are, there’s deliberately some distance created between them and you so you don’t get to find out.  Likewise even the very worst people in k-pop still have some positive attributes, Seungri right now is probably the prison chef making delicious meals for his inmates and using his experience dealing with rabid fans to break up prison yard fights.

I’ve been talking a lot with a friend that has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, and through talking she kind of put 2 and 2 together that I as well was pretty much on the spectrum, since a lot of our behaviors / ways of thinking matched up

Couple things about this I guess :

1) I kind of hate self-diagnoses, if only because a lot of people who do so are huge asses / idiots. Not a question on this one, just wanted to rant. Always hated people who do this, especially with mental conditions.
2) I guess it’s a sign that I really am since I didn’t notice that people don’t behave or act the same way I do…?
3) What should I even do from here? See if I can get a diagnosis?

I realise this is most likely not up your alley as I figure you aren’t on the ASD, but mostly throwing it out there to get a different perspective. I haven’t talked to my family about the possibility yet even, because the possibility is still weird to me that I most likely am on the spectrum.

I didn’t provide any example as to how I behave / think because mostly what I’m wondering about isn’t really if I am or not, but mostly what even to do with this.

Best to you!!

I feel your struggle more than you might think.  My girlfriend said to me recently, completely out of the blue and out of context of any conversation at all, “you know, you’re probably autistic”, and I hadn’t thought about it before, but now that I think about it, I guess it makes sense.  It certainly explains my incredible trouble fitting in with peer groups when I was younger and probably also explains some of my behaviour to this day, but like you I am highly resistant to self-diagnose, because… well, what do I know?  I’m not a medical professional.  I did a few of those online autism test things and the conclusion was “borderline” autistic in all of them, which was interesting, but anyone can put up an online test and shove in the characteristics that they believe constitute autism and define a ranking for that, doesn’t mean it’s actually true.  I also sometimes think that many of the “signs” of autism are things that non-autistic people experience too (I mean who doesn’t feel alienated and misunderstood or find others hard to read sometimes), so that muddies the waters quite a bit to the point where it’s hard to take a casual diagnosis seriously.  I then looked into getting diagnosed properly, and OUCH it was like $500 just to start the process of making a diagnosis happen.  I’m not sure if I want to know that badly, I guess if I have a better financial situation in the future I might do it, but there doesn’t seem to be any real benefit in my knowing this other than my own personal curiosity (although I suppose I could do what k-pop fans do and weaponise my newfound disabled identity in arguments) so I can’t justify the expense.  For now I’ll just settle with the knowledge that I am perhaps “weird” or something, which I already knew as people have been telling me that my entire life!  So tl;dr I guess is “I don’t know, good luck”.  It would definitely be worth talking to your parents about it, they might have some ideas, or some perspectives you never thought of, so I’d definitely start there.

I can’t imagine how deep your pocket must be to finance Kpop act. My brother told me his friend is a bandmate of a popular band in my country (we’re talking hundred million of streams on Spotify/YouTube) yet they keep struggling financially due to low offline events. They financed the band themselves, so I reflect on Kpop and thinking, music production alone is expensive, add MV budgets, physical album with those tiny bonuses, and after zillion expenses, you need to market it and compete with other (established) acts. As much as I hate to say this, Stellar’s Marionette with all of the controversies, is almost a logical move to keep the act running.

Well yes, that’s why people do it.  Stellar was on the verge of disbanding before that video hit, and it saved the group and made them financially viable for a few more years.  Say what you want about them being exploited (and they were), as long as the music market remains so cutthroat, people will do what they need to do for survival.  This isn’t just an issue in k-pop, but it’s certainly heightened by the sheer amount of people competing in the k-pop space for a finite slice of the pie.

≧◠‿◠≦✌ Oppa, babby, Kpoppy.

I got a few questions to ask u. Look I’m writing

✍(◔◡◔)

1. What’s your favorite racial stereotype?

2. Who are your fav music reviewers/critics? Movies have famous ones like Pauline Kael or Roger Ebert

3. Baby, I’m trying to create music for u. I have a good understanding of theory, pop and classical music history, and I’m an emotional f@g. But I’m stuck on one thing: synths. I just randomly put patches on them and turn knobs like an R-word on Ableton. How do I learn how to get the sounds I want from synth instruments?

4. What is true? And if truth is relative, wouldn’t the claim “truth is relative” be an absolute truth?

Slide in my DMs some time baby boi~~
༼ つ ‿ ༽つ╰⋃╯

  1. I only recently found out that apparently it’s a racial stereotype that white people like tons of mayonnaise on everything.  Never heard of this before.  I don’t really like mayonnaise at all but my girlfriend does, is that because I’m part-Chinese and she isn’t?  Since I’m at least half-white depending on which page of the Big Book Of Eugenics you believe, shouldn’t that mean I should like half the mayonnaise dose instead of none?  It’s a mystery.
  2. I used to like David and Margaret who did The Movie Show on SBS in Australia, they would review films and have totally bitter verbal fights with only the thinnest veneers of politeness for TV about how good/bad they were on air as they would often completely disagree on a film’s merit.  It was great fun and such a good example of subjectivity in reviewing.
  3. Really good question.  Future music theory posts will cover some of the more universal aspects of working with synths.
  4. Kpopalypse is true.  The truth of all other k-pop websites can therefore be measured relative to Kpopalypse.com.

10/10 emoji use btw

All my life I was the fat dumpy chick, and I used to feel terrible about it. Then I graduated high school and realized way less people care about all that, focused on my skills and personality, even went on some dates. I just landed a good job fresh out of university, and I’m generally doing OK in life at the moment.

Sounds great right? Well if I don’t think about how my beautiful mother married my dad and I ended up getting none of her looks, that is. This painful reminder was handed to me by a family friend two nights ago, when both she and I were visiting my family for dinner. She went “your mother was so beautiful she would turn heads down the street in our town!” I definitely don’t think she meant to shade me with it at all, but the damage had been done.

Because when I see my mum I feel cheated in a way, like what went wrong when I was in the womb? I see how – and I hate sounding like an incel for this – she commands attention just by way of her features even in her 50s, how people run to do her bidding and will give her the time of day before they’ve even heard her speak, meanwhile I look like an uglier Wednesday Addams.

I just feel bad knowing that here I am putting so much effort into becoming a well-rounded person day after day just for two crumbs of attention by society, while mum has to do fucking nothing to get noticed at all.

I really thought I had moved past all this mentally, but it looks like I haven’t. How do I go back to forgetting all about my unfortunate face again?

“Uglier Wednesday Addams” I might get people in my DMs asking me for your deets based on that alone (I don’t know them, all questions are anon so get lost ty).  Do you realise how popular that look is?  Be aware that the way you see yourself isn’t always how others see you.  Some people call me attractive, others call me ugly, when I look in the mirror I struggle to notice what either of them are seeing.  You can guarantee that for everyone who notices your mum someone else is probably noticing you but not saying anything about it because they are shy/don’t want to look like a creeper/doesn’t feel like the right time to talk etc.  Attention by society isn’t all that great anyway, can be a double-edged sword because people usually have expectations that come with that attention and sometimes those expectations are not reasonable.  Women who are really attractive in that rubber-stamped-by-society way do get some doors opened for them but they also deal with a LOT of unwanted bullshit, I’d say ask Rose McGowan about it but there’s no need when your mum is right there, you could ask her about it and she probably would have some stories to tell.  Personally if I were female I’d prefer to just have my niche appeal and work that, and I think that’s where most people, male or female, end up anyway.

Hey there. I’ve been reading your blog recently and you seem to have a somewhat decent grasp on life. Or not. But I don’t have much to lose submitting this.

So my question is, is it a valid reason to want to move out due to a slightly toxic relationship with your parents?

In the past 8 months, my mother got engaged, married, sold our house, and moved to her husbands house. Now, because of my stepfather’s job, we are going to move again from Texas to Ohio (driving distance is about 15+ hours) in about a week. I am still financially reliant on my mother so I was strung along for all of this without much choice. If you can guess, I am dreading this move. I don’t know anyone in Ohio, I have to leave family, and honestly what I know now is familiar. Familiarity is comforting, I will admit that, but I have felt that I have no control over these decisions. I am 19 now, so I’m not legally required to stay at their house anymore, but I would have to wait anyways because I don’t have enough money. For right now, after months of stressing about it, I have decided to move to Ohio. But as soon as I get there I am working my ass to get out of there.

Is it weird that I don’t want to hear “i’ve provided for you, i’ve done this and this for you and i get no thanks” “i dont care how long you have to work, i work harder than you” “im the parent, you’re the child” “oh she’ll(me) get over it” “all i hear from you is negative, i never hear anything positive, so I must be a horrible mother” “she thinks im abusive” “your father has not paid even a dollar for your education, i take care of that” from my mother anymore? I wasn’t really a bad kid. Well, yeah I got in trouble in elementary, but I graduated high school at the top 10% of my class. I take my studies seriously and I have kept the same job for a full year. When I put my two weeks notice in, they bought me a cake to send me off. And if anyone really has a problem with me, I am willing to talk about it and fix it. I don’t get anything out of intimidating anyone. It just gets frustrating when I’m told it’s all me me me and not her most of the time.

This is long enough as is, so I’ll try to wrap it up. I want control in my life. I want to be able to have my own space and not feel like I am a terrible child. I want to not feel so uncomfortable in my own house. I spoke to my father recently (he’s been divorced from my mother for most of my life), and he told me to “find my peace.” I can’t move out just yet, but should I take his advice sooner than later?

You’ll probably say yes but with years of gaslighting I doubt my own judgment quite a lot. Depression and possibly undiagnosed ADHD doesn’t help either.

Yes.  Having a slightly toxic relationship is a good reason to move out (and your relationship with your parents will vastly improve once you do), but an even better reason is “just because”.  When I moved out of home at 18 it was just because I wanted to live somewhere else and do new things, and feel like I was more in charge of my own life.  So I think it’s a good thing to make plans toward, if you can, it’ll save you having to draw swords with your family relationship so often, it might also bring new challenges and problems but I recommend that you just put one foot in front of the other and cross that bridge once you come to it.

Why are you bald?

Alopecia.

Who do you think is the prettiest Newjeans member?

None but does anyone know who their mothers are?  I might be interested in one of them.

How many hours do you spend on K-POP related stuff a day?

None if I can help it.

Did you know Boa from Spica apparently did a bunch of demos for kpop songs?
She’s an incredible singer. Weirdly, though, Nine Muses sounds almost as good on the final version of “News” as Boa did.  (I’m glad they changed the rap though it sounds like someone saying “where’s my grey goose”)

Thanks for these!  Yes I was aware that Spica’s Boa was used for a fair bit of demo and session work, she’s actually not the only one in that group who was doing things like this for MBK and others.

Hi! Your follower count on twitter has dropped below 68. Will you do anything to fix that?

It’s tough keeping it at the right level.  Sometimes it goes to 68 or lower because someone gets their account suspended and then I have to add someone, but then they get reinstated and suddenly I’m on 70 or higher and have to cut someone.  The struggle.

Hi Oppar,

What is your opinion with Kpop songs (or pop songs in general) that have short duration (below three minutes)? I am an aspiring songwriter myself and have tried to cap the song within 3 minutes mark, but I feel like it’s leashing the song’s potential. Sometimes I wonder how Kpop songs can be so short but sounds “complete” (IVE’s title tracks comes to mind). I hope you could understand this question.

Thank you!

and

I’m going to pretend like you’re Reddit and care about this but do you think Tiktok has ruined kpop by making it so the songs are short, the choreography is simple so that it can go viral and focusing on memes.

People have short memories – this isn’t new, it’s been a complaint about pop music forever.  Brevity is really important for pop music and always has been.  The current trend is to blame this on TikTok but honestly TikTok has nothing to do with it, it’s just the latest whipping post.  Popular songs in the 1950s were even shorter than they are today!  Have some random examples…

What makes a short song still sound complete is the speed as which it moves through the different parts.  If you can get through a bunch of choruses quickly the song will feel like its ‘finished’ quicker too.  This is why pop ballads tend to have longer running times than fast uptempo pop songs.

What do you think of universes that companies create for a group? The first time I was introduced to that concept was when EXO debuted, the introduction of their superpowers made me laugh and cringe at the same time. SM did it again with Kwangya, it’s not as bad but it seems rather pointless to me? Aespa don’t need those badly made æ-versions of themselves, and would sell just as well without them. The cringe factor is not the only issue, the universe can fall apart when a member leaves. Monsta X’s time travel universe had some storylines that the fans wanted to see resolved but that couldn’t go on when Wonho left. I feel like simpler concepts like having red and velvet songs for Red Velvet are more appealing to the public and easier to maintain if a member leaves.

Agencies are always trying to find some way to make their new groups stand out from the pack, that’s what this type of thing is generally about.  It’s just another marketing hook, a way to make people care: “our new group is different and special because of x y z, so you should care about them”.  Does stuff like this have any real value in the long term, probably not, but as a way to make a big impression when getting people hooked in, a few bells and whistles can just give a fan an extra reason to care or remember a group’s existence.  At the end of the day it’s all just marketing and companies wouldn’t keep doing it if it didn’t pay for itself.

Hi Kpopalypse, I wonder why Kpop songs often have so many songwriters?

It’s a difficult thing to do because there’s many facets to be skilled in, so people often work in teams.  Someone might be really good at beats, but have no clue about melody.  Another person might be really good at toplines.  Someone else might be great at harmony, or skilled with manipulating sounds etc.  Another person might really have a knack for great lyrics, or at least the kind of lyrics that a client considers to be great.  It’s rare to find someone who is top-notch at all of these things as some of the skills are quite different from each other.

Hi oppar! I hope life is treating you well. Thank you for taking the time to answer these.

Back in 2020 you mentioned that you had received training in interview techniques. Please please make a post about this! Any resources you can share would be tremendously appreciated as well. You also mentioned that you had been trained on de-escalating situations, which sounds like a great skill to develop. Do you have specific tips on this? Is there any manual you could point me to? Thanks in advance!

It’s on the list for a post!  In the meantime, here’s a great example of how NOT to do it.

school is starting back up and i need noise-cancelling headphones. do you have any recommendations?

No, as I don’t use this type of headphone.  Just know when reading headphone specs that there’s a difference between “active” noise cancelling, which means that the headphones have a circuit that actively mirrors and dampens frequencies, and “passive” noise cancelling headphones, which basically just means that they’re big and solid around your ears as opposed to having vents where airflow (and noise) can get through.  If you see suspiciously cheap noise cancelling headphones it’s usually the passive variety, or a really shitty quality active circuit, so just do your research and don’t buy some shit from AliExpress or Wish no matter how good it looks.

This year, by coincidence of class schedules, I’m seeing my old crush/first indirect non-family member I came out to recipient on a regular basis. I thought I got over the “love” part by temporarily hating him, and that I was comfortable not seeing him again (handily detailed through various other anonymous qrimole messages!), but what the fuck it feels like he’s really nice and that I’m falling in love with him for the same reasons I did the first time. My school social isolation trauma doesn’t help, people genuinely complimenting me or being nice who aren’t necessarily close friends give me an unhealthy amount of endorphins otherwise, but in this context I think I’m falling into the same trap of idealizing him and trying to appease him at my pride’s expense. I could totally be his bitch, and scarily enough, I think I would actually enjoy being it.
How should I handle this? I guess pretending to hate him again might lessen the sting again, but I’m deathly afraid of falling into a pattern and not being able to reconcile the perfected image of him with his faults again.

The reason why people tend to go for bad relationship situations knowingly is because their lives are somewhat unfulfilled outside of that so having the familiar person there “fills the gap” no pun intended, or maybe it is.  If nobody is being nice to you a lot except one person it’s kind of difficult not to gravitate to them.  The solution, assuming you don’t want to go ahead with this guy, is to broaden your life in other ways so it’s more fulfilling and that way there’s less of a gaping void that desperately needs filling.  If you have a more full and rich social life, or more other friends that you trust closely and who are nice to you, then that “one person” seems less appealing.  So try and expand outward into other social areas and see how that pans out for you. Now is a good time to try that new thing you’ve always wanted to try.

I finally quit stupid sportball because my mental health was doing bad having to do it. I thought this would mean the end of me asking more questions about it, but for whatever reason now I feel like a piece of shit. One of the guys I played with before asked me if I was playing this year and I said no, but holy shit I felt so horrible just for admitting to leaving an activity that I was pretty certain negatively impacted my quality of life and was moreso a product of my parents’ desires. It feels like somehow I’m doing wrong to these people not going back, and it’s going to be even more of a bitch once sport season starts up and the annoyingly nice and positive coach staff see I didn’t show up to tryouts and ask me about it.
What the fuck should I do? Should I just casually disassociate from these people (a few I felt genuine connection with) and drown myself in work or hobbies I actually like for the time being?
Many thanks

Yes, do that.

Anyone who pressures you into the sportball is a piece of shit.  If they are cool they will understand that you don’t like “put the ball in the thing to make the digit go up” and you’ll still be friends.  If not, fuck ’em.

Hi, hyung! How are you? Hope you’re fine.

So, there was this Jpop group that I really liked and they parted ways in 2020. My favorite member (Rikako Inoue) said she would just retire from entertainment and really disappeared, until some months back when she not only came back with a new stage name (Yotsuha Kominato), but also making porn along with the release of her debut single. Since I’ve known the group for more than a decade, it shocked me because I thought it’s a natural thing in showbiz to make connections and stuff and she used to book jobs as an idol, but at the same time I don’t know much about it and even less about the japanese market.

My question is if this side project would help her in the run and how, because to me, those jobs clash hard against each other for the public eye (and I know I may be thinking about it wrong for having a western/christian wired mind).

I don’t really know enough about the j-shit industry to comment on how effective this type of crossover is specifically for boosting an idol’s pop music career, but I know it’s certainly a big selling point on the JAV end of things.  Yua Mikami is considered seriously A-list in the JAV world and Moko Sakura probably isn’t that far behind her, I think people are really fascinated by the idea of pop stars going into JAV and companies who make that content will always make mention of the “idol” background for marketing.  I suspect that in Japan this type of crossover is more normalised.

Would you say that Pink Venom is an indication that YG now have an automated Black Pink song generator? Also, any thoughts on Rose playing the guitar?

It’s more like, if you’ve got a template that makes shitloads of money and that has rocketed your group right to the absolute top of the tree, why the fuck would you change it?  What possible motivation could there be?

Rose is a reasonable guitar player as it happens.  I mean okay, she’s no Li-sa-X, but she’s definitely good by singer/songwriter standards and has enough technique for anything Blackpink demands.  Most importantly her co-ordination between guitar playing and vocals is excellent, that’s a tricky thing to do at the same time and get right but she has no problem with it, which means she was probably using guitar as a songwriting tool from a young age.  She has good strumming technique and excellent sense of rhythm, her one weakness is a sort of odd fingerpicking style, which actually works fine on its own but because of the way she locks her wrist to the top of the instrument when picking, she can’t really integrate her picking and strumming together smoothly.  Which arguably doesn’t matter much for the sort of thing she’s doing, but if she went for guitar lessons with me, hybrid picking is probably the first thing I’d teach her.  Still a better player than Elvis.

OK so how does After Like by IVE work?? Specifically the chords, I have been trying to figure this out for the past hour or 2 that the song has been out (as of time of writing) and using my keyboard and a base knowledge of music theory, I can hazard a guess. They’re using some kind of circle of fifths fuckery to switch from the C major key of the main sections to the D minor key of the sample right? Is it just the chords at work to make this transition smooth or is there something else I’m missing?

It’s actually D minor the whole way through.

Most of the song is i-IV-VII-III although they swap the III out for a V when doing the turnaround into the chorus.  When the “I Will Survive” sample comes in then the pattern is extended to incorporate all the chords on that song’s sequence, so i-IV-VII-III-VI-ii7-V, but the song never leaves D minor.  Note how the first four chords are the same as those in the verse, not as much changes as you think, it’s mainly the texture changes fooling you into thinking that there’s a modulation.

What exactly is the connection between Oli London, Kaachi and FrontRow Global Ltd.? Is is true that Oli is a high level employee at FrontRow and that is how he finances his music videos, trips abroad and surgeries?

Yeah I’m not in the loop about any of the Oli London/Kaachi drama although I know that Oli took a shot at Kaachi in one of his songs, not sure why though.  I know Kaachi is signed to FrontRow but I don’t know what Oli’s connection is there, nor do I care really, but it would seem super odd if they were both on FrontRow given that there’s some kind of issue between them and there’s zero Oli promotional material on any of FrontRow’s socials, surely knowing Oli if he was that high up in FrontRow he’d be using them to his promotional advantage and certainly not keeping it a secret.  Who knows maybe Oli and FrontRow had some business dealings in the past (they’re k-pop focused and from the same city so it would make sense) but I very, very much doubt that the money for what he’s doing is from FrontRow, that doesn’t seem even remotely realistic.

Hey, given pretty much everyone in kpop is horribly underweight, I was wondering if you’d ever heard of this

No wonder irene was bitchy to her staff.

Or maybe her staff was the actual dried-up vagina in the room, who knows.

This is why we should all support idols eating proper meals.

I didn’t get what you meant by Ravi being the Nicholas Cage of kpop until I saw this clip. It’s uncanny…..

I’m not making this stuff up without justification.

Do you experience frisson? What are your frisson inducing songs?

Yes.  Usually, really intense vocal passages, OR very high dynamic contrasts – or both at once.  But not intense vocals in the weak, wimpy, pathetic way that k-pop fans think is intense.  Blixa Bargeld’s incredible screaming definitely has that effect on me, every time.  Both of the below songs very effectively use his screaming as a climactic point, the dynamic contrast and structure of the songs (both flowing at a consistent low level before exploding) definitely helps.

Kathleen Hanna channels the same energy specifically at 1:17 here, there’s less dynamics musically but the pitch and context of the screaming alone is enough.  The album cut of this same song where she doesn’t scream quite as much doesn’t sound anywhere near as good.

The contrasts in Jambinai’s songs definitely also have that same effect, whether paired with vocals or not.

Do you think a psychologist making me do an online MBTI test after our first session is a red flag? I hadn’t been to a psychologist before that, so idk if it’s a common practice or not. I thought it was strange, considering the test doesn’t take mental health issues into account when assigning you a result.

Yes.  You want a psychologist who deals in real shit, not made-up junk for idiots.  Dump him immediately and find a better psychologist.

Dear Kpopalypse
I have just entered high school after 2 years of online school. The year before online school started when I was in 6th was probably the worst school year I had. I was friends with an outcast and consequently I became an outcast as well. I am not a person to keep up with gossip but it was the first time I felt at the center of it. I cannot say that what they did was very serious but at that time it hit me hard. You know in schools there is this kid that people avoid as in they think that they cannot be touched or yk make big shows of washing or sanitizing thier hands after they touched your pen or something like that like you were dirty. That was what I mostly went through. I eventually complained to the teacher and suprisingly it stopped. I didnt get any sorry or stuff like that but I was happy. I know I should probably leave it but recently a kid from middle school complained about bullying. But later my friends and the people in my bus were talking about it and everyone was confused about it even existing and I got a hint that my friends they were talking about me behind my back and not in the good way
I know I should leave this behind but it still bothers me. I cant ask my friends because I dont know if they will tell the truth and forget parents. Was I being too sensitive back then Thinking about it now I know I should have fought back myself not involved teachers but Idk I am confused Its like everyone around me believes that this kid is crazy and I was in his place not long back
I know this might sound like I am trying to look for validation I am not even sure what I am looking for at this point I just want to leave it behind forever and I also dont have anyone else to ask who would be honest with me

Fuck those dickheads.  I hope you’re still friends with the outcast, they’re probably the only sensible person there who is actually worth getting to know, and probably have more integrity than any of your current “friends” who are so wrapped up in talking shit and probably wouldn’t be there for you if you needed them.  As far as I’m concerned you did the right thing and you should proceed with the confidence that you are more mature than your peers and not worry about the shit that comes out of their mouths.

In 2019, I was 21 and happy at finally having escaped my toxic, dysfunctional family’s clutches. I was making enough to live on my own in a tiny studio, so tiny and far away from my family that it was too much of a hassle for them to come see me more than once a month, which I could handle.

Then the pandemic hit and I lost my job sometime around September 2020. This meant my tiny studio was also out of my reach financially, which meant it was right back into my parents’ clutches for me.

Now, I hate this mainly for one reason; my mother. I was always a tubby kid and still am somewhat overweight. After turbulent teen years, losing, gaining, losing and gaining it all back again, I have finally come to terms with my body for what it is. However, nobody makes me feel worse about my body than my own mother. She hates me for looking like the husband she despises, and then I committed the crime of being fat to boot.

And now that I’m home, the shady remarks and snide comments have escalated once again. I try my best to block it out until I can save up enough to leave. I’ve tried many things – ignoring her, firing back with snide shit, getting my siblings to stick up for me – but she just won’t stop. At this point I’m just exhausted.

I have a new job now, but it will take some time for me to go back to where I was financially. How do I find the peace of mind to tolerate her until my savings build back up again?

If it was me I would just totally confront her.  Just sit her down and say “Look I’m tired of getting called fat, can we stop that shit please”.  That’s the “peacemaker” strategy, and it should work.  If it doesn’t, then you can do the “war” strategy – just do something that annoys her a lot (if you’re not sure what, playing loud music usually works pretty well to piss off parents) and when she tells you to stop say “I’ll make you a deal, I’ll stop doing this annoying thing if you can stop calling me a fucking fatass for like 2 fucking seconds of your life, how about it?”  Good luck!

Will the series kpopalypse compilation of honey popcorn drama videos return soon

Yes!

Hi oppar I hope you and your cat are doing fine!

So I work as a designer at an ad agency and for one of our clients, we typically go through the country heads of the brand for feedback but occasionally the regional head will step in and look at things.

Anyway, we’re working on 2 things for the brand at the moment – a website for a campaign they’re running, alongside the regular social media feeds. A few weeks ago, the regional head took a look at both of them and called all of it very boring and uninspiring, and said we needed to be “more fun”. The country heads were fine with our work till now, but they have a more boomer mindset despite not being old at all

So we took the regional head’s feedback to heart – after all, she is the bigger senior – and began posting with a different style. Different captions, different colour schemes and presentation styles and fonts etc.

anyway our country head LOST HER SHIT at that, saying this style is “off” and needs to be redone entirely like she’d forgotten about her own supervisor saying otherwise?

So to please her and her tendency of making mountains out of molehills – she escalates to our Client Services head at every minor opportunity – we started merging elements of old and new styles essentially

She had a problem with this too, and once again today she’s told our managers that our work “feels rushed” and “lacks soul” despite it looking identical to stuff she’s approved before. Our manager said he would look into it on Monday, which means we’ll be interrogated again for no reason

Now our manager is a reasonable guy and I’m 90% sure he’ll side with us, but it’s still a bad look from a layman’s perspective that the client is making us look like we’re amateurs who can’t do a thing right – they treat all minor feedback like some unforgivable mistake but we’ve got to take the fall for it

Talking to the clients is out of the question because they feel like they are right & they’re paying us, so I just want to know how to cope with this mentally. I’ve had feelings of inadequacy before at previous jobs and this is giving me flashbacks to that time all over again.

Has anyone in this whole process actually bothered to check in with the client and ask them what THEY want?  That’d be a start, surely.  Yes they ARE right and they ARE paying you, so the result should be tailored to THEM, not the regional head’s wacky ideas or whatever the fuck.  If it were me I’d run some drafts by the client via email and say “what do you think”, and if they write back that they are happy then you can say to the heads when they complain “the client loved it, I have proof”.

If for some stupid corporate bullshit reason the above incredibly logical and basic step is a no-go (like it might get you sacked for stepping on toes of management or hurting someone’s fragile ego or something), then if your manager has your back I wouldn’t worry.  Just smile and take the money, that’s how I cope with work I don’t particularly enjoy.

I have always found Wonder Girls’ song Like This to sound oddly creepy and sinister, link provided for easy reference. I’ve played the song for friends with varying levels of kpop exposure and many (but not all) have agreed with me that there is something off about the song

I’m wondering if there’s any musical reasons for this you might help me out with? Is it the key it’s written in? The frequent group chanting portions? I’m I just easily swayed due to my knowing JYP was the composer and that he was in a cult, and my mind making connections that aren’t there?

I’ve never had any sort of ‘creepy’ feeling from it, if something this tame creeps you out I’m not sure how to help you there! 

Musically it’s flirting with atonality just a little because of the chant-line chorus where the girls are kind of singing, but not really singing any specific pitch.  There’s kind of an ‘implied’ vocal line (derived from the backings) that they could be singing, but they’re actually not singing it.  So maybe that’s what’s unsettling you.  It’s actually a similar thing that’s happening in the chorus of Oh My Girl’s “Shark” except that in the Wonder Girls song it has more rhythmic atonal elements in the backings overall so it fits a lot better.

Kpopalypse: Don’t tell them that I have a livestream where I show my face every week, it’s funnier when they think they’re “doing something” by “doxxing” me. Also, settle down everyone I’m taken.
[$^$£¥+]: every since I have seen a pic of him I just can’t take him seriously

_raenboe_: he’s literally an average-looking white man but some ppl on tt treat him like he’s some music god

Judging people by their looks. What was it that the holier-than-thou objectification-survey protesters were bitching about again?
The second comment seems to be unintentionally upfront about how Kpop fans equate looks/biases with the music.

It’s extra funny when you realise that the people who write all their favourite k-pop songs look a lot more like me than they do like the k-pop stars.

Older dudes are behind a lot of your favourite songs.  Some of them are even white, oh noes.

So apparently JYP is making it so the company’s future albums will be replacing CDs likely with some kind of digital song download or whatever, basically making albums just a pack of photocards with a QR code or whatever in order to reduce their environmental footprint.

Is the company really doing this out of the goodness of their heart and an actual desire to help the environment or is there something more cynical going on? I can’t really see how this can benefit the company monetarily beyond PR and cost-cutting.

How much will people’s interest in these “physical” albums change when losing any reason to buy them other than the photocards? Would this actually do much for the environment considering that bulk-buying probably won’t stop any time soon?

How likely is this to start a greater trend in the industry? Apparently J-hope and Victon have already tried this with their recent albums but they’re just individual acts. An entire big 3 company making this kind of change seems pretty huge.

It’s very likely and I’m actually surprised it hasn’t happened already.  Many people now don’t own CD players and so the expense of making the extra bit of plastic nobody uses can probably be done away with in a lot of cases, let’s be real most people are buying the album for the book.  Having said that there’s a CD revival incoming soon, so this decision might get reconsidered later in light of that.  I mean, if something as stupid, impractical and objectively total garbage as cassette tapes can be revived, CDs have at least an equal chance, eventually.

Hey there, I’ve been recently listening to some Lovebites, specifically the song you recommended from the 2021 worst list. I think it’s made me about 50% more Catholic as someone who’s usually only about 75% max.

1. Slightly related, but I’m visiting my dad in Japan soon and I wanted to ingratiate myself with the culture by listening to their music. I recall you’ve said before that J-pop specifically is all shit and a quick browse through the country’s top 50 songs on Spotify revealed an unhealthy obsession with shit ballads so I wanted to ask, what Japanese songs/artists/albums you would recommend?

2. Slightly philosophical question. Obviously, if a given song makes you want to fall asleep after listening to it, it’s bad. But if your goal is to fall asleep, does that same song become good, if at least only in that moment?

1.  Just about anything except pop music.  There’s lots of great music from Japan, just none of it is pop.  Blind Freddy randomly chucking darts inside a record store in Japan could hit any album and it would probably be worth listening to as long as that record store didn’t have a pop section. 

2.  I guess it does, in the same sense that laxatives are good for you if you’re constipated, but you wouldn’t take them otherwise.

I guess this kind of out of your field of knowledge but I thought I’d ask you anyway since you’ve worked extensively in the music industry.

So I’ve been noticing lately while watching Korean variety shows that they use covers of Taylor Swift’s songs rather than her version itself (for like background tracks or whatever). Every other song, it’s always the original version. My questions are:

1. Why do they have to use the cover? Is it because Taylor Swift hasn’t licensed it out?
2. I remember you mentioning a long time back on your blog that technically people covering songs on YouTube is technically not legal. So in that case are these covers legal? I assume the production company has done their due diligence to avoid legal issues but I was wondering how this works.

They’re probably avoiding getting done for mechanical copyright infringement.  Oversimplifying here, but – there’s more than one type of copyright, there’s a copyright that exists in an actual song, and there’s a copyright that exists in the recording of that song, which is a mechanical copyright.  If they have the rights to perform the song but not the mechanical rights to use the recording, then they can evade infringing on mechanical rights by simply making their own recording.  However there’s a good chance that they don’t have the performance rights either, but are just ignoring that bit (which is common!), and in that case the rerecording of the backing means that it’s less likely to be red-flagged by copyright auto-detection algorithms and they’re more likely to just get away with the entire thing.

Don’t mind me casually scrolling here. I can’t help but notice something about Together Forever by Rick Astley. The instrumentals and the melody sounds like the stuff that influenced a lot of Lovelyz title tracks. When I first heard The Promise by When In Rome, I started thinking about how the tempo and arrangement remind me of the first verse of their debut song. I guess the Lovelyz producers really loved 80s music. Is there a consensus on this?

Yes.  The following video might be worth a watch for you, while noting that Lovelyz’ early songs do favour a lot of j-pop style harmony choices.

Hi Kpopalypse, love your blog. Not a question, but informing you that general consensus is Le Sserafim Chaewon’s boobs have gotten prettier lately. Please investigate if you can fit her into your next boobs post.

Noted ty

Hi there! When is it (if ever) appropriate to use falsetto voice in a song (male or female)?

When the music underneath it doesn’t suck.

kpopalypse oppae, will you come to blackpink tour in auckland?

and then

I forgot that kpopalypse’s city is Adelaide, and not Auckland. So my question is, will you attend blackpink tour again? Or once is already enough?

Probably not.  While I did enjoy seeing them the first time, I don’t have any reason to believe that they would be sufficiently different if I saw them again.  I’d rather take the time and money to see a group that I haven’t seen yet.

Ok was listening to Orange Caramel’s Lipstick (still a certified banger to this day), and I noticed that it sounded noticeably different i.e. that midi trumpet(?) + some other elements in the high end that you hear most prominently at the start and end of the song were completely gone from the mix. Lo and behold, I had somehow set my audio output to mono, and when I turned it back to stereo, the sound was back to normal! Any ideas on why mono-audio completely rips out the high end for this song? Is it the way that that the mono-audio accessibility option combines the two stereo channels or what?

Other people have noticed this with “Lipstick”, it’s probably due to phase cancellation between the content in the left and right speaker.  Some parts of the “to the side” content was recorded 180 degrees out of phase, so when you sum these elements into a mono mix, they vanish.

Could you help me with something confusing me atm? The new SNSD album hit for me a lot, but two b-sides that felt really similar. I’ve heard pop gimmicks like this before (Carly Rae Jepsen has two songs “Stay Away” and “Feel This Way” based on the same base that also share lyrics), but they’re usually done on purpose. That doesn’t seem like the intended case here? Mood Lamp is before Summer Night in the tracklist, so I listened in that order, which I assume they intended people to hear them in:

1) Do these have the same essential base? I hear different elements and choices influencing the atmosphere, so the songs definitely aren’t the same, just the overall direction. I know lots of songs share chord progressions, so they end up sounding essentially similar despite being different enough, I just don’t have the tools to discern if that’s what’s going on here.

2) Do you think whoever arranged this album at SM didn’t hear this somehow or did this on purpose? It personally shocked me as a listener a bit to hear Mood Lamp followed up by what I thought was “Mood Lamp, but more upbeat.” Would I have had less of this feeling if these had been spaced out more?

3) If you’re willing to say: which do you prefer? This might be the most confusing part for me, because I liked both of them despite hearing them one after the other. Does that mean Summer Night is a better song in at least some respects, or do I more genuinely like Mood Lamp? (Obviously, you can’t give a real answer for this unless you knew me, but it might help me to see how you process both songs.)

Difficult questions to answer, I mean they’re both generically-written filler pop songs hanging out at the end of an album where all the dregs are.  They both have pretty much the same type of melodic style, even though the harmony and the beat is different, structurally they’re similar enough and the same kind of things happen in the same places… but then, in “generic b-side filler pop music land” this is quite normal, not to stray too far from the template.  Not too many chances are taken here.  I think SM just shoved these two songs near the end of the album because they were both equally unremarkable, fairly generic, non-risky, not so crap that one would prefer to leave them off completely but certainly not interesting enough to move them higher up in the order.  It’s no coincidence that these two songs are at the end of the album, right next to each other in a place where only the most dedicated of listeners will find them, it’s because they’re not considered to be that interesting, even to the people who made them.  If I had to choose between these two slabs of terminal boredom I prefer the second song because at least it’s a bit quicker, but there’s a very good chance that even the girls in the group have no idea what these songs even are.

Hey kpopalypse, I recently graduated high school and instead of starting college immediately, I decided to use those next months (until January of 2023) to join this marketing course hosted by the uni I plan to go, and also start going to the gym and hopefully get my drivers license. However, I see most of my peers starting college and whatnot and it rlly didn’t affect me as much, until my grandma told me that I made the wrong decision and asked me if I felt any shame looking at everyone starting their studies so early. I feel lost, I thought I had made the right decision but now that I think about it, I feel very confused. But after all, 6 months without college in the large scheme of life, don’t seem that much tbh. But hey, i’m also 17 years old and confused about everything. Is having 6 months to urself “normal” or a super shitty decision?

No offence to your grandmother but she wouldn’t know shit about shit.  I dare say it’s been a while since she was doing any sort of education herself so she can probably shut her hole.  If she asked me that question my response would be to stare straight at her and say “no”.  Mind you “marketing course” doesn’t exactly sound like “time to yourself” anyway so make sure that you don’t work too hard there.  Enjoy your break and focus on having some fun while you can before you have to deal with college stresses, if you don’t use this bit of downtime for some relaxation you will regret it later when Uni begins and you start burning out.

is it possible to do voice lessons over zoom? ive heard you say youve taught voice lessons before and i`m just curious, i feel like that would be a major pain in the ass w wifi issues and audio glitches.

Zoom isn’t ideal for music lessons, something I found out when I had to take a lot of my teaching offline due to COVID.  That’s not to say it can’t be done, but there are some challenges.  The biggest one is that there’s a time delay with Zoom chats, so anything that you say or do takes about half a second to come out the other end to the recipient, even if the connection between you is great and there are no dropouts and audio quality is good.  This is fine for just talking, and it’s also fine for demonstrating musical concepts in a solo capacity, but what it prevents is the ability to make music with someone, because when you’re playing or singing together you’ll be half a second out of sync. 

American here – this year I’ve seen Twice and Dreamcatcher in concert, with Itzy coming up in November.

Fucking Americans, you people get all the shows while everyone else starves… geez.  Yeah, I’m jealous.  Anyway go on.

I’m not sure of the releases more widely across Kpop, but I was wondering what your opinion is on why JYP doesn’t release DVD/Blu-Rays of an American show. The market is certainly there; 2019’s Twicelights did very well and this year’s tour was hugely successful. You could make an argument about Americans not really caring for physical media, except that’s definitely not true when it comes to Kpop (although I know several people that never listen to anything they buy, just using Spotify instead and just viewing everything else as collectibles.)

SNSD released both Japanese and Korean concerts, and Twice is arguably their third gen successor (I only say arguably because of Blackpink, and I mean no offense to them or their fans, they’re great but if I’m going to compare a 3rd gen group to SNSD it’s definitely Twice that comes to mind first for pretty much every reason.)

It’s a bummer because the Korean Blu-Ray was filmed when Jeongyeon was still on hiatus, and while she clearly wasn’t at 100% for the American shows, the fans were super happy and supportive of her being there. I know Korean fans can be more judgmental, but I can’t see them purchasing an American concert when a Korean one is already available.

A thought is that Twice did get a little rowdy during their encores, and Dreamcatcher put on a straight-up SHOW that definitely wouldn’t fly in Korea, but it’s not like the videos aren’t all over the internet anyway.

Thoughts? Thank you!

Yeah I don’t know, it’s a really good question and something I’ve always been frustrated by.  I always consider it a missed opportunity when groups don’t do this at the right time.  I’m so annoyed that the only official complete live video concert of a Celtic Frost concert in the 1980s exists during their “Cold Lake” period, it’s such a piss poor concert.  If they’re not going to come to my shitty country (and I guess why would they, it’s a long ass way from most places that make money) at least they could film it.  Pricks.  But I guess in k-pop specifically from the rare full concerts that I have seen, it might be partly to do with a lack of how to handle the smoke-and-mirrors aspect of live sound in a k-pop group.  It’s just a little more obvious how much vocal cheating is going on when you are watching an entire concert of it, and when they’re not cheating it’s quickly apparently how fucking atrocious the real live singing is.

I’m the person who asked about Monsta X ballads earlier this year. I didn’t read your answer until now because I was so busy. I’m premed, so I was studying for my MCAT back then. It went well! Then I got caught up in all sorts of other job and volunteer stuff. I decided to not apply to med school until next year, so now I have at least a bit of time to waste again. I’m very late, but thanks for your response! Yoona’s song was an interesting example. I have a slight aversion to that airy approach in acoustic songs, which I think is a separate personal gripe I have since it plagues so many ballads I find mediocre in both in the US and Korea. Airiness is typical of unskilled vocalists in lower ranges, so that might just be how she sings, to be fair. I see why you like it, given that incredible guitar work and your other notes about the song and likes/dislikes in ballads. I think that was a well-done song that I enjoyed for many of the same reasons you did, despite my tiny gripe.

Some background before my next question: I’ve sung since I was able to talk and briefly did training in classical/Broadway style singing. I was a part of some intensive chamber and acapella choirs in K-12 as well. Therefore, I do appreciate technique more than your average pop listener. However, I strongly believe there’s more to enjoy if the singer has solid technique AND is giving you a song that is more strategic in how they use their skills to build a narrative (in my opinion, Taeyeon’s recent stuff with INVU and Toddler demonstrate this well in different ways, though those are solidly more mid-tempo… point still stands though).

Following on this topic, do you have thoughts on why ballad producers/listeners get their ballads wrong so often? They seem to either want unreasonable amounts of vocal wanking to express ~*deep emotions*~ that might end up compromising any decent instrumental, or are otherwise constantly manufacturing intimacy by whispering against boring, snoozy piano/acoustic guitar. Is this laziness, therefore the producers’ fault? Playing safe, which makes it bad taste on the consumers’ part? Why does Korea, even people who are seemingly not intense stans, seem to keep buying into those formulas for idols and non-idols alike? I’ve seen similar preferences in China, too. If there’s a cultural basis or a common factor that explains this, I’m not able to identify it. I can believe that the average listener doesn’t see/value the differences that you see between Snoozy Acoustic Ballad #458498503 and Yoona’s song, but surely at least most people can recognize that singers doing unnecessary vocal tricks is at least sometimes incredibly goofy and can take you out of whatever emotion you’re supposed to try to feel?

Btw, feel free to redirect me if this has been discussed before, maybe this is too much focus spent on songs that I think are ultimately not very good? I’m afraid this might not be all that understandable T__T I honestly just wanted to dump my thoughts somewhere. There’s not a lot of people I know that would know much about this. Thanks for your time if you answer anyway!

I think it’s possibly cultural.  It seems to be across the board among East Asian countries that these sort of ballads tend to dominate the pop charts.  K-pop fans tend to think that it’s k-pop all the time in the charts but no – most Korean charts are dominated by ballads with just the occasional upbeat pop song sprinkled in there, and that’s the same in nearby countries.  The general population in Korea doesn’t listen to idols groups, just like the general population in the west doesn’t listen to western idols like One Direction – sure, you all know who they are or have at least heard the name before, but only a slim minority would put on a One Direction album at home, most people would rather listen to other stuff.  Now why exactly this is cultural, I’m not sure, maybe it’s because of the work ethic in those countries and people being more tired from working long hours and thus wanting more relaxing music… but personally I’d rather listen to music that fucks shit up after a frustrating day at work.  So I guess what I’m trying to say is, I have no idea really.  But it’s definitely a pattern that I’ve noticed.

Where do you find your sidebar girl links? I used to come across websites like that all the time but the centralization of the internet has led me to stumble upon far less interesting little sites like that. Don’t have to reveal the dark secrets of random internet sites if you don’t want to of course

I actually get sent quite a lot of them by you folks these days!  Before that I used to have to scour the Internet a bit more.

Who’s the artist for the Qrimole avatar?

If you go back to the very first QRIMOLE that uses the avatar, I discuss it there.

Hello, oppar! Have you ever had troubles “figuring” women out? Do you think women are harder to read and understand than men on average?
I’m a woman and I often worry about hurting other people’s feelings or being pushy, so I tend to avoid direct answers and walk on eggshells. I also change my mind easily, because I consider a lot of factors when it comes to making decisions. I want to be more direct and state my true feelings without fear, but it’s difficult. I know a lot of men complain they don’t understand women and I worry I’m not helping my case. Looking back at how I’ve interacted with men, I can recognize these habits and it makes me feel embarrassed and immature.
Do you have any insights and tips on how to communicate more clearly?

I have trouble figuring out people in general.

I think the key thing to remember when talking to men if you’re not one, is that men tend to deal with things on face value more.  Men struggle with indirect messaging, non-verbal cues etc, and most of them don’t have that same level of ‘social intelligence’ that women do.  It’s not that they don’t want to understand (often they desperately do), it’s just that the part of their brain that deals with all that subtle information isn’t as well developed as that of the average woman.  So the best way to deal with men if you want to be understood is to be as direct as possible.  “Hints” don’t work, “suggestions” might be interpreted as more optional than you would like… just be upfront.  As brutally upfront as possible without being rude.  “I would like x, can you please do x”, “when you do x it makes me feel like y, can you please do z instead” etc. 

A follow-up to the women question: do you think it’s harder for women to admit fault and apologise? If yes, why do you think that is?

Not in my experience.  I think this is purely personality dependent and haven’t noticed any pattern here with gender.

I feel like a big part of K-pop is the charts and numbers. Like, take a look at @btschartdata on Twitter. Over 2 million followers for an account that posts solely about how BTS’s songs are doing on the charts. And that goes for every K-pop group out there. Why do you think K-pop fans are so obsessive over these things? You don’t see this many fans of Rihanna or Justin Bieber posting daily tweets about how many #1s their songs get on iTunes, so what’s the deal?

Validation.  If someone tells you that you’re wasting your life following k-pop group x, which would be a common conversation for fans in western countries where following k-pop groups isn’t considered to be as “normal” a pop music activity as being a Rihanna fan or whatever, you can clap back with “but these numbers show they’re more relevant than the music you like which isn’t charting as well”.  It’s the same reason why people have a huge problem with how I post and the roundups that I do ruffle so many feathers – “why can’t he just be positive and support k-pop?” – the brain of new k-pop fans is used to being in “war mode” and seeing anything not 100% positive, as 100% negative.  Companies love this line of thinking because they love the rabid fanbase that it provides, and do their best to feed into it and encourage it.  Of course anyone thinking on a deeper level will realise that validation isn’t necessary, that “I like it because I do” is a good enough reason to like anything, and that it’s fine to be critical of your favourite groups when they do mediocre music and it doesn’t mean you’re a “hater”, but it takes a while for a lot of people to get to that level.  Some never do!

Are you a twink?

Although I meet the requirements for lack of hair, I’m too old to be a twink!

any favorite rock/metal bands?

Yes.

So many people (mostly on Reddit ho ho) are against kpop fanfic in general, calling it creepy and a way to project stereotypical character traits onto idols. What’s your opinion on this?

I don’t completely agree, but they’re not without a point.  People tend to do fanfic as wish-fulfillment (i.e a sexual scene that a person wants to project) or as a way to glorify and idolise their subject (by assigning them all the positive qualities that they imagine that person has, usually based off other fan content or sometimes the agency’s own promotional material).  I honestly don’t think either of those things are “a problem” in any kind of moral way (I mean, any type of fantasy is fine really) but it does mean that the resulting fanfictions are generally quite weak narratively, because the writer is putting their own desires above the quality of the storytelling.  That’s why when I write fanfics I tend to do it in a way that’s different, I assign a great deal of very mundane anti-Mary Sue characteristics to the characters, including stuff which would often possibly make them downright unlikable to counterbalance the typical kind of fanfic characterisations, and I also completely sidestep sexual content as much as possible.  The whole “Try Not To Have Gay Sex With Yves” games are partly about relentlessly cockblocking anyone who wants to see sex content in an RPG Marker game and I’m deliberately messing with people who are used to the typical “adult game” format.  These Reddit whiners would probably like a lot of my content if they actually gave it a go and weren’t so prudish.

Thanks to roundup I’m noticing that a bunch of second generation idols are coming back and making solo debuts and what have in a more frequent manner than in previous years. Do you think that the current nostalgia wave is making it so these ventures are more profitable to the idols in a way that it wasn’t a few years ago? Or is it something else?

I think it would be a presumption to say that these debuts are profitable!  Some of them in fact might be, but most probably are not.  I agree that we’re seeing a lot of this lately, and I think it’s because about ten/fifteen years ago the amount of new idol groups skyrocketed, most of those groups have disbanded now so now we’re seeing a whole bunch of ex-members of all those groups who are now in their 20s/30s/40s who are still wanting to have an idol career because they’ve so heavily invested in it up until this point.

What’s the most memorable bassline you’ve heard in a song?

When I read this question instantly The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” came to mind, even though it’s not played on an actual bass it’s still a bassline.

The most memorable bassline in a song that I actually like is probably this, I always play it when I’m in a music store and I see a double bass:

hyung, i have a few questions about this song:

1. are there any kpop songs that sounds atleast somehow identical to this?
2. do you think this type of sound would do well if released in kpop market?
3. i saw few people saying it sounds pretty similar to Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” but honestly, i couldn’t identify the similarities being implied.
4. do you think it’s any good?

Because it was a useless j-turd, just absolute pure garbage, I removed the song for the good of humanity.

  1. no
  2. no
  3. neither could I
  4. no

You’re welcome.

Oppar do you think you’d make a better father than this dude if Brooke is your daughter?

Cartoon lacks realism, the power electronics that the daughter is listening to is positively retro at this point.  Musical abrasiveness peaked in the 1980s and has been on the way downhill ever since, new music for young people being born today will be soft as shit.

hello!

(generic intro about me being a reader for years but never sending a qrimole before)

reading your blog has helped me, immensely. i used to be in a very bad mental place which turned me from a casual kpop fan into an emotionally invested one. but finding your blog, dropping out of college and getting a job, helped me to regain my senses again. so thank you.

however, today i am writing for a completely different reason. i know i should probably confide my family or my best friend, and it’s not like they don’t support me or would hesitate to help me if i asked them to. it’s the complete opposite. it’s just that i am unable to properly voice my concerns to them.

after quitting med school, at my 3rd year, due to poor mental and physical health and an overall toxic academic environment, i took 2 years to get back on my feet, find a new job. entertaining the work force was like therapy for me as it reminded me i am not incompetent. becoming financially independent, moving out from my hometown and financially supporting my family helped me to regain a purpose and a sense of self worth, which is why i decided to apply for a 2 year college majoring in IT. i was naively optimistic enough to think i got over my past anxieties and that i would actually be able to work(i switched from full time to part time at my job), pay my own tuition and finish school.

fast forward a year and i am a mess. the workload at my job increased this year because a lot of people were either fired or quit. at first i was able to keep up with the lessons and the exams but as the time passed it became increasingly difficult to manage everything. i started missing classes, not showing up at practices and exams, telling myself i could make up for it when the finals come. spoiler: that never happened. make up exams are around the corner and now i reached the point where i am afraid to even apply for an exam because i convinced myself i will unavoidably fail it and that it’s too late to change anything.

now i am forced to face the fact that i have never truly recovered from my fear of academic failure. for context, even in med school i had a good gpa despite it all. the reason why i dropped out was because i had to retake a year, and in that year other students and the profs never failed to remind the people who were repeating how much of a failure we are. it got to the point where i couldn’t get myself to open a book, let alone study anything. but i kept forcing myself to do so because our scool system doesn’t allow us to take a gap year. i burned out and had to drop out because otherwise i would’ve committed suicide (it’s not like i didn’t try two times, only for my mother to find me and stop me)

it’s not just the academia that led me to do that, things weren’t stellar at home either. i won’t go into details, long story short my parents are divorced because my father is a physically abusive and emotionally manipulative man. any interactions with him were leaving huge tolls on my overall mental health. when i dropped out i also blocked his number and cut all ties with him.

the reason why i am mentioning this is because regardless of how bad things were at home or how much of a hard time i had with trying to fit in with my peers, i have never had issues with studying or acing my tests… books and learning were always a refuge, my own safe space. and i lost that joy of learning at college.

the situation at work is not great now, i am even considering to look for a new job. i think unconsciously i have already resigned myself to repeat this college year(and my trauma together with it). due to my brother’s meddling my father is trying to get in contact with again, my brother is in over his head because he wants to do too many things at the same time hence he looses focus of his priorities and it ends up with me, his older sister, having to clean up his mess because i don’t want my mother, who has a poor health and more worries and jobs to take care of, to worry about him too. and because my mother has so much going on i thought her to depend on me but she does it daily now and it’s drowning me but because she supported me through everything in life, even my decade long depression, i feel guilty and want to repay her by helping her.

it’s not that i don’t want to finish school, because i know i want to prove myself that i am capable of it, regardless of what has happened, it’s just that with everything that is going on i get so overwhelmed that i freeze and i am unable to think, let alone move or do something.

i tried therapy, i changed my psychiatrist 3 times, but it doesn’t help. i am so sorry for the word vomit i typed out here. i just had to get all of these thoughts out of my head and put them somewhere because they were drowning me. i am not expecting a solution. i know it’s a lot to ask but if you could just read this and offer me your own perspective, i would be forever thankful.

i hope your cat, your partner and you are fairing better than me. please continue doing what you do and being one of the trues kpop bloggers out there.

There’s nothing wrong with not going down the academic path.  My brother never went to university, he just went into the workforce and did really well, he now runs his own business and is successful.  The academic style of learning is not for everyone.  I only went into it to find out more about music, I had no career aspirations, and it’s just as well because my degree is pretty much useless for making money with (but that’s okay, I knew that going in).

There’s a lot of other stuff in your post, I feel like you should watch this video from KRS-ONE.  Definitely one of the most educated rappers out there, I don’t agree with everything this dude says generally speaking (definitely not feeling his whole quasi-spiritual thing) but his attitude to self-worth, self-education, proactivity and self esteem and especially the idea that you create your own reality through self-determination is absolutely something worth taking on board.  Might help you out, especially about five minutes in when he starts talking about his education – but you should watch all of it.  Thanks for your support!

{\__/}
( ´︶`)
/ > ♡ this is my heart.

{\__/}
( ˘ ³˘ )
♡< \ nobody can take it.

{\__/}
(._. )
< \ ?????

{\___/}
( `Д´)
/ > > where’s my heart???!!!

{\___/}
(〃^∇^)
/ ノ |ノ oh, Kpopalypse ? ok you can keep it

thank you uwu


That’s all for this month’s QRIMOLE!  This series will return next month!  In the meantime remember that こんなに美しい演奏を久しぶりに聴きました!

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 – September 2022

  1. So a lot of *ugh* netizens are speculating that PNation is imploding, what with the artists leaving, the death at the super happy water fun time festival, etc. I’m pretty sure it’s mostly artists just looking to move on in general, or looking for more fertile grounds.

    I do find it a bit shocking, because *supposedly* Psy was a CEO who let people “be themselves” and this really made sense for Hyuna and Dawn, but at the end of the day he’s still a CEO, so whatever.

    Anyway my point is, TNX debuted and I swear the music, or at least the beginning of their debut, is just a Jessie song with a boy group thrown on top of it.

    What are your thoughts on “musical identity” when it comes to Kpop? I mean for example, Dreamcatcher and Everglow have a “sound” while other groups jump every comeback to whatever seems to be in at the moment.

    Sometimes it’s weirdly abrupt too. For instance, Weeekly had a sound forever and then jumped the shark with “Ven Para” and the b-side “Solar” was basically them being Everglow even more so than the title track.

    I know an easy answer is that Kpop songwriting is an (unnecessarily) complex issue involving up to dozens of unrelated people but I’m hoping for a more “thoughtful and introspective” answer lmao.

    Second question: How annoying is it for you dealing with submissions that meander for a fucking hour before getting to the question or that sometimes don’t have a question at all? Consider your answer fuel for my already useless blog.

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