Shinhwa Celebrates 16 Years of Being ‘Here’ with Fans [03/23/14]

I see it as a waste to leave them collecting dust, so I share with you these much overdue reviews.

Enjoy :]


Please don’t take the photos out from this blog. 

We’ve come across the realization that sixteen years is a very long time.

Baby Jaemin from Baby Diaries is now a high schooler.
Four different South Korean presidents have been inaugurated into office.
Idol group members promoting now were born when Shinhwa debuted.
And speaking of Shinhwa – they’re still going.

On March 23, Shinhwa held the 2014 Shinhwa 16th Anniversary Concert – Here at the Olympic Park Gymnastics Stadium, celebrating their sweet sixteen with the people who made it all possible – the fans.

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B1A4 Works Hard Towards Good Grades at ‘The Class’ Concert [02/16/14]

There are several concert reviews I wrote this past year, but for some unexplained reason, they were never published.

I see it as a waste to leave them collecting dust, so I share with you these much overdue reviews.

Enjoy :]

It’s been more than several years since we’ve graduated from an educational institution, but B1A4 made us reminisce about the best moments of our lives through its 2014 B1A4 Concert – The Class.

On February 16, B1A4 continued its concert series in Seoul with several thousand fans in the audience. The excitement was in the air even before the concert even started, and that excitement only grew when the lights finally dimmed down and it was time for class.

Staying true to its title, the concert kicked off like school, with a intro video by actor Kim Kwang Gyu, whose most famous movie role as  a teacher carried over into the stadium, as he called out the names of the students late to class.

In the end, there were only five students who have yet to arrive – the five that everyone’s been waiting for.

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le passe muraille, kim dong wan, and the love for theater

I love musicals.

If I could go back to sophomore year to decide my major all over again, I would probably do something musical theater related, maybe stage production.

But I can’t, and I didn’t major in either one of those (my major was dramatic literature, which is partially related), but it doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate a good musical when I get the chance to see one.


This is a long overdue post, but I’m finally writing about the last musical I watched, which is Le Passe Muraille or The Passer-through Walls in English.

If you know what musical this is, you are a Shinhwa fan or an avid musical theater geek.

If you don’t, that’s okay.

03 02

Le Passe Muraille is about an ordinary man who suddenly gains this awesome ability to pass through walls (does he count as a super hero?) and the confidence that he lacked his entire life. With his newfound power, he begins to become more outgoing, even going overboard at times, robbing banks and shiz, Then he falls in love, and everything gets complicated because love does that and then other things happen (for the sake of not spoiling the ending).

I haven’t read the original novel by Marcel Ayme, nor did I know it was actually a Broadway musical before it made its way over to Korea (but in my defense, it was on Broadway in 2002. I didn’t even know what to wear to school the next day… actually…I still don’t).


I watched Le Passe Muraille twice, because if you get to know me, you’ll find out that if I like something enough, I’ll repeatedly do it. (AKA, I watched Kungfu Panda twice in the theaters, Sunny three times –  twice in Korea, once in the US…..don’t ask why. It was a good idea at the time).

I watched the November 17 – 6PM and the December 14 – 3PM showings. Kim Dong Wan was Dutilleul in both shows, and the first show had Go Chang Suk as Doctor Dubeurre, and the second, Lim Chul Hyung.

I actually enjoyed seeing different actors act in the same roles and how they portrayed the characters, so I’m debating whether or not I want to see the musical a third time just to see how Lee Jong Hyuk plays Dutilleul.


I initially went to watch it mainly because of Kim Dong Wan, but by the time I left the theater, I just loved the overall production of it. All the cast members were phenomenal, the music was great, and  the stage design – oh the stage design…it got me thinking that I was doing the wrong thing in life and now I’m reconsidering my choices for the future.

There’s something magical yet so raw about musicals. It’s quite amazing how everyone – the actors, the musicians, the stage crew, the lighting crew, the stage manager, etc – comes together to create this beautiful overall piece of art and they somehow manage to do it…every. single. night. 

In all honesty, Le Passe Muraille won’t rank as my favorite musical of all time, but I still enjoyed it to the fullest.

And Kim Dong Wan, he was just so adorable – as adorable as a 35-year old man can get.


PS: During the first show, I spotted Yeon Jun Suk from Cheer Up Mr. Kim. He was sitting a row in front of us. The girls sitting next to him didn’t even know it was him until intermission. I didn’t say hello or get a picture, but I realized that I may need to take a break from dramas or something because I recognized him by the back of his head…. ㅜ_ㅜ

Photos: the korean bubble + Liveworks Company FB

Kpop Stars and the People that Dance Behind Them

October/November has been crazy. Lots of lolzy things have happened that put me on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I can’t say that the ride is really over yet, but at least for now, I’m steadily transitioning from the biggest fall to the biggest rise.

Personal life aside (might be too icky for this blog), I have to say, I am so proud of my friends.

Not just one, but two of them have somehow gotten a job as extras in two music videos for two big named stars.

syd1 syd2

Yes, it’s true. If you’re not looking, you might miss them because their appearances only last for  a good three seconds.

But still.

These are music videos that have been garnering more than a couple million views.
They can sit back on their floating rocking chairs 50 years from now and show their grandchildren these videos and say, “See that person right there, behind Hyuna/Taeyang? That’s your grandma.”

They’ve been etched somewhere in Kpop history because they made it into these music videos, while thousands and thousands of fans can only dream of appearing in one.

angie angie1

Am I overreacting a tad bit?
Perhaps I am, but it’s not everyday when your friends wind up in a Kpop video.

Something tells me that this is only the beginning of their careers.

Whether as Kpop back dancers or Kpop-affilated personels or maybe not even Kpop-related (but still something awesome),  I’m just excited for what’s in store for them in the future.

Not sure how many people even read this blog, but here’s some shameless promotion – Follow Sydney and Angelina on Twitter!

Now, onto finding out what my future entails.

adorable children, great song, and the magic of wholesale stores

The highlight of today wasn’t BTS’ new music video or that Super Junior released their travel book.


It was when Cho Yong PIl released the music video for Sullem or Romance.
I didn’t know Cho Yong Pil was even releasing a music video today, so it was a pleasant surprise, especially since I wasn’t expecting anything and wasnt expecting it to be this good.

I personally don’t like the English title, because it doesn’t do the Korean title justice.
Sullen is more like the nervous, heart-fluttery, excited feeling you get on your chest, like when you see your crush (or your oppa). And Romance is just…not cutting it.


In the video, Cho Yong PIl himself is no where to be seen (except as giant cardboard cutouts), but Mason Moon and Aleyna Yilmaz fill in the empty spot and they do it perfectly.

The story is pretty simple.


A little boy goes grocery shopping with his mother when he falls in love at first sight with a girl who is also on a shopping trip. As she walks past him, something overtakes this boy, making him realize that if he doesn’t act now, he’ll never see her again. So after he gets his mother to pick him up from the cart, he dashes through all the aisles to find his first love.


They meet and she takes his tiny little hand and they spend a magical afternoon, playing with all the goodies found inside the wholesale store (Costco – or whatever Emart Traders is – would be the best place to get lost in). They let their imaginations run wild, everyone else disappears, and it is just absolutely breathtaking at how beautiful the entire thing is.


One of the many reasons why I love this music video (and the song) is that Cho Yong Pil sings this song about someone falling in love and unable to contain this exhilarating feeling inside. But then he goes and portrays it as innocently as he possibly can with two of the most adorable children when he could have just had two adults madly in love with each other.

There’s just nothing more beautiful than a child’s innocence, especially in times like these when children are really no longer children.

I also realized that I love this music video because it’s somewhat parallel to my favorite book The Little Prince. As adults, we view things with more logic and miss the main idea.

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 12.38.12 AM

But like the Little Prince, like the children in this music video, things don’t have to be so complicated.

I mean, I watched the kids run off from their moms’ shopping carts and thought to myself, “Those kids are going to get lost and their moms are going to get so angry.”

But that’s not the point of the music video.

The point is that love can be pure and quite simple, but we get distracted by unnecessary details.

So the next time you overthink things, just stop and enjoy the moment.

Photo Credit: YPC Production

g-dragon…somehow always ends up bringing me back to him

I don’t know how he does it, but every time I try not to be impressed, G-Dragon ends up doing the opposite.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been a fan of Big Bang since they were born. Even watched their documentary as it was airing.

But there was a point when Big Bang/G-Dragon and I had a falling out (because you know, we were intimately involved -_-).


I really respect G-Dragon for his music and artistic perspective, but at times, there are things that he does that just makes me raise an eyebrow…(like not wearing pants…. and wearing…whatever the heck that is)

He can at times be a little too much, so my attention went elsewhere.

To be honest, MichiGO or Coup d’Etat didn’t really hang onto my ear, so I was just meh when it came to his new album. But when the little dude decided he’s going to release his album in three parts, I should have known he had something up his sleeve.

Part 1 was okay. Nothing extraordinary  that caught my attention.

And then came part 2.

Well, let’s just say the only song I’ve been listening to all day is Crooked. 


The beat, the rap, the singing. But mostly the lyrics.
On the outer layer, it just sounds like an energetic, power to ya kind of song, but once you hear the lyrics, your whole viewpoint will change for Crooked. 


It’s actually a really sad breakup song, which explains why G-Dragon is dramatically crying in a shower stall at the end of the video. When I’m listening to this song, this bubble of anguish that has been silently sitting at the bottom of my gut rises up and just swallows me whole. If it was that time of the month, I’m sure I might have shed a tear or two (TMI Grace, TMI).

I have no idea why the song hits home for me, but now I’m just stuck.

I guess the point of this post is to say that no matter what G-Dragon does that I like or don’t like, it really doesn’t matter. Because at the end of the day, he’s just an artistic genius that automatically attracts attention and ropes you back to him.

Ugh, I hate/love G-Dragon.

On an ending note:

I like this picture.


teen top makes me want to be an idol

There. I said it.

Every time my friend Angie goes to a concert (usually of a boy band), she doesn’t fangirl over the members. Instead, she’s fuming in jealousy over the talent that these boys have. They dance, they sing, they rap, they look good, etc.

I never really understood her until I watched Teen Top’s Rocking music video.

That free step. What more can I say?

I just wish I was that coordinated and light on my feet to pull off moves like that (I can already see myself attempting, tripping, and eating dirt in the privacy of my bedroom and yet still burning up in embarrassment).

Teen Top makes it look so easy that it makes me mad. At the same time, it really shows why these boys are like stick skinny.

I’ve already told my friend Sydney (dancer, choreographer, Dancing 9 contestant) to learn the choreography and then attempt to teach me.

Until the day I master these amazing moves, I will continue to glare in pure jealousy.

bad girl gone better/badder?

I’ll never be able to figure out if that girl in the intro is saying better or badder. Someone said it’s supposed to be badder, but it clearly sounds like better, so I’m just lost. (maybe it was on purpose to mess with our minds and get us to relate to how they’re feeling in the song)

Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 11.51.26 PM

Anyways, Dynamic Duo finally made its return after a year and half and Lucky Numbers is certainly the BAAAM we’ve been waiting.

When I listen to a new song, I usually watch the music video first,  listen to the song by itself, and then read the lyrics together. So I had such a moment when I realized that the BAAAM in the song is not BAAAM the sound effect.

dd1BAAAM = 뱀 (snake) = 꽃뱀 (flower snake)

And flower snake is a reference to a cunning woman who tricks a man to get what she wants. For Dynamic Duo, they take out the flower, so it’s just snake, but at the same time, the song is talking about a woman, who is super good at the game of push and pull, and it’s driving the guy in question absolutely crazy. Also fitting, because the girl hit him so hard in the head that he’s completely crazy despite knowing that she’s completely toying with his mind.

The lyrics are so witty and clever that I burst out laughing just reading them. You can actually hear the desperation in Gaeko and Choiza’s voices as they rap things like,

“You always leave after I pay for the coffee or drinks.
You’re bat/bad girl, the character of controversy.
You always torture my heart with the whip called hope,”
dd3“Like a light dumbbell, you pick me up and put me down.
Your vague attitude confuses me.
Where are you? I reserved movie tickets!”

(Oh how I love the frustration in the lyrics)

They’re so smooth in their actions but the lyrics only talk about how sprung they are.

I was actually talking with a friend about how lately the roles have changed in Kpop and it’s very interesting.

The men have become more emotional (B.A.P, Dynamic Duo) while the women have become overzealous to get the relationship going (HelloVenus, Girls’ Day).  It’s nice to know girls are taking the lead (although it’s not the way I would like to see them – but that’s a blog post for another day) and the men are getting more honest about their feelings instead of having the macho image all the time.

I haven’t heard the entire album in depth, but from the few songs I listened to, there’s a reason why all 13 tracks are taking over the music charts, and when I mean taking over, I mean the songs actually rank from 1 to 13 on music charts.


On another note, I love how classy Dynamic Duo looks in the music video. Gaeko and Choiza prove that you don’t need bandanas, chains, baggy pants, ie) stereotypical ‘hip-hop’ clothes, to be amazing hip-hop artists. They look so dashing in suits and I love that.

Absolutely swoon-worthy.

SM, why have you kept Henry in hiding?

No, but seriously?
Where did this gem come from?

I’m not the most knowledgeable about Super Junior-M, except that Henry was in there and that he played violin before for Super Junior. I didn’t know if he was a singer or a rapper, but WOW.

I’m so glad that SM chose Henry over all the idols in its company to put out as a solo artist, because, really, Henry is daebak.

To be honest, I didn’t need to watch the entire music video to be convinced that Henry is freaking amazing because he did all that in the first thirty seconds. On a grand piano. In a black tux. With such passion.

But I’m glad I continued, because it seemed to get better.

Not only did the song pick up into something fantastic, he starts to dance and sing, and it’s like instant swoon.

Where did this charisma come from? Where has Henry been?

And why are Taemin and Kyuhyun even in this video?

As much as I adore Taemin and appreciate Kyuhyun, Henry was doing such a great job leading the entire video that I just kind of overlooked their cameo appearances.

Am I fangirling over Henry?
Yes. Absolutely.
How can you not, after you see all of that talent packaged into one person?

This is the best thing SM has done all year.

And this was certainly not something I was expecting out of SM, so what a wonderful breeze of fresh air.

Seriously, Henry.

Dae. Bak.

Tis exciting times in K-Pop

The mix of old and new, as well as Psy who is hot abroad~
Isn’t the music industry so exciting these days?

…as stated by Eric, following Shinhwa’s first general cable win in seven years and against Cho Yong Pil, who returned after a 10-year hiatus from producing music.

Not only are the usual young idol groups with their colorful outfits and flashy dance moves around, but there’s a good mix of all generations of K-Pop.

From LC9, who just made its debut, to Shinhwa, returning with its 11th album, and  finally to Cho Yong Pil, who just celebrated his 45th anniversary.

Right now, in the wide pool of K-Pop, there is so much diversity that it’s absolutely mindblowing. And these times prove that age does not matter – an issue that initially put so much doubt in people.

I mean, who would have thought Shinhwa would be going up against Cho Yong Pil for number one in 2013?

So just like Eric said, it is a very exciting time in K-pop.

And starting fresh,  I begin this blog to remember these exciting times.