Freestyle – Y (Please Tell Me Why)

Have been taking a break from dramas throughout the week …… and catching up on some 1 Night 2 Days (1N2D) Season 3 episodes on Youtube. Particularly the Struggling Friend Special which totally cracked me up 😛

It was also from this same special that I found an old school KPop/Hip Hop band rediscovered – Freestyle …… as one of its members Mino came on as Defconn’s friend/guest.

This song is one of their signature hits. There was also a popular remake by Wilbur Pan called 不得不愛 ….. but this is the original which many consider way superior.

P/S: The Mino here is so different from the ‘struggling’ Mino in 1N2D 😛

EPIK Overload: Umbrella

Had meant to write up an music entry on Epik High since June last year but that entry still remains in the drafts folder as of today 😛

All in all, Epik High was one of the very few KPop artists that I really listened to in the past year as the KPop fad continues to thumb down. Started off with their older material (Pre-YG) period and boy, they did so much representative and classic work, which gives them their place in KPop pre-Hallyu time (before year 2009) ……

Starting with their major breakout hit – Fly (2005), other fast tempo classics such as Fan (2007) and One (2008). Despite coming from hip hop underground land, I would actually consider them more mainstream – in terms of mixing genres (hip hop with dashes of pop rock as versus to hardcore hip hop) …… but the main differentiator in their music versus similar hip hop acts would be their lyrically powerful lyrics – courtesy of Tablo. Tablo is simply a lyrical genius 😛

Feeling slightly melancholy of late, so have been replaying Umbrella over and over again, whether in the office (when working) or back at home when lying down on my bed. Emo-Epik High is also a nice change of pace ……

Umbrella was not exactly a title track under the Pieces, Part 1 album (2008), but definitely one of their most signature emo-ballads, made even better with Younha’s featuring. Found an english subtitled version to share here (rather than the better quality original version from CJ E&M) as their songs are best appreciated when you understand the meaning behind their lyrics …… and their intelligent way of telling a story behind hip hop beats 🙂

K.Will – You Don’t Know Love

Taking a break from travel blogging and posting a music-related entry instead (whilst going through discussion agenda for tommorrow’s ‘very important’ meeting) …..

Have been pretty much out of touch with KPop happenings as the Hallyu Wave enters into a consolidation period. As mentioned, was preparing and going through tomorrow’s discussion agenda, and decided to have some music on the side.  Randomly clicked on K.Will’s newest single (released in October 2013) – You Don’t Know Love. I must be living in a mountain hole, didn’t even realise that K.Will released another mini-album just recently 😛

Source: StarshipTV Youtube

Like the fact rather being ballad-type sorrowful, the song takes on a easy-listening R&B feel, with a bit of jazzy beat (given the background piano). And of course, K.Will has divine vocals – his vocal ability can make any genre sound good! A great song to have playing while doing your activity (work, exercise, on the MRT etc.)

Early Start

Woke up early (9am) for the 2nd day in a row 😛 …..

Had a product refresher/Q&A at head office yesterday …. and ‘supposed’ to head to Singpost Building @ Paya Lebar for PD Day (consolidated training) this morning. Snoozed and snoozed my alarm as usual …. woke up and decided that its too much hassle to pack, get changed within 1/2 hour and hence no more PD Day for me!

But still, good to wake up early and get going. Am happy that I blasted out a new term promotion last night/this morning before sleeping, hence another tick off my mailing list. Will have some time to make a few calls and go through afternoon’s meeting materials again (Better preparation), blog …… and enjoy a nice lunch in town, heh!

So now checking facebook, doing some reading/surfing (hardwarezone forums, checking out microsoft office versions) and getting a blog entry up. Finally managed to get together an entry for April, given that end of April is approaching ….. Time passes real fast when you least want it to be so …….

Crazy me has been bringing back laptop almost everyday for the past 2 weeks despite having an iPad now – so that am able to get a bit more work done before bedtime ….. Also brought it back last night, as I need it for review appointment later ……

Have been out of Kpop for quite a while now and listening to Cantopop mainly these days (more on that in my next blog entry – which I will make sure I finish before April closes) …… Nevertheless thought to start off my morning with something energetic – Big Bang’s Gara Gara Go! Still like their older material a lot more 😛

Wow! Its almost 12 (1145am to be exact) …. Better get going!

2011 Round Up Entry: Music 1 – Concerts

Start of my 2011 round up entries (as per previous blog) ……

Great year of concerts and KPop! 2011 is the year that I got myself back into KPop on a more intensive basis (fuelled in part by the global Hallyu wave that has extended to KPop as well) ….. Youtube aside, got down to spazzing over the weekly music shows and even the year end gayo daejuns / music festivals / awards ceremonies (MAMA held in Singapore on 29 Nov 2011, SBS ..KBS ..MBC Gayo Daejuns respectively) ……

Will start off with Concerts 1st since its a shorter round-up ……

Attended 2 concerts this year, make that 3 if the Singapore e-Awards 2011 were to be included as well. Am very happy that I got to see Jacky Cheung live (childhood dream of mine but couldn’t afford when I was schooling, while I missed the 2007 World Tour) … as well as my 1st ever KPop act – 2PM live. In the earlier stages of Hallyu wave (around 2006 to 2007), I recall that both SE7EN and Rain were the it men of the day, and 4 years on, I finally got to experience SE7EN’s live performance in a most unexpected way – via the E Awards in April. A bit ‘sad’ though that SE7EN has fallen greatly from his peak no thanks to his unsuccessful US venture and bad management decisions that go hand in hand.

Let the pictures do the talking …….

e-Awards show @ Singapore Indoor Stadium. Nice combination of pink and blue lights. Don’t have much photos of the show as Cat bought tickets right on top the gallery.

Opening of Jacky’s World Tour Singapore stop. I went for the 1st night i.e. 27th August. Got better seats i.e. higher category as this was a concert that I always wanted to watch! To sum it up, it was a fantastic 3 hour worthful of power vocals and great showsmanship – together with a interesting program (no guests) and great sound and lightning effects. Audience reaction was slightly ‘cold’ though until the last part where he started singing his classic cantonese hits from the 90s. More pictures below ……..

Very surreal shot. One of my favourite photos!

Touching end to 如果爱. This is one of the best songs of the concert in a very understated, sweet and no-frills way.

Another of my favourite segment – tribute to Lydia Sum

End of concert galore with fireworks and dancers! Most of the photos are in my FB so am not going to do wholesale recap here 😛

Got to experience KPop live in person after giving those various KPop combined concerts a miss in the earlier part of the year (yes, including KMW after talking so much about wanting to see Big Bang live) as I deem them to be over-priced and not worth shelling out the cash for ….. 2PM’s Hands Up Asia Tour Singapore Concert was definitely not the cheapeast gig around as well – but at least it is 2 hours of 2PM solely (and not having to share spotlight with other artises) although I thought it was supposed to be 3 hours??

Unfortunately, only have a few pictures and zero videos of the concert as being slightly stingy, only got a terrace seat (still can see the boys but terrible angle for videos and photos) so just enjoyed the concert amongst the hoardes of screaming fangirls which left me almost going deaf (no kidding!) by the time the concert ended at 9+ (a bit too early IMO as mentioned earlier, I was expecting a 3 hour show) …… Noted that its a standard for most KPop concerts to have a T-stage (same applies for MAMA 2011 too!) – thus less seats and more expensive tickets (as compared to Jacky Cheung’s concert which had almost 9K seats) ….. Standard 3 mosh pit areas surrounding the T-stage for fangirls to get up close to their oppas 😛 ….. About the concert itself, vocals were great! Contary to the criticsm levelled on 6theory, the boys are actually more than capable of holding their vocals live while simultaneously dancing at the same time (can’t detect any lip syncing but heard some off pitches ocasionally) …… Most important take-away, as agreed with JT, both the performance and crowd gave a different type of energy (the ‘hot’ type) as opposed to most of the concerts we have been too, heh! So very appropriate that the show kicked off with ‘Hot’ (from Hands Up album) ….. while we ‘put our hands up’ …… hee

That’s all for part 1 now ……….

Hello October .. Random JPop Rant .. And Roly Poly

Back home after October began with heavy rain 1st thing in the morning which was perfect weather to snuggle in bed …but fat hope! Had a early morning work/business appointment with closed case to start off this quarter 🙂 …… pushed myself and made it for afternoon spin at Raffles gym …… and resting my legs in front of computer since I reached home (thought today’s class was less intense than last Saturday’s Hill ride but legs are feeling the effects now as last workout was evening run on Monday!) ……

Something different to kick off my 1st entry for October, instead of talking about deep thougts/reflecting on my life as per my past few entries,  decided would blog about something a lil’ different today ……

Came across this link while catching on some k-entertainment news on allkpop earlier – Akimoto Yasushi announces AKB48 sister group, “TPE48″!

My 2 cents worth:

Already 48 people (read wikipedia introduction here on the original concept group called AKB48 started back in Japan – liken them to the current in-thing, similar to Morning Musume in the early 00’s, also with their numerous sub-groups) is a handful …. and horror of horrors, more subgroups get branched out – starting with SKE48 and bla bla bla (refer to article for full list of sister groups) …… My rant here is that this factory style manufacturing is getting out of hand and beyond ridiculous. The girls not only look the same/generic/blah …. the songs are erm pretty bad too, as with most manufactured girl bands (or pop groups for that matter). Greed is to saturation point where the creator thinks he is so ingenious to bring this concept across to Taiwan and duplicate it wholesale. A country’s unique pop culture i.e. what CPop is to the chinese/taiwanese, KPop to the koreans and JPop to the japanese (Note: this does not mean that KPop songs rehased to Japanese versions qualify as pure JPop …. for discussion another time) ……

And yes, even a small country like Singapore is not spared from the AKB nonsence as well. In case you do not know ……  the AKB48 Official Shop, Theatre and Cafe was set up at SCAPE earlier this year. A case of totally milking it 😛

———

On the other hand, as per my title, Roly Poly is the title song of T-ara (yes, another girl band, this times its KPop) ….. I like chilling to this song on a lazy Saturday afternoon as it is a nice combination of retro and yet strong grooving synthesiser beat. It is probably more for Summer (given October is the start of autumn/fall) as T-ara had their comeback with this in early July (and was a great success!) ….. Well, the T-ara girls are not the best singers out there, but the concept is good and they have lots of charm. Most importantly, this is a very hummable and radio friendly song …..

To end off ……  ‘loly poly loly loly poly’ all the way to the end of weekend, heh!

P/S: They are pretty cute in schoolgirl uniforms eh ….

KPop Songs For A Rainy Day

Meant to post this a few weeks back but other stuff ‘regrettably’ got in the way. Until I got ‘reminded’ of it when sitting down at the computer doing random surfing and listening to KPop on youtube 😛

OK, I was at Toms & Toms Cafe @ Icon Village (Tanjong Pagar area) for an appointment on a rainy Wednesday afternoon (think early June) and whilst waiting for client (who was grossly late!) …… was doing work on laptop and had the inspiration to listen to this song ……

BEAST – On Rainy Days (Live)

This is the 1st single that was released first as a digital single before their official 1st full-length album dropped for their comeback this past 1 month. Since it was a song recorded on a rainy day, I suppose it would sound the best when played on a rainy day – and boy, it sure adds to the mood on a rainy day. (Note: It is already a very good ballad to begin with, and doing well digitally in Korea despite it not being BEAST’s main title track).

Not long after I accessed the song on youtube, the screen in Toms & Toms (that supplies the music for the entire cafe) played this song as well 🙂

The second song that I accessed to next on youtube is …….

BIG BANG – Love Song

BIG BANG was probably the KPop group that got me back into KPop since late last year. Felt that they offered something refreshingly different to the typical boyband out there (which I term to be young kids starting from 88′ onwards, beastly image ala 2PM or trying to be beastly, and after all while, everyone starts to repeat the same concept) in terms of image and musicality, plus the fact that their stage performances tend to be less choreographed.

Anyway back to the song, I guess the greyness of the entire MV + the shades of rock music in the song make it apt for a rainy day as well!

Some ranting here, I also felt Love Song was a much superior track to Tonight, and it should have been the title track instead! And YG should’ve just released a full album right from the start given that BIG BANG were not doing promotions in Korea for 2 years – rather than doing a mini-album (even so, there are recycled tracks!) and trolling fans later with a 4.5 repack (which has the superior tracks in Love Song and Stupid Liar). It can be pretty self-serving and hypocritical to put yourself (or your company and artists) on a pedestal saying you stand for certain values, only to follow suit on what your competitors are doing by releasing a repack album after a mini to ‘rip’ fans $$$.

Rants aside (have plenty more to dissect and comment on YG based on what I’ve been reading off various sites, but not going into an essay here anyway) …… the fact remains that Love Song is my favourite and in my opinon the best song of their comeback despite having a rushed repack and short promotion. Their next comeback looks like a long time away now given Daesung’s traffic accident 😦