Sunday, March 30, 2014

CL - The Baddest Female Doll

I have created a masterpiece! A masterpiece I say! Look at that thing! Admire the headdress!

Now that I've got that out of my system.........

CL is the leader of the girl group 2NE1 and this is one of the MANY outfits from her solo debut "The Baddest Female" and while I didn't really like the song, that outfit was rather amazing.

I don't think that I can say that CL was harder to make than Hwon, because even though the headdress was no easy task, it's not structural like his crown, nor does CL have any embroidery. This was the first time I had ever used any kind of metal though and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. All I really did was cut a chain up, but it was still something new and I like trying new things.

The reason that I made this, along with a few others, was because I wanted to try to start an Etsy account or something similar and see if I could sell a few, except now something else has come up and I don't think starting an Etsy account would be the best thing to do now. What am I going to do with all these guys now?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Winter K-pop Favorites

It's spring! Hooray! Even though I don't feel like I can really say that because it has been raining all winter here in Utah so there hasn't really been any snow for me to curse at like there was last year.

Over these past three winter months, there have been quiet a few songs that have come out that I loved but unfortunately couldn't write about because that would be ridiculous. Sometimes I feel like I can hardly get one post out.

Something that I have also come to - not really realize, but maybe come to a deeper understanding - is that some of he best music is the stuff that you have to go digging for. Most of these videos, with the exception of SPICA who is at a little over a million views, don't have very many views. Their view counts are sitting at five digits or the low six digits and that is an absolute travesty! A travesty I say! 

Before we really begin I realize that this isn't all K-pop, it is a mish-mash of K-pop and various other things. My main issue with Korean music is that I don't know what it truly popular in Korea because it is easier, as an international fan, to find things that are heavily publicized and just because you have a lot of money, does not mean that you are the most popular person out there.

In this post I am talking about songs that don't have a high view count on Youtube that people should definitely be watching and listening to because these songs are awesome.   

Wax - Coin Laundry (Never Loved)

This song is absolutely gorgeous and the video is heart wrenching, sounds like a winning combination, yeah? This video could probably be made into some horribly romantic tear jerking melo, heck it probably already is and I think that I would like to stay as clear as I can from that story. This four and a half minute video is enough for me.
Royal Pirates - Drawing the Line  

Upon first listen, this song grabbed me faster than "Shout Out" did. Where "Shout Out" was kind of electronic, this song has more of a traditional sound but it is still a Royal Pirates song. I think that says a lot about a group if they can completely change their sound from one album to the next but still stay true to who they are as a group. 

SPICA - You Don't Love Me 

That intro though. These girls can SING and it's too bad that they aren't that popular in the K-pop world. They have definitely become more popular since "Tonight" though which was also a fantastic song. I also like that they can be sexy but also funny, i.e those butt pads. This video is full of contrasting scenes of one moment they are looking might fine and then the next there is someone squatting in front of a toilet and pouring Lucky Charms on their head. What?
Yoo Seung Woo - Hesitating Lips

I am not ready for Yoo Seung Woo to shed his adorableness and become an adult! He's just so cute with his bowl cut and his guitar! I was hesitant at first because it is a ballad and the teaser was two people looking longingly at each other. Oh yeah, that's super original. This song is actually really good though and I don't mind looking at that male actor who I only know as Man Won from Golden Rainbow, he is a fine looking human being.
SPEED - Don't Tease Me

SPEED has never really done it for me, but for some reason I really like what they have been doing lately. This is the first song that caught my attention as had their most recent song "Zombie Party". And while we're on the topic of "Zombie Party", are they filming in the same decrepit old building that Block B fimled "Nalina"? It's too bad that "Don't Tease Me" didn't get a real music video because it could have been awesome if they went with this circus theme. If anything, this dance was a-ma-zing. 

Boys Republic - Video Game 

This group debuted middle of last year and their song was okay but it didn't blow my socks off and cause me to fall in love with them, but I was slightly interested in their future ventures and I must say, I quite like this song. The song itself isn't life altering and I'm not going to devote my life to Boys Republic, but I will continue to listen to this song and continue to watch them. After reading what I wrote I realize that this is like a gigantic backhanded compliment. I feel bad now, go listen to this song, it's pretty good.

UglyPumpkin - From Yesterday 

These guys just debuted and I am kind of in love with them and when I say "kind of" I mean super in love with them. This was also my song last week because last week kind of sucked and may I say, I played this an obscene amount of times and I still kind of am. It also makes my heart happy that there is a little round guy in a group that has so much potential to be amazing. The video is also really chill with the three of them goofing off and looking to be enjoying the creation of their debut video.

Space Cowboy - Falling  

This song is one of those beautiful examples of autotune used well. When I first listened to it I thought of Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" mixed with a little Daft Punk and something beautiful was created. Listening to this song I can see this story being created of two people meeting in a smokey bar and then hooking up  later. Nothing I have said makes any sense for me to say because I don't really believe in doing any of that, but that's what I think of.
40 - Counting Stars 

What is this song that has just graced my ear drums with its presence? I got goosebumps the first time I listened to this song and still do after listening to it multiple times later. This man has the voice of an angel and he made this entire song by himself and he plays the piano. So, basically, this man is perfect. Perfect! Darn him! So, what I'm trying to say is that you need to drop everything right now and go listen to this song.

And there you have it! Some wonderful people whose talent needs to shared with the masses! You know what to do! Go! Go! Go!

~ Alora

Friday, March 21, 2014

My Love From the Stars Drama Review

After finishing this drama, I think that it is pretty safe to say that this is definitely up there with I Hear Your Voice. I was completely in love with the whole drama from beginning to end, the idiotic nobility wasn't completely idiotic, there was a legitimate cause for amnesia, and the ending was a very good ending for the story that the writer created. To good to be true you say? It certainly sounds that way doesn't it? And now I feel like I sound like a used car salesman, let's get to the review.

This drama stars the very handsome Kim Soo Hyun who plays a 400 year old alien named Do Min Joon. He was accidentally behind when the aliens first came during the Joseon era and he has been quietly biding his time, waiting for them to come back for him. When we first meet him he is a complete ice block, there is not one drip of emotion in this guy which makes his encounters with Song Yi that much greater. As he progresses as a character he realizes all the time that he has wasted by not feeling and it is both funny and heartbreaking to watch him realize that his time on earth is coming to an end as he slowly realizes that he doesn't want to leave.

Then on the complete opposite side of the spectrum we have Cheon Song Yi played by Gianna Jun, who real name really confused me when I found out what it was which sent me into automatic research mode, but that isn't important right now. Cheon Song Yi is loud, prideful, and kind of dumb, but also very endearing. When we first meet her she is quite annoying, but a few episodes in, you can't help but love her. I also really liked that she was not afraid to speak her mind. Yes, in this drama we get a strong female lead who took charge of situations and told people to suck it when they needed to. I think that I love her. 

Continuing along with the all star cast as our second male and female leads we have the lovely Yoo In Na as the jealous best friend Yoo Se Mi and Park Hae Jin as the man who has loved Song Yi for twelve years Lee Hui Kyung. Unfortunately Yoo In Na was not a large player in the drama and then, whenever she was on the screen, I kind of wanted to punch her in the face. She was one of those characters who saw her chance to beat her all star friend when she was down and took it. 

I have nothing but lovely things to say about Park Hae Jin though. I absolutely loved him as Hui Kyung and would have totally fallen for him had Kim Soo Hyun not been the lead of the drama. If the second male lead can almost overtake my love for Kim Soo Hyun than that is saying something right there. If horrible things had happened at the end of the drama and Song Yi ended up with Hui Kyung, yes I would have been sad that sad things happened, but I loved Hui Kyung and I wanted him to be happy as well. So conflicted. 

And for out last main player, I feel like I need some creepy lighting and evil music to play because, seriously, this dude was bad news. Seriously. Shin Sung Rok was perfect as the older brother to Hui Kyung and main antagonist Lee Jae Kyung. I kind of get the heeby jeebies just talking about him. The only main issue that I had with him was, what was up with that murder ring? He was always playing with that twisted nail ring when he was being devious, but nothing was ever said about it. I was hoping that he was going to be an alien too or have some crazy story since the ring was highlighted so often. But no, it was just another way for him to be super creepy and murderous I guess.

Obviously, from everything mentioned above, this drama had an AMAZING cast. Yoo In Na could have been used more I think, but aside from that I have no problems. The casting team did equally well with the supporting cast too though. 

Those four people up there? Fantastic. I especially loved Song Yi's girl friend who owned the comic book store. She had read far too much shojo (whatever the Korean equivalent is) in her life so she was falling in love with Min Joon and Song Yi's brother constantly. Speaking of the brother, if you say that you didn't like Cheon Yoo Jae, you're wrong and you should go watch the drama again. Wrong, I say! The relationship that he had with Min Joon was one of the highlights of the drama, especially when he found out that Min Joon was an alien. Mostly because this scene happened:

And while we're on the topic of ridiculous things that happened in this drama, I think this picture also needs a place of glory:

So much drunkenness in this drama.

So, as you can see, I think that this drama is basically one of the best things ever and if you haven't seen it, I have one question for you: What the heck, man? Go clear you schedule, turn off your phone, and strap yourself in for 21 episodes (horray extensions!) of alien infused greatness.

~ Alora

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

TROY Green Light MV Review

How's the song? 

This song brings much joy to my ear drums. Much joy. This group debuted on Thursday and they have a super solid sound and don't really come off as rookies which is awesome. There are more than enough rookies who come out with a crap song and video and then fade into obscurity because no one has time for a group that doesn't look like they know what they are doing.

In this group, I already knew one member, Kanto, because he put out a single before debut and that song also made you wonder why you had never heard of this kid before and they you realized it was because it was his first song. What?

Back to the song at had though, that was freaking smooth, like whoa. It had a very jazzy 50s sound that had me moving right a long with it. As soon as I heard the song, it was basically a case of shut up and take my money. I now own this song and have no regrets even though my new discovery of UglyPumpkin has slightly overshadowed Troy, but more on that next week.

How's the video? 
I love this time period. Especially the clothes. If it was practical for me to wear heels and a pencil skirt at all times I totally would. No lie. When the video started, I also automatically thought about Inspiring Generation since I have been watching that lately and have been pretty much enjoying it. (Why did you leave original writer? Why?!)

The main issue that I do have with this video is that as soon as it opened there was the infamous brick room starring back at me. I soon realized though that it wasn't the brick room, but it is still a brick room. One thing that it does have going for it though is that it is used as a club rather than just an awkward room with awkward props.

If you look through the windows though I think that the brick room might be on the other side of this room. Is there a giant brick room compound now?

What I did like about the room and basically the whole video is the dim, smokey look of the whole thing.

The video and the song actually relate to each other! What is this madness? The only way it could have been better is if it hadn't taken place in a brick room.

How's the styling? 

I love this era of clothing and I think that combining some fashion elements of our time with the 50s was a really fun thing to do. There were two outfits that I didn't really understand though

I guess that it is cool that Jaewoong has abs, but it seemed so random. I think that he was much hotter in the suit or even in the sailor hat and unbuttoned shirt with the wife beater underneath. As for the top hat, I really have no idea what to say about that other than that is one big feather.

Is the dance super amazing? 

Whit hip hop groups there is normally not a lot of dancing but what you do get is grooving which is a little different. You kind of see this in the music video but to really see how fun everything looks, you need to watch the live stage. 

Which member owned it? 

In the music video no one really stood out for me. All the members had a pretty equal amount of camera time and the line distribution was nice. Where I did notice a definite difference between the members is during the above mentioned live stage.

You can tell that Bumkey and Kanto have been performing for a while by the way they carry themselves on stage and interact with those around them. Jaewoong wasn't too bad but Changwoo, the guy in the top hat, looked a little lost sometimes, especially around the 3 minute mark of the video. 

Does the English make you ears bleed? 

The only real bit of English in the song was the chorus, which I loved. It was pronounced well and I really have nothing else to say about it. Hopefully Troy continues with this.
~ Alora 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

CN Blue Can't Stop MV Review

How's the song? 

So, this is a little embarrassing, but this was suppose to get put up two weeks ago and time got away from me and I was unable to finish it. This week though nothing really spoke to me so I get to put this up instead of just letting it fall deeper and deeper into the unfinished post section of blogger. Anyways......on to the post!

After much hemming and hawing between this song and Boy's Republic's new song "Video Game" I (obviously) chose CN Blue. I don't know anything about Boy's Republic, neither is it likely that I will take the time to learn anything, but this song is really catchy and I have listened to it quite a bit. Maybe next time Boy's Republic, maybe next time.

One of the first things that initially put me off of this song is that it is a little slow in the beginning and, as we all know, I am not the biggest fan of ballads. I need something that I can move to, not something that is going to put me to sleep. This song does eventually pick up though and that is one of my favorite parts, the slow swell into the peppy sound of the chorus.

Something that I regret but have never actually taken the time to remedy is learn more about CN Blue. The only song that I have of theirs is "I'm a Loner" but I have listened to other songs that I like and I watched a concert performance once on Youtube and was absolutely blown away by their stage presence.

How's the video? 

Before getting into the video I would like to point out that Mr. Brohoho has made yet another sale with the creation of this song.

This video had some really beautiful sets. Everything had a very romantic feeling which fit with the message of the song. My favorite room that CN Blue played in was the last one with all the flowers and the smoke machine.

Between the roses, fog, and old looking structure I was sold on this area. I also think that it is cool that Minhyuk is in the front rather than tucked in the back and this is also my favorite piano that Yonghwa plays. I don't really like painted pianos and the first one was pretty, but I like the old look of this piano. I also think that this one would sound amazing because of it oldness (even though it just looks old more than likely). I really want to play it!

For the story of the video, it was very Through the Looking Glass or The Mirror of Her Dreams with the lover on the other side of the mirror story. Even though Alice doesn't have a mirror lover, that's in the other book. If you are talking about the SyFy miniseries Alice though, Alice and Hater totally had a thing. 

It also made me wonder if Yonghwa and the girl ever actually met because aside from that last scene when we Yonghwa step through the glass to meet her. Even then though, we only saw the back of his head as he looked at her. Even the shot above could easily be manipulated so that it looks that they are on the same set. If I was that girl and I didn't get to meet CN Blue but was featured in their video, I would be a little upset.  Who's with me?

How's the styling?  

There were a lot of different types of suits in this video and along with the last set being my favorite set, those dark suits were also my favorite suits.

Something that I did not like though was the sock situation in the second set.

I am a firm believer in guys matching their socks to their dress pants and that is totally not happening in this video. The bassist has white pants with black socks and I am pretty sure that the guitarist is wearing white socks with his black pants.

I going to say that maybe I can deal with the black sock/white pant deal that happening, maybe it could be "artsy" or something, but white socks and black pants is a no-no. Go fix that.

Is the dance super amazing? 

Is is one of the reasons that I liked "Video Game" better, it's a dance video and it's kind of hard to get down while you are wielding an instrument or sitting behind one. The instrument wielding is amazing though.    

Which member owned it? 

Even though Yonghwa was the main character and singer in this video, I don't feel like CN Blue is Yonghwa and the Boys how I often feel that LED Apple can sometimes be Hanbyul and the Boys.

I don't know a lot about CN Blue, but I feel like I should be attracted to Yunghwa because I love guys who play the piano or Minhyuk since he was one of the things that I actually liked about Heirs and drummers are awesome. But no! I was not drawn to either of them! I was most attracted to Jongshin who plays the bass. I didn't even know his name until about a minute ago when I looked it up.

I really like the way that bassists stand with that relaxed to-cool-for-you stance. Bassists are also the member of the band that tend to be forgotten, but without that person, there is a definite difference in the sound of the song.

Did the English make you ears bleed? 

CN Blue and English always makes me think of this video, oh Yonghwa.The English in this song is very good though, as is Yonghwa's French pronunciation for that matter. 

~ Alora

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Battle of the Girl Groups: Girls' Generation and 2NE1 MV reviews

Since two amazing girl groups decided to drop videos at the same time I though that I would change it up a bit and do a joint review. This isn't going to be a one is better than the other type of deal but since I am talking about them together, I will say what I like better in one video rather than another.

How are the songs? 

After listening to both songs once, I was immediately drawn to the Girls' Generation song more. Not that I don't like 2NE1's song, but it wasn't a slap of awesome to the face like Girls' Generation song was. It took me a few listens to really enjoy 2NE1's. I also think that it is a little that I don't really listen to reggae music and that is the sound that 2NE1 has been going for recently. 

Something that I really like about the sound that SM often produces is that there are so many layers. You really hear that a lot in the SHINee songs, which I love, and Girl's Generation. They are a group and they sing as a group. They have nice harmonies with the occasional wailing ad lib in the background. Fabulous.

2NE1 doesn't have this cohesiveness, but that is okay because that's not their sound. If everyone sounded the same then music wouldn't be as fun. This is also what makes older groups better in my opinion. They have been around longer so they know who they are and they have been able to define themselves in a way that the rookies groups haven't and sometimes, unfortunately, can't.  

I'm feeling a little sappy now.

But, anyways, I quite liked these comebacks and even though I haven't listened to the albums yet, I am looking forward to it. Just from the songs that have been made into music videos, I think that I will like Girl's Generation's album better, but who knows, maybe 2NE1 will blow my mind as they have so much in the past.

How are the videos? 

As far as videos go, I don't know if I can say that I like one over the other. I liked all the bright colors in Girl's Generation's video, but then the video looked like there was a story, but maybe there wasn't. 2NE1 did have a story but there were so many graphics that it totally threw me off as to what I should be looking at and what was important and what was just there to be cool.

So in the 2NE1video there is some sort of "Virtual Paradise". It appears to be a giant screen that sits in the middle of the city. We also get a glimpse of it from a window that might belong to the apartment that Dara is living in.

Dara and her significant other are living in a boring apartment watching tv when a "Virtual Paradise" commercial comes on. The guy is interested but Dara looks worried. He also appears to be sick in a later shot. Does he think that going to this virtual place will be better than being in a real place?

But then we meet vigilante CL with her crazy earrings who does not seem pleased with this whole "Virtual Paradise" thing.

In the end Dara's guy friend goes to the Virtual Paradise and she watches and then eventually she unplugs him from he machine. I wonder if that means that she killed him or if he will come out of it. Then, if he does come out of it, will he be happy with what she did to him?

The 2NE1 girls then end up going into the Virtual Paradise and kill a room full of people. Who are these people? Are they the creators of this Paradise? Does this mean that this dystopian society that they seem to live in has been overthrown?

I want to know how this story ends now. Many times, dystopian stories end with the hero running for his or her life or being brought back down by the government. I would like to that this ends with a V for Vendetta tone that a 1984 tone.

How's the styling? 

This is the styling that I wish was used more in female K-pop videos. It is so easy to say that sexy is minimal clothing and lingerie and it can be of done properly. I really liked the Kiss & Cry video and those girls were wearing shorter clothing but what made it more than just a gimmick is you could see their confidence. They weren't feeling themselves up and rolling on the ground, they were powerful and that is what you get in these videos. Power.

When Girls' Generation came out in those masculine style outfits I was in love. I want that outfit, even though skinny jeans make me feel claustrophobic.

In 2NE1's videos there were quite a few outfits but the only ones that they wear as a group were their rebellion outfits.

There is nothing traditionally sexy about these baggy, black, I'm-going-to-kill-you outfits, but because of the way that they are holding themselves, they become sexy.

More of this please!

Were the dances super amazing?

Wow, Girls' Generation. That dance was amazing, at least what I saw of it was. I wish that there was more dance scenes in this video because they looked incredible. If there is one thing that SM artists have on YG artists it is definitely the ability to bust a move. Not that YG doesn't have any dancers, but you can nine times out of 10 expect a dance that with blow your mind from SM (please say that in the "Mr. Simple" style).

Which members owned it? 

I've never taken the time to really get to know Girl's Generation, but just from the few things that I have seen and from music videos, I really like Hyoyeon. I'm not sure why, but I've always been drawn to her and I liked that she was placed from and center in this video so she could be the star for a moment

As for 2NE1, I have always loved Dara. She's so cute and strange, how can you not? I love that in this video she looks so natural. She doesn't have cracked out hair and make up.

She is definitely one of those lucky people that can pull anything off and YG uses that to their advantage. Unfortunately how pretty she is can be masked by the insanity that is put upon her.

Did the English make you ears bleed?  .

YG is almost expected to have impeccable English since Bom and CL both are fluent and they did not disappoint this time either. Girls' Generation is another story though which seems odd since Jessica and Tiffany also are English as a first language speakers. Fortunately for them, the English in "Mr. Mr" was very good. Let's hope that YG makes this a trend in their songs this year.

~ Alora