Tag Archive | SHINee

Hello Baby: Meet Yoogeun

I think it’s an absolute GENIUS idea to have a candid reality TV show that documents shining K-pop superstars who can do more than just singing, dancing, and looking pretty. It would be a preposterous joke in America to have trashy socialites and spoiled know-nothings dress in silly animal costumes, dance in public for free food, play practical jokes on each other, roll around on the floor like puppies, and kiss a baby on the lips. Speaking of babies, people in America can barely take care of themselves. Take a look at what MTV has evolved into; it does not even play music anymore, only trashy reality TV with drunk kids and hormonal, horny 20-somethings! American TV has become a churning receptacle, and hence, I have found comfort in Asian variety shows. Whether I’m watching Taiwanese or Korean television, I cannot help but burst out in candid laughter at the silliness, camaraderie, and educational value. Yes, I learn from humor, the stupid Asian type. I see myself making the same dumb remarks and mistakes all the time.

I’m stuck in a fit of spastic giggles whenever I watched this Korean reality show, Hello Baby with SHINee (2010), where the SHINee guys become appas and take on the livelihood and challenges of fatherhood. It’s a candid look at how the SHINee boys handle an adorable, frolicsome, and mischievous baby angel, as they bond with the toddler and grow into one happy family.

Episode 1:  SHINee get mysteriously kidnapped on a cold winter’s day. They have a feeling something’s fishy and they correctly believe they’ll be on the upcoming season 2 of Hello Baby, following the Soshi Sisters (SNSD Girls’ Generation) from the previous season. They foolishly think they will be the babies for the Soshi Sisters. Then the show would be called “Hello SHINee!” Lol~~ They referred to girls as their noonas, Korean for an older sister figure from a male’s perspective, only to realize stupidly that they are all the same age. Yeah, the SHINee boys are not Boyz II Men for very good reasons… And when they read fan notes congratulating their new roles as dads, they say “D-A-D-S, not D-E-A-D,” which they playfully misread…

So they realize their mission and settle in a traditional Hanok village house. But before they can have a stork deliver their baby, SHINee must pass a series of parenthood tests. If they fail, well then, it’ll just be “Hello” and “Goodbye Baby.”

To drift into a festive mood, each member stupidly dresses up in costumes: Spiderman who can only crouch with his overpumped muscles, a spinach-nourished Popeye, magical & graceful Peter Pan, a princely Prince, and a Kindergartener. Jonghyun’s famous quote, to be repeated during many times of mischief, “Is this the kind of reality you wanted?” The idea behind them dressing in fantasy costumes is for them to meet the child’s level. Now they have to match up to the child’s mind.

The test asked three basic questions pertaining to child development. See if you can be the next top parent:

1) What does it mean when a child claps both hands and then opens up again?

2) What does a mom do to fix a picky eater?

Regarding this one, there’s a few quotables

– Taemin: “Shred the food… like vegetable juice.”

– Jonghyun: “My style, my style, not giving food! It’s punishment!”

Key:  “Then what you’re saying is that the correct method is to starve the baby.”

3) A newborn baby… is it a good idea to wash it or no?

Now, the baby. Jung Yoogeun, 4 years old (in Korean age), is bursting with cuteness: BIG doll eyes, chubby cherubic cheeks, babbling and bumbling, trotting on his dwarfish legs. His exclamatory squeaks and “WAH” (as in “Wow”) are contagiously cute! I’m still trying to imagine some sensational syndication like this in America. Just picture the Jersey Shore gang taking care of Britney Spears’ baby boys. Just can’t pull it off in the West; it’ll be a tragic story. No American artists, no matter how popular and fantastic they are, will reduce themselves down to farm animals or ridiculous superheros for a toddler.

Meeting 5 Daddies

1. Yoogeun looks strikingly similar to Mino, particularly the big, wide eyes and double eyelids. Several times, they get confused for father and son. I believe people thought Minho had an illegitimate son floating around… Minho will prove to be a natural and perfect father figure, always showing his affection to baby Yoogeun.

2. Yoogeun loves peek-a-boo with Onew. Children at this age do not have the concept of object permanence. Hence, they think you magically disappear behind your hands and float back into existence.

3. Yoogeun pets Jonghyun’s yellow hair. I believe Yoogeun thinks it’s fine feline fur.

4. The beginnings of the ‘Ring Ding Dong’ dance with Yoogeun. At this time, SHINee’s hit song “Ring Ding Dong” was viral across the globe. From here on out, they will dance “Ring Ding Dong” to satisfy food vendors, obtain free food, and of course, entertain Yoogeun, even in silly animal costumes.

Yoogeun is one blessed baby. How often does a child get showered with kisses and love from 5 appas simultaneously? Teenage girls around the world vie for their love, and yet, Yoogeun has barely made it to kindergarten and he’s already captured their hearts. When I have my own baby one day, this is how I’ll show my love. My heart’s already melting for Yoogeun and gushing with affection; will my heart for my own child be a puddle then?

Yoogeun acts weird when he has to say sorry


Yoogeun-APPA! - By far, the cutest episode!

I love this picture of Yoogeun with his waterfall ponytail. Is it an Asian parenting tradition to do this to every baby who has an abnormal head-load of hair?

That's me, at Six Flags, with folds of baby muscle and head sprouting with hair... basically I looked like a boy


Feng Jing Zhen 楓涇鎮 – On the Streets

Friday, April 22, 2011:  Family Day

Feng Jing Zhen 楓涇鎮 – Walking the Streets

Mom, Lin-Ai, Qing Qing, Xiao Chen, Auntie, Kelly and I (whoa, what a jumble of people!) embarked on a promenade down the back streets of Feng Jing Zhen for a simple, small-town shopping experience. The ground was composed of rough, gray stones. The streets were narrow with occasional indentations housing little shops. Elderly people sat on wooden stools, just being simple people in a simple village. There was a painting above one of the stores, one of those Chinese landscape sketches of rivers, lakes, bridges, mountains, and Mother Nature. Xiao Chen told me a well-known phrase the villagers live by: 小橋流水人家 - Xiao Qiao, Liu Shui, Ren Jia (Small Bridge, Flowing Water, Family & Home). The painting exhibited a placid village amidst crossing bridges, towering mountains, and intersecting blue rivers. Feelings of familial love and sense of harmony exuded from the simple, but deep picture. The phrase Xiao Chen was elaborating on made the painting all the more special. Basically, everyone in the community is connected; no matter how small the bridge is, there is always that physical link between neighbors. Water symbolizes purity and continuous flow of fortune, always present in Chinese shops, restaurants, offices, and homes. Water will hopefully bring in the money, happiness, and luck. It will also wash and clear out any negative energy. Lastly, the essence of family is embedded in the Chinese character for home, or ‘jia.’  Embedded in the character is a sense of unity and togetherness. I thought that was a particularly powerful portrait of the village.

I like this sequence of pictures we took on our saunter. Mom and her sister Lin-Ai were arm-in-arm, heads together, gossiping and bonding over lost time. Kelly and I, representing the next generation, walked a distance behind, in perfect line with our corresponding roles. That is, big sisters were on the right side (Mom and Connie) and little sisters linked and off to the left (Lin-Ai and Kelly). It was an amusing Kodak moment. Qing Qing took the shots and here they are:

Why... Hello!

What did we spend on that afternoon? Mom stopped at a tiny shop and embarked on a spree for sandals, hand-woven baskets, and fire rocks.  The straw baskets were ideal for fruits and vegetables, or whatever else Mom wanted to toss in there. She ended up buying maybe 3 decent-sized baskets. There were also these fancy black lava rocks for rubbing the undersides of the foot to rid of dead skin and maintain overall foot health. Mom bought two-handfuls. I also saw a large wooden bucket. Xiao Chen explained to me the importance of foot health in Asia. Every night, before going to bed, it is of natural importance to clean and bathe the feet in warm water. It is tonic for the whole body, allowing for circulation and overall relaxation. I guess that’s why Mom always made me wash my feet before getting home, mainly for cleanliness reasons. And maybe it’s in my genes to absolutely hate walking barefoot anywhere, except where I know I’m in a clean area, like my home. I hate walking sans footwear on the sandy beach, in the shower, at people’s homes, etc… I’m used to following the Chinese way of living, where you wear sandals in the house. Or socks. But I do like my feet free, so I prefer flip-flops or flats. I’ll be sure to play around with those handy lava rocks! And try this evening feet-warming-and-bathing session.

We circled around the streets, over a bridge, and onto a bigger street. More shopping was pursued, obviously. Kelly bought sneakers. Lin-Ai bought a pink tennis shirt. I resisted the urge. Instead, I conversed with Qing Qing and Xiao Chen, while listening to the songs playing in the store. Again, my Asian side prevailed, since I started singing and dancing to Top Combine’s “Cotton Candy” and SHINee’s “Ring Ding Dong.” The latter song is absolutely contagious! I heard it, pointed to Kelly, who was trying on colorful sneakers, and said, “Hey Kelly, it’s Ring Ding Dong.” In her seat, right next to Shen Shen, she put down her shoes and started dancing to ~Ring Ding Dong~ My, my, it was hilarious!

We circled back to base. We met up with Ah-Gu, who looked a tad too red and tired ((O.O)). I bet he has the Asian gene… Anyway, we said our good-byes to Ah-Gu and Shen Shen, wishing them the best of luck and hoping to visit again in the near future. Then, we were on our merry way back to Shanghai city.

Dancing Kings

A man who’s comfortable in his own skin, can dance like a sexy gal. He’s Key from the K-pop band SHINee. He syncs really well to the moves, shakes his cheeks with sass, and dances like no man can in front of millions of fans. He puts on a titillating performance to some of my favorite K-pop girl songs: SNSD Gee, Genie (Tell Me Your Wish), Hoot; Miss A Bad Girl, Good Girl; f(x) Chu, Nu ABO; and other songs I’ll experiment with post-Physiology. Even better when a guy has the balls to do the cute stuff, boob pops and booty bounces…Here’s 10-minutes of your time =D

I think my favorite is T-Ara’s Bo Peep Bo Peep, the obnoxiously cute and loud ringtone that went off in Histology one time. It’s the song I’m hooked to currently.

And here’s Han Geng from Super Junior (with some little Taiwanese kids) jiving to Bo Peep Bo Peep; I’m telling you, the song is addictive. It’s driving up the estrogen levels in Asian guys…

This was the song that started my K-pop fever, courtesy of my old roommate in college. Sheesh, I admire girls who can dance in pointy heels; most of the time I just want to survive walking around Manhattan.

And I also admire Super Junior and SHINee in drag, singing and prancing to Gee like it’s a circus town. No, they are not gay either… just a very merry group of hot guys.

See, they can be charming in other ways… “No Other” by Super Junior and “Lucifer”/”Ring Ding Dong” by SHINee

MJ, You Are Missed Dearly Around the World

SNSD SUJU Golden Disk Celebration 2010

As usual, I’ve been hunting around Youtube for K-pop MVs and old concerts.  I came across a Michael Jackson tribute performance at the South Korean 2009 Golden Disc Awards in December.  As the world sadly mourned the loss of the King of Pop, many artists around the world paid homage to Michael Jackson’s legacy. This breathtaking performance of MJ’s hottest dance hits by Super Junior, SHINee, and SNSD absolutely blew me away.  It goes to show how much MJ influenced the world, and how much further international musicians listened and appreciated him right back.  If only America can open up its arrogant ears to the greater talents the rest of the world has to offer?  Then, maybe we can enjoy these amazing Asian popstars who have the flair and spunk to change the face of international entertainment.

12/10/09 Golden Disk Award Winners

Oh, my! The Superb Junior 슈퍼주니어 (Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, Sungmin) and SHINee (JongHyun, Key, TaeMin), how awesome is their rendition of “Beat It” and “Bad.”  I adore the black-and-white suit style, the white gloves, and the mysterious fedora hat; the guys achieved the MJ look with an air of sex appeal.  The choreography and the synchronization were all put together very cleverly.  They make the Moonwalk and every dance move look so effortless.  And (Girl’s Generation 소녀시대) SNSD’s dance to “Smooth Criminal” was a show-stopper.  The girls (HyoYeon, Yuri, SooYoung, Sunny, SeoHyun) really mastered the

SNSD "Smooth Criminal"

famous Moonwalk and robotic moves.  I love their cute and clean tuxedo style, adding to that some attitude and spunk.  Their technique and careful execution of every move are flawless.  Now, this is the tribute to remember (SuJu, SHINee, SNSD).

MJ revolutionized dance and music before and during my generation.  I’m not a huge fan of today’s music (rap, hip-hop, teen popstars, etc…), but I’ve always loved 80s-90s music.  MJ started his career as a young kid in the Jackson 5, and peaked during the 80s with funky tunes like “Thriller,” “Beat It,” “Bad,” “Smooth Criminal” and “Billie Jean.”  Some of my favorite soft songs include “We are the World,” “Black or White,” “Man in the Mirror,” and “Will You Be There” (Free Willy theme).  Even though his last decade of his life involved accusation, controversy, and crude humor, I still remember him as the soulful, versatile musician and dancer.

Unfortunately, his end came too soon back in June 2009.  The NY Times alert in my Gmail came as a shocker.  There I sat, in my dorm room, scrolling through my iTunes and listening to all his greatest hits that have made music so memorable around the world.

Here is 王力宏 (Wang Lee Hom) and his rendition of “Man in the Mirror.” He made it his own, thanks to his soothing vocals, oriental instrumentals, and his charm.

And lastly, I found this Taiwanese version of “We Are the World,” called “愛 (Love)” a few years back.  This was originally Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie’s 1985 charity song for the Africa poverty relief effort.  The Taiwanese version was recorded to support the Indonesia tsunami relief campaign in 2006, featuring 周華健 Emil Chau, 任賢齊 Richie Ren, 梁靜茹 Fish Leong, 潘瑋柏 Wilber Pan, 阿 杜 A-Do, 5566, 張惠妹 A-Mei, 王力宏 (Lee Hom), 張韶涵 Angela Chang, 王心凌 Cyndi Wang, 范瑋琪 Fan Wei Qi, and more.  All the artists sing with all their might and passion, a truly beautiful collaboration.

~Dream Concert 2010~

Dream Concert 2010

The extravaganza Dream Concert 2010 took place at the World Cup Stadium in Seoul on May 22, 2010.  The special concert featuring the biggest names in K-pop aired recently on May 30, 2010.  Now, I don’t have a plane ticket to Seoul or the language skills just yet, so the best way to experience a live performance is on my butt, in front of my Macbook, on Youtube.

Despite light rain, over 40,000 loyal fans came out to support their favorite artists.  I wish I had the luxury to wave my glow-stick amidst the sea of screaming and singing fans.  Now, going to a K-pop concert beats another Jay Chou concert any day (no worries, I’m still a loyal fan of Jay Chou).

The MCs for the concert were Hee Chul (Super Junior), Shin Se Kyung, and Tae Yeon (SNSD 少女時代).  Here’s a taste of the spectacular performances (as experienced on Youtube HD):  2PM, SS501, Wonder Girls, Super Junior 슈퍼주니어, KARA, SNSD 少女時代, CNBlue, MBLAQ, BEAST, ZE:A, f(x), SHINee, T-ara, Rain, Lee Hyori, After School, F.cuz, Rainbow, Davichi, U-Kiss and 4minute.

미인아 Bonamana Dance

I loved Super Junior’s solid performance.  They looked absolutely amazing in their clean white, yet rebellious look.  For their Comeback to Korea as Super Junior again, they’ve had a complete makeover since last year’s “Sorry Sorry” promotion.  I also think they’ve been working out and baring more skin and muscles (o.O candy).

They performed their hot, new single “미인아 Bonamana” off their new album Bonamana, which includes a nice mix of hip-hop, dance-pop, love ballads, and R&B.  As you listen and watch the performance, you cannot help but dance to the electropop beats of Bonamana.  The song, and the album, remains true to the “mature” and “sophisticated” style established by “Sorry Sorry.”  Classified as part of the music genre “Super Junior Funky” (how cool is it to establish a whole genre and call it ‘funky’?), Bonamana is a clever experimentation with African rhythms, club-dance mixes, Olympic gold moves, and auto-tuned vocals.  Try watching Suju’s live performances and learning the dance moves, it’s a powerful workout.  

SNSD Dream Concert

Next, SNSD 少女時代 Girl’s Generation.  SNSD is like the female counterpart to Super Junior.  They are banging dancers and singers, more on the cute side.  Here, they performed their hit singles “Run Devil Run” and “Oh!” 

SHINee is also a good Korean band to listen to.  I heard a few songs by SHINee from the Korean drama Boys Over Flowers 꽃보다 남자 (2009).  Here’s their hit “Ring Ding Dong,” it’s an upbeat, sassy song. 

Other recent Comebacks include the Wonder Girls, SS501, 4Minute, and MBLAQ.  I’m not very familiar with 4Minute or MBLAQ-Y, but I do enjoy music by the Wonder Girls and SS501.  The Wonder Girls have been promoting in America and elsewhere since their “Nobody” release.  They are planning an English album featuring English versions of hit Korean singles and an international tour for 2010. As announced in April, the Wonder Girls plan to partner with fellow Korean band 2PM on a US-Canada tour this year.  Their upcoming single and album is “2 Different Tears,” as performed here at the Dream Concert.

And the last of my favorites, SS501.  Since last August 2009, SS501 has been on their first Asia tour, visiting Taiwan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Thailand, and Seoul, finishing only recently in February 2010.  On May 17th, 2010, it was revealed that Kim Hyun Joong got involved in a car accident, suffering rib injuries and bruises.  Because it would take 2 weeks for him to fully recover, Hyun Joong (along with his band members) could only sing ballad songs during the Dream Concert, instead of performing their usual dance sequences.  Unfortunately, their performance was untelevised, as requested by their entertainment company DSP Media.  Well, that does not stop fans from videorecording and uploading the performance (I did the same thing at last year’s Jay Chou concert).  I found a clear version of “Let Me Be the One,” but with the main focus on Kim Hyung Jun, my favorite member.

Soon after the concert, SS501’s single “Love Ya” and new mini-album Destination were leaked.  Even if their contract with DSP Media expires this June, I’m hoping SS501 will continue to stay together and make music for fans everywhere.  Here’s their new MV, “Love Ya,” since they did not perform it at the Dream Concert OR get televised.

Here’s a link to performances by other famous, just-as-amazing Korean popstars. Rain fans:  his performance was also untelevised unfortunately due to J Tune Entertainment.