Tag Archive | SNSD

CN Blue: Musical Geniuses

The next segment of CN Bluestory documented the band’s first street performance titled “CN Blue Burning Concert” in the frigid weather. How ironic… Anyway, I was particularly moved by their revelations relating to their musical influences:

Musical influnces

YonghwaBon Jovi, because he seeks to achieve the same ‘charming and charismatic’ voice. The magic moment happened upon hearing “It’s My Life,” one of his favorite Bon Jovi rock songs. Oh, how I love Bon Jovi’s love ballads and rock songs; they last through time and permeate beyond the Pacific Ocean blue, to CN Blue’s lead vocalist. I have been an avid fan of Bon Jovi for many years, probably since before I was born. Classic hits I never get sick of listening to include “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ Like a Prayer,” “It’s My Life,” “Always,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” “Lost Highway,” and “Make a Memory.” They have been a classic band that has survived time because of their unity, talent, versatility, and influence. Now, they have somehow captivated Yonghwa all the way out in Korea.

The ultimate rock song by an awesome old time hair band =)

Amazing how you flash forward 15 years, Bon Jovi lost the frizzy electrocuted-hairdo, skinny jeans, and tacky leather jackets for a more modern, sleek look. And still producing beautiful music! They seriously do not age…

With Yonghwa’s pretty face, enrapturing stare, chiseled physique, exuberant personality, and sexy vocals, he is well on his way to falling into Bon Jovi’s shoes. Aside from his musical talents, he’s popular on the small screen. On my “Korean Stuff to Watch” list are We Got Married (‘Sweet Potato’ with Yonghwa and Seohyun of SNSD), You’re Beautiful, and Heartstrings.

Here’s Yonghwa and his ‘wife’ Seohyun performing together, “Run Devil Run” and “Love Light.” They have perfect chemistry, on stage and on TV…

JonghyunEric Clapton, because of his everlasting love for the guitar. Jonghyun learned his guitar through music, and not just any kind of music, but Clapton’s music. He aspires to be like Eric Clapton, one who carries his guitar with his music. Once again, I have been a great appreciator of Eric Clapton. Mellow, soft, enthralling, Eric Clapton emanates serenity, soulfulness, skill, and passion. Some personal favorite songs include “My Father’s Eyes,” “Tears in Heaven,” “Wonderful Tonight,” “Change the World,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” and “Layla.”  You keep rocking on Jonghyun, you can be a great guitarist and musician like your idol Eric Clapton!

Check out this heartfelt performance by Eric Clapton, “Layla” Live in Japan (2009)! I love the guitar solo, where Clapton closes his eyes and strums every note with fire and emotion.

Another expressive performance by the genius guitarist Eric Clapton, “Wonderful Tonight” (2007). An analgesic song for studying or better, the standard song for the perfect romance.

The saddest song I’ve ever loved and enjoyed, “Tears in Heaven” Live in Japan. Clapton wrote this poignant song after the accidental death of his 4-year old son back in 1991. You can’t listen to this song on repeat or by chance in the car without jolting those lacrimal glands into action.

Look what I found on Youtube, Jonghyun’s soulful rendition of “Tears in Heaven.” He made a circle of Korean guys and girls swoon in the middle of the woods.

And as a tangent, I was watching Taiwan’s Super King yesterday, a CN Blue episode from 2010-10-2. HILARIOUS! Asian variety shows, they make celebrities say and do the darnest things. Check out this episode, where you’ll find CN Blue catching fish with toilet paper nets, jumping rope (and tripping), and attempting to sing Chinese classic songs. Oh yea, and you’ll find Jonghyun strumming to Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” Enjoy!

Super King 2010-10-2

JungshinMr. Big; I’m not a big fan of Mr. Big the band, so I have no personal opinions or ravings to offer…

MinhyukMaroon 5, because to Minhyuk, they are “Like vitamins.” I could not agree more my drummer friend! I have been a loyal fan of Maroon 5 since their grand debut! The first CD I listened to and enjoy, from beginning to end, until it got scratched up from overplaying, was their debut CD Songs About Jane. Since then, I have made sure to get a whole of their subsequent hit CDs, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long and Hands All Over. I don’t think I’ve come across a Maroon 5 song I disliked to a dent. All-time hits on my iTunes list comprise of “Harder to Breathe,” “This Love,” “Sunday Morning” (plus basically everything on their first album), “Makes Me Wonder” (this was my ringtone and alarm clock sophomore year in college, much to my roommate’s dismay), “Wake Up Call,” “Won’t Go Home Without You,” and “Misery.” If any of these songs do not sound familiar, you should be ashamed… Go rummage through 4shared.com, click download, and put it on repeat to listen over a game of Scrabble or a dinner party. Minhyuk, you keep up your daily dosage of Maroon 5 vitamins, because I’m surely getting my daily supplements of eye candy.

Hm, I wonder how they got themselves and their precious equipment in the middle of the giant lake… It’s pretty awesome they’re performing in the middle of an amusement park. You don’t find random performances like this very often in America…

Oh and this is pretty incredible too. CN Blue and SNSD with “Gee,” but jazzy and spiced up. They are making beautiful music with beautiful girls. Love it!

No wonder I am so gravitated towards CN Blue, and perhaps so are you!  Their musical influences coincides, at least 75%, with my all-time American favorites. They have great potential to succeed and shine on the global scale, just as their idols have performed. With their passion and perseverance, CN Blue will continue to charm fangirls across the globe and hopefully influence budding boybands.


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

20 Most Played on iTunes

I’ve turned up my iTunes DJ and mixed up some favorite Asian and American music. I realized how much I missed bygone days, like back in the 90s (and 80s) when:

Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync rocked girls’ lockers and bedrooms

Backstreet Boys were still young hearthrobs; now they’re just old, but the talent’s still there

‘N Sync before Justin and JC went solo and changed the whole dynamics; the other 3 were just… there

Britney Spears was my pop idol, before she made a big “Oops” and married a hobo dancer, popped out a few babies, picked up a bad smoking/drinking habit, and copied Voldemort’s hair-do

Christina Aguilera wore clothes

Mariah Carey broke wine glasses with her love ballads and not yet a cougar

Madonna could pull off skimpy outfits and didn’t have such manly biceps brachii

Jessica Simpson had a stable relationship and wasn’t so desperate in life

LFO still had a living Rich Cronin looking like an Abercrombie model

Ricky Martin didn’t come out of the closet and had babies

Rob Thomas was still part of Matchbox 20, even when I thought he was solo already

Savage Garden still existed… I still have a weakness for “Truly Madly Deeply” and “I Knew I Loved You”

Spice Girls ruled my 4th grade treasure chest: stickers, lollipops, books, magazines, posters, dolls, every merchandise that was out to drain my dad’s wallet

Michael Jackson… He’s still a timeless sensation… RIP

And now? I’ve added Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to my “Love-it” list. I’m really hooked on Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” and “Hot n’ Cold.” And Lady Gaga? I love “Bad Romance,” “Just Dance,” “Love Game,” “Telephone,” and “Alejandro.”

My gym jams and study music are still predominantly C-pop and K-pop: DBSK 東方神起, SNSD 少女時代, Super Junior, 2PM, 태양 Taeyang, 빅뱅 Big Bang, SS501, Jay Chou, JJ Lin, Lee Hom, etc… I like how K-pop is funky, upbeat; basically, I like rap, hip-hop and R&B by Asian musicians, because there’s no blasphemy, no sexualization, no violence, just pure talent and incredible dancing! I like C-pop, mainly from Taiwan, because 1) I can understand it, 2) I can boost my Mandarin proficiency, and 3) sappy love songs help me study. Here’s my Top 25 playlist since it came into existence 3 years ago:

  1. 童 話 Fairy Tale – 光良 (Michael Wong) –> 466X
  2. 내 머리가 나빠서 Nae Moriga Nabbaso (Because I’m Stupid)- SS501 –> 455X
  3. Stand By Me – 샤이니 SHINee –> 324X
  4. 約 定  Yue Ding – 光良 (Michael Wong) –> 316X
  5. 아쉬운 마음인 걸 Yearning Heart – 에이스타일 A’ST1 –> 311X
  6. 只對你有感覺 Only Have Feelings For You – 飛輪海 Fahrenheit & Hebe –> 309X
  7. 說愛你 Say I Love You – 蔡依林 Jolin Tsai –> 293X
  8. 不得不愛 Gotta Love – 潘瑋柏 Wilber Pan ft. 弦子 XianZi –> 286X
  9. 就是爱你 Only Love You – 陶喆 David Tao –> 278X
  10. 聽媽媽的話 Listen to Mother’s Words – 周杰倫 Jay Chou –> 271X
  11. 霍元甲  Huo Yuan Jia – 周杰倫 Jay Chou –> 264X
  12. 日不落 Sun Will Never Set – 蔡依林 Jolin Tsai –> 263X
  13. 半糖主义 Half-Sugarism – S.H.E. –> 260X
  14. Love Love Love – 蔡依林 Jolin Tsai –> 260X
  15. 你和我 You and Me – 王力宏 Lee Hom –> 258X
  16. One More Time – 나무자전거 Namu Jajeongeo –> 251X
  17. 給我一首歌的時間 Give Me a Song’s Time – 周杰倫 Jay Chou –> 251X
  18. 放開你的心 Let Go of Your Heart – 王力宏 Lee Hom –> 250X
  19. 玩酷 Play It Cool – 潘瑋柏 Wilber Pan –> 248X
  20. 주문-Mirotic – DBSK –> 247X

You get the idea… It looks like chicken scratches above. I’m a super-Asian. Maybe there will be an eventual avalanche on this Top 20 list, a great disaster waiting to happen.

2010 World Cup Red Mania

Amidst my Korea fever, I came across some 2010 World Cup promotions, featuring the biggest names in Korean entertainment.  The ads, videos, songs, merchandise, energy, you name it, all symbolize the national pride and the talents the country has to offer.

Here’s a SPAO All Generation Ad featuring SM Town-Super Junior and SNSD Girls’ Generation.  It’s the South Korea “Yes! I Red It” campaign for the 2010 World Cup.  They look cool and cute in their “red fever.” I like seeing the sporty, cute look on the SNSD girls and the casual, yet tough-boy style the Super Junior boys take on.

Victory, Peace... the popularity of The SignThis is my favorite song for the season.  And yes, it’s Super Junior, again.  Super Junior’s World Cup fighting song “Victory Korea.” Featuring Yesung, Sungmin, Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, and Shindong (in that order of appearance), the MV is AWESOME.  I’ve watched it enough times to hear, even in silence, “Oh A O… O O A O~…. Victory, Victory, Victory, KOREA!” ringing in my ears. I love part 1:25, where they throw in their signature “Sorry Sorry” dance, with fellow netizens and followers joining in the celebration =D  Gah, I love their energy and pride for the sport and their home country.  I still find it a tad funny that I’m not Korean, but I have so much appreciation for the nation, more than America. Woot! Victory Suju!

Now, I’d like to treat myself to a flaming red T-shirt too!

Ohh La La~ I'd like my own "Victory Korea" flaming red T-shirt for the gym/PJs.

I like this one a lot, where Super Junior rejoices ecstatically at South Korea’s win against Greece on June 12… Their excitement is caught from several different angles… On the second one, Ryeowook looks like he’s flying out of his seat. Weird~

Everyone's very quiet, glued to the big screen tv...and then the big win!

This is the flying Ryeowook one...

When they're not singing, Suju guys are just average sports fanatics

Their happy faces and bear hugs...

Victory Korea song time!

We are One Happy Family… Fun advertisements featuring brand name entertainers in Korea… Big Bang (Taeyang in a fancy face mask, when it’s not peak flu season, is funny… new style for his comeback??), Super Junior (maybe not the whole 13 member gang, but it’s still SuJu), SNSD Girls’ Generation, Olympic medalist Kim Yoona, 2PM (I’m still working on experiencing their music), and more…

Big Bang and Kim Yuna... cute

Big Bang, Kim Yuna, and some other people I don't know... Taeyang in a face mask, priceless

SUPER JUNIOR!!! Shindong, Eunhyuk, Yesung, Sungmin, Leeteuk... the spirits behind "Victory Korea" awesomeness

SNSD Girls' Generation & Super Junior SPAO World Cup campaign... Red never looked more bold

2PM Celebrates! They have a song "What's Your Celebration?" as shown on their proud banner

And for other fans of Rain, 4Minute, BEG, etc… here’s another South Korea World Cup song of celebration.

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.