Category Archives: Dynamic Duo

Now it’s pure comedy

Standard

I know I shouldn’t, and I know I’ve already said–twice!–that I wouldn’t post any more about this, but I couldn’t resist looking at Netizen Buzz’ morerecent translations of K-netz’ Zico/Seolhyun hate, and they’re hilarious.

They’re definitely something that can be safely ignored–as expected, the hate is becoming more and more fringe-y and disconnected from reality, which means that it’s the same people it always is, and that they will be every bit as effective as they always are.

But again, the comments are just hysterically funny!

In general, I’m amused at people’s objections to the fact that Seolhyun went to Zico’s apartment. Like, oh my God, why would she do that?

12시에 집에있다니… .. . #relaxation #rest #basecamp #daily

A post shared by 지아코 (@woozico0914) on

Zico’s apartment. Roommates: 0

AOA’s dorm. Roommates: 6, not counting managers

You figure it out.

As for specific comments, here’s a good one:

The thing that was stupid about Zico was that his attempt at trying to survive this scandal by leaving Seolhyun out to dry just improved Seolhyun’s image whereas his own image is trashed now ㅋㅋㅋ

Um, yeah. Well, in all sincerity, I do hope that the haters will latch onto Zico and leave Seolhyun alone, because she’s a normal idol and more vulnerable to this kind of thing than he is. Honestly, though, I think the haters are more into trashing everyone, because they are terrible people.

But acting like this could seriously damage Zico? Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

How?

Is his label going to drop him? Oh, fuck NO.

Do his female fans care? Not really–a few apparently were upset to discover that he’s not actually going to marry them, but again, he hasn’t marketed himself that way, so that’s a minority. And they certainly don’t care about yet another stupid fucking netizen hate campaign–I mean, seriously, I’ve pretty much lost count at this point.

wheat-free-rice-crust-pizza

But I will NEVER FORGET!

Do his male fans care? Let’s try to look at this from the heterosexual male perspective: Average-looking guy bags super-hot chick.

OK, I had to stop to laugh for a bit. Unless they were planning to marry Seolhyun, men are NOT going to have a problem with this.

Let’s put it this way: Do you ever wonder why the guys in porn usually look pretty average (aside from their dicks), while the women usually look pretty…extraordinary? Do you ever wonder why nerdy guys in comic books always bag Miss Universe?

Or let’s do the flip side: Do you ever wonder why women in romance novels are typically such zeros? Or why the heroines in K-Dramas are usually poor and not very accomplished, while the two guys fighting to marry them are both fabulously wealthy with incredible careers, and handsome as fuck on top of it?

Yeah–the average Korean guy on the street is pumping his fist for Zico. Why? Because he is living the average person’s fantasy.

Let’s put it this way: If you really want to meet a Korean guy in real life and Dynamic Duo comes to you city, go there. There will be tonof Korean guys, and they all love Choiza to death–you know, ugly, old Choiza who is dating pretty, young Sulli (gasp!) who is SO far out of his league it’s just unbelievable!!!!

Why? Because for guys, Choiza and now Zico are living the fucking dream.

Will this hate campaign even hurt Zico’s feelings?

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 1.53.26 PM 1

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 7.35.31 PM

At this point I think his coping strategies are pretty solid.

Funny comment #2:

I remember Seolhyun was crying during her history scandal but that was just an act and then she went to go hang out at Zico’s house

This is maybe even more awesome than the previous comment, because according to FNC’s statement, the primary reason Zico and Seolhyun’s relationship moved forward and she quit saying no is because of all the horrible hate she was getting for her history screw-up.

And Zico was just the guy to help her out and help her put it in perspective, because there is a very dedicated cadre of haters who have been trying to take him down for years, and he has only gotten more popular!

So, yeah, miserable hater, the toxic environment you have created and fostered in the K-Pop scene helped bring these two lovers together. Ironic, isn’t it? It’s almost like, if you have the right mentality, you can make a lotus blossom in a puddle of shit, isn’t it?

Oooh…life lesson…which I’m sure will be ignored, because oh my God these people.

Advertisements

Concerts, cons, whatever

Standard

There’s been a lot of “Oh, K-Pop events outside of Asia are always a mess” over on Asian Junkie, so I thought I’d address that for a minute.

At this point I’ve been to four Block B concerts, Show Me the Money concert, a Dynamic Duo concert, and an AOMG concert, and I have to take issue with the notion that these kinds of things are invariably some kind of disaster. I would agree that the AOMG concert would have been better at a different venue (although that is more a Seattle problem than a K-Pop problem–there’s a shortage of performance space here), and the New York Block B concert was definitely disorganized. But it’s not like the shows weren’t worth seeing or the environment was dangerous or anything (and all of the shows I’ve been to except the first two Block B shows had open floors).

I’ve also read second- or third-hand accounts that massively exaggerate (or invent) problems at these concerts, including allegations that the fans rioted (!) at the New York Block B concert, which is complete bullshit. Other than people sneaking back into the high-touch line, there was not a lot of misbehavior, and the venue was actually pretty awesome.

Do I regret seeing this? No.

But I would toss out a few things to consider if you are thinking of attending a K-Pop show or convention:

Why do you want to see the show? Are you in it for the explosions and Psy flying in the air over giant inflatable waves? That’s too bad, because all of that probably won’t happen. No traveling show is going to be a spectacle of the sort that can be generated in a 14,000-seat stadium. If you don’t think the group actually sings or dances well enough to be entertaining, you should probably stay home.

Are you in it because you’re hoping that you’ll make eye contact with your idol, and then he’ll immediately fall in love and whisk you away to a magical island? That’s not going to happen, either. (True story: Park Kyung recognized me from the stage in San Francisco and it freaked him the hell out. Yes, he and I are at that very special stage in the fan/celebrity relationship where the celebrity recognizes you but doesn’t remember where he knows you from, so he thinks you’re a stalker.)

Are you OK with the format? Is it called a “fan meeting” or a “showcase”? That means less music and more charades. If you’re not OK with that, save your money.

Personally, I am not too crazy about conventions in general, and I’m picky about music, so I’m not planning on going to K-Con Los Angeles. That said, if you really like conventions, then own it–get together with your buddies, do your cosplay, practice your cover dances, pass around your fan fiction, and just generally set yourself up so that even if you have to sit through some things you don’t like, you will still have a good time overall.

What do you really, really not want to have happen? I paid for pit tickets for both the Los Angeles and San Fransisco Block B shows–and then I made a beeline for the back of the pit. I enjoy being close, but I really don’t like being squished, so that was the best approach. People act like they have to be right up next to the stage, and then they complain about the crowding–you can’t have it both ways, you have to prioritize.

You also need to think about the kind of group it is and the reputation the fans have. I like BTS, but I’d certainly not go see them in, say, the same venue I saw AOMG–it’s too open (I’d be more comfortable with seated, given the intensity of the fandom), and you can’t see the dancing anyway.

Who’s organizing this, anyway? If you go to the organizer’s Facebook page and it’s all people complaining, beware. If there’s a lot of “These guys are coming! No they’re not!” beware. Conventions and festivals are always more risky because if half the groups get canceled, well, there’s still the other half plus the vendors, so–hey! You got what you paid for! Kind of!

Are fan-organized events always a disaster? No, but I would definitely poke around to see if they’ve ever organized anything else on the same scale–something that goes for professional organizers as well.

Does doing all this guarantee that you’ll have a great time? Nope. No guarantees in life. Hell, you might get food poisoning the day of. But if you do a little research and keep in mind what you do and do not like, that does greatly increase the chances that you’ll have an experience that you actually enjoy.

THAT was worth doing

Standard

Just got back from the Dynamic Duo concert–yeah, that was awesome. I got the General Admission tickets, and there was a seated area, and I’ve been walking Vancouver like a fiend, plus last night wasn’t the best for sleep, so I figured I’d sit. And I made do with vigorous chair dancing during the opening set by the excellent DJ Friz, but when Gaeko and Choiza came out, it was all over for me–I popped up and ran down to standing. I think the people next to me thought I was having some kind of emergency, which in a way, I suppose I was. (During the show I avoided any actual jumping to preserve my sore feet. Luckily San-E was not there to crack the whip.)

Anyway: The crowd was like the Show Me the Money crowd, only more so. There may have been a majority of men in the crowd (!)–it was close to 50/50, anyway. And it was even more Asian, which is saying something. The vast majority were Korean speakers (the people in front of me in line were having an involved conversation about Block B, P.O, Park Kyung and Zico, but I don’t know enough Korean to engage in any quality eavesdropping).

That turned out to be a good thing, because Choiza’s English is not great and Gaeko pretty much tries to avoid it. He did eventually read out a piece of paper where he said he just LOVED Vancouver and then preceded to rattle off a bunch of tourist destinations he clearly had never visited (they flew in from Toronto that morning). Still, his English is better than 5 out of 7 Block B members (and his pronunciation trounces them all), so not too shabby Gaeko!

The show was great, of course–they said they were tired, and they should have been tired given their schedule, but they are old pros and just burned the place down.

Choiza live was a bit of a…revelation. I’ve only seen him on screen, of course, and he often wears a suit and sunglasses during TV performances, so I had no idea how goddam BIG he is! He’s quite tall, and they stripped down to T-shirts pretty quickly, and he is BUILT–he definitely spends some quality time in the weight room. He has a big chest and big arms, and he doesn’t shy away from that–he beat his chest and grunted and growled like he was thisclose to turning into Tarzan. Testosterone rolls off that man in visible waves–people joke about his penis, but it is just trying to keep up with the rest of him. Let’s just say that after tonight I really, really do NOT wonder what Sulli sees in him, holy shit.

The only thing I would have changed about the concert were the people going past when we were in line, who couldn’t even pretend to be civil. I had a group of hipsters ask me what Dynamic Duo was, and I said, “Korean hip-hop,” and they said, “Oh, K-Pop” and walked off (I was like, “It’s not pop, it’s hip-hop!”). Then some douchebag derelict was like, “Chinese movie? Chinese movie?” like fuck you very much, you racist asshole. Then some other dude ACROSS THE STREET was giving us the stink eye and filming the line–I don’t know what his fucking deal was, but I made eye contact and grinned like a maniac at him, and he got embarrassed and put his phone away. I don’t know if we were just unlucky or if that kind of thing is pretty much the norm in Vancouver, but I was pretty surprised by it.

Can you enjoy the lyrics of a Korean rap if you don’t understand Korean?

Standard

One of the great joys (or great agonies) of hip-hop in my book is that you can really hear the lyrics. Now, if it’s a Little Wayne song, you probably wish that you couldn’t, but if the rapper is a talented lyricist, the pleasures are many.

It’s time to set yo’ clock back bout as long as you can
I stop daylight, it’s Ludacris the maintenance man
Get your oil changed, I check fluids and transmission
You one minute fools, you wonder why y’all missin’
[. . .]
Just cause I’m an all-nighter, shoot all fire
Ludacris, balance and rotate all tires
–Ludacris, on Missy Elliott’s “One-Minute Man”

Obviously, you can’t listen to a Korean song and get that kind of amusement out of it.

Or can you?

Dynamic Duo is one of my favorite hip-hop groups, but it’s hard to find English translations of their stuff. Still, I think I have a fairly good idea of what that song is about.

Same thing with this song–I only found this translation recently, but I think Rhythm Power is hysterical, and in most cases I haven’t been able to find translations of their songs. They’re just funny.

Well, OK, let’s say that if the delivery of a Korean rap is really funny, then you can enjoy it without understanding the lyrics. But not otherwise, right?

Hm. Let’s take a rap passage that I think is especially impressive lyrically, from Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”

A normal life is boring, but superstardom’s close to post mortem
It only grows harder, homie grows hotter
He blows. It’s all over. These hoes is all on him
Coast to coast shows, he’s known as the globetrotter
Lonely roads, God only knows
He’s grown farther from home, he’s no father
He goes home and barely knows his own daughter
But hold your nose ’cause here goes the cold water
His hoes don’t want him no more, he’s cold product
They moved on to the next schmoe who flows
He nose dove and sold nada

What I did here was try to mark the two most common rhymes (including internal rhymes) and assonances in that passage. (There’s also the superstardom/post mortem/all on him bit.) Note that this passage isn’t funny and doesn’t use an extended metaphor the way the Ludacris passage does–what’s remarkable about it is the sound of it, the fact that Eminem managed to pack in that many rhymes and assonances.

Now listen to this:

Starting at the 1:29 mark, what do you start to hear? A whole lot of internal rhymes and assonances. I don’t know about you, but the first time I heard that song I just went nuts because the lyrics sounded so good.

Obviously you can look up lyrics to see if they’re any good or not. The nice thing about it is that if you look up Rapper X, and you realize that he’s basically the Korean Little Wayne, then you can just not look up his stuff again and enjoy the music unimpeded by the stupidity. If, however, it turns out that he uses metaphor beautifully or something, then you can keep looking up his lyrics and enjoying the poetry, and every time you hear his song, you’ll think of those brilliant lyrics and how beautiful/clever/funny they are. (Of course, you are at the mercy of the translators, but nothing’s perfect.)

Then there’s that highly specialized area of lyrical wit in Korean rap: Bilingual word play.

Oh, yeah.

Apparently YG has been on a copyright tear, so I don’t want to link anywhere, but if you poke around and find the Epik High song “You Don’t Deserve Her,” you will hear something quite remarkable.

A little background: Epik High has two rappers, Mithra Jin and Tablo. Tablo, who speaks fluent Korean, was born in Canada and has a master’s degree in English literature from Stanford University. In other words, he is bilingual in a way I can never hope to be.

According the translation site KPopLyrics.net, at about 40 seconds in, “You Don’t Deserve Her” goes:

Mithra Jin: But his behaviours are like hardened feet.

Tablo: Ha ha.

That’s the translation. If you are an English speaker, this is what you’ll hear:

Mithra Jin: Hand on my Buddha and I’m bi.

Tablo: Ha ha.

Top that.