Category Archives: media

Here’s something U.S. fans can do….


I was noticing that “Shall We Dance” is still at #2 on the U.S. iTunes K-Pop list, second only behind “DNA” by BTS, which of course is currently being promoted in this country. That to me suggests that it’s a song the U.S. market is responding to, and of course attention for BTS can easily translate into attention for other K-Pop acts, including Block B.

And I saw this article in the Wall Street Journal about U.S. streaming services and the individuals who curate very influential playlists for them. (And if you think I’m old and curmudgeonly, you should check out the hilarious comments on that article, which can be summed up as: GET OFF MY LAWN!)

Which makes me think that we may have an opportunity here to push “Shall We Dance” to these guys (obviously given the kind of song it is, I’d suggest focusing on the hip-hop and Latin music people). From these Billboard articles on Busa and Chery, it seems like:

  1. They give suggestions more weight if they come from people who are actually on the streaming service they work for.
  2. If you’re on a streaming service, you should definitely be using your playlist and social tools to promote the song.
  3. More weight is given if the suggestions appear to be organic and spontaneous; i.e., no form letters, just tell them in your own words why you think “Shall We Dance” kicks ass.

So, here’s the WSJ‘s list:

Age: 42
Title: Global head of hip-hop, Spotify
Influential because: Curates RapCaviar, considered the most powerful playlist today

Age: 38
Title: Head of artist curation, Apple Music [Note: worked for XXL, has a hip-hop background]

Age: 37
Title: Global head of rock, Spotify

Age: 39
Title: Head of pop, Spotify
Influential because: Oversees “Today’s Top Hits,” which has 18 million followers, among other playlists….

Age: 49
Title: Global head of programming and content strategy, Amazon Music

Five more leading playlist professionals to know:
Rocío Guerrero (Latin and global music, Spotify), whose Baila Reggaeton playlist has over 6 million followers and helped the Spanish-language song “Despacito” hit No. 1
Elliott Wilson (hip-hop, Tidal)
Arjan Timmermans (pop, Apple Music)
Tony Gervino (Tidal)
Jerry Pullés (Latin, Apple Music)

ETA: There’s this chart about Block B’s current performance on Spotify, if you think you’d find that helpful. While I think it’s probably best to focus on the new release, there’s nothing inherently wrong with also giving “Toy” or one of the other songs a nudge to the people who might not be such a good fit for “Shall We Dance.”


Yes, these dumb campaigns affect real people


So, the model whose butt got cut from the teaser posted about her experience, and a fan translated it. (Thank you!)

I’m really glad that the model was so honest about it–I was worried enough that she might have been cut from the whole thing that, when the video came out, I figured out from her tattoo which model she was just to reassure myself that she was still in it.

We were sort of blathering on earlier about socialist and material feminism in the comments, but this is why I prefer that to the kind of feminism that is all focused on pictures in magazines and hoochies in videos and whatnot. This is this woman’s job–as it was, she worked very hard for something that got cut, and if she’d been a bit less fortunate, she would have undergone all of that (plus the time spent getting made up and ready for filming) and not even had a clip for her lookbook to show prospective employers.

It’s about having empathy for other people and understanding that everyone has the right to make a living. This is what I don’t like about this K-Pop fandom culture that’s all about believing that your every last fantasy should be made true, because you are the center of the universe. (And you’re not being utterly selfish, you’re being “feminist,” or “empowered,” or otherwise “political“!) I’m all for approaching media critically, but if you’re saying that another woman should be shafted just so you can more easily fantasize about a K-Pop group, that is not feminism.



From Netizenbuzz:

Also from Netizenbuzz:

Be sure to read those comments–no misogyny there, no way!

From Asian Junkie:

Also from Asian Junkie (no link, because it’s EVERYWHERE):

What I can see as a legitimate complaint about iKon’s behavior is that the audience probably included many young people, so stuff like grinding was not really appropriate. I’m still not sure why men in drag lifting each other’s skirts constitutes harassment of women, unless one of the members of iKon has a REAL surprise in store. And Asian Junkie saying stuff like “[iKon’s behavior] does kinda put everything in a less joking tone and more just disrespectful manner”–honestly, the only way to top that is going to be if Anti KPop-Fangirl stops drawing dicks on women’s pictures long enough to condemn iKon as well.

ETA: And the concert was from last year–hahahahaha. Yeah, everyone there was so upset that it took a year for some hater to dig up the clips.

Business-y bits


This article (via zicogram) is pretty darned interesting–apparently Hack Zico has a total of more than 10 million views (for all episodes, on all platforms). The article says that this is especially remarkable given that it’s an Internet-only show that was never aired on television.

If you’ve been paying attention, partnering with online platforms has been an explicit strategy of KQ Entertainment, and they’ve definitely been experimenting a lot with that. One major advantage would presumably be that you’re not expected to engage in the payola and ass-kissing that is standard operating procedure with Korean music shows.

So, it’s really gratifying for me to see that strategy working so well for them. I’ve been in an industry where you’re treated like a peon–it’s no fun, and watching those sorts of bullshit industry practices wither away (as those who had engaged in them screamed in agony over the horrible new order) was one of the great delights of going indie.

* * *

Of course this is going to piss off Those Who Get Pissed Off about things like Block B not appearing on music shows. (So important…if you’re arguing with some Exo fan about which group sucks.) At the moment, though, Those Who Get Pissed Off are busy being pissed off because Park Kyung is working with a company that isn’t Seven Seasons/KQ.

Except they don’t know that’s what they’re angry about. These are the same people who apparently thought Block B Japan was run by magical fairies. They don’t realize that Park Kyung is working with a company that isn’t Seven Seasons/KQ. They think his video isn’t on the Seven Seasons YouTube channel (and the company hasn’t changed its all-important social-media headers! OMFG!!!) because the company is lazy and cheap and loves only Zico. I guess they think that’s why there hasn’t really been any coverage of the upcoming song in the Korean media, either. (I don’t know why they think it’s on a different distributor’s channel. Do they even know what a distributor is?)

I mean, the explanation was translated into English, but…no. Can’t understand it. Must be Seven Seasons/KQ’s fault somehow.

For the record: The song is a special project for another company that is not Seven Seasons/KQ. This is like when the members do soundtrack songs for dramas, or cover songs for variety shows, or songs for Show Me the Money, or songs for Block B Japan. There’s another company in charge, and whether or not there’s a video, or marketing, or international distribution is not Seven Seasons/KQ’s decision. (Why agree to sing a song for another company that may or may not do a good job promoting and distributing the song? Usually because said company offers an up-front payment.)

So, the people who hope the members would go to another company? They already have! They’ve done it many times! Park Kyung is doing it right now! Seven Seasons/KQ actually seems pretty relaxed about that kind of thing.

An introduction to Block B’s fansign culture/Block B fansign greatest hits LOL!


Netizen Buzz translated a piece about U-Kwon writing rude things at fansigns, and then of course other craptacular English-language media outlets decided to treat this as though it were actual news, which it really, really is not.

Like the vast majority of Block B fans, I believe that the people “upset” about this issue are super-obviously full of shit. But it occurred to me that there might be people who legitimately don’t understand 1. why Block B would act this way, and 2. why Block B fans would react so negatively to criticism of what, on the surface, certainly looks like very rude behavior.

Hm, I thought, Maybe I should do a serious educational post about Block B’s fansign culture for non-fans.

Then I thought, Why am I letting the killjoys set the agenda?! I should write a fun post about Block B’s fansigns for the fans, who would enjoy it!

Then I realized: I could do both!

So, in this post:

If the text is blue, it is aimed at people unfamiliar with Block B.

If the text is maroon, it is aimed at Block B fans.

If it’s black, it’s for everyone.

Here we go!

If you don’t know much about Block B, a very important concept to understand is that the group is, in many ways, a parody of a normal K-Pop idol group. They take music seriously, but they often do the more fan-servicey elements “wrong” in order to be funny.

This extends to fansigns, where the members often do things “wrong” in order to amuse fans. One of the “wrong” things they do is reply quite rudely to fans–something that is actually much beloved by fans.

This has been true since the group’s debut, and fans who ask questions like “What do you think I look like?” or “Will we be together some day?” know full well the kind of answer that they’re going to get.

Remember these, guys? Ah, I’m dying!!!

Have some pervy B-Bomb!

The “abuse” Block B gives fans is such a tradition that fans used to routinely ask the members of Block B to curse at them.

Remember how they used to cuss at the fans?

In this classic video, Zico awesomely says shibal (a VERY VERY bad word in Korean) to a fan who asked him to curse at her–witness Jaehyo’s hilarious reaction.

That video is from the year Block B debuted. This is from three days ago.

Look at Zico drag everyone!

This is why no Block B fan actually believes it when someone says, “I used to be a fan but they were just too rude at that fansign!” That’s a bit like someone saying that they used to be a fan of Block B but then they figured out that the lead vocalist was short–maybe they’re telling the truth, but they obviously weren’t much of a fan, because they didn’t know the first thing about the group.

The other issue is that U-Kwon gets targeted by haters because he has a girlfriend–the idea that he is “mean” to fans stems from the fact that he’s open about being in a serious relationship. In truth, as you can see, he’s no “meaner” than anyone else in the group; 99% of the time this criticism is coming from people who are trying to make an example out of U-Kwon so that their favorite idol doesn’t get any ideas about dating.

There are certain things U-Kwon won’t do as fan service, though, because he feels they’re disrespectful to his girlfriend. One of these things is drawing hearts. This, of course, has become its own joke.

This woman cracks me up (she’s not a crazy person, don’t worry).