It's Tuesday which means it's time for more of my weekly spouting off about all things K-pop on Confessions of an Uncle Fan. Last week I was writing from lovely Santa Monica on a mini-vacation but I'm back in New York City and have been catching up on the latest K-pop news. It was actually a fairly quiet week following the surge of girl group comebacks but there are always things to talk about so let's get to it.
Cool Things of the Week
The Queen Returneth
Move over girls because the Queen is back. Lee Hyori is one of the most popular and sought after performers in K-pop and her new albums are always on the cutting edge of what's popular in both music and fashion. However, her newest single (and first in three years) "Miss Korea" is very different from her previous offerings. The song, concept, and overall look/feel is very subdued with an old school vibe with the most obvious point being that nearly the entire video is shot in black and white. There's also a distinct retro, 1960's feel with a noir twist. Personally, I like it because I think it's a side to Lee Hyori we haven't seen before and there is a message in the music as well of female self-confidence which is very Hyorish as she's on record saying she won't get surgery because she wants to show women it's OK to look your age. I don't know much about the new album and I'm sure there's a dance or hip hop track somewhere but an interesting and different first track that's proves that even with all of the competition, she's still got it.
CL/YG + Will Smith/Jaden Smith = Interesting
CL and YG Entertainment are all over the American rap map first with 2NE1's appearance at the Adidas sponsored 'Unite All Originals Live' concert with the Snoop D-O-double G. A few days later, CL releases a photo of her and some of the YG Family together with Will and Jaden Smith (I guess he's done getting kicked out of clubs) on her Instagram feed. I don't know why the Fresh Prince and the new Karate Kid are with the YG crew but it probably has something to do with their new movie coming out which just looks OK to me. It would have been cooler if he were making a prequel to 'Hancock' but that just could be my inner nerd talking.
Is This YG Entertainment or "The Da Vinci Code"?
Since we're talking YG, did you see their new 'Who's Next" promo? YGE loves being all enigmatic and cryptic but for me, it's getting a little old. They did this with the new girl group that was supposed to come out but we haven't seen or heard from them other than one supposed member Jenny Kim being featured on a Lee Hi song. I understand that YG does this to build fan interest and create a viral conversation but you have to have your stuff together first before starting this type of campaign. It seems like they put the carriage before the horse sometimes.
Lee Hi Rules
Speaking of YG and Lee Hi (there's a lot of YG stuff today), Lee Hi had an unannounced appearance on the show 'Thank You' hosted by Cha In Pyo which was intended to surprise one of the true legends, Lee Moon Sae. Apparently he had made a comment that he would like to work with Lee Hi and that became a huge "thing" in Korea. As part of the appearance she sang one of his songs which just reaffirmed by belief that Lee Hi has one of the best voices to come out of K-pop in recent memory and when you combine that with an old school tune, that's uncle fan magic.
The Taeyeon Experiment
Each week I will post a picture from Taeyeon's Instagram feed in the hopes that one day she will post a picture of reading this column. This week's photo came with a caption of Taeyeon asking fans who their favorite superhero was and I think proclaiming her's as Iron Man. I don't necessarily agree with her choice but the fact that she likes superhero movies in general is reason #5,205 of why I like Taeyeon.
Picture/.Gif/Video of the Week
See #5 under 'My Top 5 Current Girl Groupers' below.
*Send your favorite pics/.gifs/videos to KpopUncleFan@gmail.com or tweet them to @KpopUncleFan.
Uncle Fan Mailbag
It's just an educated guess. "I like [Song Ji Hyo] too but how do [you] judge her personality from a show?"
How do you judge any of these girl's personalities? Unless you personally know them, all you can do is make inferences based on what they show you on TV or other media. I don't know what Song Ji Hyo is actually like but after watching her for over a year on 'Running Man', I feel I have a decent foundation to make an educated guess and that guess is, she's totally awesome.
Let me clear something up. "allkpop.com [is so] biased because they [talk about] Taeyeon in every article; it's stupidly obvious."
This is something I've wanted to clear up because it seems to be a common misconception. The Confessions of an Uncle Fan column, or any column under my name, is completely and totally of my own opinion. I contribute to allkpop.com and they decide whether to publish it or not but they have never once asked me to change anything that I've written other than basic grammatical and factual errors. The folks here at allkpop are good about letting me say what I want without restraint so if I write something about Taeyeon, it's because I want to; not because someone has asked me to. I'm sure skeptics will remain but I wanted to at least get that down for the record. The word "bias" seems to be thrown around a lot and the default argument for anyone who doesn't like something they don't agree with. Also - of course every article mentions Taeyeon, why wouldn't it?!
Isn't everyone? "Oh my god! You're a Potterhead too? <3 I LOVE YOU UNCLE FAN!"
My Top 5 Current Girl Groupers
Taeyeon - First she talks about 'Harry Potter', then she talks about Iron Man... sorry, I almost fainted there for a second.
UEE - The new show 'Barefoot Friends' has gotten off to a rocky start but this past week's episode had the whole gang doing their version of the Harlem Shake with Vietnamese fans. UEE helped dropped the beat in their version and got her groove on with some moves that got the 99% female crowd nuts. Do people still say "groove on"?
Kim Yoo Mi/Kim Sa Ra - The Miss Korea winner and finalist were guests on the 'God of Food Road' show (I really love this show) and joined the hosts at a spicy kalbi stew restaurant. I think I've been clear about my love of pretty girls who can eat and these girls did not disappoint.
SPICA - Another group that I knew nothing about until an appearance on the show 'Immortal Classics 2' (I did know that their name is from a star -I used to be into astronomy). These girls can really sing and I'll be finding more of their music going forward.
Seohyun - The picture/.gif/video of the week is a 5-6 second clip that miss A's Min posted on Vine from the Snoop Dogg concert. The video is a jumbled mess until the last frame which shows the Girl's Generation member striking a pose that seems pretty common... but for some reason, I can't stop watching. It has this hypnotic power over me. Is that odd?
Song of the Week
Since it's obvious I get most of my news from Instagram, I saw that BoA was taking a break in Italy. Since you can never have enough BoA, the song of the week is her latest single "Disturbance" which also features SHINee's Taemin in the music video... if you like that sort of thing.
Have a good one and we'll catch up next week.