• We are 7 days closer to Christmas and 13 days closer to the New Year, can you believe it? I can’t as I’ve been walking around in an academic haze for the last month-and-a-half, as I would guess the same for many of you. But never fear, Music Core is here! Here to supply us with all the popular music of the moment – but first, something more interesting:

    Next week will be Music Core’s (pre-taped) Christmas Extravaganza, with special performances by After School, 2PM, Beast, Son Dambi, SHINee, CN BLUE, IU, Seo In Young,  Sistar, miss A, 4minute, Secret, T-ara, Kara, SNSD and Super Junior (whew). Which no one will watch because it airs on Christmas Day. Oh show, you can’t win for trying.

    It’s the holiday season, so what buzzwords spring to mind? Family, friends, thanksgiving-

    Oh, no. Our lovely MCs say it is love – which seems appropriate as there are many kinds of love.  Though if you’re without a significant other in Korea at this time of year you might as well be dateless on a Saturday night. Forget family, where is your girlfriend/boyfriend? Loser.

    Uh, here. Have some nice Bohemian to get you in the mood.

    These guy groups sneak up on you like stinkbugs! Touch has a pretty rote concept and choreography, but they also have a guy with pink hair! For the motherfreakin’ win.

    A good friend of mine informed me that Orange Caramel is extremely popular with the primary school set, and I believe it. Heck, I can’t tear my eyes away from their performances and I am a looong ways from my primary daysl. I don’t know what formula Pledis  has concocted, but it makes this group mesmerizing in it’s psychedelia. When they were brainstorming the group concept, someone must have said, “Willy Wonka, on a loop while high as a kite.” And darn it, if that isn’t what kpop needs right now.

    Park Hyo Shin has his comeback with the appropriately-titled album “Gift” (Part 2).  Just in case we don’t get it, he is surrounded by GIGANTOR gift boxes.

    In the spectrum of gaudy set pieces, Music Core is the best and specializes in the ridiculous, my friend.

    Drama (Dalmation) and Yoseob (BEAST) are paired together for another sweet Christmas love song, but someone needs to be led away from the crafts table and the glue gun, stat. The suits themselves look fine, but someone had to go and take it that extra mile, maybe because of the season, I guess. Cold weather can make people do some crazy things.

    A more, shall I say, realistic, interpretation of holiday relationships. Remember, love can be  fickle and change as quickly as the seasons (thank you Creative Writing 101).

    Is it possible to like a singing group and not realize it? If so, I really like T-ara, I guess. I’ve always been a fan of their voices and their music (their first album has some criminally underrated songs, curse that ‘Bo Peep’) but I’ve never connected to them as performers. ‘Why Are You Being Like This’ is my jam, but dang it if most of that group looks near catatonic on stage. Ah, I might just be hating on the choreography, which, hate.

    Younha is dressed like little Cosette from Les Miserables and she is singing on her little spotlight of woe. I have to admit though, my jaded little heart clenches a bit at the title,’Take Care of My Boyfriend.’ How selfless, little Younha-Cosette!

    My brain is unable to detect any discernible melody in this song, but I give Seo In-Young points for style, and having charismatic dancers.

    S.M. The Ballad are bad as hell (as in good). I miss that whole cocky, ‘I can sing my ass off I ‘m going to keep screaming in your ear and you’re going to like it’ attitude from male R&B groups in the U.S.  From groups that can actually sing! Glasses and Trench-coat Guy (feel free to correct me on his name) is clearly the Samuel L. Jackson of the group. Love. It.

    I’m sorry, I just can’t get into Sistar. I appreciate the ‘Girl Power’ message, their dance skills and Hyorim’s vocals. But something isn’t clicking with that group. Perhaps it’s the jolting change in concepts – say what you will about SNSD, 2NE1 or even Wonder Girls, but these groups have a definite style and identity. Three singles later, Sistar, I just don’t know.

    IU is cute. She is so impossibly cute, even her stages radiate an aura of charm. Good thing she’s so talented, or she’d be overdue a Nermal-kick from me.

    Hey BEAST, how does it feel to be the only major active boy group in kpop right now? Also, the chibi-BEAST in the background? Cute.

    Well now, KARA, who would’ve thought? KARA is like the anti-T-ara for me – I’ve never found them especially talented vocally, or cared  much for their music, but they really do ‘click’ as a group. It’s amazing how a surplus of certain qualities can compensate for the lack of others.

    I don’t know why but something about Gyuri’s hair tickles me; it’s not the hair color, it just is. But it fits Gyuri like a glove.

    Well, that was a bit of a sabbatical, but year-end festivities are always a good time to climb back into the thick of things. Plus, there is so much to look forward to (GD*TOP*). As well as to mock, laugh and make fun of. But always with love.

    Stay warm and stay safe kpop fans!