Hey there Seoulbeaters! We’re now nearing February’s end, but the news and scandals keep coming!

This week the hot topic seems to be netizens, and their general overreaction/lack of reaction over serious issues. We had quite a few good points raised, so I encourage all of you to read through the discussions on the article themselves.

stephany oxford on Counterpoint: Fan Generated News — Did Micky Really Hit a Fan?

I’ve always been stunned by the high hypocrisy in the Kpop fandom…But what is more stunning is the reaction of international fans rather than Korean fans or Asians in general…we are the first to jump on Korean netizens when they bash/destroy an idol but we are not better than them. The so called feminism views that some persons had is highly disturbing! It seems like those persons don’t even know what the femenist movement is and only threw some genderized mentions in there for the sake of it, because HEY we’re women, we know everything!

Saying that a man should never hit a woman even if the woman did something to him first it’s rejecting the whole point of equality between genders.Pretending to defend some rights by throwing the female card only when it’s convenient it’s disturbing. As a female, thanks, but no thanks!

As a woman, I reject all types of violence if its clearly unjustified but that’s all!
From my point of view, after seeing all the videos out there (maybe there are more but who knows), it’s clear(for me) that the fan hit/wanted to hit him repeatedly and he reacted in a way that it might seem condemning but I call it self-defense! If  I hit a man in his balls/face for example for the mere pleasure of doing it than I have to expect the man to react the same way I did , not more and not less!

Another thing is the actual bashing in twitter or fandoms. I’m speechless about the free time that some fans have in order to edit/cut/blurry/spread the video (because let’s face it, the videos are a poor attempt in  movie-maker LOL)!
They don’t have school, family, work or something like that? I don’t know, most people have something called a life outside and uses K-pop has a way of relaxing after their daily choruses. But these days I’ve seen people (international fans), saying things like “Go die”, “Let’s stay all day in twitter, sending this video”, “Let’s destroy JYJ” “Traitors would always be traitors” etc…
This,a few years ago, was something unimaginable but now it’s…sigh I don’t have words(I’m only talking about the international fandom, not the Korean, that’s totally another world)!

After all this rant, I just want to say that at the end of the day, what I listen is their music and not their life or what they do in their free time (If I actually see some variety shows and I like their so called personality it’s just a plus) If the life of the artist would influence me in my choice/preference of music/dramas/films/movies, I can actually say that I wouldn’t listen or see  more than a half of the world entertainment. None of them are angels and I still listen their music because it entertains me! Period!

newwildlife in Block B’s Trolling: This Time It’s Gone Too Far

To those who think that Nichkhun/Chansung/ Junho shouldn’t tweet.
This accountability is a double-edged sword. If all eyes are upon Nichkhun, through his social media profile, then what he is silent about is just as important as what he chooses to share. I believe this is one of the main reasons why Nichkhun is so vocal about the travesties in Japan, Philippines, and Thailand; if he did not speak up when he had access to such a visible bulletin (and to the fans residing in the countries who read it), then his silence could easily be construed as apathy, disregard, arrogance, and ignorance. Could JYP and 2PM afford to have its poster child of propriety act like an obtuse, self-absorbed diva, only tweeting about his new kicks and how badass he looked in such-and-such photoshoot?

I believe Nichkhun and his ever watchful management are too intelligent to have him tweet about Block B as if it was spurred by a careless act of momentary anger. The carefully-crafted, accompanying tweets from Junho and Chansung are indicative of that. Most likely, the behavior of Block B in the interview was jarring enough that Nichkhun felt that he had to make a statement as a public figure, as his silence would have been unfavorable to his role as the unofficial ambassador of Hallyu to the Thai people. Further, Junho’s and Chansung’s tweets were meticulously inserted to shield Nichkhun from the us-them mentality that would have undoubtedly caught on fire due to the non-Korean heritage of the originator…not to mention the cultural differences between the two countries.

Arbitrary_greay on Hello to Idol Singer-Songwriters

My main stance on this issue is that the job of an idol, to me, is to be entertaining by any means necessary, whether through performance, variety, or producing music. If they entertain me through music that they created themselves, good for them. But is it important that idols are involved in the production process? If they’re entertaining in other ways, hell no. “Idol” and “singer-songwriter” are not mutually exclusive jobs, but by no means is the latter a subset or requirement of the former. If idols want to become singer-songwriters, then they can graduate from being an idol to being a singer-songwriter. If they want to keep being idols, I’m okay with that too. I am a big fan of some of those “talentless” Jpop idols, after all.(From a documentary I watched, they actually put a lot of thought into how exactly they perform, for how unpolished they look.) Good music or even performance are sometimes optional, although it helps a lot for my fandom. It just so happens that idols are expected to release music, too.

Classical musicians are very rarely involved in the “production” of their music other than performing it. Conductors do even less for the big orchestras that already know their music well, but get all of the credit for the success of the piece. Actually I find it annoying when a conductor screws up a good piece by attempting to put their own interpretation on it.(And get a standing ovation for it anyways, grrr.) Similarly, the crooner genre is built entirely on covers of old standards. Name one self-penned Sinatra song. Nat King Cole wrote some of his own songs, but his claims to fame were covers of “The Christmas Song” and “Unforgettable.” One could argue that American artists’ talents were judged by whether they were worthy to participate in Tony Bennett’s duets album, still entirely composed of covers of old classics.  Also, Whitney Houston’s(RIP) signature “I Will Always Love You” is a cover of Dolly Parton. That doesn’t make her any less amazing of an artist, even without the rest of her career for context. I don’t see why it should be any different for idols.

The other thing is simply quality control. SM says that they put the member-penned lyrics up against professionally penned-lyrics, hence why fewer of their submissions make it to release, which I agree with, because self-written =/= good. (Although it makes me wonder how bad Teddy Riley’s written rap was if they went with Tiffany’s.) The credibility inherently accorded to the singer-songwriter genre has actually made me slightly biased against the genre. First, see my first point above about classical musicians,  and secondly, it’s not like any of these singer-songwriters are reaching the composition levels of self-performing composers like Sarasate, Uehara Hiromi, or even the improvisations of Gabrielo Montero. I’d rather hear a well-manufactured piece fronted by a good performer than some of the singer-songwriter crap coming from fraternity garage bands. (Conversely, some of the prestige inherently accorded to classical music is misplaced, too, and there are magnificent singer-songwriter compositions/performances. Classical music was pop music back in the day, but they just have the advantage of hundreds of years to weed out the stinkers and leave only the masterpieces behind.)

Statements like “anything lower than this standard seemed disingenuous” also always rub me the wrong way because the importance of sincerity in music in the first place is dubious. Just look at Rossini, who never wrote a day in his life after he got rich. The majority of Bach and Mozart pieces were also cranked out for money. Even if the composers had inspirational genius to spare and the results were brilliant, doesn’t mean that the original intent was sincere at all. The same goes for the master producers and songwriters behind today’s music. The songs of the likes of RedOne, Max Martin, E-Tribe, and Yasushi Akimoto shouldn’t be discounted just for being “disingenuous.” Furthermore, why then do actors get a pass for when they don’t participate in script-writing, directing, cinematography, etc.? Or on stage, where most actors don’t write the script or songs in musicals. Why aren’t they “disingenuous?” I know you may not have this belief anymore, Dana, given your current acceptance of pop, but I just have to express some of my frustrations with that kind of sentiment anyways.

CJux on Not Quite Speeding — Not Yet

I share your feelings regarding CCM: I am still not a fan, although lately T-ara has been growing on me and it was a pleasant experience seeing them in Paris.But I disagree with you on SPEED’s remake. It was a huge disappointment to me. I enjoyed Lovey Dovey as a refreshing dance club song, and as a well-executed mixture between the flowery side of K-pop and the excess of shuffling (although I admit, it’s not a song for everybody’s tastes). And when I enjoy a song (especially a song that I still believe there’s a room for improvement), I also tend to enjoy remakes even more.

But this wasn’t the case. First, the background music sounds like an odd mixture between trance beats and the kind of music you’d ear in dodgem tracks [is that how you say in English?]. I’d said this is the cheap result after playing with Windows Media Player a few hours. Also, the rhythm of the music seems sometimes going off-track, as it evolves independently of their singing, sometimes overlapping their voices. There are parts of the music that literally sound like a bunch of noise, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the producers’ intention. Overall, it looks like a mess, and sounds like a mess to me. While I agree that SPEED’s voices sound better, the overuse of rap added to this huge electronic annoyance tires my ears, and ironically, makes me prefer the high-pitched tone of T-ara’s singing, as I feel it merges better with the consistency of the sound.

The MV is even worse than the song itself, mostly for reasons you already stated. I guess they are using T-ara’s Lovey Dovey success to promote this new subgroup, but the execution was terrible. They could as well turn Lovey Dovey into a ballad, or give a more manly feeling to the song by inserting some hard electronic or industrial sounds, but in the end they only managed to produce yet another generic dance song, but weaker than the original.

dana2299 on The Ups and Downs of Fan Club Names

Shouldn’t f(x)’s fan’s be called the Integrals? Actually, I think that would be a better name for the fans, with the whole area under f(x)=the collective fans.
And the derivatives/differentiatials will be the antis because they’re tangents, meeting at a point then flying off again XD

And that’s a wrap for this edition of Comments of the Week! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and stay fabulous!