Welcome to yet another weekly music show recap! It’s the third week of January, and what I like about music shows so early on in the year is how there are very few big names promoting out there at the moment, allowing for some of the newer or lesser known groups to have their time to shine. EXID continued their winning streak on this week’s M! Countdown and Music Bank, while Jonghyun gained his first win on Show! Music Core. Below are some of the noteworthy performances from the week in my opinion; readers, feel free to suggest yours in the comments below. 

“Glass Bead,” G-Friend, MBC Show! Music Core, January 17, 2015

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0A0u4ow124]

G-Friend is the newest girl group to debut in K-pop, and like many others, this group only initially caught my eye because of their (unoriginal) group name, and SinB, who to some extent resembles SNSD’s Jessica. However, the group’s debut stages this week did strike me as very enjoyable. “Glass Bead” is a catchy song with traces of J-pop influence. Although the choreography contained subtle similarities to SNSD’s “Into the New World,” I loved it for the fact that it was simple but full of energy. G-Friend overall delivered a fresh performance, and Eunha’s small mistake at 0:48 only reinforces the rookie feeling the group exudes, in a good way.

“Fire,” Mad Clown (ft. Jinsil of Mad Soul Child), KBS Music Bank, January 16, 2015

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-wbxYyljf8]

“Fire” is a fantastic song and marks another successful collaboration on the part of Mad Clown. He and Jinsil’s contrasting voices — the former’s powerful rapping and the latter’s sultry vocals — are smoothly melded in this jazzy hip hop track, creating an alluring stage for viewers. In the background, the dance that is performed is incredibly on point as well. 

“Phone Number,” Tahiti, SBS MTV The Show, January 14, 2015

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2rMxtEfUuM]

I actually had very mixed feelings about this performance, for a number of reasons. On one hand, I love the song: it suits the members’ deep voices, and the repetition in the refrain makes it stick in one’s head. What also impressed me greatly was Jerry’s explosive vocals and the level of confidence the group exuded in their performance. On the other hand, I don’t know what to think about the blatant touching movements in the choreography, more specifically in the chorus. The whole miming a phone with one hand while sliding the other along the lower half of one’s body dance doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. 

“Déjà-Boo,” Jonghyun, MBC Show! Music Core, January 17, 2015

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEGCbTqg3pU]

Here I present you with the live stage preceding Jonghyun’s first win this week. My first impression of “Déjà-Boo” as a song was that it is slick, and that same feeling is not lost in this performance. The choreography is smart (if that makes any sense) and its execution clean. The song’s composition and the tone of Jonghyun’s voice gives “Déjà-boo” a relatively sexy sound, but there are also moments during the stage which seem to be more on the cute side, including the dance during the “lalalala” part of the song and Jonghyun’s fan service at the beginning.

“No Cool I’m Sorry,” Yoo Se-yoon and Gilgu Bonggu, KBS Yu Hui-yeol’s Sketchbook, January 16, 2015

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhZx9JHBg9w]

Before seeing this stage I never knew Yoo Se-yoon was part of a hip hop duo called UV, but it turns out they were the original singers of this song. I included this rendition of “No Cool I’m Sorry” as my final addition to the list, as while the original song was a subdued hip hop track with comical lyrics (and a comical MV if you search it up), the trio’s performance here turns it into a charismatic ballad. Gilgu Bonggu’s voices harmonise beautifully as usual, and Yoo Se-yoon’s rapping is well complemented by the two singers.

(Images via MBC, YouTube [1] [2] [3])