Lee Seok-hoon Bids Farewell to Fans with New MV

Jellyfish Entertainment teased fans a few days back with news of a ‘special’ EP from Lee Seok-hoon in commemoration of him commencing his compulsory military service on January 22.

The music video echoes real life, with the plot of the video being about longing and separation as the male lead leaves for the military. Poignant and rather fitting as fans see Lee Seok-hoon leave the industry for a while – though I did find it a tad cheesy and on the nose for me, and I do wish Jellyfish Entertainment would allow their artistes to have less literally-interpreted videos.

Digital downloads available from January 11, while physical copies of the EP will be available from January 18.

Jellyfish Ent. Official YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/Jellyfishenter

Lee Seok-hoon to Enlist on January 22

With little fanfare, Lee Seok-hoon’s record label, Jellyfish Entertainment, shares the news of his enlistment to mandatory active military service on January 22, 2013.

After signing to a new label, releasing his second solo mini-album and successfully completing his first series of concerts in 2012, Lee Seok-hoon will bid a temporary farewell to his fans 3 days before his enlistment date at Yonsei University on January 19.

It’s rather poignant that even with his farewell concert, ‘안녕’ (Hello/Goodbye) still gets played into the theme and title so prominently since his first solo release, 인사/Greetings.

Sigh, and so my ‘ideal type’ (이상형) will be away from the limelight for a while serving his nation. I wonder who will fill this Lee Seok-hoon-shaped void in my fangirl heart in the meantime…?


Enlistment news: http://news.nate.com/view/20121231n19567

Farewell concert announcement: http://www.playdb.co.kr/playdb/PlaydbDetail.asp?sReqPlayNo=44006

Official Jellyfish Entertainment Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jellyfishentertainment

Finally! A New Lee Seung Gi Concert DVD

Lee Seung Gi has a special place in my little fangirl heart.

I don’t have the patience/endurance to follow many drama serials or TV programs, but the first Korean TV show that saw me turning in week after week for years is ‘1 Night 2 Days‘ (1N2D), and who doesn’t fall in love with Lee Seung Gi, the resident ‘young, caring, boyishly good-looking’ member of the cast?

[ofpersonalheroes] Lee Seung Gi - Hope Concert 2010 DVD

I think many of his fans have formed their own opinions about the management company he’s with, Hook Entertainment. Late last year, his ‘Hope Concert‘ 2010 ‘Live’ Concert DVD was released, first in Japan, then in Korea, though international orders via external sellers were only available earlier this year. Reading fanblogs, I sensed many weren’t too pleased with the triple threat’s management team releasing a 2010 concert more than a year later.

Personally, I think it’s a calculated step with his management’s plans for him to break further into the Japanese market. The 2010 year-end concert footage hence gave them time to plan, edit, film extra bits and market as he begins his Japanese releases.

I think it’s also a result of over-stretching his scheduled activities. He may have started out as a singer, got popular as a TV host and later ventured into acting. It happened rather quickly and everyone wanted/wants a piece of Lee Seung Gi. How feasibly thin can you spread a white hot star out without the public getting sick of seeing him and without the centerpiece breaking down? Perhaps it’s wise on their part to focus on a set of activities at a time.

In a way, it’s rather poignant that this concert DVD was released around the time when his appearances on 1N2D were coming to an end.

[ofpersonalheroes] 1N2D cast

The two things may seem unrelated other than his performance of “여행을 떠나요” (often translated as ‘Let’s Go on a Vacation!’, which more or less became ‘1N2D’s theme song), yet I do wonder how Lee Seung Gi might stack up without the consistently #1 entertainment TV program.

Without it, would we, the general viewing public, have grown to love this slightly bumbling, sometimes overconfident (especially with directions and his ‘scientific’ cooking methods! *facepalm*) ballad singer as much? Would he be the ‘CF King‘ he is today and be honoured as the ‘Nation’s Son-in-Law‘? Whatever may be made of the Internet and mobile media surpassing traditional media, TV remains a vital medium to endear good-looking young celebs to eyes and hearts everywhere.

How else are mothers and grandmothers going to learn of new young celebs to envisage as their son or son-in-law?

MBLAQ’s Seungho returns to ‘Run’

MBLAQ’s leader, Seungho (also affectionately referred to as ‘Yang Leader’, ‘Yang Panda’ and ‘Yang Chopin’, among other equally adorable nicknames), makes a TV return on March 16, after sustaining a back injury during a pre-recording session at MNet.

Although there is a slight ‘cheese’ factor to the moves, as always, MBLAQ’s choreography is challenging, fun and thematic. After viewing their practice video and a few music show appearances, I found myself enjoying watching the moves.

While ‘This is War’ is more posturing swag, this is actually quite fun and distinctly MBLAQ-ish, although it’s not a great song choice to show off ‘live’ vocals. Sadly, I don’t foresee this to be a great hit, but it’ll stick around in the public’s minds for a bit, at least with the dance, until their new upcoming album.

MBC will probably put up their performance cut in wondrous HQ in a few days, but in the meanwhile, enjoy this:

CNBLUE is back with ‘아직 사랑한다’ (Still in Love)

There’s something about CNBLUE’s sound that I really dig. Honestly, it’s not totally original or fresh, but in the mainstream K-Pop landscape, it stands out.

Their singles have this sing-along catchiness that doesn’t fit into the ‘OMGZZZ CLUB TECH MAD BEATS’ formula or the ‘CAN YOU HEAR THE TEARS IN MY VOICE’ melancholic category either. I don’t know why, but I don’t feel as guilty singing along loudly as I might with other K-Pop groups. Probably because both guys and girls will join in.

But someone, please stop CNBLUE from singing anything in English. (Guys, I’m saying this looking at your Japanese releases. I’m saying this out of love. Really, really.) Though, is it weird that I like the wayYonghwa emphasizes his  ‘ㄹ’ sounds?

BIGBANG’s Comeback, Taeyang Shows Off New Tattoo

Wait, fangirl say what?!

Taeyang is the (second) last BIGBANG member I expected to get inked. But rather fittingly, it’s a HUGE cross.

Something rather baffles me though. I recall the major networks making a fuss about Jay Park, Shinsadong Tiger, Lee Seok Hoon and many others’ tattoos showing or making them cover up, but not Taeyang’s? Even though I’m a BIGBANG fan, I mean, talk about standards!

Though, it’s probably his abs (oh, his glorious, glorious abs) that distracted even the most prude of censors though. I would be too.

‘Bad Boy’ is my favourite single of the 3 they’re promoting concurrently. There’s this mix of K-Pop-influenced hip hop and East Coast sound to it, and of course, T.O.P singing like the boss that he is.

Still not digging the blue hair though. It looks… radioactive.

BIGBANG is Back and Singing the Blues

Do I spot Seungri with an industrial piercing? For real?! (In other news, song is beautiful, I predict much repeated playing on my part.)

I’ve to be honest, even at the expense of much possible hate and mud-slinging, that I’m not a fan of BIGBANG‘s new look when the first concept photos were released.

I think it had something to do with how much the pictures reminded me of my questionable (at best) taste in music in high school. And those are memories I try to suppress as much as it’s healthy to do so.

Someone else out there in the lonely, cold interwebs has to have seen at least some AFI (circa ‘Love Like Winter’) or My Chemical Romance’s (during their The Black Parade period) most presentative features in these pictures too, yes? Yes? No? Am I really alone in this…?


Nevertheless, unleash my inner V.I.P and let the overplaying (of their new songs) commence!

Cast of 2nd Season of ‘1N2D’?

More rumours of the new cast for the upcoming second season of variety show ‘1 Night 2 Days’, or affectionately ‘1N2D’. Although at the rate this is going, I think I’ll just have to find out by turning on the telly come March to see who’s onscreen.

(Top row, left to right: Lee Sugeun, Uhm Tae Woong, Kim Jongmin;
Bottom row, left to right: Kim Seung Woo, Sung Si Kyung, Joo Won)

I’m a HUGE fan of this show for some years, so I’ve been monitoring updates with bated breath. It seems the only consistent point, which most viewers would’ve known for some time now, was that it wasn’t likely Lee Seung-gi was going to stay on for season 2. Heck, mega Hallyu star has a Hong Sisters drama lined up! And perhaps, some military service on the horizon?

(And there can only be so many unglam shots of mega Hallyu star waking up all drowsy and unwashed, his budding bromance with Jongmin, or failing to score some dinner while playing games that only the evil genius that is Na PD-nim can conjure up.) I kid, I kid; I kid because I love.

It seems like the above six names have been thrown around for some time and, come March, could be the faces we see. I like the mix of familiar and new members, and I’m guessing just like the old pairing of Kang Hodong and Lee Sugeun were the main hosting anchors, and now Sugeun with Seung-gi, Sugeun and Seung Woo might be the second season’s main hosting pair. I’m a fan of Sugeun’s comedic antics on the show and of Seung Woo’s acting, so I’m pretty psyched for this oddball fatherly pairing!

Joo Won’s inclusion seems to be a calculated attempt to replace Seung-gi’s position as the ‘young cute thing’, but the new inclusion I’m anticipating the most is the Prince of Ballads, aka Sung Si Kyung!

I found myself enjoying his stint as guest MC on the latest viewers’ tour episodes. He was outgoing and mingled well from the get-go, and had a biting sense of humour that didn’t spare even PD Na. Also, imagine him towering over everyone else, that visual itself will be the source of many jokes to follow…

Source: Nate Entertainment News
Picture credit: as tagged 

MBLAQ Prepares for ‘War’

MBLAQ celebrates their first win of 2012! With Seungho looking mighty ffiinneee~ *coughs* I mean, uh, enjoy their performance in full HD glory:

MBLAQ’s Victory Lap at MNet M! Countdown

MBLAQ – 전쟁이야 (This is War)

Fandom is a strange and enjoyable thing. Previously, I won’t call myself a MBLAQ fan though ‘Cry’ was one of my fave pop songs and music videos of 2011 and they’re also one group that I enjoy watching on variety shows, as each member is entertaining and funny in his own way, something that can’t be said of many other idol groups. Then <<전쟁이야>> (This is War) was released and immediately caught my attention, just like B2ST/BEAST did with ‘Breathe’ and ‘Fiction’.

The music video of ‘This is War’, like their previous music videos, makes ‘overdramatic’ seem like an understatement, and I do think, partly, this is one underlying reason why they aren’t more popular. A bullet scene that’s like a ‘Wanted’ deleted scene, I mean, seriously?!

I enjoy the drama and eyecandy that come with K-Pop videos… but there’s a limit to it. Especially when it comes to grown men with full eye makeup crying in the rain while showing off their abs and  earnestly acting out some half-baked tragic love story.

However, like the choreography for ‘Cry’, ‘This is War’ isn’t as over-choreographed as K-Pop boyband dances tend to get, and focuses on the theme rather than just ‘Hey! Look how well we can memorise the steps!’ It shows off the lyrics and war theme, and I love the flow in this, my fave part is when they fan out after the 2nd chorus and around the 2:20 mark in the performance above. One thing I like about MBLAQ’s dances is how distinctly ‘MBLAQ’ they are.

The past years haven’t been too kind to them and there have been quite a few rookie groups that gained a lot of public attention, and news about them tend to be non-music related in the past years, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for them in 2012. Seeing how they’ve secured their first win of 2012, I hope to see more good things for them this year!

Picture credit: MBLAQ member Seungho’s Twitter

SG Wannabe’s Kim Yong Joon to Delay Military Service

News came about a day back that SG Wannabe’s Kim Yong Joon has been called for military service and representatives from his agency, IS Entermedia Group, have just revealed that he has applied to postpone serving the military.

I guess this comes as no surprise that both he and Lee Seokhoon are due for military service soon. I am hoping that this application to delay military service is an indication that SG Wannabe is releasing their long-awaited album after they complete their last concerts before going on a hiatus.

Their contract with IS Entermedia is coming to an end as well, and truthfully, I’m rather glad. I honestly don’t know too much about them although I’m a fan of their music, but it seems they’ve been sidelined for a while now. Basically, I feel they can do much better, given the right team behind them.

The past year was marked with a distinct lack of public appearances and notable new songs, discounting a few songs done for soundtracks and one digital single that was quietly released, and, of course, the tragic suicide of former member Chae Dong Ha.

I watched Seokhoon’s appearances on ‘100 Points out of 100’‘Immortal Song 2’ and  You Hee-Yeol’s Sketchbook’ with great interest because I’m a huge fan of his voice (that sounded a bit weird), and his ‘church boy’ appeal and slightly off-kilter sense of humour on SBS Radio’s ‘Ten Ten Club’. I would like to see more of him and would be a tad sad if his radio stint is coming to an end, but time compulsory military service waits for no man!

… That didn’t quite roll off the tongue, did it?

Source: Naver News