Jo Kwon Mini Fan Meeting

I was lucky enough to be picked to attend Jo Kwon’s (singer of 2AM, musical actor) fan meeting at his cereal cafe – Midnight in Seoul – a couple weeks ago. The meeting was to celebrate the 9th anniversary of his debut.

I applied on the 2AM Daum cafe. I was a bit apprehensive because I’m not 100% confident about my Korean skills, but also meeting someone I admire was intimidating too. Nonetheless I applied and I went.

It was a pretty chill affair, although the weather itself was far from chilly. It’s summer which means heat, humidity, and the rainy season. Luckily the rain wasn’t a problem… until I had to go home anyway.

SONY DSC

It was held just outside Midnight In Seoul which is the cereal cafe Jo Kwon runs (co-runs? co-owns? The place was originally run by other people, I believe). About 30-35 fans total sat outside in the outdoor seating area while we waited. Actually, Jo Kwon came in rather nonchalantly. His parents and aunts were waiting inside, so he sat with them for a bit.

SONY DSC

The whole event took about 30-40 minutes. He greeted us and answered questions we wrote on memo notes. My question was what’s his favorite musical, but he answered all the ones he has been in and one or two others lol. So actually I don’t know if it was interpreted as “What’s your favorite” or “What’s your favorite that you’ve done”. By the way, he said he’s working on a new solo album. No word yet on when it’ll be released since he’s currently acting in the musical “Evil Dead” in Seoul.

He then showed us how to make one of the cereal specials that’s on the menu in the cafe. We also each got a chance to go up and say hi/get a signature. I was pretty nervous, but it turned out okay.

That was pretty much the end of the event. A few people got selfies with him, but he looked kinda busy so not many did it. I thought he’d pack up and leave, but he actually stuck around and worked at the cafe! Granted, there were other staff members, but he helped here and there. I ended up buying one the menu items which ended up being pure sugar.

SONY DSC

See? Tasty, but holy cow that’s just all sugar right there.

Now quite a bit after the event, maybe 30 minutes or so, I ended up getting a selfie with Jo Kwon. I had stayed to snack and also because the rain got kinda heavy. I didn’t really feel like walking in the rain (I ended up having to anyway). I felt bad about asking for a photo because he looked pretty tired, and I think he was packing up to leave. He was very kind, though, and obliged to take a photo.

Quick note: The cafe itself is nice. It’s actually split into 2 sections which are on either side of the building entrance, but share the outdoor seating area. I didn’t partake in any other food, so I’m curious about the privately labeled cereal. You can actually order it on their website, so I may give that a go one of these days.

You can check out Midnight in Seoul on Instagram and their website. If you’re in Seoul it may be fun to head on over. You may see Jo Kwon or other celebs!

Is It Okay To Be in 2 Kpop Fan Clubs?

There’s no question that Kpop fans can have a fierce loyalty to their favorite groups. From fansite managers, to people who run Tumblrs, people who go to pretty much every event and take videos, and people who buy multiples of CDs just to get into a fan sign event. Those people are super into their groups!

But are we, as fans, allowed to have more than one bias? Or are we supposed to swear unfailing loyalty to our one ultimate group/singer?

I was kind of wondering this when I saw that GOT7 was having their 3rd recruitment for IGOT7s. I’ve been an official Hottest for about 4-5 years now. Even having moved back home I still sign up when the new period starts. However, last year I had been considering being an IGOT7 too. I didn’t sign-up then, though, because I didn’t feel super into GOT7 at the time. Not enough to shell out around $60 anyway. This year was different! I’ve been getting more into the group and I decided to just go for it.

And, really, we shouldn’t feel hesitation in terms of whether it’s “okay” to be part of 2 fan clubs. Why not? We international fans almost never get to see our groups live anyway. We’re just doing it to support them.

I do get that there are people who only want to support one group, and that’s cool too. You want to put your energy into that group. As for me, I’m mostly a casual fan of many many groups, though I have a weakness for people from JYPE obviously haha. I’ll cheer for the big guys along with the nugus if I like the group.

Anyway, my point (along with a few others in the video) is that you can like as many groups as you want. Just respect each other, respect the artists, and enjoy the music! Because that’s what it’s really about.

NYAN 3/6/16 GALAXY QUEST

This week on Not Your Average Netizens, can K-pop fans somehow make themselves look crazier and more insane than they already are? The answer will surprise you! Also, we reluctantly accept GFriend as next in line to SNSD’s throne and kneel at the altar of Mamamoo. More importantly, a boatload of MVs are just sitting waiting for our ridicule and review so, we’re mostly gonna do that this episode.

MVs reviewed:

[Mv] Ladies’ Code – Galaxy
브레이브걸스 (Brave Girls) – 변했어 MV
[MV] NU’EST(뉴이스트) _ OVERCOME(여왕의 기사)
CLC(씨엘씨) – ‘예뻐지게(High Heels)’ MV Short Ver.
TAEMIN 태민_Press Your Number_Performance Video Ver.1
마마무 (MAMAMOO) – 넌 is 뭔들 (You’re the best) MV
ASTRO (아스트로) – 장화 신은 고양이 (Cat’s Eye) MV
[MV] Rainbow(레인보우) – Whoo Music Video
[MV] VOISPER(보이스퍼) _ In your voice(그대 목소리로 말해줘)
[MV] 우주소녀(WJSN)(COSMIC GIRLS) _ Mo Mo Mo (모모모)
[Debut Stage] 160225 우주소녀 (WJSN (COSMIC GIRLS)) – Catch Me (캐치미) @ 엠카운트다운 M! Countdown

*I’m finally back for an episode! This time it’s ladies’ night with plenty of MVs to look at.

New Year, New K-pop Exercise Playlist

Can’t deny it, I was slacking over the holidays in regards to working out. But here we are, a new year, and it’s time to get back in the game.

I did a K-pop exercise playlist quite a while ago, so I’d say we’re about due for a reboot. I picked 10 songs from my current running playlist that I think you’ll enjoy (plus a few that didn’t quite make the list).

1. 4Minute – Crazy

2. SNSD – Love & Girls

3. SISTAR – Shake It

4.  Red Velvet – Dumb Dumb

5. MYNAME – 너무 very 막

6. Block B – Her

7. Brown Eyed Girls – Hot Shot

8. 15& – Sugar

9. KARA – Mamma Mia

10. Big Bang – Bang Bang Bang!

Honorable Mentions:

EXID – Up & Down
EXO – Growl
f(x) – Red Light
Super Junior – SPY
2PM – Go Crazy!

I do rotate songs in and out, but a lot of songs have stayed on my playlist for a really time. I guess they have staying power!

NYAN – Best of 2015

Well, 2015 is past us, 2016 is here. So some of us at NYAN did a 2015 best of show to wrap things up.

Before the show I went to look at all the releases that came out last year and, holy cow, there was a lot! So many I forgot about. I had a hard time choosing my best-ofs and I probably left too many out. Also Tim noticed my SHINee bias which I was somewhat oblivious to haha. I’ll try to branch out more.

We also played a little Cards Against Humanity a la Kpop (from KSoul Magazine). We’ll have to add to the deck in the future because I think it could be a funny/silly thing to play once in a while.

Thank you all for listening! I know not everyone agrees with the people on the podcast, and we have strong opinions, but thank you for keeping an open mind. The great thing about this community is that there are so many fans and so many groups/singers to be a fan of. We may not all love the same people, but hopefully we can listen to each other and appreciate different view points. 🙂

Cheers to 2016!

F(x) “4 Walls” Spazz Podcast with NYAN

I’m happy I get to share a new (and hopefully reoccurring) project with all of you! I recorded my first podcast with the fine people of Not Your Average Netizens yesterday.

We spazzed over f(x)’s “4 Walls” – both the MV and album. I think Shannon conveyed all da feels best lol. I don’t often get to spaz with people over Kpop so I’m not as vocal as I could be.

Thank you, Ashe and Shannon, for having me. I’m looking forward to having the chance to record more with my fellow fans.

Got7 Fan Meeting in Chicago

I had an amazing time last weekend. Y’know why? Because I got to see Got7 in person in Chicago!

I drove down by myself Friday afternoon. I knew I wouldn’t be near the front of the line because when I woke up at 9 that morning I saw on Facebook that about 50-60 fans were already in line. Wow! That’s dedication. By the time I arrived at 2 the line went around the block. Just over 200 fans were already ahead of me. I had the pleasure of sitting near some nice gals (2 from Milwaukee like me) as we all waited. Some fans were playing music, others were handing out fanclub photos of the boys and hearts that said “Got7” for us to hold up, and a couple filmed videos.

We had to endure some rain for quite awhile. Still, we waited knowing we would be treated to a great show once we were in. Rain (and poor management by the promoter Jazzy Group) could not dampen spirits for too long once we were in and the boys took the stage. Got7 kicked the evening with “Stop Stop It”. I almost couldn’t believe I was seeing them live. They looked like they were having a lot of fun (especially Mark, I noticed). You can tell these guys aren’t rookies anymore — they got it down! They also did “Gimme” and then moved into the talk segment with the MC. They got typical questions like “What do you think of Chicago?” and “what do you want to do while you’re here?”. They also picked fan questions/requests which mostly involved plenty of fan service like singing and sexy dancing. Some very lucky fans got to play Musical Chairs after the Q&A, and the luckiest 2 got some prizes as well as a photo with the group.

Next, they sang “Forever Young” and “너란 Girl (Magnetic)”. We got some more fun talk time with them and the MC (who did a killer job btw). Fans then surprised Bam Bam/the group with a cake. The cake was intended for the whole group, but it also ended up being another birthday surprise for Bam Bam. This was followed by another fan game they dubbed “Identify”. Blindfolded fans had to identify who their secret group member was just by voice. The boys did not make it easy at all! They could have whispered or talked, but they all made random noises….or just breathed haha. One clever fan got it right, though, and guessed Bam Bam.

I felt like the evening went by in a flash because they were already saying the meeting was almost over. Oh noes! They finished up with “A” and luckily came out for an encore. No way they could go without performing “Girls Girls Girls” (my favorite). Then I was delighted and surprised by their group performance of JJ Project’s “Bounce”! We were treated to one more song for the remix of “A”. Then it was truly time to say farewells. How sad!

I can’t believe the whole thing went by so fast. I was so happy to see a group that I’ve liked for awhile, and I was very happy to see how much they all enjoyed performing. Honestly you could tell how much they liked doing what they do. I only hope I don’t have to wait too long to see them in person again.

On to the photos!

(*please do not re-post pictures or remove watermarks. Thank you!)

Thanks to Got7 for being so wonderful. Thanks to all the IGot7s at the event who kept me company and fangirled with me. You guys are great!

December Kpop Giveaway

Hello!

I’m back again with a December giveaway. I’ve been waiting to do this one for about a year, since I had already done a giveaway last December.

I have an copy of EXO’s “Miracles in December” and also 2 posters — which unfortunately got a little beaten up on the edge because they came back with me from Korea.

Anyway! Here’s how you can enter:

– Comment below on the YouTube video or here in the blog post.
– Tell me your favorite thing about winter & if you have a favorite winter Kpop song

– Giveaway closes Dec 19 11:59 PM (US Central time)
– 3 names will be picked via name generator
– Open to anyone, anywhere 🙂
– Make sure your YT/email notifications are on, because I’ll contact the winners either thru reply or message.

Good luck!

(btw here’s one of my favorite winter songs by Urban Zakapa)

Korean College Festival

Time for a throwback vlog!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

When I lived in Daejeon, I lived just 2 bus stops away from Chungnam University. It was really convenient because the area around the university is a popular place for twenty-somethings to hang out (seeing as many students live in the area). At least once a year, the university holds a festival. Actually, many Korean universities have festivals.

The main activities of these festivals are eating and drinking.

SONY DSC

Clubs or departments will set up tents and sell food and refreshments, namely alcohol like beer, soju, and makkeoli. One tent we went in had a 노래방/karaoke machine set up. And I loves me some karaoke!

SONY DSC

There will usually be a performance too. Sometimes students will perform a bit, and after a professional singer will perform as well. When I went this time, it was in 2012 and Geeks and 4Minute performed. Pretty lucky! Though I remember Gayoon was out sick, but it was still fun to see an idol group that close.

SONY DSC

Hip hop duo – Geeks

SONY DSC

4minute

It’s a nice chance to walk around with friends and relax.

SONY DSC

I haven’t seen anything quite like this in the States. If we did, they probably wouldn’t sell alcohol. **Note: It was all students running things so it’s not like anyone was carding people. They assumed everyone is of age.

It’s a fun! I went to one or two other festivals during my time in Korea. One time they event set up a giant closed-off tent as a club. College kids sure know how to party.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Does your university/college do festivals or big events like this? Lemme know! I’m curious how people’s university life differs. 🙂

Thanks for reading!