Hallyu Word of the Day #2

Street Food in Seoul is very popular – a result of the ppalli, ppalli mindset

This is a follow up to Hallyu Word of the Day #1 wherein I had mentioned that 빨리 is one of the first words Korean learners come to know. Maybe it is the incessant ‘빨리,빨리!’ heard around – in restaurants particularly, or the famed Korean need for haste – but 빨리 is definitely registered quickly in the non-Korean’s dictionary.

So, what exactly am I talking about? 빨리 means quickly, literally – and is used as a standalone phrase (similar to 사랑해 in that respect) to mean ‘Hurry Up!’. Pronounced as Ppa-lli (where the L sound is between an L and an R really), this is often repeated – 빨리, 빨리! has a better effect than the solitary 빨리, I am told…

Korean haste is famed – and critiqued much too – and it’s so-called ‘ppalli, ppalli’ culture draws a lot of reactions from bloggers all over the world. In fact, I found a lot of interesting reads based on the ‘ppalli, ppalli’ mindset of Korea.

Some I enjoyed reading are:

  • South Koreans call it ppalli ppalli (“hurry hurry”) – doing everything quickly, from leaving planes to eating, walking and driving…. “Ppalli ppalli was the main driving engine behind the nation’s rapid industrialization,” said Yoo Suk-choon, a sociologist at Seoul’s Yonsei University. South Korea was reduced to ashes during the 1950-53 Korean War, but has built itself into the world’s 11th-largest economy.
    However, government officials and social critics blame ppalli ppalli for many ills: traffic jams, corruption, slipshod construction and the reckless expansion by corporations on borrowed money, which proved a disaster during Asia’s 1997-98 financial crisis. Today, after decades of rushing, there are calls for a more leisurely lifestyle.

From Timesizing News.

Ppalli, ppalli is appalling.

Disclaimer : The views represented in the above blogs may not neccesarily reflect the views of the author of this blog.

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Hallyu Word of the Day #1

Since I’m learning Korean myself, I thought it would be interesting to do a Korean word of the day!

The focus, is Hallyu of course, and this so-called ‘Korean wave’ tends to throw specific words at its audience, through its music, dramas, etc.

So, I want to inaugurate, so to speak with a word that practically all Korean learners (and non-learners alike) tends to find themselves getting to know first (although by a few accounts this is 빨리, which we will be coming to later) : 사랑해 (sa – rang – hae), which means I love you (actually, it’s a phrase and a word all in one).

The suffix -요 can be added for politeness to make 사랑해요 (sa-rang-hae-yo).

사랑해, of course being a much-used phrase in K-pop, and other Korean music, not to mention Korean dramas (and drama doesn’t refer to theatre in Korea, it refers to what we call soap operas)

A related word 사랑, means love. If you listen to a lot of Korean music, then you’ll know what I’m talking about – about 50% of the songs in my iTunes have 사랑해/사랑/ 사랑한다 and other variations in their title/lyrics, all derived from the verb 사랑하다 – to love.

A few popular Korean songs with 사랑해 (links lead to MVs in youtube) :

  • Alex & JiSun (duet) – 사랑해 ….a very interesting music video storyline, followed in two parts.
  • Fly To the Sky – 사랑해 ….from their 7th album No limitations
  • Mighty Mouth Feat. Yoon Eun Hye (of Coffee Prince fame) – 사랑해…. this is fairly new
  • Namolla Family Feat. Taein and Kim Kyung Rok of VOS – 사랑해요… Namolla family is a group of comedians, I think, but they’re songs are fairly good – catchy!

You can watch the MV for Alex (Clazziquai) and JiSun (ex-Loveholic)’s duets here:

Part One : Very Hurtful Words (너무 아픈 이말).

Part Two : I Love You (사랑해).

Highly recommended! Really, it’s a MUST WATCH! Genre : fantasy – a guy goes fishing and he reels in something very unusual… And remember to look out for Alex’s and JiSun’s voices – very beautiful. And, remember it’s a continuous storyline, so watch part one then two, and no – it’s not horror/scary – I don’t really like that genre that much…

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It’s Out! MV for Epik High – Breakdown

The MV for Breakdown is out… and well, it’s different.

I wouldn’t recommend the faint of heart to watch it. The members get beaten to a pulp, not a pretty sight.

The three members are rebels(?), if I understand correctly, and some guys in suits watch them get tortured (while maliciously enjoying it, I may add). In the final scene, they are placed in chairs, ready for execution I presume – but, well I won’t spoil it for you…

Again, Tukutz spitting blood, Tablo’s head getting dumped in the toliet – not nice things to watch…

Please take me seriously – NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED. Some of the scenes can be disturbing.

Again, props to Epik High, only they can produce something as different as this. And don’t get me wrong it’s not just pointless violence – in fact the violence can only be seen to be a montage of the emotion in the song…

So much angst…

Watch it here:

Oh, and they’re wearing the same red-and-black suits which they wore to the Dream concert…

DJ Tukutz looking cool at the turntable…!

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Epik High – Breakdown (Repackage)

NAME : Breakdown (Pieces Part One Repackage)

ARTIST : Epik High

RELEASE DATE : 11th June, 2008

GENRE : Hip-Hop/Fusion

LANGUAGE : Korean

Wow! There was absolutely no sign of this coming…

So, basically it consists of the entire Pieces Part One album, along with a remix of Love Love Love, an upbeat hip-hop/electronica fusion-of-sorts track, which gained much popularity as part of their fourth album – Remapping the Human Soul.

TRACK LIST:

01 Breakdown
02 Love Love Love (Astronica Remix) NEW!

03 Be
04 서울, 1:13 AM (Short Piece)(Seoul, 1:13 AM)
05 One (Feat. JiSun)
06 연필깎이 (feat. Kebee)(Pencil Sharpener)
07 Girl (Feat. JinBo)
08 Slave (Short Piece)
09 The Future (Feat. Yankie)
10 20 Fingers (Short Piece) (Feat. DJ Friz)
11 Ignition (Feat. Na Yoon Kwon)
12 Eight By Eight (Feat. Dynamic Duo, Dok2, Double K, TBNY)
13 Decalcomanie
14 Icarus Walks (Short Piece)
15 낙화 (落花) (Fallen Blossoms)
16 우산 (feat. 윤하) (Younha) (Umbrella)
17 당신의 조각들 (feat. 지선) (Jisun) (Your Pieces)
18 B-side 01 : Breakdown (Supreme Mix)
19 B-side 02 : One (Planet Shiver Remix)

So really, there is only one new song – the Astronica *cool name* Remix of the Epik High hit ‘Love Love Love’ – which means only one song for me to rate. Anyway, the remix adds stronger beats to the song, giving it a techno-ish feel. This makes it right at home in Pieces, Part One, given that the general feel of the album is as such… I would give it a 9/10.

And, the cover – random, just like Pieces Part One…

Watch the MV for Love Love Love (Original) here:

With English subtitles. By the way, the song features YoongJin of Casker, an indie electronica group (whose music I highly recommend). The MV posted above has English subtitles.

Lyrics:

밤 12시 술 취해 지친 목소리
새벽 2시 차갑게 꺼진 전화기
아무도 내 맘을 모르죠
I can’t stop Love Love Love
아파도 계속 반복하죠
I can’t stop Love Love Love
있나요 사랑해본 적
영화처럼 첫 눈에 반해본 적
전화기를 붙들고 밤새본 적
세상에 자랑해본 적
쏟아지는 비속에서
기다려본 적
그를 향해 미친듯이
달려본 적
몰래 지켜본적 미쳐본적
다 보면서도 못본 척
있겠죠 사랑해본 적
기념일 때문에 가난해본 적
잘하고도 미안해 말해본 적
연애편지로 날 새본 적
가족과의 약속을 미뤄본 적
아프지말라 신께 빌어본 적
친굴 피해본 적 잃어본 적
가는 뒷모습 지켜본 적
can’t stop love
미친듯 사랑했는데 왜
정말 난 잘해줬는데 왜
모든걸 다 줬었는데
you got me going crazy
can’t stop love
죽도록 사랑했는데 왜
내 몸과 맘을 다 줬는데
모든걸 잃어버렸는데 어떡해
아무도 내 맘을 모르죠
I can’t stop

Love Love Love
아파도 계속 반복하죠
I can’t stop Love Love Love
있나요 이별해본 적
빗물에 화장을 지워내본 적
긴 생머리 잘라내본 적
끊은 담배를 쥐어본 적
혹시라도 마주칠까
자릴 피해본 적
보내지도 못할 편지 적어본 적
술에 만취되서 전화 걸어본 적
여보세요 입이 얼어본 적
있겠죠 이별해본 적
사랑했던 만큼 미워해본 적
읽지도 못한 편지 찢어본 적
잊지도 못할
전화번호 지워본 적
기념일을 혼자 챙겨본 적
사진들을 다 불태워본 적
이 세상에 모든 이별 노래가
당신의 얘길꺼라 생각해본 적
can’t stop love
미친듯 사랑했는데 왜
정말 난 잘해줬는데 왜
모든걸 다 줬었는데
you got me going crazy
can’t stop love
죽도록 사랑했는데 왜
내 몸과 맘을 다 줬는데
모든걸 잃어버렸는데 어떡해
아무도 내 맘을 모르죠
I can’t stop Love Love Love
아파도 계속 반복하죠
I can’t stop Love Love Love

바보처럼 울고 또 술에 취하고
친구를 붙잡고 그 사람을 욕하고
시간이 지나고 또 술에 취하고
전화기를 붙잡고 say love
아무도 내 맘을 모르죠
I can’t stop Love Love Love
아파도 계속 반복하죠
I can’t stop Love Love Love
아무도 내 맘을 모르죠
사실은 당신만 모르죠
아파도 계속 반복하죠
이러다 언젠가 다시 마주치죠

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Epik High – Dream Concert 2008 Performance – Breakdown

Epik High at the Dream Concert, 2008

They performed two songs from Pieces Part One – One and Breakdown (the song that they’re going to be promoting next). Unfortunately SBS aired just Breakdown (really wanted to catch their performance of One). Anyway, it was a power-packed performance as usual… Epik High always manages to inject so much energy into the crowd!

Worth watching… wish I was there!

Anyway, you can watch it here:

Oh, and the song they’re promoting next is Breakdown, which means a MV will soon be released for it. Hope it will be good!

So much angst in Breakdown…

I don’t wanna think like you, and
I don’t wanna stink like you, and
I wanna be me, so break it down

Hope the video is awesome…!

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Review : T.G.U.S – Vol.1 – God of Harmony

NAME : TGUS Vol.1 – God of Harmony

ARTIST : TGUS (which stands for The Guys Using Sound, which sounds really… weird, not to mention fobby)

RELEASE DATE : 10th June, 2008.

LANGUAGE : Korean

GENRE : Ballad

I must admit that I knew next to nothing about these guys before they released this album. Heck, I didn’t really know them even after they released this album. A friend of mine recommended it to me, and I was really surprised by their beautiful voices. This is one group I think we should all be watching out for.

This group is all male and has four members. The members – Hang Wan Hui, Park Sang Jun, Song Young Min and Lee Si Hyeon (credits to T.G.U.S. official thread @soompi for members names) were all part of unsuccessful groups, who later teamed up to form T.G.U.S. This group’s USP is vocal harmonization (smoothly melding voices together to produce a clear sound, mainly used in acapella), which I found to be a very pleasing aspect of this album.

They are a new group and have participated in the SBS Hope (Hwimang) Single with Jewelry, SS501, SNSD, Brown Eyed Girls, Super Junior and Lee Hyun (5tion). Besides this, I couldn’t find a lot of information about them, no matter how hard I searched.

TRACK LIST :

01 Intro
02 I Believe In (Title)
03 가슴이 시키는 대로
04 One Last Kiss
05 Feel So Good
06 너의 뒤에서
07 Tonight
08 말해
09 무지개
10 Player
11 눈을감아
12 말하지 못한…
13 Outro

Track by track

Track 1: (9/10) I don’t really care for intro tracks – let alone rate them, but this one really makes you get up and take notice of the guys! Really nice…

Track 2: (9/10) This is the title track, a nice R&B ballad. One of the best tracks on the album!

Track 3: (7.5/10) Ballad again, a very emotional song and their vocal talents really shine through on this one.

Track 4:(9/10) This son, for some strange reminds me of 90’s ballads (by popular boy-bands of that time (western, not Korean)). Anyway, I like it a lot. Recommended.

Track 5: (6/10) A faster song to break the monotony of ballads. It doesn’t really stand out to me though…

Track 6: (8/10) R&B ballad again. Nice…

Track 7: (9/10) This is where they capitalize on both individual as well as group strengths. Easily one of the best on the album.

Track 8:(6/10) Again a faster pace, a faster beat… Not that great though, I’m beginning to get the feeling that they should stick to ballads, but I don’t know… it doesn’t seem that they are bad at it, seems more like the song isn’t good enough…

Track 9: (8.5/10) I like this song. Actually, it reminds of some Westlife song but I can’t remember which. It features a female artist, but I don’t know who…

Track 10: (6.5/10) Faster paced, not that great – haven’t we heard that before?

Track 11: (8/10) R&B ballad, I’m relieved that they’re back to this. It’s really beautiful. Listen to it to see how well they’re voices go together.

Track 12 : (8/10) A really mellow track…

Track 13 : (?/10)Outro, disappointing after listening to the great intro track. It’s just a girl mumbling in Chinese, not what I expected…

VERDICT: These guys are really good. Overall, I would give them 7/10, which is great for a début album. I hope they do well because they seem to be genuinely talented. Here’s wishing them luck!

TRACKS TO WATCH OUT FOR : Tracks 1,2,4,7,9.

I couldn’t find the video for their title track, but here’s a video of them singing Thank You (originally by Boyz II Men). It’s really sweet, check it out!

I heard Sohn Ho Young stars in the video… Looking forward to it!

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Weekly Feature – Tying up Loose Ends – Korean Music – I

First week of June – a lot of interesting developments took place this week, eg. news about Alex’s, Lee Jung’s and Sung Si Kyung’s album releases, not to mention some new finds on my part, and of course the Dream concert.

For the uninitiated, the Dream concert is an annual Korean event when the industry (or at least half of it – the famous ones) gather in honour of the cause against music piracy. This year’s event saw stars like Epik High, SS501, Super Junior, MC Mong, DBSK, Maya, Jewelry, Typhoon, AST’ 1, SHINee, Peter, SNSD, Buga Kingz , Wonder Girls, Mighty Mouth and Choo Seung Hoon. That makes it the largest annual live concert in Korea. I couldn’t catch it, as always, though I had a good time reading about it on Popseoul (the comments are the most interesting bit – where else do you get to see motley fans of motley idol groups trade words like fire tipped arrows in a Battle Royale). Anyway, click here to read Popseoul’s coverage (And while you’re there, do have a look at the ridiculous picture of Seo In-Young posted there, it’s hilarious! (Not meaning to offend any Jewelry fans))

Anyway, the above picture is of Epik High arriving at the Dream Concert, 2008.

I came across a LOT of new music – some great and for some, terrible would be an understatement. And to imagine the irony, when I was looking through the music I had accumulated through the week, I found some very well known artists having the worst songs, and some – virtually unknown, yet having the best music there was (I know that had a LOT of grammatical errors, but I hope you understood the point I’m inarticulately trying get get across…). TGUS, Trans Fixion, Soulzean, MK, Orifeel…ing, Nell (for releasing 1분만 닥쳐줄래요!) pleasantly surprised me. And the only one I knew well was Nell, I had a faint idea about Orifeel…ing and TGUS, but besides that, I hadn’t even heard of these wonderful artists. I also mildly enjoyed F.T Island’s Japanese debut album, and Big Bang’s With U Mini Album.

On the other hand, the downers for me this week were SuJu-H’s Cooking? Cooking! (Not that I was expecting much, but I just wanted to be pleasantly surprised, despite the skepticism)… just too happy (with an exclamation mark for added emphasis) for me, it was too upbeat/candy-coated/sugary/saccharine, unfortunately. The Wonder Girls’ So hot single was not great either, though I must admit the title song is catchy (if a little narcissistic). So except the title song, I wouldn’t really recommend any other song on the single. However, at this point I must mention that the rap version (MV version) of Tell Me sounds like a big improvement over the original, in fact my favourite part of Tell Me is YooBin’s rap. Don’t really like the abundance of leopard print though…

My picks this week (NOT in any particular order):

1. Epik High – One (Band Ver.)

2. Nell – 멀어지다

3. T (Yoon MiRae) – Baby Bye Bye (From Rhapsody Part Two Digital Single with Drunken Tiger)

4. Trans Fixion – Radio (Feat. Xeno) (still don’t know where to get the rest of this, but I’m looking)

5. Soulzean -이번 한번만 (feat. Riaa)

6. MK – 사랑이라서 (feat.Roserael)

7. TGUS – I Believe In

8. F.T Island – Soyogi

9. Orifeel…ing – 슬픈 영혼 (By Kai, 장치열, 나리)

10. Orifeel…ing – 너무 늦어서 (By MK, 김미란)

I’m so gonna buy Orifeel…ing’s album, but I’d be damned if I find it on Yesasia… Actually I can’t find it anywhere…

Anyway, have a great week ahead, everyone!

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