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Welcome to our first edition of K-Crunch, a great big monthly bowl of Hallyu news. Huzzah!

This is going to be a end of the month segment (rather than weekly) in which we discuss the Hallyu things that interest us. This month’s episode is just covering the important Kpop releases of July, but next month we’re thinking about adding more to the segment, like K-Dramas and K-Movies. We’re still tinkering around with the ideas, but one thing is for sure, there is a lot more Hallyu to Korean then just music…it’s just difficult to cover everything!

Anyhow, we wanted to make this video as also an intro video to help those new to the Hallyu wave, and since we can’t cover every single Kpop video that comes out, we thought we’d give a brief recap of the four biggest songs and one rookie group, in our opinion, for the month. We focused on the votes that came in through our Kpop Music Monday request page, rather than other music charts, because we’re more interested in what our viewers are interested in. And so, the five videos are:

1. 2NE1 – I Am The Best
Back when we first reviewed 2NE1’s “I Am The Best” we were a bit confused by the whole point of the video. At first we just thought that they were playing with fun stuff. But now we see something far more insidious. The song has a very tribal feel to it, and looking at the video through the tribal perspective, it seems like everyone’s trying to appease the terrifying 2NE1 through tribal sacrifices. Here…take my car…take my dog…take this train…please! Just don’t murder us! Yes, we will play the drums for you blindfolded! Yes please have mercy! Oh no don’t murder us with your guns noooOOoooOOooooOOoo!

Yeah. That makes the most sense to us. Kinda disturbing video, but the song’s still pretty awesome. Bombaratatata! Buy the mini album Through iTunes or get it shipped to you via the banner below:

2NE1

2. T-ara – Roly Poly
Cowbell. Cowbell Cowbell cowbell. Needs moaaaaar cowbell. Holy cowbell.

For those of you who are unappreciative of cowbell, WTF is wrong with you? It’s the greatest instrument ever made. It instantly improves a song’s quality. Listen to Roly Poly. It’s fun at first, and you think to yourself, “yeah, I can groove to this song” but then when you hear the Cowbell breakdown, then you instantly shake your ass and dance like a maniac and start kicking things in pure joy. Well, perhaps that’s just Simon…with the kicking things that is…but man, what a GREAT DISCO FEVER SONG!

The only thing we don’t like about the song, is something that we don’t like so much, that we’ve started loving it. That was a mind twister, right? Holy crap, the English “rap” during the cowbell breakdown is…so…hilarious.

I LIKE-A-LIKE-A DIS,
I LIKE-A-LIKE-A-DAT,
I LIKE DIS
I LIKE DAT
…………yeah.

It’s like, they were so into it, and they were building up steam, and then at the end of it they said to themselves “well, wtf do we say now?” and then they just ended it with an awkward “….yeah!” We do that as well. It’s a funny way to break the silence.

Anyhow, even though we laughed at the rap part, this is definitely Simon’s favourite song of the summer, even more than Bubble Pop.

YEAH!

Anyhow, since it’s so raw-diddly-awesome, make sure you get the album via iTunes or through the banner below

T-ara

3. HyunA – Bubble Pop
Ok, had to include this video with its unheard of millions-of-views in just a few days on Youtube. As we said before, great song, terrible video. Correction: terrible video if you’re used to kpop videos having more to them than just gyrating. HyunA herself supposedly doesn’t like the idea of being accused of being too sexy. She says she’s not trying to be too sexy, and she’s trying to be boyish. Umm, seriously? Since when do boys wear dresses, press their boobs together, bend over, and do one giant wipe from the top of their buttcracks all the way to the tops of their crotches? Maybe this was a part of boyhood that we just weren’t aware of. Canada…just didn’t raise us right!

Hogwash. You’re 19, you’ve got a nice body, and the director told you to shake what your mama gave you and you said, “OK!”. But, for all of our criticism of the video, that doesn’t stop us from constantly loading it, minimizing the screen, and listening to the song on full-blast. What a freaking fun song this was. It was a fantastic song for the summer, regardless of how inappropriate the video was.

You can buy the album via iTunes or through the banner below

HyunA

4. MBLAQ – Mona Lisa
It’s funny how your opinions change of songs the more you hear them. Back when we first reviewed it, we were torn. Martina loved it, Simon didn’t. But it’s grown on Simon since (*cough*Martina played it all the time*cough*), and he now finds the accordions a lot catchier than before. (*Martina LAUGHS MANICALLY and pets her evil fluffy cat)

We’re still disappointed by the video though. We still can’t wrap our heads around the concept of “Mona Lisa” existing in this video. The lyrics suggest a girl who is indifferent to their attempts to woo her, not really encouraging or discouraging in a Kindof Mona Lisa-esque manner, but no one is wooing anyone in this video. It’s just cut eye from the beginning to the end. And it doesn’t change the fact that they’re at what looks like, a weird gas station. And of all locations to serenade a girl at, why a gas station? They probably smell like gas. Seriously. Let’s see how good you are at picking up girls if you’ve been pumping gas all day. Perhaps it’s just the fumes that have clearly gotten to their heads. Nonetheless, don’t let the video discouragege you, support the use of accordions in kpop songs and go listen to it! RIGHT NOW! GO!!!

No iTunes links for this one, unfortunately. Come on MBLAQ! Get on iTunes NAO! You can still go through the banner below, though, to get the full CD mailed to you.

MBLAQ

5. Girl’s Day – Hug Me Once.
Oddly, we didn’t hear about this video as much on other sites, on Facebook or Twitter, but maaaan did we get a lot of email requests for this. And we were really meticulous when we looked over the emails as well to make sure there weren’t any spammers. We know who you are, spammy spam spam spam spammerson people, who think that by submitting the form 100 times your vote will count 100 times. Or for those of you who try to be more clever, and change up your email. [email protected], [email protected] Come on! Martina did that once for a Big Bang video, but NEVER AGAIN will we be fooled!

Anyhow, these votes seemed to be genuine. Maybe they got out on some fan site? We’re not sure. All we can say is that we actually loved Girl’s Day “Twinkle Twinkle”…Hajima Hajima! MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA. BUT this song doesn’t really have that same amazing catchiness. It really didn’t do it for us. We’re not really into that whole “cute concept”… especially when it lasts for 5 minutes + overly cute video with finger poked squishy faces and fist scrunching wiggle dances. But what we can appreciate and understand about Girl’s Day is that their sound isn’t really imitative of Western Music. It’s fun and peppy and has that extremely distinct Asian Pop sound to it.

Oddly, we can’t find a banner or an iTunes link for Girl’s Day :( Sorry guise!

And on that note, that’s it for July 2011. We’re still playing around with the format for next month so hopefully by month three we’ll have something more settled upon. If you’ve got anything Hallyu you’d like us to cover for the month of August, we’d love to hear your suggestions :D

ToFebruary
  1. I loooooove the hair translation. That Kanye West thing never gets old, NEVAAAAR!

  2. i have a question.. is it even legal to wear american flag pants….

  3. Like sweet whipped cream you (not sure how this word would be translated. Squirm? Wriggle? Seep) into me. You’re too sweet. Oh no, I like you too much.

  4. Oh Hyuna… thank you for importing the (shorter than short) jean-short-with-pockets-sticking-out trend to Korea… not.

  5. Has anyone noticed that Bubble Pop is like a direct parallel to any Avril Lavigne break-up/you’re such a stupid boy song?

  6. So no more music mondays, but adding to it with some other Korean pop culture stuff? Sounds like fun!

  7. hey simonandmartina! i’ve been waiting for you guise to review K-dramas, coz i am such an addict! but i thought i’d ask you too about your views on the show We Got Married (my friends and i are such big fans of the Goguma couple, so sad they had to end =( anyways, fighting guise! i’ll be looking forward to this! and i agree with @bigbangfosho, City Hunter was daebak! ^^

  8. I love this segment already!!!  Can’t wait for more videos! :)  eatyourkimchi fighting!

  9. cool video, but what about goodbye baby?

  10. I know this isn’t really August, but I think I once saw a LMH picture on your laptop in a Music Monday, so I think you watched City Hunter. If not, IT WAS TOTALLY AMAZING. I think you could finish it in 20 hours in 1 day– it’s that amazing. Would it be ok if you guys did a review for that? I spent almost 30 min. sobbing over the ending, even though I almost never cry for dramas.

  11. actually i like ur article more than ur video XD
    but i liked that ur viewing ur kpop videos u want ^^ 

  12. Ah…so enjoyable to hear and read my views on kpop reflected elsewhere

  13. I reckon you should also have some sort of K-crunch awards at the end of the year
    e.g.
    Best Rookie
    Best Song
    Best Dance (ie How to dance Kpop 2011)
    Best Drama
    Best Engrish in a song
    maybe even fave “like a man” moment
    cutest martina moment?

  14. I also second adding kdramas, etc… It’s kind of hard to decide which kdramas I wanna invest in sometimes ;) I would so love another drama like Playful Kiss, such a highly underrated show in Korea!!

  15. okay okay….sorry for being spammy…

    but at least here’s the dance off!!! *DIES*
    http://www.noob.us/humor/stephen-colbert-battles-rain-in-a-dance-off/

  16. I forgot about this site, thanks for mentioning it ;)

  17. know what totally sucks sometimes?? when websites are blocked to other countries. so far i’ve found that the US is terrible for this!! >_<

    luckily there's youtube….

    rain dance-off: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbuTx5NjSAw

    i'm thinking this is the kpop video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V8lCKw3_Z8

  18. Love this new segment. it allows other songs to be featured!
    In Kpop Music Mondays usually, only the bands, that have big fandoms and names, are the only ones who get to be featured, But this segment gives another doors to the other songs.

    Thank you for coming up with this! Will look forward to new episodes. Fighting!

  19. I know! That scene made me cry so much :'( Plus when Jin pyo took the blame for being the city hunter touched my heart :) (though the epilogue was too rushed)

  20. You guys should mention how Eric (from Shinwa) created a twitter account for his character in myungwol the spy and proceeded to have a conversation between himself(real) and himself(character)! Han Ye Seul also made one for her character and they both tweeted each other! And the best part is that, HE REPLIED TO MY TWEET IN ENGLISH <3 http://www.dramabeans.com/2011/07/eric-v-kang-woo-the-twitter-wars/

  21. Yeah, we thought that the review would be incomplete if we skipped the songs that we reviewed.  I think that next month we’ll just mention the ones we reviewed in passing instead…

  22. sooo….. that kitteh song was awesome!!! is that the first release from f-art?? 

    TEEHEEHEE!!!  release…… f-art……. together in the same sentence!!! HAHAHA
    it’s like “your son rip is on line toot”….

    *ahem*  i loved this. i can see things should be cleaned up a bit (ie. some of the clouds appear over faces at times), but nothing too major. love the different location for the shoot….but turn on the digital frame! put some kpoppy pics in for the vids.    we’ll enjoy it like we do the wallpapers on your computers.

    i can’t wait to see other things in this segment. love it!

    PS. i’ve been meaning to mention….i think 2NE1 is singing “BOMBARATATATA” to imitate the sound of their machine guns. and then they’re saying “BEAT” (not beet) as in HIT as in what they’re doing with the bats. beat being a synonym for hit. ^___^

  23. omg, k-dramas: heartstrings, 49 days, secret garden, city hunter, and boys over flowers are awesome
    k-movies, i recently saw aan old korean movie called sunflower or haebalagi, i thought that it was so sad and sweet!

  24. Actually I like songs which are listed in the end of the video more :)
    I like mainly After School Red, Infinite and The Grace.

    N.B. the unbeatable and the most hilarious fail for this year is for me a pronunciation in the Secret´s song called Magic (word “Magic”).

  25. Love love this new segment :D .. are you guys really going to talk about Kdrama’s too?  Hope so! Can’t wait for August :D

  26. Yay! More EYK goodness to look forward to!!!

  27. Can you guys also cover some Korean indie music occasionally? I find lots of great songs from indie field as well. Especially Chang Ki Ha and Faces’ new MV. I was stunned when I first saw it! 

  28. Aww…I thought it had something to do with food :( but hey! New segment! WOOT!

  29. Can I just say that …. you had me at “MORE COWBELL!”. I love this new segment, guise! Now, I will continue to vouch for “Cooking with Spudgy” whenever I have the chance. And also… I won’t rest until you make a video out of “Itaewon Freedom”… :)

  30. Awesomest? All that Konglish must be getting to you.
    English fail of the month. Hahahahahaha

  31. Cool!!!!!!! My wish comes true! ^^

  32. oh Simon, you so right. Love of Twilight=automatic degradation of tast. Sigh. I am in love with y’alls BG music with the electronic and ze cowbell. Excellent, I look forward to next month!

  33. Thank you for including Roly Poly. One of my absolute favorite singles from them. They’ve won three awards for this song and managed to stay in the top 5 on different music charts even as new singles swarmed the market. So so happy for them! Also I think this will be a great new segment especially if you decide to include things other than music. btw if you decide to look at dramas, give Twinkle Twinkle a try. I’ve been enjoying that one.

  34. hehe^^ u guys make catchy background music… =D 
    I Like… =)

  35. Shush, Twilight rocks. If a girl says she doesn’t like twilight, then she is lying! btw, I think u got a lot of email requests for Girls day because the video was interactive. I found that cool too, but I didnt like the song. Most of the requests were probably from guys who were wishing to be the faceless guy. lol

  36. Oh!That’s cool! I thought about why don’t you do smth like this. And today “ta-daam”! New segment!

  37. Haha this is nice!
    Do KDRAMA for the aug one!
    Like secret garden, city hunter and dream high!
    I think a lot of people would wanna watch that :D

  38. Amazing Idea, but I think it should be more about UPCOMING single, debuts, comebacks videos, dramas, movies, albums, and DVD releases instead of things we already know, Everything hallyu. Sure you should add the Top 5 songs of the month but not have the entire video about them since Music Mondays already exists. In fact, I think you should do the top 5 songs of the month and even the top 5 artists of the month only on the last Music Monday of the month. You can even add songs that didnt get to have a Music Monday but go an amazing amount of votes and request through online polls and whatnot. 

  39. I think you should talk about Kdramas instead of discussing more Kpop.. do you watch Kdramas, actually??
    I just finished City Hunter like 10 mins ago, and I wonder, how many people here watched it too, and love it like I do.
    I thought the Hallyu thing was started from Kdramas frenzy instead of Kpop?

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