Icon “Rockstar”


So, we found this video on our own just looking through our Korean Music Video lists, and totally dug it. Then we started getting messages from people telling us about the singer, that he’s an actor in some show, and that this is supposedly very different than the roles he usually plays. Is that right? Anyone in the know please feel free to elaborate. You know how bad we are with the personal lives of artists. We’re more interested in the music rather than the artist, and what he or she does outside of the music doesn’t matter if the music’s good. Point being: we don’t know much about this guy, but this song is super fun. The video’s super fun. We’re not sure how big it is here in Korea. I haven’t heard it anywhere in public, but we’re in Hongdae on the weekends and hope to hear it soon. YEAH!

Chook Chook Band: 교태소녀


Ok, so some of you are gonna be freaked out by this song and video, and some of you might swear off our indie playlists as a result. DON’T DO IT! We don’t always talk about music like this. Yes, it’s very different, and for some people it’s bizarre, but we like to share Korean music outside of the scope of Kpop, you know? And this song is…interesting. It’s quirky. The video’s weird, and reeks of ultra artsiness, but we’re still happy to see people doing different things. I can’t say this is my favourite song to have come out recently, but I still had a smile on my face watching it. Hopefully you feel the same.

Candystripe “Jjak Sarang”


It’s a rock band with funky undertones! With funk how can you go wrong? The lead singer has a surprisingly high voice, and not in a girly way, just in a unexpected way. Now this is a live set, but I do want to complain that the synths, which I didn’t even know where in the song. They were totally too quite, and I know that’s just a sound recording issue, but still you know how synth bias we are, plus in an all boy band, or should I say, all man band, there is one lady present and I can’t even hear her! SAD! Anyhoo, interesting detail about the word “짝사랑” it actually means “unrequited love” but it can also mean “secret love” as in, you don’t tell the person you like them, BUT it can also mean ” having a crush” on someone. What a loaded word! It’s like, I 짝사랑 this person. So do they know? No. Do they know? Yes, but they don’t like me. Do they know? No way, I don’t have the courage. Sorry, for the grammar lesson I just got excited. *fixes the nerd glasses*

  1. This really has nothing to do with the playlist today but I just gotta say it: MARTINA YOUR DRESS. I have the same one but it doesn’t really flatter me all too well so I gotta redesign it with a pair of scissors as well as thread and a needle >_< Sidenote: awwwwwyeaaaa. Simon swagging out in GD gear c: I have the black badboy cap lol

  2. that gy is also in full house take 2, along with a handful of other dramas and he is the ex drummer of trax

  3. Dayum guys, this new song is tha bomb~! I hope whoever sees this will enjoy it (:

    오드아이 (ODD EYE) – Follow Me

  4. oh man, prepare yourselves for some major information overload on ICON.

    I’ve been a Hwanja (No Minwoo’s fan) for YEARS now, so i’m pretty darn familiar with this guy. I’m sure you’ve read by now that he was the drummer for TRAX when they were still playing rock music (yes, he was the quirky one with the blonde Visual Kei style hair) After he left the band he joined another rock band called The Romantist where he honed his guitar skills before moving into acting. He had roles in the movie Story of Wine, the dramas Midas, Pasta, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Rock Rock Rock, Mrs. Town, and most recently took the lead role in Full House Take 2 and a chinese project (forgot if it’s a movie or minidrama) called Love’s Validation. He also did OST work on nearly everything he had even a small role in, and he was the overall musical director for Love’s Validation.

    As for his musical style, he’s always been a rocker at heart, but he’s also very much one to experiment with his sound. The new mini-album really shows that. He started with rock (he was big on jrock as a teen, and he was kind of Yoshiki’s protege), moved into more ballad-y stuff as he started doing OST work, and over the last few years took more of an interest in electronic style, and now he’s pulling it all together with his ICON project. If you listen you can hear some really awesome slapstyle guitar playing through the whole song (so yes, there’s an actual reason for the guitar beyond looking cool and shooting lightning). The rest of the album is a lot more low-key, but still have that blend of electronic, rock and acoustic. It’s very hipster-y to be honest.

    DID I MENTION THAT HE DID LITERALLY EVERYTHING HIMSELF? Everything that needs to be done to make an album was done by Minwoo himself. He wrote it, composed it, arranged it, recorded all the different parts, edited it, the whole shabang. Not the “someone else did everything, we just sang it” kinda stuff that you get from most of the idol world. I’m pretty sure the only reason he has other members in ICON is because he can’t play the drums and the guitar at the same time. This guy is the real deal.

  5. I am actually a huge huge fan of No Min Woo (formally known as Rose) Now going by the name Icon. This kind of music he is know playing doesn’t surprise me at all. If you watch him in Full House Take 2 and the other drama’s he has been, plus you know him from his previous band TRAX, you would actually know that this is actually very much his style of music. He used to be the Drum for TRAX’s but thought he was great at it you can till by his personalty and the way he acts even in dramas that he isn’t a Rocker. He is Elecrtionic with some Rock thrown in. The character from full house take 2 the style of the music was very much like what he would play, and what he is playing know. I don’t follow peoples lives or his life but just from watching his dramas and etc this type of music is very much his personalty.

  6. Heh I thought No Min Woo was kpop since he used to be under sm in the TRAX.. oh well haha

  7. You listen to Deerhoof? Awesome! Obscure! Awesomely Obscure!

  8. 1) I had no idea Icon was Rose of The Trax. Funny you guys are little like “Uh he was famous, AND NOW HE IS DOING THIS!” When he was a drummer under the label of SMEntertainment. I remember back in the day so many girls swooned over him. It is really funny seeing him make this style of music since his initial debut with “rock.” I dig it.

    2) I am LOVING Chook Chook Band. The video is super funny. And I now have a new band to listen to that my husband will ask me “What the hell is this?” Keep posting the crazy offbeat stuff guys.

  9. Oh my gosh, I didn’t even recognize No Min woo (Icon, I guess)! Wow, my mind is blown! Although I guess he’s getting back into music again, since he was in a band before he started acting.
    And I do like the video and song a lot, so keep it up Icon!

  10. Icon AKA No Minwoo AKA Rose from Trax! :D Please please please watch the teaser of him slamming his acoustic guitar, he actually play’s guitar very well and you can spot the guitar sound in Rockstar easier after listening it :)

  11. Re: ICON. Ditto another poster. I miss TRAX, and I mean old visual kei rocking out TRAX. Anyone else getting Miyavi vibes from Rockstar?

  12. The Chook Chook Band was interesting…I can see how it can be a love or hate thing….strangely, I find myself in a in between state…which means I enjoyed it. Reminds me of a show I went to last year with some friends of this experimental Japanese musician Oorutaichi, and half of us loved it and danced our butts off (I was in that half), while the other half thought we were crazy nuts. Sometimes it is good to open up your musical boundaries and try to listen to something different, might find a gem like I did with Oorutaichi…so please keep sharing different types of music (you will never scare us away) and as always, thanks for sharing!!!

  13. just had to add I hope one day you really get to Interview him !! right now he is going some Song for you its on face book hope this works
    I wanna be a ROCKSTAR, ‪#‎AS4U‬ lovers
    Grab the opportunity for private concert with No Min Woo (@ROCKOUT529)
    Due date: July 22nd (Monday) 24:00
    Videos accepted here: http://j.mp/128bLqg

  14. lmao I just looked at my own post and realized I am totally came off like a crazed fan girl. I guess in this case it might fight.. Im gonna roll with it…

  15. So happy to see you did a review for No Min Woo.. this is one great talent I feel does not get enough show.. I am a in awe of this man for a while. 1st seeing him in my Girlfriend is a 9 tailed Fox. I was like oo he is pretty sexy… like any good fan girl I went to check out everything I Could find about him… Lets start with Rose the Drummer of Trax…. Like holy crap he can play.. he can really slam down on them drums.. looking around more I watched all the kdrama’s (SO MANY vist the ) he has been in as well as listened to I hope mostly all the song’s he has written for drama’s and sang… besides acting in them singing and playing piano- drums- guitar- this man is a humanitarian too as well as he has his own management company Dreamsys… much love to you No Min Woo …..

  16. After your recent tl;dr, the barber pole on candystripe’s logo has taken on a whole new meaning……

  17. Listening to Chook Chook Band’s song gave me Mars Volta (whom happen to be from my home town) feels. Not because they sound alike in anyway, but because their artsy sound/feel made me desire a hit a wacky tabacky to get through it, enjoy it fully and appreciate all the artsyness it has to offer and I’m an artist :-P. But since I don’t smoke unless you count chicken on a grill, I could only make it through half the song.

    SImon did you say you have to re-delete Candy Crush. You addict HAHAHA!

  18. Oh~ and i might add, No Min Woo (aka “rose”) was in TVXQ’s triangle mv ^^ it’s like a fusion of kpop, rock, classical music-ish feeling to it. Hope u guise, and nasties, like the song as much as i do. Also, if anyone is tired of listening to love music definitely check out this song! =D i think its catchy, gothic, and depressing ;p

  19. It doesn’t surprise me you included ICON in the playlist. I figured this was a definite Simon/Martina song. :) And The Netherlands represent! hehe.

  20. I love No Min Woo. He was great in the dramas My Girlfriend is A Gumiho, Midas, and Pasta. He used to be in the visual kei-esque group Trax as Rose. I look forward to seeing more of his fun quirky side <3

  21. I miss TRAX. That’s all.

  22. ahh the Chook Chook band video, strangely reminded me of my youth in Venice Fl, during the early 90’s.

  23. rock-stair? rock-stare? rockster? and Martina, surely you have seen My Girlfriend is a Gumiho? also, Full House 2 was one of the biggest surprises in dramaland in 2012 for me, because I expected nothing and got this little gem of a drama

  24. Here is a song No Min Woo ‘aka ICON’ did for a show he was in called Full House Take 2. Its the ballad version along with clips from the show. One of my favorites is of him in a sauna with just a towel draped over him. lol http://youtu.be/zRtbTI7vSQo

  25. The MV for ICON-Rockstar is by No Min Wo ( aka Rose) he was a former member from the band “Trax” from SM entertainment playing the drums, but he left later on to pursuit his acting career. He acted on dramas like: Pasta, My Girlfriend is a Guminho, Herodes (I thinks that the drama name) and lastly Full House 2. His music is really different from what I’m used it but is really catchy!!! He can sing from a ballad one like the song Trap from the OST of My Girlfriend is a Guminho to this electronic and funky beat like Rockstar!! The video I love it since its really funny and different from what I’m used to see on other Korean Kpop MVs!!!

  26. Icon’s Rockstar was flipping awesome. Icon’s video was really cool, with the pop-art aesthetic. Icon himself kind of looks like Kai of EXO + GD. Rockstar is like a perfect crazy dance party song. It makes me think of my friend Antoine and his love for that type of music. My only complaint is that it sounds more like RockSTAIR then RockSTAR. I doubt stairs listen to rock music.

    ChookChook Band reminds me of the times when I was little and my dad would play really weird indie-eletronica bands while we cleaned the house. They make me think of Black Moth Super Rainbow (that’s a real band, ok?) meets Bugskull. Anyone know what I’m talking about? CCB’s video and song together reminds me of some of the quirky japanese commercials you can find on YT.

    I think CandyStripe’s song was my favorite. My mom loves rock music so I grew up listening to all kinds of rock. CandyStripe definitely gives off that 70s rock vibe and I could easily picture them with the crazy hair rock mullet-thingies. They really reminded me of the Scorpions during the guitar solo. And their a co-ed band! The song in the beginning reminded me of Muse’s Panic Station for reasons I don’t know of. I really love Jjak Sarang.

  27. Cool playlist guise! But the videos don’t come in the right order… I thought there were skipped again, but nope, it’s another bug! I’m starting to wonder what Google’s engineers are overpaid for :-p

  28. ICON is awesome, I love the song its stuck in my head so thank you S&M for letting me listen to this awesome song

  29. The guy from ICON is No Min Woo! He was the doctor in “My Girlfriend is a Gumiho”. He was evil and a demon and extremely sexy.

    He had a song called “Trap” that was a very different genre than this that was on the OST for the drama. You should check it out…

  30. The singer of ICON is No Min Woo, who used to be part of SM’s band TRAX. He left to be an actor, but now he’s back? The song is totally something I can dig, but I really can’t stand how tryhard it is. Now before I get flamed to Kingdom Come and back, please hear me out; I don’t think No Min Woo is a bad dude. Not at all. I just can’t stand how indie he’s trying to be, while still making top 40 pop. It’s like he’s trying to assert that he’s not Rose anymore, that he’s outgrown the idol SM made him out to be. That’s just my feels for the song and video; he kind of gives me a Marina and the Diamonds feel (for those that know who she is). Idk, yo. I’m thinking into this way too hard XD

    Another thing – if you listen really hard (or use $90 studio headphones :3), then you hear the faint sound of the guitar he’s playing in the video being strummed before the solo/breakdown/etc thing.

  31. I’ve been obsessed with ICON Rockstar since it came out. I love it so much. The video is so not typical K-pop that I can stop hitting refresh. I too thought it was a cross between a GD video and Tron, but in a good way. So glad to see Simon and Martina giving it some love.

  32. I think the video playlist orders may be off. All 3 playlist intro videos are playing and then 3 videos in the MVs are playing. Did you guys change this on purpose? Usually it is video intro and then video. It works this way when watching on the blog or if i go straight to youtube and watch.

    • It’s a youtube problem that’s been happening for a while unfortunately. It will just randomly happen to some people. One week it will be fine for me and then it’s all messed up the next week.


    this one is going to be short and sweet cause Im in such a hurry. lets break it down:

    Im a sucker for crunchy digital bass beats and this song is full of it. The MV visuals were right up my alley with the oversaturation of colours and 8-bit CGI. The vocals were good but I couldnt help but think he sings with his nose plugged the whole time. Im sure it was just the audio modulator that made it sound that way. I realy wish there was more of the beautiful strings that came in at 2:12 ’cause it would have gone really well in contrast with the heavy beat in my opinion. All in all I was moving around the whole time the track was filling my room with sick beats. I wanna be a rockstER!

    This is easily my favorite song of the playlist. The MV isn’t that great in my opinion BUT I really like that I knew exactly where they filmed it (around Hongdae Stn exit 5) and there are really cool restaurants and chills bars there, but definitely not the busy area of Hongdae. I wasnt watching my screen when this song came on but when it did I slowly and dramatically looked up in awe of my ears receiving such air candy. YES… I know this music might be weird to a lot of you but for some reason I find meoldic electronic music to be really relaxing to me. Maybe Im just really weird. HEY… I LIKE NELL! maybe YOU like Nell! see… we arent so different after all.

    First thing I thought when I saw thekeyboard do a slide at 0:25 with a funky organ sound I was thinking YES Im going to dig this song even more. Unfortunetely as EYK mentioned in the blog post after that point you dont even hear her playing hardly at all…. sucky. Altogether I enjoyed the song and Im going to keep my eyes peeled to seen if I can find them around hongdae to see a concert. They seem like the kind of band that would play at placeds like Strange Fruit or Club Bbang.

    well… so much for keeping that short. Aw crap… IM LAAAAATE!!!!


  34. And that guy in Icon (No Min Woo) is ex-drummer TRAX :p

    no wonder his music taste is still good as it used to…

  35. nothing like EYK at 5:30am on a tired sleepless night :D

  36. Hey guys, just wondering if there was a problem with the “Recent posts” part of your blog? There doesn’t seem to be your WANK (Nami island part 2) on there when it first came out and this weeks indie playlist isn’t the “most recent”

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