Posts Tagged With: g-dragon

A (Relatively) Pain-Free Introduction to K-Pop

I know, I know, this blog is supposed to be about writing. Piffle, I say! Actually, I don’t say that, because a huge part of my writing “technique”, such as it is, is listening to and being inspired by music … and the musical genre that’s had its claws gripped around my heart for a few years now is none other than Korean pop music!

Stop running for the hills, people, it’s not as terrifying as you think. For example, think of Gangnam Style — not a half bad song when you think about it, even though they overplayed it quite horrendously.

What I have for you today, friends, are five K-Pop songs that will introduce you to the genre without making you cringe and try to valiantly contain your tears. I’ll explain why they’re amusing/interesting/awesome, as well as give you a one sentence run-down of what the song’s actually about, since it’ll be in … you know … Korean. Onwards and upwards!

#1: The first K-Pop song I ever heard

… was a cute song called “We’re With You” by the unbearably adorable girl group Kara. It’s about Kara explaining to the boy(s) they’re interested in that they love him and want to be with him tomorrow and (hopefully) all the tomorrows after that. Feel free to sing along to the “Shake it, shake it, baby” and “Bounce, bounce” parts. No one will judge you. Unless you’re in a public place. Then I’d suggest keeping your voice down.

#2: Possibly the most famous K-Pop song ever (besides Gangnam Style)

… is a song by Girl’s Generation, a huge girl group consisting of approximately seven bazillion members. The song is called “Gee”, and it’s about the girls falling in love for the first time and being really overwhelmed and excited about it. Best sing-along moment = “Gee, gee, gee, gee, baby, baby, baby. Gee, gee, gee, gee, baby, baby, baby”. (Note: actual song starts at 0:21)

#3: Time to get post-apocalyptic, semi-nude, and funky

… with Big Bang’s “Fantastic Baby”. This is pretty much one of my favorite songs ever. It’s catchy and rockin’ and awesome. It’s about … well, basically they want you to dance and have a kick-a** time. Best sing-along lines = “Wow, fantastic baby. DANCE! I wanna dance, dance, dance, da-da-dance” and “Boomshakalaka. Boomshakalaka. Boom-boomshakalaka.”

#4: Hopping back to the girl groups, we find four fierce females destroying stuff

… in 2NE1’s (pronounced “twenty one”) hit single “I Am the Best”. It’s about them being the best. There’s no English in the song, but it does feature a girl in skin-tight leather and spikes walking a standard poodle down a runway, so … yeah, it’s pretty phenomenal. For the chorus, what they’re saying is “nay-gah chay challah-gah”, which means “I am the best”.

#5: Last but not least, a rather bizarre and highly addictive rap song

… called “Knock Out”, by Big Bang rappers G-Dragon and TOP. TOP is the bleached-hair guy, and G-Dragon is … well, the other guy. Similar to song #4, it’s about them being awesome and the best, and how all the ladies want them and the guys want to be them. Look out for the gratuitous use of the Playboy bunny symbol, which G-Dragon and TOP have adopted as their symbol for some reason. For anyone wondering what the heck they’re singing in the chorus, they’re saying “bunk-ee-guy-oh”, which means “knock out”. This is used both to reference how you’ll be knocked out by the rappers’ awesomeness, and also referring to how insanely attractive the girl they’re singing about is.

And that wraps up today’s (relatively) pain-free introduction to K-Pop! All the groups mentioned above are extremely popular in Korea, so feel free to name-drop them at your next social gathering and watch how impressed everyone is. In all honesty, they probably won’t know what you’re talking about … but that doesn’t mean you can’t respond to something they say with, “Wow, fantastic baby” and then start laughing hysterically while they eye you warily and edge away.

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Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Book Review: A Construct of Angels (Andrew Toynbee)

The Bookconstructofangels

A Construct of Angels

The Genre

Urban Fantasy

The Author

Andrew Toynbee has been writing in various genres since he was eleven years old, including publishing articles in various specialist magazines. After his first novel attempt became too big and unwieldy to manage, he changed tack and, in 2009, began work on A Construct of Angels.

The Plot

After accidentally triggering the spontaneous resurrection of a dead student, an ordinarily routine day for York-based paramedic Sara Finn erupts into a series of events that propel her on a terrifying journey, promising to forever change her pragmatic opinions of life and death. Sara finds herself caught in the crossfire between warring forces, powerful beyond human comprehension, that threaten to plunge civilization into hellish chaos and eternal darkness.

The Review

I quite enjoyed this book. The main character, Sara Finn (a pun on “seraphim”, which I love!), is feisty and determined and a great heroine in general. She has to deal with all sorts of unimaginable horrors over the six days leading up to the possible-Apocalypse, and even though the big bad guy goes so far as to invade her dreams and mess with her head, she stays strong and doesn’t bend to his will (well, not when it matters, anyway!).

I really loved the start of this book — a dark star driving people crazy, zombies rising from their graves, etc. It was a very cool concept, and I felt very grounded in her messed-up world. As the story progressed, I got a bit lost in what was happening; the book is quite long, and I feel the story lost its focus in the middle. The ending, however, was appropriately apocalyptic, and featured some great scenes (dancing zombies!) that effortlessly pulled me back into the story and the explosive finale.

A long read, but a good one if you’re a fan of urban fantasy or the angels vs. demons concept!

The Rating

4 out of 5 stars.

 

Click here to check out A Construct of Angels!

Click here to visit Andrew Toynbee’s blog!

 

Unrelated media of the day:

Random, amusing K-POP video urging listeners to “Get your “cray” on”.

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Ultimate Fanfiction Challenge

Okay people, in honour of my first day of 9-5 work, I have created the:

Here are the rules:

1. Write a short fanfiction about ANYTHING you want — the goal here is to get as ridiculous as humanly possible. Oh, and you should probably keep it fairly clean — or at least make sure to put a rating on it before inquisitive young minds read your Snape/Dobby/Katniss orgy fic and are scarred for life.

2. Post it in the comments below, or on your blog, or wherever the heck you like. Just make sure you let me know so I can read it!

3. If you like the idea, share the ULTIMATE FANFICTION CHALLENGE on your own blog. Hopefully it will catch on, and WordPress will be swamped by thousands of terrible, mind-bogglingly twisted fanfictions in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed!

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For my entry into the ULTIMATE FANFICTION CHALLENGE, I give you:

The Boy and his Cake

Fandom: Hunger Games

Pairing: Peeta / Cake

Rating: R (sort of …?)

It had been months since the Hunger Games, but Peeta knew that even though his body had escaped the arena, his mind never would. His nights were tormented by images of Katniss dying. Peeta always tried to save her, but he never could. He woke up screaming every morning, long before the sun rose, and nothing could get him to fall back asleep.

After awakening from a particularly horrific nightmare in which Katniss had been ripped apart by mutts, Peeta stumbled out of his room and down to the kitchen for a glass of water. But when he turned on the kitchen light, he was astonished by what he found sitting on the counter. It was a huge cake, five layers tall, and two feet in diameter.

“What do we have here?” Peeta murmured, approaching the cake. It was made of chocolate batter, but there was something missing. “You poor thing,” he murmured, reaching out to gently caress the spongy cake. “Your maker forgot to ice you. Don’t worry, I can fix you. I’ll make you feel better than you’ve ever felt before.”

Driven by his newfound purpose, Peeta rummaged through the drawers and pulled out the ingredients to make delicious chocolate icing. He mixed it all together in a huge wooden bowl, accidentally covering himself in icing sugar in the process.

Dipping a wide spatula into the bowl of icing, Peeta carefully began to ice the near-side of the cake. “Your curves are so soft, so round,” Peeta whispered, tracing the spatula lovingly along the cake. “I could just eat you up. But you wouldn’t like that, would you? You want the person who eats you to take it slow, really savour the experience. I can do that for you, cake. I can be that man.”

He ran the icing-coated spatula round and round the cake, moving faster and faster as he moved up the layers. By the time he reached the topmost layer, he was panting from his efforts. “Just a little longer,” he gasped. “Almost there …”

Finally he reached the tip of the cake, finishing off the icing with a sultry swirl. Then Peeta collapsed back against the sink, breathing raggedly and clutching the spatula in an iron grip.

There was only one thing left to do. Drawing forth a knife, Peeta carefully sliced off a piece of the chocolate confection. After the first taste, his eyes rolled back in his head and he moaned in ecstasy. “Oh my god,” Peeta groaned. “I’ve never felt this fulfilled before, you insatiable chocolate temptress.”

“Eat some more,” the cake replied, “and you’ll see how insatiable I can be.”

It suddenly occurred to Peeta that maybe he should have attended those Capitol-appointed psychiatric appointments after all.

Random Video of the Day:

The song itself is kind of bad. The video, however, is hysterical.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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