Frau’s 2017 consumption

Music

Last year, I wrote that the KPOP enthusiast in me was on a hiatus. This year, however, it made a comeback (get it?) and I went full-on KPOP for a good ¾ of the year which would explain why most of the music and artist I listened to may not be familiar to you. Don’t worry though; I was still updated with what was going on in the pop punk scene and some local bands – and they write songs in Bisaya, Tagalog and English!

Top pick: BTS – Spring Day, 화양연화 album series

 

The thought that the songs are in a foreign language may cause other people to skip over BTS but I urge everyone to try and take a listen to their three-part album series. Even though I listened to KPOP before, I was not able to get into this group until this year.

Spring Day is a song from BTS’ repackaged album You Never Walk Alone. I first heard the song on Produce 101 season 2 when a Vocal team covered it for a challenge. I searched for the original version and I felt like I struck gold because that’s what it is. The instrumentation and the lyrics fit well with the sentiment/ feel of the song. The music video is stunning. It was the one that got me into the group and will remain as my number 1 BTS song of all time for a long time.

Each album in the series contains your typical high-energy, fast BPM, hype songs but to balance it out, there are also slow, laid-back songs and ballads. Since the songs are in another language, I searched for the translated lyrics and to my surprise, their songs also dealt with topics that some of my favorite bands have written about. Youth – the pressures of society, doubting/ believe in one’s self, change, achieving dreams, etc. I personally call the 화양연화 album series as the KPOP counterpart of The Wonder Years’ album trilogy.

Honorable mentions:

  • AGUST D mixtape
  • The Rose – Sorry
  • Red Velvet – Peek-a-boo
  • TAEYEON – My Voice – The 1st Album
  • Seventeen – Don’t Wanna Cry (pahabol fave because I just heard them for the first time at KBS Gayo Daejeon)
  • Neck Deep – The Peace and the Panic (personal faves: Heavy Lies, 19 Seventy Sumthin’)
  • Knuckle Puck – Shapeshifter (personal faves: Want Me Around, Everyone Lies to Me)
  • Mid-2000s OPM bands’ hit songs

 

Books

I have taken an effort to read more paperbacks rather than e-books this year. Not that I went on a book shopping spree, but I bought a hard copy of most of the books that I had a strong intent to read. I do still read epubs especially since it’s convenient when I need to pass the time on the road. Here’s my list this year:

  • Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
  • The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan
  • It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne
  • The Quarter-life Breakthrough by Adam Smiley Poswolsky
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (cos Kafka on the Shore wasn’t available in store)
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (started around Christmas time but I have yet to finish it)

 

TV and Movies

Honestly, I was not able to watch as many movies as I did in 2016 (because most times I was just sad and spaced out) but I think I most of the shows and films that I was able to see were good and/ or entertaining. I can’t really remember every movie and show I watch but the ones on this list are the ones that easily come to mind.

 

  • Girls’ Generation 1979 – Korean drama adaptation of a novel by Kim Yong-hee. This is the stand-out pick from everything this year. The cinematography and the setting were outstanding. The plot was interesting and relatable. Click here for the teaser for the drama.
  • Coco – it’s not just a kids movie y’all! Everyone in the theater was at any one point in the movie in tears. The takeaway that I got from the movie is to give importance to remembering loved ones, alive or otherwise.

 

That’s it for last year’s round up! See you in the next post. Peace out!

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More than a decade under the influence

My current music taste is a hodge-podge of different artists. If you listen to my playlist on Spotify, you’ll be up for a lot of surprises since it includes artists from Whitesnake to Run DMC to SNSD to Knuckle Puck.

Attending Influence Night then made me think: if I trace back to the artists that made me listen to the ones I have in my playlist today, who would these be? I thought a lot about the possible answers to this question and this is what I came up with.

  • Air Supply. Every Sunday is Air Supply day in our home. Others included in our Sunday tunes are Bee Gees, Firehouse, The Beatles and Bon Jovi. It is due to this family routine that I can probably sing along to almost every Air Supply song out there. Also, let me just say that even though I may not look like it, I do listen to classic rock.
  • Michael Learns to Rock. Me and my cousins used to gather around the TV and play a cd with all of MLTR’s music videos. One of the first 90’s bands that I listened to and will still occasionally put on to this day.
  • Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Callalily. I remember 2005-2008 as the years when OPM bands were the “uso” among the fifth graders and high schoolers. I still have my high school autograph project were most of my classmates wrote Kamikazee, Spongecola, etc as their favorite band. For me though, my 12-year-old self was already familiar with OPM since my older brothers listened to Rivermaya and Eraserheads.
  • Yellowcard, Boys Like Girls, Paramore. These bands mark my branching out into the pop punk genre — although many will argue that these bands were not really “pop punk”. I remember being one of the only two people in our senior class who listened to Yellowcard (the other one was Jessa). Enter college and I find out that a lot of the kids in my age group were actually listening to Yellowcard, they were just not from my town.
  • All Time Low. The very first song I listened to by ATL was Remembering Sunday but the song that made me seek out the band is Break Your Little Heart. From then on, I was a fan. ATL was the reason  I found out Hopeless Records’ youtube channel and watch other bands (THE WONDER YEARS!!).
  • Knuckle Puck. Third year into University and  I was already into pop punk by this time. During the 2010s there has been a revival of the genre, the so-called “Defend Pop Punk” movement. Lots of new school pop punk bands were popping into the scene. I was behind in all of this but luckily, a friend sent me a link to KP’s No Good. I admit, at first I found it “noisy” especially the shouting at the start but I guess it just takes some getting used to. I now actually enjoy KP and all the other bands such as Seaway, Real Friends and State Champs to name a few of the popular ones.
  • Super Junior, SNSD. Yes, I do, in fact, listen to KPOP. The very first video I saw was Super Junior’s “It’s You” and I was intrigued. I did not – and still don’t quite – understand Korean but their dances and crazy concepts are enough to keep me entertained. But now, I mostly only check out SNSD and their members’ solo debuts and keep away from new groups. I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole again. Hehe.

My tip if you want to listen to new artists that sound similar to your influences is to try online radios. Even before Spotify had stations, playlists by genre and artist radio, there were already websites such as Jango.com that were doing that for me. Lucky for us, we now have these music apps on our phones that make music streaming and downloading easy. Also, talk to your friends who listen to the same or another genre/ artist and trust their suggestions.

What’s on your playlists right now? Comment below and I’ll check it out. 🙂