My Top 10 K-Pop workout songs

29 Mar

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While browsing on Youtube, I came across simonandmartinabonus‘ “The Best K-Pop workout Playlist” and it inspired me to create my own listing, seeing as none of the songs I listen to while sweating it out in the gym were mentioned by them. So without much ceremony, here is my personal list of the best workout K-Pop songs:

 

10. Gangnam Style – Psy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyT_KyAqDEc

Yes, Gangnam Style has been overplayed for some, but nobody can deny that it is a GREAT workout song. The beat is perfect for all kinds of exercises, such as sit-ups, squats or push-ups. Plus, it’s quite nice when someone sings “EEEEEEEY, SEXY LADY” to you, while you feel anything but sexy!

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9. I will show you – Ailee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZSS7Ekps7w

This song starts of slow, but quickly builds up both in speed and energy. I love this song during my warm-up run on the crosstrainer! You start of with easy steps, just getting into a rhythm and then you break out into a faster pace during the main parts. Also, this is a kick-ass female power song! And especially for someone like me, its a huge motivational boost as well.

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8. Badman – B.A.P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLHY_7PgaV0

B.A.P is always my go-to band when it comes to powerful work-out songs that really make you push yourself to your limits. So this wont be the only B.A.P song you will see on this list. What I really like about Badman is the intense beat and intensity.

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7. Voodoo Doll – VIXX

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TSxngnqaGI

This is definitely one of my running songs. Again, it has a fast paced beat, which varies, but not too much, allowing you to adjust your running speed to it.

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6.  I got a Boy – Girls Generation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0_WphUyaqY

Another badass female power song! I really like it while doing weight work. It’s upbeat, it offers changes in pace, speed and intensity and its just a lot of fun to listen to. It’s simply a song that makes you want to move!

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5. Domino Game - Kiss&Cry

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF7Q8rkfmPI

Another song that just makes me want to work out. Plus, it makes me feel really sexy while I move to it, no matter what Im actually looking like in real life. (Also, I secretly dance to this song in my room, pretending Im the queen of the club)

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4. COMA – B.A.P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ6XgRMRnwk

And here is another B.A.P song! Since I cant find a video of the normal version on youtube, enjoy the Live Rock video. As with most B.A.P songs its the beat and intensity that gets me going. I really like listening to this song near the end of my work-out, because it just makes me push that one last mile. It is still intense and has a steady beat, but the main part has something of a victory note to it.

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3.  Step – KARA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-jfipQM4Jc

STEP IT UP, STEP IT UP! I mean, what better lyrics for a work-out song? This is upbeat and actually makes running fun.

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2. Face – NU’EST

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQOGp9ziQkw

Ok, so this makes me want to party more than it makes me want to work out, but damn, this is a good song for the gym. Amazing beat, amazing pace and amazing mood. If you dont feel the urge to jump around to this song, then there is something very wrong with you!

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1. One Shot – B.A.P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7pXkaaHBvU

And my number 1 K-Pop workout song is of course by B.A.P. Its so damn powerful! You are working out, sweating, ready to die, but you still push past all the pain to continue, because the guys just keep singing to you that you only have this one shot! This is raw motivation and hence my favourite work out song!

Compulsory Sochi 2014 post – A little comment on athlete fandoms

19 Feb

I’m rather late with this, but I felt that I also had to write something about this year’s Olympics in Sochi. And so I chose to write about the only thing in this entire event that interest me – figure skating!!

It is no secret that I am a die-hard Kim Yuna fan! I admire her grace, her talent, her fighting spirit and also her modesty. If I had to choose someone I’d describe as the perfect role model, it would probably be her. And a majority of South Koreans seem to agree with me, seeing as Kim Yuna is often voted among South Korea’s favourite idols, making the list next to Kpop stars and models.

And yet many sports fandoms are rarely acknowledged, unless there are some big events, such as the Olympics, coming up. There are of course the soccer and rugby fandoms, but those usually center much more around clubs, rather than individual athletes. What I enjoy about the figure skating fandoms online, such as those surrounding Kim Yuna or Yuzuru Hanyu, is their appreciation of a single person’s talent and achievements. Yes, people do get over-excited and practically glorify those athletes, but that’s what fandoms are like – they do take appreciation to a whole new level. For example, I admit with no shame that I collect Kim Yuna pictures on Pinterest like crazy. that I follow the Kim Yuna tag on tumblr to see what other fans have to say about her and that I’ve also seen all documentaries ever made about her (even those in Korean without subtitles!).

The special thing about fandoms around athletes is that they do not go hand in hand with merchandise or products that can be consumed on a weekly basis, such as TV shows. The fandom does really rely on the athletes’ achievements and events, making the moments when new material is available truly special. Just like the Olympics right now.

All day I was anxious about watching Kim Yuna skate. I was worried I would miss her performance due to being at work, but I rushed home and still made it just in time to see her skate. And it was a moment of pure joy! It was barely three minutes long, but I was really emotionally invested in her performance, knowing it was her last at such an event. In fact, I am still on edge, cause the competition for the short program is still going on and someone might still take the first place from her. But ultimately I am proud to say that I am part of a genre of fandoms that is often under-appreciated.

And just to finish this, have a video of Kim Yuna skating, BECAUSE SHE DESERVES GOLD!!!

Why Tumblr is becoming my favourite Social Media Platform

8 Feb


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As most of you have probably noticed, the amount of social media platforms has exploded in recent years. It’s almost standard to have profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+ and so on and so on. With such a huge amount of possibilities, it’s only natural that people start to pick their favourites. For years I was a huge Facebook supporter, because it allowed me to keep in touch with friends I  would otherwise have lost contact with. But I always made it a point to just add people I really knew well in real life, thus limiting my ‘audience’. I also went through a brief phase of liking Twitter, but while the interaction with people from all over the world was nice, I found the limited number of signs restrictive. Twitter is a great way to keep informed about things and share links, but I don’t think it’s the right platform for in-depth and multi-media interaction.

And this is where Tumblr comes in. For me, it combines the best of both worlds. Like Facebook, it allows you to share pictures, videos, links and text, without restricting you in how much you write. Yet it also brings in the interaction with people from all over the world from Twitter, based on hashtags highlighting your particular interest. Tumblr allows you to connect, interact and share with a group of people, who are interested in the same things, without limiting you in how you approach it all. You can choose complete anonymity or put the real you out there.

I have also found the diversity in interactions on Tumblr amazing. It ranges from simple re-blogging and liking of posts, to complete in-depth essays and gif-conversations. I’m pretty sure that no other social media platform has as many conversations using only gifs, as tumblr. And while it may seem odd and pointless, it suggests a high degree of creativity and deep understanding of how internet language works. In fact, Tumblr is a massive playground for internet language! I have never seen it used to appropriately anywhere else. And the best thing is, Im pretty sure a majority of active Tumblr users is aware of this fact. Let me show you one post that truly proves how much people are actually aware of where they are and what they are doing:

think

Furthermore, Tumblr is a GREAT place for cultural exchange. And while there are plenty of serious discussions out there, Tumblr also offers treasures like this one, where everyone can exchange impressions about cultural habits without it getting insulting or out of hand:

culture

 

While I definitely don’t want to suggest that Tumblr-users are more intelligent or creative than people who prefer Facebook or Twitter, I do think that Tumblr users have the chance to display and connect their creativity more with others. Tumblr allows people, and especially Geeks like me, to expand on others’ ideas, creating what I’d like to call ‘a chain of awesome’. Especially when it comes to fandoms does Tumblr dig deep into the headcannon and creativity pool! Let’s look at another example to illustrate this. The conversation happens below a gif taken out of a Harry Potter movie, where a wizard stirrs his spoon without the use of a wand. The comments below do not just suggest a deep understanding of the fandom, but also display an interesting level of imagination, yet logic.

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Actually, Tumblr is generally a heaven for geeks and fandoms. The image at the very top of this post is a Tumblr-Flag someone created, incorporating the most popular fandoms on the platform. And there are A LOT of them, ranging from movies, books and games to cartoons and anime! Yes, there is hate on Tumblr as there is everywhere in fandom, but I still find Tumblr much more civilized than a lot of other forum-sites. And furthermore, people on Tumblr can get very excited about completely non-mainstream pop-culture such as Sharkpuppy or Mr Truffles (a fandom based on a single photograph depicting a Canadian police-woman and a bear)!

mrtruffles

 

The thing I love most about Tumblr is the way it makes me laugh! Yes, its mostly geek humor, but you know, this is a Geeky Media Blog.

funn

Therefore I highly recommend Tumblr to all Geeks out there, because it’s just such a great place to browse, post content, share and interact with others. While I will remain loyal to Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr has really gotten a special place in my heart over time and I really feel like it’s one of the more underrated platforms out there.

That one series you will ALWAYS love

24 Jan

Everyone has it – that one series they will always love, even years after it has finished. You may forget it for a few months, but then you stumble over a clip or a picture and all the intense feelings of love and satisfaction created by that series slam right back into you and you start drowning in waves of feels. I think it’s one of the best feelings you can have as a geek.

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Let me explain with an example from my own life. Dragonball was one of the very first Anime I have ever watched and the first Manga I have purchased. I still vividly remember the excitement of waiting weeks for the next volume to be released and I even made my parents preorder the final Manga volume for me at our local book store. And I still remember how I beamed when I first held it in my hands and how I cried as I realized that the story was truly over. I was literally in tears about that. Lucky for me, Dragonball still had a future on German TV, seeing as the entire series hadn’t been aired at that point and I also had the joy of discovering the GT series as well as all of the movies. In short, I grew up with Goku and Co, seeing as Dragonball accompanied me for many years of my childhood, as well as my teens. Eventually however the series ended on TV and I lost touch with it for a few months, distracted by other shows I was discovering at the time.

However, EVERY SINGLE YEAR, I go through a brief phase of Dragonball Hype. It always comes out of nowhere, but re-discovering a show that has meant so much to me over many years is always a GREAT experience. It’s like seeing an old friend after months apart, yet at the same time it’s also a fresh meeting, because I start paying attention to details I have never noticed before. Over the years, I started to really think about all the characters, rather than just the few I liked from the very start. The more often I re-watch the series, the closer I feel to it. If I have to put an image to it, it’s like falling in love over and over again.

I have several other series as well, which I will always appreciate, but my yearly re-connection with Dragonball has almost become like a ritual in my life. I don’t know what time of year it will hit, but I can be sure that it will at some point. And you know what is best about it? Seeing that I am not the only one still holding onto this fandom!

Of course, this sense of fresh rediscovery doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to a TV series or Anime. It can also be a game, a movie or a book. Basically, everything us Geeks love. It really does sound corny, but I will just keep getting back to that image of falling in love. Geeks really do fall in love with the franchises of their choice. That’s why we can be so passionate about them, because we truly share a kind of bond with said creation. And as many people will agree with, you never forget your first big love.

Why Disney’s “Frozen” is such an amazing movie

19 Jan

SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE YET!!

From the very first time that I have seen Disney’s new Animation work “Frozen”, I was in love with it. There was just something about that movie that was refreshing and touching in ways that Disney hasn’t achieved in quite a while. But only after seeing it a second time, did I feel a clearer understanding of WHY I enjoyed this movie so much and in this blog post I wish to explain some of these reasons.

 

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1. Sisterly love

Disney has always been famous for its love stories and the message about how powerful love can be. A true love’s first kiss often seemed like the solution for everything and made for the best happy end. “Frozen” shows not only the importance of family love, but also its power. Family values have always been an integral part of Disney works, but I cannot recall any movie where the bond between two sisters was the most powerful force to vanquish the evil/curse/darkness. What made this even more powerful was that everything seemed to be building up to a kiss, yet it didn’t happen. At least not in that crucial instance. It was one sister’s sacrifice and the other sister’s tears that broke not only one, but two curses.

 

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2. Elsa’s curse

Elsa is one of the most interesting and diverse Disney princesses I have ever met. Her personality seems much more intricate and complicated than any other heroines I have seen. Many have suggested that Elsa’s curse is an image for anxiety and depression, two mental disorders that are more and more common, yet rarely talked about or properly acknowledged in society. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let it show are probably things people with anxiety hear a lot. Elsa’s liberation also came in interesting stages. In her song “Let it go”, Elsa seems to have gained confidence after being restricted almost all her life, because she has come to terms with what and how she really is. But the fear soon returns, because acceptance doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. She is still “cursed” and so the confidence she has found is soon shattered again. It’s love and support that break her “curse” in the end, as well as her acceptance of herself. Only love doesn’t work, but neither does only believing in yourself. It’s the combination of both which is the strongest. I feel that this is a very powerful message for Disney to send out to the world.

 

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3. The love interest

Hans was an incredible villain! In fact, I didn’t even recognize him as a villain to begin with! Usually Disney was very clear about who was good and who was evil, based on character design, as well as the character’s actions. Yet Hans appeared as charming, brave and loving right from the start. He even had a love song with Anna!! And that’s the first time I have ever seen a love duet between two people, where one of the parties turns out to be a villain in the end in a Disney movie. I read somewhere that this could be seen as a nod to the issue of abusive relationships, where everything always starts out fine, before one person reveals their true face. While I think this may be interpreting things a little too far, I can see where this person was going with that idea, for it does truly fit.

 

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4. The REAL love interest

I don’t think I have ever been crushing on a Disney hero as hard as I am crushing on Kristoff. And you know why? Because he seems like a normal guy I could actually meet out there in the real world! Minus the reindeer of course, but you get what I mean. He is a normal hardworking guy, who has no perfect heritage and who doesn’t look like Mr. Perfect either. Hell, there is even an entire song dedicated to his flaws! And that’s what makes him so lovable. He is NOT perfect, but he has a nice sense of humor, and he is down to earth, as his reaction to Anna’s engagement shows. And most importantly, he has a damn good heart. Good enough to even put someone else’s happiness before his own. I truly believe that Kristoff’s perfection lies in the very fact that he is absolutely normal.

 

Of course, there are also plenty of other things that made Frozen brilliant! The humor was great! Not over the top, but always present for audiences of all ages.  Furthermore, the music was breathtaking and the soundtrack even managed to top the billboard charts in the US. Only one of four animated movie soundtracks to ever do that! I have to admit that I have started to lose faith in Disney in the last few years, but “Frozen” has definitely proven to me that the Studio is still capable of telling amazing stories that not only entertain audiences of all ages, but also teach them valuable lessons. I definitely cannot wait for the DVD! And just to finish this, here is the scene that literally melted my heart:

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Some thoughts on the Korean Music Industry

30 Dec

I have to admit, I am a huge K-Pop fan. Even though I don’t understand a word, I really appreciate the style of music that ranges from upbeat dance music to heartfelt ballads and rap. There really is something for everyone, but I also have to admit that I do not fully support everything that comes hand in hand with the songs I adore. I could give an in-depth analysis of the South Korean idol industry, but for now I will just focus on the two points that bother me the most.

The South Korean music market is very different from the one we have in the West. While every music industry is driven by marketing, I feel that this is taken to the extreme in South Korea. Before idols can debut they undergo an intense training and are tested in the market to see if they have any potential of pleasing the audiences. Everything is planned to the very last detail, which, while successful, sometimes lacks authenticity in my eyes. I guess it also explains why boy- and girl bands are so popular in South Korea. A band allows to add a range of different looks and personalities to one ‘product’, making sure that there is something for everyone. There is always a tomboy, a traditional look, a cutie, etc etc. Even if there is an overall theme to the band, the individual members are once again chosen for their marketing potential. In a nutshell, the Korean music industry appears like a science to me, where they have tested a certain range of formulas and work with them.

Another thing that is bugging me about the K-Pop is the over-sexualization of a majority of the idols. Yes, there are of course exceptions, but looking at the scene overall, but especially at girl groups, it can definitely be said that the phrase ‘sex sells’ applies. South Korean idols are always exceptionally beautiful, perfect in every way, but that is also the case in the West. What is often shocking to me however are the almost provocative dance moves, even during cute upbeat songs. While it cannot be denied that the West also sexualizes its stars, I don’t think its as extreme as in the world of K-Pop. One of the bands which really takes it almost too far is Sistar. I love their music and especially Hyorin’s voice is stunning, but their image is almost…slutty from a western perspective. They try to keep it classy, but somehow that drowns in the overly sexual nature of either their outfits or their moves.

Its a shame really that the industry relies so much on marketing formulas and sexualization, because South Korea produces a lot of amazing talents that could do great with just their voices and abilities. I know I will continue listening to K-Pop, because I really enjoy the music. But I will probably also continue shaking my head at the issues I have with the industry as a whole.

Geek Language: Ships

15 Dec

I really wanted to get this post out this week as well, seeing as I am not sure whether I will have any time to post during the next two weeks.

What has always fascinated me about the Geek community is their ability to create their own language, which is easily adapted by close to all members and used without necessarily being questioned. What is even more fascinating is that this Geek language develops further sub categories based on individual fandoms, such as Trekkies, Bronies, Otakus, etc etc.

What I wish to look at today however is a term I have found to be used more generally by all groups and it’s also a term most of my non-Geek friends found the most confusing. Rarely did they understand when I said: “I’d totally ship that!”. So the Geek language term in question if of course Ships, Shipping, Crossshipping and all the Canons and Headcanons that go with it.

by LordColgate15

 

Ships are essentially the fan-support of a particular couple within a work of fiction. This support however can be divided into further categories.

Group 1 – The canon ship

It’s the ship that is actually really happening in the work of fiction.

 

Group 2 – The regular ship

It’s a ship that is not really happening in the work of fiction, but fans still manage to find support for the pairing through various scenes.

 

Group 3 – Crossshipping

It’s a ship that combines characters from completely different works of fiction that have no real connection to each other.

 

Group 4 – OC Shipping

by Miharu-Hachiko

It’s a ship that combines one canon character with that created by a fan. It’s most popular among fan girls (like me, I have to admit).

 

Group 5 – HeadCanons

This one is a little tricky, because I have come across several different uses of this one. But what I have generally gathered is that this isn’t necessarily linked to a romantic interest, but can just involve general traits or background stories to characters, as weird as they may be.

 

Shipping comes truly alive in the forms of fan art, music videos and of course in fan fiction. The internet seems to have a rule that if someone ships it, there is a fan fiction about it somewhere. An let’s not forget rule 34 of the Internet!

Ships are also often the cause of so called Shipping Wars. Personally, I find them pointless, especially when two non-canon ships fight against each other, but I guess we just have to accept these online fights as part of the Geek community. I just put them down to how passionate most geeks can be. I mean, I know myself. I can get pretty emotional when it comes to the ships I support!

Although I am part of this myself, I am always surprised how people can create ships after just one tiny little scene where two characters exchange but a glance and a word. And even if they never ever speak again thereafter, some ships just seem to keep on sailing on regardless. Really, its a fascinating phenomenon and the ability to create relationships within and across works of fiction is a creative trait that is to be applauded. Even if I do agree that some really weird things may come out of it.

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