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media galore #2

12 May

media galore (may 12, ’13)

[Book] Blue Exorcist by Kazue Kato: Learned about this series from my friend Albert. I was able to relate to the main character, Rin Okumura, who has an identity that blurs between the physical and spiritual worlds. I couldn’t but to feel thrown off how his twin brother Yukio becomes a teacher and reliable investigator suddenly when he’s only a student. Sure he’s a genius, but I don’t recall smart sixth grade students attending college courses become a TA.

[Book] The Walking Dead Compendium One by Robert Kirkman: Yes, I finally am checking out this obsession. reading about a group of survivors fending zombies. I was familiar with Kirkman’s earlier work Invincible: Family Matters. Not as gory and scary I thought it would be, but don’t take my word for it because it may not be your cup of tea. Or maybe you don’t jive well with tea because it gives you the runs.

[Youtube] Vsauce: I grew up on Bill Nye the Science Guy, and if there was something to take the reins, it would be Michael from Vsauce. His videos begin with simple yet intriguing questions like Why do we kiss and Will We Ever Run Out of New Music. Then he goes on to best answer such questions by seamlessly and bringing up other questions and thoughts along the way. Makes you wish that he was your professor for your difficult courses if not all.

[Youtube] Nigahiga: The Youtube superstar…should seriously make a video of himself eating a Carl’s Jr. superstar. East eats West?¹ (Pause.) But okay seriously, his videos are best describe as random-but-still-makes-sense-hilarious. Whether it’s expressing what he thinks of censorship or parodying other people,

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I notice the things I mentioned are quite well-known, in terms of having their own TV shows or millions of subscribers. They are definitely entertaining. Got the time? Spend a few minutes and see if it clicks with you.

¹The delivery and the pun? I’m proud, and I would like to first thank 2:15AM for letting me think that thought.

k-pop songs alternatives to psy

14 Apr

Ten million views in the first day for Psy’s Gentleman, so far.

I wasn’t disappointed because I didn’t expect much. While I like the catchy tune from Gangnam Style, Gentleman recycled many elements like the fuzzy beats and the crazy antics. Of course, it falls under pop, and things that are pop always have a formula that makes them successful.

But after releasing an epic music video and being expected to come up with a follow-up, I give him props for trying and when you think about it, better to play it safe by reusing some stuff than try something different, like singing country. Good effort, and also thanks for letting me take a picture with you.

Anyways, in case you like Psy’s songs but want to find some other songs to listen, I got some in mind. Thanks to my brother’s collection of K-pop music from the ’90s, I still recall some of them with nostalgic fondness.

One plus to enjoying these songs is that you can share them and get kudos from your Korean friends or K-pop-drama-loving friends. Don’t expect Kim Jong-Un to be so pleased at your suggestion, unless you’re willing to make up to him by giving him a Dennis Rodman trading card.

So here are some songs that I recall from the good o’ ’90s (and early ’00s):

Run to You by DJ DOC: One of the classic Korean hip-hop groups. This is from their later album. A mixture of club and dance influence.

DOC Wa Choomil by DJ DOC: A song from one of their early albums, but more catchy and easygoing.

Just the Two of Us by Turbo (feat. Will Smith): While we’re on the topic of K-pop songs, I thought I bring up this song. It may not be as upbeat, but it does have some star power. Yes, it’s Smith and his ’90s rappin’ self. I heard this song many times, but saw the music video for the first time when finding the Youtube link. It’s worth to see the awkward placement of the rappers.

I’m sure there are more K-pop songs out there, and if you know any that has a nice pop vibe, please share them by commenting below.

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Is it too late for Psy and Will Smith to come up with something crazy awesome?

wondercon 2013: my trip abridged

1 Apr

I had the chance to go to Wondercon last Saturday and Sunday. I braved through the narrow aisles and the occasional body odor, and avoided accidentally photobombing other people’s Kodak moments with well-dressed cosplayers.

On Sunday, yes, I cosplayed for the first time (i.e. wearing a costume that’s not on Halloween). It didn’t feel like I was since I was just wearing a white shirt, green vest, khaki shorts, and a pair of red shoes. (You fans of Nickelodeon ’90s shows will pick up on this fast.) It was a nice feeling of few people’s eyes lit up and asked, “Are you what I think you are?” One of them surprised me saying my character’s full name including “Yancey.”

I came across some great artists and books, and here is a list of what I saw. Consider it to be an abridged version of the event, but I promise you won’t sniff any b.o. (if you did, you know who to blame):

One Piece Strong World Art Book: I stopped by Animebooks booth, which sold Japanese art books and comics. On the website, it also sells figurines and apparels. I only recently became a big fan of One Piece, about few months ago, and thus am on the look out for One Piece items.

Melody Wang: What drew me to this artist’s booth are her illustrations of Korra and Lin having this tense (yet humorous to the viewer) moment. Her Deviantart page features more lovely illustrations.

Nico Harriman: I browsed his booth and his self-published Next Step to Nothing caught my attention. On a whim, I purchased it. A story about a twentysomething going through a breakup.

Tom Beland: Few years ago, I came across his graphic novel True Story Swear to God: Chances Are… at the library. One of those “whoa crazy how they met” romance stories, but actually happened. I didn’t see him in person, but I saw his work “True Story Swear to God, Archives: Vol. 1 on sale at one of the booths selling graphic novels and comic books.

Sebastien Millon: At Millon’s booth, there was two collection of posters to flip through. The simple graphic style drew me in, and don’t let its style fool you because its punchlines can be razor-sharp. Felt like being hugged by a grizzly bear while it’s gnawing your arm off, but you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Capacity for the Fantastic: Writing for Teens and Tweens: Besides attending a screening of some random anime episode that didn’t make much sense, I attended this program with a panel of authors for the youth. Below is the description of the program listing the authors who attended. (In case the link to this goes out.)

Given their flexibility and ability to embrace the fantastic and wondrous, what can’t one write about for middle graders and up? LeAnna Herrera of Mysterious Galaxy bookstore queries the limits with authors Jenn Reese(Above World, Mirage), Jessica Brody (Unremembered),James Morris (Skybound), Nancy Holder (Wolf Spring Chronicles), Cecil Castellucci (The Year of the Beasts), and Greg Van Eekhout (The Boy at the End of the World).

I must admit it is hard to remain enthused throughout the whole event. After I find the interesting stuff to browse and buy, I feel the urge to call it a day. Probably it was the b.o. talking.

Aside

media galore #1

7 Feb

Thought I also start a series of asides about what books, movies, shows, and stuff I’ve been reading. Maybe you might like it, or maybe not.

Anne of Green Gables (book): This is a book I never expected to be reading. I was browsing the library’s Overdrive¹ and saw this title in the audiobook section. I do have a reluctance toward reading books published in the early 19th century because they tend to be dense and wordy. Also, this is a book not marketed to the mid-twenties Korean-American male reader. When I began listening, I was drawn to the rustic setting and the narrator’s gentle storytelling, and when Anne makes her entrance, yes, she can be quite wordy, but it’s not the kind associated with dour bearded writers; it’s rather the delightful kind, taking in the child’s speech powered by fervent imagination and wit.

Your Republic is Calling You (book): There’s this thing I have when it comes to reading works by Korean and Korean-American authors. My command of the language may not be up to par, but I feel this connection I have by reading works by those who share the same heritage as me. Published in English, of course. Anyways, I had seen this book around and a few weeks ago when I saw it while browsing the fiction shelves at a library, I decided to check it out. I’m a few chapters in, and if you can deal with another book that begins with someone waking up, you’ll be taken in by the how Young-Na Kim weaves in everyday events with observation and memory with espionage as the backdrop.

Nedroid (webcomic): In college, I was a huge webcomic geek. To the point I would have seven bookmark folders, each labeled for every day of the week, and I would read the updated comics of the day. I still am, but I have fallen behind my webcomic readings. This comic is  one I keep up with. It’s zany yet somewhat relatable, like going on space adventures or having an argument about toilet paper.

¹Next time when you visit your public library, ask if they have Overdrive. If they do, get access to it. It features a good number of ebooks and audiobooks that you can download onto your smartphone and tablet. You can also download it onto your computer as well. I always was reluctant to check out an audiobook let alone buy one. This is completely free. When it comes to returning a title, it’ll automatically expire so you don’t have to turn it in and pay any fines.