Innocent little G-Dragon + Jaebeom takes over YouTube.

Irish Day! Time to celebrate Korean pop......

So what does it say about me that the highlight of my day has been the news that G-Dragon is cleared of all charges relating to his concert incident? I actually let out a small cry when I read it. The leader of the Big Bang pack held a solo concert last year and in addition to performing two 'banned' songs, he had a steamy moment with a female dancer that involved a bed and some rope. This led to cries of indecency considering that the concert was open to all fans and impressionable girls 12 and older. The scene in question looks a bit tame to my American eyes, and now apparently to Korean law. Congratulations, G-Dragon! So when's the next concert?

Poor Jaebeom has been AWOL almost as long as I have, except he actually contributes something to the greater good, namely addictive music and rock solid abs. Alas, he has returned with a YouTube video and smooth cover of B.O.B.'s Nothing on You. In a giant fuck you to everyone who's been hating on him, he managed well over 1 million hits in just 1 day! Let's see the JYP crew match that. Welcome back, Jay!


News of the Day 3.16.10

Articles like this one are the real reason I started this blog: Plant prefers poo. My maturity is devastating.

Some actual news, sort of.
  • Zebra licks hippo. (Okay, not actual news.)
  • The 'basket of goods' measures Brits' spending habits. Turns out they like lipgloss and Guitar Hero, among other things.
  • The editors of The Sunday Times put together a list of the world's 12 sexiest cities. Not one city in Asia made the list? Come on, I know there are a lot of dirty holes over here, but it's a big fucking continent. And I thought I didn't get out enough.
  • My brother says I'm anti-technology. I say I just don't want people in my business 24/7.
  • My mum forced me to take an Egyptian art class when I was 7. We saw mummies up close and personal and it freaked me out. And since I try not to discriminate, Chinese mummies give me the willies too.
  • NCAA men's bracket. Go Irish! Please win and help me recoup some bragging rights.

Big Bang + 'Lies'.

Big BANG - why are you so fucking addictive?! Why do you have to be an actually talented boy band? I need to get work done!


Tang Wei returns in 月滿軒尼詩 ('Crossing Hennessy').

How much do I love Tang Wei? A lot. Despite having only one major appearance (in Lust, Caution) to her name, the fact that she killed it, and bedded Tony Leung in front of Ang Lee, then got blacklisted raises her fierce factor by about a hundred. I'm excited about her new movie, 月滿軒尼詩 (Crossing Hennessy), which stars Jacky Cheung - again. This makes it his 3rd major role in less than 2 months. The recent release of his album, Private Sessions, means that you can't even use the crapper these days without seeing or hearing him push his goods. But I don't mind in this case because Tang Wei's attached. Check out the trailer, and a slightly goofier Tang Wei than we saw in her last outing. (I want that bao that Jacky keeps poking with his chopstick.)

News of the Day 3.13.10

6 hot guys, 1 phone call.

From a (slightly abbreviated) conversation I had last night - with my mum. Leave it to me to find a way to weave 6 uncommonly attractive men into one phone call.

"Mom, I'm crazy about a Korean singer."
"Your brother told me. I told him that's not possible because you were just obsessing over Soler last night."
"Don't worry, I'm still crazy about Soler. In fact, when I went out today, I was looking for their studio again." (It's hidden somewhere in my neighborhood.)
"So who is this new guy?"
"He's from a Korean boy band. You said Korean guys are cute so you should be happy with my choice. He can sing, he can dance, he's quiet, sweet. His English is okay too. Much better than Hong Kong pop stars these days. They're not like the older generation. Tony Leung has good English."
"Yeah! I'll send you a YouTube clip. I wanted to buy Duke of Mount Deer today when I went past the bookstore."
"What is that?"
"It's a wuxia novel."
"I don't read."
"I know, Mom. I'm not sure how you have a double English major daughter. Anyway, it's been made into a tv show many times. Tony Leung was in a TVB version in the 1980s. Even Huang Xiaoming was in the most recent one. Did you know he's also going to be in a new movie with my other crush, Donnie Yen."
"I didn't tell you about my crush on Donnie Yen?"
"Who's Donnie Yen? I've never even heard of him."
"Oh my goodness. Don't you watch Hong Kong movies? He's the top martial artist right now. Among Hong Kong martial arts legends, there's Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen."
"I've never heard of him."
"Ai! His mom's a wushu sifu who helped bring martial arts to America. They moved to Boston when he was young. Then he started getting into trouble -"
"Like Bruce Lee."
"- so his mom sent him to Beijing. After his studies, he took a detour in Hong Kong on his way back to America and ended up working with Yuen Woo-Ping."
"Mom! He's one of the most famous action directors in Hong Kong!"
"Oh, wasn't he in a Danny Chan movie?"
"Yes! He played the goofy suitor to Paula Tsui in Merry Christmas. Anyway, they started working together and the rest is history. I'll send you a link so you can see who Donnie Yen is."
"Okay, whatever."
"Do you want me to send you the link to a music video of this Korean guy?"

Your loss, Mum, your loss. But credit to her for listening to me spout nonsense, which I've been doing since I first laid eyes on Joey McIntyre. My birthday's coming up, a reminder I need to grow up. But I'll do what I'm best at and procrastinate.


Team Taeyang!

Yes, I'm obsessed with Taeyang. As a treat, to myself, I was going to post a picture of him in all his 6 pack glory, but I'm willing to admit the amount of man meat I've been throwing around lately is quite excessive. So I'll try something I've no talent in - moderation. Here's a picture of Taeyang looking properly Asian. He's caught in soft focus, decked in white, sporting a goofy grin, and cuddling a life-sized teddy bear. The only thing missing is glitter. (This picture, by the way, hardly does justice to Taeyang's adorableness. He almost looks underage, which is an entirely different type of innocence than the sweet and single twentysomething he portrays in his interviews.)

"I dare you to say the bear's cuter."

Team Jaebeom!

"1, 2, 3.....yup, 6 pack."

I can't get through my Asian entertainment news these days without running into major 2PM/Jaebeom traffic jams. I don't really have anything to add to the debate, but like the millions of voices crying out in the wilderness, I want Jaebeom back! Not because I'm particularly loyal to him or the group but because discord in the heavily polished K-Pop world distracts from all those peppy little pop songs. Hopefully the fire will die down, Jaebeom will find a new home, and I will finish my thesis.

Taeyang + 'Wedding Dress'.

Taeyang, you are too much for my little heart to handle.


Soler + '陪我飛'.

Soler, I can't quit you! Just when I thought I had scoured every last corner of youtube for their interviews, covers, gigs, I uncovered this gem. The song is 陪我飛 ('Fly with Me') and was written to support kids who don't have the opportunity to go to school. Bless. The video below is from a March 2007 performance but also check out another appearance from around that time. The guys looked a bit - a lot - scrubby just a few years earlier, though surely the song makes up for any sartorial failings. Anyway, age and experience seems to have sharpened them. (Last.fm has a clearer version + free download!)

'Ip Man 2' and throwback Donnie Yen interview.

You might notice that I haven't posted much on Donnie Yen in the last couple weeks. Okay, I haven't posted much at all, though that has affected nary an amoeba in the universe. One reason is that I gave up movies. I'd like to say I did it for God and will be abstaining throughout Lent, but alas, that would be a lie. Truth is, the overdue thesis has taken priority and I banned myself from all movies and movie-like entertainment until the thing is lock-boxed in some oral defense purgatory. Therefore I can't really go on about Mismatched Couples or Bodyguards and Assassins because I still haven't properly seen either. (The other reason is that my small head only has room for one massive obsession at a time, and at the moment Soler is clearly filling the void between my ears. In a bit of a coup though, Donnie Yen directed Soler's MV for his movie Dragon Tiger Gate. Oh, how the gods conspire!)

But I think it's about time to re-enter Donnie territory as news regarding Ip Man 2 is coming fast. With an April 29 release date, the coming month and a half should be filled with Donnie wing-chun-ass-kicking goodness. The folks at Sina have a brief set of photos with the Ip Man looking serene - and talking about all manners of loving his wife. If you want to see the less domesticated side of him, however, there is a long interview from before I knew he existed, which would be ~11 years ago. It's a bit dated but there's still a lot of juice - Donnie cries at movies. Donnie is a shoddy actor. Donnie likes Armageddon. Whoa - wait a minute. Let's hope he and wife Cici aren't partial to animal crackers. Anyway, good read.........And now the last page of the thesis!

To Mr. Armitage, with love.

Reasons why I love Richard Armitage.....he looks delicious whether he's wearing:

a) a stripy sweater
b) black leather
c) a poofy cravat
d) odd facial hair
e) nothing

Okay, maybe you think I'm being superficial and immature - and you're right. Actually, the real reason I love Richard Armitage is because he's helps me learn. That's right, this man of many talents has played doctor, spy, painter, devilishly handsome man, and now it's time to add professor. Every now and again, he holds audience with his students via television or internet conferencing and delivers intriguing discourses on a diversity of topics. Past lectures include British imperialism and the private life of sperm. Most recently we've been exploring forest elephants and their fight for survival. Don't be fooled by the casual nature of the learning environment though. Just because you're wearing some sweats and your favorite bunny slippers during class time doesn't mean you can be apathetic about the assignments that follow. Each lecture is always accompanied by intense discussion with peers, and like any good school, respectful disagreement is allowed. I've been to many different schools in several different countries, and I must say, Mr. Armitage's classroom is one of the most inspiring! This really is the future of distance learning. Anyway, I invite you to take a look at some of the sample lessons below and hopefully you will join millions of satisfied students in this exciting experience!

Forest Elephants lecture:

Sperm lecture:

Kathryn Bigelow, you rock!

Another year, another missed Oscars. I still have time to catch up on Hong Kong Film Award pictures though - and stalk the ceremony. Meanwhile, Kathryn Bigelow made many a girl proud last night with her Oscar for Best Director. I doubt her win will bring a tidal wave of new opportunities for women, but at least the award comes with some acknowledgment that chicks don't need a dashing chap to make a good movie. Really, Hollywood, even Hong Kong has its feminist act together, at least when it comes to recognizing female directors. Ann Hui added to her healthy collection of statues by winning for last year's 天水圍的日與夜 (The Way We Are), and previous Best Director recipients include Mabel Cheung, Sylvia Chang, and Clara Law, all of whom boast multiple pieces of HKFA hardware. Especially impressive since the ceremony isn't even 30 years old! Take note, Hollywood.

Soler + 天才白痴夢.

Still March, still wading in my shit creek, still hoping to get out super soon, and still listening to Soler to make things better. Video for today is also from the way back machine. It's from their first CD, Intuition, which is out of print but at least available for digital download. The song is 天才白痴夢, which Google tells me translates into 'Genius Idiot Dream'. Sam Hui sang the original and there's a notable cover by Danny Chan, but methinks I'm partial to Soler's version. All are worth a listen and a $0.99 download though.


Vintage Soler @ Fringe Club, 'Tears in Your Hands'.

March! Still paddling up my poo creek, but at least I think there's a neat little bend in the river where I can get off and on with my life. I'm trying to reintegrate by listening to a LOT of Soler. Wait, that doesn't make sense. Doesn't matter because this is possibly my favorite song from my favorite Italian-Burmese twins, ever. It's on their Intuition concert DVD which, as life would have it, is no longer in print. Very luckily, I became obsessed with them way back in the way back (~5 years ago) and snatched a copy. Unluckily, it's collecting dust in my mum's house on the other side of the planet. Luckily, there is youtube.