My experience at the #CrushOnYou Wonderlust Tour in London

A month or so ago when a friend told me Crush would be performing in London, I didn’t know what to do, to be honest. Crush is a Korean RnB singer-producer, and needless to say Korean acts doing live shows in the UK are rare. Crush is one of my favourite artists to just groove to. Nothing crazy catchy to me, and I’m not a die-hard fan who knows all the lyrics, but his music is a real mood-setter when I need it and that is why I listen to him.

So when the tickets came out, I just took the plunge and went straight for it. Unfortunately, I was possibly seven seconds too late for VIP tickets, but I was still able to get my hands on the standard tickets, luckily. Apparently the VIP tickets sold out in a minute and the standard ones in ten! The VIP tickets included a photo with Crush before the gig, a good view and an after-party after the main show, whilst the standard tickets were just for the main show.

As I may have mentioned before, my parents were very on the fence about letting me go to London by myself, but I’d already booked everything. They let me go on the basis that it was a new experience, and that having experience travelling by myself would be good, which I agree with!

I made sure to book train tickets and a hotel room as early as possible to keep it cheap – I didn’t have any other plans at the time, thankfully. I booked the nearest Travelodge which turned out to be right next door to the concert venue, which was great as I didn’t want to be wandering around in London too long in the dark of night, especially with the cold weather.

I arrived really early, and wasn’t sure how early to go outside and wait in the queue. I did plan on getting food before lining up, but when I got outside eventually, the line had snaked around the corners of the road, and it was over an hour and a half to go until the show. In fact, even earlier I had seen keen fans sitting outside the door.

Waiting in line, I was cold. I had on a t shirt, shorts over a thick pair of tights, and a red leather jacket. I was really feeling the jacket, because it reminded me of the one Crush wears in his album cover for Crush On You. I also didn’t want to bundle up too much just in case it got really warm once I got inside – so I left my scarf and hoodie in the hotel. I was starting to regret it in the line – it was very very cold out there, and I was out there for an hour and a half.

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I was in the last third of people being let into the show, so I was worried about not getting a good view, but I got a nice standing spot by the back stairs where I could at least see the stage and all that happened on it. The downside being that people need to use the stairs so I got shoved aside a lot, but it didn’t bother me too much. I was quite good at not being bothered¬†– life, and this concert, is far too short for me to be bothered by elbows and phones blocking the way.

As I have mentioned, I don’t know his whole discography by heart, but I did hope he would perform ‘A Little Bit’ and ‘I Fancy You’ from his first album, and those were the two tracks he did first! He also performed his other hits like ‘Hug Me’, ‘Oasis’ and ‘Woo-Ah’. I managed to follow along with the fan chants – I think his songs are especially easy to follow in that sense.

He was very lovely in between songs, conversing with the audience in Korean and some English. He even wrote a letter in English and read it out to us. I know next to no Korean and now… I really want to learn more for any future gigs I go to!

Then things got really real. I think anyone who is a fan of Crush knows about Dean, yeah? Like they know Zico (everyone knows Zico) and Millic (who DJ’d for Crush on the night). I like Dean’s music, ’21’ is my favourite song by him. But yeah, anyway, Dean showed up for a couple of songs and the crowd went absolutely batsh*t crazy. Including me. In the words of a fellow Tweeter, the atmosphere went from 1000% to 2000%.

(May I also just mention I had no clue what Dean looked like until that night? Don’t ask me how, but I was very surprised by the added perfection he graced the stage with.)

This is only the second concert I’ve ever been to. My first was 2NE1 in Ho Chi Minh City in 2014 (so I can now brag that I got to see them live before they disbanded, sigh) but at the time I only had a bad phone camera to hand and the only photo evidence I got of them on stage was very blurry. This time, I had a better phone with a better camera, but at my distance in that lighting, you can’t really make out the details of Crush’s face, and I couldn’t catch one of Dean’s, either.

All in all, it was a fantastic night that makes me feel really giddy and happy. My feet killed after standing for hours in heeled boots that I am still grateful for because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see, but that was nothing that a night in the next-door Travelodge couldn’t solve.

(I made it into the group photo taken at the end, too! I’m on the left¬†right where that white glare of light is, somewhere under the exit sign! I’m really annoyed! You can just see my red jacket arm sticking out of the glare.)

Thanks for reading!

X

The Saving Goddesses of K-Pop (This month, anyway.)

Since the mock exams and reports and self assessments as such, I’ve been on a hiatus in more ways than one. I didn’t go to Archery, or knit, or draw, or anything at all. I did turn 18 though, which is something. Wow, guys, I’m an adult now – she says with a serious deadpan face and unparalleled un-enthusiasm.

Slowly I’ve been picking things up again and today, the weather was so nice and the light was nice too, so I’ve just had a photo-taking session so that photos won’t hold me back from reviewing products and posting those.

Anyhow. Back to the topic of this post at hand. I went through a cringey phase, back when I was about 10-11 years old, where I was utterly convinced that Japanese things were better than Korean things, and later on, I became obsessed with Kpop. Then I became obsessed with everything, absolutely everything at once that was not ‘Western’.¬†I guess now I hold an interest in everything whether it’s Western or not, but all that is far muted compared to how it was before. I do feel that partly, new music releases haven’t given me too much to be excited about, but that has changed.

Let me introduce you to some female artists who, I believe, really are fresh in K-Pop right now who have all released exciting new stuff quite recently.

Lee Hi
– My k-pop bae. It’s been three or four years since her last comeback, and since then, she and I both grew up and are adults now. Her sound has matured to match, as well, from ‘First Love’ to ‘Seoulite’. Even just by the names of those releases, you can see the growth from lovely teenager to cool young city adult, right?
Her voice has changed, too. It’s smoother and less husky, but still very distinctly her. Tablo and his independent label, HIGHGRND basically took the reins for producing this album and I hope y’all know I love his stuff, so I knew this album would impress me.

This entire Seoulite EP shines, by the way. It was decided to promote ‘Hold Your Hand’ because of its consistency with her previous, fun MVs like ‘1,2,3,4’ and ‘It’s Over’, and ‘Breathe’ was written by Jonghyun of SHINee and reminds us all why we love this voice so goddamn much. I hate generic ballads, usually, but this one isn’t generic and it sticks.

The other three tracks, ‘World Tour’ with MINO from WINNER, ‘Official’, and ‘Fxxk WIT US’ are, how shall I say, very underground (and very Tablo) in comparison. Whilst the two promoted tracks are true to her fan-loved style, the other three bring out a new style for her and really solidify this modern and mature concept that surrounds this EP.

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Lee Hi makes pink cool.

Whoops, this turned into a fan burst. I guess you can tell РI really, really, love Lee Hi and Seoulite. I also love Tablo for making this album a reality because honestly? We were not expecting to see her have a comeback any time soon.

Mamamoo
– I started keeping track of these girls starting with ‘Aah-Oop’, and then their new album, ‘Melting’ fixed them onto my radar.

I don’t even have words. Like damn, they can sing.

I mean, these girls released a song that’s 100% themselves dissing each other’s heights.

Ladies’ Code
– Some of you might have heard of the big news concerning Ladies’ Code last year. They had five members, two of whom died¬†in a really bad car accident. Despite this, they are back as a trio. Have you noticed that there are five seats at the table? I’m all emotional. There’s something sentimental and hopeful about the song, as well as a vibe that tells you that, y’know, these girls are moving forward with EunBi and Rise in their hearts.

Yezi of Fiestar
– Yes, I am aware that Fiestar have just had a group comeback. But I think this particular solo debut still blows that out of the water. Yezi rose to popularity on the 2nd season of Unpretty Rapstar, an all-female, badly edited rapping show, from the ‘Crazy Dog’ performance (the song made it into her mini album, too) to her general badassery, she was definitely one to watch. Unfortunately, I don’t really like the video to Cider¬†because she just seems a little bratty¬†there, but they released a video for ‘Sse Sse Sse’! It features three more rappers from the series, all of whom I like.

I’d like to include ‘Someone Like U’ by Dalshabet and ‘Sting’ by Stellar as notables that didn’t make it, because I liked the songs by themselves and didn’t have much to say besides that they are catchy as hell.¬†I hope you liked my sudden return and these new music recommendations!

Until next time,

X

Newton’s Apple – Album by Nell (Packaging and Lots of Fangirling)

I mentioned that I got a really exciting delivery in the post yesterday. I also took photos right away because I was so excited.

It’s a physical copy of Nell’s album, Newton’s Apple! I came across someone on Facebook who was destashing her collection at really good prices. I had my eye on some other albums but they were popular and were gone long before I looked at the post. I am still very happy to have been able to buy this, though. I find that foreign albums can be quite pricey at times especially including shipping, so I’ve never bought one myself. I also own One of a Kind by G-Dragon and that was a gift.

Anyway, back to this gorgeous album. I guess you could say this is my introduction to Nell even though they’ve been around quite a while. White Night (CD2, Track 2) was the first song I ever heard from them, and I have never looked back.

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The album was packaged so nicely! This is what it looked like after I got rid of all the bubble wrap and outer wrapping. I will be keeping that Thank You card and putting it on my wall.

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The lovely lady I bought this from also included an extra little gift in the form of an Etude House Olive Sheet Mask! I look forward to using it, and will probably be saving it for a rainy day, since I still have a bunch of Malie Green Tea Masks to go through.

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As you can see, the packaging is stunning. As well as the lyric booklet which you can see on the right, above the CDs, there was a black envelope included with contained stunning artworks for certain tracks on the album. They capture the essence of the music perfectly. The actual album is quite big as well – bigger than my face. Just means more to love.

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My favourite tracks from this album? You really want to make me answer such a hard question?? Sunshine (CD1) and Haven (CD2) are very chill tracks that will always find a way onto a themed playlist. Sunshine, in particular, is hopeful, but just gets sadder as the lyrics are told from the perspective of the person who wants you to be ‘brighter than sunshine.’ The change in tone turns the atmosphere from supportive to sacrificial, and it gives me such emotion every time.

But seriously, Newton’s apple is one of those few albums in which I think every single track is a stand-out track and you can tell there has been so much thought and love put into every note. I am so happy to own this album and I seriously recommend that you have a listen too.

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August 2015 Playlist – The Songs of my Summer

Coincidentally, the releases I have been looking forward to this month are all from different parts of the world (ish).

  1. From¬†the US, Melanie Martinez‘s debut album (everytime she releases ANYTHING you will hear about it from me!) was released on the 14th. ‘Cry Baby‘¬†is a lovely sickly-sweet (and I mean sick as in creepy, hauntingly and cool-sick) album which just oozes Melanie. Here is the playlist from her Soundcloud – I particularly recommend Mrs. Potato Head and Mad Hatter.

    (Halsey needs a mention here, her stuff is still growing on me but her name is everywhere I look recently and I find myself anticipating her album, Badlands – released the 28th – anyway.)

  2. From¬†Japan, Moumoon¬†released their album, ‘It’s Our Time‘ on the 12th. They previously released a single-album (3 tracks) with the same name but this album has a more¬†fleshed-out 12 tracks including older tracks ‘I’m Scarlet’, ‘Ice Candy’ and ‘Hello, Shooting Star’. This is the interesting lyric video for Cocoon, which I think is their first and only dance-like track.
  3. From Canada, Carly Rae Jepsen¬†released¬†E.MOT.ION on¬†21st August, and from what I’ve heard of it so far it’s shaping up to be a dreamy, care-free synth-pop album which reminds me of Taylor Swift’s 1989 but with very much a Carly-esque happy vibe to it. This is the audio video for Warm Blood, which has been stuck in my head for days.
  4. From Korea, producer¬†PRIMARY¬†released his second solo album, ‘2’ on the 12th. I’ve mentioned ‘Don’t Be Shy’ which is great for summer evenings, but this one, ‘Hello (ft. Lena Park)’ is about getting your nails done (and how you feel afterwards), has a wonderful retro vibe and is great for you aesthetic lovers.

    (I mean, Girl’s Generation released a new album too but if you like K-Pop at all, then you probably knew that already.)

  5. BEAST have been releasing Japanese singles every month for a while now, and this one, #TBM is on repeat. The video is also quite fun and a bit different!

With a playlist as great as this, summer should never end, rainy or not!

X

Music: Creeping

As much as I love catchy, upbeat mainstream pop, no matter how trashy it may seem (Cough – ‘Bitch, I’m Madonna‘ is my jam right now, and of course trashiness is subjective and this may very well be a work of art in your opinion) my real calling is to anything with a creepy vibe juxtaposed with something sweet. The trashy pop is only a supplement to keep me going because there really aren’t many artists who do anything in this genre let alone have it as their main focus. (The list of songs seems to get less creepy as you go along as a result of this!)

  1. [English] Melanie Martinez is one of my favourite music artists out there because all her stuff is sinister and sweet. Although I adore her work, she’s becoming ever popular (the MV for Pity Party released a month ago is gathering close to 4M views on Youtube) but I still want her to be my kind of secret, if you get what I mean.
    This is the MV for Soap – bubbly, sweet, lonely and dark. Her album, Cry Baby, is released Aug 14!

  2. [Korean] Next, is a K-Pop tune, by the producer PRIMARY. I’ve previously posted about Lim Kim’s cat-themed ‘Awoo’, which it turns out he produced. This MV for ‘Don’t Be Shy’ features three girls having a sleepover, surrounded by candles, playing with Pokemon cards and standing around pretending to be ghosts… not to mention the ouija board and burning ritual. He doesn’t usually do this sort of thing with his work so this is really the only one of his tracks I like.
  3. The Japanese music I want to add to this list are dark and not sweet, and have already been mentioned in the form of Tokyo Ghoul theme songs, so I will skip over those and refer you to this post.
  4. [English] I was introduced to Aurora‘s music through another¬†blog, and I have been into her music since. Her music videos are fantastical and dreamy without much creepy, but the music can err on the dark and whimsical side. The live version of ‘Running With The Wolves’ sounds even better, so I really want to see her perform one day.
  5. [Korean]Now, this one is just dark and seductive. GAIN is known for having concepts that stretch the boundaries of K-Pop and this one, Paradise Lost, is no exception, exploring the story of Adam and Eve in a more explicit way.
  6. [English] Lovely Bloodflow by Baths is very onorthodox.
  7. [Korean] WINGS are such an underrated K-Pop duo, as this great song only has 161,000+ views when it deserves so much more! ‘Blossom’¬†is sweeter than all¬†of the other songs on this list but the ending to¬†its¬†MV hints at something darker.

If you have any songs on your music libraries that fit the bill, comment them below – I don’t have enough songs like these.

X

Thoughts #7

Did you know Sunday was my 6-month Blogiversary?
I did post something else on the day, but it was unrelated and in truth I had totally forgotten about it!

On January 12, 2015 I started this blog up just because I felt like it, and I’m proud to say that I’ve been updating it fairly regularly and enjoying it too. I’ve settled into a routine of sorts where I publish something every other day, and when the week is uneventful I will, at the very least, do a ‘Thoughts’ post like this one to reflect on what did happen. Anyway, I¬†thank you dearly for reading, and there’s still more to come!

So, without further ado….

  1. I think I may have figured out a way around this blog logo thing. Fingers crossed.
  2. I also started playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf again, and my-oh-my, I¬†missed this. I share the game¬†with Derp and Twerp, and of course, I am the mayor of our splendid town, Smileyz. I’m sure we could’ve thought of a better name, but this one was more nostalgic for us given that it was the name of our Wild World and Let’s Go To the City towns as well. Our flag is simply my own version of the Strawhat Flag from One Piece…
  3. Listening to 2008-2012 music… and rediscovered this song. (Chipmunk and Esmee Denters – Until You Were Gone)
  4. Also discovered this cover of Cheryl Cole’s Parachute for the first time (although this artist was the one who originally wrote it!!)
  5. Adele’s cover of Promise This is also great.
  6. Finally, BigBang came¬†back again with the MV for ‘Sober’. It’s possibly the first track of theirs in a while that I’ve loved straight away from the first listen. It’s catchy, happy pop with a bit of rock guitar, which reminds me of ‘Crooked’ from GD’s solo album.
  7. Hmm, as I type I think a 2008-2012 themed music post (or multiple) is needed.
  8. I finished reading this – Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews. Apparently it was controversial back when it was first published. I distinctly remember the Headmistress walking by as I read this on the hills by the school field, and saying something about it being outrageous or horrifying or something like that (after she made a comment about how wonderful we were – for not partying and doing something productive, although she didn’t say that directly, of course). I thought the characters were interesting and the plot okay, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re expecting something horrifying – no gore, but socially unacceptable… You know, like child abuse and incest. Hint, hint. The incest, I thought, wasn’t even unacceptable considering their situation, having grown up together with no contact with anybody in the outside world… Just me? Okay.
  9. We are very close to the summer holidays. I can almost taste the rubber soles and leather scent of Clarks, which is where I’ll be working this summer… Although I’ve never been so sad to find out that my working hours weren’t as much as I expected.
  10. Shoutout to Whatsapp for updating the android version of the app and making the old version obsolete (unusable) right before the summer holidays, when I need it to keep in touch with my friends! Even worse, the new update cannot be downloaded on my old phone, and I can’t get a new one until after the holidays. Great timing, much?
  11. We tried clout shooting in Archery club yesterday and I won sweets. We used a huge orange cone as the target, which the guy running the club managed to hit twice – and he wasn’t very modest about it! It was a lot of fun, and I’d love to do it again… if only it didn’t rain.¬†I have also been upgraded to heavier limbs, 2lb heavier, so 22lb now. I can feel the weight but it’s quite comfortable, still!
  12. I lost my colour-changing umbrella and I am very upset about it.

Finally, Happy Birthday to Derp. 16 years and, as someone said today, still a baby, although you’re like the older brother I never had. I hope you enjoyed getting girl’s shoes fitted onto your feet during job training today… *wink*

X

Thoughts of the Week #2

  1. My psychology Unit 1 exam was today. I could barely sleep last night. I felt all hyped up, tense yet jittery, and got the same feeling at the end of the exam. I think it went pretty well even though a few topics I didn’t like came up. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the essays…
  2. Dad forced me to tidy my room somewhat. This consisted of throwing out lots of paper and putting all of my art things back into the Art Box. I can see the floor on my half of the room again – and it needs a good vacuuming!!
  3. I drafted up a proper pattern for the Linen Stitch Scarf, after a bunch of calculations.
    Then my common sense kicked in and I realized that I was going to have to redraft because I don’t have enough yarn. Here I was, thinking that I had no common sense anyway.
  4. This morning I invented a concoction that tastes of tea, mostly, but smells of coffee and it’s kind of messing with my head. Basically you make tea like usual but add two pinches of instant coffee – just enough to give¬†the scent. If you find it tastes like coffee you’ve either put in too much, or the scent is producing the illusion of the taste of coffee (try it while pinching your nose!).
  5. Woah woah woah. One of my favourite bands, FLiP, have just brought out a new mini album.

    It’s a really light, carefree album – a stark contrast to the dark sounds in their earlier albums. I’ve read multiple Youtube comments about how they’re shelling out for mainstream pop-rock and, not to be blunt, but after listening to Love Toxicity (pretty dark and sensual-not-sexual) and XX emotion (dark with optimistic¬†overtones), it definitely sounds like it. However, there’s something very distinctive about their music that’s still there, which is why I still like the mini album, even if it’s not my favourite by a long shot.

  6. I¬†lost-and-found the face cloth I made a while ago, and it’s spurred me on to continue the¬†second one so I can have them on rotation. Simple Seed Stitch is the way forward.

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