Lyric of the Day: Tim Seely

Golden haze,
Another morning feels like yesterday
End of May…
Now you’re gone and there’s still bills to pay

– Michael Buble, End of May : opening lines


Lyric of the Day: Bill Withers & Skip Scarborough

When I wake up in the morning, love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And something without warning, love
Bears heavy on my mind

-Bill Withers, Lovely Day : 1st verse

[SiC] Khalil Fong’s Catchy Summer Track, “BB88”

Just dropping into share really quick this new song I just heard today, thanks to a recommendation from the lovely Jennifer M. via FB. I haven’t ever really gotten into Khalil Fong, but his songs always catch my ear whenever I hear them.

He makes very light and coffeehouse-cool kind of songs, which I like more than other stuff I hear coming out from Hong Kong (though to be honest, I’m not a very faithful vigilant – I pretty much stick to what I know, which is Jay Chou). Lots of smooth crooning and catchy beats, just like little hooks tugging at your lobes as the tune wafts by – seriously, that’s the extent of the catchiness.

This song appears to be his new summer track, with lyrics simple enough so that even I can understand most of them. And I appreciate the wordplay with BB88 (88, pronounce “ba ba” in Mandarin, sounds like bye bye and is so used in texting or online conversation, so the title is basically saying “baby bye bye”), which isn’t revolutionary but isn’t saccharine or too out there (as English misappropriations sometimes get – you know what I mean!).

Anyway, definitely a talented songwriter. Hope he continues to add quality stuff into the Mandopop mix.

Lyric of the Day: Sara Watkins, Blake Mills, Sean Watkins

Waiting for the sun to come back around
I’m meant to lift him up, not tie him down

-Sara Watkins, Lock & Key : 3rd verse

Lyric of the Day: Ryan Tedder, Brent Kutzle

You say I’m lucky to love something that loves me
But I’m torn as I could be wherever I roam

-One Republic, All This Time : 2nd verse

This will be useful…

…when trying to explain what “aegyo” is.

I think the concept of 애교 is similar to the Chinese idea of 撒嬌/sa jiao, or the way I’ve heard it most, sai-nai (from Taiwanese).

On a baseline level, it means acting cutesy, like a kid, but it has an exaggerated, affected and almost manipulative connotation, which causes many people to recoil. Aegyo behavior often features in the context of pouting or whining, wheedling to get something, be it affection or shiny, new things.

Apparently it makes many native Asian men weak in the knees, or at least soften up. Not sure if it’s really a positive or negative though – I get called sai-nai a lot by extended family when I’m back in Taiwan, and I feel kind of insulted. My dad will say I shouldn’t be. I guess it’s the perceived affectation that ignites my repugnance…

Such an interesting cultural feature though. Your thoughts? (And is there a Japanese version?)


Some extra links for people interested in further reading and thoughts:

The K-Pop Boy Bands Playlist, P2

Finally Part 2 of this playlist for Seoulist is up! The online presence has been a lot more fettered since I started my new jobs and enrolled in a couple of classes. Thanks to everyone for their patience – hope your boy band fire is still going strong:

“Still catching up with the changing faces of K-pop? Get to know the new breeds of boy bands, from TVXQ to B2ST.”

This is the second half of the Boy Band Playlist. If you missed the first segment, take a look here. You can find Part 2’s complete compilation on Youtube.

You might recall that, having cut the lengthy list of boy bands in half, we saw a good amount of old school K-pop in the earlier article. I tried to approximate the split along the boy band timeline so that this subsequent segment could be termed “New Wave,” referring to the flood of fresh flower boy faces after a very, very brief recession.

While a number of pop cultural trends settled in and persevered, such as sculpted member roles, bipolar genre segregation/hopping and plastic surgery, the new millennium also saw a few shifts. Alongside the growing popularity of K-pop in globalized society came better dance moves, more polished “American- sounding” music and, marginal but critical, diversified companies. Accuracy of English usage has stayed about the same, though.

Out of the complete playlist, I probably listened most to 1TYM, g.o.d and TVXQ, with a healthy dose of Fly to the Sky and Nell. But before we dive into the music, I want to make something clear.

I know that I’ve poked a few fan girl sides here and there, but honestly, there’s no shame in liking a boy band.

I repeat: No. Shame. (Now, being in one… just kidding!!! Really.)

The songs are catchy, the boys are cute and charming, and they can kind of dance. It’s not hard to see how a boy band easily becomes the reason for breathing, believing, even blinking. I myself will admit that I’ve been there, done that.

Just don’t let the infatuation eclipse your other life and/or last for a period of over five years.

Read the rest of this entry

Lyric of the Day: Stephen Schwartz

Like a ship blown from its mooring by a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a sky bird in a distant wood
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you,
I have been changed for good

-Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, For Good

Favorite song from the musical, Wicked?

[Re-Up] Crash Course on K-pop Boy Bands, Part 1

Re-posting Part 1 of my Boy Bands Playlist written for, in preparation for the upcoming Part 2. Click on the image below to access:

Win Concert Tickets to Aziatix’ U.S. Tour!

Soompi is hosting a sweet event for Aziatix fans, giving away two tickets per show (minus Austin – sorry, Southerners!). There’s a nice spread of locations and dates available on the official Aziatix website.

I’m excited!!!

Even though I’m not an actual fan-fan of Aziatix, I appreciate what they’re trying to do in K-pop and what they’re bringing to the table. I also think that each of them are talented musicians are on their own, so I’d definitely like to see them perform live. That’s how my friend and I fell in love with g.o.d back in the day!

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