Shabu Shabu Time

My dad is a very health concerned person, and refuses to see meat on the table. So it is very rare for our dinner table to be consisted of any animal other than fish.

When my dad goes on a business trip, that is when my mother and I have a grand meat party. Our recent feast was Shabu Shabu.

Shabu Shabu is a Japanese traditional food where you dip thin slices of meat into a boiling pot of broth and vegetables. Sicne the meat is so thin, it is cooked in a matter of seconds.

Dropping the Tears

K. Will – Dropping the Tears & One Droplet In a Second

This recent fan-made video of K. Will’s new ballad pieces, Dropping the Tears and One Droplet In a Second (눈물이 뚝뚝 / 1초에 한방울), shows the tears of stars from various Korean/Japanese dramas and movies. I thought it was a pretty high-quality video with nice editing, especially with the voices. The video reminded me of each of the movies/dramas.

Movie Review – Too Beautiful to Lie (Don’t Believe Her)

Too Beautiful to Lie / Don’t Believe Her / 그녀를 믿지 마세요

Director: Hyeong-jun Bae
Writer: Yeon-seon Park
Release Year: 2004
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Language: Korean
Cast: Haneul Kim, Dongwon Kang, Jaeho Song
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xidpHZ0Cj2c

One day, a strange woman comes to your home town and persuades your family that she is your fiance…
Kim Haneul plays a devious young woman, Joo Young Joo with the title of “ninth degree liar”, who can lie out of any given situation. After meeting under unfortuante circumstances, Young Joo arrives at Heechul (Kang Dong Won)’s hometown, in the rural country side of Korea. Soon, she persuades his family that she is his fiance that has been neglected of his care, and turns all of Heecul’s family against him.

The plot is like many typical Korean love comedies, with an aggressive heroine who takes control of the male character, but one thing that stood out from this movie was the neat orgainzation of the flow. There weren’t any unnecessary scenes in the movie with just enough humor, exaggeration, and meaning. All the actors, from main characters to the minor roles, such as the neighbor ladies were perfect for their given roles.

Overall, the movie had a very tacky color to it, including the clothing style and the general hues that the movie used. I believe that this was used on purpose to show the distinct culture of rural Korea. The large and tight family of Heechul and the friendly neighbors who seem to know everything that is going on with each other’s families, convey their warm and lively lifestyle.

I ended up watching this movie while writing my school essay, which made me take four times as much time than I needed to finish writing. Truthfully, I picked up on the movie because I am a big fan of the male actor, Kang Dong Won. He definitely showed his talent in acting through his comical facial expressions, as this movie was his first screen debut, but I ended up finding myself more attracted to the perfect acting of the actress, Kim haneul. Here, when I say “perfect”, I don’t mean her acting skills, but her ability to become synchronized with her role.

I recommend this movie to everyone who wants to watch something that doesn’t need to go “deep” to deliver enjoyment to the watchers.

This movie can be found on Crunchyroll with English subtitles.

Tokyo Banana

I always thought Japanese desserts tasted the same, with their extremely sweet mashed beans, that is until my dad brought home, Tokyo Banana. I’ve actually seen these a lot at the airport, but I had never tried them before. I, being a banana lover, fell in love with this treat the moment I bit into it

Banana cream coated with soft banana bread. A perfect snack for banana lovers! (like me!)

Artist Review – RADWIMPS

RADWIMPS

Genre: Rock
Origin
: Kanagawa, Japan
Since
: 2001
Members
: Yojiro Noda (Vocal & Guitar), Akira Kuwahara (Guitar), Yusuke Takeda (Bass), Satoshi Yamaguchi (Drums)
Albums
:

  • Radwimps
  • Radwimps 2 ~Hatten Tojō~ (RADWIMPS2~発展途上~)
  • Radwimps 3 ~Mujintou ni Motte Ikiwasureta Ichimai~ (RADWIMPS 3 ~無人島に持っていき忘れた一枚~)
  • Radwimps 4 ~Okazu no Gohan~ (RADWIMPS 4 ~おかずのごはん~)
  • Arutokoronii no teiri (アルトコロニーの定理)

Site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/radwimps

http://www.radwimps.jp/index.html

Although only known by a few in the states, RADWIMPS is young band made up of highschool friends, that is very popular among teenage girls in Japan. The vocalist of RADWIMPS, Yojiro Noda, has lived in the United States, and some of their songs have English lyrics. However, I prefer their Japanese songs over their English ones. While their Japanese songs have a distinct idiosnycrasy, their English songs sound like just any other American punk band, or even Ellegarden (a Japanese band, who also has many songs in English).

The style of their music, especially the lyrics, remind me a lot of Bump of Chicken, which I wrote about earlier in my posts. Each line in their lyrics have a different meaning, and form a short story through a song. One of their interesting songs is “Order Made” which presents a conversation of a god (the creator) and a human while being created. Other songs that I would recommend with RADWIMPS’ unique style are, Futarigoto (ふたりごと), 25 Chromsomes (25コ目の染色體), Greatest Common Factor (最大公約數). (You can sense that these songs aren’t your everyday love songs just by looking at the title).

Spring Break Food Frenzy

I was actually planning to spend my Spring break by visiting all the restaurants that I’d found out through out the school year that I didn’t have time to visit. But then, because of uncooperative friends and family, I had to stay home and eat.

But that doesn’t mean I have to sit at home eating the same thing everyday. I took this time to try cooking some things I haven’t tried in a while.

Tikka Masala

Tikka Masala, Indian chicken curry dish. Didn’t turn out as good as it looked before it was cooked.

Japanese Salt Ramen

A little something that my dad brought home from his business trip. It tasted a bit salty, but I guess that’s why its “salt ramen”. I wish we had some pork to put on top of it, but unfortunately we only had eggs…

Oasis Performs Live on Music Station

On March27th, Friday, Japan’s popular live music program, M-station(tv asahi) will be having Oasis as their special guest. As a 3-hour special, other top Japanese artists, such as EXILE, Hamasaki Ayumi, KAT-TUN, Perfume, Koda Kumi x misono will be performing as well.

Not only is M-station a path that all debuting artists in Japan must cross, M station is also famous for featuring popular foreign artists. Past guests have been, Fishbone, The Blow Monkeys, Deborah Gibson, Tiffany, Swing Out Sister, KISS, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Boyz II Men, Lenny Kravitz, Meja, Charlotte Church, Alanis Morissette, Enya, Destiny’s Child, Michelle Branch, Shakira, Alicia Keys, Busta Rhymes, Beyoncé, Holly Valance, Mariah Carey, Las Ketchup, Avril Lavigne, Hilary Duff, The Offspring, Ana Johnsson, Backstreet Boys, Stevie Wonder, James Blunt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Daniel Powter, Fergie, Sarah Brightman, Delta Goodrem, U2, John Legend, Kanye West, My Chemical Romance, Maroon 5, Leona Lewis, Flo Rida and Ne-Yo.

That there is an impressive list, that I cannot help being jealous of. In Korea, there are many similar music programs such as Music Bank (KBS), Show! Music Central (MBC), but as I watch these programs, its hard to dismiss the fact that the same artists perform every week. While it is hard to see even a variety of Korean artists on these shows, I can’t imagine when we would able to see these skilled artists on the television, instead of having to pay a hundred dollars to go to their rare live concerts.

Before He Cheats

Every student has probably copied a question or two of a homework once in their lifetime. It happens everywhere, no matter what country or what type of school you’re at. Frankly, I’ve done it couple times too, with couple math or chemistry problems. I never had any bad intentions, but sometimes us students just don’t get the time to touch some subjects.

All teachers think that their school has the most troubles with cheating/plagiarism, but compared to the cheating that I witnessed when I attended a Korean public school, our current school has no problems at all.

During the exam, students would literally find a way to switch their whole test sheet, from one desk to another, without getting caught. I actually thought it was amazing, both the students who managed to do such a risky act, and the teacher, who failed to notice it going on. My friend in Korean school often tells me of his class’ environment while taking a test. He mentioned that the whole class cooperates to help each other “cheat”.

My NHS group found this while we were making a presentation about Academic Honesty.

LYRICS:
Right now, he’s probably up typing that four page report, and its due tomorrow morning.
Right now, he’s probably thinking he can’t get all of it done, so he’ll search Pink Monkey.
Right now, he’s probably up copying with a mouse-click, pasting in what he found on Google!
And he don’t know….
That I’ll write in red onto the side of his neatly written essay — “plagiarized,”
Mark my grade there too as a letter “D.”
I took a detention referral on which to write,
“Stay at school for four more hours….”
Maybe next time he’ll think, before he cheats….
Right now, he’s probably up studying some white-cell lecture for Mrs. Snodgrass physiology.
Right now, he’s probably saying “I’m sunk” and he’s a thinking that he’s gonna fail biology.
Right now, he’s probably typing in 3 pages worth of notes in his cell phone…
But he don’t know….
That I’ll write in red onto the side of his neatly written test — “you compromised,”
Mark my grade there too as a letter “D.”
I took a detention referral on which to write,
“Stay at school for four more hours….”
And maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats….
I might saved a little trouble for the next teacher,
Cause the next time that he cheats…
Oh, you know it won’t be on me!
No….. not on me….
‘Cause I’ll write in red onto the side of his neatly written essay — “plagiarized,”
Mark my grade there too as a letter “D.”
I took a detention referral on which to write,
“Stay at school for four more hours….”
Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.
Ohh…maybe next time he’ll think….. before he cheats…
Ohhh…. Before he cheats….

Artist Review – Aqualung

Aqualung (Matt Hales)

Genre: Rock

Origin: UK

Since: 2002

Albums: Aqualung, Still Life, Strange and Beautiful, Memory Man, Words and Music

Site: http://www.aqualung.net

Honestly, I didn’t have any info on this artist except for the fact that he was British. The only motivation I had to begin writing this post was from listening to his songs. So before going any further, I would take a listen, if I were you. 🙂

– Brighter Than Sunshine – Double click to play/pause


– Something to Believe In –

I personally think that Aqualung’s charms are mostly in his gentle, almost feminine voice. His voice, along with the touching lyrics of his make a combination that had me fall in love with his songs the moment I heard them.
His music has been often used in popular media, such as commercials, films, and dramas including A Lot Like Love, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, and CSI: Miami.

Artist Review – E Z Hyoung

E Z Hyoung (Ji-hyoung Lee / 이지형)

Genre: Alternative/Acoustic

Origin: S. Korea

Since: 1994 (under a different band, Weeper)

Albums/Compliations: Radio Dayz, Spectrum, Coffee and Tea, Shik-gaek (식객) OST, Shun-jung manhwa (순정만화) OST, Guest singer in Toy’s Sixth album-Thank You

If you think that all there is to Korean pop music are idol groups made up of pretty girls and boys, you are mistaken. It’s true that the majority of the music market is dominated by these groups, but there are many valuable artists that are waiting to see the light of broader audiences. These indies musicians usually perform “underground” in rock cafes around Hong-dae (Hong-ik University), best known for its artistic atmosphere.

E Z Hyoung has been well known in Hong-dae, as the “Won-bin”, a famous Korean actor who’s name has become almost a symbol of having good looks. He gained more popularity from the public after his participation in the soundtracks of popular dramas and movies. Compared to his past, as the member of the band “Weeper”, his independent songs are more original and calmer.  His new albums consist of many acousitc pieces, some of my favorite being, “Nobdy Likes Me”, “Dreamers” (몽상가들), and “Running Man”.

An interesting note is that, E Z Hyoung seems to have a small connection with Jason Mraz, as E Z Hyung performed as the opening guest singer during Jason Mraz’s concert in Korea and as Mraz performed one of E Z Hyoung’s pieces, “Nobody Likes Me”, during his appearance on EBS Space, a live music program in Korea.

I personally got to know this artist through one of my school friends and E Z Hyoung has held a special place in my iTunes library ever since. His music is relaxing; it makes me feel like I’m on a trip, sitting in the driver seat of the car, watching the country-side pass by the window.


“Dreamers” (몽상가들) – Live @ EBS Space