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Pain and Beauty in IUs A Flower Bookmark 2
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Pain and Beauty in IUs A Flower Bookmark 2

Life is full of both highs and lows, and full of both beauty and pain. IUs sequel to the successful A Flower Bookmark remake album from 2014 reflects this with songs personally chosen by IU. A Flower Bookmark 2 shifts from joy and euphoria to despair and misery in a journey through the emotions of life. With this album, it feels like IU has made something universal, something relatable to us all.

One half of the album explores the beauty of life and the other half looks at the pains of life. Autumn Morning fits into the former category. The pre-release track is an ode to this season filled with warm affection for life. Its a cover of Yang Hee-euns song from 1991 in which she finds beauty in the everyday moments of life like the sound of birds chirping, the fresh scent of morning and children walking to school. IU has kept the minimalist style of Yang Hee-euns original song and the vocal style, singing mostly without any accompaniment. The choice to retain the style of the original works due to the strength of IUs voice that is able to maintain the essential simplicity of the original song.

B1A4 Puts A Rollin Success In Motion
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B1A4 Puts A Rollin Success In Motion

B1A4 is back for the first time this year withRollin and theyve taken a run at the tropical house trend that seems to be everywhere nowadays. Fans have been waiting for this comeback for ten months since A Lie so expectations were high.

Thankfully, Jinyoung and Baro were able to keep the groups individuality while crafting a singalong earworm with a killer hook. Jinyoung explained the change in style in a VLive broadcast,We either went with Im so happy when falling in love or Im so sad when breaking up but this time we went for the strong feelings of falling in love. I think our style has changed a bit.

Zandari Festa 2017: Hongdaes Global Music Party
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Zandari Festa 2017: Hongdaes Global Music Party

Its that time of year again where artists from all over the world converge in Hongdae for the Zandari Festa. Taking place for over four days from September 29 to October 2, Zandari Festa 2017 continues the festivals mission to become a truly global event. With 140 acts from 25 counties, the Zandari Festa 2017 promises to bring fans and musicians together from all around the world to form new connections and share in the good time.

Taking the stage across ten different venues are some of our favorite Korean Indie Gems  and fest alums like   Whatever that Means, Wasted Johnnys, Guten Birds, Rock n Roll Radio, Victim Mentality,  and Diealright. Also participating in Zandari Festa 2017 will be international groups like Israels Totemo and Elis Paprika the Black Pilgrims from Mexico.

BTS Explores Different Ways to Love in Love Yourself: Her
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BTS Explores Different Ways to Love in Love Yourself: Her

BTS is experiencing a landmark year, from winning a Billboard award to entering the Hot 100 chart for the first time, amongst the bunch of records theyve broken with their latest album Love Yourself: Her. Their energetic title songs and explosive choreography are usually what brings in the fans from around the globe, but what exactly could a chart-topping group do musically after gaining all this worldwide attention?

Go back to the basics love.

In K-pop, love is a theme as ubiquitous as flashy MVs and eye-catching hair colors that signal a comeback. Its a safe concept because love is experienced in so many ways, and everyone can express these feelings. In Rap Monsters Billboard Awards speech, which also appears as a skit track, he thanks fans for their support, encouraging them to love yourself. Its a sentimental memory that shows appreciation for the effort it took to get them to that point in their career.

FYVP: Loosen Up
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FYVP: Loosen Up

Welcome back to another installment of For Your Viewing Pleasure, where we take time out of the week to curate a set of photos from the K-pop landscape.

This week, we focus on pants more specifically, wide-legged, loose-styled pants, including gaucho pants, culottes, and even the odd bell-bottom jeans. They are a nice break from skinnies, not to mention they allow your legs to get some of that cool, crisp autumn breeze. With countless styles ranging from a simple, plain monochrome to wild, colourful patterns, there is a pair for everyone!

LOONA Odd Eye Circle Play It Cool with Mix and Match
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LOONA Odd Eye Circle Play It Cool with Mix and Match

LOONA’s (stylized LOOΠΔ) debut arrangement — debuting one member per month at a time — is unconventional and slightly confusing, but it is perhaps the first of its kind and sets the girl group apart right from the get-go. The only thing is, with the huge amount of time between each member debut — and yes, one month is a pretty long time in the K-pop world — it’s very difficult for general listeners like me to really know what’s going on with the group and who the members are.

Best of Weekly Music Shows: 9/19 – 9/24
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Best of Weekly Music Shows: 9/19 – 9/24

Fall is here and so is Best of Weekly Music Shows! We got highly anticipated comebacks from BTS, Sechskies, April, and GFriend, combining the worlds of the first generation of K-pop with the newer ones. Sadly, those performances didnt include MBC Show Champion or Show! Music Core since the network is going through a media strike. Hopefully, things will be resolved well for those seeking more freedom of speech in the press.

Week in Review, 9/18 to 9/24
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Week in Review, 9/18 to 9/24

Welcome to another edition of SB Week in Review! Chuseok holidays are right around the corner, which means a lot of comebacks before the long holiday. Heres all the news you might have missed:

Its been revealed that DJ Joy was assaulted earlier this month. She sustained seirous injuries to her face and is recovering. A police investigation into the assault is underway, though the attacker has not been arrested.

Year-end awards season is beginning. Soribada Best K-Music Awards were held this week, with Twice, Wanna One, G-Friend, B.A.P., Red Velvet, and more all receiving Bonsang awards. Exo took home the physical Daesang as well as the New Korean Wave Popularity Award. Twice won the digital Daesang.

Jonghyun, Comfort Women, and The Political Celebrity
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Jonghyun, Comfort Women, and The Political Celebrity

SHINees Jonghyun has once again created a stir for his bold, politically charged comments. This time around, the statements in question concerned the oft-discussed, never fully resolved issue of the treatment of comfort women.

In a closing comment on his MBC FM4U Blue Night radio show on the 1st of March, he said, Every year on March 1st, I think of our grandmothers who were forced into sex slavery by the Japanese soldiers. Never mind the attitude of the Japanese government, Im curious as to whether our government has any intention of solving this issue. I heard that there are about 55 remaining survivors and I wonder if we will be able to see them smiling brightly before they pass.

A Guide to Recognising South Korea Video Production Companies
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A Guide to Recognising South Korea Video Production Companies

There are hundreds of MVs released every year in South Korea, and as fans we welcome comeback after comeback of our favourite singers. However, behind every great MV is a video production company the spotlight neglects. Even the most avid fans of South Korea’s music industry might not pay attention to the producers behind each piece of MV, focusing largely on the product more than the creators. These underappreciated creatives deserve some recognition, and once you delve into the world of each production company, it becomes almost too easy to identify them by their visual styles and film techniques.