QRIMOLE – October 2023

It’s time for QRIMOLE! Let’s take a look at this month’s questions for Kpopalypse!

Hey oppa, what’s up. I’m sure you already have more than enough info on the shitfest that is the idol industry, but I feel like (especially now that you’re publishing your books) I should let you know on some shit that’s happened within my social circle the past year. I’d appreciate if you could redact the content of this question from this point onwards.

[everything redacted]

This probably should have been an email to me instead, but I’m putting it here anyway just to let you know that yes I did read what you wrote (I always read everything whether I reply or not), and yes I would definitely talk to her if she decided that she was up for it one day. Of course she would have to really want to do it, but I agree she’d have quite a relevant story to tell, if she wanted to share it. If she ever escapes that hellhole, if you were to send her the Cheska and Melanie interviews and ask her to get in touch via my email if she wanted to do something similar, I’d appreciate it. Thanks for thinking of me, here’s hoping she follows through and doesn’t succumb to pressure from “external forces”…

How do you feel about Skindred? Or ragga-metal in general?

I generally think the combination of sounds doesn’t work that well, I like the two sounds individually but not so much together. Best example of it actually working I can think of is Dub War’s “Strike It” and it’s pretty damn good but I feel like even that would have been even better if it was something else.

Do you ever feel like discontinuing the radio show has changed your kpop listening habits? For instance, are you less likely now to revisit songs that made a bad first impression?

Hasn’t really changed much of anything, because I did the same listening for the radio show that I now do just for roundup, although I do have time to cover slightly more songs now given that I don’t have to organise the technical aspects of going to air, but they still all get about the same ‘chance’.

Now that Youngji finally has a solo, seems like a good time to ask what you, the metal guy, think of Seungyeon’s solo “Guilty.” I always felt it was a shame that, out of such a famous group, the best-looking member (and the only one who could sort of sing) never really had a solo career.

This is really a “roundup bonus song” type question, and the response is of course the same as when people ask for reviews of any other songs for that feature. The reviews there are always pretty middling, because if I had strong emotions about a song that old (good or bad) I would have already spoken about it in depth and it wouldn’t be still lacking coverage a decade later. “Guilty” is too washed out with strings to really rock hard, and it’s pretty generic stuff melodically too. I do like the rock presentation of it though, but I feel like Dreamcatcher got this sort of idea and ran with it a lot further down the road, with generally much better results.

Can you talk about nice body – hyomin? I’ve recently come across the song and I’m really curious about how it was received when it was released, I wasn’t a kpop stan then and when I look it up there’s not alot of “actual” opinions if you know what i mean, so I’d quite like to know from someone who was a kpop stan then what the recieve of the video and lyrics was like, thanks and apologies if this is worded incorrectly english isn’t my first language

I’ll add this one to the roundup bonus song list and cover it at some point. You can use retrospring for these sorts of questions as I don’t think they really belong in QRIMOLE.

What do you think about the musician’s on IU’s Palette? Her bassist in particular seems pretty legit but you’re the pro.

Anyone who is on the level where they’re doing session or live work for someone as famous as IU is always going to be hot shit, because someone at that A-list tier is only going to hire the best, and those types of positions are highly sought after so often the very best musicians apply. With Michael Jackson, Madonna, or any other A-tier western celebrity you can name, it’s the same situation, the band is always mint. Someone who was anything less than total pro grade simply wouldn’t even be able to get a gig with someone like IU. Period. Amateurs (or those with amateur skills) get weeded out of the process before they even get to meet someone like her.

I have an entry level vinyl record playing setup and I’m looking to upgrade slowly over time. Curious what you think would amplify the listening experience. Right now i feel like my records sound too “quiet ” if that makes sense. What should i spend money to upgrade first, assuming budget isn’t a huge deal? I just want to learn first how to prioritize sound.

Right now i have an audio technica lp60x and edifier r1280 speakers so pretty basic. Is it better to upgrade the turntable first or speakers? Maybe i need a turntable AND a separate phono preamp? I just dont know. I also dont know what to look for in speakers. I live in a small apartment so i cant really blast them at full volume.

I’m sorry to do this to you, but… if you really want prioritise sound, what are you even buying vinyl for? Stop fucking around with that shit and get a CD player, because that’s your sound quality bottleneck right there. Honestly, vinyl is NOT better than compact disc for audio quality, you get pops, scratches, crackles, poor durability, high maintenance equipment, higher environmental footprint and lack of ability to reproduce deep bass frequencies all just for some imaginary “it’s analog, man” bullshit vibes and pseudoscience when 99% of vinyl records these days are mastered digitally anyway before it’s even pressed. Keep the vinyls because the art looks cool as fuck (their one advantage), but you should be looking to replicate as much of your vinyl collection on CD as you can and just play the CDs instead, keep your vinyls pristine to keep their resale value high, sell them to some audiophile sucker in 20 years.

Did you watch the Barbie movie? If so, what did you think about it?

No, n/a.

Someone please get Gfriend back together. I die a little more inside with every release. I don’t think I can take another one of these comebacks.

I feel this.

How far off do you think we are from AGI? It feels like AI just keeps getting more impressive while having baffling holes in their logic that cause mistakes most humans wouldn’t make. I guess defining intelligence and reasoning has become important to really say how the progress is. We can’t exactly test for intelligence without even having a definition for what we truly view to be intelligence, sentience, and sapience. AI just continues to give me this mix of anticipation and dread. I work in a field that has remarkably slow development, with many of the processes archaic and monotonous. It seems so easy for AI to take my job, but then, it also feels like AI’s gotten really good at a lot of tasks that involve a lot more adaptation. It just feels like many of us, maybe even most of us, have spent most of our entire lives developing skills that an AI will surpass in a matter of minutes soon. Where do we go from here?

I really don’t know but here’s a video about it that I liked. I’m not intelligent enough to know if she’s right, I’ll leave that for a machine to determine one day.

What do you make of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard? I heard one of their softer songs, and was taken aback at how hard their most recent album goes.

I’ve been asked this before. Pretty meh. Their “microtonal” sound just seems like a gimmick to me (it’s wasted on western ears honestly, they just sound out of tune to me) and the more recent heavier music, it’s okay but I wouldn’t listen to it if I had a choice between them and any of the last 35 black music features in roundup.

How do you write a good a ballad? What elements make one good?

Answered here (and also in just about every single yearly best-of list whenever a ballad features).

Lisa has been booked for five performances at Crazy Horse in Paris. Netizens reacted with comments such as “Why does she only pick low-class things to do?” and “They should’ve stopped her when she said she was going to do a strip show”. The reality is that this is an amazing opportunity for Lisa. Crazy Horse and Moulin Rouge reject thousands of applicants every year. All their dancers are highly skilled and many are former ballerinas. These cabarets are mostly known by the general public for their more risque acts such as the topless girls in colourful wigs but it’s just a small part of the show. Burlesque is recognized as an art form and IMO attractive women performing in sexy costumes is not all that different from a kpop performance. What baffles me is that prostitution is everywhere in Korea so why be so conservative about something as tame as a cabaret show?

There’s a strip club in my town called “Crazy Horse” and it’s pretty much just one rung above prostitution there (yes I’ve been there, no I didn’t pay for anything), and my understanding is that many towns have a “Crazy Horse” of similar repute. The Paris one sounds different though like a genuine burlesque club. A lot of people uncultured in the fine art of stripping don’t know the difference between these two things and put it all in the same basket, and that’s a common misconception both east and west. Remember that to compound this, while Korea does have prostitutes (boy does it have prostitutes), stripping is an imported thing and relatively rare except in western-themed bars, so I’m not surprised that these sort of subtleties would be lost on a netizen audience. Another reason, piled on top of a mountain of existing reasons reaching up to the fucking clouds, why people should always ignore all netizen comments and disregard any and all sites that feature translation and spreading of netizen comment as their main stock-in-trade.

I’m a mid-senior level art director, currently at a good agency – and by good, I mean I get to leave by 6 pm most days instead of pulling 15-hour shifts for no reason, and management respects my leave days.

The problem is that I’m always put on social assignments, the “you have 1 hour and no budget, make some assets” kind of thing. My whole career has been this, and it’s all I have to show for my time in this industry. I have spoken to all of my bosses, done pitches, shown more conceptual work – all had great feedback – but at the end of the day since I’m a “Swiss army knife” creative, I feel like they put me where they can get the most use out of me rather than where I can grow. I’m pretty burnt out.

I know every agency has their old guard who promotes their ideas and concepts every time, but I am beginning to feel like it is holding back my professional development and ability to expand my portfolio.

When I see agencies that produce award-winning ideas 90% similar to what I’ve pitched and gotten rejected at my own for, I am so jealous of the level of craft in their projects. It makes me feel like I wasted half my 20s and potential working at the places I have. I used to think I could be a great creative, I feel lame now. I’m not sure where to go from here, freelance seems extra risky right now, life is too hard and expensive to just go back to school or simply quit and not have a job for a month to think / take a break.

Sounds like a really valuable skill in that field, it’s no surprise that everyone wants you. In the absence of creative fulfillment, I’d be asking for more money. Doing what you love is nice, but doing what you’re kind of lukewarm about and getting paid what you’re worth for it can feel almost as good. You have a valuable talent, which is being able to perform under pressure (very rare in the art field full of flaky creatives who go to seed at the first sign of a crisis) so don’t let it be exploited without getting fairly compensated. Charge a premium for “get the boss out of jail” work, and slightly less for what you would rather be paid for.

Which one is less acceptable: Emotional cheating or physical cheating?

I don’t even know what “emotional cheating” is supposed to be. Sounds like some made-up nonsense that exists only on social media so in lieu of more information I’m going to go with physical cheating being worse.

Why do you think kpop concerts don’t generally have openers? TripleS have been attempting a large scale us tour and keep having to cancel dates, have to assume turnout is pretty low- as an outsider, seems like they would’ve saved a lot of money and ire just tagging along on OEC’s us tour a few months ago.

Because k-pop fans are psychotic and only have eyes for their bias. It’s the same reason why nobody wants to support Slayer or AC/DC. Any group, no matter how awesome they are, who opens for either of those two bands, always gets pretty much booed off the stage by fans relentlessly chanting the headliner’s name and throwing insults and beer cans. (I know a guy who booed Kyuss when they supported Slayer and he felt super guilty about it years later when he became a huge Kyuss fan.) Sure, the OEC fans would probably just turn off their lightsticks for Triple S but it’s the same sentiment.

This girl called Gina De Bosschere didn’t debut in that north-american JYP’s new group (VCHA), but made a solo single anyway. It seems she’s korean and freaking only 14 years old!! God, french genes sure makes people age fast!
So, I wanted to know what do you think about the song, about her different looks (doesn’t ViVi look younger than her?) and if she’s eligible for the weekly roundup? Also do you think JYP didn’t selected her for the group due to her blatant lack of frenchface?
I wish you a very nice month, caonima!

Don’t like the song. No opinion on her appearance really other than yes she definitely looks older than she is although not sure about older than ViVi. I think I’ll spare her roundup, aging fast is tough, let’s give her a break in life.

Am I (a cis man) a bisexual bigot for having interest in being both active and passive sex with other men (cis & trans) but only strictly having interest in the active role while having sex w/ women (also cis & trans)? Or in other words, am I a bigot for being a bi guy that would not open my ass for a dickgirl but that would gladly be fucked by a man with a schlong or dildo?

I think sexual tastes are like ice cream flavours. What you like is just what you like and you’re not going to be able to help it, whatever it is. You can’t waste time worrying too much about what kind of person it makes you. As long as you’re not hurting anyone else it’s nobody else’s business besides you and whoever you let into your private life.

When you do the stats posts, you always comment that you ‘know why we’re here’ and it does correlate with how many of the top posts of the day are boobs related. But I’d be pretty interested in how many people actually went to those from your site directly, as opposed to via search engine. As in, how many of your readers who actually just come on to read your roundup posts and stuff are perverts. You can tell where the clicks came from so it shouldn’t be that difficult to include in the next stats post for this year, hopefully?

I can answer this for you already – the vast majority of people who click the boobs posts (over 80% of all readers on any given day that isn’t roundup day) don’t read the other posts at all. A few of them do hang around and become fans, but most of them either are horrified and leave straight away, or stick around long enough to right-click a few images and then wander off in search of raunchier stuff after realising they mostly didn’t get what they came here for…

Hi, reader with metalhead husband here. I’ll take full blame for sending that song in [from previous month], as the difference between hardcore and metal goes over my head. For a more accurate metal taste assessment, his favorite metal bands are Deafheaven, Death, Portrayal of Guilt, Inter Amara and Neurosis. Feel free to tear into his taste as you see fit. My real question is how much stock do you put into genre definition, in kpop and other genres? How far away can you get from a genre’s sound/aesthetics and still be a kpop or a metal or a country?

Musical genres really only have functionality for these purposes:

  • as a marketing term, somewhere to file the music on a shelf or on a website, or so you can describe your own project as similar to something
  • academically, for studying how certain music is created, with the aim of replicating it
  • for journalism and writing, so when you say ‘it sounds like thing x’ people can get some kind of mental picture of what it is

So I think it’s best to keep genre definitions as loose as possible. The looser the better. Exception would be if you’re aiming for copying a very specific type of sound but even in that case I’d rather say “I want it to sound like band x” than “I want it to sound like genre x”. People do get very invested in it though and throw their whole ego in there, which is why I think it’s good not to encourage them with endless OCD genre divisions.

Hi Kpopalypse,

I really don’t have anyone else to turn to for this…. but would really appreciate some advice on how to deal with this situation. Trigger warning for EDs and dieting in advance.

I’ve always been thin (please remove specific height / weight if posted, I don’t want to trigger anyone) but recently I’ve gained an additional kilo (which really is not that much LOL) but it means that a lot of the clothes I have don’t fit quite as well as they did before. I’m definitely not the most physically active person, and I want to exercise more for physical health and mental health reasons (i struggle a lot with anxiety and have been severely depressed in the past).

But the actual issue is my mother, who keeps commenting on my body and how much I eat. She’s called me a “pig” and said that I’ve grown “ham slices” where my stomach is (rough translations from non-English, but it sounds even more insulting than this in the original language). I also apparently eat the same amount as 3 adult men according to her….

I’ve started roughly counting how many calories I eat (you’re supposed to eat 1700-2000 as a sedentary female) and what’s even more ridiculous is that I have never eaten more than this! If anything I don’t eat nearly enough. Yet I keep getting hurtful comments about how much weight I’ve gained (1kg…….) and how I eat an excessive amount.

We went on holiday recently to Asia where EDs are rampant and clothing sizes are smaller, and sometimes when the clothes didn’t fit me (which is not shocking, I knew in advance this could happen) I’d get even more comments about how much weight I’ve gained and how I need to start dieting and eating less, and comments about how fat I am. I’ve just started entirely losing confidence in myself and I feel like I’m being effectively bullied into an eating disorder. Also when we would meet with people and have a larger meal together (as you do on holidays) my mother would make frequent comments to these friends we were meeting, “look at us! haha we need to eat less!” which is just so awkward and insulting.

Even my sister sometimes makes comments on what I eat or how much I’ve eaten – I had an average sized meal and my sister insisted that I overate, and how apparently the meal was something people would share with friends and not eat on their own.

To some extent I can block out these thoughts because in all 20 years of my existence I’ve never had an ED, and because of this even now their thoughts and comments do just seem crazy to me. My mother and sister do just live in an entirely different world of delusion. But I can feel those defences increasingly breaking down and I’m definitely starting to develop ED related thoughts, like not being thin enough, or needing to eat less, or that maybe I shouldn’t eat at all for a while, if only to get my mother off my back. Being into KPOP doesn’t help because ED content is everywhere….

Really not sure what kind of answer to expect or want, your thoughts or encouragement would be appreciated. I’m just so lost and feeling really unconfident.

I can’t really help you with EDs as I’ve never had one, so all I can really say about that is, take it seriously, if it gets extreme where you’re having serious ED thoughts see a doctor for some advice. Whether to do it with or without your mother and/or any other toxic forces in tow I don’t know, on one hand they may cause harm and derail the situation but on the other hand maybe the doc can talk sense in them, I don’t know. Maybe try and see the doc without them first just so he knows what he’s dealing with and to make sure he’s on side (and won’t side with them instead). I’m really very out of my depth on this topic, I have no experience in this area. Readers who see this may have better advice than what I’m giving here.

What I can hopefully help you with a little bit more is just the art of not giving a fuck. I hope that just by serving myself up as an example of that, that it’s helpful. In this QRIMOLE and many others (but this one in particular ahem) I share a lot of stuff that proves without a doubt that I really do have no shame and don’t give a shit what people think about me and nor should you. I don’t just overshare because I have a perverse desire to do so, I do it deliberately as an example to others, that you can be yourself with no shame, and be the most embarassing motherfucker alive, and still have confidence. People say all sorts of negative and (mostly) untrue things about me every day, so what – fuck them. The smart ones will learn and mature, the rest I don’t care about. Confidence comes from within, not from other people. Yes having other people say positive things can be helpful, but at the end of the day you’re the one in control of your mind, not anyone else.  

How do think Elon Musk is handling Twitter?

Not very well, but I guess if you’re the richest man on the planet you can fuck up and be an asshole all you like and people will still suck your dick in the hope you might drop them 0.01% of your spare change. That’s pretty much the only reason he has followers left, greedy people glom onto him in the hope he’ll have mercy on their souls and drop a crumb. No matter how embarrassing you or I will be in our lives, we’re always going to look golden compared to that dickhead. He didn’t even bail out his goddaughter Gowon, useless.

Hey there Mr Kpopalypse Oppar?

It has come to my attention at various points that you are from Australia. I am from England but I am planning on spending some time travelling and working round Australia over the summer for 2-4 months depending on how things go. I’ll be landing in Sydney and travelling mostly in New South Wales, possibly venturing up to Queensland as well.

My question is rather simple. Any tips? Where should I go? Where should I avoid? What should I do? What should I expect? Any advice for surviving Australian summer? Where’s the best place to get a good pint? How to survive a snake encounter? Any and all advice and suggestions are appreciated. I look forward to seeing all Australia has to offer. Thank you.

Some basic information that may be very helpful is here.

I’m not much of a touristy person and don’t really get the appeal of travel for its own sake. I’ll travel if I have somewhere to be for a specific reason (like playing a show, or seeing a show) but not “just because”, like Rachel Kim might. So I’m a bad person to ask about tourist experiences as I’m very far removed from that kind of mindset. But:

  • The Blue Mountains an hour’s drive from Sydney is excellent for hiking if you’re into that (you might run into a k-pop star who knows) but do it in SPRING OR AUTUMN NOT SUMMER FFS
  • Avoid Circular Quay which is the overpriced tourist trap area of Sydney, great shops anywhere else in the Sydney CBD apart from this, Newtown is also a great shopping district
  • Nightlife is truly beyond pathetic in ghost-town Sydney but still good in other cities
  • The Gold Coast is the QLD “holiday resort” district along with everything that implies
  • The ‘outback’ is worth visiting, because it’s bucket-list stuff, but beware. The further inland/west you go the more like Jvcki Wai doing Mad Max cosplay it gets. Which makes sense as the Mad Max films were shot in those areas. If you want to make the trip you’ll need a durable, reliable vehicle with air conditioning, at least 10 litres of water on you at all times and some full petrol cans because towns with petrol stations get further and further apart from each other the deeper in you go. Your cell phone will not work out here. You can drive for hours in some places and see literally nobody. You’ll know it starts getting remote when every driver coming the other way along the road waves at you. Why are these strangers in cars waving at you? Because they don’t see other humans in cars very often. Plan your route carefully and research beforehand, because people do get stuck out there and sometimes die if not prepared. Stick to the east coast if the thought of this scares you (it should, nobody will judge you).
  • If you can’t see what’s inside a hole, don’t put your finger or arm in it, this applies to all holes of all types anywhere in Australia. On a related note any venue called “Crazy Horse” down here is not like the one Lisa performed at.

Australian summers are hot and dry, or hot and wet, but mainly just hot. Protect your skin at all costs, Australian sunscreen is SPF 50+ for a reason, put it on ALL exposed skin areas if in the sun for more than ten minutes per day. Wear a hat and long sleeves, don’t remove them when outdoors no matter how hot it gets.

Best place to get beer is literally anywhere there are people. We’re as crazy about alcohol as Koreans are, you’ll never be short of places to find a drink in any sized town, although be aware that country towns (and Sydney CBD LOL) often have shit opening hours.

Snakes here are deadly, but not aggressive. If you see a snake it’s probably just as scared of you as you are of it. If you run it won’t chase, it will usually only attack if it doesn’t see another option or unless you’re very tasty. The people who die of snakebites are usually the drunk idiots who start fucking around with snakes because they think it’s funny.

I know that you do not include b-sides in roundups unless they get a video/performance/dance practice, and I agree that most of them aren’t really any good. But now and then I do find some really good ones. I’m interested to know what you think of “The Way” in Somi’s latest album.

I think it lines up well with the songs you usually like. If it had a video, would it rate high in your lists? If not, what for you are its faults?

I don’t like it much. It has exactly the same problem that a lot of Somi’s other stuff has for me, which is that the topline writing is weak. I do like the groove of it but didn’t like the melody and harmony choices, which is ultimately more important. I can see why it’s a B-side and I’m glad I ignored it.

i dont remember ever reading about what you think about horror movies BUT last month just premiered a horror australian movie called “Talk to Me” and the movie was GREAT and become the highest rating horror movie of the year.. and it was filmed in your city and when i was watching in the theather and they mentioned the name i just remember “omg isnt the kpopalypse guy city” lol so i just wanna know if you heard anything about or what do you think about the movie if you ever watched

Never seen it or heard of it, but looks okay? I didn’t recognise any scenery in the trailer (not a very outdoorsy film by the looks) but the kangaroo is a nice touch. I’m not a huge horror movie fan but my partner is so I’ll recommend it to her and you might get more information next month…

heyo opparz,
i found that there’s this electronic woosh woosh sound that i like in songs, is there a specific name for it or is it just a random sound effect? for reference:

ILY:1 – Twinkle Twinkle (time stamp 0:17)

STAYC – Bubble (time stamp 1:01)

H1-KEY – Low-key Scared But H1-KEY Ready (time stamp – at the beginning)

Congratulations, you are a fan of analog synth sweeps. Here’s how to make them!

Hello, I’m the caonima who asked for new electric guitar advice here:

For my goals:

1. I’d like to be able to play along / cover songs that I like. ie. I’d like to play exactly what the guitarist is playing in Dreamcatcher’s Good Night
or the Blackpink kill this love metal cover you shared before:

2. I’d like to be able to play this solo:

Or this one:

(How hard would these be to learn? What kind of skills should I focus on to work towards these?)

3. I also like guitar covers where the guitar is backing with chords, rather than playing the melody. Not sure how exactly to articulate this point, but
This is something I’m interested in:

Something I am not interested in:

For comfort, sound, and looks, I’d go comfort = sound >>>>> looks. I’m only planning to play by myself in my spare time, not going to perform. Cost is not a huge issue, but cheaper is better of course. (~1000CAD would be ok?)

Some background if it matters: I played piano for ~15+ years until 2014 so I know plenty of music theory and technique for the piano at least. I just received a free acoustic guitar last month, and currently I’m going through free a Youtube course with an acoustic guitar, learning chords etc. just to get used to playing and to get over the finger pain lol (justinguitar is the channel)

The good news is that nothing you’re aiming for is much beyond intermediate level guitaring. So that means you don’t need an instrument that is very specialised, almost any electric guitar would do the job pretty well just in terms of getting your hands moving and practising in the right directions. What you want is achievable pretty quickly if you practice the right things.

What are the right things to practice, beyond basic open chords? For your goals, learn power chords and palm muting (for the heavy rhythm stuff), and barre chords too (but wait til you actually get the electric guitar before you tackle them, trust me, you’ll thank me later) also learn the blues, major and minor scales (for the solo stuff). The blues scale is the most important scale. Once you learn it, learn how to improvise with it, and how to do things like bends, hammer-ons and pull-offs, and legato playing in general. That’ll get you on the right track to learning how to do those solos, which are pretty much just “blues patterns with some extra bits”.

1000 CAD will get you a pretty sweet instrument, there’s no reason to go above that price point unless you want something very specific, and there’s a lot of really good options below it. Since you like a variety of sounds but they’re all pretty much rock-based, a good option would be a guitar with a HSS pickup configuration, that means humbucker-single coil-single coil. Here’s the difference between the two types of pickups visually.

A single coil pickup is basically an electromagnet, one magnet with a ‘coil’ of wire around it. A humbucker is two electromagnets, wrapped together side by side, their proximity stops the electrical interference or “bucks the hum”, hence the name. Humbucker pickups are most useful for heavy styles, because electrical interference increases with heavy distortion, so minimising hum becomes more important. Single coil pickups buzz a little more but also have a tone that people often prefer for non-distorted playing. By having both types of pickups on one guitar, you get a lot of tonal options.

The Loona OEC video is a Fender Stratocaster with a HSS pickup configuration (humbucker closest to the bridge, single coils for the other two pickups). From a random Canadian retailer you’re looking at $1200 for the cheapest, so that’s a little above your price range unless you get lucky at a sale. Squier is Fender’s cheap brand and the quality is honestly comparable, you won’t pay over $750 for Squier’s version of the same type of thing.

There are other brands who do similar stuff though, and really the only reason to pick Fender over anything else for this is the resale value is higher if you want to sell it later. But you don’t want to sell it, do you? Yamaha do a version of the same thing called the Pacifica and their top of the line versions of the Pacifica are just as good as a Fender for less money, and the other guitar brand I’d recommend that really nails this type of guitar is Ibanez who I’d recommend if you like the idea of more modern design elements and also prefer the heavier side of things as their instruments tend to have design features that make faster playing easier (skinnier bodies, thinner flatter necks, larger frets, etc).

Here’s some info about the Squier/Fender range:

And the Yamaha equivalents:

Now running through many guitars in the Ibanez range, from very cheap to very expensive:

There are plenty of other choices in other brands too, too many to list. This post could go for a long time. If you see something you like in a store, message me for a second opinion if you like!

Hi, Kpopalypse!

A lot of this will have to be censored out.

I thought the last time would be the end of this saga, but unfortunately, it was not. This is the same girl who had a crush on a mutual friend who turned out to be straight, etc.

We met up to talk. I aimed to see if we were compatible as friends…and instead I was left kind of pitying her, lmao.

[stuff removed at reader request]

(now wondering if her being straight is actually true or not considering her entire life seems to be about honoring/obeying her family)

Anyways… now it’s been a bit of time and I really feel bad for her? Like it felt from the way she talked about her friends and social life that she has become very isolated/lonely, and coping with that by absorbing herself with her family.

If I was in her shoes I would want someone to reach out to me, but I don’t know if that’s the correct choice. Is this something where I should just “leave her alone to figure out her own cultural identity / place / friends etc.”?

Best thing you can do really if you want to continue to hang out is just lead by example. Show her it’s okay to have preferences. Do the things you want to do and encourage her to do the same. Who knows eventually she might spread her wings a bit and get out of her soon-to-probably-be-awful situation. At the end of the day you can’t save people though, she’s gotta want to do it herself – and if you push too hard, that won’t encourage her to do anything on her own. What she really needs is the absence of anyone telling her what’s best for her – including you. So I guess just try to give her room to be herself and find out who she is, as she seems to be struggling with that.

I know you’re not a fan of ballads, and most people in kpop fandom aren’t terribly interested in them, but it disappoints me when groups like A Train to Autumn just slowly fade out of existence. I find many ballads to be so aesthetically pleasing, much more so than the “how fast can I mispronounce these English words” nonsense that passes for rap these days. It sucks that groups like La Poem (thank you for introducing me to them!) probably will never have mainstream success like, say, IU (in that she has been very successful with her ballads). IDK, I’m just ranting and wish my rainy day mood music would get more recognition. Okay so to put the question in the question box… what’s your cat’s favorite treat besides the lickable ones? My cat is picky af so I’m trying everything.

My cat eats anything, but that doesn’t mean you should feed your cat anything. This might help.

You might also enjoy the Kpopalyspe YouTube livestream landing page song, for more than one reason.

I am a business student and also may or may not have undiagnosed ADHD. Instead of doing something about that, I decided to practice some accounting skills by making spreadsheets, and since I can’t think of anything else interesting in my life to warrant such activity, i have decided to tabulate all your year-end lists into data.

How exactly have I decided to do this? I have (and will) put all entries on your lists into a dataset and assigned them point values based on list placement. (honorable mention is 10 pts, 30th place is 11, all the way to number 1 with 40 pts, with negative points for a dishonorable/worst list mention) It’s an unfinished project and there will be more points of analysis to add but for now it’s pretty raw (and only encompasses the HM list for now) but I plan to make it a consistent hobby to familiarize myself with spreadsheet making. Here’s what I got for now: (sidenote: if anyone can help me automate these somewhat or point out any mistakes i made pls leave a comment oh my god this takes so long with the stupid way i do things)

Points of discussion: 34 separate acts have gotten more than 1 spot on the honorable mentions list, the top 10 being:
Tahiti, SNSD, Stellar, OH MY GIRL, Apink (30 points each)
Hong Jin Young (40 points)
GFriend, BLACKPINK, AOA (50 points)
and Dreamcatcher (70!!! points)

Worth noting that none of the SNSD entries were group comebacks (1 sub unit and 2 solos, i’ll probably explain what i consider to be part of group output) and 2 of AOA’s were from Jimin’s Unpretty Rapstar run. Also, only 2 acts have made it onto the bonus honorable mention section more than once: OH MY GIRL and Rolling Quartz.

I’ll probably do this again next month for the favorites list proper, expect it fondly. (or don’t, maybe you think this is really weird)

also just so this is a question, what’s the common causes of the static that comes from connecting a guitar into an amp/interface? and how come when i plug my guitar into my multi fx pedal and connect headphones directly through it to listen, the signal is clean?

This is cool! Since you’re learning spreadsheets, you should really use this exercise to help make your spreadsheet building easier and more powerful. There’s definitely ways to streamline what you’re doing here, and I don’t know them all, but a data scientist would. I had significant data scientist help when compiling my objectification survey results this year, so I know some of my readers are that way inclined and would probably be interested to assist you greatly to achieve your objective with a minimum of repetitive key-bashing.

If you’re getting lots of static when plugging an instrument into an amp or an interface it’s usually an indication that it’s a bit dusty and dirty in there, which is interfering with the electrical connection. Electrical contact cleaner will fix it up, spray some onto your guitar lead and plug it in and out of your input a few times, twisting it a little each time. WD-40 specialist contact cleaner works if the budget is tight but high grade (90%+) isopropyl alcohol or Deoxit D5/F5 are better and will get the job done with less mess.

Can’t comment on your multi-fx as they’re all different but it might depend on whether you’re plugging into the output or a separate headphones out or even something else like a line out.

Hi there! Since you’ve always given me great answers in past qrimoles, I figured I should ask again. So, I’m going to see a small-ish band in a few months and I’m nervous about it. This is the first time I’m going to a show of a band I actually really really love and I have a chance to meet, since they usually talk/hang out for a bit with their fans after the shows. The other times I’ve met bands after shows, I usually wasn’t even the biggest fan/had come with friends, so it was chill and I wasn’t freaking out like I am right now. It also doesn’t help I’m around the same age as the band and I find one of them really good looking and talented. I’m not expecting anything besides a nice, brief interaction, but I’m just scared I’ll act like a total weirdo/loser regardless. Should I just avoid meeting them? Anything I can keep in mind to stay calm? Everyone in the fandom says they’re super nice and respectful and their interactions were great but I’m just stressing out now lol thank you in advance

Do it! Speaking as someone who has been in small-ish bands, they love it when audience members do this. If you don’t know what to say just start with “hi, just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the show tonight” and I guarantee you that’ll get a good response. Band members are also used to these kind of interactions and the awkwardness that people can sometimes feel, so if they’re good people (and sounds like they are) trust me they’ll be cool and you’ll feel immediately better as soon as you’ve broken the ice. How much time you’ll get with them will depend a lot on their schedule and how many people there are/where they have to be next, so just don’t be offended if they split quickly, but in any event it’ll be more time than a k-pop high-touch.

This song is from a “provocative” brazilian pop singer. At 1:28 she uses a famous (maybe only in Brazil?) nursery rhyme. I remember that you generally hate nursery rhymes structures in k-pop but I kinda don’t get why exactly? Also do you see this possible problem on the aforementioned song too?

It’s probably the familiarity with the nursery rhymes that breeds contempt. Hearing the same melody that I heard hundreds of times when I was five years old, again in a pop song when I’m decades older, is frankly boring. It’s like “come on, I’ve heard that, stop mining my childhood for coin and think of something else”. The song you’ve shown me here doesn’t annoy me the same way because I don’t know the tune, but if that tune was in every pre-school class I ever went to, I would probably feel differently.

content warning for people who don’t like mentions suicide, vaginas, poop, eating disorders

I’m tired, kpopalypse oppar. I started graduate school recently and while academically I don’t think it’s beyond me, logistically it’s been a challenge. I have an hour commute with either 2 transfers or a long walk and my city is in a massive heat wave. I’m also suffering from depression and trying to figure out medications (ranging from nausea/constipation to increased tiredness to not enjoying sex because I’m physically dryer to increased suicidal thoughts—super trippy to feel vaguely happy but still feel like you should throw yourself in front of a train. Apparently that’s not too uncommon for people under 25.) As a result of these side effects and depression making me kind of a sad unmotivated lump, I’m a bit worried about flunking classes (very strict attendance policies) or even just professors disliking me.

I’m trying to talk to the disabilities office to get some flexibility around arrival times and maybe someone to take notes for me (3 nice classmates have already offered to send me notes,) but they haven’t gotten back to me. Also doctors in America are shit and it takes super long to see people who can help with my side effects or keep giving me medication. None of the pharmacies process my insurance correctly so I’ve been paying out of pocket for now.

Also, I’m one of the caonimas from last month who has a girlfriend with health problems and suicidal ideation. While I think she’s doing better in terms of instability, her physical problems have been exacerbated by the heat and it’s really hard for her to do anything besides exercise lately. Living with her also seems to have destabilized me because I’ve taken on some of her habits (unhealthy eating patterns, desire to compulsively exercise, reactions to food, and greater likelihood to scream when I’m upset.) She’s also just naturally very messy and chaotic and our living habits have never been compatible (plus she’s allergic to something in my kitchen so I’m spending more on food outside of the house, which I can’t really afford.) I told her she needs to move out soon, which made me feel bad. She doesn’t have another job offering until October and will probably have trouble finding a temporary place to stay which is affordable and meets her health needs. She also has bad luck with doctors doing anything for her and gets mad when I tell her she needs to see a specialist for her unexplained conditions, because me trying to deal with every small reaction is draining.

Socially I’m doing okay, I made like 4 friends here, but they all live at least an hour by transit away and most of my free time is taken up by homework and doctor’s appointments. All my hobbies like writing and painting have fallen by the wayside.

I think I just need some encouragement that I’m doing the right things, that I’m not going to run out of money or ruin my life savings, that my girlfriend will be fine and we’re going to get through our mutual health struggles. I’m not actively suicidal but sometimes it feels like being alive is so unnecessarily difficult. I just wish things were closer to each other and took less energy.

Well it doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything drastically wrong, except maybe not going to better pharmacies. You’ve got a lot on your plate so sorting it all out won’t be easy, it’s natural to feel drained. But you’re tackling what you need to tackle head-on and that’s the important thing. This sort of stuff gets easier as it goes because A. you get better at navigating the medical system and B. you learn more about when it’s appropriate to stand up for yourself vs when to compromise. Also there are worse habits to have than exercising a lot. You’ll probably rediscover hobbies/discover new hobbies as things gradually get sorted out. The fact that you’re very conscious of failure means that you’ll be very likely to take the necessary steps to avoid going down bad paths before they become a huge issue. Just don’t give up and see things through because the rewards of sorting out stuff are worth it.

Do you think a “New Coke” marketing strategy would work in Kpop? Put a deliberately unpopular member in the group, let them soak up hate for awhile, then remove them and thereby gain public approval for “listening to the fans”? Obviously it would require a certain level of baseline attention (I.e. Big 4 or close). But it would also make the other idols look better in comparison. Also I know New Coke wasn’t actually planned like this but it was the closest analogy I could think of. Great job on the latest video game by the way


And no. Public approval isn’t that important. Look at how flagrantly all the big companies completely disregard public approval until their hand is practically held in a vice grip over the flames. Nobody is intentionally fucking up. People are just that clueless, the cultural gap between CEOs and fans is vast.


disagree, girl group markets are rarely 80% male fans. that’s true for groups like fromis_9 maybe. it’s either mixed or female majority.

my point is moreso that male fans are ignorant to the fact that triples are normal girls/women who would feel uncomfortable. i don’t get why they are in denial or think triples are some special girls with superpowers who don’t know how society works. female fans say “they must be uncomfortable” and male fans lose their minds


Most girl groups don’t mainly have male fans, and young women in their late 10s, early 20s don’t wanna see an ocean of men twice their age among their fans. (I wasn’t the one arguing on Retrospring, I just put it here in case they didn’t because I’m curious what you have to say)

I wasn’t necessarily saying here that all female groups are 80% male fans, or even that all Triple S’s fans are 80% male (wouldn’t know, haven’t checked, don’t care), but the majority of female groups are definitely marketed to male fans. Whether they actually end up succeeding in their marketing objective and attracting mainly male fans, that’s another conversation. Someone else can have that conversation.

As for those fans, from all accounts the Triple S fanmeet in Chicago that had Twitter in an uproar because there were a few thirty-something male fans at the front was tightly organised with everyone being very well-behaved and having a good time. I don’t think female performers would feel that uncomfortable if there was a lot of regulation and security at these events, and the better events like this are regulated up the ass. Of course it may not always be the case that people are well-behaved, but there was no concern like that in this instance. So concerns about the girls’ actual safety here despite no safety incidences being reported, that are just based on photographs by people who weren’t there, are frankly, total bullshit, defamatory and borderline legally actionable. The girls are far more likely to be being abused by management than by anyone attending the event… and I’m not saying that they’re being abused by management either, for all I know their management are lovely people, but statistically, that’s where most of the danger actually is for young girls in k-pop groups. Of course we should only be concerned about women and we’re not being paternalistic or weird at all by focusing our concern only on the girls, I mean it’s not like young women would ever stalk or harass men in k-pop groups, oh gosh no.

So that puts any concern about fans being inappropriate to bed… but what about “creepy vibes” or whatever? Well, I guess people probably do feel a bit of knee-jerk ickiness when they see a bunch of older male fans swooning over girl groups… and why is that? Well, it’s because we know that there’s a sexual dimension to the marketing that’s designed to appeal to older guys who drool over young women in these groups, and we know this is true because the people marketing this stuff have actually admitted to it being the case. So it’s natural to feel sorry for the way the girls are being marketed especially if those girls aren’t aware of what is happening and might not have signed up knowingly for it (hence this site’s focus on artist advocacy by making the less-known aspects of this more widely known). However, the same fans who recoil in horror at the thought of these guys lined up to see young girls in a group, will also often turn around and claim in the same breath that the marketing of these groups isn’t sexual at all. So what is k-pop to them, how do they see it? Is it pure wholesome innocent family-friendly entertainment for all ages to enjoy and for publications to take oh-so-seriously because gosh aren’t they all so talented and adorable? Or is it cynically marketed exploitation of young people for dollars at the hands of old CEOs for the benefit of a prurient audience who wouldn’t even be interested in any of this mediocre music if it wasn’t for the subtly sexualised window-dressing, and if you aren’t exactly the same age as the performers you’re obviously just a weirdo who wants to fuck them?

The fact is that both of these things can be true, so k-pop fans exploit this ambiguity and cherry-pick possibilities depending on what argument is more convenient for them to believe in relation to their own agenda as fans. A bald, white, male 55 year old American attending a NewJeans concert ticks all the “identity” red flags and surely therefore must be both a Nazi and a pedophile… unless he’s also a staff writer at Rolling Stone who is going to write a glowing article gushing with praise for the girls and their cultural relevance…

Came across caonimas discussing fandom demographics on retrospring and I think you’ll talk about it in the most recent qrimole (which Idk if I made the deadline for) but I just wanted to add that somehow, IVE has escaped the trap of having male fans despite their most popular members (Wonyoung and Yujin) being in THE peak pedobait group…..Ive’s current K-fan audience are literally children

Doesn’t seem to be the case for Lesserafim and, well, NewJeans, but I think we all guessed this one from a mile. Lesserafim’s case is a bit unique though, they don’t seem to pander to creeps the way NJ does, their dances aren’t sexy at all, and most of the girls are already in their 20s (Kazuha will be 20 soon); do you know what makes them appealing to a male audience?

I think Le Sserafim come off a bit sassier than a lot of other girl groups at the moment, songs like Fearless and Antifragile have a punchy sound and convey a really strong image to match, kind of like a revved up version of miss A back in the day. I’ve always liked Chaewon the most in the group and it’s probably because her image seems to embody that kind of feeling the most. On the other hand I didn’t even notice her in IZ*ONE and honestly I couldn’t even pick her out from the others in any IZ*ONE video, even to this day. Just goes to show how powerful the image-creation machine is when it gets to work.


Warning: these are real “things you probably didn’t want to know about Kpopalypse” answers, but I will answer anyway for the benefit of sexual health research and also entertainment plus also comforting any lost souls out there and helping my readers, you’re welcome.

In your opinion, does cumming inside someone feels really THAT better than just ejaculating somewhere else?

I actually find that cumming inside someone is overstimulating and somewhat painful, it’s like it’s too much pleasure and it actually gets a bit unpleasant and irritating, and this feeling increases rapidly right after orgasm (but is still present and irritating before/during). I actually prefer sex with a condom on for the same reason that other men don’t like it – it dulls the sensation just enough to the point where the pain is more manageable and not so distracting. But I think the real draw with cumming inside someone isn’t the pleasure sensation anyway but the enhanced feeling of intimacy that you get by being closer to them in that moment, whereas other ways of achieving orgasm while more pleasurable (because there isn’t the distraction of pain) also feel a bit distant and remote.

Keep in mind this is definitely a minority view from my experience. I’ve never met any other men who share this. When I see porn films where the girl plays with and licks the guy’s penis a whole lot after he’s had an orgasm, I could never be that guy, I would find that legitimately painful. It makes me wince to watch that and imagine how that would feel, I just want to get my dick away from the area asap after orgasm. Although I did, on only one occasion, see a porn where the guy came on/in the girl (can’t remember which) and afterward she was licking his penis and every time she touched the head with her mouth, he flinched right the fuck back. Never related more to a male pornstar than right at that moment, although I wonder how he even maintained a porn career with such an issue (don’t ask me the name of the film, I have no idea). I’ve also been with a couple girls who didn’t like to be directly stimulated on their clit and they described it kind of the same way – too much pleasure, kind of irritating. I would be interested to see how common this is and if anyone else can relate.

Can you hide the part in parentheses, please?

[stuff removed at reader request]

Has porn “rotten” my brain as people on the internet say now? What would you do in my situation? Would you stop watching porn? I should say that this is almost exclusively the only thing that gets me off when it comes to pornography.

No. I’d just watch more porn and not worry about it. Most anti-porn stuff online is being pushed by conservative religious groups who simply just have an agenda to stop all pornography and don’t give a damn about your mental or physical health. Example: the most popular anti-porn site “Fight The New Drug” is run by Mormons, something that organisation denies at every opportunity because they know if that fact were common knowledge, people would see through the lies they’re peddling as the garden-variety conservative Christian dogshit that it is. You’ve already demonstrated that you have the cognitive faculties to separate fantasy from reality and that’s all you really need to enjoy good smut without it ruining your life. The only people it harms are those who go into their actual relationships thinking that other people are going to act how they do in porn films all the time and disregard any semblance of respect towards their partner as a result, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

There is nothing harmful about consuming porn, as long as you recognise it as what it is, which is fantasy that doesn’t necessarily reflect how people actually want to live, but rather, what they like to think about. For instance, watching Maria Ozawa’s TV news bukkake scene is always entertaining, but actually being one of those guys who stands on a wooden block for ten seconds, jacks off and then walks away to clean up? I’d be hard-pressed to think of a less satisfying sexual experience to actually participate in (although as mentioned above, at least it wouldn’t be painful). Also double-penetrations always look impressive on camera, but being inside a woman while some other guy slides in right next door? I would honestly lose my boner real quick. I guess I’m too boringly heterosexual for that sort of thing, but I’m glad there are male pornstars out there willing to bang their nutsacks together so I don’t have to. What we like to think about and watch in a film doesn’t always reflect the reality of what we really want in our real relationships, and it’s perfectly okay for those two things not to meet. Speaking of which, JAV of the month for September 2023 is SSIS-865, I think the concept of it will be up your alley.

Oppa, I was reading your article on kpop censorship. It’s so well written but also will you finally tell us what that scene from EXID is about please? ༎ຶ⁠‿⁠༎ຶ I’m the most clueless person when it comes to this. I also have a thick skin so I don’t mind what ever it is. Please just tell us I cannot take the curiosity ಥ⁠_⁠ಥ

I’m enjoying stringing you along way too much, sorry! But my special JAV recommendation for you is SDDE-565.

show your cat

Kitty cares more about eating my girlfriend’s shoes than showing herself to you, sorry

That’s all for this episode of QRIMOLE! This series will return next month! In the meantime remember to do the Kpopalypse survey!

Oh, and do you have a question that you’d like to see answered in the next episode of QRIMOLE? If so, use the question box below, or if no box appears, click the Qri on the sidebar to open the box as a separate webpage! Kpopalypse will return!

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