Crazy Eyes

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As a belated Valentine’s Day tribute, I bring you a glimpse into the intense world of Korean R&B Music Videos.

Brown Eyes

Oh man, I'm crying already.

For those of you that ain’t be knowin, Brown Eyes (pictured above) is a relatively well known and popular R&B duo from Korea.  One of my roommates turned me on to them back in 2003, and I’ve been soaking up their soulful and ridiculously melodramatic R&B goodness for years.

Just listening is intense enough; their music is like K-Ci & JoJo, 98 Degrees, and Brian McKnight had a super-emo R&B orgy, and then decided to add in some classical piano interludes for extra tear-jerking effect.

Little did I know, though, that the music was just the gateway drug to the real crack cocaine of the Korean R&B Scene: Music Videos.

Crying

Korean R&B Video 101: Tearful goodbyes and wrist grabbing

Anyone who has seen a Korean romantic comedy (like My Sassy Girl or Il Mare, a.k.a. “The Lake House”) knows there is a certain penchant for the melodramatic and tragic in the Korean entertainment industry.  For a good reason too, the public eats it up; close to 5 million people watched My Sassy Girl in its 10 week stay at the theaters in Korea.  Terminal illnesses, crazy freak accidents, love triangles between high school friends, lovers suddenly separated only to reunite in old age; at least one of these plot elements will rear its head in a Korean romantic comedy.

Korean R&B Music Videos (especially Brown Eyes) take that tragic essence and distill it into a 5-10 minute emo-tastic audio-visual experience engineered to make housewives and hardened Vietnam vets alike bawl out 50% of their body weight in tears and pop bonbons with reckless abandon.

They are also some times bat-shit insane.

Example A: 가지마 가지마 (“Don’t go,don’t go”) by Brown Eyes.

It’s a typical story of boy meets girl, boy falls in love, girl decides to stab him with a pen for no reason, boy starts bleeding ink, girl’s arm bursts into fire… with the lyrics lip-synced by a SCARY #@$#ING TALKING VENTRILOQUISTS’ DUMMY.

Surprise, I'm going to stab you with a pen!

stabber

How ya like me now?!

she's on fire

What? The flames? Oh that always happens when I'm writing dope rhymes.

dummy

Ooohhhh baby you so fiiiiinnneeeeeeeee

Oh did I mention there’s a dude in a donkey suit?

donkey RPG

Don't assume donkey's can't use rocket launchers, assuming makes an ass out of you and... ah #$^! it!

If you’re still here, just go watch the damn video already, it’s insane.  And the next time you’re out with your friends, randomly burst out “ka-ji-ma, KA-JI-MA, KAAAAJIMAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!”

Master Chief Is My Hero

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There is no shortage of Internet content about Halo’s Master Chief. He is awesome.

Yea Buddy

Halo is a great video game, and I’ve seen friends try to manage their addiction to it with self inflicted interventions – only to get sucked back into it. I think one of the biggest sell points of the game is the story and character of Master Chief. I’ve had the pleasure of reading a great sci-fi novel about Halo that my friend let me borrow. The book describes the origins of the Spartan II super soldiers and serves as a prequel to the video game. Okay, I know that’s verging on the realm of dork-fest nation, but it was honestly an entertaining read.  (Oh and by the way, it’s the best book in the series, and the only one worth reading.)

The two videos that capture Master Chief’s pop culture reign are:

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My Valentine’s Day Tribute

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Honestly, you just really need to hear the audio clip. Another reason why to never give out your digits to pushy people at the bar.

Here’s the scenario. Guy approaches a girl at a bar and won’t leave her alone, so she gives him a business card. He calls her and leaves two voicemails. She calls into the local radio station and shares the voicemails he left (though we now know it was all a hoax).

The transcript:

Message 1

Hey Olga, it’s Dimitri.

Sorry I had to leave such a rushed message with you when we met the other day. I just wanted to quickly give you my phone number, and needed to get the heck out of the area. In any event, I thought I had better leave you a more detailed message and explain why I approached you. I am single. I have no trouble meeting women; I mean, women approach me six or seven times a day. But I’m extremely particular about what I like. You’re an extremely elegant woman. I couldn’t take my eyes off you, and your friends were very jealous — even if they say they weren’t, they were envious of the fact that I approached you, and I was very taken by you. Elegant women are very rare. I’m Greek and I’m extremely particular about what I like. So I’m giving you an opportunity here. I don’t know if you picked up the message on the weekend but I’m working on a movie script so I’ll be doing that all weekend…

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I’m a rapper!

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This interlude just came up on my ipod, I forgot how genius J-Live is! Enjoy:

“I’m a rapper.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means I rap…you know, baggy pants, book-bags, baseball caps…”

“Ohhh, a backpacker?”

“No, a rapper. You know, forties and blunts, bitches and gats…”

“Oh, a gangster?”

“No, a rapper. I rap. I like shell-toes, break beats, kung-fu flicks.”

“L-like a b girl?”

“Welll, that’s not quite it. I sweat myself, I grab my crotch, I curse a lot.”

“Oh, you’re from Brooklyn?”

“Ah-hah, no, a rapper, but point tooken. I’m ghetto in the suburbs white boys are my niggers. They pay for the studio time; I’ll complain they’re fuckin me later. I go to jail a lot, I’m hardcore.”

“A thug?”

“It’s bugged. I write poetry out of a deep seeded need to be loved. I stand in circles, I roll with crews, I require affirmation… nahmean??”

“…Word! True”

“I represent, I hold it down in the street.”

“Ohhhh, you’re gravity?”

“No, a rapper. I rock lyrics over beats!”

“Oh…you mean an emcee??”

“YESSSS!”

Four Things I Love About The Bay (And Four I’d Change)

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I had a very typically Bay Area Sunday this weekend in ways which were perfect examples of why I love the Bay–and related to things I’d like to change about it. Non-Bay residents can probably disregard this one.

#1: Public Transportation. Between my carefully crafted local intuition and the Bay’s awesome public transport system, I rarely feel like I need a car. Especially during days like this, where I can get from my apartment (by Lake Merritt in Oakland) to downtown SF, then to Berkeley, then back to Oakland with relatively minimal fuss.

Change:  BART would be so much more awesome if it wasn’t such a pain in the ass to GET TO A BART STATION. The “Lake Merritt” BART station is by Lake Merritt, but dammit, it’s a big fucking lake, and the bus system around the lake is pretty crappily designed. How about we pull one of the buses off the 1 and put them on a mini-bus that just runs around the lake all day? As it is, you basically have to wait at least half an hour for a bus that takes you to the other side. Might as well walk. Also, the AC Transit 18 manages to go to plenty of places I need to go to, and yet is the Slowest Bus Line Ever. Fuck.

#2: Food. Had brunch at Farmer Brown, which I guess typically gussies up soul food and sells it to white people who want to like black people. Their brunch is $18 for all-you-can-eat fried chicken, bacon, biscuits and gravy, grits, scrambled eggs, pancakes, and assorted desserts (typically sweet potato pie and red velvet cake, though the RVC runs out early). It’s one of those places which I like to go to maybe once a year, because that’s how long it takes before it seems like going back would be a good idea.

Change: I don’t get why I live in Oakland and have to come out to SF for some organic fried chicken. And no, don’t tell me to go to Merritt Bakery. I’m not going back there until they rediscover salt. Also, it took me a while to figure out that pictures of Michelle Obama and Barack Obama actually meant Women’s Room and Men’s Room. I love SF, but that was a little much even for me.

#3: Friendly People. Went to a Super Bowl party hosted by a bunch of white people I didn’t really know (friends of friends of The Lady). Never have I ever been more enthusiastically greeted by a group of people who existed for me to drink their beer, eat their food, watch their TV, and, well, nothing else, really. It’s not like I talked to them much. Hurray for the Bay.

Change: They were kinda weird. Also, one of them apparently mistook The Lady for the Other Asian Girl at the party, and another one of them was telling her about their planned trip to China (specifically: planned trips into Chinese Girl Vaginas). Seriously? In what world does this conversation seem like a good idea?

#4: Cafes. I’m still weirded out that I basically do for fun what I do for work (sitting at a desk and writing, that is), but I guess that means I like my job, especially when I’m doing it in a nice cafe with a cheap cup of coffee to put my brain into Work Mode and a buddy to hang out and make snarky comments about the other patrons with. Plus, coffee has antioxidants and shit, right? So it’s good for me. Better than sucking down cheap boba at the same frequency, anyway.

Change: Too much of it. How do I always end up ordering something that costs like $2.04? Worthless. And despite the fact that I’ve started drinking coffee, I still can’t tell what’s supposed to taste good and what doesn’t. Also, Allen owes me $7 now. Pay up, you fucker.

patrick miller

My Google Buzz Business Plan

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So while the whole Google Buzz is catching on, I thought I should jump at the opportunity to make some side money. Here is my well thought-out business plan. Any VCs out there that wanna jump at this exclusive opportunity? 

CACHE MONIES IN MY POCKET