What We’re Watching: BTS Map of the Soul ON:E Virtual Concert
We’ve been looking forward to this all week long! Even though the concert is starting at midnight Pacific Time (way past my bedtime,) it’s exciting to know that it is being streamed live. I forgot what it felt like to become a fan of new music or a new band or artist. In some ways, we may be too old for this. On the other hand, music has always been a universal thing bringing people together and it’s almost better that something like this has no bounds. I’m going to be awfully sleepy tomorrow, but I can’t wait to be watching the concert from the comfort of my own living room.
What We’re Listening To: JUNNY
I first discovered JUNNY’s music by listening to an unreleased track of his on TikTok. At the time, I didn’t know anything about who he was as an artist, but with TikTok, it’s quite easy to go down a rabbit hole. While his sound reminds me of BTS, it’s not exactly in the same genre. There’s a balance of lyrics both in English and Korean, I would also probably categorize him as being more R&B while BTS can do any genre. His last album on Spotify is from 2017, but if you’re looking for something to check out, I would start there and work your way back through his discography and singles.
Running a brief errand this morning, I stopped into a new-ish store in Hayes Valley called Vepublic. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but that’s often times the most dangerous mindset to have! Having heard about Girlfriend Collective and being more aware of activewear brands, I wanted to give it a try. I didn’t see much harm in trying on the sports bra, but that almost led me to buying a second and a pair of leggings. The fabric is so buttery soft! I also love that this isn’t as cropped as a normal sports bra and also not a full tank. It’s right in between.
What We’re Eating: Gimbap
After a day of errands, I also stopped by the Korean market and since we’re watching BTS tonight, figured we could make a whole day out of this to celebrate. I’ve actually never had Gimbap/Kimbap before so I’m excited to try it for the first time!
This is not only my favorite Spring 2021 RTW collection, but this might be my favorite Chanel collection of all time, if not in the top five. Oddly enough, even though this is for spring, it resembles more of a fall collection to me. The dresses and the details in the accessories are all perfection. We’ll be trying to figure out how to recreate these looks for the next six months.
It’s been a minute since we’ve come on here to write a piece like this. As we inch further into fall, closer to the election, and nowhere near towards the end of COVID-19, I have had a lot on my mind. The first is that this isn’t what I thought my content would look like in 2020. We were supposed to have too many weddings this year. So much so that before the pandemic, I had to make a spreadsheet of where my money was going with regards to weddings and all the gifts I was purchasing for them. I discovered that working 100% remotely is not a lifestyle I aspire for.
Like many of you, I am tired, burnt out and frustrated. Every week, there is a new event or happening to be upset over. I don’t always share this and it’s not because I’m turning a blind eye to what’s happening in the world. In fact, I sometimes feel much deeper in my feelings about what’s going on that it would be detrimental to express. If there is any place where I’m more open about my feelings, it’s here. For me, it’s not appropriate to be popping off on social every chance I get. It’s also not very healthy both for myself and the viewer.
If you’ve been following for awhile, you know my content hasn’t been that much different. However, during the pandemic, there has been more emphasis on TikTok, K-dramas, and now BTS. In lieu of expressing rage for world events, I’ve chosen to share the things that brought me light in those darker moments. These are things that distract, bring me joy and make me laugh. I recognize they may not resonate; that it looks like I’m going into strange territory, but they are the things that keep me going. When it comes to content, there isn’t a right answer really.
Our favorite KPOP group blessed us with not one, but five performances on Jimmy Fallon all week long! I’ve said this early on that this group knows exactly what they’re doing when it comes to promoting themselves. However, now that we’re a month into the release of “Dynamite,” I’ve had a few other thoughts. This wasn’t a normal promotional cycle for a song release. BTS knew exactly what they were doing and they came to dominate. A whole week on Jimmy Fallon, a commercial release and partnership with Samsung, a collaboration with Jason Derulo, and a cover story with Variety all in one week? This was no coincidence. Their fan base, ARMY, has commented that they feel absolutely spoiled and honestly I feel the same way – completely overwhelmed with all of the content.
Each night gave us a new performance by BTS on Jimmy Fallon’s late night show and it was a surprise which song it would be. They even dug a bit deeper into their archives with “Idol” and “Home,” but one thing was for sure. The purpose was to show range. They are more than just their English single “Dynamite” and that they can perform and succeed in any type of genre thrown their way. Don’t even get me started on the production value of each performance. Each one looked like a freakin’ music video in itself.
I hate to fan girl out every time a new film is released that tells another Asian American story, but having a childhood where that didn’t exist does something to a person. I now feel like I have some sort of special privilege to be able to witness this. Because it isn’t just about an Asian story. It is an Asian story that is being backed by an American studio with actors and actresses that I now recognize on mainstream television and film. It wasn’t a quick change. I recognize that this has been a long time in the making, but the space in between each release now gets shorter and shorter. One day, it won’t amaze me in quite the same way, but I’ll be so proud that I’ve gotten to see the change as it happened.
Steve Yuen’s latest film, Minari, tells the story of a man and his family immigrating to America to start their new life. It’s a story that many Asian Americans know of too well from their own parents and families, but with an agriculture backstory. The end of the trailer just says “Coming Soon” but we hope we’ll have a chance to see it sooner rather than later and not just in theaters.
Ahead of the show’s release, “Emily in Paris” was supposed to be a modern day “Sex and the City.” A couple of episodes in, I’m not seeing it. However, I am surprised at how quickly the show is growing on me. Lily Collins as “Emily” is your typical American girl from Chicago. Initially, she’s not likable. I find her fashion sense to be questionable for a show that’s supposed to be somewhat focused on fashion. What we like though is her intelligence, her ability to be quick-witted and her values. Overall that sort of beats the fashion and the Americanism, doesn’t it?
What We’re Listening To: BLACKPINK – The Album
After the premiere of “Ice Cream,” The Album is the refreshing release we needed. Though we’re only getting eight songs, two of which debuted over the summer, the album shows great potential. This is the girl group’s first full album release and next to BTS, they are the 2nd most successful South Korean group at the moment. Next up? Looking forward to their Netflix documentary out later this month covering their rise to fame.
Now that fall has arrived, there are plenty of opportunities to wear my first ever faux leather jacket. I’ve considered buying one for years, but never truly thought I could pull it off. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year was a good excuse to finally make the purchase!
What We’re Eating: Sweet Corn Ice Cream Sandwich
We’re getting past the point where it’s acceptable to still be eating ice cream sandwiches as we’re heading into the colder months, however, I saw these at a Korean market recently and had to try it for myself. I’m constantly amazed that this ice cream sandwich looks exactly like and tastes like corn with real corn pieces. It’s not as weird as it sounds. There’s even a thin layer of chocolate so that there’s no confusion that what you’re eating is sweet. As much as I consider corn my favorite type of vegetable, I never thought it would be good as ice cream. Turns out, it’s better!