Archive for August, 2009
A Taiwanese singer/actor named 阿Ben (Ah Ben) recently went on a variety show where the topic of the day was “name brand vs. no brand clothing”. He was head-to-toe in Bape merchandise and brought along some pieces of his collection to show the audience. There’s a lot of fans who will no doubt be interested in watching this so I will be supplying a general translation of what they talked about. Thanks to DJ-Shareen for bringing this to my attention.
On a side note, as a fluent Mandarin speaker, I’ve been asked why I watch so many Japanese and Korean TV dramas and no Mandarin-language shows. From my experience, there are only two types of Chinese and Taiwanese dramas — 1) poorly acted modern-day dramas featuring the latest hot singers or models who have no business making a show and 2) epics set in various dynasties of China’s long history, which have legitimate actors but uninteresting subject matter. I would love to be proven wrong though, so if you have a favorite Mandarin drama I should look into, let me know!
The Korean music industry has been dominated by girl groups lately: SNSD (my favorite), Kara, 2NE1, Brown Eyed Girls, the list goes on and on. Which is why e.via’s debut a couple months ago has been so refreshing. At first glance she looks like a typical cute innocent singer, but she’s actually been an underground rapper for years and just recently released her first CD.
I first heard of e.via because in her album she had a collaboration with Sori, another promising 2009 rookie who I like. The song they produced is called “Diary” and has a smooth, ethereal flow. (I missed out on writing about Sori because she debuted during my blogging hiatus, but check out her catchy “Real Lips” music video and a sexy dance to “What a Feeling”.)
e.via’s debut didn’t begin smoothly as she was promptly banned for vulgar and provocative lyrics by one of the major Korean TV networks. I don’t know what stopped her from trying to perform on the other big music programs, but getting banned most likely was a publicity stunt. What’s so interesting about e.via is that she looks like any other super cute, “I’ve never kissed a boy before” K-pop girl, but then she opens her mouth and starts spitting crazy lyrics. The clash between her image and music style is original and makes her completely awesome.
The mailman delivered a nice surprise yesterday: my custom artwork and plexiglass from ArtHong! I keep plugging his site because he makes quality products and his customer service is phenomenal. If you’re interested in customizing your arcade stick, I give him my highest recommendation.
This past weekend, SNSD concluded promotions of their mini-album “Genie / Tell Me Your Wish” after 2 months of nonstop activity. Although their military image concept was phenomenal and the CD was well received, “Genie” wasn’t quite the blockbuster “Gee” was.
Nevertheless, to commemorate all their hard work, here’s a look back at the variety of outfits they’ve worn during live performances. I focused only on appearances on the big 3 TV programs: KBS Music Bank, SBS Popular Song Inkigayo and MBC Music Core. Hard to pick just one favorite costume, but I love the girls in camo.
The response was unanimous: every person I asked preferred TaeYeon design #2 so I placed my artwork and plexiglass order with ArtHong. It’ll probably be two weeks before the goodies are delivered, but I decided to get the hard part out of the way and prep the arcade stick for the artwork swap.
I successfully followed this detailed tutorial to open up the machine and get everything ready. Since I was taking photos along the way to document the process, here’s my own version of the tutorial. Switching artwork is much more involved than you might think and requires essentially disassembling the machine. However, don’t be intimidated as it’s not nearly as difficult as it might appear. This was by design — MadCatz consulted pros to build a very modder-friendly machine with the SF4 TE arcade stick.
This is the first time I’ve modded a stick and the procedure was relatively painless. If you are interested in customizing your stick but are hesitant about the work involved, I encourage you to give it a shot!
Today I started working on a new project: customizing my Street Fighter 4 TE arcade stick! At this point, I am only focusing on creating some custom artwork. In the future, I may possibly go beyond that and upgrade the joystick and buttons. But baby steps first…
Here are 2 SNSD designs that I made featuring Taeyeon, the leader of the group. I would really appreciate some feedback as to which one you like better, as I’m having a hard time deciding which one to finalize and print.
A Bathing Ape features many different camo designs and colorways. My favorite design is the city camo series. Bape has less than two dozen retail stores worldwide, and each one has a distinctive colorway that represents the store. These are exclusively sold at the representative stores, i.e. clothing with the Hong Kong city camo design can only be bought at the Hong Kong Bape store. The idea is to let fans “rep their hood”, so to speak. (The city camo colorways , )
My favorites are the three Tokyo stores and Taipei, which have a more monotone camo pattern compared to some of the outrageous color combinations for other cities. All city camo products are produced in very limited quantities so are usually difficult to find on the resell market after the initial release. From my experience, Taipei is especially rare. The city camo polos were released a few weeks ago, and I made sure to grab the Taipei one as soon as I saw one.