Lifestyle

Here’s your K-pop Starter Pack

In case you want to get into Korean Pop Music

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The last few years have seen the rise of K-pop in the world outside of Asia, and with really cool bops and tracks, we’re not too surprised. There’s more to it though than the music, and we decided to put together a starter pack of sorts to get you acquainted with the world of K-pop.

K-pop terms

To start you off, let’s go over some terms that you’ll probably encounter more than once as you find your way around


  • Idol — what you call K-pop artists/stars
  • Aegyo — what you call idols who act cute (i.e., baby voice, facial expressions, gestures)
  • Bias — this is your favorite member in a group
  • Maknae — this is the youngest member of a group, usually seen as the innocent, playful, and sweet type
  • Sub-Unit — these are units of select members from one or more groups that come together and make music; members of sub-units still promote with their group, but are able to do something outside of them
  • Comeback — when an idol or group releases a new track, it’s called a comeback and usually starts a train of show appearances, live performances, and fan interactions

Fan Chants and Light Sticks

The K-pop culture is unique and interesting in that it has some specific interactive aspects when it comes to live performances: Light Sticks and Fan Chants.

Idols and groups have their own light sticks, and fans bring them to performances and wave them in the air to show support for their biases. There are times when light sticks are programmable to sync to the songs, essentially integrating the audience to the concert itself, and they make for really good souvenirs and symbols of people’s fandom.

Fan Chants are sections of songs that are yelled by the audience, again integrating them more into the show. Some fan chants are lyrics of the songs yelled alongside the idols, and others are separate sets of words and phrases during instrumental parts or dance breaks. As an example, here are the fan chants to Twice’s latest release, “Yes or Yes”:

Music Shows

Part of K-pop debut/comeback promotions is the music show performances. Each TV station has its own music show wherein idols and groups have live performances and give out awards on a weekly basis. Examples include SBS Inkigayo, MNet M!Countdown, and KBS Music Bank. The performances are also available on their YouTube channels to watch whenever and wherever you want to. 

Variety Shows

Another part of K-pop promotions are the variety shows. These give the idols opportunities to show who they are while playing games and having fun in different ways. Like with the music shows, you can find segments on YouTube, and they’re really entertaining.

An example is the popular show called Knowing Brothers (Men in a Mission on Netflix). The concept is a classroom with the students being showbiz veterans, and different celebrity guests come in as transfers. Everyone talks casually, without honorifics, and overall leaves everyone laughing their butts off.

Two other popular shows are Weekly Idol and Idol Room. These shows are kind of like talk shows, but the idols play games and do challenges, as well. With variety shows, you can tell that everyone on set is having fun, and I think that simply adds even more to the amusement of the audience.

V Live

In K-pop, fan interaction is a big thing. They have events like fan meets, fan signs, and something called “hi touches” (you literally high five all members of a group), but they’re also accessible online — an example being the app called V Live. This is a platform where idols can livestream and post videos, kind of like Twitch but for K-pop.

Idols have their own channels, and you can communicate with your favorites through the chat during their broadcasts. You can also subscribe to their CHANNEL+ or VLIVE+ and get access to exclusive content for a monthly fee. This is a really cool way to stay updated with your biases in a more laid back and personal kind of way.

Now that you’re somewhat familiar with the K-pop world, let’s get you some stuff to jam to. Here’s a playlist on Spotify called K-pop Starter Pack with some tracks to listen to as a start. It includes some of the best tracks out there, and it covers different genres so you can get a good feel of it all. Just click shuffle and start your journey!

Lifestyle

Global Sources: Tech for Babies

Must-haves in your baby’s nursery

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For first time moms, building a nursery can be daunting. Luckily, there are cute and smart devices nowadays that would make it easier for you to build your baby’s nursery.

Take a look at these cute humidifiers which also make cute decor for your bedside table, and night lights which can create a soothing ambiance so you can put your baby to sleep. There are diffusers with night lights, too. They come in cute designs like penguin, bear, and rabbit. There’s also a UFO projection lamp that can create a Milky Way-like ceiling for your baby to look at.


All these cute and functional tech are made by Guangzhou Sunshine Electronics Technology.


Global Sources Consumer Electronics is the world’s largest electronics sourcing show bridging suppliers and resellers. For more information visit GlobalSources.com.

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Startups

Global Sources: USB Heated Jackets

The cold won’t bother you anymore

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October only means one thing — winter is coming. Don’t let the cold bother you this time around; meet the USB heated vest from JY Electronics.

This vest keeps you toasty and warm, thanks to heating pads inside. If you need it warmer, you can adjust the temperature with varying degrees with a single press of a button.


Not feeling the design? Let JY Electronics customize your jacket for you. Aside from bubble vests, they can make you a wool coat, leather biker jacket, or even a faux-fur parka filled with heating pads that powers up through USB.

The basic USB heated vest starts at $20, with no minimum amount of orders.


Global Sources Consumer Electronics is the world’s largest electronics sourcing show bridging suppliers and resellers. For more information visit GlobalSources.com.

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Entertainment

Joker, Jowable, Jojo Rabbit: Now Playing

Live, love, laugh!

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The GadgetMatch team just went through a rigorous back-to-back coverage starting from IFA 2019, iPhone 11, Vivo NEX 3, Huawei Mate 30 Pro, and many more. Like us, people are overwhelmed with smartphone launches one after another.

What kept us sane was these forms of entertainment we watch and play in passing. Here’s what’s Now Playing in GadgetMatch:


Movies to see

 

Steven Universe: The Movie
Leez: If you’re a fan of Steven Universe and the last episode left you feeling unsettled by how it neatly tucked the whole series, then you’re in luck. The movie doesn’t fall short in tackling the heart-wrenching significance of struggles and obstacles to be better and be who you are. It’s a movie that dives deep into lost friends and lost memories. You definitely need to check this out.

 

Jowable
MJ: No other film in this century has captured how I’ve been feeling for years now, except Jowable. This film tackles the joys, pains, and misadventures of singlehood in a comical approach. But don’t think it’s all just for laughs, Jowable is totally unpredictable — full of plot twists to keep you entertained while preaching you some deep life lessons that Buddha can’t even.

 

Jojo Rabbit
Luigi: Provocative and funny. How else can you describe Taiki Waititi’s upcoming comedy? This World War II satire features a German boy trying to hide a Jewish girl while being aided by his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (played by Waititi himself).

 

Joker
Kevin:  Not your usual origin story of a villain. Joker tackles mental health, human nature, and the society that we’re living in now. Partner those with Joaquin Phoenix’s stellar acting and what you get is a cinematic piece that moves you and makes you think about what “being normal” really is.  It’s best to see it on the big screen so be sure to catch it while it’s still showing.

Shows to binge-watch

 

Player reacts to his Highlights | House of Highlights
Rodneil: I haven’t been able to commit to watching a series of late so for my dwindling downtime, I’ve resorted to watching these one-off series on YouTube. Plus I also miss NBA basketball, so this is a great way to scratch that itch.

 

Marianne
Luigi: People have proclaimed Marianne as the most frightening series of 2019. As a horror enthusiast, I don’t think it is. However, this French horror series is still an excellent addition to the Netflix playhouse of monsters. Plus, that French accent is oh-so-sexy.

 

Vagabond
Rodneil: Gotta admit, I only considered watching because it stars Suzy Bae. But the story is gripping and the cinematography is pretty darn good. It’s about a stuntman who loses his nephew in a plane crash that was made to look like an accident but there’s more to it than just that.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

 

데자 부 (Deja Vu) by Dreamcatcher
Vincenz: Although the song doesn’t sound as intense as their other releases, the latest music video tells a deeper story. There is a line that struck me: “Now I’m holding this pain,” especially that it talks about betrayal and abandonment. The melodic musical arrangement accompanied by contrasting light and dark visuals blend so well together — which gives a surreal and melancholic feeling to listeners and viewers alike.

 

Go Up by SB19
Vincenz: SB19 has been garnering attention for weeks. They sound like a K-Pop boy group because they were trained by a Korean agency. Although I’m not totally a fan, I appreciate their music especially since it talks about aiming high and achieving your dreams. Despite the hard choreography, their live vocals sound great. P-Pop is finally improving!

 

Linkin Park Favorites
Rodneil: It’s been quite a stressful past couple of weeks for me. To combat the urge of setting myself on fire, I’ve been listening to a lot of my favorite Linkin Park songs. The collection is mostly from the Hybrid Theory and Meteora albums. Listen to the full playlist.

 

 

Feel Special by TWICE
Rodneil: TWICE’s gradual concept change is evident in their new song Feel Special. More than that, though, the song seems to hold a special place in the members’ hearts as it alludes to their struggles. Especially Mina who is struggling with anxiety and begged off from parts of their tour but still participated in the album with strong support from the other members.

Games to play

 

Madden NFL 20
Gab: I know how everyone is on some hype train towards the recently released NBA 2K20 video game, but there are other sports-related games out there. As someone who is starting to have a level of interest with the NFL, Madden NFL 20 introduced me to how American football actually works. If you need a quick change of pace from shooting the basketball, I suggest you try scoring touchdowns.

 

NBA 2K20
Rodneil: Echoing what Gab said on his NBA 2K20 review — this game essentially feels like a massive patch for NBA 2K19. That’s not entirely a bad thing. It’s still the superior NBA simulation game and for it to improve, EA needs to step up big time with NBA Live. Will still play it because it’s my number one way to destress.

 

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Luigi: As a child, I never played the original Link’s Awakening on the Gameboy. I joined the Zelda party way too late. Thankfully, this Switch remake plays like a traditional game on the Gameboy. The new Link’s Awakening brings a lot to the table for both new and old players. It’s a well-polished game that doesn’t rely too much on nostalgia.


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

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