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Saturday, January 31, 2015

K-Poppin! : Underrated 2014 Rookie Artists

2014 has been a wonderful journey to many of us, same thing happens to the K-pop scene as well. This year marks the debut of so so so many rookie artists. It was that much til the number exceeded 100 artists this year! How crazy is that! The fact that the number of rookie artists debuting this year is that much, I'm sorry to say, but it is pretty hard to stand out or to make one group differ from another.

(image via SBS Entertainment)
While in 2013, the BIG 3 (SM, YG and JYP) did not debut any groups, this year all three companies debuted four groups, making the competition between rookies become more heated. Pictured above is GOT7 from JYP Entertainment who debuted with 'Girls, Girls, Girls'. The girl group from SM Entertainment, Red Velvet debuted with a cheerful track, 'Happiness'. And the other boy group comes from YG Entertainment is WINNER who is previously known as Team A from the reality show WIN and now debuted with 'Empty'. Also, woolim who has now merged with SM C&C debuted their own girl group, Lovelyz with the song 'Good Night Like Yesterday'. Not pictured above is another debut from YG Entertainment, the siblings duo who won the second season of K-pop Star, Akdong Musician kicked off the K-pop scene with their playful song, '200%'. 

If you are not really into K-pop, you might have heard about the groups I mentioned previously, but I am not very sure if you have heard the artists I am going to cover below. Well, without further ado, let's check out these underrated 2014 K-pop artists!

1. Kiss & Cry - Domino Game

Kiss&Cry is one of the group that I discovered early in 2014. I have that habit to listen to new song from artists that caught my attention without actually watching the MV. As one of the first of rookie groups in 2014, I grew to love 'Domino Game' every time I listen to it. The song is powerful and it showcases the vocal of the members as well. Unfortunately the future of Kiss&Cry is still questionable. Some have said that they have been disbanded but the other has said that only one of the member, Haena has ended her contract ((and later joined Superstar K6)), either ways, best of luck for Kiss&Cry!

2. MAMAMOO - Mr. Ambiguous

While the mainstream K-pop listener might not know about this group, many others have showed so much appreciation and appraisal for these ladies. I first knew this group from the song called 'Peppermint Chocolate' sung by K.Will ((note: I did not always follow K.Will but every time he released a new song, I will definitely listen to it)). But honestly, that song did not really leave an impression to me, and I did not watch the MV either. But then, some weeks later, I stumbled upon a Path update from my friend who was listening to MAMAMOO and gave a lot of compliment to this group. It is not until I listened to the song and watched the MV ((which featured lots, lots of artists)) that I finally understood how much they were praised. They have an amazing vocal; both recording and live, the right dance moves and classy concept/appearance/style ((i just can't decide the right vocab))

3. HIGH4 - Headache

Many people recognized HIGH4 from their pre-debut song with IU, 'Not Spring, Love or Cherry Blossom', which is indeed really, really cute and romantic. That's what happened with me as well. I loved their vocal and concept and they reminded me a little of SHINee and B1A4 somehow. And I did watch some of their awkward interviews and I can't help but giggle at how awkward Alex is ((sorry, Alex! haha)). Though that dancing-only part on the song made me go like duh especially in the MV, but I still love these guys. I hope they will make it big in the future!

4. Yoon Hyun Sang - Always Be With You

Discovering Yoon Hyun Sang is like discovering a hidden gem! I really mean it! Year 2014 was all about groups and collaboration, so it is rather hard for a solo rookie artist to stand out, in my opinion. I really found Yoon Hyun Sang again thanks to IU. For his debut, he had two title tracks which was this one and 'When Would It Be' featuring none other than IU. Hyun Sang has a very soothing voice that is perfect for the rainy weather in my city nowadays. I listened to his songs almost everyday and it gets more intense when it rains outside or when I am about to sleep. The whole mini-album is worth to be checked, I promise you!

5. Almeng - Phone in Love

While Yoon Hyun Sang was the contestant of Kpop Star 1, Almeng is another notable alumni but this one from Kpop Star 3. This unique co-ed duo is a bit unique because in most of duo or duet, the boy usually does the rap and the girl does the vocal. But for Almeng, it is vice versa. Therefore, they are giving more fresh and interesting spice to the usual K-pop music. Also, both their debut MV a fun concept. I love how they incorporated words and typography into the MVs.

Well, those are five rookie artists that I think you should listen if you really had no idea how to jump into the 2014 debuts bandwagon or if you simply want to kill your boredom. For more girl and boy group debuts, you can check out the article posted by soompi that fully covered the debut of Kpop groups in 2014 here. Meanwhile, I have compiled a playlist that included all the songs that I have mentioned here as well as some other debuting artists that I have listened but not on my list yet. Because seriously, 100+ artists can be super overwhelming.

Also, I realized that I have talked about MAMAMOO and HIGH4 before in the previous K-Poppin article. Another also, Lucky J and B.I.G from that article are included in the playlist as well.

Phew, this article took much more time to write than I expected since I did not plan to include a playlist initially, but I am glad I finished it. Hope you guys enjoy!

Cheers, filicia!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

[Versus] Cacaote, Senopati

Hello there! We are on our second installment of Versus, the feature where we talked about our different experience visiting one same place. This time around, we are going to talk about one pretty restaurant located in Senopati, one of the hippest culinary place in Jakarta. Just by looking at the exterior, you can already see how pretty it is. The outer appearance looks a bit Victorian and princess-y to us.

Turns out that the inside do look as princess-y as the outside. If I am not mistaken, Cacaote has two floors. Both floors have a contrast vibe. On the pictures, you can see the details of the first floor that looks more girly and feminine. While on the second floor, it looks more glamorous and such.

It happened on our visit that we both went to different floor. Yelny enjoyed her dessert on the first floor during the day and Fili went to the second floor to enjoy not only the dessert but some food as well during dinner time. Either ways, we love the ambient there. The place itself is pretty big and the space between tables are distant enough to give each group of customers the needed privacy.

Some more pretty details on the first floor. Super cozy to enjoy your afternoon tea and dessert, isn't it? Also, look at those chandelier and curtains and pillows, like, everything coordinates very well,

Also, just one picture from the second floor ((huhu, sorry)). The lighting up on the second floor is a bit dimmed, to give you the much needed romantic vibe and coziness. Thus it explains that some of the pictures turn yellowish. Haha.

Now, moving on to the food, shall we? Uh oh. I am typing this in the middle of the night and I am craving for these not just pretty but delicious dessert.

First up is the battle of eclairs. Yelny ordered Crunchy Nuts Eclair for IDR 50,000 and Fili forgot already what she has ordered. lol. Both eclairs are pretty good. Fili also loved the macaron. It was pistachio flavor and it cost IDR 12,000. Love the texture of the macaron and the pistachio flavor is lovely as well. 

This one is called Intense Chocolate and cost you IDR 50,000. Just like how the name suggested, it is rich with chocolate and would be a perfect choice if you love chocolate. 

Here's the Dark Chocolate cake. I could not remember it correctly if the sides are hazelnut or popcorn. If I am not mistaken it was popcorn, but cmiiw okay? The chocolate cake is nice but the popcorn is a bit soggy, if it is a bit crunchier, I guess it would be very nice.

I also ordered the Tropical which has a good combination of sweet and sour. Also, on the bottom picture you can see another round cake which is coffee banana. As for me I do not really like the coffee banana combination because the banana is a bit too moist. 

Also, one of my friend ordered this duck sandwich. I didn't get to taste it but he said that it was nice.Well, I bet it is! hehe.

It wouldn't be complete with some beverage. I ordered Matcha Latte which turns out to be okay, because I am not a big fan of green tea and stuff. My friend ordered the selection of tea which came out in a very pretty teapot and sugar pot. What a pretty tea set. 

All in all, both of us had a pretty pleasant visit to Cacaote. The place has a very nice ambient and cozy vibe. I really wanted to spend whole day just chit-chatting or doodling in this pretty place. The desserts here are also pretty nice though not all of them are suited to our preference.

Yeey, cheers!

Jl. Senopati no. 80, Senopati, Jakarta
T: 021 2930 6127

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Painters: Hero

Have you guys heard about The Painters: Hero before? Not yet? Well, me too. I had no idea who they are and what are they doing before I watched their performance. After I watched the Korean Navy Performance, the next schedule was the performance by The Painters: Hero. My friend had actually informed me about them and usually as the curious filicia, I should have done a little research about them, but I did not know how or why, I did not bother to find out about them. Probably because I trusted my friend so much or I was simply lazy on that time. Ha!

So, right after the Korean Navy Performance, the seat was supposed to be rearranged, but everyone seemed to be impatient so the audience pulled the chairs by themselves and dragged it closer to the stage. Because I wanted to see them up close as well, I followed what others did and ended up getting in the second row. Before the show started, the staffs were preparing stuffs on stage while we saw The Painters' guys were hanging out freely next to the stage, so...

I took pictures with them! Lol. I did not even know who they were or what were they going to perform during that time. I only knew that they were supposed to paint something, judging from their outfit. Haha, but I later learned more about them. On the first picture, on the left is Kim BumSeo, the newest member of the team, and on the right is Jung YeongWoo. On the second picture was everyone's favorite, Lee SeungHoon, who turns out to be 33 years old, legally married and officially a father! ((heartbroken lol)). On the last picture is Cho SangChul who if I am not mistaken is the leader of the team. Oh, I forgot to mention that they are called Jackson Team.

So, we got back to our seat and not long after that, the show started. I am not going to lie, I was grinning ear-to-ear watching their performance, even only from the beginning! At the start of the show, the four actors are painting their own black square while dancing to the song and acting comically. And by the end of the song, they had also somehow finished the paintings and when they are put in one place, it became one amazing painting of Korean mask.

I think they painted this only for around 5 minutes more or less. I mean like, how come? It was really fast, and not to mention that they were joking and dancing around while they painted this. 

Next, they pushed two big boxes to the middle of the stage. I wonder what they were going to do this time around.

Cho SangChul stepped out (and somehow pulled off his top) and started drawing the right box with white paint on a very fast pace. While on the left, we could see YeongWoo was drawing something with his hands but, they were all black?

But no! It turned out that YeongWoo was drawing with glue I guess, because when they flipped the box, suddenly all the glitter poured down and covered the black area. It turned out that he was drawing Indonesia's very own Garuda. SangChul too has finished his painting of Tiger. Jackson Team also did not forget to interact with the audience. They played an interactive game with one of the audience, in which I forgot to take photographs of. Though they come from Korea, and there was indeed a language barrier, they could deliver a very fun and joyful game and performance because the whole show was non-verbal, meaning that they did not have to say a single word and instead use their body language to interact.

After that, two huge white squares were dragged to the middle of the stage and this time YeongWoo and SeungHoon appeared from the back. 

They both did a literally speed drawing (they were really that fast!) while matching their movements with the song. Just like in the beginning, they would tease each other around and sometimes drew and one another's paper. It was so nice to see that almost all of their drawings were related to Indonesian culture. The one on the right was Monumen Nasional, Jakarta's landmark along with Ondel-Ondel, Jakarta's traditional attraction as well.

And at the end of the show, all four of them came out to the stage to bid their farewell with the audience. The last thing that they showed was a cubic play that you can see in the above picture. The whole show lasted for around 20-30 minutes but it felt so short and I really wanted to see more of their performance. Too bad that it was their last performance in Lotte Avenue as they had been performing for three days there. 

That was one of the staff on the right hehe. He made sure that the audience did not go to the stage. Now, after all these elaboration, I hope you had been enlightened about these amazing performers. But if you still couldn't grasp it, well, here is how The Painters: Hero described themselves. The Painters: Hero is an innovative art performance that stages the mind-blowing skills of live drawing with incredible visual effects filled with a witty blend of mime, dance and comedy right before your eyes. Rather than finding satisfaction from a completed artwork, The Painters: Hero embodies and shares the joy and awe-inspiring journey of creating works of art with the audience. I think that description is completely true and that is exactly how I felt during the time I watched the live drawing performance.

If you are curious about them, you should check out the website here. Their full performance in Korea lasted for about 80 minutes and in order to watch them, you have to pay for the ticket. So, Jakarta is pretty lucky to be able to watch Jackson Team for free though it was cut short. Also, in Korea they have more attractions, such as light drawing, marbling drawing, etc. They also had another four team named after Chaplin, Superman, Beethoven and Picasso. Chaplin Team had also performed in Indonesia some months ago.

After the show, they also had photograph session with the audience. The queue was not that long so I took pictures with them again. This time a selca ^^ hehe. Also, they were very nice and they made lots of funny expression during the photo session as well.

And also, SeungHoon let me borrowed his hat after that. And they were very interactive with the audience as well. They even gave us a free hug (uh oh, how nice of you guys). I promised myself that I am going to watch them in Korea if I had the chance one day. Though I had to pay for the ticket, I am very sure that it is going to worth every penny I spent. I really hope that more people would know about them, even though you are not a fan of Korean culture, they are so entertaining and fun!

And, here's a short video of both Korean Navy and The Painters: Hero performance. I think I have fell in love more with Korea ^^ They have so much cultural entertainment to offer, beyond K-pop and K-drama! There are some other non-verbal performances like JUMP and Nanta Cooking Show that I am very curious as well. Hopefully I can get to watch them one day. 

Cheers, filicia

Monday, January 19, 2015

HAPPY 2015!

How is it 2015 already when we have not even finished writing the draft from our 2014's posts? Ha! I know I know, we are such a bad blogger, aren't we? We did not even post any single thing during December! Not even once T____T But we have our reason. It has been very tough during last December. Both of us even barely had time to sleep or eat, let alone blogging. We had loads of project last semester, be it group assignments or individual assignments. I think I only ate once a day and slept for four hours each night (or dawn usually), it was that crazy on that time!

We had our two-weeks holiday that cut short into only a week since we were still finishing our assignments throughout the first week of holiday (yes, even on Christmas day!). And by the time we finally finished our assignments, we had enough of Adobe and all that jazz, so we took a break from our laptop and hung out with our friends in that precious one week. We started class on January 5th, and we were supposed to be able to get back to blogging, but, guess what? I was sick during the first week of classes! All I did during that week was just lying on the bed because I felt so uncomfortable. 

But, all is well now! So, we hoped that we can get back on track and continue posting regularly, because really, I miss the blogosphere so much! We still had some posts from 2014 that we could not let slide, so this January you will still be seeing some throwback posts ^^ Oh, and before we forget, HAPPY 2015! Let's have an awesome 2015 everyone! Be positive and stay healthy! 

Yeey, cheers!