K-Popping in with some reads & watches

Life hit me hard lately, sorry I suck

I’m on a Twitter break and haven’t posted on Tiktok or written here for a few days, so I want to apologize and say sorry for going AWOL, pretty much on all platforms except IG recently. I did join bluesky and you can find me at tamarherman.com there, though I honestly have no idea what I’m doing and am mostly confused about all the geese honking.

Some personal and professional stuff is going on at the moment, and then I got sick and my apartment is falling apart to the degree that I feel it’s haunted. I don’t really have it in me to sit down and write right now in the way I’d like, but will hopefully get back to normal soon.

In the meantime, here are some links to read, watch, and listen to.

For Variety, I reviewed Suga’s Agust D show at UBS Arena, and it was musical noir perfection. I actually don’t love writing concert reviews because all of us have our own opinions, but this was the sort of show I feel demands interpretation and I was really pleased  with how this review turned out.

For UPROXX, I spoke with metaverse web3 K-pop bunny space star, Apoki. It feels weird to be talking to VR artists like this, and I’m really honestly concerned about AI’s impact on art and creative professions but here we go.

Apoki, a K-pop bunny from outer space

I spoke about INFINITE’s The Chaser on the “This Is The Greatest Song I’ve Ever Heard In My Entire Life” podcast hosted by the great Scott Interrante. I probably should be made fun of for all the songs I contemplated talking about before getting to The Chaser, but Scott just has to invite me back to talk about those now that I got my first and longest-lasting love out of my system.

The Daily Show’s look at K-pop was not terrible, which is my bar. I really enjoyed it and didn’t find myself rolling my eyes at factual errors or bad takes all the time, which is not always the case when these things come out. It felt really well done and I enjoyed all the speakers’ perspectives a lot.

Raphael Rashid wrote a piece for The Guardian about K-pop and suicide narratives regarding South Korea. I was thinking of writing something about youth death rates in America and the “dark side of K-pop” narrative after I read Kelli María Korducki’s The Atlantic story on America’s Death Trap. Because of everything making my life fall apart over the past two weeks, I did not, but I feel Rashid’s story is a good place for people to engage critically with the narrative.

A screenshot of my inbox. I email myself ideas all day long, and after I was getting nonstop calls and email requests for coverage the day of Moonbin’s passing, I emailed myself “i wish people cared about living kpop stars as much as they did dead ones.” If you’re an editor reading this, don’t wait until there’s tragedy to cover something that brings so many people so much joy.

While I was sick, I binged Under the Queen’s Umbrella, and yes, everyone was right. This is a really GREAT drama I wish I could watch it forever.

Some news stories I’ve been thinking about

The Korea Economic Daily has an exclusive about Align Partners CEO selling SM shares. You can read why this is a big deal in my SM battle breakdown story.

Hybe reported huge Q1 profits, which is seen by many as a sign the company is on the right path re diversifying.

Gonna be very K-pop and tease upcoming newsletters… For free subscribers, I’m going to be discussing nursery rhyme usage in certain K-pop songs, and talking with Elise Hu about her upcoming book Flawless. For paid subscribers, I’m going to be sharing a linear note take of one of, if not my very first, Billboard K-pop interviews, with GOT7.

If there’s anything else you’d like to read from Notes on K-pop, please hit me up in the comments or email me, tamarhermanwrites@gmail.com