Shin Hae-chul

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Shin Hae-chul

Shin Hae-chul (1968-2014)

During lunch on October 27, I opened the Korean news portal site on my phone and spotted the character ‘故’ in front of Shin Hae-chul’s name to learn that he had passed away. It was hard to believe. Even though the media had been covering about his hospitalization, who would have thought.

It was hard to believe because he was that person whom you thought would be around to speak and scream his mind when the rest of us were too timid, too fettered, too comfortable, and too self-conscious to do so. He gifted us with his music and persona. He was a tireless musician according to the works created and the accounts of his fellow artists. From his outspokenness many of us experienced vicarious satisfaction. He was a remarkable listener during his career as a radio host. I think it is because of this immense presence of his that he is so deeply…

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Answer Me, Deok-seon!

Following Kpop


Last weekend, South Koreans either watched or didn’t watch the final episodes of Answer Me 1988, which became the most watched show in Korean cable television history with a whopping 21.6%.

Among that population were two passionate schools of matchmakers waiting impatiently as they ruminated the best husband material for our fair Deok-seon. But they would agree that at the heart of the show is a world of kindness, love, and opportunities for social mobility. Things believed to be absent today but present in a world set almost 30 years ago.

The show creators’ ability to connect to younger viewers lacking first-hand experience or recollection of the decade addressed by the show is remarkable. Gifting people weary of “Hell Joseon” with healthy humor and energy is another feat that other Korean dramas apparently have no idea how to achieve at the moment.

I loved the show and the experience of watching it. The characters played…

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Playlist: Answer Me 1988

Following Kpop

Answer Me 1988 Poster

It’s 1988 this time! I’m not as familiar with the music from this period but I’ll try my best to keep this list updated and correct. It’s amazing that a lot of the music that has been introduced through the show remains popular to this day. I’ve always liked listening to The Zoo and Deulgukhwa. I look forward to finding out new songs and seeing these boys and girls come of age.

Episode 1

To you (그대에게) by Shin Hae-chul (신해철)
奔向未來日子 (분향미래일자) by Leslie Cheung (장국영)
Like the birds (새들처럼) by Byeon Jin-seop (변진섭)
Hand in hand by Koreana
Flying the deep night sky (깊은 밤을 날아서) by Lee Moon-se (이문세)
Korea by 少女隊
Damdadi (담다디) by Lee Sang-eun (이상은)
I want to cry (울고 싶어라) by Love and Peace (사랑과 평화)
From the land of morning (아침의 나라에서) by Kim Yeon-ja (김연자)
Don’t you worry (걱정 말아요 그대) by Lee Juck…

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