When my professor cancels the last day of class:


When I zone out in class and the professor calls on me:


When the professor calls on me and I make a comment that’s not completely stupid:


When my professor assigns 50 pages of readings for the next class:


When I’m late to class and everyone turns around when they hear the classroom door open:


As a second semester senior, while everyone else is studying for finals, I’m just like:


When I finally turn in my thesis:


*NOTE* gifs are not mine! credit goes to the original makers of the gifs.


Mando-pop Crash Course – Male Soloists Edition!

Hello lovely readers! It’s been way too long since I’ve felt this much freedom from academic life! To celebrate, I decided to introduce you guys to some great mandarin pop (mando-pop) singers that I’ve been listening to when I got tired of k-pop (gasp! blasphemy, I know) while laboring on my thesis for the past few weeks. In general, mando-pop tends to be more ballads-heavy than k-pop, which favors fast tempo, dance tracks as its main attractions. People who are somewhat familiar with mando-pop have probably heard of Jay Chou, Leehom Wang, J.J. Lin, David Tao, and the likes. But today I want to introduce some lesser known singers. Here’s a few of my favorite male soloists hailing from all corners of the Mandarin speaking world:

1. Jacky Xue (薛之谦)

This track titled “Serious Snow (认真的雪)” from this Shanghainese singer’s first album back in 2006 is his most well known work. Written and composed by Jacky himself, this song expresses the sorrow he felt after ending a relationship. I especially love the part where he sings about how it snowed in Shanghai for the first time in more than ten years when he broke up with her. (已经十几年没下雪的上海 突然飘雪 就在你说了分手的瞬间). The MV’s beautifully done as well. Even though I’ve never seen it snow in Shanghai, my hometown in northeastern China snows like crazy all winter long, and this song reminded me of my childhood there – oh the good memories 🙂

2. Yoga Lin (林宥嘉)

Still a college student when he became the season one champion of the Taiwanese version of “American Idol,” Yoga Lin (don’t ask me how he came up with that name) has been a pretty big deal in the Mando-pop scene ever since. He’s good at singing soft ballads, but his voice seriously explodes in his rock tracks. Even though he’s got the innocent looks of a 12-year-old, Yoga’s definitely got a darker, edgier, and more mature side to him that tells me he’s here to stay for good. Check out the following track “Wake Up (自然醒)” in which he complains about all the noise in the world and expresses his simple wish to wake up naturally in the morning. I hear ya, Yoga, I hear ya.

3. Hu Xia (胡夏)

Compared to Jacky and Yoga, Hu Xia is the new kid on the mando-pop block, but just as talented and full of potential. As the season six winner of the same Taiwanese singing competition that launched Yoga’s career, Hu Xia signed with Sony Music right away (Leehom Wang belongs to the same record company). Last year he sang the theme song for the hugely popular Taiwanese movie “Apple of My Eye (那些年, 我们一起追的女孩).” Hear for yourself what some critics have called “the most pure and clear voice ever to enter mando-pop.” Go watch the movie if you haven’t. Then you’ll understand why my heart literally aches every time I hear this song (24 million views on youtube already!).

4. Khalil Fong (方大同)

Born in Hawaii but raised in Shanghai and Hong Kong, Khalil is, in my opinion, the best R&B singer in mando-pop right now. He almost always writes and composes his own songs, and if you look closely at his lyrics, only then do you realize how he can turn yet another love song into something so uniquely his. In a ballad conveniently titled “Love Song,” Khalil pulls quotes out of other artists’ love songs, including those of Jay Chou and Leehom Wang, and scatters them throughout his lyrics. When I heard this song for the first time, I had to double-check that I wasn’t actually listening to Jay or Leehom! I see what you did there, Khalil, and I like.

5. Eason Chan (陳奕迅)

I know I said I wouldn’t talk about somebody very famous but I just couldn’t leave Eason out of this post. He’s got the status of a god in the world of Mandarin ballads, no joke. The media even calls his “E-God” because Eason sounds very similar to “E-Shen,” with Shen meaning God. I don’t know how to describe what it is that makes Eason’s voice so pleasant and calming to the ear and always leaving you yearning for more – you just have to listen for yourself. Here is “Don’t Talk (不要說話)” – one of his lesser known songs, if such a thing as “a lesser known Eason Chan song” even exists. I suggest doing a Eason Chan playlist search on youtube the next time you sit down to crank out a paper or grant proposal – it’ll make everything a little less painful, I promise.

That’s all for now! Thank you for allowing me to introduce some of the hidden gems in mando-pop to you all. It’s been a pleasure. Keep an eye out for more editions of Mando-pop Crash Course in the near future!

Chris Lee sings opening theme for c-drama “Female Prime Minister”

Greetings fellow lovers of Asian pop culture! I am going to deviate from my normally news-like writing style and instead express to you all how super, totally excited I am for a new chinese drama! As mentioned in a previous post, Yu Zheng’s newest production “Female Prime Minister” (女相) has wrapped up filming and currently undergoing post-production.

This past Tuesday, Yu Zheng Productions released a 5 minute music video for this drama featuring popular Chinese artist Chris Lee singing the opening theme song “Treasure” (珍惜). To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of her boyish image, but I gotta admit, her voice fits this bittersweet drama perfectly.

I’ve been following this production religiously ever since it began shooting because “Female Prime Minister” is the first time Chen Xiao (who’s actually under the management of Yu Zeng Productions) takes reins as the leading man. This is also the second time that Zhao Liying and Chen Xiao have been paired up in a drama (first time was in “Palace II”), and these two together is just way too much eye candy for me to handle – and the (very, very likely) possibility of them acting as Yun Ge and Liu Fu Ling in Yu Zheng’s next big production of Tong Hua’s “Yun Zhong Ge” will just make my year. (Yes, I am currently reading Ms.Koala’s translation of “Yun Zhong Ge” instead of writing my thesis…bad bad bad, I know.)

Anyway, back to the drama. Some viewers complained that everything looks too colorful in this drama, but then again, it is a Yu Zheng production, so that’s expected. Fans of Gui Gui were also disappointed by how little screen time she seems to get. I’ve been a fan of this rising Taiwanese actress ever since “Painted Skin” the drama, so I feel the fans’ concern as well. It’s just that this drama is so jam-packed with pretty actresses that I’m afraid Gui Gui will be lost in the crowd. Let’s hope it all turns out well in the end.

Check out the lovely MV below and lend support to this drama! It’s projected to air in July on Hunan TV…I’m telling you, graduation and the summer can’t come soon enough!

Super Junior “Opera” (Japanese Version) Teaser

Here’s the new teaser for the Super Junior’s “Opera” (Japanese ver.) music video! It’ll be released as a single on May 9th. I can’t wait!!! The boys all look great in the teaser! 😀


While we’re on the topic of Super Junior’s Japanese releases, check out the (short) music video for Donghae and Eunhyuk’s “Oppa, Oppa” (Japanese ver.) that was released recently! Why do I feel like their Japanese music videos are more well-done than their Korean ones…

Mr. Simple Runs the Night

Hi Apopaholics Anonymous readers! I just wanted to share a mashup I made featuring the vocals from “Mr. Simple” by Super Junior and the instrumental from “We Run the Night” by Havana Brown feat. Pitbull.

How did I come up with the inspiration to create such a mashup, you might ask? I was riding in the car with my friends the other day, and “We Run the Night” came on the radio. We all talked about how part of the song reminded us of “Mr. Simple” (and proceeded to do the signature dry-your-hands-without-paper-towels dance from the chorus part), and it occurred to me that it might sound cool if the songs were combined. Thus, this mashup was born! Please excuse its bad quality, though; this is the first mashup I’ve ever made, and I just used a simple audio editing program to put it together. If you feel so inclined, give it a listen here and let me know what you think:

Tang Wei (汤唯) models for jewelry brand + new movie with Hyun Bin (현빈) released

Gorgeous Hong Kong actress Tang Wei picked up an endorsement deal with jewelry brand Forevermark and completed a photo shoot that showed off her exquisite beauty.

Rising to fame as the lead actress in the 2007 movie “Lust, Caution” by Academy Award winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee, Tang Wei hasn’t been involved in that many productions since then. She picks her roles very carefully and is a very low key person when not acting, so it sure has been a while since we’ve heard from her.

Launching a recent big screen comeback with the movie “Late Autumn” co-starring South Korean actor Hyun Bin, Tang Wei proves that she is one of the top stars in both China and the international stage. I wouldn’t be surprised if her next big role takes her all the way to Hollywood!

Check out pictures from the photo shoot below along with an MV for “Late Autumn,” a bittersweet love story about two people destined to be with each other…their English is pretty good, huh?

Kpop Update – The Dance/Do-wop/Rock/OST Edition!

Greetings, Apopaholics! I just wanted to share a few recent-ish songs with you guys that I think you all should check out.

First up is “Lips” by miss A, the second track on their EP Touch, which was released in February. Of all the songs on their EP, this is the one that stood out to me with its infectious, addictive beat and dance-y rhythm. The chorus part is really catchy! Don’t blame me if it gets stuck in your head, haha.

Next is a more ballad-type song: “Smile” by B1A4 from their first full-length album Ignition, which was released earlier in March. I actually really liked the album as a whole; they had a good mix of upbeat power-pop songs (which I think is their signature style –  see past songs “O.K,” “Beautiful Target,” and “My Love”) and slower songs. While “Smile” is my favorite song from the album, their title tracks “Baby I’m Sorry” and “This Time Is Over” are also really good. I also liked “So Fine,” Baro’s solo “Just the Two of Us,” and “You Are My Girl” – so yeah, pretty much the whole album, haha. Anyways, “Smile” sounds like a cute 1950s do-wop kind of song. The vocals are really smooth, and every time I listen to this song, it makes me smile (haha, get it?). Enjoy!

Another song that has been stuck in my head recently is “Hey You” by CNBlue from their EP Ear Fun, which was released this past Monday. I actually just recently started listening to CNBlue (since a fellow Apopaholic blogger’s post last week, haha), and I really like how they are not like the typical Kpop boy band. They have a unique style to their songs, and I think it’s cool how the members actually play the instruments in their music, like a real band! haha. I also really liked “Still in Love,” which makes for great easy-listening music. “Hey You,” on the other hand, is really upbeat and kind of reminds me of Maroon 5’s Sunday Morning,” except better. The song sounds so happy, fun, and light, and it’s been getting lots of playtime in my music library, haha. In fact, I think that “Hey You” is my favorite song of all the songs CNBlue has released so far. So yeah, I like it a lot! haha. My favorite parts of the song are Jonghyun’s parts (at 0:36 and 1:55 in the MV below) – let me also mention how incredibly cute he looks in the MV! haha. Check it out:

Finally, I’ll end with some instrumental OST music from the recent K-drama The Moon that Embraces the Sun. I really liked the powerful, emotion-filled main song “Back in Time” by Lyn. I also really, really liked the instrumental main theme song for the drama. It just sounds so epic and beautiful. I dig it. Give it a listen and be transported into the fantastical and rich world of a past era. Actually, give the whole OST a listen! All of the instrumental tracks are so beautiful. If you are only going to listen to one K-drama OST in your life, this should be it. haha. Also, I highly recommend the drama for anyone who likes romance-type dramas!