The Best of 17 Carat K-Pop
A guide to the best episodes of the podcast so far in a wide range of categories!
Episodes that Cover Philosophical and/or Psychological Concepts
The Art of the K-Pop Music Video: I make the case for viewing K-pop music videos as exceptional examples of why music videos will never be irrelevant, list my top 21 picks for K-pop artists with the most compelling and re-watchable music videos, and explore the parallels between how the human mind benefits from dreaming and from watching music videos!
Taemin’s Encore: Building off of previous Taemin-dedicated episodes of the show, I lay out new theories about the dual roles Taemin plays in his music videos and where his characters’ stories go from here.
Taemin’s Newest Act: I unpack the layers of meaning within TAEMIN’s album Advice, explain the philosophical theory that inspired the album, and propose new theories about the Taemin Music Video Universe!
Epik High is Here!: I explore the many layers of meaning in Epik High’s songs, the threads connecting their stories from their different musical eras, and the messages in Epik High Is Here 上, Pt. 1!
House of KARDs: I theorize about the symbolism, literature and philosophy references, and overall messages in the music video universes created by BTS, NCT, SUPERM, and SEVENTEEN!
Give it Up for SHINee!: I explore the evolution of SHINee’s image and music videos through a combination of personal, sociological, and philosophical lenses.
Episodes About Art and Literature
A Guide to the TXT Universe: From the TXT members’ pre-debut intro videos to their newest album, I break down the layered meanings of and the multiple inspirations behind each addition to the TXT music video storyline, in chronological order! I also draw parallels between TXT and BTS videos, point out what details to look for in future TXT videos, and propose a theory about the literary work that serves as TXT’s ultimate inspiration (hint: it’s NOT Alice in Wonderland)!
A Guide to DREAMCATCHER: I break down all the potential Stephen King references, plot twists, symbols, and messages in DREAMCATCHER’s music videos, in chronological order!
ENHYPEN 101: There are four main categories the themes discussed in ENHYPEN’s musical universe fit into: wealth and power, the passage of time, truth and perceptions, and love. These categories also apply to the band’s (both confirmed and potential) sources of literary inspiration, including The Great Gatsby, Hamlet, Demian, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and two of Shakespeare’s sonnets. From fearing the future to finding oneself, the lessons in these stories parallel the lessons in ENHYPEN’s music and videos. In this four-part episode, I explore those connections, and I explain how ENHYPEN addresses this heavy subject matter with a fantastical, supernatural concept that is all their own.
Episodes About Technology and/or Economics
Dynafortnite: How are a digital Burning Man festival, a food-less eatery, and KCON related?! I explain the connections as they pertain to changes in consumer expectations over time, and I use this historical context to explain why I predict KCON will not be virtual forever.
If I Could Turn Back Time, if I Could Find a Way(V): My deep dive into the world of Miquela and similar CGI characters taking over music, fashion, and Instagram! I also address what they mean for the future of the music industry and pop culture as a whole, and I speculate what influence vocaloids like Miku have on social media discourse.
Introducing Kai: I share my thoughts and theories about Kai’s debut solo EP, music video, and short film, and I explain his character’s place in the SM Entertainment Music Video Universe! I also share the latest roundup of tech-based headlines: the world’s longest music video, the latest uses of A.I. technology, and more!
Episodes Covering K-Pop History
The History of Noraebang: I cover the history of karaoke, its particular cultural significance in Asia, and why promoting K-pop karaoke worldwide is an investment that can pay off on many levels.
BoA Fide Popstar: I analyze the variables that combined to cause K-pop to dominate on YouTube and caused SM Entertainment’s marketing tactics to succeed beyond imagination.
Today’s LessON: I give a brief history of the phrase “world music” and what makes it so problematic.
Episodes Focused on Pop Culture Commentary
Wonhomygod: I break down a recent trend in fan-idol interactions that gives a sneak peek at the future of fandom culture.
BigHit the Road: I argue in defense of TWICE, unpack the greater cultural context behind the Lana Del Rey situation, and discuss roles of women in music overall.
KCON Koverage Over Time: I conducted an original research project to quantify and analyze the ways in which KCON has been covered by the western media over the years. Here, I reveal the study’s results, recall iconic KCON moments (for better and for worse...), and look at KCON by the numbers over time.
My conversation with K-pop reporter Jeff Benjamin includes behind-the-scenes stories from interviewing K-pop stars, the elements of fair and beneficial K-pop media coverage, the newfound openness K-pop stars have about their mental health, and much more!
My conversation with journalist Kat Moon covers a mix of light and serious topics, from PURPLE KISS to K-drama recommendations to how K-pop journalism can describe fans and their idols in the best, most accurate way.
My conversation with Rolling Stone India’s K-pop columnist, senior writer, and video producer Riddhi Chakraborty covers the massive K-pop fan base in India, elements of K-pop reminiscent of Bollywood films, cultural appropriation in the K-pop industry, and much more.
Singer, songwriter, and producer H. Kenneth breaks down the making of “MY TREASURE” by TREASURE and “Ready to love” by SEVENTEEN! Plus, he gives hints about an upcoming K-pop release, shares a great Ed Sheeran quote about creativity, and lots more!
Songwriter and producer Tushar Apte shares the stories behind songs from BTS, BLACKPINK, Lu Han, and more C-pop and K-pop stars!
My conversation with songwriter Andy Love offers a behind-the-scenes look at the decisions and processes that go into making K-pop songs, J-pop songs, commercials, and TV show theme songs!
My conversation with singer/producer/songwriter STORYBOARDS is about writing for EVERGLOW, the state of the music industry in 2020, the song that almost went to BTS, K-pop girl groups, and much more!
Other Favorite Episodes
17 Talk, Vol.5: Your Choice: This episode serves as a complement to my essay, “The Artistry of SEVENTEEN.” I explain how SEVENTEEN’s new mini-album tells unique, layered stories and how it builds on the storytelling they began in their previous musical eras.
Episodes of “NCT Talk”: I constantly update my NCT Music Video Universe theories, review NCT albums, and share NCT news updates!
Autism and Fandom: In honor of Autism Acceptance Month, I use personal stories to describe five things allies to the autistic community should know, and I reflect on how being autistic shapes my feelings around and involvement in fandom culture.