I had to travel for work over the weekend to speak at a weekend conference. I’m usually pretty firm about keeping work confined to business hours unless it’s an actual disaster that I’m responding to because I have so little actual time to myself. I find that I have to be aggressively protective of it in order to make sure my batteries are recharged and I can face the week ahead with a modicum of grace and composure. But this work trip was special and was something I’d been looking forward to for months. You see, I was speaking at a conference in KpopontheDL’s town, her work conference actually, and staying at her house. Our real lives – with some manipulation on our parts – were colliding.
What this really meant was that woven in between hours spent manning the local arrangements table at registration (I knew nothing about the local area, but I was happy to smile and point at pieces of paper and flirt relentlessly), dining with other attendees, and speaking at the session, we were able to curl up on the couch and watch the most recent episodes of SignHere, the AOMG survival show, ATEEZ: Treasure Film, and some videos we’d been dying to catch together. I had to fly home fairly early Monday morning, but before we had to load up the car for the airport, we were able to catch the ONF comeback, Why. It was a delight of post-apocalyptic possibly time jumping faceoffs. I’m a sucker for a story I can barely tease out of a music video.
This isn’t the throwback portion of the post, but it deserves to not be missed in the mix of a million comebacks this month.
ONF, as thoroughly discussed in this nugu post from 2017, has the type of overly complicated concept that only a Kpop fan could love. However, with that concept has come some really strong music, sharp choreo, gorgeous styling, and a burgeoning variety show skill set. Two of the members were recently on an episode of Weekly Idol with Yunho and Wooyoung of Ateez and Woo Hyuk Jang, the maknae of H.O.T. – we managed to watch this on Sunday night. It was ridiculously fun and was a reminder that I really do enjoy this group. I’ve never been disappointed by their music, I enjoy their members enough to know that I want to know them, and they sit in that sweet spot of known but not too popular that makes my hipster heart sing. As a consequence, I’ve revisited some of their older songs over the last couple of days and wanted to remind you all that they are out here, pumping out music that sounds like pleasant pop on the surface but contains all sorts of interesting twists and turns when you have the chance to really deep dive into the songs. Complete, the title track from their 2018 mini You Complete Me is a wonderful example of what I mean.