Tag Archives: cody raisch

It’s 2019: Does the US Finally understand the Power of K-Pop?

It was a casual Sunday morning in my small Minneapolis apartment, and I was desperately looking for something to watch. I opened my Youtube to watch literally anything interesting, and settled on the skits from SNL the night before. Little did I know I was in for a pleasant surprise, because the night before the K-Pop juggernauts BTS took to the stage as the musical act.

I will be the first to admit that I knew what K-Pop was and who BTS was, but was never remotely interested in finding out what they were about. I can admit now that it was just a personal bias because I knew a lot of BTS fanatics in real life, and I didn’t want to feed into the hype, but their two perfect SNL performances had me eating my words. I felt like I was let in on the world’s biggest secret. After watching both performances more times than I’d like to admit, I said aloud, “Ah, I get it now.”

The performance that had my jaw on the floor

I know I’m not the only person who felt standoffish toward K-Pop, and a lot of it just has to do with living in a western state of mind. I remember reading an article called “Can We Stop Pretending K-Pop is Popular?” completely disregarding K-Pop as an international phenomenon, pointing out how quickly the charts drop for these artists. Written in June of 2018, this article already sounds bitter and outdated.

https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2018/06/21/stop-pretending-k-pop-popular/

BTS was the first K-Pop artist to be featured as a musical guest, debuting their new song “Boy With Luv” which features Halsey, an up and coming heavy hitter in the music industry. This goes along with their music video debut, which broke Youtube records by receiving the most views on a video in 24 hours, and also the fastest video to get 100 million views.

The Boys of BTS are not the only K-Pop stars breaking into the United States. The previous record for most Youtube views in 24 hours was held by BLACKPINK, an all girl K-Pop group that was recently featured in the 2019 Coachella line-up.

BLACKPINK performing Coachella

With all the attention on K-Pop groups, and an overall acceptance of the K-Pop genre into the US mainstream, the end is not in sight. BTS won two Billboard Awards, one for “Top Duo/Group” (a first for the group), and another for “Top Social Artist” for the 3rd year in a row. They shared the Social Artist category alongside two more well known K-Pop band nominees, EXO and GOT7.

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/awards/8509655/billboard-music-awards-2019-winners-list

As someone who just entered the K-Pop atmosphere, I feel like I have been let out of a small box, and I can now finally breathe. I’m excited to give these young talented artists a chance, simply because Pop music doesn’t always fit into a certain mold, and I hope others realize this.

The other day my boyfriend texted me to say he heard “Boy With Luv” by BTS on the radio, and I couldn’t help but smile.

When a Podcast Solves a Crime

Something I have always found interesting is the phenomenon of true crime podcasts. There’s an entire community of podcast listeners who specifically listen to podcasts about crime, and spooky unexplainable encounters. There are crime podcasts for all kinds of true crime addicts. You could always check out the classic: Serial. If you like to keep it serious at all times, you’d probably like Sword and Scale. If you like your heavy subjects with a little humor, you’d likely love listening to My Favorite Murder or Last Podcast on the Left.

Most of these are retellings with great detail on crimes of the past, but none can compare to the fascinating tale of Up and Vanished, a podcast that lead to the arrests of two men in a missing persons case that went cold for 11 years, that was declared a murder investigation.

Tara Grinstead, A history teacher and beauty pageant enthusiast who’s missing persons case inspired the Up and Vanished Podcast
https://www.instagram.com/p/BpQOR2gBCoz/

I first discovered Up and Vanished in 2016 while searching Spotify for a true crime podcast to listen to. It sounded captivating, and it had about 9 episodes at that point, and I listened weekly. The host, Payne Lindsay, posted episodes every 2 to 3 weeks, but between the regular investigation episodes, he would do side episodes with case updates, and Q&A’s with listener calls. As a listener, I could just feel that Payne Lindsay along with his private investigator, Maurice Godwin, were onto something with this case. I listened diligently for the updates, when one day in early 2017, I got the listen of a lifetime when they posted an episode stating there were two arrests made in the Tara Grinstead case.

The cover of Up and Vanished season 1

The state of Georgia ultimately put a gag order on the case, so nobody involved in the case was allowed to speak to the media at all, but the podcast continued, and kept up with the case details, the suspects who were arrested, and the motive behind the case.

The most interesting part about the Up and Vanished podcast is that it originally started as an investigation into a missing person that lead to traction and increased interest in a case that went cold for 11 years. Payne Lindsay even admits in an episode after the suspects are named that he had heard from multiple Ocilla townsfolk that he needed to look into the two men who eventually were convicted with the crime, meaning that Up and Vanished might not have solved the crime single-handedly, but they were hard on the heels of the discovering the convicted suspects on their own. Their passion for solving this mysterious case ended up leading to the arrests and eventually, the recorded confessions to the crime.

For more information on the case, and a link to episodes, head to https://season1.upandvanished.com/

Up and Vanished is also available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.