3/4 cup cornstarch 2 tsp white pepper, finely ground
1 tsp salt
canola oil 4 green onion, chopped 1 small jalapenos, sliced, or several red chilies
Marinate pork with soy sauce and wine for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Whisk together egg whites and salt until foamy. Combine egg and pork mixture.
In a separate shallow pan, whisk together pepper, cornstarch and flour. Dredge pork in flour. In batches, deep fry pork (in about 2 inches of oil) until centers are barely pink (a little less than 3 minutes). Drain on paper towels.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil and quickly fry the green onion and chilies on medium high heat. Toss the fried pork in the pan till thoroughly coated with flavored oil.
Drake - "Passionfruit"
as sung by Hayley Williams of Paramore
Paramore - After Laughter
As a whole and in the details, this is probably the best album I heard all year, so it was hard to pick a delegate. "Told You So" is xcixxorx pick, but you could draw a number from a hat and not be disappointed.
Little Mix ft. Stormzy - "Power"
From the get go, Edwards' vocals tell you what this song is about, and the rest never lets up.
Vince Staples - "Rain Come Down"
Big Boi - "Chocolate" ft. Troze
Stupid. Dirty. Fun.
Natalia Lafourcade - "Soledad y El Mar" (En Manos de Los Macorinos)
C4 ft. Preditah - "They Don't Know"
Preditah Boiler Room Set at moment 4:58, which led to the Lethal Bizzle find "I Win" ft. Skepta. "Wigback Ting"
Toni Braxton - "Deadwood"
In spite of half-assed lyrics, Braxton reminds me why sultry is timeless and classy.
Rich Chigga - "Glow Like Dat"
because Chigga what?!
While BTS broadsided kpop in 2017, an exponentially proliferating hurricane of Wanna One spinoffs banged relentlessly at the shutters. I was quietly enjoying a niche headspace of surprising b-sides and quirky r&b, so I didn't notice until tuning in for the year-end shows that the acts who have dominated airwaves for the last decade were missing from the stages - Big Bang (despite two solos), 2ne1, Shinee, f(x), CNBlue, Beast/Highlight, SNSD, Infinite, any rappers, etc. It felt like an evacuation had occurred, leaving behind only a bewildering void of melancholy. Thus, the news of Jonghyung's suicide shook me up more than I would have expected, his untimely death marking a hard stop at the end of an era.
In remembrance of where it all (re)started... Shinee - "Replay" "M.V.P"
KPOP COUNTDOWN 2017
Dean ft. SYD - "Love"
The escalation from verse to verse is about the sexiest thing I've heard since "Put My Hands On You". "I got intentions baby But, I'm getting restless babe I need your blessing baby I'll love/f**k you if you let me baby"
See also the SMTM collaboration tracks with Zico for some fun Dean production.
WINNER - "Really Really"
Best in Tropicali 2017
See also: "Fool"
Block B - "Shall We Dance"
Bravura rap, all-in falsetto, and groovy, groovy bump. The way I like it.
Hotshot - "Jelly"
Out of all the Produce 101 spinoff group (Wanna One, JBJ, MXM, Rainz, N'uest) singles (including similarly paced "Energetic"), "Jelly" is the coolest drink of water. "Baby please don't go..."
Hyuna - "Babe"
Metallic bubble funk captures the more endearing aspects of Hyuna's persona, sweet and sassy, rather than just blasting brash sexy.
Day6 - Sunrise, and Moonrise
A surprise when they schooled the Ikon/Winner crew on YG's own reality show, 5live/Day6 went on to release a string of interesting singles starting from 2016's "Letting Go". I slightly prefer the sonic experimentation on Sunrise - "I Wait", "How Can I Say" and "You Are Beautiful" - over the warmer cafe rock sound of Moonrise, but both albums (and EPs) are imminently replayable. It's all so damn pleasant and only getting stronger live. Day6 deserves more attention than the slow burn suggests.
Hyukoh - "Wanli"
Where the band's previous EPs read as bluesy knowing melancholy, the newest album, 23, reflects an expansive transcendent taste in rock.
Odd Eye Circle - Mix & Match (album) Loona 1/3 - Love & Live (album)
Loona killed it this year. Foremost as the progressively digital Odd Eye Circle (See: "Loonatic", "Girl Front", "Uncover") then as the dreamy feminine subunit Loona 1/3 (See: "You and Me Together", Shiina Ringo ripoff "Sonatine", "Let Me In") and finally with lots of strong singles from individual members. (See: "New", "Eclipse"). And the winners just keep coming.
Ailee - "Reminiscing"
Ailee rarely steps out of her comfort zone, but her cover of Beast's "Rainy Days" (including rapping) and this amazingly nimble recall to Mary J. Blige's freeform What's the 411 and swanky 80's R&B. production, prove she's got way more to give than brassy belting.
ZICO - She's a Baby
This sound is to Zico what Hotline Bling is to Drake...
except Zico swings at 1:15 and spits at 2:10 with more sophistication in this soft ditty than a lot of rappers can pull off in a rap song.
Code Kunst ft. G.Soul, TABLO - "Fire Water"
Korean Quiet Storm with sci-fi bloop bleeps
...meets G. Soul channeling Sade
...then Tablo sums with this slice of cheese
..."I made the bed for you. You can z-z-z in peace."
See also: G.Soul - "Bad Habit", "Circles", "Tequila"
Gotta say, Cha Cha has outdone himself - a tiny stutter on the bass, the slight hesitation of the clap, breezy vocals - altogether producing a languid frisson of groove.
Compare to Jay Park's fun but earthbound Cha Cha vehicles "Yacht" and "Reborn".
Crush ft. Beenzino - "Outside"
See also: Crush with Band Wonderlust - "마지막 축제", and Groovy Room ft. Sik-K and Crush - "Party"
Dumbfounded Feat. Dok2, Simon Dominic, Tiger JK - "Hyung"
I'll take more-please Simon D wherever I can get him, plus on-a-roll-recently Dok2 delivers.
Millic ft. Fanxy Child - "Paradise"
The curiosities and/or caveats of the year. BTS - "Not Today"
Not since "Just One Day" have I BTS repeated this much, since the group is more "Fire" (adolescent fist-in-palm drama) than my taste normally allows. In this climate of adulation, my forced pick would not be the relatively silky "DNA", but rather the boize noize of "Not Today" (menaced by "Yay Area" style beats and driven to an increasingly frenzied soca climax). Album tracks supersynth "Best of Me" and folksy "Go Go" would not be far behind.
See: "Begin" from 2016 album Wings, which floats above the chaff.
Highlight - "Plz dont be sad"
They've lost the stature they once had, which is a darn shame, cause they keep evolving and refining their new sound and other people keep copying their old stuff. The latest album, is mostly fun and celebratory but lacks cohesion.
See also: "It's Still Beautiful" as appropriate a breakup and moving-on song as you could hope for Beast, now Highlight.
Zico ft. Fanxy Child - "Fanxy Child"
"Different r&b r&b..."
Lay - "I Need U"
Forget that faux badass "sheep" bullsh*t. This is how Lay is done. With some (but not enough) proper twinkly dancing.
EXO - "Forever"
The transition from verse to chorus is what barely carved out a space on this list for "Forever". Unfortunately, this year's Exo album didn't have the dense cohesion or sense of risk as the previous, perhaps an unfair penalty for a well executed collection of songs.
Epik High, Mino, Simon D, The Quiett- "No Thanxxx"
Again, I'm here for Simon D.
Red Velvet - "Peek a Boo"
Girls, this is your dress.
Although it's really mostly about those beats.
Taemin - "Thirsty" (OFF-SICK Concert Ver.)
The deeper bass drops on the chorus give this track a desperation that the album version can't match.
Twice - "Likey"
"Likey" is not super remarkable. The melody is prototypical, maybe even second string, Twice. That is to say... bubbly candy-coated freestyle performed in an ultra pouty mode. What is remarkable, is that "Likey" is inexplicably mashed up with dumb mid-90's breakbeats, that sort of euro chunk sound that gets no love these days, or ever, in the remix world. This unlikely temporal reversal somehow blows my mind.
Blanc7 - "Yeah"
Royal Pirates - "Where U At"
RP fell into an autotuned haze hole, but at least it's warm and cozy.
Double K ft. Seo in Guk - OMG
OMG is what you will say after hearing Seo in Guk sing the hook.
Nolan's usually overbearing temporal tricksiness serves the thesis of teamwork in what feels like the first anonymous war movie - not critique nor glorification - just confrontation and resolution and motivation. "Yay! Tom Hardy finally gets to be handsome in this movie! Oh drat... Nolan just made him put on that mask..."
The Trip to Spain
The laughs belie the palpable anxieties bubbling beneath the aging surfaces, but the pleasure is in the interplay of ego management and epiphany. Plus food.
A Taxi Driver
The Korean penchant for tonal shift can be off putting to the unfamiliar, but in this instance sudden jumps from buddy spy comedy, to street level war documentary, to an extended sequence of a family dinner sandwiched between bouts of violence, complements the whirlwind adventure of a opportunistic taxi driver who becomes inadvertently embroiled in historical revolution. Corrals the bouncy Korean energy in a fine balancing act of weightiness and light.
The Florida Project
Magical and heartwrenching and effortlessly natural. I also enjoyed Sean Baker's 2015 Tangerine.
Friendship pee says it all.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Out of the big sci-fi/superhero epics of the year, Star Wars fell on the top of the heap through the strength of...
the palpable tension between Rey and our broody could-have-been-Anakin, Kylo (you had me at "You need a teacher...", and then again at highpants)
the throne room fight scene (and most any action sequence)
the cheeky inversions of the Star Wars theology (teasing a destabilizing force upheaval, but ultimately retreating into a safe space, signaling a submission to Abrams final act which may or not play out)
a second installment so full as to be a trilogy in and of itself (and not in a bad way)
In comparison, Blade Runner 2045, Valerian, and Wonder Woman, had more obvious faults but were just as enjoyable.
Blade Runner's entertaining though shallow recursive theme and moody existentialism was undercut by an annoying villain.
Weak characters and heavy plotting weighed down the visual feast of Valerian.
The slapstick humor and heart of Wonder Woman got a little lost in the sloggish DC bombast.
The most insouciant anti-Brexit film of the year, with wonderful performances all 'round and a joy which can only be inspired by being nice and an unperturbable love of marmalade. And now that TV shows are really just longer movies, I can add these to my favorites for the year...
The Deuce ("...is a show about Times Square in the early '70s, when New York was so seedy there were two James Francos." -- Seth Myers, pre-scandal commentary. More salient to the quality of the show is Gyllenhaal's combative and despairing scene with Method Man.)
Star Trek: Discovery (with a number of hefty caveats mostly relating to shoddy writing)
Feud (all these talented women in complicated roles for women about women)
Glow (fun, simple, girl power fare)
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (another female-centric story, with a light insightful touch on unbecoming man-nerisms, so charming we blazed through all the episodes)
Taboo (the full Hardy - grunty, sweaty, caper-y, man stuff)