It’s Time for Another Episode of Queen of the Scene!

INT. DARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL RESTROOM – NIGHT

A few flickering candles illuminate the room, the light doubled and re-doubled by the mirrors above each sink. Two of the three stall doors are closed, but the third, the middle, is OPEN. SAKI (20) stands in a CIRCLE OF PROTECTION on the floor.

Saki: Hanako-san. Hanako-san. HANAKO-SAN!

The 14TH GENERATION HANAKO OF THE TOILET (eternal, also like 14) APPEARS IN THE OPEN STALL!

Hanako-san: Who calls!

Saki: It’s just me, Hanako-san.

Hanako-san: Oh. Why the theatrics? You have my LINE.

Saki: Maniac said that it’d play better this way.

Hanako-san: Oh, that guy. So?

Saki: Well, you know that I stole the Homicidols Queen of the Scene title from Sari while we were in the United Kingdom.

Hanako-san: I do at that.

Saki: And I know that you helped to arrange for that with your selflessness during the Corenament.

Hanako-san: Indeed.

Saki: Maniac told me that I’ll need to defend my title this week.

Hanako-san: I see.

Saki: Right. So, from what I remember, you were promised something.

Hanako-san: I was.

Saki: Can I ask what that is?

Hanako-san: Unfortunately, I don’t actually know what it is. Sister Jean was very cryptic about it. All she said was that “no good deed goes unpunished.”

Saki: That could mean anything.

Hanako-san: It could also be that she was just acting as a cypher for the jerk in charge and was using a well-known nihilistic idiom.

Saki: Well, do you think that you’ll be able to help me? I’ve only been the Official Oshimen for a few weeks, and I’d like to be able to continue.

Hanako-san: Prophesy is tricky, especially for toilet ghosts like me. Ask me to show you the blackest chaos of your psyche, no problem; I can’t see the future, though, only what’s possible.

Saki: It’s going to be a long week. Continue reading

Well, It Looks Like I Have a New Favorite NEO JAPONISM Song

Soundcloud is a pretty great tool for sharing music. I’ve been using it in various capacities for years, going way back to before needing it as a tool for finding Japanese stuff, even. But do you know what Soundcloud sucks at? Sending mobile notifications. So it becomes one of the few things in the game that require active, deliberate monitoring, and you’re SOL if whoever you happen to be following uploads material way ahead of the actual release date, such that the new thing never even appears in your feed (pre-major new BiS, I’m looking in your direction).

At other times, things pop up in your feed and you get a fun little charge. How exciting! I hope it’s good! It’s sometimes a letdown, sure, but also sometimes a thrill … like when one of your favorite emerging units dispenses with the pleasantries and decides that their newest track should be a nasty one:

Continue reading

This Is a uijin Live Celebration Post

I recently started a long leg of business travel. While it can sometimes be interesting and even a little bit exciting, business travel is, on the whole, Bad — you have to leave all of your comfortable spaces to spend way too much time with strangers doing strange things, and the outcomes are completely unpredictable. In my Day Job line of work, in fact, of the three main kinds of business travel that you usually have to do, only one of them is guaranteed to have no worse an experience than net neutral. Those aren’t great odds!

The upshot of business travel, though, is that you usually have time on your hands. This most recent trip (which was fine) was busy all over the middle, but also had long travel legs at each end, and I got to use those long travel legs to go back over music, new and old, that I both needed and wanted to listen to.

While returning home (finally) the other night, the very last thing that I put on was a recent favorite, uijin’s stay hungry, stay foolish, a really solid album with great energy that, much like the idols who made it, seemed to fly under the radar too much last year. And I thought, man, what’s uijin even doing now?

As it turns out, they’re putting together slick live videos!

Continue reading

The Boys Are All Right: Meet SUPER DRAGON

Once upon a time, I told Mister Mister that I’d be happy to feature any boy bands that did the music to warrant it. It was a safe, innocuous kind of comment, less a promise than a “we’ll see” with a smirk. After all, thought I at the time and plenty of times subsequently because yes I sometimes think about you guys who comment (what of it?), when has the relentless boy band machine that is mainstream J-pop ever turned out something on par with even, say, that lone K-pop outfit that I find significantly entertaining?

Cue up last week’s Weekender and said Mister Mister:

And that, friends, becomes the moment when I abjure all remaining pretense toward “normal” J-pop. Continue reading

Let’s Have a Chat about Oomori Seiko

I don’t mean to alarm anybody, but the patron saint of idols, the living legend named Oomori Seiko, just released a new album, Kusokawa Party, and it’s everything that I wish a lot of other things in this world could be. That’s usually about all I’d say about it and kick it into the Weekender, but we’re Seiko fans around these parts, and her influence and support for idol at times near and far demands respect all by itself. So! When Seiko does good and loud things, they get held up as an example of what the really good shit can be.

For instance!

That’s like vintage Quintet BiS being reinterpreted by syva and GESSHI after a long night of No-Doz and absinthe.

This one is pure chaos taking a tour through chika idol: Continue reading

Your Homicidols Weekender #87

Hello friends! Who’s all at Hyper Japan this weekend? Kerrie’s there, with a press pass — somehow, our application that said “to interview DEADLIFT LOLITA” was confusing to the organizers, so a press pass was granted only after all of DLL’s interview slots were taken, and we didn’t have a backup plan (though I think Kerrie may, she’s clever). If you happen to see the Weeaboo Witch herself, see if you can con her into being her official photographer or something. Press access is press access!

For the vast majority of us not at Hyper, did you all have a good week? I … did? The last several weeks, and indeed it seems like most of the year, have been busy-ass times for ol’ Maniac, times full of changes and new challenges, and the trip that I was on (first time in that area in a decade!) over the course of the week really drove that home. I’m tired! It’s fortunately a pretty nice weekend now that I’m back home, so I hope to make the most of it.

Idol had a solid week, though, huh? There were some missing pieces for me (I was waiting for another Tsurezure song!), but good tunes abounded. TIF is still a few weeks away, too, so there’s bound to be some good stuff right on the horizon. And, for what it’s worth, maybe the best thing of all from the week hasn’t had its published moment yet, so stick around for a little while before heading out for fun summertime adventures. And, of course, play the Fun, which should definitely get your brain gears turning.

Are You Ever Going to Stop These Things?

Well, here’s part of the MIGMA SHELTER solution:

Continue reading

Now This Is a Summertime Idol Song

Man, after this past week, I needed to see this in my Soundcloud feed:

I mean, it’s called “Super Summer”, so

It’s so bright! I like the additional punk infusion; this isn’t emotional idorock the way that your Babyraids JAPAN, for instance, might do it, but more along the lines of Malcolm Mask McLaren or, once upon a time, THE SPUNKY (RIP). Their last one went that route a little bit, too, but with a meaner edge. And while I love meaner edges, this one is the better mood-setter for sure. Continue reading

You Have Never Feared a Friday Fun as Much as You Should This One

Hi everyone! Anyone coming to Hyper Japan this weekend? I’m there tomorrow. I got a press pass very last minute (like too last minute to use it for its intended purpose, interviewing DLL) but they needed to see a business card so now I have a whole bunch of spare business cards that I don’t know what to do with so if you see me at the show I’ll give you an official Homicidols business card! Yes, seriously.

Kerrie, I say this as your publisher and also your friend: Autograph those things and charge 5 muckles or whatever you call British currency for them

Anyway, let’s have a look at some of the most outrageous yet believable idol misconceptions of this week!

This one is actually a backup fun, but with Papermaiden appearing on A-to-J’s podcast today, it only felt appropriate to bring this one out of the archive, as this was all her idea! Continue reading

This Wagamama Rakia Ballad Is So Nice That I Want to Buy It Gifts

I keep telling you guys, if it’s not already Wagamama Rakia’s moment, it’s happening. To celebrate their second anniversary as a group, and to show off the new-look-four-member lineup, they dropped a song that I’ve already played twice and will continue to repeat as necessary:

I love the little trip down memory lane, with the old outfits etc. They’ve come so far and now, two years on, are ready to go. Continue reading

We Review Things: Melon Batake a go go Make Sick Music For Sick People

Psychobilly idols Melon Batake a go go don’t generally strike me as rule followers, but in the case of their new EP, they abide by an age-old rock n’ roll rule: Keep it short and sweet and make them beg for more. It’s a formula that’s brought us legends from Hasil Adkins to the Ramones to Guitar Wolf to a hundred other rock stars who put a pep in our step and tickled our hormones. You simply can’t beat a great garage stomper, and now, Melon Batake a go go have come to put the idol spin on the barn dance. Continue reading