Here’s How Yoneko Ended The Heisei Era

Does Yoneko ever stop and take a break? Apparently not, because she’s released yet another new, self-composed song and music video to commemorate today’s transition from Heisei to Reiwa era. Directed by Kai, of all people, in the first in what I hope will be many collaborations by ex-Bellrings who jumped to Trash-Up records. 

The song itself reminds me of Bellring gone lo-fi. And the music video fits pretty well, matching both Yoneko and Kai’s recent forays into retraux aesthetic. I’m not going to lie, through about half of the song I was expecting a sudden burst of clear vocals and thrashing guitars at each break, but nope, she sticks to the quiet, fuzzy audio quality for the entire track. But after I got used to it, I really began to appreciate the simplicity of one girl and her electric guitar. Would I say this was a good tribute to the ending Heisei era? I’m not really well-versed enough in Japanese culture to know for sure. But it’s a quality, chill, lazy-day track that I could easily imagine myself listening to alone in the garden on a sunny day, or in my bedroom on a late night, and that’s good enough for me.

Now, where’s that Kanra/Kai/Mizuho reunion single we all want?

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This Is “BEYOND THE RED” Episode 3

I was one of those people who studied abroad for a spell (and then came back and couldn’t stop talking about it for months). The country I was in was and is known for its avant garde cinema scene, so my program had a film component, and I had film students as friends, including one as a roommate. As a result, I spent plenty of time watching movies that were in a language that I could only in the most generous of senses say that I understood. It was a good time!

This is to lead into … the latest release of NECRONOMIDOL’s short horror film BEYOND THE RED, which I like to watch because I like to watch Necroma! Continue reading

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Okinawa Electric Girl Saya Has Projects You Can (And Should) Support!

It’s been far too long since we’ve talked about Okinawa Electric Girl Saya, but within the space of when we last discussed her idol/experimental art fusions and now, she’s truly been tireless in her pursuit of her craft. I’d say Saya is among the most relentlessly active people on the scene, with consistent live performances, new collaborations, (Hey Soze!) and recordings practically weekly if not daily. What may have begun as a casual dipping into the well of avant-garde audio has become a full-time embrace of the bolder and more outré edges of the musical spectrum…

For some time now, Saya’s been releasing monthly CDRs of her noise experiments that she sells at shows, but these releases are a bit hard to get hold of outside of Japan. If you recall in the previous article, I mentioned that Saya has a unique aura that would do quite well with the Bandcamp business model, and I’m pleased to tell you that currently there are indeed some selections available at last.

Aside from her own self-released works, Saya’s been offering a few of her collaborations via Terminal Explosion, a label based around noise, industrial, hip-hop, and underground electronica run by a mysterious beat-maker known only as Ax. Currently, there are two available CDR (or digital) releases and a collaboration album that you can pre-order, along with some nice little merch items!

The first is “Dischord”, an EP that features a beautifully unique take on a Okinawan folk song..

 

The second is “Mayhem” , a series of chaotic but compelling noise-blasts that go hard…

 

And soon-to-come is a full-length album titled “Chastity”, which you can pre-order now

 

The digital downloads for “Dischord” and “Mayhem” are “name your price”, or you can buy them as CDRs for ¥1,000 each with (very reasonable) international shipping available. The album “Chastity” has a pre-determined price digitally, but also has a few tangible package options that include a t-shirt, a badge, or even all three recordings as a bundle, so check out the options and see what looks good to you!

In addition to these cool releases, the ever-prolific noise maker is also currently about 80% done crowdfunding another entirely new album called “Black Angel” that as of this writing, only has about two days left! The funding site, Campfire, is intended to be used only in Japan, but it is possible to lend your support by using a service like Tenso to serve as your “Japanese address”, so there is a window to help if you wish…

And you know what the other cool thing is? We’re not even half-way through the year yet, so it’s realistic to expect that this flurry of output for 2019 isn’t even close to being finished yet! What else will Saya do, and who else will she collaborate with? I don’t think she’s conceding any limitations on what she’ll accomplish. That’s what keeps an artist artist fresh and exciting, so let’s all enjoy where the trip takes us, and support her wherever we can. 

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Let’s Catch up with Marionet

So in addition to not being able to blog all the posts I’d like these days, it’s also embarrassingly easy to miss things that I ordinarily would never, ever want to miss. No, I’m not talking about the birth of a child (though: try me); I mean new things and fun things from favorite idol projects of mine. Good thing that I have you guys! Just like how I got saved on the NEMLESS MV, Andrew was kind enough to tug my pant leg and point out that yes, Maniac, you did in fact miss something from Marionet, what is actually wrong with you!

Well.

When we last left our heroines, they had reached that point in their record-promotion schedule where they’d teased like all of the tracks and had their first bona fide MV in hand and were waving it around and loudly encouraging folks to give them an honest chance. It was a good look and a good time! And now that a month has passed, it’s time to … well, it’s time to release a new song for the adoring masses!

Is it on the EP, or is it truly new?

Continue reading

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Prepare Yourself for a Journey Into the Mind of NEMLESSS

Doop-dee-doop, minding my own business … hello, what’s this?

Well I never! Continue reading

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Your Homicidols Weekender #128

Welcome back! Did you have a good week? Ol’ Maniac is proud to report that I just wrapped up one of the most manic month-long stretches of my life, and when the clock hit closing time yesterday and I packed up for home without the company computer in my bag and no obligations looming for the next couple of days, it was immensely liberating.

And idol! We’re right at the cusp of what’s usually an absolutely delicious time to be in this scene. I feel badly that I have neither kept up with nor attempted to keep up with the debuts this year, but yeah, this is often a time frame for that, and also when the nice spring/summer release season heats up. I’m fairly eagerly awaiting some (hopefully) good things, and feeling genuinely optimistic. I just wish that I had more time to devote!

So, my friends, take this opportunity to do nothing but what you want, enjoy some idol goodness, play the Fun, and may the sun never stop shining.

This Optimism Must Stop

Here’s a whole WILL-O’ live:

Continue reading

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A Friday Fun for Family Night in the Living Room

Last week you came up with some wild #ThingsNotToAskIdols items! Let’s see what you got:

Aside from eating and idols, another thing I like to waste my life with are sitcoms from the 90s or so. Granted, there have been times where I have not survived where others thrived, but shows like Friends and Frasier are on my constant rewatch playlists. So, like everything else I enjoy, let’s muck it all up with idols. Continue reading

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Now That It’s Out, I Recommend the New raymay Single

Dang, release day came and went for raymay, and they haven’t shared out a video, so we may as well have ourselves a good long look at raymay’s newest single. You may rightly recall the rightful embullience toward raymay’s debut, coming late in 2018 but counting as 2019 because of how we do things and already one of the year’s very best and most promising, and their first (very good) single. Here’s the second, now out on the usual streaming platforms:

And now that you’ve taken a few minutes to listen, let’s talk about it! Continue reading

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BABYMETAL Announce U.S. and U.K. Headline Shows, “Elevator Girl” Release Date

The Fox God has spoken!! In the past 24 hours we have received (official) word of major U.S. and U.K. shows plus the release of BABYMETAL’s first new music of 2019.

BABYMETAL will be playing their first headlining U.S. arena show at The Forum in Los Angeles this coming October. The kitsune faithful were given all of 24 hours to prepare their wallets for VIP pre-sale tickets which are available this morning at 10:00 am PDT.

If simply being present wasn’t enough of a draw for you, every online ticket purchase for the L.A. Forum appearance comes with a CD copy of BABYMETAL’s forthcoming 2019 album which still doesn’t have an exact release date. This method of driving album sales is probably something they picked up while touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and/or Metallica who often do they same thing. It seemed a bit tricksy to me until I remembered the twelve copies of BiSH’s PAiNT it BLACK I had to buy to get checki tickets (worth it!)

BABYMETAL have played the L.A. Forum once before over the summer of 2017 while opening for Korn and Stone Sour. While this October performance will mark their first time headlining an arena show in the United States, they have headlined an arena outside of Japan once before. That was, of course, 2016’s record-setting appearance at Wembley arena in the U.K. to launch their last album, Metal Resistance.

Speaking of the U.K., they will be getting their own show this June:

Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

BABYMETAL also officially announced the worldwide digital release of the single, “Elevator Girl” on May 10th

The song debuted almost exactly a year ago on the U.S. leg of their 2018 World Tour. It is an upbeat prog-rock meets groove metal tune (think Toto meets Five Finger Death Punch) with ample English in the lyrics for folks to sing along to. 

This will be the first new music from the group since the criminally underrated “Starlight” was released last October.

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ZOC Is Here to ZOC Your Socks Off

For almost any idol group that debuted last year, during a great-enough-to-be-noteworthy glut of new projects, to stand out after the fact was going to require unique efforts and angles. Some of them, like we saw from Toricago the other day, are all in on creative updates on familiar tropes. Others looked to up any of a series of antes — to be more something than thei r peers — while others did enough to catch the eye and now face a long road ahead.

Arguably the greatest move that anything in idol could have done last year, then, would be to be in fact the creative side project of a modern musical legend who would lend credence, gravitas and much-needed artistic credibility to the whole in addition to that all-important name recognition. Yes, of course I speak of ZOC, who may have had the most enthusiastically received debut I’ve ever seen despite being more notable for instant member drama than anything they did musically. Basically, it was super idol.

A few months in, though, ZOC has been active and working and stable, and now with a single on the way next week, it was time to really show us what they have to offer. The MV for “family name” tells the tale:

All right! Continue reading

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