Ah, Wonder Lander, part of Maniac’s official Seasonal Guilty Pleasures list, a group so hard to define that I often just land on “like if college radio and VH1 had a baby before VH1 got kind of cool.” This is an awkward post about them, and not because it’s not positive (it’s entirely positive!) but because, well, I hadn’t even noticed that they weren’t active, seeing as how they were posting live photos less than two weeks ago, but I caught this out of the corner of my eye last week:
What what the heck’s going on? I don’t know, not completely, but they’re clearly now a duo, and (probably for contractual reasons) they’ve made a pretty clean break from prior regimes, even though Aya’s still with the team and possibly physically incapable of ever leaving. But that sort-of purge of the group’s up-and-down history means a whole bunch of new-sounding stuff on their Soundcloud!
Few things in life as half as joyous as fun surprises from the things that aren’t your absolute favorite, but you root for anyway. So is the case with this new one from the Idols Formerly Known as Both Deathrabbits and Desu.Rabbits, DESURABBITS: My fraught history with this remarkable project needn’t be revisited except to say that I was basically not a fan but grew to be converted to an overall supporter, and so the advances that they make along the way always leave me feeling genuinely happy for them. And why not? They have a completely unique style, they’re well-regarded in the scene and they are, ultimately, clearly having a great time with what they do.
So imagine my face yesterday when this happened:
Now where have I seen that church set before?
Man, a lot of things crawled out of the idol woodwork over the past couple of days, quite a few of them fun, even. Notable among them is this clip from Marionet, in honor of their first one-man on Sunday, this energetic little romp with a neat-concepted MV that exists mostly as a tease:
Hey, that’s really cool! But do you know what would be even cooler? Hearing the rest of the dang song and seeing the rest of the dang video! I guess we have to wait until Sunday? Or is it that we won’t get it unless they win this contest thing for the main stage at TIF?
In what appears to be a weekly thing now, re-reformed BiS have dropped another pair of songs on dropbox and Soundcloud. Provided Brand-new Idol Society (not the 2011 one) doesn’t have any re-recordings of older songs, it’s starting to feel like this whole album is slowly being released for free at this point. Not that I’m complaining, I’m so skint I’m having to ration my bog roll. My bog roll, people!!
Dropbox links for this is not a love song and 1,2,3!! right here, as well as their Soundcloud for if the WACK bandwidth runs out again.
It is the fault of nobody at all that Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da decided to flash-preview their ninth(!) single, which is coming at the end of the month, which threw me into an absolute tizzy of confusion about which release is which and when it’s happening and it didn’t actually matter because this all happened on Saturday and Team had one heck of a weekend. By the time we were able to catch up, the whole moment had passed, so I figured, hell, we missed the window, but we can still share, and let’s do it like always because if there’s one thing that Homicidols Dot Com has done consistently over these long years, it’s share Codomomental tracks on a template!
Now, ordinarily this is where we begin the whole song and dance about release windows and I do the performative routine and blah blah blah, so let’s fill in the gaps. Single:
And the track, you can still preview that (as of this writing!) … hhere.
No, man, I told you, we missed the window. In fact, because there are other Zenkimi items but this is purely for archival purposes, this post is over!
This is a little bit on the late side, you guys, but I think you can bear with me wanting to talk about the about-time first single and a few other firsts from WILL-O’ now that we’re almost three years removed from their incidental point of origin in the weirdest on-stage moment in the history of Tokyo Idol Festival and, maybe against all odds or maybe because all associated projects have always been this good or maybe because manager-san is playing the game better than you think or maybe all of it, I dunno, they’re going as strong as ever before and all signs point to an almost unconstrained future.
This is of course all predicated on the MV that they released the other day, for their new (see above) single:
Good morning! Your friendly neighborhood Maniac is on the road this weekend and, uh, kind of disinclined to do much in the way of intros. It was a good and full week for idol! Go play the Fun, and have some fun!
That full, real Babymetal MV finally happened, and with my girl Kano no less:
Sitting down to a first listen of the fifth BiSH album, CARROTS and STiCKS, the big question is: Which BiSH will predominate? The brazen punks who got kicked out of Tokyo Idol Festival? The potential game changers who released a two-minute thrash punk single as their major label debut? Or the commercial idols who promote cell phones and sing anime theme songs?
We know the punk is still in BiSH as demonstrated every time they let Ling Ling center and she does the emotional equivalent of kicking your teeth down your throat. At the same time, it’s hard to give punk cred to a group that’s signing exclusive deals with Apple to restrict the digital distribution of their own music. I certainly won’t begrudge a person for making a living off their art, especially in the crap ass world of Japanese entertainment where the vast majority of power and profits are concentrated in the hands a few management moguls who are far less benevolent than BiSH’s boss-who-we-love-to-hate, Junnoske Watanabe. And it’s not like those of us who have climbed aboard the BiSH train can cry about genre, aesthetic or ideological purity anyway. Watanabe has never hidden the fact that he is punk in the same way that Malcolm McLaren was punk: thumbing the nose of a conservative society is good fun and all, but only if you can make a buck (pound or yen) doing it.
Ever since it was announced that Aqbi superstar Kai was joining the TRASH-UP!! roster, I’ve been looking forward to hearing what she’d be doing as a solo artist. Kai of course, is no stranger to TRASH-UP!!, having been part of the oddball folk song trio Engawa, (Most often referred to in these parts as “The weird Beni/Kai thing”) and considering the close ties between my favorite idol label and Aqbi, (Including Yoneko and Mizuho connections!) it made perfect sense as career transition…
Anyway, there’s been a bit of an anxious delay on my part because I tried to order “Moonlight Tokyo” from Amazon Japan and it was momentarily listed with a possibly two month shipping delay. (!) I don’t know if I’m correct in my theory, but I’d like to believe that’s because it was a surprisingly bigger seller than anticipated, so that’s what I’m running with. It pleases me to share that the digital version is finally online!! streaming with Spotify and Apple Music, and the latter platform is selling it via iTunes as well. For lossless purists, I keep checking on OTOTOY but no luck just yet, but don’t assume it won’t happen eventually.
So anyway, how is Kai’s solo debut? Continue reading
The Americans are taking over the Fun! In the spirit of the 4th of July, us Yanks with no social media savvy have wrested control of the Friday Fun away from our resident British monarch, Kerrie.
This revolution should in no way be seen as Kerrie’s punishment for last Friday’s Fun, #AltIdolBabyShower, leaking a little too far into reality.
Other than SENANAN taking the idea literally, the rest of you were surprisingly well behaved.
As we recover from our raucous Independence Day celebrations of hot dogs, monster trucks, fireworks and Pabst Blue Ribbon (ed. actually I just binged Stranger Things and had a Chinese chicken salad), we ask you to imagine, what would our land of the free and home of the brave look like if had been founded by idols, for idols?
- What if the Constitutional Congress had been run like a BiS audition?
- What if Zero-chan had crossed the icy Delaware wielding a baseball bat with nails in it?
- What if Hanako-san had gotten to add a few amendments to the Bill of Rights?
- What if Melon Batake a Go-Go had their very own State?