It would seem rather obvious that most people working in some facet of musical expression got where they are because they love crafting music. But there is a very special type of writer/performer/contributor among the multitude that stand out because they are not just musical artists, but because they are passionate, giddy star-struck fans of music themselves. These type of creators tend to not approach music clinically or with overly practiced technical skill (although many are indeed highly skilled), but rather with a metric ton of heart and soul poured into making every moment shine in whatever they do.
I often think of people like Alex Chilton, Brian Wilson, Joan Jett, Daniel Johnston, Jad Fair, The Cramps and Shonen Knife being among these. None of these are (or were) simply musicians making great music, but they are (were) fans of great music harnessing that joyful love into amazing music. I am more than pleased to add Beni and Kotao from Avandoned to this list. Continue reading →
All right, at this point, I don’t think that I need to set up the MV for Maison Book Girl’s “cotoeri,” but it’s kind of essential to the point of this whole thing, and perpetuity is as good a reason as anything to post stuff even after the fact, so:
One of the things about・・・・・・・・・ that’s so much fun is that they make you work for your fandom. Just like a David Lynch film, very little is spoon fed or easily explained, but rather you have to dig deep and figure it out for yourself. This makes each little bit of new information feel like an exciting discovery as you explore the mysterious waters of the・chans.
Previously, we’ve covered some insights into the group based upon studious research and also received some very kind help from wonderful people, both musicians and fans alike. And now, just the other day, the dotstokyo twitter posted an interesting set of links that brought about some new treasured tidbits of conceptual information and highlighted some of the group’s ambitions. Continue reading →
The only good thing about the end of daylight saving in the parts of the United States that are especially insane for doing it in the first place? There’s a brief window in autumn when you’re awake extra-early because dawn comes at an obscene hour, and that time is surprisingly useful. Like when your favorite idols release stuff!
For instance, Yanamyu, whose every tweet carries with it the potential for me to wet myself with glee. Here’s the very aptly named “HOLY GRAiL”:
This is one of the tracks from the single (like, double A-side?) that they’re releasing at their big one-man next month. I love the point at it’s coming for them, like 1.5 years, and they’re so much more than The Nadeshiko Show now (though Nadeshiko remains one of the least appreciated greats in this whole business). Mani obviously deserves a ton of credit for emerging in her own right, but I feel like Ichika has made huge strides over the last couple of releases, too. A group may only be as strong as its leader, but a great leader can only take a group so far on her own, and Yanamyu’s in such good shape for … for, well, what we’re going to do the Fun about later!
The songwriting here’s off the damn chain, too. Did you hear that bridge? It’s a good thing that it’s so short; somebody might get hurt. YSM isn’t the only unit doing grunge/post-grunge/SEATTLE out there, though they are the best at it by a mile, and a big part of that is the serious commitment to getting the whole shebang down pat. Jeff Ament recently hosted this “Origin of the Seattle Sound” segment on Lithium, and among the topics covered was the real birth point of that insta-recognition guitar tone and halfway-distant sound in production — Yanamyu gets that stuff so right.
Lest we forget, too, that BUBBLE is easily one of the top releases this year, and I will now also take the opportunity to remind you that Yanakoto Sotto Mute are just about my favorite damn thing and I will fight you if you so much as suggest a negative in their direction.1
Sorry, team. That’s my version of “screw ’em if they can’t take a joke,” because while I am kind of a jerk, I’m the charming, roguish kind who still gets invited to parties, not the kind who everybody only tolerates because we all went to high school together and that one time back in ’99 still carries a lot of weight to those who survived.
Well after that little burst of excitement last week, GANG PARADE went and did one of my favorite things of theirs — they dumped a handful of tracks off of the new album titled in a way that I’ll be punning on it for years, onto Soundcloud, because apparently T-Palette is down with that kind of thing. If you were on the fence about whether to get the album*, may these additional previews sway you!
… and you know what’s kind of weird? I think it’s commonly accepted that GANG PARADE is WACK’s experimental unit. Not in the sense that they’re going to do a noise set with Hijokaidan or even go for graceful art pop like a certain ancillarily connected unit, but in the sense that they’re the unit that WACK tries things with first, or plays around with new sounds. Europop? Denpa song? Weak-ass “post-idol,” for lack of a better word? Whatever the hell you want to call “GANG PARADE”? So basically, it should never be a surprise that GANG PARADE’s doing a different sound with each significant release, or moving a successful style in a new direction.
In this case, I feel like what they were going with was “way more synth pop, but also violence.” Seeing as how those are two of my very favorite things, you can imagine my excitement! Continue reading →
Of all of the things to ever follow on cross-platform social, getting into Trash-Up!! has got to be one of the better decisions that you can make; the do-it-all zine/promoter/record company/metaphysical scene hangout is such great nesting ground for some of the most interesting stuff in idol, whether part of the main roster or connected through the various media that the company produces. NECRONOMIDOL, Dots, Minna no Kodomo-chan and more have all been Trash-Up!!-related without being Trash-Up!!-affiliated.
The main roster is always good as hell, too, though mercurial in its composition (because idol). For example? Avandoned. And SAKA-SAMA, whose blessing of the world with new live video is the impetus for this post!