For Real, It’s Not Too Late To Get on the Dots Bandwagon

Late-night Dots surprise! Hot on the heels of the release of their first real-deal album, the enigmatic collective of singularities who may or may not be actual humans dropped the MV that I was hoping for weeks ago, but I am not going to complain because Dots!

I don’t do a lot of vocaloid, but this reminds me of a particularly well-known Hatsune Miku number. There are a lot of little moves in the song that you could drop into a lot of modern and post-rock tunes, but those vocals … it’s not something that the average Westerner is just going to pick up and appreciate, because the phrasing in the sounds is kind of alien, but your student of, say, Baroque-era church music might find it a little bit familiar. It’s just so dang smart!

This is the kind of thing that happens when you bring in the kind of rather effusive and revealing songwriting talent that has been providing tracks for the least understood project in idol; it’s also what happens in idol, because if a manager takes the music itself seriously, they can go well outsides the constraints of the group itself for contributions to the sound, and more and more talented musicians are willing to write and record for and with idols.

By the way, the album? It’s really good. I started a review, had to pull away from it, some stuff happened and then it wasn’t timely anymore, so it’s gone. But: The only knock that I had on it was that it’s missing some variety — at once point, I realized that I was several tracks away from where I’d started, and I’ll be darned if I could say what happened on the way there. With full attention, the situation was rectified (and enjoyed!), but yeah, that’s my note.

Let’s Hope DOTS Tributes Become A Thing…

So I saw this new Dots video linked on Twitter and of course I eagerly clicked it. Within a few moments, the ethereal powers of the・chans took over and swept me away as I watched this clip of them performing “Soda Float Mood”, another song written by For Tracy Hyde‘s guitarist Azusa Suga, who also penned their fantastic crossover tune “Slide”. (We interviewed Azusa previously…)

And then a minute in, I’m thinking “Uhh, hey, these aren’t the・chans I know.” Equally perplexed and fascinated, I dug into the #dotstokyo twitterverse to find out what was happening here. I had previously joked about the Dots entering a state of osmosis and multiplying into two groups, could it be that this thought was prophetic?

Well, nothing quite so heavy and world-changing. Quite simply, Dots had played a show with another delightful indie-idol group called tipToe, and they decided to pull a little stage-costume switcheroo…

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Wake up. Download Some Dang DOTS. Post Your Reaction.

Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Idol is gearing up for a hell of a 2018 with a bunch of teasers in the waning moments of 2017 that should do no less than to whet your appetite for an incredible year in music. In this case? Just one of Maniac’s very favorite things, Tokyo’s Dots, who have their first full-length album coming out in January — but you can get a full preview of the whole dang thing beginning right now if you know what’s good for you:

OTOTOY, where so much of my time and money gets spent

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This Dots Release May Break Idol

The eminently crackable enigma that is Dots has been one of the best stories in idol from the very second that they debuted last year, and every new event and release seems like an even more ambitious project of art and performance than the last. Oh, and their music is exquisite, too.

My only regret about this upcoming album(!) is that it’s not out until January:

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DOTS Are Going To Change Everything You Know About Idols

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 thechans.

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

Let’s Talk About “Art-Idols”

One of the more enjoyable and exciting things in the bold new world of non-traditional idols is the continuing openness of personal self-expression nurtured into the performers. While there’s always been a creative streak within the scene even in it’s more “commercial” days, I really started to take notice of this new emergence of experimentation with the debut of Maison book girl in 2014…

Those first press photos of Koshouji Megumi’s post-BiS group, with their modernist fashion style and aesthetic, seized my attention immediately, and I’ve never gotten that impression out of my mind since. With MBG and other bold new groups taking the stage, the “alt” prefix started being applied to this emerging trend, but to me, I saw their efforts as being more about personal expression and a desire to take idol from a product market into high art. To this day, I refer to Maison book girl as an art project, and their genre as being “Art-Idol.”  Continue reading

It’s World Dots Day! What Are You Doing?

Please allow the record to show that Homicidol Maniac is sick as a damn dog these last couple of days, and is actually taking a day off from work(!) to recuperate, but could not in good conscience fail to kick off #WorldDotmination.

Hello everybody! In a few hours, the evil dragon that is the cosmos’s eternal enemy will make its latest attempt to consume the sun and plunge the world into darkness (especially for North American audiences) the most epic solar eclipse in many of our lives will commence. The bright glowing orb in the sky, giver of all life, will in fact become a black disk. A dot. Continue reading

Prepare for #WorldDotmination

We’re just a few days away from our #WorldDotmination effort, friends, and it really could not be easier to take part. You can also invite your friends to take part — after all, even the Darkness Girls are in love with Dots:

“But Maniac,” you say, “what if I have any of several frequently asked questions that will allow you to fill column inches to better justify creating a whole new post on this topic in such a way as to manipulate more participation in the latest fan effort?”

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A Day of World Dotmination Is Upon Us

One of the most pleasant surprises of the year is seeing those strange and mysterious DotsTokyo girls completely surpass their initial status as a quirky underground oddity into a full-blown pop-culture buzz sensation. It doesn’t appear that anyone, including us early-adopter fans, saw this coming. Since the day the Dots announced their rather ambitious first label-distributed release, they’ve became the artistic toast of the town, crossing over to the shoegaze crowd and finding quite a warm welcome awaiting them. It’s pretty amazing and exciting to see this happening, and it really couldn’t happen to a cooler group.

A conversation about this remarkable feat came up on Twitter, and skildert quipped in an offhand reply that Dots were quietly achieving “World Dotmination”. This sounded like a pretty great hashtag. With this clever tag in our pocket, and with the wave of Dotgaze mania surging upon us, it’s time to perform another one of our “artist awareness events”, where we take to the Internet and for one special day, heap a ton of love and adoration to our subject of admiration. As we’ve seen in the past, it seems to go over quite well!

This time it falls on a day that’s simply too perfect to pass up: August 21, 2017. Not only will there be a show of love and Dotmination within the world wide web, but it will also be the day that (Primarily in North America) the Earth will experience a full solar eclipse. In other words, the two biggest “dots” in our sky are also going to participate in this event.

Images via Wikimedia Commons. Non-Commercial Use Granted

So here’s how we’ll do it. In the spirit of a group that has a minimalist and highly artistic image, we will utilize our creative minds to honor Dots with an aesthetic in that tradition. In the days to follow, look around your everyday life, and take a moment to open your eyes and see one of the most common shapes you encounter…

Get the drift? Dots, man, they’re everywhere. Take your phone and go dot collecting. You can go out searching for dots, or just find them in your day-to-day existence. Don’t limit yourself, have fun and be as creative with this as you want. There’s no wrong way to do this. Make some dot-art if you wish, find a book cover with some dots on it, take a photo of your spotted pets, it all works. Heck, if you’ve got the equipment for it, take a photo of the eclipse that day!

“My God. . . . . . . . It’s full of Dots.”

And then come August 21, post your dot image finds all day long on Twitter with the hashtag #WorldDotmination . Don’t forget to tag or reply to the group as well. This is all about having some artsy fun, and showing the Dots from Tokyo our personal appreciation for sparking a little creative thought in our minds.

We’re looking forward to this one, gang! We really want to see what you see, and celebrate one the best gifts that the idol has given us, while at the same time standing in awe of the cosmic forces of the universe.

August 21st (Solar Eclipse Day)    #WorldDotmination

The Dots Game Continues to Be Elevated

I published Brian’s excellent behind-the-visor piece the other day, and it was good, but you may have noticed that things in Dotsworld move at a rate that’s hard to predict; this is one of their busy times. The other night, they were included on a shoegaze radio show, for instance. And now, a new MV:

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