PIIIIIIIN Shows That Yes, High School Can Kick Ass

I feel like you need to be of a certain age, or at least a certain demographic profile within a potential intergenerational range of time, to appreciate a particular orientation toward high school. See, when I was in that phase of life, none of the old stereotypes taught to us by Saved by the Bell or John Hughes movies really held up — radically evolving metacultural forces and growing up in basically nowhere will do that, I guess — but that didn’t mean that people didn’t try to hew closer to certain notions, and especially those who had a foot on each side of the divide in eras. For instance, I had friends who definitely still looked at the world through a lens by which a “popular” person was, by definition, a rude snob with only a tiny handful of sycophantic bully friends; that this all flies in the face of any kind of logic was lost on them. These were the folks, though, for whom high school kicked the most ass, because they could place every instance or relationship into a predefined box and feel confident that the world had an explanation.

And what a world that lets you live in! A world where you and your friends could always start a band and go on to be at least Local Famous just by the power of hard work and spunkiness, where even the biggest jerk teachers secretly see the genius hidden inside you, where the late trend in lip sync videos was a regurgitation of a much cooler era when everybody wanted to be Ferris Bueller a full decade too late, or at least Parker Lewis. It’s a world of constant sunshine, pep rallies, falling in love with your first kiss and impromptu dance troupes with everybody being everybody else’s best friend.

What does that have to do with PIIIIIIIN? Everything, apparently! Continue reading

A Welcome Surprise from No Suprises

So as mentioned in the Weekender, after a long and butt week in idol in which very little of real interest happened, engines started to warm up a little bit yesterday, and we got something that those of us who are pro-POPiD could be excited about. Yes, it should come as … no surprise (haw) that the Idol Formerly Known as PiGU, called (ahem) No Surprises now and having none of the old PiGU membership but definitely having inherited their Twitter account, dropped their first single, “proof”, the other day (venue-only?), and along with that came this MV:

This post-PiGU project was, of course, going to be carrying over quite a bit of PiGU, and every little bit of what we’d seen from them so far suggested the same. Here, the best evidence yet, delivers in a way that … surprised (heh) me. There’s that little maturation in the sound — which, yes fine, it’s one song, but bear with me, until they turned dark, all of OG PiGU’s punk work was on the brighter end of that spectrum, and no I’m not buying this as “emotional blues rock” just yet — but moving with it is a complete makeover in the group’s look. It’s a good move, frankly, an aesthetic shift without needing to be revolutionary.

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I See That Debuts Are Still in Fine Shape: Meet LAST IN MY CULT

Okay, shut up, I’m late to the party, so sue me.

So a lifetime ago (Saturday), a buzz swelled up and over the wota scene like

Is … is that a kazoo?

Yeah, folks were popping off about these girls the other day, and for good reason — we get our share of punk idols, but not many who sound like the second coming of punk rock itself with idol as an incidental feature. If I didn’t know any better (time travel isn’t real!), I’d swear that I already own some of their music on a compilation CD somewhere. Continue reading

WILL-O’, Still WILL-O’, But Like New and Improved

After several days of puzzling over tweets and off-handedly remarking things like “oh, I should remember to put that in the Weekender” and “wow, they’ve really come a long way in a short time,” ol’ Maniac here finally pieced together some stuff about everybody’s favorite Idol Formerly Known as Alloy Which Ah Forget It and, oh look, it’s kind of a big deal for them!

So last month, WILL-O’ released some “new” music, which was in fact an old petit pas! song re-updated with the most recent membership of the group that’s as close to a direct descendant of that group as it gets without having the same name, and it was cool and good. They stayed busy, though, as it was just the next round in a series (I love these) of monthly releases that incorporate not just new music, but sort of a soft reboot of the group, still called WILL-O’ but in this guise known as “O’currence”, which was rolled out yesterday at their company’s (Perfect Music) PERFECT SUMMIT.

Whew. You can get most of that from this tweet! Continue reading

Rip Roarin’ New Melon on the Way!

Well, “on the way” is relative I guess, because it already arrived on Soundcloud yesterday, and “new” is true in the absolute sense but not for long because *trumpeting herald* Melon Batake a go go’s first major-label album, IKASUZE IDOL 1.2.3!! is literally right around the corner. However, the point of the post is that Melon gave us yet another track from it as a preview, and yes, it is indeed rip roarin’:

I love how Melon’s average track length is shorter than the time it takes me to write a typical Maniac sentence

If you like this, or you consider yourself a Melon fan, you need to go get this album when it’s available. It’s a major — we can help a beloved chika darling rise and break out if we support them on their big-time label! And wouldn’t it be neat if a group of idols dressed like superheroes roleplaying as interplanetary, uh, heroes performing horrorcore takes on surf rock and the like were the breakouts to prove the rule!

At Long Last, a Full-length Zekkyou Album

And it’s a long one!

Yesterday, Screaming Sixties, half still thriving in the afterglow of having visited the UK as part of the glorious round of international idol work in 2018 (and meeting Kerrie!), made it official: There’s a full album on the way, there will be 18 songs on it, and it’s coming in March:

Okay, so there’s a lot there that we’ve heard before. This is Zekkyou that we’re talking about, though — the Hardest Working Idols in Showbusiness, Queens of Collaboration, winners of musical reality shows. Just the fact that they’re finally putting out a full-length that’s all theirs, that is sans collaborations, feels like a triumph.

And we only need to wait two more months!

Shuuengo Buppan with the Friday Morning Pick-me-up

Between graduations and disbandments and horrifying things that have been reported by idols — we’ll get to that part over the weekend — this hasn’t exactly been a great week for this thing that we all love together. And then along comes Shuuengo Buppan, insta-darlings of scenesters back when they debuted, then disbanded, then re-debuted, all because of their infectious sound and high-energy performance. They gave us this one yesterday, and I think we could all enjoy a nice injection of that energy:

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Is This SPARK SPEAKER’s Moment?

Do you want to know why the Weekender was late, other than because somebody needed to have breakfast made on account of a little too much carousing last night? It’s because I wanted to add a SPARK SPEAKER note but this was right there in the feed and I needed to get my stuff together enough to watch it multiple times and think of a post to blog!

Anyway, listen, this is very cool and good for the former DINOSAUR BRAIN: Following on the release of THE WORLD IS MINE, the song from it called “REALTA” got picked up as the end theme of a TV show for January, and while this is a really awkwardly grammared sentence it must yet be added that “REALTA” was also given the MV treatment because that makes a ton of sense to do in that situation.

TV show! Theme! MV! Here!

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You Can Listen to and Acquire the New WILL-O’ Single

To be filed under “Gee Thanks, Guys!”: WILL-O’, who you may remember as Alloy but who definitely stand out on their own now several months into the new incarnation, have a new single, “Jump!”, available for purchase and streaming on like all of the platforms, so this is your chance:

As with the last dedicated WILL-O’ post, this one is short on content but long on imperative. If you’re a veteran of this whole loudol thing, upon listening, you may find yourself recalling the dearly departed petit pas!, of whom WILL-O’ is a literal direct descendant, and you would be right to do so, as the only differences between this song and the original are: Continue reading

And This Is How BURST GIRL Tried to Ruin My Christmas

Yeah, so to build off of that first thing that peed all over my attempt to have a de-idoled time of holiday cheer, there was also a lot of other stuff, and perhaps most notable among all of the other stuff was this stuff right here, which is BURST GIRL’s second MV, in celebration of their first anniversary, and let’s go ahead and say also in celebration of their having won Debut of the Year!

No?

Whatever! The song is “Nancy”! Continue reading