Now, before I start to actually blog this post with all the decorum and professionalism of a person who goes by Maniac online, allow me to acknowledge that this is so incredibly far from being a hey-look-what-I-found moment, but a I-know-you’ve-been-bugging-me-about-this one. Who hasn’t brought up Wagamama Kiite (Twitter) at some point in the last couple of months? And I get it, they have a sound and a fun name. They should get attention!
So here’s attention. In fact, attention ever since you started to point at them and scream, you animals, because I don’t know when I started to Twitter and Soundcloud follow them, but it was definitely long enough ago to forget that it had happened, and now look, there’s a new track on Soundcloud, platform of champions, and we’re going to sit here together and enjoy it:
Are there, like, a lot of oppressive nun-led all-girls Catholic schools in Japan?
So let’s do the math: They’re in the mix for Album of the Year, plus right here arguably Song of the Year and Video of the Year, will visit the USA in August and may yet be able to release another record? Yeah, they’re killing 2018. Continue reading →
I usually don’t want you to just take my word for something. Yes, the sky is blue; yes, water is wet; yes, the first proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem was written by me while waiting for the school bus. However, I want you to take it from me right now that I am in fact as exuberant about NoA’s release of two fresh tracks as would be indicated by the title of this post, not by the two days’ delay that it took me to get there (thanks Jul!). A guy gets busy sometimes, all right?
So! Do you recall NoA? Like, owner of the single greatest group disbandment ever? That NoA? Our last look at her was a good indicator that she wasn’t exactly making chopped liver in her solo / not-idol efforts. Now that, yes, there are more NoA songs, do they stack up?
Would anybody be mad if, say, you were at dinner with friends, and the discussion turned toward idols (as it naturally must), and people started to talk about their favorite chika supergroups (happens every day!), and that special someone turned to you and asked for your opinion on APOKALIPPPS, and, after weighing the likelihood of a call-out should you try to fake your way through this one the same way you did when appealing to the dominant in-group and its devotion to Local Sports Team #2 (we all know how that went, guy, how do you endure the humiliation), you decided that discretion would be the better part of valor and, smiling, admitted that you had never actually heard any of APOKALIPPPS’s music? Yes, Lord Stuffedshirt would no doubt pop out his monocle in feigned, overwrought shock, but that guy’s a jerk and everybody knows it, so who cares, it’s that special someone whose opinion really matters here, and look! It turns out that the question went to you because you know so much about idol and they were hoping that you knew more about APOKALIPPPS than anybody else might!
That’s some fortuitous circumstancing right there, friend.
That’s* an incredibly long way of implying that APOKALIPPPS, who were announced with a certain degree of fanfare almost a year ago, finally have dedicated own-channel material online, and I actually wrote this before listening to it, so let’s take that journey of discovery together, shall we? Continue reading →
Much like that Under Beasty post from a little while back, this is one that started off as a Weekender item and then ballooned into something more. This isn’t going to be complicated, but it is a whole stack of items, and maybe I feel like being a little extra generous.
Anyway, in their post-Alloy incarnation as themselves, WILL-O’ have a (pretty cool) new look:
I give up! 2018 wins. I spent the better half of last year complaining the rock idol was passe and eventually going to be just some dang thing, and how does the universe respond? By laying it on thick, that’s how. Hakuchumu.Toricago.Wyenra. Just to name a few!
And now, after once again doing that ever-so-crafting trick of looking up idols who appear on other idols’ Twitter feeds, I give you the latest entry from Osaka (ofc), a polyglot rock unit that I frankly couldn’t be more excited about. Listen to this loudness:
Man, this is a tough one. For you newer folks, this may be the kind of unique treat that makes you rue the vicissitudes of idol, the way that many of us from 2014-15 felt about the original BiS (only without the same level of makes-the-scene-happen influence, natch). Veterans may recall Hauptharmonie, though; veterans of Ye Olde Website may recall them as one of Maniac’s most heart-stopping idol projects, an almost impossible synergy of jazz and blues and big-band swing and ska and … well, and idol.
This is what the world misses without Hauptharmonie in it:
That was the lead from their second EP and second full album, the delicious Herz ueber Kopf, which felt at the time like a genuine breakthrough recording. Much as I had with Avandoned, I was a little bit reluctant to cover Hauptharmonie — celebrate personally, yes, but cover? — given that they were never really a rock unit per se. But listen to that song. Watch that video. Tell me that the attitude and approach weren’t there, even in limited quantities. That’s the kind of music that made old biddies back in the day declaim jazz as the devil’s music. It’s totally wonderful. Continue reading →
Pro tip, friends: There are lots of ways to stumble over new idol stuff, but the most reliable will always be what other idols tweet about, especially when it’s groups promoting mixed shows. In this case, it was POPPING EMO that stood out in particular, because what a name. A few clicks later, and: Continue reading →
I was recently re-listening to Yume no Hate Made Mo, SAKA-SAMA‘s EP from February on TRASH-UP!! Records, (I still listen to it frequently actually) and as of this halfway point in the year, I’m still holding firm that it’s the very best release of 2018. I just don’t think anything as comes as close to accomplishing a feat of aesthetics mixed with music as this mini-album. The only question I have is, When do we get more?
The first indication of that is a newly unveiled live recording from the group entitled “LIVE from SAKA-SAMA WORLD”, an audio document of their very first and highly successful one-man show. SAKA-SAMA have quite a sizable catalog of songs now, despite their one EP, a compilation track and a 7″ single being the only tangible products of their work. I’ve been pining for more some time now, so here’s a chance to check of their material just beyond my grasp. The only issue now is that this live-release is only available at their shows, so woe to those currently unable to attend and get their hands on one.
In the interest of expanding awareness of the live recording and spreading the joy of their live shows, TRASH-UP!! uploaded the most professional footage of the group that’s ever been available, and these videos are terrific!
Now here’s a ton of live SAKA-SAMA video up on the YouTubes, but the editing and the pro sound-mix really makes these especially amazing to watch. You’ve always been able to tell with their other footage that these girls give 200 percent and have a lot a lot of fun when they preform, but these really capture a fire and spirit that hasn’t been seen so clearly before! They’re completely singing their hearts out, screaming, jumping, thanking the crowd for their support, and loving every moment of it.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen them so artfully full of DIY spirit and projecting it so intently in the crowd, who send the love right back at ’em. To me, this is a whole new fresh perspective on a group I was already fully on board supporting, so these videos have made my day.
Now hopefully they’ll take some of these unreleased songs and capture some of this fantastic energy into a studio, mix it up, add some of that trademark A-level TRASH-UP!! graphic design sense, and release another new audio gem fondly enjoy like a fine collected piece of art. It’s a SAKA-SAMA world, and thank goodness we live in it!