I Can DieDieDie Happy

Chika idol has a lot of room for a lot of things, and it’s possible that no project has grasped that flexibility quite as well as DAIDAIDAI, the DEMON TAPES-generated Osaka (of course) underground electro-pain merchants who’ve built out, built up and built strong the sonic legacy founded by PSYBOU KANOJO. Now approaching their third anniversary, the group has been incredibly steady — more on the music front than membership, but this is idol — while reaching for all manner of sounds and influences and visuals to keep every person who’d encounter them on their toes.

Speaking of membership, there is that (future) mass departure to acknowledge, but also a new single that we are now, friends, so lucky as to have it appear in our lives. I think this is what happens when a composer and producer get together to brain up a summer single for an idolcore group. Soak it in! Continue reading

Man, Malcolm Mask McLaren Makes Music Mucho Merry

Vintage MMM with Ai and Mone and Nao was one of my low-key favorite things in idol (and Ai was one of my favorite people), and they established the formula (beginning around here IIRC); the new members had big personality shoes to fill, but getting right as distinct an identity in a field that’s all about identity? Bigger job. They’ve done it well so far; now does the latest single hold up?

You’re darn tootin’! Continue reading

What’s Next for Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da

Well well well! I was prepared for a really easy, walkaway Saturday morning, but of course the idols who invented Codomocore, who despite their second 40% membership overhaul in … good lord, a long-ass time, Zenkimi’s officially old now! Who despite having just undergone all of that have been surprisingly quiet of late. The whole company has, in fact, but this week started to open things up, from the updated name for KAQRIYOTERROR to yesterday’s announcement of the ssixth single from Yukueshirezutsurezure*. And yeah, now it’s time for Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da with the biggest announcement of all, a new single and a big-ass album’s worth of re-recordings with the updated membership:

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Happiness This Morning Is a New WILL-O’ Single

I hate this recent feeling out of touch business. Even when I’m relatively on top of things, I’m behind or a half-step off or kind of distracted and/or forgetful. It’s dumb! I include in this just the regular maintenance activities of keeping up with idol favorites and not needing all of the various technical mechanisms available to meet a minimum threshold of awareness and support, at which I am currently a miserable failure. Alas.

I bring this up because I, without checking, felt completely blindsided when WILL-O’, who have the best in-name punctuation of all idols ever, announced details for a new single (their first, which, how) out … like in a week. And then there’s a trailer, for which I definitely recommend looking at the description, which lays out the multitude of versions available for this single, and also you are now warned that this “single” trailer runs well over 2:00 without dedicating more than a few seconds to any one track:

That’s no single, that’s a space station!

(Some of) the art (probably): Continue reading

They May Want to Keep Doing This

Forgive the brevity, friends, as I peel myself off of the remnants of the holiday weekend and glance with eminent side-eye at anything approaching an obligation, but I flagged this in passing yesterday specifically because I thought that you needed it as much as I needed (to follow up on) it. So what is it? Oh, no big deal, just a solo/duo spot by Kolokol members Akiho and Konomi in honor of their birthday live tomorrow:

That’s not really what I’d expect from Kolokol, which is fitting because it’s not from Kolokol and is instead a distinct thing that just so happens to be associated with Kolokol, who hey by the way also should do more things because everything they do is good, even things like this that aren’t actually Kolokol! But for real, it’s a cool song, neat moves, and the girls sound good. I’m jealous; the last time that I was invited to do a song for my birthday, I had two too many soju bombs and forgot what I was doing in the middle of “Silent Lucidity.”

We Over-Analyze Things: BABYMETAL | “Elevator Girl”

It was about time BABYMETAL paid homage to David Bowie. I mean, while Bowie crushed just about every pop genre on the planet except Heavy Metal, he was largely responsible for the early creation of Glam Rock.

  • Without Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, we have no KISS.  
  • Without KISS to influence a young Yoshiki, we have no X Japan.
  • With no X Japan, we have no BABYMETAL.

So when BABYMETAL’s new single, “Elevator Girl”, opens by directly channeling the piano riff from Bowie’s early 80s classic, “Modern Love”, the circle of life seems, in some ways, complete. In truth, the direct influence on this single is probably less Bowie’s soul and groove-flavored New Wave, and more the J-Pop fusion of acid jazz, funk and techno that coalesced around the same time period into the broad City Pop genre. City Pop has seen a lot of attention lately with interest from Vaporwave aesthetes, YouTube channels streaming curated City Pop feeds 24-7, and it’s own brief “I didn’t know [insert name here] put out a City Pop album” meme.

City Pop is also heavily influencing a number of current groups in the alternative idol world including early album-of-the-year contenders Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders, GuGu-LuLu and the fledgling OWA Yoru.

(This is a lot of words so far just to talk about a three-minute song. What we are seeing here is an unfortunate side effect when a group as musically fascinating as BABYMETAL only releases three pieces of new material in a twelve-month span. In the absence of an “Elevator Girl” MV to talk about, let’s continue the over-analysis:) Continue reading

Melon, Who Gonna Melon, Does Melon: New Single

I’d been very curious about what Melon Batake a go go were going to do with their next (major) release. At first, those thoughts centered around the whole business of their recent international work — what’s well and truly next at that point? Where do you take things? Where do you aim? Within the concept, what’s possible?

Well, the new single is out in June, and the MV is here, and now we know:

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Babymetal: New Single, New Tour, Old Tricks

It ain’t exactly new anymore, folks, but various proto-iterations of “Babymetal Does X” have been sitting in the drafts queue and just teasing our itchy trigger fingers for the past couple of days, and the whole reason that neither Daemon nor I had hit Publish yet was because we were waiting on a dang MV that still isn’t out so TO HELL WITH IT, LET’S JUST DO THE DANG BABYMETAL POST!

So if you Weekender, you saw my brief reference to the weird feeling of seeing Babymetal making kind of a triumphant return in the same week that BiS was disbanded. That is, the two very loud, expectation-subverting idol-related things that got me into this, the first two (and I believe only in toto) to be granted the Legends tag in this WordPress configuration, easily the two biggest influences on the whole basis for this website and everything it cares about coming into existence in the first place, are going their separate ways not so much like a Journey song but more like Lyft’s and Uber’s respective IPOs, if you know what I’m saying.

Anyway, Babymetal is roaring back into your life (as if they ever really left!) with, on top of that album “soon,” the first single from it released digitally a couple of days ago and frustratingly difficult to access at first, actually, but now all hunky dory!

Obviously go buy the thing (that album’s still somewhere off in the future!), but you can also listen to it right here:

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Here’s Candye Syrup Putting It All on the Table for Their First Reboot Single

When we last left Candye Syrup, it was … wow, it was actually a little while ago. That’ll happen when you completely reboot your project, I guess. And of course there was already plenty of material for the group to work with, so no real hurry to absolutely get more songs out there. Take your time, build up the members, keep those fans engaged, and then hit ’em with your best shot.*

But it’s time! The first (digital-only, I think) single from the new Candye Syrup is here and appropriately titled and definitely worth the click:

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It’s the Flip Side of ZOC

First, disclosure: ZOC’s official Twitter gave me a full-on heart attack the other day when I was idly just trying to clear out the notifications and I saw … a blog post from Seiko without context! DUN DUN DUUUUUNNNNN. But naw, it was nothing, no graduation announcement or a “that was fun, what next” or anything, just words of praise and encouragement from the boss behind it all. Yes, the legend herself is still part of the group she founded.

And on that note, given that their first single released yesterday, it only made sense for ZOC to release an MV for the B-side!

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