Good morning! I hope everybody had a good week. It’s TIF week, after all, and though idol kind of pauses for a second and takes a deep breath before the festival kicks off, there’s obviously, you know, the festival to get into, so the somewhat shorter bill of fare than we might prefer is forgivable.
I’ll be honest with you, though: TIF had been for literal years my favorite thing about idol. It was so obvious that our old friend Alex even teased me about it publicly! Or maybe he pitied me, I dunno. But the point is, I looked forward to this week like kids look forward to Halloween or Christmas. But then some of the shine started to rub off last year, and, as we noted in Team chat the other day, @JAM has really become the better event. TIF still has cache, obviously, and tons of symbolic value, it’s just that the shine has worn off some.
And then things like this remind you that this is a scene replete with some of the worst people imaginable, and then rumors of other unsavory behavior swirl around the live event itself, and you start to really lose enthusiasm even before the cracks show in the organizers’ ability to actually organize. When your schedule gets as jam-packed as mine does from time to time (mine went from “oh cool, time to blog some posts!” to “please, no, not another phone call” with a quickness), and when oshis drop left and right and, as Krv noted in a conversation the other day, loud idol is starting to have some real problems with saturation and sameness — the point is, it’s a tough feeling when the thing you love starts to be kind of hard to love.
I don’t mean to be a downer. By all means, go TIF it up (and play the Fun!). Bootleg what you can, find the stream rips and whatnot after, and enjoy probably the most self-indulgent few days that idol even ever could put together. I’m taking a few well-deserved days off from working for the weekend to actually, for once, weekend.
They Don’t Call It the Heat Garage for Nothing
Just like with their new sisters in HAMIDASYSTEM the other day, HAMIDASYSTEM refugees CROSSNOESIS put out some fresh material last week, and I may be a jerk for kind of letting it molder at the back of the queue for several days, but I had my reasons*. And now I have every reason to finally post the thing and at the very least make a permanent record of it. And maybe give your Monday morning a little bit of a pick-me-up!
This playlist that they added on Soundcloud may just be all demo versions, but it’ll sound both familiar and innovative on top of that at the same time, and that’s cool:
I may not totally get the move to pull HAMIDASYSTEM into a new thing and have the old members do a new thing with a sound somewhere between old and new, but as long as the end product has me nodding with benign pleasure (like this), I’m going to be okay. Both projects feel like winners. And if they want to get back into the media-spanning cross-functional projects that made last year such a cool follow, I’m here for it.
*They are bad reasons
All right, folks, BiS3 can’t possibly have revealed even more free new tracks from their upcoming re-re-debut album to preview and download, can they? That would be wild. They’d be practically giving the whole thing away for free at this point! What kind of wild-ass madman does that?
Oh, and yeah, they did it! Two more songs!
Let’s give these suckers a rip: Continue reading
Good morning! And welcome to hell on earth! Yes, friends, it’s the time of year when the vicinity of Maniac Mansion goes from being “summery and kind of unbearable” to “blast furnace of doom,” and this has all been set up by a very long and astonishingly busy week, each day capped off by ever-increasing daytime high temperatures and the kind of violent pop-up storms that make living in this area such an adventure at times. This all made worse by idol apparently having prearranged to largely take the week off. It’s dumb!
Anyway, I lucked out and have just all of the external household chores to get through today, so do forgive me for cutting straight to the chase so that I’m not dead by noon. Go play the Fun, and revel along with me in this being on of the all-time lightest Weekenders in history!
The renewed HAMIDASYSTEM is doing the triple-threat single release schedule again:
This will be one of the longest short posts I’ve ever done because it’s just plain chock full of things that I’m not going to try to overly contextualize, so: Hey, remember 143! The cool chika rock group whose name I have entirely too much fun with? They’re still out there not just doing their fun-and-often-good thing, but advancing the way that idols are meant to. It’s good to see!
A new track of theirs popped up in my Soundcloud feed the other day, and I want you all to get the same kick out of it that I did:
You want lyrics? Continue reading
Ah, Wonder Lander, part of Maniac’s official Seasonal Guilty Pleasures list, a group so hard to define that I often just land on “like if college radio and VH1 had a baby before VH1 got kind of cool.” This is an awkward post about them, and not because it’s not positive (it’s entirely positive!) but because, well, I hadn’t even noticed that they weren’t active, seeing as how they were posting live photos less than two weeks ago, but I caught this out of the corner of my eye last week:
What what the heck’s going on? I don’t know, not completely, but they’re clearly now a duo, and (probably for contractual reasons) they’ve made a pretty clean break from prior regimes, even though Aya’s still with the team and possibly physically incapable of ever leaving. But that sort-of purge of the group’s up-and-down history means a whole bunch of new-sounding stuff on their Soundcloud!
BiS gave us another round of previews from their new album that frustratingly has the same name as their first. You might have already heard “BiS3” by now, but listen to it again because now there are actual member vocals and not Watanabe’s on it!
And a brand-new song, “SURRENDER”.
Dang it, BiS. So many of us were skeptical of this third generation incoming, but these are some pretty solid tracks right here! I guess we’re stuck here forever. On that note, should you want to listen to these tracks forever (or at least until they’re on an actual album) both BiS3 and SURRENDER are free to download on Dropbox. I’d suggest grab them quick before Watanabe’s account runs out of bandwidth again!
Good morning! Man, what a week in idol. I wasn’t quite expecting it, to be honest, and it really was buoyed at the end by Babymetal’s very loud insistence on immediately becoming super-relevant again, but still. I hadn’t felt so energized in a while. It was nice!
And of course the ancillary outcome of so much going on is that we have a jam-packed Weekender, the likes of which we’ve only flirted with for the last little while. See, the way it usually works, I get little blocks of time during the day when I can look through Twitter and notice things, or one of my preset notifications looks promising, or somebody will say “hey did you see the thing” and any one of those can become a Weekender item, or maybe it’s the thing that I wanted to devote a whole post to and didn’t get a timely chance to, etc. But did I have that much more time for Twitter or anything this week? Nope! In fact, I arguably had less. It was just that much harder to miss all of the stuff going on.
So enjoy this. And then, after playing the Fun, stop looking at electronic devices and join my party for a tubing cruise down the upper reaches of the Potomac River later today, or be wishy-washy like me about going to a friend-of-a-friend’s going-away party in the evening but then still go anyway. Like, it may be just as brutally hot where you are, and oppressively, cloyingly humid, but it’s also summer, and we only get so much time like this. Do fun things!
You Make It Sound Like a Chore
Don’t you ever forget that Yanakoto Sotto Mute has absolutely no equal:
Man, you guys, after the feelings of middling disappointment spawned by hearing Watanabe-sama’s vocal fill-in on the first track from BiS3, I was not feeling good about this whole project’s yet-again comeback. Like, BiS was once upon a time one of the coolest and most important things in music, and while a lot of BiS1’s success can be tied to the personalities involved and the angle that they took to everything, at the heart of it was the fact that their music was that damn good, and that they had the right vocal mix to crush the hell out of it while telling a compelling story about their own personality blend. Even BiS2 had its moments in that regard, but it was, yeah in retrospect but also in real time if you opened yourself to the idea, kind of clearly a knock-off. It just didn’t have the same energy or spawn the same feelings of possibility.
With the latest reboot, one could be forgiven for going into it with diminished expectation. A copy of a copy is, after all, two full orders of magnitude lesser than the original*, and I’ll go ahead and out myself as one of those who felt like BiS was getting another run more to fulfill a contractual obligation to a record label and to sell out remaining IDOL merch inventory. Other people were apparently more than ready for BiS3, though, because the initial announcement of this track’s availability (yesterday) exceeded the download bandwidth and was all but inaccessible. Good thing for Soundcloud, then, and good thing for us — this is a winner:
Good morning! Ah, the first weekend of true summer. I’ll admit that it started off pretty weak for me last night. I was trying to get a table at a rooftop club to enjoy the longest evening and latest sunset of the year, only for both of the places that I’d scoped out not actually having a rooftop, and so I settled instead for a nice patio situation with a fountain and lightning bugs that really seemed to want my kebab. So it goes!
But yes, friends, it’s summertime for most of us, and the energy of the season has been trickling more and more through idol lately. Big names, little names, no-names and more are all flexing more, and more frequently, as we’re only now a little over a month out from TIF and @JAM and goodness knows what all else. Plenty of good stuff now, and more to come.
So enjoy. Idol loves Halloween and Christmas and Twin-Tails Day and Golden Week and on and on, but idol is made for summertime. Let that spirit carry you. Play the Fun. Dig in.
You Say the Same Things about a Lot of Things
First order of business! You’ve almost certainly heard the new Babymetal single by now, and you no doubt have an opinion. Cool. Daemon and I, I think, both considered posting about it, but honestly the most fun thing was just watching the hilarity unfold, and by “hilarity” I mean “people who lecture people online about Babymetal going berserk over Babymetal doing a Babymetal.” It was pretty great. But yeah, I’m sure that there’s a real MV on the way, and we can all talk about it more when the time comes.