Happy Saturday! Does everybody get a chance to have something approaching an actual weekend? I ask because I increasingly don’t anymore, and it’s driving me crazy. Yeah, a change in my personal social prospects contributed, but the fact that I don’t have a prayer of spending a larger part of a blustery day like today working up savory foods and enjoying idol and stuff, not anymore, that sucks. Instead, it’s either a combination of chores and social obligations, or I legitimately just plain have to keep working.
My point is, enjoy this stuff while you have it. The Weekender ain’t all of it. Homicidols Dotcom isn’t all of it. Explore and go on fantastic journeys of discovery. Suck up other media. Let YouTube recommended things to you until you’re blue in the face. Oh, and of course play the Fun.
And wish me luck. I’m about to go fix a car thing that I’ve never had to fix before.
Good morning! Was anybody else paying attention to idol this past week? Like, am I completely off-base in thinking that, other than the things that yes of course we all noticed, very little of consequence happened? This was of course a benefit for ol’ Maniac, for my fancy newish Day Job has been eating up a lot of time and energy that I usually prefer to spend on girls in skirts who scream into microphones, and especially as we prepared for a Big Thing that happens early next week. So all in all, not a bad outcome! It would’ve been nice to have something better than the one genuinely big thing we did get, just for entertainment’s sake, but alas.
And now, the weekend. This is honestly my favorite time of year — crisp air, a chill in the wind, the smell of hearth fires, savory dishes, falling leaves. But actually the falling leaves are my nemesis, as Maniac Mansion is kind of out in BFE and what happens over a few weeks is all of the many, many trees drop their leaves in a pattern designed to tease and frustrate me, so back out there again today I will be to rake and blow those suckers into places where they will be retrieved by the county and not suffocating the rest of the living things. I’ll reward myself with some heavily alcoholic cider later.
May you have none of the above, nor devastating wildfires nor personal crises nor teeth-grinding election results to wait out. Relax! It’s Saturday. Play the Fun, idly pursue the idol game, and give yourself a chance to chill.
What Kind of Cider Now?
I had neither heart nor energy to try to make sense of why ex-HATEGLEAM SpookyTreat would release this after Halloween, so:
By the time I got a chance to listen to what looks like SAKA-SAMA’s final preview track, so much time had passed that … well:
Confession: PIIIIIIIN got me really hype about this announcement for a minute. It’s not that exciting!
Good morning! I’m running out the door, so forget the intro, go play the Fun and then have your mind boggled at how much random stuff happened in a week that had very little actual stuff happen. It’s wild!
If somebody wants to pick me up a copy of this JoanJoan single, I’ll pay … the average price of a bottle of Mexican Coke at hipster eateries in Cleveland:
Good morning. I want to tell you a story. Maybe I’ve told it before, but it’s incredibly germane.
I don’t come from any kind of fancy background. I grew up in a nowhere place that didn’t even appear on most maps until years later. We were only 25 miles from a major city, but culturally and politically and sometimes literally we were a world apart. It tended to be that your interests were limited to some element of rural life, something that reflected the reality of limited resources (“I like to fix cars because I’ve had to fix this ’72 Chevelle so many times that I may as well be a mechanic!”) or the one thing that tied our whole region together, which was sports. I was a bookish kid who didn’t take to handiwork well, and while fishing and hunting and the like were a good way to spend time, my brain tended to get too bored to do them well.
Enter sports! I played enough because I was good at them, and my parents were both supporters of Local Teams, so that became a thing for us. And when I was 13, my grandfather and uncle decided that they didn’t want the financial obligation of continuing to pay for their highly coveted season tickets for Local Team, did we want them, and my father, who needed to find a way to better connect with the burgeoning, gloomy adolescent who he barely understood, snatched them up.
We didn’t miss a game, preseason or regular season or playoffs, for five straight seasons, and then I still made regular trips home to go despite moving out of the area (my brother came of age at just the right time to take my place). We got our quality time in, did me and the old man, on those long drives from home to the city, then waiting (so much waiting!), then driving back. He tried to impart words of wisdom, as I imagine all parents do with their kids, though I, being a willful youth who was desperately pulling away from the constraints of what little I knew in the world, didn’t pay it too much heed. Yeah, I shouldn’t let a girl come between me and my best friend, I get it; actually I think the military is a pretty good idea; why can’t I just get a summer job on the loading dock? it pays so much better than McDonald’s. Etc.
What I was really into was the team. Oh my goodness. To this day, literal decades after all of this started, I’m still an obsessed idiot. I play it cool in my Big City Livin’ and Big City Day Job and Fancy Consulting Side Gig and Super Awesome Idol Website, but the reality is that I’m still that kid from nowhere who liked a sport but loved a team. Every win was exhilarating (and there were a lot of them then!); every loss demanded revenge. I hungered like all other fans in the area, which was most of us, for an elusive Championship, which was elusive because it was hard to achieve and so tantalizing because it had been a long time since the last one despite lots of close calls. It was a tradition in most area households to complain endlessly about the lack of another Championship.
Finally, just before my moment to move on and do other things with my life, a truly great season with a truly great team. They weren’t just good — they were great. Everybody, even the talking heads on ESPN (we did have cable, gods be praised), had Local Team figured as Championship favorites. It was awesome. And then the playoffs — teams that dominate get to play at home, and “we” had dominated like heck, so all the games would be at home!
And so, on a grey, cold, winter afternoon, I rode with my father into the city for the game. It was the biggest one we’d go to, for the chance to go play for the Championship, and the first of that type in my time to be so pregnant with potential. It was huge. I was excited. We listened to the local pre-game show on the radio, which was way more exciting than fatherly wisdom, which was almost trite at that point, as I had grown so far beyond my father’s comprehension that he could have read me a cookbook in Klingon and it would have had the same level of meaning to both of us.
Was it a great game? It was! If I had been older at the time, or maybe a different kind of young, I’d probably still talk about it for its incredible emotional flow, its big moments, the gut-wrenching feeling of helplessness that would be completely spun around by cresting waves of joy … all to cycle back, and cycle back, and cycle back.
We didn’t win that day. “We.” But also we, my old man and me, and especially me. We very literally trudged back to the car and fought through traffic to escape, as snow had fallen during the intervening hours, mostly to rub salt in our wounds, I think. I was crestfallen. More, for the first time really, I let myself cry a little bit at the loss. This sounds stupid, but put yourself in the shoes of a teen who has so little going for him in the first place but for the pleasures of viewing these occasional spectacles, who’s champing at the bit to do almost anything else than live in this nowhere dot of a place, who hinges so much emotional investment on the outcomes of these spectacles because there’s almost nothing else to invest in, anyway … and who just went through a meat grinder of highs and lows to get to this specific point.
Now, my old man, it must be said, for all of his foibles and ways, has always been a fairly sensitive fellow. I think that he wanted to share wisdom so often because he didn’t want his sons to follow in his footsteps at all, so if we could make better decisions and get little opportunistic legs up, all the better, and he became attuned to emotional complexes different from his own, which defaulted to taciturn, which was usually the only way that he could express himself, matter-of-fact over sympathetic performance. And so, while I fought red-eyed through a complicated feels morass, he patted my leg and said:
“It’s okay, bud. I get it. But the sun’ll come out tomorrow.”
It didn’t really help, but I loved my father and didn’t want the effort to be wasted, so I gave a wan smile and nodded and leaned against the cold car window and let the vibrations of the highway lull me to sleep. Back home, Mom had cooked up a roast and some of her patented apple dessert, originally as a celebration feast but now clearly as a palliative. I ate, did not enjoy, went to my room to read and play my ancient NES, and fell asleep early.
The sun, suffice it to say, did not come out the next morning.
I’ve been in a weird mood since the Announcement. One of my warm-weather projects was the construction of a large garden in my yard; in my brief window between getting home from work and moving on to the next thing, I hate-planted some things in it that really didn’t need to be planted in it at all, but I didn’t know what else to do. I drank a 4 Loko because I felt like it and then couldn’t sleep, either, so I watched horror movies on Netflix for a while. I found this genuinely strange article and read the whole thing twice not because it’s particularly good or interesting, but because it was cool to see references to bands that I’d forgotten existed.
Listen. Idol is idol. If Pour Lui’s experience has taught us anything, it’s that idol is too powerful a metacultural force to ever be anything other than what it is. Of course your favorites will graduate. That’s part of what makes this all worthwhile, the experience that you get together in the time you have. It’s the same for anything else and any other person in your life, except those experiences are usually way more real.
Anyway. Play the Fun, which took on a completely different kind of macabre feel the second it was published on the heels of the Announcement. Watch a few live videos of your favorites. Go read the old Oshi Digest. Enjoy yourselves.
Life Is Stupid
If you do nothing else with today, spend the few minutes necessary to have your life transformed by Yanakoto Sotto Mute recording from their god-damn gorgeous new EP:
Leave it to SAKA-SAMA to release the best adult contemporary song of 2018:
Idol in Focus
This week’s Idol in Focus is A.N.otheЯ, because apparently doing two things in one week makes you the most interesting thing in that week. They have, for instance, added another new member,
Hiyori from Kimi to Boku, Tokidoki Melancholic, who I guess is just going to pull chika double duty for a while:
Don’t ask me, man. I thought, you get bitten by the zombie girl and turned into a zombie girl too, you start to do stage work with the zombie girl. I’m minding my own business. I just work here.
Blazing hot take that may or may not be directly influenced by a screenplay that I may or may not have once written: The whole Yuimetal thing was a smokescreen to make it easy for Muto to come back, but what Amuse doesn’t realize is that she’s still secretly the agent of the Great Idol, and Yuimetal’s “illness” is her diabolical plot to destroy metal forever!
Hello friends! That was, uh, that was quite an ending to the idol week, wasn’t it? And not even the lowest point, in an ethical or moral sense. I don’t want to be that guy, but as both a Yui wota (original oshi, no less) and a clear-eyed realist with a heart of stone, I’m enjoying the reactions to her graduation. For every rational response, there’s at least one other person fomenting conspiracy theories from whole cloth so hamfistedly that I — yes, even I — have to applaud. I even thought about doing a copypasta kind of post, but I don’t have the energy.
Nonetheless, yesterday was like an acknowledgement by the Gods of Idol that it’s a different world now. It’s felt that way for some time; the possibility of there being no Babymetal, or of Babymetal being a completely different kind of animal, basically seals the edges from lingering attempts to argue for any appreciable difference between idol that is loud and idol that is not. Where idol goes, idol does.
Potent lesson, no?
Well, I don’t know about you all, but autumn is probably my favorite time of the year, and I have a huge ol’ project to get to on what might be the last Saturday of the year to have sunlight past 6:00 p.m., so you go play the Fun and then get Weekendering, and I’ll get cranking on a few other things, and we’ll all be happier for it. Deal?
This is an awful story, and it’s a predictable one, as is the response to it by mainstream coverage:
There is nothing good in this piece. Nothing good about the idol industry, nothing good about the conditions, and nothing good about fans. Not doubting it speaks the truth; but as always, the picture is painted with a very broad, all-encompassing brush. https://t.co/ZMiRaSFYaN
I love idols. Most idol agencies do right, but sometimes less than savoury management companies get bad press. I think we can appreciate entertainers, the entertainment industry in general and support our favourite artists while simultaneously seeing unethical practises.
Good morning! Well, we made it here. This is the 100th Weekender. I’d like to have something profound to say, but let’s be real: There’s no good point to it. Kerrie, though, in a side conversation the other day, summed it up when she said that she wanted her fill-in Fun to be #IdolIsBeautiful. There’s a lot of idol, both in the underbelly and right out there in the open, that’s a lot less than beautiful. But, at the end of the day, the sheer joy that idol can give you? The almost unlimited creativity that it allows? That really is a beautiful thing, and it’s been a hell of a journey to get here. Here’s to keeping it going.
Now, I did say that I was going to do a thing in honor of the occasion. The gist is, I’m not a collector of idol stuff and in fact sometimes make fun of others’ wanton collectioneering, and I’m not yet ready to part with some of the genuinely unique things that I’ve acquired by various means over the past couple of years. I am, however, going to part with a couple of particular items, and in addition to that do a very low-level creative thing. And that is why I’m temporarily backing off the full spectacle, because the creative thing isn’t ready. Instead, I think I’ll try to work it into the Best of 2018 stuff. Maybe it’ll be cool anyway!
At any rate, this is deliberately the biggest Weekender in history, as befits the occasion. Play the Fun, and then enjoy!
Hello friends! Let me tell you something: During my little break, I missed the usual daily up-and-down of idol, but what I really missed was doing the Weekender. Why? Because part of what makes idol fun is how incredibly random and diverse and preposterously self-aware it is, and the Weekender is as near a celebration of that as anything. The process of putting it together week after week is like a daily exercise in getting reacquainted with a bunch of stuff you love.
Now, this is the 99th Weekender. The 98th, the Team put that together, and I must high-five their effort. The 97 before that, they took on a certain character over time, which is funny when you consider that the entire point of the Weekender was to give myself less to do. That’s what you call dramatic irony, you know? But we’re now coming up on close-proximity milestones, the 100th iteration and the commemoration of two full years’ worth of weekly posts of catch-all idol stuff. I thought, I should do something cool and special for #100. And I think I will, still.
This is actually a shorter edition because my personal week was pretty short, so I’ll just pad it out for a minute and mention some other housekeeping. Like, hey, can you imagine that it’s almost time to gear up for the Best Of 2018? We’ll do another quick call for nominations in which I imagine is not a ton of time from now, and then do some light culling, but be warned in a simpler process that will hopefully avoid pissing off too many people. One thing that I’d like to do this year is feature more voices from the community in picking out individual winners, so maybe think about why you think what is the best whatever. Hint.
That being said! Let’s get down to it. I’m still catching up and have just so much damn crap to get out, if to have a post on record if nothing else, so bear with me and don’t sweat if something takes a day or so longer than usual to wend its way through to publication. In fact, mind your own business and go play the Fun instead!
Oh Wow, This Really Is That Short
I still have no idea what this project is, but gosh darn do I love this song:
Hello, Fellow Kids!Supreme Nothing(Brian) here….. As you already know, Maniac took a little break from the site and left Team Homicidols with the keys! So far, we haven’t destroyed the dynasty that’s he’s spent long long, countless hours building, but hey, there’s still time left! It’s been a fun week playing houseguest, and if I might say, I’m pleased with the collaborative efforts that have gone into the last few days here. Kerrie, Papermaiden, and Daemon have been absolute all-stars through this thing and I couldn’t ask for a better gang to enjoy this labor of love with. I feel like I’m in an idol group myself, but no cheki requests please…
One thing Maniac did press upon us that the Weekender must be Weekended properly, so we’ve taken the draft he started and each added a few highlights of our own into the mix. You might even be able to tell who shared what! So ease on back with a beverage of your choice, take a moment to join in on Kerrie’s Friday Fun, peruse the good stuff we’ve included below, and then maybe cut off the computer, put the phone down, and do something personally fulfilling, which might be a kind deed, a hobby, or a nice nap, that’s okay too! Make this weekend yours!
Now onto the Weekender, brought to you by Team Homicidols…
Happy Saturday! I’m on my way to work — I know — but I’m still kind of stoked. Why? Because when you get to work for the organization that handles Day Job stuff these days, going to work on a Saturday means going to hang out in the woods with cool, visionary people and talk about highfalutin notions. I’m genuinely looking forward to it.
The week that was, that was a good one. And release season is still revving up! There are many many many albums and singles and videos and elsewise yet to come between now and when things start to finally cool off in December. Yes, this is a great time to be an idol fan, and that’s to say nothing of Halloween being in the mix.
This is your Weekender. Specifically, it’s the 97th Weekender. Considering that I started to do it as a way to post less and Team Homicidols is still keeping up a pretty good clip, and this thing is the ever-recurring monstrosity that it’s become, I’m a little surprised. Also proud, in the way that you might be proud of a really loud burp. It’s kind of neat. And I may as well get it out of the way that I’m hoping to commemorate the impending 100th edition with something fun and exciting. It only seems right.
Well. This week. #97. Big ol’ Weekender. Get caught up. Go play the Fun (which is yet another in Kerrie’s incredible run). And if you get a chance, go hang out in the woods with cool people, because ’tis the season.
Go Ahead and Rub It In, You Jerk
Raise your hand (and collect your winnings) if you thought that Ten Tenko would be the ex-BiS member to get major Western music exposure:
The ex-idol's first solo release outside of Japan, which you can listen to right now, is catchy, blissful, and brilliantly inventive. https://t.co/YuBMMZTmE3
Hello friends! I’ll keep the intro to a minimum; there are lots of people, including people we care about, who are either right in the path of monstrous natural disasters, or they’re feeling the effects. Idol can be a nice palliative in tough times, but I daresay that a lot of people just don’t have the option right now. If you have been and/or will be spared the worst, consider a donation to the relief organization of your choice.
Do It to It
Somebody get BURST GIRL the hell away from Instagram filters: