One of the most intense reactions I ever feel to somebody else’s creative work is that of unrequited blown-away. Like, you know when you see that so-and-so did such-and-such, and your entire body loads your anticipated mind-blowingedness like a spring … and then it’s just fine? Or worse? I hate that feeling.
And, frankly, it happens a lot in idol. A performance medium in which so much of the performance that matters happens away from the most-held-up product, and that product’s deepest charms often relying on how imperfect it is, is going to tend to never quite reach the tippy-tops of emotional catharsis for all but the most devoted fans of each particular project. Lives are a particularly challenging environment for this, as so much can go wrong — the crowd is off, a singer can’t find her key, the acoustics are terrible, everybody had the fish for dinner — and a live band only adds more variables to what can be a volatile environment. Continue reading →
What a treat! In addition to my nigh-week-long sojourn in the perpetual throes of Day Job nearing its merciful end, there are two great idol projects with completely free(!) new(ish!!) downloads(!!!) to snag and enjoy like the absurd indulgences that they are.
First up! Yanakoto Sotto Mute, whose one-man the other day was probably a completely epochal occurrence that I, of course, did not attend on account of being tied not just to the United States, but the National Capital Region because boring reasons. Nonetheless, the echoes show … you know? I think it’d be keen if one of you guys scored a bunch of holographic technology, and also really high-end streaming equipment, and just streamed my favorite lives to the comfort of my living room, a life-sized Nadeshiko in among the detritus of a life spent doing little of what it’d like to be doing.
Prepare yourself for the least subtle hints and outright idol worship that you’ll ever get from me — and that’s really saying something!
I obviously love every single thing about Yanakoto Sotto Mute. Their music is tops, and the visuals from the combination of their attire and choreography are almost peerless. I do, however, keep wondering when the well is going to run dry, when the necessities of business and keeping your fans happy and making important next steps up the brutal entertainment ladder start to constrict the creative vision and limit the choices and turn one of my very favorite things into a very timid that powered as much by nostalgia as talent.
And then they add another new song to their already impossibly dynamic catalogue and I turn into a slavering fanboy: Continue reading →
The only good thing about the end of daylight saving in the parts of the United States that are especially insane for doing it in the first place? There’s a brief window in autumn when you’re awake extra-early because dawn comes at an obscene hour, and that time is surprisingly useful. Like when your favorite idols release stuff!
For instance, Yanamyu, whose every tweet carries with it the potential for me to wet myself with glee. Here’s the very aptly named “HOLY GRAiL”:
This is one of the tracks from the single (like, double A-side?) that they’re releasing at their big one-man next month. I love the point at it’s coming for them, like 1.5 years, and they’re so much more than The Nadeshiko Show now (though Nadeshiko remains one of the least appreciated greats in this whole business). Mani obviously deserves a ton of credit for emerging in her own right, but I feel like Ichika has made huge strides over the last couple of releases, too. A group may only be as strong as its leader, but a great leader can only take a group so far on her own, and Yanamyu’s in such good shape for … for, well, what we’re going to do the Fun about later!
The songwriting here’s off the damn chain, too. Did you hear that bridge? It’s a good thing that it’s so short; somebody might get hurt. YSM isn’t the only unit doing grunge/post-grunge/SEATTLE out there, though they are the best at it by a mile, and a big part of that is the serious commitment to getting the whole shebang down pat. Jeff Ament recently hosted this “Origin of the Seattle Sound” segment on Lithium, and among the topics covered was the real birth point of that insta-recognition guitar tone and halfway-distant sound in production — Yanamyu gets that stuff so right.
Lest we forget, too, that BUBBLE is easily one of the top releases this year, and I will now also take the opportunity to remind you that Yanakoto Sotto Mute are just about my favorite damn thing and I will fight you if you so much as suggest a negative in their direction.1
It kind of isn’t fair that the perfect modern idols, who are even more perfect 10 months on than I ever could have guessed, take every new milestone (a great EP!another gorgeous video!) like it’s a challenge and immediately start to work new material into their lives. This is “Holy Grail”:
Good lord. In the chat during the podcast the other day, I was (not alone!) extolling the incredible virtues of Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s “Any” MV and how it was this perfect starter for their TIF sets, and I’d said upon its release that it’s high energy and almost bright look at the world was so refreshing. That’s great! However, Yanamyu’s best material is traipsing around in the dark, damp corners of angsty psyches, invoking the feel of rainy evenings in flannel. So, “AWAKE”:
Why the heck do things that I should see coming a mile away surprise me? Even since the STAMP EP was announced, it was basically only a matter of time before Yanakoto Sotto Mute put out the video promoting it. And, like, if you listened to the preview on iTunes, it was practically guaranteed that it’d be for “Any,” because it’s this bizarrely upbeat song that sounds like a love letter to the greatest generation of human artistic achievement (since 1980 at least) ((and in the United States for the most part)), and yeah, I could hear it on the radio.
Anyway, have a look:
The most 90s thing you’ve heard today, or the most 90s thing you’ve heard every day?
Happy Sunday, friendly folks. Not quite a week ago, I was more than pleased to bring you notice that the perfect idol project that is Yanakoto Sotto Mute had brought out a new song at their birthday party over the weekend. Additionally true, though, is that they had a second new song, “No Regret”, in their quiver: