In Honor of BABYMETAL, a BABYMETAL Thing

So you’ve probably seen the news, that BABYMETAL, who through no fault of their own have had their entire reason for being (big-ass live shows) ripped out from under them, are going to release their very own version of a double-live gonzo album next week:

This was already announced a while ago, Twitter-diving shows, but it’s new to me dammit!

Good. Great. Grand. Wonderful. This is very much a Weekender item. So why am I blogging a whole-ass post out for it? Because, starters, it’s been a minute since the last time we had good reason to post a BABYMETAL thing, and also because I have now listened to the previews and deemed them good, and because today is a very special day, my very own Fox Day if you will, as it is the sixth anniversary of my first BABYMETAL experience (it was “Megitsune”), which is almost as life-defining as the time I decided to strike up a conversation with the person to whom I am now engaged to be married and also very easy to remember because it’s my brother’s birthday. So in honor of the unofficial beginning of Maniac and the eventual establishment of ye olde website, I blog a BABYMETAL post. Continue reading

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Kai: A Retrospective Of A Wonderfully Unique Idol

By now most of you know that Kai, one of our favorite quirky oddball idols around these parts, has decided to step down from all activities. TRASH-UP!! Records released a statement late last week breaking us the news…

For a lot of us, this retirement of sorts is a more personal loss than usual in a business where graduations and disbandments are common events that we’ve developed an understanding and acceptance of. Kai was just something… well, unique, y’know? Aside from her fans, she’s also always been a consistent friend of idols. I can’t recall exactly how many times she showed up in my instagram feed having lunch with someone else I followed. Beni made a point to post her well-wishes and reminisce over some fond memories…

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YOU’LL ROCK MORE! with YOU’LL MELT MORE!

Our fully comprehensive but not-too-throughly-serious retrospective of the first 50 (52 actually) MV’s by the always daring and darling YOU’LL MELT MORE! may have been wrapped up, but this blog has no plans to stop covering one of our personal favorite groups! Yea, verily, let it be known that as long as YMM! has the power to melt our hearts, we’re on board with them til’ the end!

Having gotten my opening declaration out of the way, let’s talk about what item has us here today: A terrific live performance of the bravest and most experimental idol unit returning to a band configuration that includes new members Nerun and Nani! This is also notable because Kechon gets to play an actual full drum kit while Younapi has cast aside her usual keytar for a nice n’ noisy guitar…

First off, I’m always very happy to see these ladies do their “band thing” and I’d be more than pleased if they did it more frequently. Are they the most polished and slick band around? Heaven’s no and thank goodness for that! There’s already a a few hundred too-slick, booooooring, over-produced bands on the planet, and who really needs another one on that forgettable heap? Personally, I’m from the Shaggs School of Primitive Rock and this scratches that itch wonderfully.

You can sense the slightly tense concentration here as the group does something they don’t do that often, but that tension is tempered with a shot of joy and fun that keeps this from feeling awkward and forced like a music school recital. You can get a feeling of quiet satisfaction in Kechon as she keeps up the time on the drums, like a personal battle is being won, while Younapi becomes giddy as she shifts from playing simple chords to let loose on a chaotic Jojo Hiroshige-esque guitar solo. I also love the way Chiffon not-quite-so-discreetly sneaks across the stage to get her own little shot at making some guitar noise too…

And then there’s our two new members, “Song of the Summer 2020” nominees Nerun and Nani… Being so relatively green, they perhaps haven’t gotten a crack at an instrument yet, but they do a great job of offering vocals and even a little of back-up percussion including yes, a glorious cowbell!  And then Nerun pulls out a recorder (most infamous instrument in the world) and manages to play it in a non-irritating fashion, which is certainly no small feat!

It’s a short, breezy video that goes by fast, but I think it’s most certainly brought us a few minutes of positive cheer. Hopefully we’ll get a another reward like this soon, and goodness knows I hope we can get more ep/MV/singles from YOU’ll MELT MORE! before the year is over. We need all the good vibes we can get!

With this spirit in mind, and a realization that summer is rapidly coming to a close (and heading into an uncertain Fall) here’s one more live blast of Yurumerumo! to take us out…

 

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BiS Is More Than up to the Task (of Singing and Dancing for Five Hours)

I think a lot of people have been generally optimistic, albeit somewhat apprehensive to totally give in, when it comes to New BiS. I’ve personally been very willing to embrace them on their own terms (I dig the music quite a bit, after all), though whether I could always take them seriously as a thing called “BiS” has nagged at me. And so far, the release of ANTi CONFORMiST SUPERSTAR has followed that pattern perfectly, with perfectly solid music that I’d happily accept from just about any other idol, but this weird feeling that it’s just not BiS.

And then today, to commemorate the release of the EP, they drop the “full, 5-hour version” of the MV for “CURTAiN CALL”, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s five hours (well, like 5:02:22) of “CURTAiN CALL” on loop, interminably repeated until the arbitrarily selected interval of time had been reached, the members singing and dancing with surprisingly little flagging the entire time. Just:

Hit play, then mark the point at which you get tired of the song … and then imagine how the BiS members felt at the same time

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50 YMM MVs Day 50: Quarantune

Here’s a little back-story on the 50 YMM! MVs project:  We actually started coordinating this quite a few months ago ! We had begun writing the earlier MV articles well-before MV #50 had dropped . So at one point, we were watching YMM!’s social media daily waiting for the 50th MV to finally show up so we could begin publishing. We waited…. and waited….

You know what held us up? Yep, Covid-19.

The virus has indeed changed everything in our routine. Some things are rather mundane and inconvenient, and some have been very heavy on our personal lives. The idol industry isn’t on a par with caregivers, but it most certainly touches our spirits and often means a lot to us, so to see it affected by all this was surreal and often disconcerting. In the case of YOU’LL MELT MORE!, Younapi‘s graduation plans were altered and the possibility of concerts were dashed. And with our quarantine needs interrupting the ability to shoot a bonfire MV, YMM!, and many other idols came up with a new way of reaching out to socially distanced fans: A Quarantune, if you will...

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50 YMM MVs Day 47: Zubaz

It’s Day 47 of the 50 YMM! MV marathon, and today we’re watching the MV for “Gachigaki”, in which the girls trade-in their Patty Hearst-esque revolution chic outfits and now dress like street hooligans as they deal with the seedy side of late-night urban Japan…

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50 YMM MVs Day 44: Guerrilla

YOU’LL MELT MORE!, in their continuing efforts to be among the most prolific MV artists in the idol scene, were on a hot streak at this point. Not satisfied with creating video content for every song on every single, they also shot MVs featuring remixes too!

Up today is a video for “Never Give Up Suiken (Yoe Yoe Remix)”, a new version of their terrific Kung-Fu film-inspired single from only a couple of months before. Made largely to promote their tour at the time, the girls took matters to the streets…

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50 YMM MVs Day 41: Haiku

50YMM!
Zettai-teki ni Kimi
To MV today.

Short MV, not long
A ballad with four girls
Sentimental tune.

Let us watch it now
Then we may discuss it some
Forty-one on our list.

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50 YMM MVs Day 37: Madchester

I have this mental image of  YOU’LL MELT MORE! and their staff sitting around a big round table with a turntable and giant stack of records, taking turns putting things on and spending time as a collective to listen to everything. With each new spin, they explore and consider genres that they have and haven’t tried musically yet…

“Hey, how about the Specials?”  “Well, we’ve played around with ska just a little already, but we’ll keep it in mind.. Maybe we’ll revisit a two-tone thing later.”  (Spoiler: They Do.) 

“Never Mind the Bollocks?”  “Arrgh that’s so obvious, let WACK have that one..

“Hope I don’t regret this, but what about the Grateful Dead?”  “Hmmm, y’know, a hippie thing might be fun, but can we get a little cooler than that?”

Then Chiffon reaches across the table, picks up a record, checks out the bright, vivid cover intrigued. It sparks a memory of YMM!’s bi-weekly movie night at Kechon‘s place….

“Hey, remember that one film we watched…. I think it was called “24 Hour Party People”?”

“THAT’S IT! Hallelujah!!!” 

And so YOU’LL MELT MORE! recorded the “Hippy Mondays” EP….. and became the first (and I’m pretty sure the only) idols to pay tribute to a brilliant but short-lived era of music born out of Manchester that promised to build an exciting new world of multi-cultural togetherness, but was ultimately doomed to implode under the weight of it’s own drug-fueled, self-destructive hedonism…

Pills n’ Thrills and Oddball Idols: Happy Mondays Influence You”ll Melt More!

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50 YMM MVs Day 33: Percussion

Day 33 people! Y’know, the number 33 kinda resembles the number 88 and maybe that’s rather fitting as we check out the MV to “Aruku no osoi inu”, which is translated as “The Dog that Walks Slowly” in the westernized digital release. While the previous couple of MVs played it kind of wholesome, this one is significantly not like that at all, making the violent opening in “Idol ID” look like a bake sale. Well, there ain’t no cookies or cakes being sold here…

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