This was easily the best thing that happened yesterday, and I want to share it because it’s something that all people should experience. I speak, obviously, of HAMIDASYSTEM, and to follow that a live of theirs. Or, more specifically, their one-man a little while back, pro-shot and edited and mixed and oh my goodness it’s real and beautiful. And of course it includes everything from their very literal multimedia magnum opus, the likes of which we may never see again.
A friend, a name you may have encountered in your online idoling adventures, asked whether this performance being so filmed and broadcast meant that it was for a to-be-released DVD. I didn’t know the answer, and Twitter wasn’t helpful, but another viewer offered that … it was being broadcast as a promo, for other one-mans. That’s wild.
Anyway, the point of all of this is that HAMIDASYSTEM is amazing as heck, and you should watch this, but you have to hurry because it’s only being published for 48 hours and 24 have already passed, so you only have 24 left! Get to watching!
It’s just like me to offer to write a quick-take on a topic that really has a lot more going on than just a simplified quick-take!
The MV for Maison book girl‘s recent album’s closing track “Yumea” (Dream) entered public consciousness over the weekend, and it’s a beautiful piece of visual art. If you watched it on a pure surface level with no backstory about it’s intent, it’s still a gorgeous experience in the arena of sound and vision. I’m thinking it’s reasonably safe that the highly loyal Bukuga fans out there have already seen it, but I recommend a rewatch anyway, and if you haven’t, please take a moment. There won’t be a quiz or anything, but it’s important to understand what we’re discussing, and also, it’s a great song and you just really should…
The opening scenes are a questionnaire session leading into a sleep test in a medical facility. It’s then followed with a series of dreamy visuals of girls in headphones looking all introspective. Okay fine, so girls in headphones looking introspective on bus rides isn’t terribly groundbreaking, I’ll cede you that point, but those surreal images that pulsate in time with the odd flickering sound in the song, what’s that about? Well, the end of the video is kind enough to help explain that, and that’s where one realizes the true beauty of this MV. Continue reading →
I remember, back when I was first stepping my whole foot into this idol business, how people would always hand-wave poor performances and uphold chika almost as a principle with the canard about idol really being about watching the performers develop over time, it’s why you support them after all, ain’t they cute, etc. I never quite bought it all the way, not from Western people at least, but I can cop to a certain amount of definitely enjoying seeing groups start off raggedy as all hell (relatively) and grow into something impressive.
At least just as interesting, though, is watching a quality, well-managed, talented project evolve over time, regardless of their respective level of success or popularity. It’s one thing to really stick to your conceptual guns straight from the jump and only move around within a limited musical space; it’s another to use the concept of the group as the creative boundaries and, within that, consider different presentations or musical styles over time. NECRONOMIDOL, for instance, is great at this — you know it’s Necroma by its darkness, not by their always doing a certain kind of musical thing, and in fact oftentimes by the gamut of musical things that they’re able to put into a single record while retaining that core chilly dread.
If you’re looking for a good time with very little commitment of your precious time resources, you could do a lot worse than discovering whether you’re definitely going to be picking up the new There There Theres album, BRICKS, or whether you’re almost definitely going to be doing so. It’s just a question of personal hype level, isn’t it? In spirit if not in fact continuing on the BRGH legacy of being the queens of chika means that TTTs releases are events, man. You gotta step into that and let it hit you with all due severity.
And especially when the rapid-fire nature of the it could leave an adult human staggered and gasping for relief! It’s a lot like Arguably Greatest Punk Collaboration Ever Short Music for Short People, a glory of 30-second songs. TTTs absolutely destroyed that standard in setting a new record in Getting to Know Music By Hearing It in Tiny Snips!
There is a dwindling handful of groups that made up what I considered to be a core of high-quality idol back when Homicidols.com was transitioning from a twinkle in my eye to squalling newborn, and even among their number are a very small few who are still regularly releasing material and seem to be on the move. That leaves the groups like Party Rockets GT in a weird space, beloved of the boss but rarely mentioned, as they perpetually clip through the cracks.
Nonetheless, they’re worth checking up on fairly regularly, and a good while of doing that teaches one the rhythms of management’s business logic, and so it was that I started to hover over PRGT (and others) more in the past week, wishing/thinking/hoping that they’d be getting out some kind of release before the year was out. Not everybody delivered, but Haruka and her merry band of upbeat loudols certainly did:
I think Chris spoke for all of us (who were previously enormous marks of that bizarre Osaka-based cosplay cafe group that couldn’t ever decide on a sound and definitely couldn’t ever decide on a membership for more than a month at a time) when he tweeted this yesterday:
I’d say “this week,” but let’s be real, that Yanamyu EP drops tomorrow and the sun very may well cease to cross the sky when that happens. Heaven help us all.
Instead, let’s focus on what’s directly in front of us! And what’s directly in front of us is the kind of astonishingly perfect glory that happens best in idol, when genres collide and tempos are upbeat and the only way to describe the mood that comes over you is “great”:
2018 has been a banner year for idol debuts, at least in the chika scene and among those whose sound could best be described as “rock-inspired.” At one point near the end of the spring debut season, it was like new units doing cool things were falling out of the trees. I could not have approved more. The only problem, especially now as the year draws to a close and especially as the Homicidols Best Of 2018 timeline shuts the door literally tomorrow, is that I’m terrified of missing out of somebody who warrants real-deal attention.
Take for example SKIRMISH, who are the entire point of this post! They debuted less than a month ago and are already responsible for one of my favorite tracks of the last couple of months: Continue reading →
Game gotta respect game, and who else in idol, period, maybe ever, brings quite the same level of total creative vision as Soze and Melon Batake a go go? The answer is pretty much nobody! It is right and good to worry about the state of that vision anytime anybody from the depths of chikadom gets picked up by a major label, because of course said label is going to want to direct the show to an extent, but if anybody can brute-force their way through some meddling producer’s insistence on being right, it’s these girls.
And think of the benefits! Like, it’s possible that Melon will, after demonstrating a strong business case and projecting a viable ROI through omnichannel (zzzzzzzzzzzzz) DOING A REALLY GOOD JOB AND MAKING MONEY, get some extra lucre to do neat things with. I am, of course, in this case electing to be an optimist.
But hey! There’s been new Melon stuff lately, in preparation for that move out of the indies, and there’s more of it now! Continue reading →
So that’s Atarashii Gakkou no Leaders — Leaders of the New School — “dancing” for URBANGARDE’s latest, which just so happens to be coinciding with their announced transition to the “Shoujo Era” (the kind of thing that comes up when you’re in a group chat with officially all-over-the-place Japanese music hobbyists!) (this also makes so much sense in context!). It’s not URBANGARDE’s first mix-up with idols that we’ve even covered here in the venerable HTML margins of Homicidols Dot Com, nor is it the first pass at Leaders, though it’s obnoxiously removed from previous connections with them because they used to be region-blocked to death.
Anyway, that’s a wild-ass song! Depending on your tastes, possibly the best (or at least most interesting) idol-related collaboration this year. Certainly memorable! I feel like Suzuka (leader of Leaders!) needs to have her face cast in pliable bronze or something, the better that those expressions are preserved for posterity.