Good morning! I almost forgot it was Saturday — the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA was this past Thursday, but I’ve been off work since Wednesday and very deliberately avoiding things that required me to think or do too much. Rhythm’s off, sleeping in … oh hey, suddenly it’s the weekend! Fortunately, this is a busy time in idol in general, so I have lots of things for you to peruse when there’s little else very interesting to do.
One thing to do is going to be the Best Of voting, which I can tell you is imminent because part of why this Weekender is a few minutes late is that Team is finalizing the Team picks that we use to filter the noise from the community nominations (and also do ourselves completely independently for the staff and personal picks). The only thing I think I can guarantee for you is that we’re going to see a doubled-down diversity in winners like we finally achieved last year. It bodes well for this thing we all like!
Anyway, get to it. It was kind of hastily put together, but it’s still a lot of good stuff!
Worst Weekender Ever
Prepare yourself for Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s first major full-length:
Since even a socially distanced American Thanksgiving without family still involves stuffing oneself with turkey and pie, I’m putting this post together as I fight off a turkey coma. And even though Japan doesn’t do Thanksgiving, they seem to be treating this like a long holiday weekend with about 20 different livestreams to choose from. Visit The Calendar for the whole roster, but here’s a few that come highly recommend:
Check out the elegantly choreographed dreampop duo, LiLii Kaona, as they hold their COVID-delayed oneman live commemorating the release of EP-of-the-year contender, KIYOKU.
So yesterday, to coincide with the release of their Propaganda to PROPAGANDA fan-voted best-of album, BiS dropped a new MV (for the lone original cut on the record, IIRC). How exciting! Given the track record of the group since being re-rebooted sans any formal relationship to its past save for name, logo and producer, it deservedly warranted some real buzz and a lot of eager clicks. Maybe we didn’t quite get what we expected, and I’ll come right out and say that I didn’t even understand (at first) what I did get, but it’s very nice and you should spend some time with it if you haven’t already, including a repeat view or two if you know what’s good for you:
Atarashii Gakkou no Leaders have dropped the news that they will be kicking off 2021 with an international debut courtesy of a newly inked agreement with the US-based 88rising. Our favorite four-member piano funk meets post-punk and acid jazz unit will be be taking on the world under the name, ATARASHII GAKKO!
Good morning! Welcome to Weekender Year 5! I promise to keep up the same degree of randomness and complete disrespect for the subject that you’ve all grown to love.
So how have you all been lately? Well enough, I hope, understanding that there’s still a lot going wrong in general out there for everybody. But I’ll tell you, a few months back I was in a really difficult place with the state of things, and it was manifesting in weird ways in just about every facet of life. So I started to keep a journal where I’d put down the things, every morning, that I was grateful for. It wasn’t like, and yet again today I’m grateful for my car’s good fuel economy, it was always something that I’d have to search for, at least somewhat unique. And it taught me to appreciate things that I’d been taking for granted, which really did help to take the sting away. Earlier this week, I crossed the last big obstacle off of my Day Job queue for the calendar year and accomplished an entirely new degree of success in my work … and it felt so damn good. I even told the boss, I’ve done this before but not anywhere near this degree of sophistication and intricacy, and the results are already rolling in. Hot damn.
The point is, I hope you can do that for yourself, or something else that makes you feel good about you and what you’re doing. If that’s crawling through the Weekender, great; if it’s spending your entire day moving several tons of mulch around the yard and building new rock borders for the garden, that’s great too! But whatever it is that you do, find that good angle on it and enjoy. You deserve it.
You Aren’t My Therapist!
I’ve been declaring the sentience of Himari’s hair for years, and now I have proof!
Of all the happy announcements to see on a Friday, very few can get me as insta-hype on the inside as seeing that my girl Mai is releasing a new record in due time, and of course has an MV for it, and of course it’s big-time vampire-ass symphonic metal and I don’t even care if there are other distinctions to be drawn here, this is as close to the music that seduced me to the Japanese dark side in the first place as it gets, I need regular doses and they better be potent:
The EP is out on Dec. 2. It’s apparently the second in a trilogy, which suddenly contextualizes Daemon adding a particular item of Mai’s that I’d never heard of before to our Best Of tracker!* But yeah, hold on to your butts.
* Hell on Earth, which was released in the spring — I’m listening to it now to catch up!
It’s almost the weekend! That means it’s time to attempt to plan out your idol livestreaming schedule, a task which requires an immense amount of flexibility these days. Last weekend was a case in point as several gigs, including two full-blown festivals, waited until the day of to announce streaming options. We update The Calendar with any late additions we hear about, so keep an eye on it throughout the weekend. In the meantime, here’s some stuff we know about right now:
It is no secret that team Homicidols collectively adores RAY. If you’re not sure why, here’s a perfect opportunity to find out.
Another favorite, O’CHAWANZ make a rare appearance via livestream with the infectiously funky FAREWELL, MY L.u.v in support their new releases including a collaboration album that may very well run away with Album of the Year honors. Continue reading
“Awesome, new BURST GIRL MV!” went the general refrain through Team chat on Wednesday. Yours truly didn’t have the time or mental space or general wherewithal to do anything with that, not then, but I did know: a) BURST GIRL! and b) I was going to want to do something with it, and even went so far as to make sure that nobody else was working on a piece. And, finally, the day winding down, I tracked down the link and figured I’d give it a spin while I finished up some work.
If I tell you that I promptly got annoyed because stupid YouTube played something else from my queue and not the awesome throat-stomping BURST GIRL song that it was supposed to play, how much of my ass am I showing you?
Man, there’s a lot of stuff happening suddenly! I hope we get a chance to address at least most of it!
But cutting right to the chase, look ^ at that headline, get the picture, and then prepare yourself for our first true return visit to EIMIE in more than a year. I feel like we should all have more love for this wonderfully rocking unit, who (the occasion for this post) finally got around to releasing another MV from an EP that they … released all the way back in the spring? Sure, why not. It’s 2020, people. But anyway this bangs and you should play it for every person you both like and dislike in equal measure:
What can you even realistically add to that? It’s awesome hard idol rock (or some suitable combination of those three words), borders appropriately on perfectly acceptable -core kinds of stuff, weaves the idol vocals in perfectly, has a killer hook … that’s a really good job, EIMIE!
The HAMIDASYSTEM successor group’s theme song about being the naughtiest girl on earth is delivering a little more than what you’d expect, so needless to say we absolutely love it.