Well oops. Not-quite-the-latest Codomomental project, akugi, who is currently in the lead for Group Most Likely To Fill The Komachi-Shaped Hole In Your Heart, officially dropped their second single and MV and … well, this is really different from the last one! In fact, my above description is way more apt than I would’ve expected. Team, predictably, adores the track and had a brief chat about the video, and then we all had other things to do and holy hell it’s Saturday, let’s real quick do something with akugi before the boss thinks we don’t like their things anymore.
It’s actually a really easy thing to do. Frankly, I’ve had the refrain in my head for days and have been completely happy about it. So, on the off chance that you’re in this community and you like sequester yourself from Codomomental for some reason and aren’t hip to akugi, let’s take this brief step back into, uh, mid-week to enjoy it all again:
Idol is genreless. You learn this pretty quickly even if you don’t start off going down the bottomless rabbit hole of chika loud idol — you might be like “oh wow I really like BTS perhaps this ‘Perfume’ thing from Japan is similarly fun” and within a week you’re wondering what the hell a GO TO THE BEDS because that’s next in your somewhat randomized playlist and you’re currently listening to some lady with an extremely squeaky voice rap perhaps a little too well for comfort. Genre, such as it is within idol, is largely a matter of trend: Idorock is a thing because it’s easy, and we’ve had really solid runs through metal and punk and nowadays, yes, rapping is apparently the latest big thing. The really memorable idol units, though, are the ones that take a fairly unique genre position (Dots with shoegaze, Yanakoto Sotto Mute with grunge, Hauptharmonie with … however you describe Hauptharmonie) and double up by also being really goddamn good at it. Those things stick; so too do those rare times when an idol unit fills a very unique niche that needs filling, like GARUDA coming out of the woodwork as my personal white whale doing unsettling industrial stuff.
All of this to say that there is really one prog idol unit out there, they’ve been in that position for several years, they’re always incredibly, absolutely, wonderfully entertaining, and they check every box I just described, making them some kind of weird idol genre gold standard that may not make them the world’s most popular performing act but definitely makes them one that deserves love and respect, all of it.
OH MY GOODNESS WE MADE IT. The hell month to end all hell months (and, after a year’s worth of hell months, that’s saying something) comes to an end this weekend with … the most significant snowfall my area has seen in several years. Fantastic. Couldn’t be happier. Definitely not indicative of anything. Definitely not mad that I didn’t jump on GameStop stock on Tuesday like I was very strongly urged to, and that the whole reason I didn’t was that I was too busy with work to do it then and “I’ll get it tomorrow” didn’t happen either and at that point it was effectively too late. Cest la vie.
I hope you’re all doing well, and maybe even made some cash screwing over those whose entirely livelihood is screwing you! I also wish that this edition of the Weekender could have a closer tie-in to current events, but … no. It’s just a Weekender, hopefully a fun one for you. And if you’re getting up to a foot of snow between tomorrow and Monday like I am, well, let’s all listen to our favorite idol classics while shoveling together!
Live stream of 2& Day!
■2021.2.2(Tues) ✌️「２＆DAY」✌️ 〜I’ll Stream This Year!〜
I hate this week! Weeks at ends of months tend to be pretty busy for ol’ Maniac these days, anyway, but this one has been particularly trying for several reasons. I’ve barely looked at anything other than work, and everybody knows that work is dumb and is for suckers! In weeks like these, you look forward to Wednesday, Hump Day, because there’s a downhill coming soon — and even though I really still didn’t want to do anything extra yet I felt shot out of a friggin’ cannon this morning when I saw that my girls in KING∞RAGE had themselves a new MV. Why? Why not!
It makes me so giddy! This is basically Default Loudol from 2017, all the way from the screechy synth in place of guitars to the unnecessary growls to the synchronized headbangs in a warehouse. And considering that KING∞RAGE’s predecessor more or less debuted in that window and sounded like that, it’s kind of like restoring factory settings on an idol unit, though I’ll be completely honest and say that I don’t feel like KING∞RAGE ever fell all that far from the tree.
I always know whenever a new Dreamcatcher release comes out, because my Twitter feed will be always inevitably be on fire. “DON’T STOP STREAMING THIS!” they cry. “WHY IS THIS ONLY AT 350K VIEWS?!” they scream. “SIYEON MY GODDESS, BLESS MY SINFUL WAYS WITH YOUR HOLY THROAT SOUNDS” they beg. Following K-Pop groups after having primarily been a fan of underground J-idol groups for so long is honestly pretty jarring.
Dreamcatcher’s newest music video, “Odd Eye”, is, sadly, not a cover of the Yukueshirezutsurezure song of the same name, because frankly, nobody can possibly handle that much power. It does, however, see the long-awaited return of Chinese member Handong, who took a year-and-a-half vacation in order to fail a reality TV show in her native country. So, how does her comeback release hold up?
Episode 02 of Derek Vasconi’s documentary series, The Flowers of Passion was made available for streaming on Friday, and I dug into it almost immediately.
The episode packs a lot into 73 minutes, giving us XOXO EXTREME’s thoughts on the history of idol and the difficulties of holding a place in it, some dramatically personal insight into what it is like to be 14th Generation Toilet Hanako-San, footage from a special acoustic set by NaNoMoRaL, and a behind-the-scenes look at LiLii Kaona’s creative processes including the birth of their incomparable tune, “Rust”.
This is all delivered via extremely candid conversations and intimate performance footage capturing the action both on stage and in the studio. So far, the strength of the series stems from the presentation of the interviews and performances largely without external narration or commentary. Other than the first several minutes of episode one (which we reviewed here), the only editorial context comes from infrequent captions that usually serve an introductory purpose. The end result is that what we see and hear is almost entirely the unfiltered thoughts of the idols and their management or production staff. Continue reading →
Good morning! I hope you’re all healthy and safe. We here at Maniac Mansion and the small circle of people we see have been pretty lucky, all things considered, and of course Team rocks on; if you or people you care about have been affected by any of the umpteen major problems facing the world at this very moment, I hope all ends well, and I hope you can get some enjoyment out of the things we blog about — we only do it because we like it, and we keep doing it because we presume that other people do, too!
But speaking of such things, if you remember earlier in the week before Bernie Sanders memes took over the Internet, there was this whole thing with sea chanteys. I guess people are actually making money off of them and goofy videos! I find youth culture inexplicable so anything is possible! While riffing on this with first my brother and then Fiancee, I got very nostalgic for the handful of great everybody-sing-along moments at various taverns over the years, just when the mood was great and the musical performer/s really had the room and not even the most cynical dickhead in the place (usually me!) could withstand singing with strangers and smashing glasses together and acting like a movie scene. And I vowed that should the day come when we can all pack ourselves into a pub while the town’s only successful busker plays folksy covers of Top 40 hits from 15 years ago, then by the gods I will be there as often as possible and I will sing loudly and buy rounds for people I don’t know.
BURST GIRL, who it should not surprise you at all are a resident favorite here at Homicidols Dot Com, fairly quietly dropped themselves a new song the other day via MV and streamers, and we all had ourselves a nice react in Team chat and even talked about timing it to come on the heels of the ATARASHII GAKKOU post to take advantage of the (measurable and noticeable!) influx of traffic based on that group’s engineered international breakout. Why we didn’t do it yet is, uh, I’m pretty sure my fault, so get the hell out of my face.
In the most predictable move ever, MAMESHiBA NO TAiGUN got their major label debut on Avex and oh boy is their first major album just as cute as you’d expect from a group who’s name is akin to “puppy horde”.