Boy, was I excited when I saw this pop up in the queue the other day. We don’t ever hear enough from GRATIA-ALA, to the point where I’m not even going to pretend to know anything about them anymore. But I enjoyed them before, I must enjoy them again, right?
What the absolute hell was that! I give it lots of points for a nice hook and having the sheer audacity to smash all of that stuff together into a single track. How can you even be mad about it? Absolute chaos.
Some of the coolest idols from Thailand have a new live video and boy do they have something to say. With instrumentation from Thai band While We Were, sink your teeth into the live footage of “Su Tae Tong Mai Tai” (สู้แต่ต้องไม่ตาย, “Fight But Don’t Die”).
So last week, while writing up my own little contribution to our ongoing all-time top 50 albums project, I was re-listening to Shihatsu-machi Underground’s self-titled for probably the 100th time and casually adding them to the list of groups that, going into 2020, really felt like they might be on the cusp of great things (before, you know). And I won’t walk that back because I’m a fan, though I will allow that a certain bias may tinge the perspective — the whole reason that Shihatsu-machi made it onto our countdown at all is because of the unique alignment of the people on Team and the spectrum of tastes among us; obviously we aren’t talking about a hugely influential group or release here (not yet), but rather one that holds up in our opinion as just being remarkably good. Continue reading
Good morning! Or as good as it can be — there’s a sort of hell-in-a-handbasket thing going on in the news right now, like everywhere. Even our distractions are terrible. I caught a few minutes of the Olympic Open Ceremony last night and just couldn’t deal with not just the empty stadium, but the fact that it shouldn’t be happening anyway, like nobody other than a handful of rich people really want this to go off. And at roughly the same time, a young hockey player whose rap sheet is longer than his career highlights and who literally said he shouldn’t be drafted into the NHL was drafted in the first round anyway. The world can be so poisonous.
But here we are, and sometimes it’s important to remember that we only have any kind of control as far as our own lives go. That’s good, actually, and it means that we can form the world a bit around ourselves, find things that make it work for us. And, ah, ahem, look at this Weekender and all of the fun in it!
Also go read the latest installment of the countdown, and comment about how mad you are that the thing you like didn’t crack the top 20!
Presumptuous, Aren’t We?
Oh lord, they let BiSH join LINE:
We have hit the half-way point of our attempt to capture some of the greatness that the alternative, indie and underground idols of Japan have contributed to the world over the past ten years. If you would like a recap of the methodology we used to arrive at the album rankings, please visit week one’s installment. If you missed last week’s post or want a refresher of the albums that placed 31st – 40th, you can find that here.
Now, on with the next ten albums in the countdown plus one honorable mention that fell just a little bit short of the top 50:
Where my other old-time UNDER BEASTY fans at? This is so cool, right? Our girls landed themselves a TV show theme, and while it is pretty standard idorock, it’s good standard idorock, and with a cool MV to boot:
UB’s soon to celebrate their seventh anniversary (as UNDER BEASTY). I’m always so happy for them.
This is a very short post because I’m on a train
Some idol groups, even those that are just grinding away on chika stage after chika stage, release tons of material and as a result are super accessible; others … not so much. I do have a gift for recall, fortunately, so it’s rare to really, truly forget about a unit once introduced, but as time goes on and life’s priorities change, I do have to admit to being surprised when certain projects pop up from the blind spots in my mind.
Like PapiRosier, who released this MV the other day for their new single! This is the first thing I wrote about them, in the summer of 2016; we have averaged 0.8 post per year from them since, as that seems to be the approximate release schedule. And given how things change over time and the whole “heavy idol” thing has run its course in certain ways, I fully expected this MV to be a simple, sparkling idol song, probably kind of anthemic because that’s what they do, but bereft of much in the way of rock sounds and definitely not something to blog a post about: Continue reading
This website is very pro-SIPP, to the point where I’m very comfortable saying right now that they’re the best debut of 2021 so far and will be very hard to dethrone. “3 or Two” is their latest single, out this past week, and frankly if this one doesn’t convince you that they’re as legit as it gets and gods be good future mainstays we’ll be talking about for years, I don’t know if we can be friends:
Just, what a group. Talent across the roster, excellent diversity of voices, very little in the way of gimmicks, somehow elevating both the “pop” and “punk” parts of their theme beyond what anybody else is doing with either, absolutely masterful hook … there are other groups doing good pop punk, and some do it very well at that, but is anybody doing it better than SIPP? Friend, I think not.
I’ve just always wanted to title a post this, thanks Lui
The new PIGGS single hits stores in a few days, and mid-last week they released the second MV from it (first), and it’s still not the title track, so that leaves a great deal of hope in there being yet another video coming our way. But for the whole reason that I got a NIN vibe before even listening to the thing, here’s “Piggy”:
Good morning! I’m so tired, gang. Yes, somewhat hung over, but tired for having put what feels like weeks’ worth of work into just the past few days. ‘Tis the season at Day Job, and though I’m much better at managing the stress than I was in previous years, it’s still a lot. Upshot: I probably won’t pull a months-long disappearing act again! But yeah, sucks, this was actually a pretty interesting week in idol and I feel like I missed it.
So yeah, not the hottest Weekender ever, but I mean it when I say that I hope you have much more interesting and stimulating things to do anyway. Like reading our latest installment in the top 50 albums! But also things that aren’t idol-related. Idol is great in lots of ways … and so are many other things. That’s not a “touch some grass” kind of admonition, by the way, just saying that live is richer for diversity in experience.
And with that said, it’s time to try to blog some posts about idols!
That’s What You Always Say
Always good to see Rie Kaneko solo projects: