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:
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:
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!
“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!
Subtitle: If Rain gets annoyed about a lot of words saying very little, he’s gonna love this one!
WAGAMAMARAKIA, who kick enormous amounts of ass and therefore it is completely acceptable to be super hype about the EP they’re releasing in a few weeks, dropped a new video yesterday. So as not to bury the lede, suffice it to say that it left me dumbfounded and still kind of does almost 24 hours later. You of course be the judge of your own experience and takeaway. I’ll share mine because it’s long-winded!
So to relate this back to the title, I (in this order) got jazzed about the MV, unintentionally played the MV as background, got really excited for a minute, forgot about it, then actually watched it a few hours later and got that same excitement at the beginning all over again. And yet I felt like I didn’t have anything to say! What a strange feeling — an idol group that I have the utmost respect for, a new bigger-time product from them being rolled out, and really all that I could muster in my mind was incoherence? Isn’t that usually a good thing?? Continue reading
Well gang, I’m not sure if we’ll ever get to discover all of the idols worth discovering this year before the gate closes in a couple of weeks, so let’s expedite
all of my personal favorites only the very best toward the front of the line.
A few weeks ago, while doing that thing where you look at the bills from random taibans for idols you haven’t heard of yet, and drawn like a moth to flame by the magic word “idolcore,” I went on a little riff through as-yet-unknown-to-me Osaka-area idols and found myself staring one act right in the face. Their name sounded kind of cutesy, but the limited photography of them didn’t line up with that. I figured, hey, part of why I’m doing this is to have something new to listen to for a little while, let’s see what it’s like. And oh my friends, what a good decision that turned out to be:
That’s Sugarpills, and on the strength of two whole songs they might be my favorite debut this year. Continue reading
Yeah yeah, give me a minute. Continue reading
Good morning! How was everybody’s week? The surreality of life in contemporary America continues unabated as we swing wildly from one extreme scenario to another — lots of people dying and who knows how many dollars’ worth of destruction from a mid-November hurricane is somehow the least terrifying thing to feature in the news in several months — but I’ll be honest with you: It’s feeling good to be a Maniac lately. Lots of good stuff in idol, mostly calm in the other realms of life. Yeah, we can make it work.
So this is the official fourth anniversary edition of the Weekender, and while the product is basically the same thing as ever plus or minus an occasional feature or two, how much has Homicidols Dot Com changed in this time? I can tell you with a straight face that I remember doing the very first Weekender. It was … well, it was this weekend in November. For one reason or another, I was at the parental home of the former Mrs. Maniac. I’d started putting this website thing together about a year previously, itself after a year-plus deep dive into the weird, wild world of idol, but all of it surreptitiously — the former Mrs. Maniac and I had a troubled relationship at that point, and while I thought she’d get a kick out of Babymetal and BiS and the like, in truth she at best thought it was all weird and (considering the source) at worst probably thought she’d need to call the cops. But because marriages in their death throes tend to give one a bit more personal time, I found that dedicating to this personal labor of love was actually pretty easy. If anything, I was able to do too much, and me being me kept biting off more than I could chew. On the weekend in question, on top of trying to visit with family I’d been somewhat harried during the week and, with a new job demanding more of my time than usual, didn’t have the capacity to get to all of the stuff I wanted to get to. And so the Weekender was born. Continue reading