Daemon is traveling this week, so as to not break the impressive streak of 352 consecutive weekends, I’m in charge of the weekender this week! It’s been a rocky week, so click through for some happy news, less happy ones and, as always, good music
The Homicidols community has been busy for the past couple of months. We first asked our readers to tell us their five favorite alt, indie and/or underground idol MV’s. We then compiled those entries into a massive list of 127 music videos and again asked our readers to rate each and every one on a scientific and rigorously valid Likert scale.
The results have now been compiled into this incontrovertible and statistically valid list of the 50 GREATEST IDOL MVs of ALL TIME (per the collective opinion of the Homicidols community).
We will present ten each week for the next (*counts on fingers*) five weeks with commentary from Team Homicidols and our readers on why they nominated the MV for consideration.
Welcome to another edition of Reader’s Best. This time, we’re turning over the blog to Karli who will tell us what good music sounds like in ten short tunes. The best part of this whole exercise of collecting reader’s favorite songs has been that, with each list we publish, I am discovering at least one great new track to add to my playlist. Karli’s picks are a perfect case in point: the majority of these songs weren’t released as singles or featured in MVs. They are mostly b-sides or deep cuts off of full albums, a couple of which I had never even heard before. Good stuff. Let’s go!! Continue reading
It has been a rough couple of years since COVID curtailed two of my favorite past-times (travel and live music) and my absolute favorite thing (traveling to see live music). This past weekend’s trip to Los Angeles for the U.S. debut of ATARASHII GAKKO! at the Head in the Clouds festival was both my first trip and my first music festival in over two years.
So many things have changed!!
Not only is travel and the festival-going experience itself radically different from the pre-COVID era, I realized that the nature of these show reports also needs to evolve since the last time I wrote one up. The recent ubiquity of concert livestreams (perhaps the only positive outcomes of the global pandemic) means that most of you readers who were interested in seeing the show have already done so via Amazon, Twitch or a bootleg upload on YouTube. This relieves me of my pre-COVID responsibility of composing a written portrait of the show itself, so I’ll focus on the elements of the festival experience that didn’t get captured on video (including a surprise close encounter with AG! themselves: READ ON!). Continue reading
ATARASHII GAKKO! have a dropped a new MV and launched the world-wide distribution of “Pineapple Kryptonite”. Pineapple Superman is not amused.
The MV sees the New School Leaders battling a dog-napping space alien in a Southern California setting (I’m not sure how it survives MIZYU’s twin tail helicopter attack) while the tune takes them to some new musical geography as well. The verses of “Pineapple Kryptonite” are a moodier take on AG!’s signature blend of piano funk, acid jazz and hip hop before transitioning into a surprising, liquid drum & bass chorus. This is an ethereal, soulful vibe we’ve not experienced from the Leaders before.
When future music historians look back at the history of the genre the English-speaking world, for lack of a better term, generally refers to as “Alternative Idol”, the decade of 2010 to 2020 will be seen as foundational. Underground idol in Japan has been around since at least the late 90s, hard rock composers were penning songs for idol units in the mid 2000s, and indie idol has probably existed since the birth of the idol genre itself. However, it was the year 2010 when the momentum of disparate events would begin to coalesce and eventually define the broad genre we know and love today. That year’s creation and subsequent seismic success of BiS and BABYMETAL would inspire the formation of hundreds of punk and metal idol units. At the same time, the zeitgeist of the early 2010s independently birthed several other less prominent but just as significant influences. Bellring Girls Heart, You’ll Melt More, Especia and others emerged to embrace an edgier and more avant-garde approach to idol, crafting the sounds and sensibilities of post- and pop-punk, new wave, techno and progressive rock into something entirely new. These early groups inspired both creative composers and adventurous music fans to embrace independent and underground idol as an effective medium for expressing almost every subgenre of rock, hip hop and electronica. Over the past decade, alternative Japanese idol has grown into a world class laboratory for the creation of some of the most innovative music on the planet. Continue reading
This was way too good to Weekender, way too much of just the right energy at the right time to hold up and admire for all of its athletic and artistic excess, super charming and, hell, even kind of inspiring. You may also recall that I vowed to exploit the ever-loving christ out of ATARASHII GAKKO!’s emergence for Western audiences by posting about them in lots of ways all the time and making sure that ol Homicidols Dot Com shows up a lot in search results! I am very clever.
BUT NOT SO CLEVER AS ATARASHII GAKKO!, who “Night Before the Exam” today, which is the extended one-take version of a clip they released back in the early days of their international breakout. I warn you, you will want to dance, but to attempt to dance like ATARASHII GAKKO! for more than, oh, a few seconds is going to leave you breathless and possibly looking for the ice pack and ibuprofen:
Imagine being this fit
After that last release of theirs, I do worry a bit that Our Friends Formerly Known as Leaders may abandon their wild-ass acid-jazz-fueled whatever-you-call-it musical flavor for something perhaps a bit more internationally “normie” friendly, but that they (and 88rising) brought this out is some relief.
And now that we have sufficiently padded our SEO for the week, this is your Homicidol Maniac, signing off!
ATARASHII GAKKO! dropped an MV for the new song “Freaks”, featuring Indonesian rapper Warren Hue and whole heya of sumo wrestlers.
Once again utilizing the square, Instagram-friendly aspect ratio, the members display mini-super powers as they battle sumo wrestlers in a battle to see who’s most goofy. Continue reading
After their November announcement of signing with American multimedia platform 88rising, and their December participation in the DOUBLE HAPPINESS Global Holiday Festival, ATARASHII GAKKO! are continuing their quest for world domination with the January release of, “NAINAINAI”, their first international single and MV.
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!
【【 大告知 】】
・海外名義 は 【ATARASHII GAKKO！】
— 新しい学校のリーダーズ_ATARASHII GAKKO! (@japanleaders) November 24, 2020