Here it is!! The final top ten in our countdown of the 50 Greatest Albums of the last decade. Be sure to let us know the albums you feel we were criminally negligent to exclude, and the punishment you think we deserve. We are collecting your feedback for our follow-up article: “Albums We are Awful for Leaving Off the Greatest Albums List”.
While we know that our imperfect process (and questionable taste) has overlooked some stellar albums and deserving units, we hope that you have still found the exploration worthwhile. I know I have enjoyed revisiting some classic albums that I haven’t listened to in years and even discovered a few new favorites. We may try the exercise again, perhaps with the “50 Greatest MVs”. If we do, we’ll find a way to incorporate community participation in the selection next time.
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 →
The fine* people at WACK bring you their staggering retort to BILLIE IDLE’s playful spin of a variety show appearance via MV:
I really wanted this to be shade, and not just because I wanted to do another “Shade or Not Shade?” post. The idea of there being beef — real, loud, public beef — between WACK and a bunch of ex-WACK idols operating in close proximity but ultimately asymptotically to is simply delicious. Alas, it appears that whatever likely complicated feelings held by one Pour Lui toward one Watanabe Junnosuke, and any of the same held by First Summer Uika or Hirano Nozomi by history or either of the Momoses by association, those feelings are likely mere complications when the chance to leverage existing relationships for potential financial gain are involved.
I hate to over-use the phrase “damning with faint praise,” but you guys aren’t, like, following me around at Day Job and nor are you reading my project notes and the like, right? So you’re unfamiliar with my tendency to use it as, at this point, almost a double-backhand of light disregard and shortened respect for something. “At least it’s one of the best-looking proposals I’ve seen in a while” came out of my mouth on Monday, in fact, in the direction of a very-pretty-but-hilariously-over-budget-and-clearly-boilerplate-and-typo-riddled response to an RFP that will get no response in turn because it was, in fact, a bad proposal. So it goes.
And so, in a way, it goes with the new one from BILLIE IDLE, which … well, get the tale after the jump, and in the meantime maybe just give yourself a few minutes to recapitulate your BILLIE IDLE experience to date, and also pay attention to the details, because those are what sell the whole thing and make this trip worthwhile:
So on top of it already being busy season in idol, there have been some fairly major happenings afoot, and I am not yet just behind on all of the stuff, I am now behind on stuff that’s happened in the last couple of days. Some it’s going to have to wait! What won’t? BILLIE IDLE, for they are queens and deserving of all of our rapt attention and respect and … oh, people didn’t like this? What?
It’s here! It’s here! Is it Christmas? /checks It’s not Christmas! It’s not even close to Christmas! And yet, here we are, BILLIE IDLE with their new enhancement in the form of Pour Lui herself, re-joining forces with verified goddess First Summer Uika and immortal best idol friend Hirano Nozomi, a supergroup if that were actually possible given that they’ve all been together before … yeah, still breathing.
Anyway! “Time Traveler” from the new BILLIeD IDOL 2.0 double album monstrosity:
Pour Lui joins BILLIE IDLE … or did BILLIE IDLE join Pour Lui?
Episode 34: Makeover Montage
A new era of BILLIE IDLE is upon us, and that means new costumes! But, being separated from WACK (while still having to put up with them) means that BILLIE IDLE has roughly the budget of a preteen garage band owned by Dingo Pictures. BILLIE IDLE have been stuck in green screen/cheap animation hell for three years! But thanks to the Japanese equivalent of B&M Bargains (probably), and the token “aesthetic” captives of the dungeon, Tenten and Kosho, maybe they can create something dynamic and beautiful for a new era. The Momose sisters will love their new costumes!
Episode 35: House Of Cards
The Momose sisters didn’t love their new costumes. Not even seconds after their reveal, Momo and Akira gagged, swore, set the costumes on fire and locked everyone but Megumi (Momo had already agreed to dye her hair) in the dungeon until it was time for dance practice! “Puu, for fuck’s sake, why did you give them a spare key?” Tentenko growled through the palm that was planted against her face. “Well, now that we’re all united as one group, I thought it would only be fair that I gave everyone else in BILLIE IDLE a spare key to my dungeon as a symbol of trust and unity,” Pour Lui explained. “Then where the hell is my key!?” Non piped up. “I didn’t get one either!” Uika fumed.
“Um… um… card games!” Pour Lui stuttered, as she shifted through the card pile.
Episode 36: Battle Idol Society
Nozomi checked her watch. “Still three hours until dance practice” she sighed.
“All the more time to play another card game!” the Pourverlord chucked.
“Puu, please, I’m sick to death of these bloody card games! We’ve been playing nothing but card games for seven hours!” Uika groaned, exasperated.
“Oh!” Tenko jumped, scrambling to pick up the leftovers from the ill-fated costume design foray. “I know! I know! Who’s up for some arts and crafts?”
“Yaaay” the others unenthusiastically droned in unison.
Then Netflix saw this and decided to revive Robot Wars for another season.
Episode 37: Makeover Montage Part 2
Oh, finally, a makeup tutorial, I was wondering how long until PuuTube jumped into that genre.
Episode 38: Makeover Montage Part 3
Did you know Saki likes to cosplay? You do now.
Episode 39: Makeover Montage Part 4: The Paddening