Welcome to week two of our latest project where we blatantly rip off Rolling Stone’s Greatest of All Time lists. These imperfect and perpetually recurring features from the Gray Lady of rock journalism have a special place in my heart. As a young teen who only knew David Bowie from “Let’s Dance” and Labyrinth, my first browse through Rolling Stone’s inaugural best rock album list introduced me to The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The encounter was genuinely life changing.
Hopefully, through this exercise of recognizing some of the most influential underground, indie and alternative idol albums of the last decade, you will not only encounter many of your personal favorites, but make some new discoveries as well.
Well the last week and change sure did load up my personal responsibility queue here at Homicidols Dot Com, friends! This is fraught territory — since when* do I have time for this much posting? — but I’m going to do my best. Address it piecemeal.
In this case, let’s take on what’s simply one of the very best things in a year short of things that are merely good. The unstoppable force that is Mayumura Chiaki, an artist whose work is both appreciated by all with taste and just often enough deigns to cross into prime Homicidols territory, has a new song with a new MV. The song is lovely and I encourage you to listen to it a lot; to do so, you should watch this MV, which … you’d think such a thing would be simple to do, until you realize everything in and behind it, and you realize that there’s a deep creative intelligence at play and all you can do is clap politely and blog some posts on the Internet about it:
Attending the Tokyo Idol Festival has always been on my bucket list. The primary barrier for me had been, having grown up in the Sonoran desert, a complete lack of tolerance for the humidity levels of Odaiba during Japan’s late summer. Hope was kindled in my desert rat heart when it was announced that TIF 2020 would be held in October when the heat and humidity is much less gruesome. This hope was, of course, dashed completely by the COVID crisis. TIF organizer’s decision to deliver the festival entirely online for 2020 has generated a new kind of hope. This livestream format gives many of us foreigners the opportunity to check “Attended Tokyo Idol Festival” off our bucket lists, even if the accomplishment will have a COVID-shaped asterisk next to it.
I need to revisit the tale of Chiaki Mayamura’s adventure in Kansas City one more time to make sure you don’t miss this opportunity. As you know the story by this point, Chichan did not get to perform at Naka-kon due to the current situation with Covid-19, despite having traveled to the USA for the big weekend. Undeterred, she utilized the empty venue to stream a live concert anyway.
The time of day for the show was a bit awkward and no doubt difficult for many in the West to commit to watching in real time. But fear not, if you missed it, the video stream is still available to watch.
So look, if you still haven’t checked out Chiaki Mayumura and don’t know why I’m devoting all this type to her appearance in the US, THIS VIDEO WILL EXPLAIN ALL. Chiaki is quite successful in Japan, but still a bit of blip on the radar on this side of the ocean, and I feel quite certain that she possesses the heart, soul, and charisma to win over just about anybody. If I can’t convince at least some of you to become converts to Chiaki, then I have no choice but to declare my self an utter failure at this whole evangelist thing…
The current state of global events has been a massive wrench in so many aspects of our lives, alarming on one level as we worry (and too often, mourn) for those vulnerable to it’s effects, and incredibly frustrating in the ways it’s interfering with our lives (and unfortunately, livelihoods) for many.
Naka-Kon in Kansas City , USA is one such event. The anime and pop-culture convention was going to be the host for Chiaki Mayumura‘s western debut, but sadly and understandably, it’s been postponed out of health concerns. This makes sense and I don’t feel anyone can take issue with their decision.
We don’t know how to start this, but we promised to update you guys as soon as we had more concrete information.
After much consideration and a mutual understanding between Naka-Kon, the Sheraton Hotel and Overland Park City Center; we have decided to postpone Naka-Kon
But wouldn’t you know it, Chiaki didn’t intend to bow out at all, and she arrived in from Japan to perform at this event. And now one of the most consistently amazing live performers around is sitting in her hotel in Kansas City for an appearance that isn’t going to take place.
BUT she’s not gonna just sit there and do nothing…
If you were planning for a boring saturday without any visual stimulation, you should probably give up on these foolish plans right away.
Idol is happening and you’d be depriving yourself of some good stuff.
This very short MV could have been a contender for the weekender, but I feel it wouldn’t do it justice. This needs a better showcase. Please take in this minute and a half shockfull of corporate insanity. Whether the baldness drums, the pertinent suggestions of what to do with shareholders and higher ups at your next christmas party or the sheer contrast of the hymn-like music (a reference to school songs, perhaps?) compared to the chaos of the MV.
Things around the Idolverse are starting to warm up a little bit, my friends, or at least I hope so. It is, after all, now practically March, which means that spring releases need to be announced and promoted, and no longer the midwinter doldrums that apparently are only good for gut-wrenching heartbreak. But though I’ve been slow the uptake, there are some good things moving around now, and good music, and even some by-the-gods debuts worth talking about.
The very first thing, though, is new in the sense that it’s very forward-looking, but also not new at all in that we’re talking about a veteran here, and who we’re talking about is Chiaki Mayumura, who is a goddess made flesh and given voice, and I implore you to take all the time you need with this one, because it gets better the more time you spend with it:
Well, gang, time to dust off the ol’ There Are More Idols Than Stars in the Summer Sky list again and reach for an otherwise unexplored artist who you find yourself enjoying. Or, in this case, an idol that somebody else enjoyed and shared!
A little while back, Krv alerted me to a clip of a total idol weirdo running around a public space in Tokyo, barefoot, playing Duck Duck Goose with a group of happy wota. It was indisputably idol. And we had a brief conversation about that idol! Who she was, what she did, things like that. I liked it enough to include some of her in the Weekender.
Now, I dig on idol, in general as well as specifically. However, when it comes to this project, it’s not enough to just be idol, or to do certain idol things. No, an idol must also do cool and interesting musical things. And did this new idol in my life do so? She sure did!